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Why I Chose to Stay With My Partner After Learning About His Porn Struggle

By February 26, 2021No 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 recently received a true story that shows how love can persevere through difficult circumstanceseven through a difficult fight to give up porn. Some stories, like this one, show how determination, honesty and vulnerability can help rebuild trust and help a relationship heal and reconnect.

FTND note: 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 person has a story that looks 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.

Hey FTND,

A while ago I met this boy at a party. We spent the whole night talking about anything and everything. We got along so well that we made plans for the very next day. I kissed him on date #1 and felt so excited about this new guy. We fell for each other pretty fast and I was completely okay with it.

Fast forward to today, and he is my boyfriend. I love being around him because I feel like I can totally be myself when we are together. He’s charming, he’s adorable, and he’s wonderful. He makes me happy and makes me feel safe. I know I probably sound like a silly romantic comedy but it’s the truth when I say I could marry him and be happy wearing his hoodies for the rest of my life. I love this guy.

Related: You Found Out Your Friend Has A Porn Problem—Now What Do You Do?

But I never anticipated that he would have a huge porn struggle.

I remember the night he confided in me that he was struggling with porn. It seemed like my world came crashing down. This couldn’t be real. This wasn’t him. How could he do this to himself? How could he do this to me? My feelings were hurt, my confidence was bruised, and my heart was broken. I felt so hurt. Pornography is so destructive and I felt completely destroyed because of it.

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That night was hard. But the choice I had to make wasn’t.

I chose to stay.

Why? Because I believe in love. Love is powerful. Love heals. That’s really all I can say! Everything about our relationship has changed, but now it’s changing for the better. We’re honest and realistic with each other and we’ve come so far because of that. And while we can’t tackle marriage just yet, together we can make it through todayand then tomorrow. I love him more now than I ever did before.

Related: So You’ve Struggled With Porn? That’s Okay, Here’s Why

I have simple advice for those struggling with porn and their loved ones.

To those struggling: Tell your significant other. Be honest! They deserve to know. When I found out, I felt betrayed, tricked, and lied to. I felt cheated on. If you’re watching porn, you’re not being faithful to your relationship. So tell them. Yes, there is a good chance they might leave. I’m not denying that. But they deserve to be able to make that decision. Help them understand and if they truly care about you, they will want to help you overcome this for yourself.

To the loved ones: Try to forget the past and fight for the future. I promise there is hope. An addiction to pornography is difficult, and maintaining a relationship through it is difficult, but it isn’t the end of the world. People can change! A happy relationship is possible. I am in no way encouraging you to remain in relationships that are harmful. But if it’s a relationship that you know is worth fighting for, choose to be a part of their life and you will play a huge part in encouraging them through their recovery. If it’s not a relationship you believe is fighting for, that’s your choice, and that’s okay, too.

Related: Shame Made My Struggle With Porn Much Worse, Not Better

To be clear, porn obsessions are not an issue I take lightly. I am not okay with porn at all. I hate it. I hate the stress and depression it has caused me and my boyfriend and all the damage it has done to our relationship. I still get anxiety when I think about what my boyfriend has exposed himself to in the past. It concerns me. But I choose not to dwell on it. I choose to love him instead. Why? Because I still love being around him. The man I first met still exists. He’s still charming, he’s still adorable, he’s still wonderful. We’re still happy, and we’re still fighting.

If you are in a similar type of relationship, keep fighting! You have all my love and every ounce of support!

K.

Fortify

Pro-love, anti-porn, anti-shame

We encourage couples and individuals to make decisions about their relationships that are best for them. Sometimes, that choice is to end the relationship, and sometimes, that choice is to stay and support each other. There is room for everyone to experience an outcome that works for them, regardless of if that choice looks different from what someone else has experienced. We respect the decisions people make for themselves. While every couple is different, shaming does not help with recovery nor productive conversations about porn in relationships.

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 looks 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 themself, 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 can be 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 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.

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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