The preoccupation with porn and masturbation means that your heart is diverted away from loved ones. They can feel this, even if you’ve hidden the habit and they don’t know the reason why. It’s true true if you’re are married and have children, or if you live with parents and siblings.

More to the point, when your spouse or engaged partner discovers your sexual attention and energy is being directed towards others, whether digital “others” or not, they can rightly feel betrayed. They doubt themselves–“why aren’t I good enough?”

And then in your efforts to protect and justify your cherished habit, you tend to make it all worse by minimizing the problem, and denying the damage they feel.

Tell Your Partner

Being honest with your partner (and perhaps parents, or a trusted elder) is essential to provide the motivation to change. To create the kind of intimacy with your partner that is needed for lasting love you need to be honest.

If you are are engaged or blessed in marriage and have not yet revealed your porn problem to your partner, you may feel like a confession is the hardest thing you could do. Countless excuses crop up to delay it. Yet think of the alternative: living in secrecy until it’s accidently discovered. And it will be, one way or another.

You and your mate can never have the strong and intimate connection as long as there are such secrets. The deception of maintaining such a secret usually hurts the partner more than the actual problem. Would you marry someone you felt you couldn’t trust?

Take Care in How You Share

Cultivate an unselfish motive. It must not be done in a way to simply unburden yourself at the expense of our partner. It needs to be done from the heart of wanting to stop the habit and repair the damage.

Pray for courage and the right heart, for yourself and your partner. Find a circumstance when they have the time and privacy to process what you will tell them. Let them freely express their thoughts, even if it hurts.

If possible, make a change plan beforehand. After you have told them your problem, let them know that you have a program you are following to overcome your habit, and someone to support you, apart from your mate. Knowing you are taking action to change will be reassuring to them. If possible, share what you are learning as you go.

Unfortunately, you can’t demand acceptance, forgiveness or trust. You need to respect their right to choose to accept you as you are or not. However painful that is to you, remember that they are also in pain. Give them time to digest what you’ve told them. Let them come to forgiveness of their own free will, and expect that it may take a long time–longer than you think is reasonable–to restore trust.

Learn More:

  • Why deception is even worse than the porn use to a spouse, at Covenant Eyes  
  • How to tell your spouse or romantic partner about your pornography problem, at Covenant Eyes  

Next On Overcoming: Get Clean

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