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At the time, I had been dating my boyfriend for almost one year, and everything was perfect. But as a 16-year-old, my love was almost blinding, and a simple conversation changed my dream into a nightmare in an instant. At school, I had heard other girls talk about how their boyfriends had porn addictions, but it was something I thought that I would never encounter. With the relationship going well, the idea of my boyfriend having this problem never crossed my mind, and I don’t even remember why I brought it up.

We were sitting alone one night, and we were talking about life, love and our future. Without giving it much thought, I asked my boyfriend if he had ever had trouble with pornography. With his answer, my vision of our life together came crashing down, spiraling into a dark abyss. He said that he had been addicted to pornography for as long as he could remember. From the look on his face, I could tell that this conversation was not going to be easy for him. It was hard for him to open up, but I am glad that he was able to tell me the truth. Shortly after his heartbreaking confession, he broke into tears, crying with a greater intensity than I had ever seen before.

The Aftermath

Although I felt bad, I needed to take a few days to be alone and to process the information. I always knew that my boyfriend was not a bad person and that he was just as upset about the problem as I was. His addiction, though, forced me to question myself, allowing self-doubt to come over me. I wondered whether I was good enough and if my lack of beauty is what forced him to turn to such deviant behavior. Although I knew that it was not the case, I could not keep the thoughts away.

Feeling alone and confused, I started to ask myself whether he had any other secrets about which he never talked. What if this horrific dependence on pornography was only the tip of a much larger iceberg? Although I wanted to seek advice, I could not do so without revealing his secret. If I had exposed his dark side and he found out, he would never trust me again. I knew that I could forgive him, but I did not know if our relationship could continue with this nefarious secret looming over my heart, weighing it down in the process. Even though I did not know what to do, it was unfair to leave my boyfriend in the dark, so I decided to meet up with him.

The Talk

As we sat down together, I was yet to decide the outcome of our relationship. It was clear that he wanted to work on the problem together, but I did not know if I had the strength to be there for him. During the conversation, he told me everything about his addiction and how it started. When looking into his eyes, the shame was apparent, and his remorse was obvious. The hardest part of the situation was maintaining my confidence and sense of worth. But my boyfriend helped me understand that the problem had nothing to do with me.

At that point, I had every right to walk away and to end all contact between us, but that is not what I did. I decided to stay. In spite of the shame of being labeled a porn addict, my boyfriend was still the same person with whom I fell in love. What if I had been the one who had a major problem? I would not have wanted him to leave me, so I told him that I was willing to stand by his side as long as he was ready to work toward a solution. I knew that the road ahead would not be an easy one, but I also knew that we could overcome anything together. Even in one of the darkest and most traumatizing chapters of my life, I learned a valuable lesson.

I discovered that honesty and open communication are useful tools when it comes to preserving a relationship. In most cases, I would have ended it, but he was different. I knew that I wanted to make it work, and I knew that love was stronger than his wicked indulgence of unsightly pictures and videos.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard for people to accept, but a porn addiction is something that can happen to anyone. Understanding that nobody is immune from the problem is a great step in letting go of harsh judgments. Looking past a person’s actions, we can see who they are inside and what their intentions are. Being addicted to porn does not make one a bad person, and if a couple is truly in love, then they will find the strength to work together toward a brighter future.

Rather than anger, pain and resentment, porn addiction should be approached with kindness, love and an open mind.