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Many younger guys—and some older—wonder how much they should tell their significant other about their addiction-filled past.

Should you just spill the beans and get it out of the way as soon as possible? Or should you wait until your significant other brings it up?

While there’s no correct answer, there are some pros and cons to each approach.

In this episode, you’ll discover how to handle this personal question in your own relationship.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • When you should share your porn addiction with your partner (and when it could scare them out of the relationship) (1:35)
  • Why your past doesn’t have to ruin your present (even if you have a history of traumatic nightmares) (4:04)
  • The insidious way identifying yourself with a past addiction binds you to it forever instead of freeing your from it (5:04)
  • How lying to your partner poisons your relationship from the inside out (even if they never find out you lied) (6:16)
  • The weird way reversing your addiction helps you love more than if it never happened to you (11:01)
  • Why being proud of your ugly past unlocks more freedom, love, and joy than shame ever could (12:01)
  • The wicked way confessing your past traumas and addictions to your significant other actually worsens your relationship (16:37)
  • Why treating your girlfriend or wife as your own personal therapist will make her want to leave you lickity split (18:59)
  • The only ingredient you need to build a loving, happy, and long relationship (22:08)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.

(00:34): And welcome back for another episode with Jasmine. This might be the last one we do for a while. Maybe not, we'll see next week, but in this one, we want to talk about something that isn't necessarily around us relationships, but something that we actually didn't encounter. But we encounter a lot with our clients, which is single guys who are struggling with some form of addiction, often sexual addiction. And because there's a, there are a lot of 'em are religious and they, this is a very big topic in religion has been a big topic in religion since the Dawn of man, pretty much. There's a lot of concern with women, particularly around, oh my gosh. If my guy's looking at porn, what's this gonna be like, is this gonna ruin my relationship? That's a red flag. If that guy's involved in pornography, then I'm not gonna see him and all that other stuff.

(01:21): And so the question has come up. Well, how, if I'm a guy, how do I engage with that? And how do I have that conversation? And is that conversation necessary? And all of those other things? No, I didn't tell Jasmine that I was having an issue at all. In my mind. It was something that was a big, it was a hard struggle. It was something I felt worthless about many, many times, and it was very emotional for me, but I felt like it was just, it would be too hard to like bring that out and risk rejection and risk being alone for the rest of my life and all the things that I was afraid would happen. So my mentality was like, okay, I'll just keep this under wraps. And then once kids are grown, I was thinking this, even before we got married, once the kids are grown outta the house, then I can go and like deal with it. And then I can be kicked out of the church or I can be this, that, or the other. In other words, my plans for life and the expectations for me kept me so afraid of being honest, that I literally was making these premeditated plans of being dishonest for 20 years,

(02:25): 30 years in order to be able to protect what I was myself, from, what I was afraid would happen, which wasn't just like discipline on the planet, but also, you know, some kind of hell afterwards and stuff like that. How I could escape that. I don't know it. I was, you know, in my twenties don't expect pure reason. So I didn't tell her. Would you have wanted to know would you like at that point in time, you didn't really know much about it anyway, so would it have helped things? I don't, I don't, I really have no idea. And I, if I had known, I don't know what my choice would've been, you know, I have absolutely no idea, but I do know that years later, I mean, you told me a couple years into our marriage and whatever that was. But a few years after that, you know, when it got really hard, when we were in the middle of it, I felt so cheated. Like I didn't even get a choice. I didn't get a choice aside if I wanted to stick with this. I, you know, like I felt very, very cheated. That being said, it was a current issue that you were struggling with while we were dating and into our marriage. So if it's, you know, like a lot of people who are asking this question have gone through Bob's program and have had huge shifts and are not actually actively in it anymore. And I'm not here to, you know, I, I feel like whatever you feel like you gotta do, you gotta do, but I'm also a big believer in the past is the we learn from it and we move on.

(04:02): Yeah. See, a lot of people believe that they're defined by what they've done. That they're defined by what they've thought that they're defined by what they've felt in their life. That that is who they are. But that is just a series of experiences that you had after you were born. And you were you before those experiences happened. So those experiences don't define you. They simply were experiences you've had anymore than the road construction. A car drives through defines what the car is. Doesn't have anything to do with the car. It does change the experience of the car and it can dent it or dirty it up. It can pop a tire, it can do all kinds of off, but it doesn't change the nature of the car. And your past experiences don't change the nature of who you are now that in that includes people who struggle with addiction.

(04:50): Those who've been through trauma or divorce. Those who have been through massive loss or grief, it includes everything. Everything that has happened to your life has no bearing on who you really are underneath it. That is an important distinction because if you go through your life and a lot of people do this, they're like, I'm a, I'm a rape survivor. No, you're a human being. You happen to have been through rape, but if you identify yourself as a rape survivor, it can be very empowering for a period of time. So I'm not against it. But if that is the limitation of your identity, then you're stuck there for a long time. When there are so much more that you could explore about what it means to be human and what it means to be truly you, the, the you that you came to this planet to be. And so be careful identifying yourself with even a current struggle, let alone a past one. These are simply experiences that you're having. So the question then comes, okay, cool. I I'm in a relationship with this lady or, or someone who I'm really interested in and I'm afraid that they're gonna ask now, if they ask Jasmine,

(05:54): If they ask, I would say be a hundred percent honest. Yes. 100%. But how does this honesty show up? The question is, are you currently struggling with it? If you are, then your honesty is gonna be around that. Yes, this is something that has been going on. It went on this much before it's going on this much. Now it's something I'm actively seeking help with or not. And this is where I'm at. If you lie, your relationship will be built on a lie. Should we tell them How that feels? She doesn't know it. You will know it. And that will affect the little things. And it'll eventually build up and build up. Jasmine in my relationship was built on a series of lies sometimes on her part. But a lot of 'em on my part, you know, I'm when I'm not, or I don't wanna talk about it, but I don't wanna tell you that. So I'm just gonna say I'm fine. Like TA tiny ones, as well as big ones. Like what I was concealing, she didn't have any real big secrets. And if she did, they were things that she wasn't really aware that were going on. And so, as she became aware of 'em when it wasn't too hard to share, we would, we would talk about it. So building it on a line means that you're gonna have to keep hiding. You're gonna keep feeling like you can't be who you are. You're gonna keep feeling like you can't be yourself. And that's not a relationship that you want to be in my friend.

(07:10): If you feel like you have to hide who you are in order to be able to be acceptable to someone else, then guess what? That's not you being acceptable to someone. One else. That's the fake version of you being acceptable and you will feel more and more rejected. Even if they're not doing anything to reject you, you will reject yourself. So always as my parents used to say, honesty is the best policy that said, but what if I've got it under control? What if I'm past it? And how do I share that way? You got any thoughts here? You're asking me, you know, in, in this day and age, it is way more common to find somebody who has struggled with addiction or, you know, been down that path. I honestly don't think you're gonna find a single person who has never seen any piece of pornography before or been abused or like there something will have happened in their life. Right. Generally speaking.

(08:08): So, you know, if I were to ask Bob in a completely hypothetical situation back 20 years ago, if he had an you with pornography and he's at the spot where he has, is now, like he's done a bunch of things, he's passed it. I would be absolutely fascinated to hear what he went through, his story where he's at now. And like I said, I don't, I don't know what I would've chosen if I'd be like, yeah, I'm gonna stay or no, I don't want to. But my respect for him is, you know, shooting through the roof. Like this is a guy who went through a whole bunch of personal problems, whatever they were, this is what he did to change and overcome this feeling of self, low self worth or whatever. You know, he, he didn't like his life. So he changed it. And this is where he's at now.

(09:10): That is really cool. And I think you would get a lot better response, you know of, Hey, this is where I was at however many years ago, but I did this really cool thing and this program, and it did this and it shifted this and like all the positive things about it. And this is who I am today. And that person there, you know, like that is like a whole other life and a whole other person. And I learned so many things from that experience, you know, like as, as a woman hearing that is just, it has a, a, a much better quality and tone to it than, yeah. I really struggled for a long time, but I'm good now, you know, that kind of thing. I'm like, eh, but are you right? That's very right. And, and society or your religion or your belief systems may make you feel like you have like, oh no, that's some blight on who I am, but if you're Christian and you believe that Jesus forgives then for crying out loud, believe that Jesus forgives. If you're not Christian and you believe that you can get past things, then get past things. Right. I like to think of it almost, oh, almost in a political terms. Like if I were on political running for a political office and then some smear campaign showed up that took some fact of my life and then put it on public television for all to see. And then some reporter came up and asked me like, oh wow. We found out there's reports that say that you were involved in pornography for 18 years. Can you confirm or deny that my I'm not gonna be like, I didn't inhale or, or I can either confirm nor deny.

(10:43): I think a lot of politics would try and do that. Right. But honestly, because I figured it out first, I have nothing to hide. I found some deep dark things inside my, myself that scared the living daylights outta me, that I thought, oh, no, only the devil could have this quality or something. But because I found it first, if someone else then harped on me, it would just be like, yeah, I have found that already. And so my response would be like, yeah, I was, I was sucked into it for that period of time off and on sometimes really deeply. It was a miserable time of my life. I dealt with tons of shame. I dealt with tons of guilt. It's not something I would wish on anybody because of the amount of pain and suffering. It went through for me and for my family and everyone else. But because of that, I'm able to love more. I am more compassionate for other people. I don't judge them as much and I've been able to help people in ways that I can't possibly have done. Had I not been through that. So while I wouldn't wish it on anybody, it has greatly affected my life and has given me the ability to love people in a way that I never thought possible. That's a, yes, it's a sound bite. Yes, it's a politician's view. But I want to, to admit it fully and demonstrate what that has meant for me and how that shifted for me. So I think this is very, very important. Be proud of your past. Be proud of what is gone. Be proud of the fact that you survived it. Even if you survived it miserably, you're here now. And that means you can do something different with it. Instead of being ashamed of your past, you can't change what happened, but you can change your relationship to it. And that means looking at it in a very, very different way.

(12:24): If you or someone, you know, is looking to drop the FBO of freedom in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, a or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or want some help doing it. Head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now and check out some of the things we've got in store for you, or book a call. So we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. Now, a final question here, and I think this is very important around this topic is one of motivation. So some of these guys feel like they need to bring this topic up with their fiance or girlfriend or somebody else because of the, or overall social overarching social situations. Now there was a period of time where even after we were married, where you were like, I don't want to know unless you're really deep in it, right? So my question in that case is should they bring it up of their own accord?

(13:27): And I, I think that is a very personal decision and something that they are going to have to pay attention to their, their heart and their actual relationship with their significant other. I don't feel like I have the right or ability to say, you should do this, or you shouldn't do that because everybody's different. Every relationship's different. However, if you are, if you are sitting there saying, well, that was a thing of the, I don't need to bring it up because it's not me. And she's not asking, but you feel a little bit sketchy about it. That's probably the wrong motivation, you know, like pay attention to how you feel about it. Some of that could come from just past conditioning, like you're ashamed of it still. So just check in with that. Are you doing that? Because you're ashamed of, of it, in which case you're not fully over the fact that you haven't fully forgiven yourself. Right. And so that's, that's the place to work is like, well, let's get you to the point of forgiveness. Then you'll be able to see clearly whether you're actually being prompted to share, instead of just being guilted by your own, your own inability to be past it. Really.

(14:33): Yeah. So like I said, I, I wish I had been given the chance to ha have an informed choice of whether I wanted to carry on the relationship, knowing his his history. And I honestly have no idea what I would've chosen, But if I had been past it, but if you had been pasted it at this point, I think I would've probably had a lot more love because, and trust in our relationship because he came or he was able to tell me, and you know, like I have respect for these people who are trying to change, who have gone through these things and are doing their best to become better people. Those are the people I love being around the ones who think they're fine, but they're not. Those are harder people to be around who are still kind of in denial. But these husbands, these men, the wives, you know, whoever it is who are actively trying to change and just make themselves better people, happier people, it takes courage. It takes guts. It takes time and effort. And that's really amazing to me that they can do all of that. So if Bob had told me what he's telling me now, 20 years ago, I'm I probably would've stayed and felt a lot better going into our relationship. Like, well, he's told me our, everything. I can trust him fully now. You know? And I, I don't have to hold anything back either, cuz he's not holding anything back. And it, I, I think it would've helped our relationship a lot more.

(16:05): So I think this is like a question of motivation. Why are you wanting to tell a lot of guys and you need to check in with yourselves and women two, like if you have issues that you've struggled with, whether, and a lot of them have been abused and which I don't think should happen to any person on the planet, but it does happen and, or molested or bullied a lot of times when we're going to somebody else and we're confessing, we're actually doing that with the motivation of seeking approval from somebody else. Right? You tell me that I'm okay and we're not giving that approval to ourselves. So if you are going with the motivation of getting validation for another human, from another human being that you are worth something, then I'll just tell you right now, it'll never work. That validation as many times as they tell you you're worth something, you will never believe it because within you, you've decided you you're not. And you're constantly seeking outside yourself for something to prove you wrong. Guess what? You have to prove you wrong. You have to go in and see what is really there and just how beautiful it really is. And that's part of what we take people through in these processes. It's not easy. It's I was terrified to find out more about who I was. What if I didn't like it? What if I don't like the person that's there? What if, when I get rid of this problem, there's something bigger that happens.

(17:22): And I kept problem. I kept the pornography issue in my life, cuz that was a known entity. I was afraid of like, well, if I, who am I without this? Or what happens now? If everything goes hell in a hand basket and I don't have this and now what will I do? And there's all sorts of terrorists. Those have to be met and looked at. And not before you have a relationship all the time, cuz there's lots of those, but it doesn't take that long to really clear out all that baggage. Then now that you're no longer motivated looking for happiness from anywhere outside of the only place it can come from, which is in yourself. Now it's only a question of what will enhance this relationship and this situation and what will make us both be able to show up with the kind of trust we talked about a couple episodes ago, which is where neither of us have to hide anything Jasmine's allowed into every part of my life.

(18:13): She's not interested in, in, in a lot of things and I'm allowed into every part of her life, but I'm not fully interested in, well, I don't know. Are we allowed in every part, maybe we're still working on that. Maybe there's pieces that we're still, we haven't figured out yet, but there's things that I'm just not interested in exploring cuz the, the things she loves and I love that she loves it, but I'm, that's not my thing, but she's allowed. If she wants to come in and ask questions, some of them might be uncomfortable. I don't know, but she's allowed. And that's what you want is that both of you are allowed everywhere. You feel like you can be utterly naked, body, soul, spirit, everything, and there will be no rejection whatsoever. And that comes in a relationship where you can be honest, but that doesn't mean a relationship that is functioning like a confession booth at a church.

(18:57): And the wife doesn't want to be your confessional person. I dunno what you'd call it. She doesn't want that. She wants to be love. She wants a partner. She wants, you know, comfort and peace. She doesn't want you to constantly be seeking her approval. It gets tiring. It, it gets draining. If you are hiding something in your relationship just to make it work, it's not gonna be good for either party. And you could both feel it. Even if you don't know how to know what it was. Another thing I'll say is this, if you're hiding it because you're afraid of rejection, I think that's a good red flag. Like if the person that you tell, let's say you're past it and they, they ask and whatnot and you're afraid to tell 'em if the person you tell is gonna be freaking out because well, no they've seen this before and that means they're gonna wreck everything. It's probably a relationship you don't wanna be a part of. Anyway,

(19:53): If you're afraid that they are going to reject you or if they do reject you, I would think it's kind of, if, if you come forward with this thing and they do reject you, I mean, would you want to be in a relationship like a committed relationship and then get rejected afterwards? Question. You don't, you don't want that. So yeah. So, and let's be clear here. Nobody can actually reject you. What they're rejecting is an idea in their mind, a circumstance they've been through a feeling they've had. And so you're just a small part of that. Just a tiny fraction of everything that they're rejecting. Nobody can actually reject you as a being. You don't even know you as a being very well. You are just rejecting certain ideas about yourself. So true rejection can't happen if it did, you would die because that means the planet doesn't want you around,

(20:46): But it feels like it. So if another person is gonna reject, you just remember what they're rejecting is what they think is gonna happen in the future. They're rejecting their own thoughts and they're rejecting their own ideas. And they're rejecting the feelings that come with those. And they're allowed to do that. Just like you are allowed to reject your own thoughts and your own di ideas and your fears of the future. You're allowed to do that. And so as much as possible, it feels personal, especially in an intimate relationship, but it isn't personal. It really is them dealing with their own feelings and their own fears and their own worries. And as long as you're willing to be honest, you'll find somebody who's willing to have that level of honesty or you won't. I mean, I guess I can't predict the future here. There are no guarantees, but you'll live a life where you don't have to hide anything and there will be joy and happiness and openness and experiences.

(21:35): And so if you're hiding something in order to not be rejected, just remember that what you're actually doing is delaying your own happiness and you're rejecting yourself. Fear of rejection is just what it feels like when just barely rejected yourself. You judged yourself, just barely. You said, oh, I'm not good enough. Or they're gonna reject me. And you felt the result of that thought. And then you called it fear of rejection, but it's actually just the result of you rejecting yourself. In that moment you stop doing that. You'll be a lot happier and then you'll just navigate your relationships as needed. So when it boils down to it, all that's needed in a relationship again, and I'll reiterate, this is that you and she, or you, and he would, whatever the nature of your relationship, homosexual heterosexual or any other kind that the two of you together, even friendship relationships, that the two of you are happy when you're together.

(22:27): That's it. If you can be happy when you're together, that relationship will weather every storm. And if you can also be willing to have honest communication and openness, and even if one of you gets upset, be willing to be there when they're upset. Cause I guess we're not happy all the time. Then the relationship will last. So when it boils down to it, happiness comes from inside of you. It is created within you. If you hold that, then you can be happy in any situation. And when you find somebody else who shines just as bright, regardless of whether they're with you or not, then the two of you together, you know, what's possible with one plus one instead of a half plus a quarter that's where really what you want in a relationship. And that comes from honesty. And it comes from looking inside and developing the skills and the tools to be able to find happiness in the only place that you'll ever find it, which is within you.

(23:21): Now, if you want help with that, please come. This isn't just for people dealing with porn, addiction and depression and anxiety and big things. There are lots of people that are stressed, overwhelmed, burned out, just bored with life done with life. Just kind of like they've lost their lust for life. And they're just going through the motions. All of those things can be turned around very, very quickly. When you really understand what is possible as a result of the gift of being human and you really learn how to work with your body and your mind in the way that they are designed to function. So we have retreats. We have online programs either way, please don't settle for our life. That is less than one full, alive, and fully free. And that's it for today's alive and free podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your earbuds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from. And while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus it's just nice to be, be nice.

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