RESOURCES FOR PARTNERS
I’ve Been Betrayed
Finding out that your partner has been viewing porn behind your back can be totally devastating. “How can he say he loves me when he goes and views porn?” “Am I not pretty enough? Am I too fat? Don’t I perform well in the bedroom?” These are all common questions that women ask when they find out about their partner’s porn habit.1
But it’s not always women who suffer, even though that is most common. Sometimes it is men who find that their female partner is hooked on porn. As the partner of someone who’s addicted you might be feeling little empathy for you pain, leaving you to suffer alone and become more and more isolated by the trauma of the situation.2
So what on earth do you do now?
The journey to recovery
If you’ve only just made the discovery of your partner’s porn viewing habit you are most likely at the start of a very long and slow journey. There will be good days and there will be bad days. Research has shown three distinct stages in the recovery process. 3
1. The impact stage
- You might find yourself seeking to understand why this happened.
- You might second guess everything that your partner does.
- You might find your interactions with your partner to be always negative, trying to find fault, leading to more relationship difficulties in this tense time.
- You might feel like putting in boundaries like moving to a different bedroom from your partner or moving out for a while.
2. The meaning stage
- You might find yourself trying to work why on earth your partner started looking at porn. How long they’ve been doing it? Whether or not it’s related to their childhood or some kind of trauma in the past.
- You might find yourself hunting for ways to fix your relationship. Books to read and other information.
- You might begin to try and find ways to rebuild the intimacy in your relationship and re-establish trust.
3. The moving on stage
- You might begin to take steps forward using the information you gathered in the meaning stage.
- You will look for forgiveness and reconciliation.
- You might decide to make changes to your relationships so that it can be rebuilt (or end it, if you decide it is necessary).
- You will most likely have moments reflecting on the past but the impact of them will be less severe and you will recover from them faster.
So where to from now?
Remind yourself that you are not responsible for your partner’s viewing habit.
- You are not responsible for your partner’s lies and secrecy.
- You are not responsible for your partner’s recovery.
You are not responsible for your partner’s habits. They have to make the changes to them by themselves.4