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My Boyfriend Repeatedly Lied to Me About Watching Porn—This is How I Confronted Him

“In December, I found four years’ worth of porn and other inappropriate content on his computer. And that was it. The final straw.”

By September 14, 2021No Comments

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

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.

Hey FTND,

My boyfriend and I have been together for just over four years now. But it breaks my heart to say that our true relationship might only just be starting.

You see, I have found porn and dating sites on his phone multiple times over the years, but since we’re in a long-distance relationship, I never have a choice but to believe his excuses.

Related: How To Tell If Your Partner Is Struggling With Porn And What To Do If They Are

My discoveries started with a magazine collection under his bed, an entire box filled to the top with nude or barely clothed women. When I confronted him, he told me it was his brother’s and that he was only storing it for him. I had my doubts, but believed him.

A few weeks later, after he had gotten rid of the magazines, I found a collection of nude women cut-outs in a flip file in his bedside table as well as porn DVDs. He told me that it had been there for years and that he had forgotten all about it.

I tried my best to believe him. Numerous times, I would find him on dating and singles groups, sometimes international. He told me it was an unfortunate coincidence and I believed him.

Fortify

The dishonesty and hiding continued

One morning, he spent about an hour in the bathroom. I checked his browser history after and found that he had watched porn while he was in there. (FTND note: snooping on partners is not recommended nor encouraged.)

When I confronted him, he told me it had been his friend the day before, that he had played games on his phone and added dating sites and pornographic bookmarks without his permission. The only problem with his story is that the evidence stated that he had done it only minutes before.

That’s when my heart lost the fight and my head took over. I knew he had a problem, a secret I knew he was lying about.

Related: Exposing The Serious Porn Problem On Popular Social Media Platforms

Being the person that I am, I was too scared of losing him to battle him, so instead, I tried to guilt-trip him out of his habits. (FTND note: guilt-tripping and shaming partners is not recommended nor encouraged.)

When that didn’t work, I would try to be the best possible girlfriend to make him see that I was better than porn. All to no avail. I kept on finding porn, nude and suggestive images and videos on his computer and phone. No matter how hard I tried, the problem only got worse.

He soon had secret accounts on numerous chat sites, that I only found out about because one of my friends came across his profile. When I confronted him, he got real angry and told me that it was his friends playing a joke and that he had nothing to do with it.

For years I have been carrying this hurt with me. It eats away at my very being. I never believe his compliments, because all I can think about are the types of women he prefers looking at and how they are so much different from me.

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

I am not the fittest girl, but I am also not unattractive, I’m just average. I am way too modest compared to the things he watches and though I don’t have the smallest chest or butt, they certainly don’t compare with his frequent delights on the computer. I just feel terrible, terrible about myself. I feel worthless, ugly, and boring.

I feel like I have to be ashamed of who I am, because if I was good enough, he wouldn’t be looking for satisfaction from porn, but rather would love me the way I am.

Conversation Blueprint

The final straw

In December, I found four years’ worth of porn and other inappropriate content on his computer. And that was it. The final straw that broke the camel’s back.

I was alone at home while he was working. I told my mother that I might need an earlier ride home and to be on stand-by and I packed up all of my things.

When he got home, he was shocked to see that I was leaving. Instead of apologizing, he did it again—he blamed his friends. He said he had never watched anything like that and he eventually talked me into staying.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should (Not) Be Cool With Your Partner Watching Porn

It was only two days later that I found even more shocking things on his phone. I silently handed him the evidence and retreated to the bedroom to cry and be alone.

Minutes later, he entered very upset and very down. He told me that he would finally be honest with me—he had viewed all those things. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that since he was finally being honest with me, I wasn’t going to leave. He confessed to even more secret accounts where he chatted with foreign girls.

Over the next few days, we talked about it a lot, and he would go on to explain that he felt dirty and ashamed but that he couldn’t help himself. Even though he felt bad, he had no comprehension of my feelings.

I felt sickened, ashamed, worthless, and betrayed. What’s worse, I felt guilty because he had led me into almost falling into the same trap.

Related: The Problem With Saying “Let Your Partner Watch Porn, They Can’t Help It”

I told him that I had grown curious in our third year of being in a relationship and wanted to “learn about sex” so I started looking at porn. Luckily I hated the feeling so much that I didn’t want to do it again. I hated how I felt like I was being cheated on and there was nothing I could do about it. That’s how I first found Fight the New Drug.

Store - PKL

“All guys do it,” right? Well, actually, no

A lot of my friends whom I had questioned told me that “it’s normal” and “all guys do it.” They said, “he probably just misses you” and “it’s because you wanted to wait to have sex until marriage.” But I still felt worthless and betrayed.

So one day I searched Is watching porn cheating? I came across your article and learned the facts about how porn indeed can be cheating, especially when dishonesty is involved. For the first time, I felt like someone was on my side and knew how I was feeling!

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

I have been having terrible nightmares and flashbacks ever since he confessed, and I find it hard to trust him. We made an arrangement to install a safe browser on his phone, but it doesn’t cover Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites. In other words, he can still find content without having to go to actual porn sites.

This very morning, I found more suggestive videos on his Facebook.

I know his recovery is difficult and it’s a journey, but it still hurts. But after telling him it’s over, he finally, in the heat of the moment, admitted to having a problem. But after talking about it further, he refused to do Fortify’s recovery platform and also refuses to see a therapist.

RelatedWatching Porn Isn’t Just A Personal Habit, It Affects Your Partner Too

My heart is broken; it has been four years! At least he’s being more honest with me but what do I do now? How do I get him the help he so desperately needs, if he refuses to accept it?

I feel hopeless, worthless and alone. Having depression doesn’t help either. In fact, my depression has gotten worse since finding out about his addiction. He has also developed depression, and I honestly believe it’s because of the porn, since he has never struggled with being depressed before.

How do we get through this? I know my beloved is in there somewhere, he’s just been poisoned by this drug. Please help, I don’t know how to deal with it anymore.

Thanks for all that you’ve done up to this point. Without Fight the New Drug, I wouldn’t know where to turn. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be educated on his problem at all. I’m seriously considering joining your Fighter Club and Street team. I want to spread awareness about the problem and specially signed up for Facebook to spread the message!

Related: The Science Of Betrayal: The Emotional Trauma Of Having A Porn-Addicted Partner

I even convinced my boyfriend to like your Facebook page and we both are subscribed to your newsletter. He even voluntarily signed up to become a Fighter. I hope to hear from you soon, I really need advice and guidance!

Kind regards,

C.

Store - General

Relationships at risk

Not every relationship outlasts the harm, shame, and secrecy that porn can introduce and/or perpetuate in relationships.

Studies consistently show that porn consumers tend to struggle in their relationships. From poorer relationship quality to an increased likelihood of cheating, research suggests that porn plays a major role in fueling unhealthy relationship dynamics.

For example, dozens of studies have repeatedly shown that porn consumers tend to have lower relationship satisfaction and lower relationship quality.Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Kraus, A., & Klann, E. (2017). Pornography consumption and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 43(3), 315-343. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12108COPY Perry S. L. (2020). Pornography and Relationship Quality: Establishing the Dominant Pattern by Examining Pornography Use and 31 Measures of Relationship Quality in 30 National Surveys. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(4), 1199–1213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01616-7COPY Perry, S. (2017). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-YCOPY  According to research, porn consumers tend to experience more negative communication with their partners, feel less dedicated to their relationships, have a more difficult time making adjustments in their relationships, are less sexually satisfied, and commit more infidelity.Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing sexually-explicit materials alone or together: associations with relationship quality. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(2), 441–448. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4COPY  Research also shows that porn consumers tend to become less committed to their partners,Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The Effects Of Sexually Explicit Material Use On Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. Doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078COPY Lambert, N. M., Negash, S., Stillman, T. F., Olmstead, S. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). A love that doesn't last: Pornography consumption and weakened commitment to one's romantic partner. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31(4), 410-438. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.4.410COPY  less satisfied in their relationships,Wright, P. J., Tokunaga, R. S., Kraus, A., & Klann, E. (2017). Pornography consumption and satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 43(3), 315-343. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/hcre.12108COPY  and more accepting of cheating.Rasmussen, K. (2016). A Historical and Empirical Review of Pornography and Romantic Relationships: Implications for Family Researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141COPY 

Meanwhile, partners of porn consumers also report negative effects, such as lower self-esteem, worse relationship quality, and less sexual satisfaction.Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young adult women’s reports of their male romantic partner’s pornography use as a correlate of their self-esteem, relationship quality, and sexual satisfaction. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 67(5-6), 257-271. doi:10.1007/s11199-012-0164-0COPY  Research also suggests that porn consumption can undermine trust in a relationship and fuel couple conflict.Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & Brown, C. C. (2017). The porn gap: Differences in men's and women's pornography patterns in couple relationships.16(2), 146-163. doi:10.1080/15332691.2016.1238796COPY 

Obviously, relationship problems like these are not new and are not solely caused by porn. Yet, research shows that porn can play a substantial role in fueling these issues—and that’s not something that should be ignored.Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4COPY Perry S. L. (2020). Pornography and Relationship Quality: Establishing the Dominant Pattern by Examining Pornography Use and 31 Measures of Relationship Quality in 30 National Surveys. Archives of sexual behavior, 49(4), 1199–1213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01616-7COPY Rasmussen, K. (2016). A historical and empirical review of pornography and romantic relationships: Implications for family researchers. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8(2), 173-191. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12141COPY 

Related: Want To Quit Watching Porn But Can’t Seem To Stop? This Can Help

As licensed mental health counselor and researcher Jay Stringer wrote in one of our articles about confronting a partner that’s hiding their porn habit, communication is key.

Here’s what he said:

“Trust is the foundation of love and when it is violated, something core to who you are is wounded. Whereas scars reveal external wounds, heartache reveals relational wounds. A partner’s deceit with pornography disfigures the very part of us that longs to give and receive love…

When you engage your partner’s hiding, be on high alert for blame. While no one likes to feel like they are under surveillance, those who consume porn habitually, but secretly, can be crafty at trying to convince you that their irritability and anger is exclusively a response to your insecurity and invasion…

When your relationship learns to turn toward difficult conversations rather than avoid them, you are building important muscles for the journey ahead. Couples who overcome the adversity of porn don’t delete it from their relational history, they allow it to be a roadmap for healing and growth. There is hope.”

Related: How Porn Can Hurt a Consumer’s Partner

Whether a couple decides to stay together or not through a struggle with porn, the facts remain the same: porn harms not only the consumer, but the partner and the overall relationship, too.

The good news is, if you want to stay and fight, there are plenty of ways to support your partner as they battle a porn struggle—and we want to emphasize that does not include shaming them or judging them, though that doesn’t excuse the ways they’ve hurt you.

It’s important to remember that the best way for someone to recover from porn is to choose to get help for themself, and we’ve got just the thing that can help. For partners, too.

If you’re in a partnership with someone who struggles with porn or openly consumes it while you’ve asked them not to, their recovery journey is their own. This is not something you can do for them. They have to face it for themself.

Fortify

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.

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

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.

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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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