I Want My Boyfriend To Quit Porn: But How?


Two anonymous questions:

– My boyfriend watches porn and masturbates. He knows that it bothers him and he has been trying to quit. Would it be a good idea to tell him that I will not even consider marriage until he has been clean for a year?

– How should I help my boyfriend who told me he is struggling with porn? We’ve been dating for a while and we both want to keep our relationship focused on the Lord. I want to be there for him as he overcomes this struggle.. I’m just not sure how to help him. Any advice would be awesome. Also, could you answer this privately? Thank you!


Hey my dear friends, thank you so much for your honesty and forwardness. Please first allow me the grace to point you to a very short e-book I just wrote on quitting porn here.  It’s written for both the person trying to quit and for the friend trying to help, and regardless of gender or beliefs.  It’s also only $2.99, which goes towards my ministry here, but I can email it to you for free.

Here’s the bad news. Unless the person who uses porn actually wants to quit, they will never quit.  They have to want it more for themselves than you do.

If you make an ultimatum like, “Stop it for a year or else,” then this could possibly work for a while — but he would only be quitting because you’re constraining him by force.  You can change anyone’s behavior, but it’s an altogether different thing to change your nature.

Whenever we place an external apparatus of behavioral expectation on another person, it might bring short-term change, but it will never become a part of them.  Unless there’s an internal resolve to quit harmful behavior and move forward to something better, there will always be relapses and self-shaming and no true transformation.  It’s sort of like the student who only behaves when the teacher walks by: when you take away the source of fear, the student defaults back to their old habits.  Something else has to completely internalize for change to really happen.

In the Bible, we learn that the only power to bring inside-out change is called grace.  Maybe you’ve heard that a million times.  But without the hope of undeserved love, we only do things out of conformity or the threat of punishment and abandonment.  Grace takes much longer to internalize, but it’s the only power that can melt and tenderize a person’s heart to create a new desire to do better.

Grace can only be cultivated in a culture of honesty, so if you’re helping your friend through a temptation, they need to know they won’t be shamed. At the same time, they need to know that such grace isn’t meant to abused or lazy or careless, but that grace is meant to bestow freedom from our old prison into a fruitful, mission-centered, fully empowered life.

Having said that, here are some suggestions to pave the way to quit porn.


– Research all the ways in which pornography is destructive to the brain.  It literally destroys gray matter and bludgeons the frontal cortex.

– Look up how the porn industry is basically human trafficking and prostitution.  It’s no better than supporting slavery or the drug trade.  When a person uses porn, they’re contributing to a violent cycle of imprisonment and abusive coercion.

– Find out how porn has destroyed countless marriages, churches, children, and also causes ED.

– Look up how quitting porn can instantly increase productivity and quality of life.  Here’s a video on that.

– Not only must quitting involve limiting certain behaviors, but there must be a way forward.  When someone quits porn, they suddenly have 15-30 hours free every week.  They need to find something to do with their idle time or they will just go right back.

– There are many online forums dedicated to quitting porn, such as places like Reddit.  Many of these forums have linked to my articles on how to quit, which is very humbling and awesome.  I recommend joining one of these forums to read about how others recovered.  It’s great inspiration and there are great communities out there with safety and honesty.

– Have many, many long honest conversations.  I was scared to death to open up about my fifteen year porn addiction, but once I confessed, my closest friends never judged me.  At the same time, they kept me accountable and were tough on me.  It was a messy process of prayer, openness, occasional frustration on both sides, long nights of real talk with ugly cry-face, and ultimately giving up my authority to the people I felt safe around.  We can’t do this alone.

– Discover the great love of God.  In the end, knowing His greatness is the only way to walk away from sin towards Him.  The only pure sustainable motivation is knowing His love and to be loved by Him.  Every other motive will be pride, fear, self-loathing, reputation, or conformity — but in Jesus we have the simple motive of no-motive, of following God just because He’s God.  I promise you that He’s that good.  I’ve tasted this freedom, and I’m not going back.

— J.S.



My book on taboo topics in the church here.

My new book on love, sex, and dating here.

My new e-book on breaking porn addiction here.


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2 thoughts on “I Want My Boyfriend To Quit Porn: But How?

  1. really enjoyed your response pastor Park.

    I would also recommend that she encourage her boyfriend to search out other Godly men to talk with him and encourage him regularly. Last year I went through the Every Man A Warrior study. It was three books that had a profound impact on helping me understand how to really start communicating with God and then to take that and start spreading it to my friends and family to make sure I was not making my hurts and flaws become their hurts and flaws.

    Love what your doing keep it up.

    Like

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