TV commercials are a common struggle for many of us.  You’re not alone.  I watch a lot of TV and feel the pull to look and hit that pause button on the DVR.  I get sucked in and have to reboot my TV watching strategies.  Here are some practical tips to help you. 

Notice the solo strategies are the most short-term.  The strongest strategies tap into more layers of support. 

SOLO STRATEGIES (short-term solutions)

Skip it – A DVR is golden when it comes to skipping commercials.  Don’t’ have one?  Record the show and forward the commercials.  Find something else to do during the commercials. 

Block it – Passwords guys.  Parental controls.  They work for sexual strugglers too.  Some programs

Change it – Change the channel. Turn it off for 5 minutes. 

Get rid of it – Is it time to stop watching channels that have rough commercials?  Be honest.  Some channels are obvious (Playboy, HBO, Showtime).  Some channels probably need to be dumped (Spike, Entertainment channels, TV Guide). 

Stop watching late night shows – Ever notice commercials get worse after 10pm?  You may need to stop recording or watching late night TV. 

Switch to Netflix, Redbox or DVDs – There are no commercials here. 

Make smart decisions about watching sports – It’s hard to avoid the Victoria’s Secret commercials, the sexy Bud or GoDaddy girls, or even commercials for TV shows their trying to entice you with.  If you’re serious about your sexual purity you need to take some serious steps here.  If sports commercials are tripping you up, then what are you going to do about it?  DVR?  Watch sports with a buddy or your wife?  Stop?  This may be the toughest one for you.  Step up to the plate!  Man up!  Take charge of your purity!

TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL (short to medium-term solutions)

Get your spouse involved –It helps when you realize your struggles affect another person.  Your spouse may be your best help in breaking out of this struggle.  Get your spouse’s help with passwords, and boundaries. 

Accountability – Get a buddy involved.  Check in with your buddy.  Your buddy can’t police you and make you not have struggles, but he can come along side you in the battle.  An accountability buddy helps with boundaries too. 

Replace your TV watching with another activity – This is a great offensive strategy.  Find something more healthy to do like reading, playing with the kids, playing a game on the XBOX, working on the yard or in your garage.

GOING DEEP (long-term solutions)

Ask probing questions –  Why am I struggling?  What am I really looking for?  What am I feeling inside that makes me want to linger on the commercials and pause the DVR. 

Talk to a counselor about your struggles – For commercials, Jeff?  You think I need a counselor?  The commercials are not the real problem.  Something is driving your behaviors and if you are constantly having trouble with commercials and can’t stop, there is probably bondage to sin.  This needs to be broken and healed.  A counselor has specific training to help you plunge deeper.

WHAT ABOUT GOD, JEFF? (short, medium & long-term)

God needs to be involved in all parts of your TV commercial strategy.  He is not a piece of your recovery, He is the foundation for your recovery.  Commit your eyes and mind to Him.  Sacrifice these commercials and programs for Him.  Ask His for His help as you beef up your strategy.  Talk to Him a lot about your struggles.  Be honest with Him.  If you’re feeling horny, tell Him. If you’re angry you have to skip the Bud girls, tell Him.  Practice turning to Him with all of your sexual struggles.

Jeff Fisher is a blogger and podcaster living in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He and his wife run  Jeff’s podcast Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (I-Tunes) is one of the more popular podcasts on sexual addiction recovery. 

You can reach Jeff at [email protected]