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True Story: I was Shocked When My Boyfriend Told Me About His Porn Addiction

By October 8, 2019 No Comments

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.

FTND note: The aim of this post is to challenge the shaming narrative that can happen in this fight against porn, and offer up an alternative narrative via exploring actual, real-life experiences. It is not our intention to imply that anyone is obligated to date/marry someone with a porn struggle, if they do not want to. This person has a story that may look differently from many other former partners of porn consumers, and that’s okay. In the end, it is up to every individual to decide what is best for them—even if that means staying with a significant other who is working through a porn issue.

I was 17 years old when my knight in shining armor fell off of his horse.

I had been dating my sweetheart for a little over a year when I asked him, out of the blue, if he had a pornography problem.  It was honestly more of a formality; I’d always been cautioned to have the “porn talk” with guys I dated, but it had seemed unnecessary with him.  He was so good.  He was – and is – my best friend.  So call it fate, destiny, or something else someone made up in a horoscope, I decided to ask him.

And the answer changed my life.

To find out my other half had struggled with pornography since he was 12 years old was surreal.  Everything happened so fast; I remember my head spinning, my eyes tearing, and my limbs feeling numb.  For an innocent and naïve girl, this was certainly a new world. I’d never even heard the words he confessed when talking about his struggle with porn, let alone knew what they meant. Amidst my extensive sexual vocabulary lesson, my feelings of self-worth and my views on our relationship went straight into the blender.

Related: How Avoiding Shame Can Help With Healing From Betrayal Trauma

I don’t recall this event to solicit pity or even sympathy. We weren’t married, he wasn’t cheating on me, and he hadn’t viewed porn in a while – it could have been so much worse. Even though it hurt at first, I quickly came to realize that the past cannot be undone. The reason why I recall this event is to bring hope to relationships everywhere and let those struggling know that pornography is not the end.

Conversation Blueprint

I watched my boyfriend break that night. I’d seen him cry only once before, but that night I watched wrenching emotional pain suffocate his 18-year-old body. I watched, dazed, as he humbly handed me his entire heart. He felt the consequences of his actions, no matter how long ago or how changed a person he was. And I learned just how much my heart was capable of feeling. The exchange we had that night was indescribable, such a mix of intimacy, tenderness, and intense heartache that I never want to recreate.

I knew I had a critical decision to make. This was a boy I had wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but now, I wasn’t so sure because he had just shared this huge secret he had been hiding for so long. I could walk away and escape from the inevitable pain and baggage of a relationship weighed down by pornography. I felt I had every right to leave, as any partner would when learning of a huge secret.

Related: Having A Porn Habit Isn’t Just A Personal Thing, It Affects Your Partner Too

But I didn’t leave. I chose not to.

I’d be lying if I told you the next few months weren’t challenging. Try “hellish.”

Yet, if I had left, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I learned empathy, compassion, and charity. I learned not to judge. I learned that weakness and grief are just a couple of strings in life’s guitar that can be tuned out by joy, trust, and love. Ultimately, I learned love is synonymous with sacrifice. It wasn’t easy, but I chose our story, I chose our relationship, and that meant I had to be willing to do anything for it.

He and I are not perfect, nor will we ever be. But through it all, I learned that it is the cracked things in life that let light in.

And I learned it is through my cracked half that I find my light.

– S.

Be A Lover And A Fighter - Retro

For partners who both want to fight

Whether you’re the partner, or the one who struggles, you are not alone.

We love to hear stories of hope and positivity sent by couples who refuse to let porn tear them apart, and choose to fight together. Anyone who struggles with porn has to decide to stop watching for themselves, first, but encouragement from a partner can make a world of difference. Not all couples are equipped or healthy enough to stay together through a porn issue, and that’s okay, too. Only you can know what’s best for you and your relationship, in the long run, whether that’s going separate ways or staying to fight.

Related: How These Women Supported Their Partners Through Compulsive Porn Habits

We continually encourage couples to make decisions about their relationship that’s best for them as individuals. Sometimes, that choice is to end the relationship, and sometimes, that mutual 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 because every relationship is different.

Even so, by choosing love and understanding like this Fighter, instead of shame, we are helping to promote true change in this porn-saturated society. Continue to spread the word that pornography is harmful to individuals, relationships, and society in a way that will inspire and motivate others to choose love for themselves, too.

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.

Fortify

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

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