Three days ago, I did the hardest thing I’d ever done. Three days ago, I told my girlfriend about my addiction to pornography.
It was a Monday, we were on our way back from Walmart, and I had to tell her. I had been praying for a good conversation, I had been praying that the Spirit would prepare her heart, and I had been praying that God would give me the courage to tell her. It was a conversation I had been dreading really for about 4 years, but especially for the past five months that we’ve been dating.
I guess there’s not really a good way to go about it. There’s no way to tell her that doesn’t suck. A friend told me that in order to tell her, I had to get to a mindset of knowing that there is a chance the relationship would end right then and there. So I was. I was ready to take whatever came with that conversation, knowing that she had every right to be upset, angry, confused, or really any emotion. I didn’t know what would happen when I told her, but I knew that I had to. No longer could I hide in shame. No longer could I be a man of integrity while holding this secret from her.
So three nights ago, I pulled into a parking lot and told her. There were a lot of tears on my end, and she listened, as she always does. She didn’t really ask questions or become emotional in any way. She expressed grace towards me in a really amazing way, and I was not prepared for such a response. I left that conversation feeling quite well. I had that off of my chest, and she took it so well. That was wayyy easier than I thought it would be.
So I slept like a baby and went through the next day beaming at how awesome our relationship was despite my issues.
Then yesterday hit.
Yesterday was hell and one of the worst days of my life. Yesterday, I saw the effects of porn on the people that we love. Never in a million years would I want to hurt her, but yesterday I couldn’t not see the pain. From noon till late at night, we struggled with the pain caused by porn and the brokenness left in its wake. I couldn’t remove myself from the situation, I had to be there and watch. I had to watch as my baggage of addiction wrecked the girl of my dreams. There was nothing I could do. There were no words I could say to fix things, and I felt helpless. This time she asked questions. They were questions that I felt inadequate to answer, but questions that needed to be asked. I learned how my addiction to pornography makes her feel. I learned that my actions have consequences for other people. I knew that she would be upset, but this was horrible.
Though it was the worst thing ever, I’m glad it happened. We didn’t decide to end things, and the future will happen. I don’t know what that looks like, and I don’t know where things will go, but I know that God is still God. I also know that God has always been in the business of turning stumblers into track stars. I have a great girlfriend, and through her I see God’s grace every single day. Even yesterday.
Written from the midst of the struggle.