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Should I Tell My Parents I Struggle With Porn?

quick tips Mar 29, 2020

 

 

TOP 10 TOOLS TO QUIT PORN IN 2020


Do your parents know you struggle with porn?

Should they know?

These are difficult questions. I don't know your mom, I don't know your dad, but I do know some guidelines that can help.

Sometimes getting free from porn means moving toward your parents. 

Other times it means moving away from your parents. Every situation is different.

Personally, I've experienced a lot of reconciliation with my mom. She's opened up to me about her sexual brokenness, which has been healing for me.

But when I was growing up and for the first 10 years of my journey to freedom, I did not feel comfortable talking with either of my parents about it.

You know what? You can't control how they're going to respond.

But no matter what your situation is, I'm going to help you become more confident about how you relate to your parents...whether that means moving toward them or away from them.

Here are two concepts that can help you figure this stuff out:

Honor and Honesty

In the bible, God commands us to honor our parents and hold them in high regard. We are told to respect them and to submit to them, especially when we're children.

And in order to follow Jesus, we also need to have a healthy separation from them.

We need to have boundaries. In certain ways, we need to leave our father and mother.

This can make it hard to know how to relate to your parents. And as you decide whether or not to tell them you struggle with porn, the attitude of honor and honesty is super important.

Some of you are thinking, "My parents loved me. I had awesome parents. What are you talking about? I never experienced any kind of childhood wounding or trauma."

If you're saying that, I'm sure you did have awesome parents. 

I'm not saying it's their fault. I'm not saying you should see yourself as a victim.

I'm saying that in order to really heal and understand what happened to you as a kid, you need to be able to say: "Here's the contribution that I made with my choices and here's the contribution of my overall environment that I was living in, and part of that was because of my parents."

Maybe they were never open about sexuality and they never talked about it with you. Maybe you were emotionally abandoned or abused. Maybe you were sexually harmed by your parents. In any case, all of our parents affected us in positive and negative ways.

So it's important to be able to name those ways and honor them in the middle of it.

As you're deciding whether or not to tell your parents about your sexual struggles, here are three questions you can ask.

  1. Do I feel safe?

    Do I feel safe telling them about this? If the answer is not a strong yes, then you might want to reconsider telling them because that could retraumatize you.

    It could reopen some of your old wounds and make things worse in the end.

    Make sure you feel safe with them, so that when you tell them you struggle with porn, they're not going to try to solve it or try to fix it or reopen some of those wounds.

  2. Can they help me?

    If you want to go on a healing journey to permanent freedom from pornography, that's probably going to require a financial investment.

    Whether that's for resources or programs or working with a professional, your parents might be willing to financially sponsor you.

    So ask yourself, "Can they help me?"

    And if you feel safe and you think they can help you, there's a good chance it might be helpful to talk to them about your struggle.

    And the third question you need to ask yourself is:

  3. Could they know? 

    Is it possible that you think you've been keeping this a secret for them but they already know?

    Consider that. Maybe you're not going to give any new information to them, but just start a conversation that needs to happen.

Those are the three questions:

    1. Do I feel safe?
    2. Can they help?
    3. Could they know?

Now if you make the brave decision to tell your parents that you struggle with porn, here's my formula for exactly what to say to them:

Start out with these exact words: "I was exposed to pornography..."

Tell them when, tell them how, tell them with who.
This removes all shame and blame from the conversation.

You're not saying "It's all my fault! I'm a horrible sinner!"
You're not saying "It's all your fault, parents! You set me up for this!"

You're just telling them what happened to you so that you can have a productive conversation moving forward. This can be healing.

The second thing that you gotta say to them is: "Hey parents, here's how you can help me..."

If they're willing to support you, give them a list of things they can do and not do.

Maybe you don't want them to ask you about it.

Maybe you don't want them to offer advice.

Maybe you could really use some financial support to invest in resources and programs and working with a professional.

Tell them what they can do to support you. Whether that's listening, or just loving you in the middle of it, or asking you about it, or even financially supporting you.

In any case, be clear with them about how you want them to relate to you moving forward.

If you're curious about what kind of resources they might help you afford, check out my Top 10 Tools To Quit Porn in 2020:

 

 

TOP 10 TOOLS TO QUIT PORN IN 2020

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