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  1. Vlf808791 added a post in a topic My porn addiction   

    Hi rob and thank you for your response.
    its embarresment that is the issue and not weakness unfortunately. my partner has 'caught me' a lot of times, so it is out in the open sort of, its just that the word addiction has never been brought up. the first few times i was caught were horrific! my partner has the opinion that all blokes are like this now.....i cant bare to go through all that with her again if i can help it.
    ive failed up to this point alone, however i have been reading about the addiction and possible causes for around the past maybe 5 years and do feel i have enough knowledge for at least one last attempt alone-famous last words eh?
    i hope i dont sound as though i am not listening to you rob, i really am, i am open to any help and will definately look into what you have said about therapy if all goes tits up!
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  2. Joshua Shea added a post in a topic Porn addiction worries   

    This person isn't a specialist, but they won't judge you and I think it would probably do you some good to talk to people who are going to be judgment-free while you figure things out. No idea where you're from, but I'd look for Sex Addicts Anonymous in your area. I'd also do a search for a therapist you can talk with. Also, just start talking to people on forums like this. There are a lot of people with blogs like me out there who also write about this kind of stuff a lot and that may help you along the way. You've identified you have a problem. That's the biggest step. You're to be commended.
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  3. AB95 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Porn addiction worries
    Hi guys new to this,
    just a little background on myself.
    I’m currently 22 and have been struggling with a porn addiction since 11. I have looked around for help and have been told that going to my GP may be of help. 
    I have booked a appointment, however I’m a little embarrassed and unsure how to explain as this person may not be a specialist in this area. I am aware this is something that must be done. Any advice would be extremely appreciated as i really want this behaviour stopped.
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  4. Hannah added a post in a topic Struggling to trust again   

    “What worries me is that, how can he ever really be happy with me. How will I ever be enough? How do I really work through this? Will it ever go away? The boundaries are set and he knows that another serious issue would be the end for us”
    Oh, Judith, I understand that feeling so well. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it  I’m over 2 years into recovery but what I can pass on to you is that you are competing with a ‘thing’, a substance, an object. No one person can ‘compete’ with that thing, that entity that is at the core of the addiction. Not that lady in the picture  No individual woman can. Not even that lady can compete with the chemical soup in the brain of a porn/sex addict. They are chasing the high. 
    Judith, you ARE enough  It took me a lot of time to get past this mindset but I did. Learning about porn addiction was an enormous help. There is a website called where there is a video that explains what’s going on in the brain of a porn addict. It’s about seeking and novelty, dopamine, creating pathways in the brain, the hijacking of the brain’s reward system and sensitisation to the ‘thing’ they’ve become addicted to. They appear to be people that the addict is seeking out, but it’s not really. They’re just the ‘substance’ that’s needed to get the high.
    Obviously, the way to feel OK about yourself takes a lot more than understanding what goes on in men’s brains when they look at porn or similar, but it explains what people mean when they say it’s not about the us, that we weren’t the cause of it or that we weren’t good enough. 
    A bit about me. My husband was an internet porn addict for 15 years and before that he was buying magazines and videos from seedy sex shops although I only ever found two magazines on one occasion. He also went to strip bars, which I was never supposed to find out about. In truth, I don’t really know how far it goes back, but as soon as he was online at home I lost him to porn addiction. Eventually we had no sex life whatsover. Zero. Nothing. No interest in me. Never looked at me. Never complimented me. I could have been stark naked and he’d just keep his nose in his book. Eventually I got dressed and undressed in the bathroom. I knew full well about the porn but after if caught him in the first days and weeks of getting online he had all these cleanup apps installed. 
    It really hurt. Deep down I felt rejected because I was over 30 (oh, hahaha, seems so young now) and then I was over 40... and so on. So I thought it was all over. I only managed because I was in denial. I ended up feeling totally rejected and lonely and depressed. Nobody ever touched me or kissed me. I had to ask for a goodnight peck, otherwise he would just turn over and go to sleep. So, did I feel not good enough? In my mind I BELIEVED I was not good enough, never would be, never could be. I didn’t see the depression coming. I developed a sort of adult onset midlife anorexia. I didn’t know it could happen. But it did and it happened to me. I developed body dysmorphia. I was shrinking away to nothing because I believed I had no right to take up space. Hiding my ‘hideous’ body from my husband was so easy because it would never occur to him to look. Privately I could see I was emaciated. And then one day I saw myself in the mirror and had a depressive breakdown. My only thought at the time was “he’ll never want me now. Everything I once was has gone forevermore”. That was how far it had to go before he quit porn, and even then it was only the beginning of all the pain of discovering the extent of this habit and all the lying. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. 
    I wasn’t his porn type. I soon discovered that. I had gone through my early adult life with this enviable physique and I’d pretty much stayed the same shape but I wasn’t some 36GG painted Barbie. I didn’t have a negative body image at all. But somehow, in midlife I ended up painfully thin and frail with body dysmorphia disorder, and that was before I had any idea about what he sought out in porn. 
    I stopped neglecting my appearance. I treated myself to some new clothes. I coloured my hair. I bought some nail varnish. I started eating more. I was clinically underweight and it took some time to gain weight. I didn’t want to eat junk either.
    I bought some self help books. Gael Lindenfield does some good ones on building self esteem. I tried to get back to my previous interests and hobbies though this was hard because I was so distressed and preoccupied as the reality of my husband’s addiction behaviours slowly tricked out, and I was traumatised over and over with new discoveries followed by lying and denial. It was hell.
    I bought myself some cheap exercise books and biros and I wrote and wrote and wrote to get it all out of my system. My anger, my hatred for porn, and the industries that make money from this misery, the difficult emotions about my husband. I journalled a lot. 
    I saw my GP who arranged counsellor. Not brilliant but it was support for me. Not for us as a couple but just for me. I couldn’t deal with it along. 
    My husband began to appreciate me physically after d day but to be honest this was more of a honeymoon period. As soon as I raised an awkward issue or when I discovered more evidence of his acting out which he would deny, this would create rifts which he did not have the skills and maturity to deal with. So I noticed the compliments were not so forthcoming. And then one day something lit up in my mind — I don’t need his compliments to feel worthwhile. If he doesn’t notice, then so what? I notice! I can see who’s looking back at me in the mirror, and she’s an impressive lady. He’s a man with a problem, he’s a porn addict, and I’m not going to let his behaviour that caused so many problems for me decide whether or not I’m going to feel good about myself. 
    So so that’s how it began. That was my turning point. Of course it’s not that easy. There are many difficult and upsetting moments, but the important thing is to uncouple yourself from his ‘approval’. It’s late and I’ve been writing for ages so i’ll stop. I hope this helps. I still get upset about it all. I still feel like an ugly nobody at times. I still feel wretched when I have my doubts and suspicions. Our ‘recovery’ is far from ideal. But I know that where he is lacking, I must continue to work on my own personal healing. 
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  5. Hannah added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Disclosure to partner: what should be told?
    I’ve read in Paula’s book for addicts and also read Esther Perel and sometimes it seems the advice to the addict/betraying partner is that disclosure is not always necessarily the right thing to do. On the other hand, we read a lot about the importance of honesty and transparency during the disclosure ‘stage’, assuming that disclosure actually happens. 
    What I want to ask is this: 
    What if the partner asks? What if the partner wants a full and honest disclosure? Should the addict/betraying partner answer honestly and completely? And what if, after some time to allow the addict some time to come to terms with the reality of having damaged his relationship through to his previous behaviours and quitting, what then if the partner asks him to disclose anything not yet made known? 
    Is lying or non disclosure still justifiable when the partner asks? Is it still OK to uphold any previous lies and denials just because the addict has quit and doesn’t want to experience conflict or ‘upset’ his spouse? In other words, is it OK to keep secrets because it’s not a good idea to rock the boat again?
    If relationship experts warn about purging the soul to feel better, or to think long and hard about upsetting the relationship by revealing the truth, what if it’s the partner who is actually proactive in seeking the truth? Is it ‘right’ to lie? Is it fair on the partner to expect her to believe lies, even if she asks for honesty? 
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  6. Joshua Shea added a post in a topic Need Help   

    One of the those things you hear a lot when you're in recovery is that it's not just the addict who is sick, it's everyone who is around them. I could stand there and lecture to my wife all day about what I learned, but that was never going to be the means for her to "get it." She had to do the research herself. Once she started learning about my addictions, she was able to understand that she too needed a little work. 
    Your girlfriend may have issues that make the things you do 100 times worse in her eyes than a different women. It could have also been part of the formula that drew you together. Ultimately, it's for you to figure out as a team. It was a bigger push to get my wife into therapy than me, but today, almost four years later, she's shed 50% of her excess body weight and we're both happier than we ever have been.
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  7. Joshua Shea added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Six Questions For Women Who Believe They Have a Problem With Porn
    Note: I originally wrote this for my blog, but at the advice of someone close to me, I'm trying to find a larger audience with it. I don't have the patience to try and find a place to publish it, so hopefully it reaches an audience here.

    As a generation of people who never knew a world without the Internet become firmly entrenched in their 21st century jobs, we're just starting to see fallout from the first couple of decades of having the world at the end of our fingertips.
    Sure, we no longer need to visit a library, video store or travel agent since these services are now just a click, instead of a car ride, away. But, to obtain and view pornography, the days of sketchy XXX theaters, scuzzy adult book stores and mail order are also now just a click away.

    That may not be such a good thing. Statistics regarding the use of pornography have not only exploded in recent years, but so have the documented cases of porn addiction and convictions on illegal pornography charges.

    I was lucky in that I had the resources to seek treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Despite reading similar statistics that suggest the ratio of female-to-male porn addicts is 1-to-3, Of the 15 people in my program, only one was a woman. She told me in conversation that while it's shameful and embarrassing for a man to seek help, it is downright unacceptable for most women to even admit to viewing porn where she came from. How can you get help if you can't tell anybody you've got a problem?

    Porn viewership among women is on the rise with monolith Pornhub reporting "Porn for Women" was the most searched term site-wide in 2017, including a 359% jump over 2016 specifically by women. The site reported 26% of its viewership was women, and out of the 20 countries that most access the site, 19 saw an increase of female visitors.

    Understandably, the number of women self-identifying as addicts has dramatically risen is just about every study and survey available. 
    Most people who view pornography neither develop an addiction nor break the law, but for most who end up with a problem, like I did, it often isn't recognizable until it's too late.

    Have you been wondering if your porn consumption is starting to become an addiction? Here are several questions worth considering as you reach your conclusion:

    How much time am I spending with porn? There's nothing inherently wrong with using visual aids to enhance masturbation, but when you're watching four or eight hours of porn daily, it's gone beyond a simple self-pleasuring tool. How many photos, film clips or websites must you visit to be satisfied? Has this number grown over time? Do you find that you'd rather watch porn than do other things you once found pleasurable? When your duration of use continues to escalate and that time is replacing experiences that once brought you pleasure, it should be a red flag. Porn is quickly climbing the list of priorities in your life.

    Is what I'm watching different than in the past? Most people who become drug addicts don't start with the hardest stuff possible, but end up there. The need to escalate comes from the brain's desire for the same dopamine hit that once came easier. It explains why those with gambling addictions make increasingly larger wagers and how the marijuana user evolves to heroin. There are plenty of people into roleplaying, S&M and exploring their sexuality in extreme ways in photos and on film. Have you found that the content of the porn you watch is becoming more extreme? Does what you once watch not do it for you anymore?

    Where are am I viewing viewing porn? Most people view pornography in the privacy of their own homes on their computer screen, television or in the pages of a magazine, end of story. Some surveys show 1-in-30 women admit to watching porn on their computer at work, while others peg it as closer to 1 out of 3. Even more watch it on their phone, in the bathroom at work, or while driving the car. Are the places that you're watching porn not considered traditional? If so, when did this begin? Why can't you wait until you get home?

    Who am I lying to about my viewing? Statistics suggest that the majority of the people who have access to a computer are watching pornography with some kind of regularity. Since self-pleasuring is usually accompanied, the entire topic is one many shy away from. But, if your use is starting to enter problem territory, the odds are good someone may have broached it with you. Did you lie? How big was the lie? Were you flustered and irritated they asked in the first place? Would you lie about your porn use to the people absolutely closest to you - those who you could otherwise tell everything?

    How are my intimate relationships? If you're in a relationship, has the frequency of physical intimacy dropped, but the use of porn increased? Many people being using porn within a relationship to enhance the experience, but if your partner is not into it, this can leave one wanting more. If you're not in a relationship, do you find yourself paying for sex or frequenting strip clubs more than before where emotional intimacy is not a subject to be bothered with? Does the viewing of porn make you want to seek out casual sexual encounters? The idea of being intimate with only one person for the rest of their lives freaks out a lot of people. That's natural if you're one of them, but what is your long-term plan in lieu of lifetime commitment?

    How do I feel about myself? Addiction of any kind often brings an increase in depression, stress and anxiety. Immediately after you use porn, does a sadness wash over you that is hard to explain? Most addicts feel isolated and alone, even if they're constantly around people and unlike some addictions, porn is the kind of addition one generally engages in privately. Are there feelings of shame when you think around your use of pornography? Do you wish you could slow down or stop, but find it impossible? Do you worry about where this is heading?

    You probably had a good idea if you were addicted to pornography before answering these questions. A more important question is if you're going to do anything about it. The disease of addiction is something that can be fought, and it's easier to do the sooner an addict faces their problem.

    If you can't quit cold turkey, there are 12-step resources like Sex Addicts Anonymous available. Most private therapists can speak to the issues of addiction, if not porn addiction specifically. Some licensing boards recognize Certified Sexual Addiction Therapists, while some still do not, but any therapist can point you in the right direction. For the critical, there are inpatient rehab options available.

    Suffering alone, in shame, is not necessary any longer. If you believe you may have a pornography addiction, or are developing one, seek help.

    Joshua Shea is a recovering porn addict who recently released The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About - How I Let My Pornography Addiction Hurt People and Destroy Relationships, a memoir of his descent into porn addiction. He also maintains
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  8. Joshua Shea added a post in a topic mak05   

    Don't ever give up. You have to figure out why it happened and what the best formula is for you to stop. It's not easy, but once you figure it out, it feels like you gain the upper-hand and that's so empowering.
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  9. mak05 added a post in a topic mak05   

    Hi Josh
    Thank you for the good words, I'm seeking help and trying to figure out how the brain works in relation to all this.
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  10. Joshua Shea added a post in a topic mak05   

    First of all, you're probably not a pervert. I don't think those really exist. 
    It sounds like you know you have a problem and it's great that you're seeking help, but if the help isn't working, you either need more or different help. You have an addiction. You have changed how your brain operates. But you can do it, even at 60. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.  Keep coming to sites like these and if you can find a fellowship, be it a 12-step group or some other kind where you can talk to other men face-to-face about this, you may be able to start figuring this burden out. Good luck.
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  11. Joshua Shea added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Found a New Tool Helping In Recovery
    First, I want to say after taking a look at many of the posts on this forum, I feel like I'm in the right place. I just wish I knew this site existed long ago when I was just starting in recovery.
    That's part of why I write. I have discovered something over the last 2-3 months and wanted to share it with those who are much earlier or just starting in recovery and maybe it can help a few people out.
    So, I absolutely understand that shame is a huge part of the issue. I know that I felt it. But my situation was a little different in that I was very well known in my community when my problem came out. I made the horrible mistake of talking to a teenager in a chat room and was busted by the police. Because I was a prominent business person, leader in the arts community and a local politician, the news of my arrest was the lead story on TV news for several days. I went into hiding for a long time. During that time, I got the help I needed with both my porn addiction and alcoholism and continue to have one-on-one and group therapy to this day.
    So, about six months ago, I launched a website, RecoveringPornAddict. It was mostly just going to be a promotional site when my book came out, but it started being discovered by addicts and those who loved addicts. Then right after my book (The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About) came out in January, I started being approached by podcasts and other for interviews. The book is doing OK and you can find it at the typical sites, but more importantly, I've felt this renewed energy in recovery.
    It's really simple. I just tell my basic story to somebody new almost every day. Maybe it's someone who wrote to me on my website because they bought the book or heard me on a podcast, or maybe it's on a forum like this. My therapist and group members are great -- but we're deep, deep into my story there. I'm just talking about the basics. By telling roughly the same story so often I feel like I've had a major breakthrough I didn't know was possible. Seeing, reading or hearing people's reactions is so magnificent. Yes, there are the people close to you who either love you a lot, or have judged you a lot, but this is different. This is somebody you connect with briefly and then you're done. You've shared knowledge and in many cases, hope.
    There is still shame -- I did something horrible, but I'm now realizing how I can help. My website will never get 1,000 viewers in a day and I'll never have anything close to a best seller with the topic of how I sunk into porn addiction, but these two things have allowed me to make so many connections that I feel stronger than ever about fighting this. I wonder if I had known this in my second week, or second month of recovery if it would have helped. I guess it's not always about digging super deep to find that hidden trauma. Sometimes what you can offer on the surface is enough.
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  12. mak05 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Hello, I'm new here , 60 and been caught again sharing phone sex pictures with and Arb' woman, married with a beautiful wife who I love beyond words but continue to hurt her , why? been doing sex stuff since probably 12yrs old, screwed up one marriage and in the process of doing the same again, can't work it out!! WTF is wrong with me, feel broken ashamed, am I just a pervert? seeking help at the moment but will it ever leave me, this dark stupid behaviour, how do i fix me? 
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  13. Rob added a post in a topic Need Help   

    It sounds as though your girlfriend needs her own support and is finding this very difficult to deal with, which is very understandable and particularly as she's been in a relationship with an addict before. I think while you're trying to get help yourself and sort out your own issues, it's very difficult for you to be able to give that support to her, as much as you both might want that.
    If your girlfriend is self harming then that's something very serious and I think she needs to find some help for that for her own sake. It must be horrible to experience and you mention the guilt this creates for you too. It's a complicated thing. Ultimately though you are not responsible for her behaviour any moreso than she is responsible for yours and your problems. The only thing you can control is yourself and how you handle yourself.
    I think it's positive that you've been able to be honest and open about the issues and questions in your mind. That's so important because often the lying and hiding will cause serious damage to relationships over time. Equally disclosing everything can be very shocking and difficult for a partner to hear even when prepared for it. Finding the line between being honest about what's going on for you without causing more harm and finding people you can safely explore these issues can be a minefield in personal relationships but there are professionals out there who can help.
    Recognising also that you're not in control I think is a powerful insight on your behalf. That's an uncomfortable feeling and not pleasant, I know from first hand experience. It's good you're able to be honest with yourself about that and not get drawn into denial. You're still a young man and have a lot of time ahead of you to change your life and understand this problem and tackle it. Getting to the bottom of why you feel compelled to do it and what you get out of it can give important insight into tackling it. There are resources online to help you do this (e.g. the sticky help links thread) which can be very useful. Often by the time you're feeling out of control it's too late, so this is about better understanding the path you go down before you start going into the porn bubble, recognising the early warning signs and heading the problems of early before they become bigger and you lose control.
    I hope this should help better educate you about what's going on and help learn to take better care of yourself. Alongside that, I firmly believe there's no substitute for connecting with people who understand in the real world too.
    I'm really excited for you in a lot of ways because you're tackling this early on in your adult life, unlike myself and many others. So you have even more time to enjoy all the great benefits of living clean and growing as a person.
    Keep at it, you're doing a great thing for yourself even though it may not feel like that sometimes in the short term, you will never regret any time you spend learning more about this and tackling it.
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  14. tom95 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Need Help
    My girlfriend and I have discussed the possibility of myself having a problem, and it seems quite likely to me.
    The effects of it were first discovered during sex when I had problems with maintaining an erection and reaching climax. However, I have also been on the maximum dose for my antidepressants, a side effect of which is the problems I've encountered.
    My girlfriend and I have been going out for 4 months now, and this is the first intimate relationship I've ever been in.
    My friend told me he was struggling with porn addiction and I wondered if I had it as well, so I brought it up with my girlfriend. She got quite upset since she has been in a relationship with an addict before and it put a terrible mental strain on her and made her very depressed.
    I said I thought I had a habit or some kind of problem, so I decided to cut down on doing things on my own. I failed to do this, as I stopped for a couple of days, but more or less, just continued on as normal. I have watched porn and done sexual things on my own almost every day since I was 12, I'm now 23 and these problems are only just catching up to me. Naturally, after doing that for so long, I'm finding it difficult to stop.
    My girlfriend and I went about it in the worst possible way first of all. She was very upset about it becoming more and more apparent that I had a problem, so I decided to promise her that I wouldn't do it again. I consider myself a loyal person, so I I told her I wanted it to be a special intimate bond between us, and I meant every word that I said. The way we went about it meant that we placed an emphasis on trust and if I broke that promise it meant I was an untrustworthy boyfriend. This was not the original problem and just made the issue into a bigger one. I would talk to her about how I found it difficult and she would get very upset, so I felt I had nowhere to turn. I discovered this forum through some resources that my GP sent my way after I voiced my concerns to him.
    I broke my promise, and still feel guilty about it. It was if I had no choice in the matter, I didn't mean for it to lead to what it did, but I couldn't stop. My body just did its own thing. Naturally, this led to a big argument. I have cut social media sites out of my life, I used to listen to ASMR videos, but I've cut those out since I said they would sometimes lead me to watch more provocative ones, I've given my girlfriend access to my internet history. She would get very upset if I even brought up how difficult it is to stop this, so I became afraid of talking to her about it.
    It got to the point where my girlfriend hurt herself because I listened to a sexual video while I was at my desk at work. Then she got angry at me because I looked at a perfectly normal safe-for-work ASMR YouTube channel. At this point, I decided to take away the promises because they were causing more harm than the original issue was in the first place.
    Recently, I did something on my own, without any external stimuli, so not watching, looking, or listening to anything. I told her about it and she was upset, which I can understand. It felt as if I had no control over it. I felt sad in the act, knowing this would hurt her, I literally told myself to stop, but I kept going. That is definitely a problem and I want help for it.

    How can I help myself and how can my girlfriend support me without putting a mental strain on herself?
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  15. Cowslip added a post in a topic Telling grown up children about SA?   

    I think part of the recovery process for me has been learning to trust my own instincts and my own judgement again.  My confidence hit rock bottom after 'D' day - I could not believe I had been so blind as to not realise what was happening with my partner, and I spent quite a lot of time beating myself up for allowing myself to be deceived (as I saw it at the time).  It took me a year to get past that point.
    I am luckier than many partners on this site in that my partner's addiction was 'only' to porn (I am not sure we would be where we are today if sex workers or chat rooms had been part of the problem), and he had come to the decision that he needed to quit (and tried to quit) long before I became aware of how severe his addiction had become. 
    I am hoping that he continues to be able to defeat this, and that we can continue to move forwards, but I realise that a relapse is always possible, and I am prepared for that, and now feel that, if it happens, we will face it together.  I can see a difference in my partner now - he is happier, his mood is more even, and I can only think this is because the addiction is no longer dominating his life.
    Through this whole process, I have found the words of other partners on this site to be so helpful, so encouraging and so supportive.  Long may it continue!
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  16. Realitycheck added a post in a topic Red flags   

    Yes, he is now trying to make me take responsibility for the last argument and saying that I treated him badly. Yes I reacted angrily to him waring me down with lies,  denials, manipulation, gas lighting and his anger.  Why?  Because I am worn out, hurt and still being lied to all over again with the same responses that he gave with the same issues that turned out to be him acting out after birth of our child.  His behaviours are way, way beyond a porn issue.   I regret giving him the opportunity to put me through this and reduce me to person I don't like just because I expect and require him to be honest and accountable. This is why he is no longer with us.  It's devastating because we had a truly amazing family, he had good well paid job, was highly regarded but we were not married and I can't even divorce him.  
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  17. Florrie added a post in a topic Red flags   

    so sorry to hear all this - it sounds like your husband is still very much in denial to say the least! Perhaps from now on you need to focus on you and what you need and how best to achieve that - this might include thinking about whether you have a future together. I do hope things improve for you soon. 
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  18. Florrie added a post in a topic Telling grown up children about SA?   

    Cowslip - thank you for your insight. I, like you, felt that the children need not know about this, but various different literature talk about not 'covering up' and not keeping anymore secrets within the family, one book in particular had a whole chapter on telling children and made me feel we had made the wrong decision, and that my 'covering up' was a sign of co-dependant behaviour. It pleases me to know someone else made the same decision as me and that I am not necessarily doing the wrong thing. As you quite rightly say - we all keep things from our kids, as they do us, and this doesn't have to be any different, I guess. The whole thing has caused such confusion and I think I just looked to the 'experts' who write about it as having the 'right answers' in order to try and clear the mess that is my head. But of course, each story has its own context and it can't be a 'one size fits all scenario'. Thus, from now on maybe I will go with my first instincts and not get hung up on 'shoulds' and 'oughts'. After all, we all have to tread our own path in the end, in a way that is comfortable for us.
    It is also good to hear that 18 months down the road, things are looking brighter for you and your partner. This gives hope to us all here that things can get better
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  19. Rob added a post in a topic My porn addiction   

    There's a lot you've written down here. Thank you for taking the time to share it and to put down some details of what sounds like difficult childhood experiences that you went through.
    Firstly I'd like to stress and challenge one of the earliest points you make about being alone and trying to sort this out by yourself. Having tried to do the same thing myself (I think for nearly everyone who has this problem it's the first and natural reaction) and failed for several years, I really underestimated how much I needed the help and support of others. Asking for help is definitely not an admission of weakness - in fact quite the opposite I believe. I can identify a lot with many of the difficulties you talk about, struggling to try and make sense of it and break it down. And also trying most of all to be free from the compulsion. Doing that on your own is like trying to fight a secret battle with yourself that nobody knows about. I've tried and failed to do that. I dearly do not want you to keep suffering like I did while you try to crack it alone. In many ways, addictions are about isolation and fighting alone is in some ways staying inside that isolation.
    So what's the alternative? I think finding people you feel able to safely share your struggles with and working through it with help and understanding. Be that through one on one therapy, group therapy or meetings like SLAA etc. That's a hugely difficult thing to do and may feel very frightening initially but for me it was invaluable in working out why I was behaving like I did. Most of us want to just focus on stopping and how to stop, say no, have more willpower etc. But this focuses on many ways the wrong way round at the problem. You know how to stop really - that's so easy, you just don't look. So the real question to ask is why you do it, why you feel compelled and what it is doing for you. From there, how to get those needs better addressed so you don't need porn and sex when life is difficult. There's a whole range of detail and levels to understand but I really think that having someone to guide you and explore is so important.
    The feelings of anger also you express I can strongly connect with. I used to get very angry when acting out. Even raging. At everything and everyone. It took me a long time to understand that. It was part of feeling distressed and out of control for me.
    I really hope you can continue to come here and share your thoughts and feelings, and that it's useful for you.
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  20. Rob added a post in a topic New Here, My Story   

    Hello Phil,
    I hope this can be a safe place for you to share those thoughts. They are not easy to get out but personally I've found it important and helpful to do so. Otherwise that stuff just all stays bottled up until it blows up.
    I'm not sure that everyone attaches shame to watching pornography or masturbation. I suppose it depends very much on the relationship someone has with it. For me, it was more about feeling very much out of control and being secretive about it. I think it's that which then created the sense of shame inside me. I was stuck inside a vicious cycle. The point where I believe societal attitudes complement that is around the privacy people tend to have over their sex lives and sexual behaviour because these are very deeply intimate and personal things. For me it was very much about that hidden and secretive behaviour, and sex is a great way of doing that because unlike say alcohol or drugs, it naturally all occurs behind closed doors. People don't question something which is expected to stay very hidden. Yet in my case, this lead to a breakdown of personal integrity also as my online behaviour would be very much at odds with my character and ideals.
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  21. Realitycheck added a post in a topic Red flags   

    Just to add, he is also completely different person when enjoying all the lovely family times we've had throughout this shit. But the moment I need him to show up and really face this he's turns into a reptile. 
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  22. Realitycheck added a post in a topic Red flags   

    Hi Florence, thank you for taking the time to respond. I have given clear boundaries and had sessions with a councillor on my own which stopped as they were expensive and  taken up offloading about the latest set back he caused.  I learned about and put myself through reading stuff no woman should have to. Laterly I tried the couples counselling although I knew with his attitude it was going to be difficult and it was.  I know for a fact that he is not being transparent. Every attempt I have to get him to do so ends up a huge row where I am nearly at breaking point. The more I question his honesty and ask for accountability the more adgitated he becomes and the manipulation begins all over again. He is not actively fighting this even if he were as abstinent as he claims. He has no accountability partner, he has a therapist who encouraged him to leave when my baby was months old and I was devastated and even more devastating when he told me that.  He calls me paranoid, tells me I need to sort myself out, makes up stuff the councillor says about me, blames me for his life being awful and talks to me with utter hatred at times. Last week he screamed at me he hated me because I called him out on lying to me.  I'm not allowed to have emotions or be upset and get no real empathy.  It breaks my heart he would still put me through this after all the help he's had chance to tap into.  I am exhausted. I can't change /cure and I am not the cause of his addiction. Nor can I  fix a relationship where he is not willing to do the work. He is different person in front of the councillor and I noticed he suddenly fakes reasonable attitude day before an appointment.   Hs has even managed to make them give me a hard time by distorting reality and rewriting history,  guilt tripping me for times I've reacted angrily when he's pushed me and pushed me because he is not doing his part ie, responsibility/accountability. The councillor has told me that I need to find my compassion! 
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  23. Cowslip added a post in a topic Telling grown up children about SA?   

    Hi Florrie,
    First of all - I am sorry that you are one of the many women who are having to deal with this.  There are so many of us, and we each have a different story to tell, and are finding different ways to cope with this situation.  I also have adult children, a few years older than yours, who are no longer living at home.  My partner's addiction has been present, to a greater of lesser extent, throughout our marriage, and so throughout our children's lives, but the extent of his addiction had been hidden until the last couple of years. These are my thoughts, and are in NO WAY meant to be advice - this is just to share what I have decided to do in my own life.
    I decided at the beginning that the children should be told if I ever suspected that either of them had ever been exposed to, or harmed by, his addiction.  As far as I can tell, this is not the case.  They are both extremely loving towards their father, and he has been (and still is) a great and devoted Dad to both of them.  I know how agonising I have found this whole situation, and I see no reason to put them through the same misery.  I am not sure how either of them would react, but I know that they would find it devastating.  We all keep some things from our kids (as they keep things from us) - in this situation, I think that disclosure would only cause harm.
    I have also spent a lot of time getting to a place where I truly understand that this is my partner's problem, and it is his responsibility to fix it, and to put right the damage he has caused.  If I ever felt that the children should know, then it would be up to him to tell them, and not up to me.  I am not going to be an intermediary in this; I am not going to apologise for or excuse what he has done; and I am not going to put myself through the agony of telling my children.  That may sound selfish, but I think when we are coming though this situation, we need to be putting ourselves and our recovery first.
    Finally, 18 months on from 'D' day, I am getting into a better, happier place, and my relationship with my partner is beginning to heal.  If I had told my children early on, I am not sure I would then have been able to stay with my partner - I suspect once the information was out there, it would have pulled us all apart.
    These are just my own thoughts, but I hope you may find them useful.  Thinking of you and hoping you get some good advice and find the right way through this for yourself and for your children.
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  24. Vlf808791 added a post in a topic My porn addiction   

    thank you i appreciate the encouragement
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  25. Realitycheck added a post in a topic Telling grown up children about SA?   

    Hi Florrie, there is such a burden on partners to have to cope with all the fall out and emotional wellbeing of the family on top of their own personal despair when this happens. I hope that one of the councillors can respond to your post soon as they are probably best placed to help. Stay strong. 
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