I’ve been in and out of various treatments for my addiction to online pornography and prostitution. My 12-year-old son recently got in trouble for viewing online porn. His mother (we are separated) blames me and I feel tremendously guilty. Would it be harmful to open up to my son and tell him my issues? Some guidance here would be appreciated.
There are many layers to your question(s). I’ll start with your description of your attempts at recovery. I’d be curious about your starts and stops—are these because of relapses or not sticking with your recovery plan? Have you had periods of sobriety? You also mention that you are currently separated from your wife. Is this a direct result of your addiction? If you are not in either group or individual counseling, you should be and I do hope that you see this through as the problem does not go away on its own.
Turning now to your question regarding your son. You know from your own history that you likely started quite young in your addiction. The majority of my clients started acting out in this manner during adolescence so your son’s interest in porn at this stage in his life should be something you and your wife should be concerned about.
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James Gallegos brings unique qualities to helping others. Professionally, he is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, and has trained under George Collins, a counselor specifically qualified in treating sexual addiction and compulsive behavior.
Faye Reitman is a licensed therapist with 18 years experience. Much of her work has centered around adolescent and adult development, addiction, co-dependency and self-esteem issues. Faye is experienced in working with couples, parent and child issues, and is especially skilled in working with the unique challenges that modern women and men are faced with in their daily lives.