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  1. Rob added a post in a topic When its a problem?   

    I can connect a lot with what you say about feeling "dirty" or "seedy" - it certainly wasn't something I was proud of at all. Which I supposed is evidenced by the fact I never told anybody in all my adult life and desperately tried to keep it concealed (and then became very good at lying and covering up which was not really a skillset I wanted). I also thought I had a very high opinion of women, equality, treating them fairly etc. I prided myself on that yet my dirty "habit" ran counter to my public appearance. I am out of integrity and that doesn't make me feel too good about myself. Even when I do good things in my life.
    One thing I learned was that porn usage over a long time (decades) for me introduced a subtle brainwashing almost in myself. My attitudes to people and relationships (particularly with women) would become quite warped or even manipulative. Intimacy would be a big problem for me - I don't mean just sexual but emotionally and authentically because there would be this part of me I was trying to hide or even deny.
    I would also pass up the opportunity to get involved with more hobbies or people for instead staying in alone hunched over my PC for an evening. For many years. That's pretty sad when I look back now at myself. Just the self-enforced isolation and loneliness really.
    After recovery I started realising that what I thought was "hurting nobody" actually affected the time I put into relationships with friends and family. Then I was able to proactively go out and really make a positive difference in those, helping others and myself at the same time. I would blame others for not doing enough but it was actually just as much my fault too but I didn't want to see that or do anything about it. Why bother when porn is there to comfort me?
    Regarding your partner judging you, that's a difficult one. We all want to be accepted for who we are - good and bad. And the fear of rejection and abandonment is very real and painful. So we shy away. And when I would hit a hard problem in life I couldn't solve, guess what I'd do? Yes! Use some porn. Oh dear. Do you see where this is going?
    Think what the other side would look like: imagine you found a way to get porn out of your life, didn't miss it and was building a better life for yourself being totally honest and clean about who you are (good and bad). Imagine then that you could share your struggle and that challenge with your partner. Would she actually think more of you as someone who is courageous and standing up to take the risk to himself personally to do the right thing, even at high personal cost? Would you think of yourself like that, even if she didn't understand and left you? You would be your own hero. You would be a man of strong integrity. That is a powerful and attractive quality in any person. And you could also tell her honestly that she had been a big part of changing your view on it. It can in time become something bonding perhaps.
    That's a nice vision. But I would caution you because disclosing to a partner is a very tricky business as you are dropping a bomb on the relationship. Your fear is real. A lot of tough discussions will arise. It will rock the boat. There are books, advice and people like Paula who can help with that though if and when you feel the time comes. That is a very tough decision that is definitely worth thinking through a lot and only you can know the right answer, nobody can tell you that.
    Most important though I see for you is deciding for yourself if this present situation is OK for you or not. I guess part of you is uncomfortable or unsure because you are on here asking questions. I think Paula also has a questionnaire on here too to help answer.
     
     
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  2. Rob added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hello,
    I'm glad it was useful for you.
    One of the hardest things I found personally was that I thought I was alone and the only person in the world who had this "dirty little secret"
    I cannot post links here (humiliatingly I am incapable of driving a smartphone) but please search on Google for "Terry Crews Dirty Little Secret" and you will see what I mean.
    But actually, there are quite a few guys out there who recognise this and the drag it has on their lives. So you are very much not alone.
    It's good that you are learning stuff like RUN. Putting that into practice is key. Yes, you need to act. Again the course goes into more detail about that as does Paula's book (plug). The book in fact gives a lot of structure and areas to think about with recovery. I think particularly in helping you understand why exactly you feel draw to porn and the root issues you face personally.
    When I first started out, I used to think there was some magic answer to it that was being held back from me. If only I knew or somebody told me what. But actually it has been about better understanding myself, self-honesty and going through all that learning process. It takes time and perseverance. It is also easy to suffer setbacks, feel despairing and then go back to old behaviour. (Which then makes you feel even worse about yourself etc.).
    Don't be hard on yourself when you slip. That doesn't help you. It doesn't mean it's OK though either. So it's about finding the balance and for me that is about learning and doing things differently. Often I see a lot of guys who are far harsher on themselves than they would be on anyone else. Why? Because deep down, I wouldn't like part of myself etc. 
    It's really positive that you can be honest if/when you do slip up. Because if you're not then it's very easy to slip back into the bigger mental problem of rationalising it to yourself that it's OK or "not a big deal" - it's your health and life so it is a big deal. Us porn addicts are master liars and concealers - not only to others but to ourselves. So the first part of coming clean is about being honest with yourself, which you are doing. So keep it up.
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  3. Tortoise added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hello everyone. 
    Hello Rob, thanks so much for your advice and support. Rob, what can I say except:
    Thank you. 
    I'm a bit lost for words at this moment. 

    (several minutes later)
    You make some excellent points that I will think over and process, it's great advice and so simple when one hears it said by someone else; but I've been in the eye of the storm of my own self-loathing for so long that I had trouble accepting and realising the wisdom of what you'd said. Please excuse me if I don't answer specifically each point you've  made, but know that I have read and will re-read your post carefully and follow all your advice.
    I have a lot of work that this addiction is taking time away from, I am job-huntiong and studying for a degree at the moment, so that itself is a source of motivation to spend my time more wisely.
     Since posting on Tuesday I had a slip, I looked at P and acted out (BTW for me that only ever means masturbation),  so I really feel in danger at the moment of falling behind of the small amount of mental progress I feel I have already made.
    The over-ridng feeling I've had for the last 24 hours is that I've seen all the images I'll ever want to see, I'm sick of novelty, I'm sick of the drudgery of going through the motions of being a slave to the addiction, of being on the merry go round. It feels like the desire to stop is strong, and the excitement gained by P has waned, all that's left is the seeking of an escape from my day- to day-responsibilities.  I know i'm in the regret phase, and I don't want to move to the phase where I prepare and  to act again. 
    Despite knowing that, this morning before I came to this forum and read your reply I had another slip in the sense that I wasted 2 hours looking at and collecting images. However I just wasn't turned on. Despite the fact that I kept looking I didn't get an erection, despite trying to (I hope that was not too much info. I am aware of the rule about describing acting out behaviours. Please anyone, feel free to say If I describe too much. Still new to this). Anyway, I stopped, didn't masturbate and deleted the imagery.
    Despite what you say Rob, it's hard not to feel like I failed in the sense that I looked at P, but I will try and take heart from what you say, I definitely need to read all the support material and research on this whole sexual addiction issue, and reread the kickstart PDF and do it's exercises again, so that I can hopefully come to know such insights as truth to me.
     The more down this recovery journey I go the the better I'm getting at listening to my instincts and motives. I can see better than ever what I stand to lose by letting this addiction win and contrasting it with what I stand to gain my truly becoming free of it.  I know I'm still in danger, but maybe one could say I've learnt something from this particular latest mistake: To not just listen to my instincts, but act on them, use the strategies, R.U.N. for example.

    Anyway, I should go and concentrate on my other tasks and positive work right now, but thanks again. Really, thanks. I can't tell you how positive it feels to finally be conversing with people who understand and who are going through / have been though similar experiences. You know what? I do feel a bit excited about the future!

    I will keep posting.

    As you say, peace. 
     
     
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  4. jenks2026 added a post in a topic When its a problem?   

    Yeah that's a great answer.
    I don't need to see extreme stuff,  My issue is my partner is completely anti porn, she'd go crazy if she knew. So I don't know if I have a healthy attitude to it, and she's just made me change my perception on what is healthy and what is a problem because of her reaction or if I have a problem and I'm in denial about it.
    I feel dirty because I have to keep it secret, and that doesn't make me feel excited but more seedy so I'm all at sea whether I'm ok or it's something I need to start looking at more closely. It doesn't affect my life day to day so it's not that a big of a problem but I will read the resources you suggested anyway.
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  5. Rob added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hello,
    There's a lot in your post to explore, many topics and a lot of common themes I think you'll find we all share. I could connect with a lot of experiences you describe. I can also appreciate you wanting to get it all out and how that flows. Thank you for having the courage to do that.
    Firstly I'd like to challenge one of the ideas you have about this being due to some personal failing or particular a lack of willpower. It isn't, it's an addiction. I went through a very similar process to you and it is common with many addicts, whereby I thought that I wasn't strong enough or couldn't stop. That I lacked the "willpower" to stop. But the truth was that I was going about it the wrong way. Sadly by trying to do it all my own, little did I realise I was repeating the same mistakes that nearly all addicts make. So it's great you are trying something different with the Kick Start. For me, a key insight was realising that the things I'd tried in the past hadn't worked and I needed to try something different, otherwise I'd stay trapped in this cycle forever. The problems you mention like poor self-esteem and fighting yourself and your own beliefs for me were and are definitely related. I underestimated exactly the scale of how my porn use was actively creating those kinds of problems. But the good news is that you can handle it.
    Disclosing to your wife or a partner is always a big decision and event that will have a severe impact on the relationship. Because as you say, there is a violation of trust going on. Different partners react in different ways and there is a strong fear of abandonment. Those are serious and real fears. If and when you want to do this, then know that there are ways you can prepare for it and particularly with professional help or disclosure in a therapeutic environment. Personally the rear stopped me for many years along with my own rationalisations that it wasn't hurting anyone etc etc. So I think it's positive that you can recognise the damage this causes in a relationship - I found that difficult to do for many years. The only real way you can protect your wife from this is to stop completely and take the time and effort to really crack this and recover to become a whole man without porn or sex being used as a crutch in your life. It is entirely about you my friend. That is obviously much easier said than done but it can be done and you will do it. The benefits on the other side are life-changing and incredible. It can open up new ways of how you approach life and regard people.
    I would strongly encourage you to invest more time in yourself. That is the best investment you can ever make. This forum does not have high use but there are good resources here. Paula's real life courses are not cheap but gave me access to something invaluable as well as all the course material, discussion, exercises etc. - real world time and connection with other guys with the same struggles and at different stages of recovery. There are other groups like SLAA who do this too but not in the same way. But don't let that put you off - experiment and find what works for you.
    There are other websites too: yourbrainonporn and rebootnation.org (Gabe Deem). Several other sites too. Reboot Nation has a much more widely populated forum but at all levels.
    Mostly I want you to know you are not alone at all. There are many guys out there in a similar position and many many more worse who don't even realise porn is a problem and ruining their lives in subtle ways. You have made that big leap already. Your next steps are to tool up and get fully equipped to tackle it. I'm actually very excited for you and what lies ahead!!
    A key step is every time you slip or fall back, firstly to stop asap - 5 minutes is better than 5 hours. Then spend the time over the next couple of days to really work out why and what happened but then most important - what you will do differently next time to not get in that situation again. It's easy to think short term here but often the "decision" to act out for me maybe happened hours or even days before. So nipping it in the bud needs careful though early on. You'll continue to have slips and make mistakes - don't ever be disheartened by that, it's natural and normal. The key is you always learn from your mistakes and do something different next time. The hardest failure of all is one you already did before. The main thing is you always keep forward momentum and never punish yourself for working at stopping. Instead of just counting the days, perhaps you can also count the lessons learned about yourself? Each lesson is like a "level up" of your self power which is amplified most of all when you can then later use that lesson in real life to do something different and better.
    Please keep posting.
    Peace.
     
     
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  6. Rob added a post in a topic When its a problem?   

    It's a good question.
    I suppose things to ask yourself about how it affects your life is a good place to start.
    - Are you spending a lot of time on it every day or week that actually you'd rather be spending on other things in your life?
    - Do you feel like you want to stop but deep down find it difficult to do so?
    - Does it impact your life and relationships? For example, would you rather watch porn than have sex with your partner? Or would you rather stay in with porn than go out with friends? Or use porn to comfort yourself when things go wrong in life?
    - Do you feel like it's a secret you need to keep from people and/or nobody knows how much time you spend looking at it?
    - How would your partner feel if they knew? Or a prospective partner?
    - Does part of you ever think (perhaps a bit like smoking or something) that you wished you didn't have to do this? Maybe that you don't always feel fully in control of it?
    - Are you uncomfortable with some of the material you find yourself drawn to? For example, having to look at increasingly more "extreme" material etc.
    - Have you experienced ED?
    Etc.
    Maybe these things are all OK for you. Only you can decide that. I can tell you they weren't for me. But as you say, I was very good at hiding and minimising the impact.
    You're right that our minds condition themselves to deny or rationalise our own behavioural choices. Our minds are good also at not throwing such questions at ourselves.
    I would encourage you to certainly read more about the effects of porn on the mind. Sites like yourbrainonporn are a good place to start. Apart from an hour or two of your time, there isn't much to lose if you are curious. Hopefully it would help answer for you and put your mind at rest regarding whether it is a problem for you or not.
    If you do think it's become a problem for you then you are not alone at all in this and there is a lot of help and support out there to get off it and recover your life back from the negative effects that consume some people. Personally for me, life is very different and more fulfilling without it in many ways and I have become much happier in myself.
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  7. jenks2026 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    When its a problem?
    Hi
    I like porn and just wondering when its too much, when it starts to be a problem? How to notice that we have a problem when those with a problem are usually in denial?
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  8. Tortoise added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Hello, I'm a porn addict.
    Hello, 
    (this is probably going to be a long post as it's the first time I've ever posted anything like this in such detail, so please bear with me)
    I'm a 44 year old man from the UK whose life has been  dominated and defined so far by looking at, collecting and masturbating to pornographic images of naked women.
    It has taken me a long time to realise that I can't recover from this alone; I've always kidded myself that my own will power, rationality and lately being more proactive and reading and following the exercises in The Kick start pdf were enough. But they're not. I have been scared to reach out to this forum, but the alternative is much worse: the effect this has already had on my own well-being and happiness,  my relationship with my wife whom I adore,  and my career/ achievements in life generally.

    One of my clearest early memories is that when I was maybe about 6 or 7 (unclear on that) I accidentally found a rolled up magazine that was sticking out of a  pocket of my dads coat hanging in a wardrobe. The image visible was of an old Nasa spacecraft; that's what caught my eye, as I was space /sci-fi mad (still am).
    As I opened the magazine a saw that there was a naked pin up-picture (evidently this was a magazine that contained "real" articles as well as pictures of naked women, hence the spacecraft). Anyway, I distinctly remember my much elder sister's and mum's reactions to me pulling out this magazine: alarm and panic and unwittingly making a big fuss of stopping me from looking further. This in hindsight was the wrong way to react - I was intrigued - perhaps as much by the dramatic reaction of my family as by the naked picture I glimpsed. Am I not blaming my family for what followed however. It was my choice to seek out that magazine again. Later on I did just that, and found my dad's other magazines badly hidden in a bottom drawer in his bedroom.

    Ever since then I looked at my dads magazines, then collected images of naked women in the form of "page 3 girls" cut of the old newspapers my Dad had bought, then as soon as I was old enough to buy them, magazines and later digitally. I have always sought porn as an escape from, well anything really! The normal challenges of daily life I suppose. 
    Since my early teens and into my twenties I knew it was wrong, but my willpower has always been very poor; guilt over porn only makes my self-esteem worse, which hinders me from achieving in life and makes my self esteem lower, which hinders my progress in life, so I turn to porn...etc. It's a vicious circle.
    Since my early twenties I have gone through phases of collecting magazine/images, then feeling awful about it and throwing them away...only to get back on the merry-go-round and collect again. 

    Several years ago I met my wife, who is from a Northern European country. She is an amazing woman and my soulmate, we love each other very much but she has no idea about my problem. She is a gentle sensitive, demure soul, who is not comfortable with the depiction of sexuality in most film and TV media, who certainly doesn't like pornography, who would not understand my situation and who would be devastated if she knew of my problem. She'd never trust me ever again. Therefore i have to protect her from my this. I am of course, at the risk of sounding selfish, so afraid of losing her.  
    When it comes down to it; I don't actually LIKE the idea of porn either, the misogyny and objectification of women is at complete odds with the other aspects of my nature. I am a kind sensitive person who in many ways cannot equate or reconcile this addiction with my own values and beliefs. That is good I suppose, for it helps me fight, for I know how wrong and not healthy for me this is, but it has it's barbs in me. 
    When I moved here to my wife's country three years ago I made a huge effort; I got rid of all my pornography and managed to stay away from it for seven weeks. For me, that is a long time. I didn't know about these (Paula Hall.co.uk) resources then, and my resolve gradually ebbed away. Since then I saw a counsellor. Their advice helped for a while but I have gone through the merry-go-round-like cycle of addiction so manytimes. I'd found that in trying to quit this on my own, I last a couple of weeks and then soon succumb to those familiar triggers, exacerbated by my own insecurities and low self esteem.
    Last year we got married. If it wasn't for my addiction, I feel I would be able to face the challenges of finding regular work and getting on and forward in my new life here.  I am a creative and talented individual; and I'm lucky enough to have had interesting jobs in a semi-creative/creative field. But I know that if it wasn't for this stone around my neck I could really focus better and achieve so much more. My priorities have changed; I now owe it not only to myself but to my wonderful wife to pull my weight so to speak in my duties as a husband and a productive human being. That cannot happen fully and effectively all the while that this poisonous predilection is controlling me. I know I have a problem, and I want to really fight it. 
    To that end at the end of last year I started facing up to the problem more seriously and proactively. I downloaded The Kickstart PDF and have followed the exercises in it. Unfortunately my financial situation precludes me from getting any services I would have to pay for, for the time being. Joining this forum in January was another step, but it's taken me until now to have the courage to admit to myself, come here and tell you all: I can't do it alone, I need support. 

    23 days ago I started the latest of many re-boot attempts. I fully accept that my neural reward pathway is VERY strongly established from approximately 28 years' worth of porn use, but I did find that I was understanding these addictive mechanisms more easily and I felt I was making progress. By day 16 I felt very strong and positive. Then the next day my sub-concious guard must've been down for I made a slip, I looked at an image of a topless model. Every  day since then the slips have got incrementally worse, despite that fact that I can feel the progress I'd made up to that point. On the plus side, at no point ever before in my life had I felt the neural pathway ebbing away as distinctly as during that 16 days. That means the techniques WORK, and that the more you try the easier it gets, even if very gradually. But at the same time, the triggers are real, the old habits die hard, so that by today, day 23 I had had what I would describe as a relpase. I collected some images and acted out again. 
    Whereas before whenever this happened I would feel so despondent that I would start counting the recovery days again from 1, Now I am continuing to count the days because I've realised that the road to success is paved with failure, it's not about either winning or failing at the first attempt. Yes, I feel disappointed with myself but I refuse to wallow in self-pity as I would've done before, as I've learned so much already, even though I know I still need help.
    Consider me reaching out in this way as a way of affirming that. I've stumbled, but i'm getting up, dusting myself down and continuing forward.
    I would urge anyone in a similar situation to do the same, reach out. It's worth it, you'll feel better. 

    Thanks for reading this, and apologies again for the length of this post. But as I indicated earlier, it's taken me about 28 years to get to this day! 
    The journey continues......
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  9. Rob added a post in a topic Hi help needed   

    Hello,
    It's brave of you to be open about your struggles. The theme of escalation is definitely something I can connect with personally and is very common. It can come in many forms for different people. It might start out getting into more "extreme" forms of porn or crossing personal "red lines" or even going further. It's a great wake-up sign for you that your recent scares have highlighted this. For me, that feeling of being out of control with porn and escalation was very scary as it felt like I cannot trust myself or am at least very wary. Obviously it can potentially keep going and getting worse if you don't act to stop. For me, that was one of the most insidious things about this addiction - it made me think I can be in control of it but I was not. Only the shock of being caught and exposed etc. is when reality would creep in and it doesn't look nice.  Things can be a lot different once you can let go of the porn and all the associated anxiety it brings. With some work you can be free of it.
    You've also made an astute observation at the sheer time wasting potential of porn. Many entire months of my life have disappeared to it if I added it all up on that alone, even if there were no other negative side effects.
    For further help, good news - there's a lot of things you can do and resources:
    - Educate yourself about porn addiction, learn how it works both physically and psychologically. There are great resources available on the Internet. E.g. YourBrainOnPorn (YBOP) and Reboot Nation (Gabe Deem). Paula has a book also which is good as well as several other texts on the subject too. 
    - Find other guys to talk to and who can support. When I was using porn for years I never told a soul and thought I was the only person in the world carrying this problem. That isolation in fact is self-defeating yet I found it very hard to admit the porn to others. What a paradox. There are many guys out there both online and in the real world who can help support and guide you, and are at all different stages of recovery and getting their lives back from porn. Many many people!!! Paula runs a real life group as a pay course which I would strongly recommend but it costs money. There are other alternatives like SLAA.
    - And obviously stop using immediately. Put blockers on your phone, tablet and computer etc. For me, that was extremely difficult in the early days but it does get better with time as your understanding and ability to cope improves.
    Please keep posting!
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  10. Gus added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Hi help needed
    So I recently had a massive scare legally this has been cleared up and I needn't of been concerned. I had been told my concern was unwarranted by authorities but your legal advise to someone else has fully relieved me. Still it really has hit home the problem I've had. Multiple times a day I would go in search of porn and the longer this goes on he more relentless and difficult the search for new images/videos had become and the keywords to use to get to it. I've long know my porn usage was too much and mostly for escapism. I was never concerned that I was in any kind of legal trouble because i knew what i was after until the scare but now I've kind of woken up to the fact that this is a problem and I shouldn't be in a situation where that could be a worry. So yea mostly i was just looking for advice on where to begin with going porn free. Frankly the shear amount of time I waste is reason enough. 
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  11. Rob added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    Hello Claire,
    I read your post with great sadness about your husband's lack of empathy and understanding.
    From my own personal experience, I found it very hard to acknowledge the damage I'd done to my marriage. It's taken me considerable amounts of clean time to be able to step back and discuss things calmly with my wife and really dwell in the situation from her viewpoint. It's hard because for me, my own self-loathing and guilt over my behaviour would get in the way. That then manifests as anger, defensiveness or indifference, which would be very hurtful towards her. It's taken a lot for me to challenge that in myself. Sometimes when I can empathise, it's a very difficult place for me to be in as I can feel how much hurt has been caused by the many years of lying and undermining of trust. More weirdly still, it would be easy for those difficult feelings then triggering me into wanting to act out more... ! 
    It may sound brutal but for me, us separating after she had an affair was the rock bottom point where I realised things cannot go on. As an addict, I just wanted a quiet life where I could continue acting out really without needing to change or be bothered much by demands from real people and the real world. While things "kind of" worked, I was "happy" to go on - or rather, not sufficiently motivated to change. It was a horrible place to be but had become so ingrained into my thoughts at every level. This is the "bubble" you might hear addicts talk about. Only by spending a lot of clean time outside the bubble and with my own thoughts without distraction have I been able to work on myself. From there, I start to be able to see things differently. Rather than my wife angrily pointing out (correctly) my behaviours and the defensiveness etc. Strangely and interestingly, the longer I've spent away, the less angry and defensive I am etc. Continuing to use porn really makes your head very very screwy. But it takes a long time and commitment as well as being able to look at yourself objectively but crucially not judgementally or critically. That is all work your husband needs to put in though. You are not going crazy.
    Us addicts fundamentally do not have a good healthy relationship with ourselves. So until we can develop that, we can't offer it to others. For me, part of recovery has been working that out. 
    It's completely understandable that you find this lack of empathy as upsetting and frustrating because it's a core part of a healthy intimate relationship for most people. All the distress and hurt that goes with it is very hard to bear. Above all, just as your husband has to sort out his problems and learn to take care of himself properly, you have to look out for yourself too and find support however you can. My wife particularly found it very hard to be able to talk about it to friends and has found it isolating because of that.
    Peace.
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  12. workinprogress added a post in a topic Hello. I think I really need help.   

    Maybe out of order of me to say, Tantalus, but until you do have a serious desire to change, you won't.
    Your story struck a lot of chords with me. Echoed a lot of my own history. I wasted many of the most fertile years of my career in a porn-addicted haze, and it was only after I kicked the behaviors that my home life and career got back on the rails, to the extent that my earnings doubled within 3 years. I found a really fulfilling life outside of porn and you can too.
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  13. workinprogress added a post in a topic Porn addiction - Help   

    If it's important enough for you to kick the addiction, please install those blockers that Paula suggests on all your Tech. Don't find the ways around them. Please do review the self help info. If you're the kind of person who needs to understand in order to change, there are loads of books, websites and apps that can help you. Paula's book is great. "Your Brain on Porn" is another that worked for me. But there's a huge body of work available. There are support groups all over the country that can provide some fellowship, help you to understand, and stop you feeling like an outsider. There are brilliant counsellors, like Paula, that you can trust to help you through the shit, if you can afford them. There are also 12-step groups, if you're at all spiritual, which offer a low cost alternative to group therapy. When I think about my own fight, and my successes and failures over the years, the successes came when I prioritised being clean above anything else. The failures came when I was complacent, arrogant or lazy. You've really, really got to want this for it to work, mate. Good luck.
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  14. workinprogress added a post in a topic Porn addiction   

    Sorry to read your story, Craig. Must be pretty grim for you and your missus right now. Hopefully you can find a way to recover the relationship.
    I echo everything Paula says and I hope you'll follow the advice. And please do it for yourself, rather than just to save your marriage. I was a married bloke who got caught in the middle of a porn and sex addiction. Trying to save my marriage was the initial trigger for action, but as I invested in the recovery process, I realised pretty quickly that kicking my porn habit was about saving myself. Good luck, mate.
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  15. workinprogress added a post in a topic Looking for help in my area   

    Not ideal for everybody, Royston, but it looks like there's an Sex Addicts Anon group in Hove. Another in Eastbourne. They cost pennies. Maybe worth seeing if their 12-step approach works for you?
    https://saauk.info/en/meetings
    Well done on taking the steps you;ve already taken, and wishing you every success in your fight.
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  16. Paula Hall added a post in a topic Porn addiction - Help   

    Hi,  I don't know if you saw the post after yours from Craig, but he's in the same situation as you - only it may be too late for his marriage.  If you want to beat this addiction then you've got to put blockers on all your IT devices and get help.  If you've tried to stop before, but have failed, even though you know you have so much to lose, then this is almost certainly an addiction now.  That's the definition of an addiction - repeated failure to stop in spite of harmful consequences.  Do look at my self help resource - www.pornaddictionhelp.co.uk - and do get in touch with us if you want to join one of our recovery groups or meet with a counsellor.  Whatever you do, do it today and get some help.  People do overcome this and you can be one of them.
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  17. Paula Hall added a post in a topic Porn addiction   

    Hi Craig,
    I'm so sorry to hear that porn has broken down your marriage -regrettably I hear many stories like this.  As I'm sure you know by  now, pornography can become an addiction and then it's often hard to stop through will power alone.  I would suggest that you need to get some professional help as soon as possible, and maybe, just maybe your wife will realise that you are serious this time.  In the meantime, do put porn blockers on all your devices and if you've not already done so, have a look at my self help resource at www.pornaddictionhelp.co.uk.  It may be too late for your marriage, but it's not too late for you.
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  18. marshall added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    Hi Claire, 
    Sorry to hear that. My husband was also addicted to sex a few years back. It was about to ruin our relationship. I was thinking about having a divorce. Then, a friend of mine asked me to take him to a sex addiction treatment in Bellwood. The treatment over there was really effective and he is completely out of addiction now.
    So, don't lose hope. There are several solutions available. You have mentioned that marriage counseling was not successful. Therefore, you can try taking him to an addiction treatment as I did.
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  19. Ian Baker added a post in a topic How to make a distinction   

    Hi Bee81
    thank you for sharing. There are many paths in all of this, be it self help books that help highlight what someone goes through and then whether support can be with friends, family. Or support groups and or ones own therapy to help overcome the impact of this on you . On this website there are also many self help resources. 
    The groups we run for partners is specifically designed  to  help with many of the above subjects you raise. being with others and hearing one is not alone, can itself be one of the most powerful gifts from a group. There is also something for you of not knowing your partner in recovery and how the relationship can/will heal and repair and for trust and forgiveness. This is also a topic covered in "sex addiction: the partners perspective" and in the group.
    take care
    Ian, Paula Hall Associate. 
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  20. samee247 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Porn addiction - Help
    Hi
    I would like some help and advise. I am addicted to porn and im ashamed of it. I have tried many times to stop but failed misrably. It started when I was 12 with magazines now its developed into a full blown websites. I sneakly look at it, i look for ways to look at it, even when im with my familiy. Im 34 now and i know i need to stop but I keep relapsing. Ive tried finding religion, hobbies but i see something then I need to look at it.
    My marrige is on the verge of falling apart because of this. I am very happy with her but i cant stop this addiction. I feel remorse when i get caught, promise i'll stop then a few weeks later im back at it. i look in the mirror i dont like what i see. I wish there was a way i can just stop.
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  21. bee81 added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    How to make a distinction
    I am sorry in advance for a long post. I am sorting through my emotions and trying to understand it all.
    I recently discovered that my husband of 14 years has been sleeping around with hookers and having casual sex with girls through dating sites for at least the past 4 years or so. The numbers of sex partners are staggering and the money spent on his activities are in thousands. I knew about his porn problem in first few years of our marriage. We fought about it a lot and some times he would say sorry other times he said its not a big deal and guys like to do it  and its not cheating etc. Over time I became sick of hearing his sorries and truly starting believing that he has no desire to stop and may be it is not a big deal after all. I kind of gave in to the idea that perhaps all guys like to watch porn and as long as it is just porn we should be ok. I knew such behaviors often accelerate but I was in classic denial of "not him, not us". 
    Anyways fast forward to present, we have a lovely 2 year old son together and these past two years I though was bringing so much joy in our lives. certainly bringing two of us together. I would watch my husband play with our son and think blissfully about "my boys". Little did I know appearances can be deceptive. When I first found out he was in a hotel room with some girl, he completely broke down and apologized and begged me not to leave him. He said it was this dating app that he recently started using and this was his first and only physical encounter. I was shocked and hurt and so miserable. I went through so much pain and balled my eyes out infront of him and he hugged me and said he is so sorry that he caused this pain. I asked is there more that you are not telling me to that he said No, thats all the truth. I believed him. I was crippled with pain but forced myself to move forward and life was getting normal. Four months later, I found a phone in his backpack with recent msg to escorts asking to meet immediately. Some msg indicated as he was a regular with them. I can't even describe how it felt. I started shaking, feeling very cold unable to stand on my feet. I was angry at him that anger I didn't feel before, I wanted to rip him apart. The worst thing was we were out in the public with our son when I found that phone. I couldn't say or do anything. He had the couple of hours to come up with a story and he did. He said he just msg them. Never been with an escort before. He though nothing is going to happen. It was just curiosity blah blah blah. But this time I was not buying it. I dig deep, out of sheer luck found a undelete voice mail from two years back. Asked about it he lied. In the morning I was ready to call the number then he partially confessed to seeing a hooker once few years ago and didn't like it. Dating with many girls and sleeping with three. Long story short in coming days I would find out that it was no where near to the reality. I looked at our financial records which go only few years back and there are countless transaction and money withdrawals. I looked at his location history and found hotels he visited, massage  places and what not. And that just what I was able to found out. He was furious when I told him that there is all this I found out and he said why can't I just leave it alone. He said it does not help to dig the past and no reason for me to know how many sex partners he had. Now the situation is I know what I was able to dig out and he reluctantly confessed to what I know. He says thats all the truth but haven't I heard it before. I can not trust a single word out of his mouth now and certainly no way of knowing otherwise that how long it had all been going on. But I guess I am done finding out. The truth up to this point is pretty awful and I can't wrap my head around how can some one do that. He continue to cheat on me when I was pregnant and even after the birth of our son he would rather spend money and time on other things than to come home on time and try help me in that transitional phase of my life. I always got "too busy and stressed out at work" husband who sometimes have to even go to work on weekend. He also gave me hard time about spending money as well. I wanted to use chemicals free diapers for my son and got a mail order subscription and it was bit costly than regular supermarket ones and he had an issue with that so I cancelled it. Now I see he would give 300 to 500 dollars to escorts on regular  bases just for an hour of his pleasure seems so unfair and selfish. 
    He did go to a therapist but didn't finish his program with him. The therapist diagnosed him as a sex addict and also thinks that he is depressed and need meds. My husband didn't like the therapist and said he will look for another but haven't done so yet. He also says that it was about sex with different girls and nothing more. He lied to the girls he dated and would just want to take them to bed. The money part he said was he convinced himself that this is what it all cost so he allowed himself. He said he would feel guilty about sex afterwards but my feeling is that guilt part faded away as well after first few. He also said he enjoyed the experience. He maintains that the reason  for not telling me the whole truth is that he cared for me, didn't want to hurt me and was embarrassed himself. 
    Now the situation is I really don't know what to believe. He never felt guilty enough to stop or come clean and confess and seek help. I had to dig for the extent of his problems. His reaction to my discovery is totally shocking as well because every time I bring up the subject he got mad and tried to either down play the situation or tell me he can't do it any more. He said if we are deciding to stay together then I have o get over it and not move in circles. He has given me access to all his accounts and passwords. Enable location services on his phone and taking small steps to make situation better. I appreciate it but the conflict that I am facing is that I feel he does not feel that his past behavior was troubling. He agrees that it is sex addiction but I feel he uses it as an excuse and not something that actually need work. I feel ashamed of thinking that way but I don't know what else to think. How can someone enjoys a behavior, had no intuition of stopping on their own and say it was an addiction? What do you make of this situation? How can I change the way of thinking negatively about his intentions?
    Thank you for reading this all. I really have no one else to talk to.
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  22. Vix added a post in a topic Absolutely broken hearted   

    I feel your pain. I was due to get married to the man of my dreams 4 weeks ago, however just after xmas I stumbled across a imessage whist borrowing his laptop, flirtation with another women. He said it was nothing, made excuses which I wanted to believe but my suspicion had been aroused. New Year's Day I decided to do a bit more digging. Went through his saved passwords and discovered sign ins to various elicit and marital dating websites, my world fell apart around me. Needless to say we didn't get married, but currently we are still together. Like your OH mine has been married before and never been faithful, his acting out is through porn, multiple affairs and I know of at least one occasion of prostitution. He is seeking help with a specialist therapist, and I have my own counsellor and her support is invaluable. I know how you are feeling. I am angry, scared and heartbroken all at the same time. I have so many unanswered questions. But if I can give you one piece of advice it is to focus on you. Do want you feel is right, don't be minipulated by others opinions or suggestions whilst they think they are being helpful, they really don't know what you are going through or what you feeling. I learnt the hard way to be careful who to confide in as ppl do not understand this and can be cruel. 
    The road ahead of you is not going to be easy so take your time navigating it. Be strong, they'll be good days and bad days and whilst the pain doesn't go away it does become a little easier manage if you make sure that you look after yourself first.
    take care x
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  23. Craig added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Porn addiction
    good evening all.
     
    well I would like to put on here to see if anyone could help me.  
    I started watching online porn when I was probably about 16 I'm now 32. I'm currently married but going through a divorce at the moment because I watched porn rather than having sex with my wife. 
    I did this a lot of times and every time she found out I said no I haven't watched it or anything as I was embarrassed.
    I just need some help on how to stop watching porn.
    I also find it hard and embarrassing to talk about sensitive stuff when we have a discussion about things I find it hard to talk and tell her how I feel, my communication has always been really bad. 
    I always have been in the past but I'm not very affectionate I don't know if that's anything to do with my parents as they were never affectionate towards each other and I always thought that was the way. 
    Like I say I love my wife very much and I want to stop this divorce going through. 
    I'm also moving out of the home and moving in with other people to sort out to see what we want.
    I just need help on stopping watching porn and be more affectionate and able to communicate easily with the sensitive stuff with my wife 
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  24. Ian Baker added a post in a topic Absolutely broken hearted   

    Hi there
    here's a list of what a partner can be experiencing and its not limited to this:
    Common Feelings experienced by a partner of a sex addict associated with the trauma of discovery;


     
    Anger Sadness

     Grief
     Loss
     Insecurity
     Shame
     Disgust
     Fear Shock
     Betrayal
     Humiliation
     Despair
     Helplessness
     Relief
     Annihilation
     Rage
     Disappointment
     Horror
     Numbness
     Frustrated
     Wounded
     Emptiness
     Remorse
     Isolation
     Threatened
     Overwhelmed
     Manipulation
     Abused

     Rejected
     Suspicion
     Doomed
     Sense of failure
     Disbelief
     Used
     Degradation
     Unloved
     Guilt
    it can feel like falling and with no end. memories are threaded and its hard to know where the truth begins ends or exists. There is support through recovery groups we run here, individual counselling, couple work too and individual support for you . What I would avoid is any therapist not trained in sex addiction. As much as I might say that, I've heard too many partners have the whole story dumped on them and they are even more traumatized. Have the acting out behaviours treated as an affair, even ultimatums presented by couples therapists to make a decision to keep the partner. There is so much work to be done and care for these choices to be made and the recovery groups for  partners can really help explore the many things going on that is beyond relationship counseling
    Kind regards
    Ian PHA
     
     
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  25. Ian Baker added a post in a topic Help   

    Hi Gary. whatever you do with the wonderful support shared may I add that recovery is not abstinence. The work on self in key and central to support and prevent returning to unwanted out of control habits. Block what you wish to stop, find your relationship to what it is you want to return to. find what is exciting, edging, the zone, the need. and then work on what is going on , see a group, therapist, 12 step, self care. all paths can work out how to overcome what the addictive behaviours  are anaesthetising. stay  honest and look after yourself, watch when tired or angry or lonely or bored. 
     
    BW
    Ian Paula Hall Associate
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