New here and need help


New Member
My boyfriend and I have been together for about 18 months. We work together so no one at work knows we?re dating. It wasn?t until about 4 months ago we told our parents about our relationship. They were very supportive. The first year of our relationship we weren?t ?officially? dating we were more or less hanging out, having sex, and enjoying each other?s company. I dated someone else and he got hurt but the entire time I was with the other person I would think about him. I finally gave up on the one guy and told my bf I wanted to date him. My bf is currently hurt so he is not working which makes it easier for us to conceal our relationship.
Like I said we have been actually dating for about 6 months. The sex was always the best and I would look forward to it every time we would hang out. He wouldn?t want to finish because he would tell me it would make him tired the next day which was fine. He would occasionally turn me down which I thought was strange but didn?t think much of it. It wasn?t until the end of November of 2020 that he told me about his porn addiction. He had been trying to quit the entire time we were together without me knowing. He educated me and we had long talks about it. I read the book so I could get to know more.
We agreed no sex (obviously) and he?s pretty open when I have questions about his reboot. He doesn?t get mad at me ever when I?m upset about the subject. He just apologizes and says it?s his fault. He always gives me an ?out? because he knows it?s not fair to me (I hate it when he does this). I don?t have any animosity towards him but I can?t help get upset some days.
We don?t live together so it?s hard for me to know if he is being truthful which I think he is. I know he really wants to heal so we can have an amazing sex life. I?m fine with not having sex but occasionally I really miss it. We talk about marriage and kids so we are serious about our relationship but work is just in the way right now and adds more stress. I love him with all my heart and want to marry this man but I?m struggling with constantly being upset.

My questions:
How do I handle my emotions without being angry and upset with porn?
How can we work on this as a couple without losing the love?
Are there ways to aid in the process on my part?

Gabe Deem

Staff member
Hey Katy! Glad to have you on the Nation.

First off, I'm sorry that you have experienced the collateral damage porn use has on partners. You sound like an amazing partner for already being willing to read and learn about the problem to be a teammate in his recovery process. I bet he's thankful you're understanding, and if his head is in the right place he also probably understands the emotional impact it can have on you. This of course can make him feel shame and regret and all the negative feelings, so the best thing I can suggest it be as open in y'alls communication as possible. Communication is key. The awkward vulnerable moments during recovery from my porn-induced sexual dysfunction led to some beautiful moments for me and my gf (now wife).

How do I handle my emotions without being angry and upset with porn?

It's ok to be angry and upset, that is a totally normal response. With that said, my advice would be to see this as a physiological problem in his brain. After you have that framing, focus on taking care of your mental and physical health, healthy diet, exercise, meditation, talk therapy (talk openly with friends or family or even posting here on others posts or journaling your thoughts) and time in nature. Ya know, the good ol' things that help handling emotions in any stressful situation. Making these daily disciplines (and him too) will help keep you resilient in the face of anger.

How can we work on this as a couple without losing the love?

Communication. Celebrate the little things. Never stop dating. There is so much more to a relationship than sex, obviously, so use this time to enjoy all that life has to offer when y'all are together.

Are there ways to aid in the process on my part?

Encourage him. When he does something healthy or that makes you happy -- tell him  :)

Lastly, I don't know the extent of his problem, but if he doesn't have erectile dysfunction y'all *can* have sex during a reboot. Now, he may want to temporarily avoid having an orgasm during a "reboot" phase, then reintroduce orgasm during a "rewiring" phase. I made this video discussing a little about this:

Hope the best for you! Much love