How I Talked To My Boyfriend About Pornography Pt. I



Never in the first year of dating my boyfriend did I think that he had ever struggled with pornography—not him: he was too good of a person! So when I heard that almost all men, especially college-aged men, have struggled with pornography at some time in their lives, I immediately thought, “At least not him!” I was so confident that he had never struggled with it, so I never thought to ask.

It wasn’t until I was in class when I thought to bring it up with him. I was taking a course called, “Christian Perspectives on Relationships,” when the subject of pornography was discussed. In class, my professor addressed the levels of addiction and how to deal with and support a porn addict. After class, I went up to my professor and asked, “In a dating situation, at what point should an honest conversation about pornography be held?” She told me that it should be discussed within the first year of dating, before anything gets too serious. Since we had been dating over a year, I decided it was time to have this conversation. I had no clue how to approach it, but told myself that I needed to bring it up within the next month.

Later that evening, we were driving back from dinner when he asked me what we talked about in my Christian Relationships course that day. “Here goes nothing,” I thought to myself as I began to tell him we had discussed pornography and the levels of addiction. He responded with something like, “That is super prevalent, even at this university.” There was my chance. “So, have you, umm, ever…” was all I could say before he looked down and said, “Yeah.”

My heart broke. I felt betrayed and deeply saddened at the same time. Before I could say anything, he started to tell me his journey and struggles with pornography. For him, it started at a young age, and after a few years, he decided to deal with it. After being held accountable by his youth group leader and father, his addiction subsided. He expressed how difficult of a journey it was and how it is still a temptation.

I looked him in the eyes and said, “I am so sorry that you have struggled with that, and I truly appreciate your honesty. Just know that I forgive you and love you just the same.” He told me that he was going to tell me, but was just unsure of how to bring it up. As we discussed further, I felt an odd sense of peace—he is honest and open, even about his sins.

We agreed that within a dating relationship, I should not be his main accountability partner for something such as lust and pornography, but his guy friends and older men should be.

I am thankful we had this conversation because as a result our relationship has changed. It has been a good change — a change to complete honesty, no hiding, and no shame. A simple conversation, approached with love and forgiveness, was extremely difficult, but well worth it in the long run. 

This article was originally posted on the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships and was reposted with their permission.  The original article can be found here.

Will Therapy Work for Me?

— by Will Armentrout, MA, IMF Registered Intern #75851

Supervised by Donald W. Welch, Ph.D., LMFT, License #LMFT 50129

Before starting therapy, many people ask, "Will therapy work for me?" I believe that therapy can work for almost anyone, as long as four crucial components are in place. The following components are essential to achieving your goals:

1. Our relationship

Numerous studies show that a strong therapist-client connection predicts success in therapy more than the type of therapy used by the therapist. In other words, if we connect, we are likely to do some good work. I will do my best create an environment where you feel safe to express yourself without fear of rejection, judgment or condemnation.

2. Therapy designed for you

I consider you the expert on you. Only you can teach me about yourself and guide me into your world. I will strive to understand your view of the problem, your goals and expectations for therapy, how you think change will occur, and how fast you think the treatment should take. In this way, our work together will be tailored uniquely to you.

3. Your strengths and resources

Unfortunately, we are not always able to see ourselves as clearly or positively when we are struggling. I will help you to rediscover the resources that you have always had but might have overlooked. I will encourage you to consider your spiritual beliefs to discover your spiritual resources.

4. Your commitment

How committed are you to pursue healing? As we work together, I promise to invest my energy, insight, compassion and guidance to help you get what you seek. But I cannot do the work for you. All I ask is that you apply yourself. Change is only possible, if you pursue it. Only you can change you. Without you, nothing can happen.