How to talk to someone about your porn problem

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Yes, the big question. How to talk to someone about your porn addiction?

If this is a topic that has been circling your mind for quite some time now, then the questions should be about when and how and not if you have to talk to someone.

As you may have already noticed, your relationship with porn can be problematic. If you’re reading this, you are already likely to be aware of it.This is an important conversation that needs to take place between you and your loved ones.

When suffering from an addiction, it is very natural for you to want to keep that information to yourself. Fear clogs your brain, worrying about the judgment that’d be passed once your addiction is mentioned. This is particularly true for something like a porn problem, which already has a great deal of stigma surrounding it.

You might even shy away from being a part of a conversation surrounding this topic, let alone talk about your own experience. But professionals believe that if you keep your addiction a secret, the chances of you recovering from it become extremely low.

Keeping this information a secret is a strong sign of being in denial. Once you get it off your chest your progress towards recovery will improve at a much faster rate. Remember, the first step of fighting any addiction is acceptance.

The Taboo of Porn 

Although porn is one of the top flourishing industries in the market today, the shame, taboo and stigma surrounding it has no bounds. People are shamed for being a part of the industry or for even being associated with it.

The societal norms regarding adult content are why people often keep their porn habits private. When this is taken into consideration, the thought of opening up about one’s porn problem can seem like a horrible mission you wouldn’t want to be a part of.

This doesn’t stand true only for a porn problem/ addiction. Addiction to any substance or even addictive behaviour is stigmatised and turned into a taboo, that addicts often consider keeping their compulsions a secret as the better option.

The society calls people suffering from addictions vile names like junkie, freak, pervert, crackhead. The language we use clearly shows our way of thinking and our opinion of people with addcition problems.

It’s Pitfalls

Once you experience the wrath of this stigma, it might make you feel like keeping your addiction a secret is the only choice you have. This is the case with most people, often forcing addicts try and find a way to beat the addiction in question on their own.

Hollywood has created a false narrative that one can only beat their addiction on their own. This idea of being a lone wolf and powering through it all on your own may make you feel all heroic in your head, but in reality, it’ll fail to stand true.

Some people do have the ability to beat their addictions all on their own. If you have been able to fight addictions on your own, congratulations. However, only a very small fraction of the population is able to do this.

Throughout your deaddiction journey, you will either need professional guidance or an effective support system that can see you through this. For that to exist, you will obviously need to open up to people you’re comfortable with.

Who to talk to and When?

When opening up to someone about something like porn addiction is so personal to you, you need to be 100% comfortable with the person. It’s not necessary that you have to first open up to your family before you go and seek professional help. You can choose to speak to anyone that you know will understand your situation without passing judgement.  

Spouse

If you have a romantic partner, it might be best to talk to them about your porn problem first. Though you might not be aware of it, your addiction has a high chance of affecting their life too. You might be under the impression that you’ve successfully kept your addiction a secret from them, but more often than not, that is not the case.  

The other person in the relationship is often aware. Take some time to think about what you’d like to tell them, but remember to speak your whole truth. Only then will your partner be able to fully understand where your problem is coming from and be able to support you in your journey.  

Before you start the conversation, make your partner comfortable by showing them some affection and compassion. Ask for them to go into this with a clear mind and take all the time they need to think about everything you’ve just told them.  

This gives room for a better idea and understanding about the problem before they give their opinion. Give them space and tell them you’ll be there to answer any questions they may have.  

Friends

Based on the closeness between you and your friends, you can decide when, how, and how much you’d like to tell them. You can be as brief or go into as much detail as you’d like.  

Take the time to truly make them understand everything you’re going through. If you’ve noticed that one of your friends has certain habits or partakes in activities that trigger your urges, then don’t shy away from talking to them about it.  

You need to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing here. Be vocal to your close friends about when you need their support and when you need some space. Setting boundaries in situations like these is very important. So, when you talk to them about your addiction, also talk about your boundaries surrounding it. 

How to Talk to Someone about Your Porn Problem

Be prepared to answer tough questions

When you tell someone you’re willing to answer any questions they have regarding these situations, you obviously need to be mentally prepared to answer these questions. Some of these questions might be unpleasant or bring back horrible memories. Know that you can definitely turn down answering these questions. You know your limits, don’t test them. 

However, that being said, here are some questions that might pop up:

  1. When was the last time you engaged in this particular addictive activity?
  2. For how long have you been addicted now? When did it start?
  3. At what age did you first watch porn?
  4. Did you relapse recently?
  5. What caused the relapse?
  6. Have you ever sought professional help? How did that work out for you?

Tips that can help

If you’re still apprehensive about sharing information about your addiction, here are some tips to help you with it.  

  • Find a community of people who are in the same boat as you. There are many such communities online that can help you through this process. You can use them for the needed assistance and moral support. 
  • Arrange a small meeting with your loved ones to let them know. You can either do this individually or in the form of a group meeting. Whatever you find the most comfortable.  
  • Talk to people and ask for suggestions regarding recovery and the entire process. 
  • Seek professional help if needed. 

At the end of the day, the outcome of the discussion completely depends on your attitude. Having a much more positive, upbeat and straightforward attitude in such a situation will serve you better than being down in the dumps when you speak about it.  

How you portray yourself will affect the opinion of the people you’re talking to. You obviously don’t need to be overly joyous; the situation does not call for that. But make sure to have a positive outlook towards the entire situation. This will help with your progress as well.  

This in theory might all sound like a cakewalk. But be aware that this is really not the case. In a situation like this, you’re going to have to be a pillar of courage. There might be some seeds of doubt in your head but that’s normal considering the fact that you’re openly admitting about your problem. You are taking a big step here. However, this is for your own good. 

Putting an end to the secrecy will bring you a sense of personal satisfaction and rid you of the psychological burden. The positivity you feel after this will help you tremendously with the recovery process, not to mention the support from your loved ones. 

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