Offering support in real life

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  1. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    I need some advice.

    I have a neighbor I have become fairly close friends with. He's going through a rough time. His wife has had some bad mental health issues for the last couple of years, and has moved back home with her mom. She's been wanting a divorce, just because she is stressed about everything, and they have been going back and forth a lot over it. I know it's really tough for him. I've been trying to be supportive and helpful, hanging out when possible and checking in with him.

    Well, I have some good news (kind of). His wife has agreed to reconcile, and he is going to move in with her at her mom's place. So, good for him, right? Well, I found out about something in a confidential manner from a third party - apparently he has a bad porn addiction, to the point that he is unable to do anything in bed (PIED in NoFap lingo). Some of the difficulty that she has been having is related to that.

    So, now I don't know that to do. Looking back, I should have guessed that might have been an issue for him. My first instinct is to send him a text, let him know that I heard something about it, and let him know that I too have struggled with PMO (although never PIED), and that I want to help him in any way I can, including getting him to go to recovery meetings with me. But I don't know how he would react. And I don't want to cause him any discomfort or embarrassment, fearing that it might cause him to cut ties and not talk to me anymore. Also, I would hate to have him tell anybody about my struggles - because the only people who know in real life are my wife, my religious leader, and my wife's sister and parents. Above all, I wouldn't want my wife to be embarrassed if he said anything, or if he told his wife and she said anything.

    Moreover I am hesitant to reveal the confidential third party that I heard about the problem from, lest I cause problems in that relationship as well. And I abhor gossip, so I am even hesitant to tell my wife.

    It is one thing to make online friendship and pour my heart out here, and yet another to go to recovery meetings and be vulnerable in a safe place among strangers - it's quite another to cross that boundary into the real world.

    What would you do?
    Trappist likes this.
  2. NF4L

    NF4L Fapstronaut

    I think we all know how much our addiction likes to remain hidden. So it depends on if he has been really able to see he has a problem, admit it is a problem, to begin to fix that problem. So just confronting him, perhaps puts you, your informant, and him at risk. It is impossible to know where someone is at in recovery. Although you’ll know as soon as you talk about it with them.
    I would bring up the subject with him. You can also say you had a “problem” with porn, or that you gave it up. Everyone already knows we’re all viewing it, some more than others. I think that small amount of vulnerability (you don’t have to tell him you are an addict at first), may be enough to let him open the door, and realize he is not alone in this.
    I know early in my recovery, I was so excited for it, I was seemingly talking to everyone and anyone about the dangers of PMO. That could be another way to talk about the subject without revealing all your cards at first.
    Trappist likes this.
  3. How did it work out?

    I have a gay client. I grabbed their iPad to google something, and a full action porn scene opened.


    We didn’t talk of it and moved on.

    But these days I would bring it up.

    Perhaps there is some way the topic
    can be broached in that 12 step way
    of carrying the msge?

    Some don’t mind talking
    some do mind very much.

    So many ways to chum
    the water to start a discussion?

    One trick is to ask him for advice
    on sex or talk of the blue pilll, etc.

    Had a minimal discussion
    with a co worker on that.
    Tannhauser likes this.
  4. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    I decided that this is a conversation to have one-on-one, and I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet. Since his marriage issues are somewhat public knowledge, I plan on just leading with "I hope you guys are doing okay. I've had struggles too, a lot of it as a result of my porn addiction. Let me know if you ever need help" and leave it at that.
    Trappist likes this.
  5. Personally, I would talk privately with the third party and see if they would talk to the neighbor, or possibly all three of you, depending on if I thought that would work out okay. But I think I would definitely talk to the third party and see what their thoughts are about approaching the neighbor.

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