Yes, you can be a good partner and still struggle with porn.

Can I be a good partner despite struggling with porn?”

In a recent survey compiled by The Grace Spot, this questions surfaced repeatedly. Men and women are anxious to know they can still be adequate partners despite struggling with porn.

The question came from former users and those still recovering.

The simple answer is, YES!


​Here are three ways recovering and former addicts can make great partners:

1.They know grace and forgiveness

Luke 7:36-50 records the exchange between Jesus and a woman presumed irredeemable and worthless to the religious leaders.

Jesus gently spoke to her, and forgave her. She in turn anointed his feet with perfume worth a year’s wage as an act of sacrifice and love. This interaction was shocking.

Jesus explains the situation to a group of gobsmacked men.

“Therefore I tell you, because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Former and recovering addicts know the weight of their sin. They know just how precious that forgiveness and redemption is.

When you are overthrown by such deep and undeserved kindness, like the sinful woman, it becomes difficult to withhold forgiveness to those who sin against you.

They love much.


2. They are intentional about purity 

The diligent sailor will always let down the anchor or moor their vessel before relaxing. They know what will happen if they are not intentional.

Less skilled fishermen may forget to do so, and find themselves lulled to sleep by the lapping tide, only to awake at sea in a place they didn’t intend to find themselves.

So it is with purity.

When it comes to relationships, you must be vigilant to nurture purity. Desire is a powerful force. Without intentional action and boundaries, humans will find a way to bend the rules until they break.

The man or woman actively seeking freedom from compulsive sexual behaviour has learned the value of discipline, mentoring and accountability. This will benefit both partners in courtship, engagement and marriage.

3. They are experienced communicators

My desk is currently piled high with relationship and marriage books. Not surprisingly, a scan of the indexes shows all of them have devoted significant time to the topic of communication and conflict.

This is because too many relationships have come crumbling down in the face of lies, twisted truths and unwillingness to relate honestly.

Knowing how to honestly and humbly communicate is the backbone of any partnership.

Recovery from porn addiction requires accountability. This is a most vulnerable and challenging communication practice. It involves humility, honesty, repentance and determination to pursue the greater good, even if it hurts.

Accountability develops deeply powerful characteristics in a partner, and fosters a sense of humble courage and reflection. It can enrich a couple’s communication skills in mighty ways.

The disclaimer​

Not every struggling porn user demonstrates these characteristics. Depending on the season and individual, they will fall somewhere on the spectrum between mildly gracious, pure and honest and spectacularly so. However, some people don’t even register. And let’s not forget that struggling porn users may not make good partners for completely unrelated reasons!

There are a plethora of variables when it comes to individual struggles, personalities and relationships. Make sure you examine yourself and your partnership and seek to develop these qualities by the Spirit.

But remember, someone struggling well and striving for recovery is very likely to know grace, be intentional about purity and has learned the art of communication. They can make a truly wonderful companion.

Help for partners 

Partners of those struggling with porn are profoundly affected by feelings of betrayal, hurt and inadequacy. Porn is a barrier to intimacy. This is why it is vital to seek healing in singleness and relationship.

Those who are dating and engaged can work through addiction, but are not bound by law or God. Sometimes breaks are necessary. For those who remain, Recover, Spouse Support Groups and couples counselling provide care for partners during this difficult process. 

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