How to Prepare Yourself for Your Partner’s Porn Secrets
Men in relationships who are caught using pornography often find that their partners demand full disclosure. If you are in a relationship with a pornography user, you’ll probably want to know all the details, all the websites, all the times that they used pornography. This is pretty natural; you feel hurt and betrayed. But things are not simple regarding full disclosure of porn secrets; you might demand it now. Your partner might be willing to tell it now. But a more measured approach to porn confession might lead to better results.
Full disclosure frees you up
On the positive side, hearing a full disclosure of your partner’s porn use is likely to free them up. They no longer feel that they have to keep secret all the things that they kept secret for so long; all the lies, evasions and half truths all come out The experience of a porn confession is often described as a weight off therr shoulders and very liberating.
For you, even though it hearing it can be extremely painful, you also may experience some clarity regarding exactly what they did.
The pain of hearing porn secrets
Many partners experience full details about their partner’s pornography use overwhelming and distressing. This is the first time that you had clear insight into what your partner has been doing – and they’ve likely to have been doing it for many years. This knowledge can often completely blindside you
This disclosure can cause them to rethink many of the things they took for certainties in their life. They find themselves rehashing the events of the past, trying to make sense of them in the light of this new information; they want to understand what has been happening in the relationship.
A further difficulty is that the more porn confessions they make and the more of their porn secrets they disclose, the better and lighter they feel. For you, it’s likely to be the opposite – each confession seems like a punch to the stomach. You could well wonder why you have been made to feel like this since you’ve done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, disclosing porn secrets can be a way of offloading the pain.
It’s likely to be a distressing process for them.
Partners: get support
However, what may help you is to take your time to find out all the details. By preparing yourself for what you’re going to find out, you give yourself a better chance to cope with it. Perhaps you could get some support from a close friend or a counsellor. For instance, I offer counselling to partners of pornography users.
Whatever method you choose, the goal here is to make you more prepared for what you are going to hear from your partner and give you a way of complex processing your feelings.
This will give you a better chance of working through this, rather than reacting impulsively.
Getting beyond the porn confession
This step of full disclosure is often necessary for a couple to put the pornography use behind them. Partners of pornography users make a very good case in saying that they have the right to know about what’s been happening behind their back.
However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into as well. It may be that even though you have the right to this knowledge, knowing it may not make your life or the rehabilitation of the marriage any easier.
I counsel individual counselling and couples counselling for pornography use in Richmond in Sunbury, as well as counselling for partners of porn users. This counselling is designed to have a look at what’s happening in your life, and work out a way of getting you to where you want to be.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Now, read about pornography and trust.
– Tim Hill
Many thanks to Dr Barbara Winter’s thoughts on disclosure for her inspiration for this post.
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