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How can I help someone struggling with pornography?

Supporting someone overcoming pornography is tough

A tired mom dreads confronting her son about his browsing history again. A worried wife jolts awake at night, hoping that her husband is still in bed, asleep. A concerned bishop sends a text, “Hey, how have you been doing with your habits lately?” Each of these people is bearing a very difficult burden — they are someone’s “accountability partner” in their struggle with pornography.

Whether you’re the spouse, parent, sibling, or church leader, you know the challenges of helping someone overcome pornography use: you really want to help, but you feel unqualified or exhausted, betrayed, or hopeless.

While your desire to help your loved one make changes is a selfless and admirable one, their change is not your responsibility. Their accountability is not your job. Being constantly engaged in and plugged into the ups and downs of someone’s recovery journey can take time and emotional energy, strain valuable relationships, and chip away at your mental health.

The opposite of addiction is connection

Connection has been proven to help people overcome pornography habits. A landmark study cited in many recent psychology publications and TED talks shows that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection. Pornography habits are no exception — they are developed and fostered in isolation, and connection is key to breaking them. But how can your loved one find this connection and support? If not you, then who?

Relay, a new mobile app, is a platform for team-based pornography recovery. Created by a group of friends with personal experience overcoming pornography, Relay is founded on the belief that a struggle as common as pornography isn’t meant to be navigated solo; people shouldn’t have to overcome this alone. Relay fosters connection and healing by matching people into a team of peers working toward the same goal and helping them support each other effectively.

Here’s how Relay works:

  • You use this short referral form to invite your loved one to join Relay
  • They download the app, take a short survey, and get matched into a team of 5-10 peers with the same gender, age, and other preferences
  • They get notifications every day to complete “pulse checks” to self-manage motivation, accountability, and triggers.
  • In many ways, their team becomes a lifeline and accountability in moments of temptation. For example, they can tap a “red flag” button to notify the team when they’re feeling vulnerable, and the team rallies around to help them stay strong.

Why should you share Relay with your loved one? For one, you can help them make real changes — 79% of Relay users have reported improvement within 4 weeks. More importantly, you can pass the burden of accountability to a team of people who understand the struggle first-hand, are working to overcome it themselves, and are eager to support them 24/7 through their recovery journey.

Supporting your loved one by expressing care and developing your relationship outside of their pornography use goes a long way. It doesn’t require holding them accountable or becoming heavily involved in their change. So don’t wait; use this link to help your loved one find their support team.

If you have any questions, check out the website or email