Former "American Idol" contestant Jason Castro has revealed how pornography addiction nearly destroyed his marriage in a candid new "I Am Second" video.
Castro placed fourth on season seven of "American Idol," and his rendition of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" briefly appeared in the number-one spot on the iTunes chart. Despite his overwhelming success, Castro revealed that he experienced extreme loneliness and depression, and turned to pornography for comfort. Before too long, he found himself addicted.
"By the time I was on tour, I was looking at stuff every day, multiple times a day," Castro said in the video. "This addiction was really bothering me. It was bringing me down. It was keeping me depressed. I wasn't sleeping at night. I would stay up all night out of shame and then go back to my thing. The addictive cycle ... I couldn't stop."
His addiction spilled over into his personal life: Despite having a serious girlfriend at the time, he slept with someone else on while on tour.
"I found myself doing something I'd never come close to with my girlfriend, my future wife. We had barely kissed and here I had slept with somebody I barely knew," Castro said.
The singer initially decided not to let his then-fiancé, Mandy, know about the affair, but finally confessed, unable to handle the overwhelming guilt.
"Having a secret just eats at you like so much. You feel like a liar the whole time," Castro recalled.
The engagement was called off, but the couple eventually reconciled and were married in January 2010. But Castro's struggles weren't over.
"She told me if I ever looked at porn she would divorce me," he recalled. Nevertheless, smartphones was pornography all the more available: "I would wake up every morning and my heart would start racing, and I would want to go look at porn. Look at porn and then go start the day. Then be the happy, good husband."
Because of his addiction, the couple began to grow apart - "Mandy thought it was because of her," Castro said. Eight months after their marriage, some friends invited them to a 12-step support group at church.
After listening to similar stories from others, Castro felt a deep sense of hope, realizing he wasn't alone in his struggle. A few months later, he confessed to his wife before the group about his addiction to pornography.
One night, Castro opened up to his wife about his addiction and found healing.
"That is when everything started to change, because I started feeling freer. I always believed in God but didn't really trust Him with everything. I thought this thing was too dirty, too dark to share with anybody. But once I trusted with Him we started the road of living a godly life, living in community and being known. It feels good to be known."
Determined to overcome his addiction, Castro removed all temptation that could possibly weaken him, and with the support of his friends and wife, was able to recover. Today, he has two young children with his wife.
"This struggle might never go away. It's part of my flesh, but I've been able to overcome it. This is the real miracle - that I'm able to have a family right now, married to my wife and a better relationship than either of us ever imagined," he said.
Castro first discussed his Christian faith on an earlier "I Am Second" video when the website was launched in December 2008,