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All the Times My Dad Chose Porn Over Spending Time with Our Family

By September 25, 2018 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.

We wanted to share this account we recently received to show that these stories don't always revolve around romantic partners like boyfriends/girlfriends or husbands/wives. Some stories, like this one, show how porn can isolate, consume, and eventually destroy friend and family relationships.

Dear FTND,

I’ve been following your blog for over a year now, and I absolutely love it and support everything you’re doing and stand for. I have heard so many heartbreaking stories about the effects of porn on relationships, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about how porn affects relationships the way it did in my experience, and I thought it might interest you to be aware of how porn kills all relationships, not just romantic ones.

Growing up with a “tyrant” dad

Growing up I never liked my dad. He was mean and angry all the time, he was abusive both physically and emotionally, and even described himself as a “tyrant” as if he were proud of it. He was always working, either out of town, late nights at the office, or bringing work home with him.

Every night when he came home from work the first item of business was to punish his children, even if we had been angels all day. Then he would lock himself in his room to work on whatever project was overdue at work. We would only see him when he emerged to eat.

I stopped being disappointed when he said he would come to my recitals or choir concerts or dance competitions and then didn’t show up. Somehow there was always an emergency at work that he just couldn’t leave. I never bothered him with asking for help on my homework because I knew he was back in his room working and that was more important to him than me.

Related: This Dad Has A Lifelike Sex Doll With A “Family Mode” That Hangs Out With His Kids

If at any time while he was working he had to be bothered with family issues, his response was to physically punish his children without even asking what happened and go back to working. (Once my brother beat me up so bad that I considered suicide, but he told my dad his version of the story first so before I could say anything I was further punished, even though I was already covered in bruises).

Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of love coming from my dad.

When I asked my mom why dad was the way he was, her answer was that he was really stressed because of work, and that providing for his family was a tough job. I don’t know if she said that because she believed it or if she was trying to hide me from the ugly truth, but I bought it. My dad was a workaholic, which sucked, but at least he was doing the right thing and putting food on the table, right?

He finally fessed up to what was going on

Fast forward to 2014, my dad has changed a lot. A few years ago he suddenly started acting like an all-involved family man, which actually irritated his children more than anything. My whole life my dad has never been interested in me or my problems, so why is he now all the sudden wanting to be involved in EVERYTHING I do? You can’t effectively play catch-up on 25 years of not being there for your kids and still end up with a “my dad is the greatest” kind of relationship. The only way I could accept his efforts was to remind myself that he had been busy providing for his family all those years, so I couldn’t blame him. Until this summer.

I’m standing in the kitchen making cookies and suddenly my dad decides it’s the perfect time to come clean.

It was porn.

All of his tyranny and cruelty and neglect was because he was addicted to porn, he said. Locking himself in his room to finish work he had brought home? Lies. He was watching porn. Staying at work late to finish a project? Nope, he was looking at naked pictures. Couldn’t come to my piano recital because of a work emergency? Nope, it was just that the piano recital provided the perfect opportunity for the family to be out of the house and for him to be alone so that he could watch sex videos without being caught.

Related: My Big Sister, The Porn Actor: How Porn Derailed Her Life And Hurt Our Family

He actually admitted to strategizing his routine of punishing his children every day when he came home so that we would think he was in a bad mood and not want to bother him, which would give him the freedom to watch porn without worry of being interrupted (because a 6-year-old wanting daddy to read them a bedtime story would be a real mood killer when you’re watching porn, right?)

He literally avoided bonding with his children because he was worried that they would want to spend time with him, which would take away from being able to look at porn whenever he wanted. He terrorized his kids so that they wouldn’t be a block to his porn addiction.

He liked porn more than he liked our family

He came clean in 2006 when he finally went to a counselor and asked for help. At the time, he told my mother the truth (although now that I’m married with kids I doubt there was any way he was actually pulling the wool over her eyes) but he never breathed a word to any of his kids and neither did she.

Before he confessed to me (you know, now that I’m an adult and that means it shouldn’t hurt me as much) I had gotten over how absent he was in my life. I was over it and had moved on to try to make a better relationship with everyone. But now, every horrible memory of my childhood has come flooding back to haunt me, but this time with the reality that it wasn’t that my dad wanted to make sure the bills got paid, he just wanted to look at porn.

Related: True Story: The Father Of My Son Chose Porn Over His Family

Every disappointing memory because he didn’t show up, or treated his kids like dirt, or screamed at everyone in the house because we were being too loud and he could hear us all the way back in his bedroom and couldn’t concentrate on “work”—it all hits me in the face now with the sad reality that he just liked looking at porn more than he liked his family. My dad made me feel worthless my whole life because he wanted to watch porn.

Porn is never more important than relationships

The worst part is that now that he has recovered from his addiction, he expects us to look the other way and never bring up the hurt it caused us then and still causes us now. He makes jokes about his kids probably needing therapy because of his parenting skills and what he doesn’t know is that all 6 of us currently see or have seen a therapist because of the scars of our childhood.

I personally suffer from depression and anxiety because of him, because of what porn did to our family. Does my dad know this? Nope. And does he care? Of course not. Because to him, his family should be all peace and love towards him now that he’s stopped. His doesn’t realize the permanent damage porn caused his relationships, and refuses to believe that we all still suffer for it. If we bring up bad experiences from our past he responds with, “Well I was a different person then,” and moves on without so much as saying sorry.

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

Am I glad my dad came clean? Yes, at least I know he’s finally being faithful to my always wonderful saint of a mother. But do I believe my dad deserves to have happy loving relationships with all his kids? Nobody deserves that just because they’re a parent. A line from the movie “Courageous” says, “Any fool can have a child, but it takes a man to be a father.”

I wish more people knew about the damage porn causes in parent-child relationships. I can’t tell you how many Facebook-mommy groups I’m in where someone says “my significant other watches porn and it bothers me, should I make him stop?” and there are 100 responses (from other women!) saying, “No, mine does too, it’s normal.” I always share my story and tell them “THINK OF YOUR KIDS!” I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I’ll keep saying it. Porn kills all love, not just romantic love.

Thanks again for all you’re doing,

– T.

Why this matters

This story is just one of thousands of personal accounts we get from family members all across the world, hurt by their parent’s or sibling’s porn habit.  Science is proving that pornography harms the individual by rewiring the brain and damaging their relationships. In the end, watching is never worth it, but there is always hope and help for healing.

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.

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Awareness of the harms of pornography has to start somewhere. Help us SHARE this article and continue to educate the world. Together we can inspire change and make sure society knows the harmful effects of porn.

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