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My Partner Told Me He Wanted to Ditch Porn, Here’s How I Chose to Support Him Through Recovery

By June 4, 2019 No Comments
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Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

We received this real experience from a Fighter who found hope for recovery for her boyfriend through our friends at Fortify. While she chose to stay and fight for her relationship, we acknowledge that might not be the best decision for others in her same situation, especially for partners who are unwilling to give up porn. Each relationship is unique. This is what worked for this couple.

I am the girlfriend of a boy who had a struggle with porn and broke it through Fortify. I have felt a pressing need to write about my experience on the other side of the addiction for other partners who are going through it.

We hadn’t even been dating for five months when he told me he’d struggled with porn for almost eight years. It took him 30 minutes just to get those words out of his mouth. This was a boy that I had been crazy about for a little less than a year. This was a boy who I was terrified wouldn’t date me because I had been with other people before him. This was the boy who, just three nights before, I confessed my deepest love for.

This boy just told me that he was addicted to porn and didn’t know how to stop.

The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “I love you.” It just felt right. I still loved him, and I was going to love him through it. Love is a commitment to me, and so much more than a word to me. We talked for a while after that fact. I was so in shock, that my only intention is to assure him that I was there for him.

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Looking for solutions

After I got back to my room I immediately started to look for ways to help him through it, because I knew nothing about struggling with porn and I wanted to be supportive. There was another guy on my campus who always wore a “Porn Kills Love” shirt. I looked up that slogan and discovered Fight the New Drug. From there I found Fortify and sent my boyfriend the link. He applied right away.

Related: An Open Letter From A Girlfriend Whose Boyfriend Struggles With Porn

The next day was terrible. It was like all of the denial of the severity from the night before hit me like a freight train. We had been dating for five months at that point and before that, we talked for over a month, and this was something that was still going on. I definitely did not have a porn performer’s body, so my first thought was that I wasn’t good enough for him. I was just somebody who was “there.” This is a completely normal thought to have, I realized. It’s only natural to think that way at first. I would like to scream it until I am blue in the face that this is not the truth—more about that a little later though.

The next step that I took was to Google what I should do as the girlfriend of someone struggling with porn. Everything I read said since we were not married, I should just break up with him. This wasn’t good enough for me. I fell in love with the man, not his addiction. He was supposed to be my happy ending. So I didn’t break up with him. But I did feel like I was suffocating for a long time.

RelatedWhy Being Anti-Porn & Anti-Shame Go Hand In Hand

I used to struggle with an eating disorder and comparing myself to a girl on the screen definitely did not help that at all. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anybody about this because my boyfriend had asked that I not tell anyone about it. I also felt as though I could not talk to him about it because it just made me so sad and worthless when I brought it up.

RelatedHow To Tell If Your Partner Is Struggling With Porn & What To Do If They Are

We came up with an agreement though: we would only talk about his progress and the Fortify platform. He would tell me about the activities that he was assigned for the day, and he would tell me that he was slipping up less and less. His progress was becoming more and more apparent. As for having someone to talk to, I did slip up and tell one of my closest friends because I trusted her guidance through this matter.

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Life on the other side of the struggle

Remember what I said earlier about not feeling like you’re good enough if your partner struggles with porn? This is not true. You are good enough, but an addiction or compulsion is a mental issue. My boyfriend had this problem long before he even met me. He came to me because he knew that I would help him find a way to stop. He came to me about this because he knew that I was worth so much more than his struggle to break from something he knew was harmful and fake.

Related: 5 Ways You Can Support Your Partner As They Kick Their Porn Habit

With outside help and Fortify, my boyfriend broke free in less than a month. On September 1st he told me about his struggle, but by October 1st he had finished watching porn and hasn’t had a slip up since.

Here is my advice to any girlfriend or boyfriend for that matter of anyone who struggles with a porn addiction:

• You are good enough for them. This addiction has nothing to do with you, as it probably stemmed long before you were in his/her life.
• Find somebody that you trust to talk about this with. Their encouragement and guidance is something desperately needed.
• Have an open dialogue about his/her progress with Fortify. Trust me, it helps.
• Adding on to that, what really helped me understand is to read the articles Fight the New Drug posts.
• Be understanding, but make sure you take care of your feelings, too. If your partner is not getting anything out of Fortify and refuses to want to change, then it may be time to let them out of your life. You deserve the best.

Porn can kill love, but love doesn’t have to be permanently dead. There is hope for everybody. It’s a process, but anything is possible.

K.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at 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 compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

Get 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, we’ve got a non-exhaustive list of several resources for those experiencing betrayal trauma. Because this isn’t a complete resource list, feel free to look for more betrayal trauma resources that are catered to your specific needs and/or location. Note that while both men and women can experience betrayal trauma, some of the resources are gender-specific. Please also note that while some of the resources below are religiously affiliated, Fight the New Drug is not.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Recover

Bloom

Addo Recovery

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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