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Why I Chose to Support My Boyfriend as He Quits Porn for Himself

A struggle with pornography is never easy to overcome, but when both partners are in it for the right reasons, what’s on the other side is so worth it.

By December 17, 2020June 10th, 2021No 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 recently received a story that shows just how powerful love is when confronting a porn struggle. Those struggling need to quit for themselves, first, and then for their partner. If someone feels shamed or forced to stop watching porn, it's a pretty sure bet their recovery won't be healthy and produce long-lasting results. Stories like this show how porn has the potential to end relationships, but that couples can fight through and choose love instead. In the end, love wins.

Dear FTND,

I know you probably get a thousand of these every day, but I thought I would share my experience. I don’t mind it being shared, so long as it’s anonymous.

A little over a year ago, I got my first serious boyfriend. I had known him for a while and we went very well together.

Soon after, I found out that he was completely hooked on watching pornography. I was crushed. I felt as if I had been cheated on, as if I wasn’t enough for him and he needed more. I hated how some random girl, whom he had never met, could make him feel better than I ever could. I felt like I was second best. You can’t even imagine the pain of being willing to give everything you have to someone, and have it feel like it’s still not enough for them.

Related: Is Secretly Watching Porn Cheating On Your Partner?

When I first mentioned how I felt, he got very defensive and tried to convince me that it was none of my business what he did behind closed doors. Not only was he unwilling to even try not watching it, but it seemed as if he didn’t care that he was hurting me. Less than a month later, I brought it up once again and he told me that he realized he had quit. I knew it was virtually impossible, especially because it was a daily thing for him. I believed him because I wanted to believe that I was good enough for him.

Be A Lover And A Fighter - Retro

Moving on without him

A lot of different things happened, and we broke up. We didn’t talk for months, and although I knew I loved him, I started moving on. Just as it seemed I was over him, we started talking again. And very soon after, we began dating again. This time when I brought up his addiction, he was a little more honest, but not quite as honest as I wanted. Roughly three months ago, he told me, once again, that he had quit. I didn’t believe him this time because he had lied about it before. I was so hurt by it that I couldn’t allow myself to believe him.

Two weeks ago, I finally got the courage to tell him exactly how I felt and why I felt like that. And this time he listened. He hadn’t realized that he was hurting me as badly as he was. To him, it just seemed normal. He had thought I was overreacting, and now he’s seeing that I’m actually hurt, and he’s seeing the damage that porn is actually doing to his life. He finally opened up more to me, and asked me to delete all the porn off his computer, so I did.

I thought that porn would be the thing that would end my relationship. But now, I feel as if it’s bringing us closer. Not because it exists in the relationship, but because of the fact that it’s leaving.

Related: Is My Partner’s Porn Habit Harming Our Relationship, Or Am I Just Insecure?

A new chapter

Words will never be able to express how joyful it made me when he finally opened up, trusted me, and made an effort to quit. I have heard many people tell me that I have to communicate, and that I’ll never know unless I try. After my first attempt, I gave up on that and tried to accept his struggle. But my heart wouldn’t let me, and I’m glad that I tried once more to get him to understand how it makes me feel.

He’s told me that he loves me, and now I can truly believe that.

Pornography destroys relationships when it is present. But when it’s gone, you will feel a closeness that you never thought possible. It will take some time to recover through trial and error, but it’s worth it. I’m still in the process of helping him quit for himself, and I already feel so much better knowing that he’s trying and that he cares.

-K.

Fortify

Every relationship deserves better than porn

The aim of this post is to challenge the shaming narrative that happens often in this fight against porn, and offer 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 woman has a story that look different from many other former partners of porn consumers, and that’s okay. Consider what is being said, and understand that in the end, it is up to every individual to decide what is best for them—even if that means ending the relationship, or staying with a significant other who is working through a porn issue.

The important thing to remember is that her boyfriend was honest and chose to quit porn for himself, finally, not for her. When confronting a pornography problem in a relationship, that is one hugely important key—they have to want to ditch porn for them self, first.

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

Ultimately, a struggle with pornography is never easy to overcome, but when both partners are in it for the right reasons, what’s on the other side is so worth it.

If you are struggling with porn, or are the partner of someone who is, we encourage you to find support and lean in—whether that be your friends, family, and significant other.

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 compulsive behavior, 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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