When you hear a story like Matt Miller’s, it sounds like the plot line of the newest Netflix original thriller… something that only happens on TV. To society’s surprise (or denial), these stories are realities to more every-day men than we like to believe. Matt is a Professional Counselor based out of Huntersville, North Carolina whose work focuses on a Christian Psychology approach. His undergraduate degree is in Criminal Justice due to his original plan of becoming a cop to fight human trafficking physically. Although psychology was never his intention, Matt says that God had another plan for his life.
Growing up, Matt’s struggles started fairly early on. His father was killed when he was only 8 years old, and within 2 years of that, he was sexually abused by his youth leading church pastor. After investigation, this individual was found guilty and served 27 years in prison for his behavior. This was only the beginning of the obstacles that Matt was going to endure. At 14 years old, Matt began looking for an emotional release in any place that he could find one. Matt’s first experience with porn was at this age, when he masturbated to a Madonna poster in his bedroom. He quickly made the connection between porn and pleasure, but now can see that porn lead to pleasure the same way taking a Xanax only masks the real issue of anxiety.
“Satan is patient. He planted the seed in my mind that it was okay to masturbate…and it would later lead to my porn addiction.”
Matt established a relationship with a young woman named Jen when he was 15 years old. They would become married at the age of 20. After 15 years of marriage, when Matt was 35 years old, he had still not shaken his porn addiction. He began traveling with work as often as he could in order to avoid being home. Being home meant that he had to face Jen AND his porn addiction, and that was nowhere in his sight of interest. Only 10 days after their 15th wedding anniversary, Matt went to a bar. While sitting at the bar, he began casual conversation with a woman. This initial conversation lead to a common interest: the gym. She eventually asked him if they could start meeting at the gym every day during lunch for Matt to train her…and so it was. The sexual touching from “spotting” her (helping with exercises) was deceptive and lead to secretly texting one another, which lead to secretly meeting up outside of their routine gym session. After the accumulation of time that they had spent together, Matt realized that he was developing the same feelings for this woman as he had for his wife. Looking back on it, Matt says he is now able to see the bonding factor that created a relationship between them: their spouses were a common enemy. The retaliation against Jen came from his sexual desires and pornography addiction that he could not get under control. This loss of power over his actions was leading him to resent her. It was easy for him to connect to this woman because this woman was not Jen. Ultimately, he convinced himself that he wanted to end his marriage with Jen, and marry this woman.
“Whatever you’re putting in – you will get out…you cannot fool God”
For this to happen, Matt hoped that Jen would be so outraged with him, that he would have an easy out on their marriage. Why did he want this? He claims he was not READY to change his behavior, not READY to face his addiction head on. When she didn’t react with anger, he tried even harder to get a response. He moved out of the house, into an apartment with his new girlfriend where he spent his 36th birthday (May 19, 2011, away from his wife and children. One day, there was a knock at the door of his new apartment, and to his surprise, it was Jen. Upon opening the door, Jen says:
“I do not approve of what you’re doing, but I love you and will always love you. When you are ready to come back, there will always be a home for you.”
In that moment, Matt felt as if Jen had shown him that there really was a God. When faced with intense heartbreak, she was still there for him, after everything he had done to her and their children. This is the same love that Jesus has given to all of us. He no longer wanted to be trapped by this. Not only did he want to be free of the consequences of his sexual sin, but free from sexual sin itself!
After that encounter, his relationship with his girlfriend ended, but not as quickly as he had hoped. Matt explained how it took 4 whole years for the relationship to fully end…It was deemed a successful breakup after Matt finally forgot her birthday and all of the details that he had picked up from that relationship.
It also took some time for Matt and Jen’s marriage to stabilize… 2 years of counseling, meeting with the pastor, and having an accountability partner before things would begin to settle back into place. Jen had the ability to give up all control of what was going on in their lives. She put her trust in God and didn’t force Matt to do anything during the recovery process. Because of this, he was able to admit defeat. He knew that he was not going to be able to release himself from this addiction – the Holy Spirit had to. Matt wanted to make it very clear during his interview that even though his marriage is stronger than ever, temptation for sexual sin has not left him.
“We only know how hard it is to fight against temptation, until we give in again.”
FINAL QUESTION: When wrapping up our interview with Matt, we asked him this question:
Vigilante Truth: What do you believe is wrong with society today? How did we get here with men?
Matt Miller: As men and women, we flopped roles. According to the Bible, the family structure should go: Jesus-Husband-Wife-Kids. Men have become so suppressed and no longer care about anything to the point of being passive. The trendy saying “Happy wife, happy life” is absolutely wrong and is NOT a strong phrase to follow. We were all created to fight, however, now we are fighting one another instead of fighting together against the enemy. Today’s society has wives and mothers being the leaders of the household, which was never how it was intended. In my specific instance, Jen NEEDED me to lead her. I was not leading, and because of that, I was allowing Jen to become controlling and manipulative because she was searching for me to lead her. Jen was trying to guide my spirituality because CLEARLY I was not on that path, but her tactics were harming me because I felt rejected by her for not being good enough. This lie allowed me to believe that if she didn’t want me for who I was, I would find someone who did. By the time the affair began to happen, I became reckless with the details that kept me from getting caught. I stopped paying with cash, and would pay for anything that my girlfriend and I did together on the credit card…I wanted to be caught! Our marriage turned around when Jen was no longer going to be my holy spirit, she allowed the holy spirit to be my holy spirit and that was what I needed to heal.
Matt has done work with Vigilante Truth, Justice Ministries, and other anti-trafficking organizations around the Charlotte and surrounding areas. His personal testimony mixed with his professional background, allow him a unique approach to healing broken men. Thank you, Matt Miller, for being a part of this fight! The demand WILL be stopped with men like you in the fight to end it.