Q&A How Should Someone Disclose the Use of Pornography?

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Our son is getting married next summer. He was wondering if he should tell his girlfriend that he had looked at porn in the beginning when they had dated. He has been free from it for 2 years and he thinks it's not an issue anymore they have dated almost 3 years.



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Does your son use any

Does your son use any accountability and/or filtering software? I don't know if he was an infrequent user over a short period of time, or if he is 2 years clean from an addiction. If it's the second, he should definitely have that software on all devices, including hers when they're married. Ever accountable is our favorite accountability software. We haven't settled in a filtering service yet. It's just wise to have that in place. It isn't a guarantee of course, but it's wise. Don't see how he could do that without disclosing the addiction. Another thing, if you were getting married, how would you feel later in life to learn that your spouse had once had an alcohol, drug, gambling, pornography, whatever addiction prior to the marriage?? And they never told you before the marriage? I'd think it would be wise to be honest. "I was addicted to x for this many years. I did X to treat my addiction and have found success in recovery, I have been clean from acting out my addiction for such amount of time. (If that obviously extends into the time of the relationship, that should be owned.) I want to make sure you feel safe with me, so here are boundaries I have that help me stay sober from my addiction."

If it wasn't an addiction, I'm still shocked that Rick isn't suggesting to be honest about it. (Also shocked that he didn't address the addiction side, given how epidemic and destructive it is...) Rick describes infidelity as the keeping of secrets. Let's be blunt here. He looked at pornography while dating her. Most likely, masturbating was part of this. Wether it was enough to do the two acts together or he took it further and made a fantasy in his mind of himself with those women or something, either way, he was acting unfaithfully and he sought sexual fulfilment outside of his relationship with his now fiance. What if a couple entered a marriage both under the claim that both were virgins, only to find after the marriage that this wasn't true, that there had been sex before marriage? Or that no intercourse, but actually that other sexual acts had occurred? Well, what about pornography use then? Not all women are even thinking to ask about pornography use, assuming that they aren't/wouldn't/haven't, or that if they ever did, surely not since they started dating.

It just seems wrong to seemingly advise this man to keep his betrayal acts a secret. It seems wrong no matter how I look at it. It seems wrong in so many levels. And in many marriages, I've seen it be a recipe for disaster. The man thinking he's got it under control, or hoping being married will be the guarantee that he won't ever do it again, and then there's so much shame, fear and secrecy that when he does it again after the wedding, he gets trapped back into that cycle because he's too afraid to confess, too ashamed. And if he's too afraid and ashamed to confess, he can't get help, and it only gets worse.

What type of affair was it?

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