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How Dating My Porn-Obsessed Partner is Like Dating Two Different People

By May 1, 2019 No Comments
This Post was originally shared on a Fighter’s blog. It Has Been Edited For Content And Length, And Reposted With Permission.

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.

This Fighter's personal experience reminds us that everyone's story is different. Sometimes, relationships can survive a porn struggle and bring couples closer together. Other times, like Lacie Ann's experience, it's best for both partners to part ways in hopes that each heals in time from the hurt that porn drives into relationships. This is her true story.

“It’s like he’s two different people: a ‘good’ man, and an addict. It would be easy to love him if he were just a good man. It’d be easy to let him go if he was just an addict. But he’s not one—he’s both. The good man, who cares deeply for me, and the addict who cares only for the next fix. The good man who wants to change the world, and the addict who forgets the world exists. It was the good man who won my heart, it was the addict who broke it.

But life isn’t that simple, for the good man is the addict, and the addict is a good man. It’s a complicated jumble, blended together and shaped into the person who pounds on the door of my memories and dreams. This confusing, patchwork, so much like myself, is both the one who begins conversations and ignores my replies—the jealous man who refuses to date me but wonders why I date other people. He is the good and the bad. No matter how much I wish he were only one, that is the way we are. I can only hope that one day, the good man will over power the addict…for he is a good man.

Unfortunately, the addict has stolen the good man away from me, and if or when the day comes that the good man triumphs, it will be another woman who rejoices. Certainly I will be happy of the news, but the addict has stained my view, burned my bridges, and it is time for me to find another quality man, fighting a battle of his own—but winning. One who is strong enough to hold back his obsession from pushing me away.”

I will not tell you when I wrote those words, or who I wrote them about. But I do want to tell you about the struggles I’ve faced when pitted against pornography.

Pornography is a liar.

It takes something real and beautiful, something that connects two people, expresses love and commitment. In turn, it turns it into nothing more than an airbrushed fantasy, a relationship with yourself and a glaring computer screen. It creates images of perfect partners and flawless, inhuman sex.

Related: The Male Perspective: My Girlfriend Watches Porn Behind My Back

It normalizes derangement and violence, and convinces the consumer that anything else isn’t worth their time.

Pornography is a thief.

It steals the hearts and minds of the people who indulge in it. It’s like the needy girlfriend, always demanding more: more time, more money, more attention. Taking and taking and taking, but never giving anything in return.

It eats away at what’s most important, warping values, changing personalities, and leaving little or no time for real-life relationships.

Pornography is a killer.

I know this, because I have watched in my life and in the lives of many around me as pornography has hurt our relationships and driven away healthy love.

Many people have asked me over the years why I am such an avid supporter of Fight the New Drug. As the years have passed, the reasons have multiplied. However, the basic reason is that I know what they raise awareness about is real.

Classic PKL

Pornography is like a drug.

It changes the way we think, harms our ability to truly intimately love another person, not to mention that it also fuels sex trafficking. Any of these reasons alone is enough for me to fight, but the one that got me started was real love.

Loving someone who won’t give up porn is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But the thing that made it the hardest was when he refused to let me in. It killed me to watch as he built walls around his heart, with me on the outside. I would go to bed at night, wondering if he was at home watching other women on a screen. When he looked at me, I felt ashamed, knowing I could never measure up to airbrushed images, make-up for days, and a flawless Photoshop job. His addiction was always on my mind, eating away at my self-esteem, my zest for life and love.

Related: True Story: How My Porn Habit Spiraled Out Of Control And Changed Me

I felt weak, knowing that so many people face much harder trials. I willed myself to think of anything else, to not worry about it, and to focus on the good, but his porn obsession and apparent apathy toward it made me feel consistently ill.

But I was willing to fight: for him, for love. I knew he could overcome this struggle. I just had to support him, love him, right? Before long, I began tugging at my clothes, “Should I be covering up more? What if I trigger him? Or what if it’s the opposite?…Maybe I should be trying harder, wear more make-up, buy cuter clothes, and then I’ll be enough.”

I cringed at every scantily-dressed girl, questionable movie scene, and suggestive song lyric. Eventually, as my boyfriend’s obsession got worse, as his personality began changing before my eyes, I blamed myself.

It is his battle to fight.

Somehow, after a long battle with myself, I realized that as long as he was unwilling to fight for himself, there was nothing more that I could do. Looking back, it’s easy to see that none of it was my fault. Compulsive behaviors can take over, and his unwillingness to fight was what eventually destroyed our relationship.

Related: The Diary Of A Porn Addict’s Girlfriend

Someone asked me once if I would ever knowingly dating a pornography addict again. It was a tough question…one I hadn’t honestly thought about. My gut reaction was, “No freaking way. That was too hard,” but then I stopped for a minute. The man I dated was not a “bad” man. He was, on the contrary, an amazing man. He was just an amazing man with a crippling habit.

“You know,” I replied, “I think I would. But things would have to be different.”

“How so?”

“He would have to be fighting.”

Related: Even After My Divorce, I Don’t Believe Porn Is A Dating Deal-Breaker

Pornography is a terrible thing, but the people who watch it are not automatically always “terrible” people. The fight against pornography is a fight FOR the people who are addicted, the people who love them who are hurt by their habit, and the lives of those otherwise caught in its grasp. Ultimately, porn is the enemy.

A friend of mine, who has also been stung by the pain of porn, recently shared this on her blog:

“If you are struggling with porn and you see me around wearing my Porn Kills Love shirt, know that I don’t hate you. I hate porn. I hate what it can do to people’s brains. I hate the suffering that I am going through that porn greatly contributed to. But I understand that porn really is a drug. So as long as you’re fighting against it, I’m here to love and support you.

Know that there are others out there that care about you and will not revile you because of your struggle. Also know that you can’t fight this alone. Reach out for help… Fighting is not an easy path… I’ve watched those that I love fight it and I know that it’s extremely difficult. But it will be worth it… So don’t give up. Keep fighting.

You can absolutely overcome this. I know it.”

-Anna Kretchman

I want you to know, that I agree with Anna 100%. If you are struggling with pornography, please believe me when I say I’m standing beside you, not fighting against you.

Always remember that you are not your addiction, and there is hope.

-Lacie Anne

Read more at Lacie Anne’s blog by clicking here.

Conversation Blueprint

It’s all up to you.

In every relationship, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether or not to take a chance on someone. This is true, whether it’s someone struggling with porn, or an obsession with something else that’s harmful.

In the end, every person and relationship is different and unique. And in the end, it’s up to you to decide what you can and can’t handle.

One thing to remember is that on the surface, a porn struggle may seem uniform, but the truth is, everyone’s experience is as different as their unique personality and their unique story. Some people are fighting to break free, while others may not be.

We’re here to fight for love, and give it a real chance. After all, real people aren’t perfect, but they are all different. And unlike the repeated “storylines” or abuse that’s shown all too often in mainstream porn, no two people and no two love stories are alike.

We believe in love, not shame. Fight for it with us.

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