Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Pain from My Boyfriend Looking at Porn Won't Go Away!

I recently heard from Sheri:

Hey Mark,

Me and my boyfriend have been in a relationship for 2 years now and only recently we discussed porn. In the back of my mind, I knew he probably watched it or had watched it but as soon as he admitted to me that he did watch it--although not very often--I felt absolute crushed and betrayed. 

He is a lovely guy and I know he cares about me a lot. As soon as we discussed it he decided straight away that he would no longer watch it. And I believe him. 

We talk about everything together. If he was to watch it he would tell me for he does not believe in secrets. He had just always assumed I knew he watched it and did not mind.

Even though we have had three very deep discussions on the matter and he has promised to me he has no desire to watch it again, I still feel pain whenever I think of the fact that he did. He never seemed like a highly sexual person and I know he loves me so much, which is why I don't understand how he could do something to hurt me so badly. 

The pain I have felt from this does not seem to be going away. Can I get over it?

Please help if you can.

Many thanks, 


Hey Sheri,

I am so glad you reached out. And so sorry for the painful struggle you're having. Remember, it would not be so painful if the relationship were not so good and so absolutely important to both you and to him. Sometimes pain indicates we're on the wrong track, but from what you've said it sounds to me like you guys are on exactly the right track.

Here are a few specific blog posts that may help:

Here's one on how he can help you get all of your pain out and put it behind you.

This one is on how that process of him hearing you out as you express your hurt will also help him avoid relapsing in the future.

And finally this one is a general article about how couples work together to strengthen each other as they deal with this hard issue.

May you both be blessed to make it through this hard time. Your boyfriend sounds like a GREAT guy with a huge heart and deep devotion to you. Porn for most men like him is a little escape from life not something they truly want or would choose to replace the real, beloved woman in their life. 

Of course it's a very compelling escape and can become addictive and ruinous. But many women feel threatened by porn: "Does he want me or the women in those images?" After years of work with these men I know that very few actually prefer porn and don't want a real woman to get in the way of their porn fix. 

Even those who are more attached to porn than their woman aren't choosing between her and the women in porn, but between real life/true happiness and phony jolts of instant, superficially pleasurable emptiness. Which, by the way, keeps diminishing over time to provide them less and less thrill. And steals their confidence with people and for many the ability to have an erection. 

But I digress. For most men it's not a contest between their real lover and the porn. That would be like asking a smoker "Do you love me or your cigarettes?" 

"What?! I may smoke and I may be hooked on it, but you're my WOMAN! That's just a recurring habit that my body and brain look to when I've gone without a fix for a while!" 

Your boyfriend sounds like one of those great guys who wants to help you heal from the hurt, and he can. Read the posts I shared above and please stay in touch and let me know how the two of you keep working through this together. 

I pray that the generous Lord, the True Source of all goodness and joy, will keep blessing your life and your relationship and help you find the peace and healing you deserve and so desperately need.

Again Sheri, I am so glad you reached out and got in touch. I know how hard that can be, but it's SO important because to suffer silently alone through all this can become absolutely unbearable.


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