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Here’s Support for People Who are Hurt by Their Partner’s Porn Consumption

Countless people suffer in silence as their partner struggles with porn. Now there is finally help that offers a loving and supportive community.

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FTND note: We continually encourage couples to make decisions about their relationship that’s best for them. Sometimes, that choice is to go their separate ways, and sometimes, that choice is to stay and support each other through the struggles porn brings. It all depends on the couple, and we respect the decisions people make for themselves. There’s no “correct” answer, every relationship is different.

Over the years, Fight the New Drug has received thousands of messages from people all over the world; some expressing their support for the movement, some seeking help for their struggle with pornography, and some from those affected by a loved one’s porn habit or struggle.

Related: I Think My Partner Is Looking At Porn After Promising Not To—What Do I Do?

This post is for the latter.

We get countless emails and direct messages from significant others who are desperate for help and healing from their partner’s hurtful porn habit.

These are just a few of the messages we’ve received:

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These messages, along with the in-depth true stories we post here on our blog of relationships destroyed by porn show just how harmful pornography is to relationships.

While our main focus is raising awareness in society on the scientific harmful effects of pornography, we realize for some, this information is coming after the fact. Many are already struggling with porn and have had their life affected deeply by it.

Related: How Avoiding Shame Can Help Partners Who Are Healing From Betrayal Trauma

Several studies have found that partners of porn consumers often report feeling loss, betrayal, mistrust, devastation, and anger when they learn that the other half of their committed relationship has been consuming porn. Many show physical symptoms of anxiety and depression.

While research shows that consuming porn can fuel the cycle of loneliness, research also shows that it is possible to overcome a porn habit and its negative effects.Young K. S. (2013). Treatment outcomes using CBT-IA with Internet-addicted patients. Journal of behavioral addictions, 2(4), 209–215. https://doi.org/10.1556/JBA.2.2013.4.3COPY Nathanson, A. (2021). Psychotherapy with young people addicted to internet pornography. Psychoanal.Study Child, 74(1), 160-173. doi:10.1080/00797308.2020.1859286COPY 

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According to one study of individuals trying to quit porn, researchers found that shame actually predicted increased pornography consumption while guilt predicted sustainable change.Gilliland, R., South, M., Carpenter, B. N., & Hardy, S. A. (2011). The roles of shame and guilt in hypersexual behavior. 18(1), 12-29. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.551182COPY 

So if you’re trying to give up porn, be kind to yourself and be patient with your progress. Like anything, it takes time for the brain to recover, but daily efforts make a big difference in the long run.

Related: Healthy Ways To Support A Partner Recovering From A Struggle With Porn

This is why we are happy to introduce you to amazing resources that are meant to help the partners of those who have a compulsion to porn, as well as those struggling with porn.

Whether you struggle with porn, or you’re the partner of someone who struggles, there’s hope for healing.

Fortify

Help for partners

If your partner is struggling with porn, you are not alone—know that there is hope, and there is help. As you navigate this difficult situation, there are supportive communities and resources available to you. Below is a non-exhaustive list of several resources for those experiencing hurt because of their partner's porn consumption. Note that this isn’t a complete resource list.

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Disclaimer: For those who may find themselves involved in this sensitive situation, their responses can differ. This is why resources need to fit the specific needs of whoever is seeking them. Some of these resources are gender-specific, others are religiously-affiliated, others use a variety of approaches. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative awareness and education organization hoping to provide access to resources that are helpful to those who need support. Including this list of recommendations does not constitute an endorsement by Fight the New Drug.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

Fortify

Fight the New Drug may receive financial support from purchases made using affiliate links.

If this article inspired you to have a conversation with your partner or someone else about porn, check out our step-by-step interactive conversation guide, Let’s Talk About Porn, for tips.

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