To the Girl Whose Boyfriend Struggles with Porn

In Uncategorized by Debra Fileta7 Comments

Hey friends! Allow me to introduce you to MJ.  Not only is he a big fan of True Love Dates, but he’s also just as passionate about relationships done right. He’s got an awesome story to tell, and I’m excited to share my space with him for this guest post! Pay close attention to this one…even though it’s written from a male perspective- it’s for guys, and girls alike.  — Deb

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Dear Girlfriend,

So you found out your boyfriend has a thing for pornography. Let me start off by saying that I’m so sorry. But then, allow me to say this: I’m glad too. Sorry it’s true, but glad you know the truth now rather than later.

Because your boyfriend’s porn use directly impacts you. It’s not just a private thing between him and the women in the pictures and the videos. It’s about him and women period.

That naturally includes you. It especially includes you. And sadly, I know this, not just from reading about it, but from personal experience.

Because I once found myself ensnared by porn.

So my advice is not given lightly. I’m going to be thinking about the counsel I would have wanted shared with my wife back when I was the one seduced by “the forbidden woman.”

CAUGHT OR CONFESS?

First, how did this porn issue come to light? Was your boyfriend caught or did he choose to confess. It makes a huge difference.

If you or someone else caught him, then I would strongly suggest an immediate break-up. Not necessarily a permanent break-up, but certainly immediate.

It’s not because porn is the unforgivable sin. It’s because your boyfriend doesn’t just have a porn problem. He has a much larger integrity problem.

Again, I don’t just blithely throw out these opinions. I was there myself, totally captivated by the sin of porn, so I’m not trying to say your boyfriend is an evil pawn of Satan, but he is his prey right now.

I know what that feels like, to be trapped in that sin, hating it as much as I hated myself for being taken in by it.

But I didn’t stay there long, because I couldn’t. I couldn’t look my wife in the face day after day and keep this from her. I loved her too much, I respected her too greatly and I trusted her too deeply. And I knew she felt the same way about me.

So I had to tell her. I had to confess.

The nature of our relationship demanded a confession. What do you think your relationship should demand?

PORN ISN’T HIS ONLY PROBLEM

Of course, you aren’t married to your boyfriend, and so it’s possible he thought your relationship wasn’t far enough along for you to know about his issues with porn, and maybe he was right. It’s not exactly 1st date subject matter. Nor 2nd. Nor 3rd.

But if no one is intimately aware of his struggle, that’s a serious problem, because a porn habit simply isn’t one of those things you take care of all by yourself. You need help from others who can offer understanding, encouragement, resources, wisdom and accountability.

So I urge you: if you caught him, and he can’t immediately identify a trustworthy friend or mentor who has already been walking with him in his recovery, whom you can talk with yourself, then you need to break up with him for this one simple reason: you cannot trust this man.

Do you understand that?

You cannot trust someone who has become comfortable with hiding their sin instead of confessing it. That is a pattern as difficult to break as pornography.

You aren’t married to him. You’ve made no vow. You aren’t betraying him.

To the contrary, he has betrayed you. He’s been cheating on you. Maybe not in body, but in mind.

I know this is tough to hear, but if you’re willing to continue to give your heart to a man you cannot trust, then you do not understand your value in the eyes of your Creator.

And this is not only in your best interests, but in his as well. I would need another post to defend that fully, but for now understand this: Your boyfriend’s issue with porn doesn’t make him unworthy of love, but it does make him unprepared for a romantic relationship.

That said, your break-up might just be the wake-up call he’s needed. Who knows? He just might slay this dragon and win you back!

But if not, the fact remains: you want a man you can trust.

Cheating men can be forgiven, but they can’t be trusted until they’ve given up their cheating ways and learned to walk in integrity.

If you’d like to understand more about what it takes to break free from porn you want to visit our Hot Topic page dedicated to that very thing. And for those of you who struggle with porn, I hope you’re encouraged by my story of Why I Broke Up With Porn

Michael Johnson (MJ) has a blast, sharing practical, passionate Biblical truth about sex, dating and relationships with college students, youth and young adults. He and his wife, Julie live with their five kids in Franklin, TN. Connect with him: Blog — Facebook — Twitter — YouTube

Additional Resources:

What do you do with sexual desires while single? How do you break free from sexual struggles and habits? How do you reconcile the fact that God gave you these desires, even though they can often feel more like a burden? Find out all this and more, download this audio lesson: Sex And the Single Life: What To Do With Desires While You Wait.

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Comments

  1. Debra, I absolutely love True Love Dates as I have shared a thousand times. Today I joined the community and I already have been so blessed.

    This article really hit home for me … I destroyed my marriage and my family and can not tell you the betrayal, pain, suffering, trials, tribulations and wounds and scares I inflected upon my ex wife and children.

    Sharing this article is so an incredible gift for everyone. Porn does not discriminate based on age, race or religious or not.

    I spoke to Michael on the telephone today and what an amazing man. So grateful and thankful for his wife turning her betrayal into a blessing for all of us. She is an amazing woman of God who shines inside and out.

    Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with the world Debra!

    Blessings
    Philip

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was badly hurt my by ex’s concealment of his porn use and was not able to come to terms with the fact that he was lying on me. Your point on our value in the eyes of our great Creator is so true. Externally I knew that I was loved and valued by God yet internally I did not truly believe it. I l excused my ex’s lies, thinking that it wasn’t a trust issue. It took several months to fully understand that he was lying to me. For women and men hurt by the effects of porn, know that you are so valuable and lovable. The best way you really can love your boyfriend or girlfriend is to give them the space they need to fix this issue. This does not mean that you are bad! I would encourage you to find someone you trust that you can talk to about it!

    1. Author

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Becca! May God continue to remind you of your value and worth in His sight. God bless you dear!

  3. Great advice and I wholeheartedly agree. But the question I have is – what do you do if you’re married, and this is you’re husband??? I’m not married yet. However, I know many many divorced people whose marriage don’t survive small problems, much less major life events. I enjoy the advice to singles. However, I think more married people need advice, guidance, and counseling now more than ever in these days and times. Especially since, when you’re married, you can’t necessarily use your first recourse of action which is to leave and walk away from a lying, cheating spouse, or a spouse who refuses to go to church, or decides to change religions, or whatever. Especially if you have children with them, that makes it even harder. I truly believe that a big part of the root of divorce is that most people are very ill prepared for marriage. The reality is, we won’t marry perfect people, and we definitely won’t be perfect when we marry. So how do 2 imperfect people make it work??? This is the question many people ask. I think it would behoove us singles a great deal to be proverbial “flies on the wall” to the advice you give to married people. I’m quite sure we could definitely learn something should we go through the same, or a similar situation in our future marriage, that some married couple may be going through right now. For instance not many couples know how to deal with miscarriages, and/or the death of their child. I’ve seen it ruin marriages. It ruined my cousins marriage. Also many marriages don’t survive cheating. I personally believe that with God at the center of it, a marriage can survive any and everything. The problem is, many people don’t know how to resolve their issues, and their ill equipped to resolve the major life issues they have in their marriage. I’m asking that you consider doing a series on Marriage – with Married couples. Like a what to do vs what not to do. Also including your own experiences and insight as a married woman. In the movie Love Jones, there is a line where the married guy says to his single friend – “falling in love and getting married is nothing, that’s easy, somebody talk to me please about how to stay there.” Based on my own personal experiences, and hearing so many other people’s stories, (particularly married people) this is what people really need to know how to do. How to actually go about staying in love with your spouse no matter what, and staying with them no matter what, for a lifetime.

    1. Author

      I agree, married couples need that advice just as much….and as I always say, marriage advice is different than advice for couples who are dating, because like you said, the options change when you’re in a covenant relationship before God. I’m working on a book right now that applies to married couples and addresses a lot of these things, so I’m looking forward to adding to the conversation!

  4. This is so great and such a relevant issues that many women will probably deal with at some point. I was wondering, what are your thoughts on staying in a relationship with a man who struggles but has good accountability, and maybe even becoming a part of that accountability?
    I ask because that is my personal story with my now-husband. It was very difficult, and almost led to a break-up, but in the end it was so amazing to see God’s work in him, and it also built a trust and bond between us as a dating couple that has transferred into our marriage. Though he has been clean for some time he is always really honest with me if he is struggling with temptation, either with porn or simply lust.
    However I know not everyone’s story turns out as rosy as mine, so I was wondering what you thought of such situations.

    1. Author

      I think when you’re dating someone who is struggling to be free from porn, a time apart- a breakup – will allow them a chance to focus and heal, and give them increased motivation to do so. Healing is absolutely possible, like you shared. There are no cookie cutter answers that apply to everyone, but taking time to heal is always going to be of benefit in a relationship.

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