Porn Doc Is In: Disclosure How To & About Support

Porn addiction and sex addiction experts from Compulsion Solutions answer your most pressing questions. We’ll answer your question too… e-mail Porn Doc.

 

Porn button on computer pc keyboardDear Porn Doc,
My partner and I are both in recovery. I am at peace with the idea of moving forward from this point being honest and open about my sexual addiction. What I am not so comfortable with (actually frightened of) is disclosing my past. She really wants to know “everything” I’ve done, even the stuff before I met her. I do not know what to do about this. Do you have any tips or suggestions?

 

Porn Doc:
Disclosure can be tricky. There can be a wide range of goals and expectations of everyone involved.  Some people in recovery can’t wait to get everything off their chest and come clean. Letting go of the burden of lying and keeping secrets feels very appealing—while the person hearing the disclosure may feel devastated and not ready to hear it all. In your case, you have a partner who wants to hear it all and you are not ready. Disclosure is complex, as are many human communications, so it is important to manage expectations—yours and your partner’s.

 

It sounds like you are working with a therapist on this so he or she should be able to help you through this. My suggestions would be to write out your sexual timeline and history for your eyes only so you can first confront what you feel embarrassed, frightened, and ashamed to share. You first need to come to grips with your history before sharing it with anyone else.  Find a safe time and place to do your personal investigation. After you list your history, take a deeper dive into the feelings associated with the actions. What were you feeling at the moment? What are you feeling now as you read it? Being emotionally honest with yourself and your partner will go a long way in giving you both a chance to heal.

 

In Compulsion Solution’s book, A Couple’s Guide To Sexual Addiction: A Step-by-Step Plan to Rebuild Trust & Restore Intimacy, at the end of Chapter 4, we’ve laid out the steps for disclosing and hearing that disclosure. There are also many excellent resources on the web for you to read.  Research this matter and get clarity on what you want and what you’re willing to share. You can then work on setting proper boundaries with your partner about your disclosure.

 

Dear Porn Doc,
My husband has struggled with watching a lot of pornography for years and he is finally getting help. I am finding it very difficult to not want to control his therapy. I was the one who found a therapist for him in the first place. I am not happy with the pace of it so far. How do I know if he is doing the work necessary to change? Should I even care? I feel like if I don’t pester him, he will just go through the motions.

 

Porn Doc:
First of all, good for you for supporting your husband and helping him find help. Setting a clear boundary for yourself and for him about his acting out behavior is vital. Some people, especially the male addict, need a push.  Now you need to find a way to continue to support him—and you.

 

Setting proper boundaries is something the two of you will need to discuss from time to time. You are well within your rights to ask him to share with you how his therapy is going. It is also important to see how are you being supported. Have you thought of looking for help for partners of addicts either through personal counseling or groups?

 

Our book A Couple’s Guide To Sexual Addiction: A Step-by-Step Plan to Rebuild Trust & Restore Intimacy can help guide you (and your partner) through the process of putting your relationship back together.  In the book, we list many resources including COSA or an online support group. At some point, your husband’s therapist may ask to include you in session work to deepen the work. You two may also want to look into couple’s counseling.

 

 

 

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