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  1. Ruthieroo added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    My Husband, Does He Want To Change?
    Hello,
    First of all, I want to say that I am touched by some of your posts, that you are reaching out and trying to deal with your addictions. It takes courage to do that. 
    Secondly, I would like some advice regarding my husband. He has always used pornography; he would go a few weeks without it and always return to it. Yesterday I caught him in the act. I have locked all the computers and my phone and the kids phones but he watched me unlock my phone and memorised the pattern. I have since changed it. 
    So we have a big row and he tells me that he has looked at pornography on my laptop, on our sons laptop, and on my phone - he has also watched the X rated channel adverts on TV to get stimulated. He has also had cyber sex with various people over the last few weeks. 
    I feel like he doesn't really want to change. He says he does. But surely he would do more about it? Because it seems to me that when it's easy, for example when I can't get at pornography, he doesn't do it and although he is tempted he can refrain for a while. But then he goes back to it. I have done my best to help him stop himself by locking everything as much as I can (sadly I have left my laptop open on some occasions as has my son) but we tried to help him by making it very difficult for him. 
    You guys have access to the internet and you are doing your best to stop, so why isn't my husband? Am I doing something wrong here? 
    I am not judging anyone, I was addicted to sugar (it sounds a bit lame but believe me it was a real addiction) and it was hard to get over it, I know it takes real work to overcome these things. I just want to understand my husband a bit better, to see if there is anything else I can do?
    Best wishes to you all,

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  2. Ruthieroo added a post in a topic Partner of a porn addict and my own painful history   

    Hey there, 
    It doesn't matter why you hate pornography, you are entitled to hate it. It's your choice. I find it saddens me so much, because I know I would have to be desperate to have sex with people for money, and I think many women in pornography are the same. It's had a horrible affect on my relationship too. 
    I want to tell you a little bit about my experiences as a young woman. I was molested at ten and at fifteen, my mother was abusive, my father died when I was small. There was a lot that went wrong in my life. But through counselling and through doing work on myself I now feel I have strength and fortitude. I still get hurt about things, but I know underneath I am a strong woman. And you are too, but you do have to come to that conclusion yourself. 
    I would recommend that you work on yourself, that you treat yourself kindly. Watch how you speak to yourself; if you find yourself talking negatively to yourself then turn that around. For instance, I sometimes find I call myself silly. When that happens, I then correct myself and I tell myself that I am an intelligent woman who has made a mistake like everyone else. Talking to yourself kindly is a great place to start. 
    I go to a site called psychologytoday.com and this has also really helped me to explore my emotions and feelings. 
    I hope that might help. 
    Take care, 
    R
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  3. Ruthieroo added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    I Just Need To Vent
    Hello,
    My husband is a porn addict. He seems to want to stop but he can't. I have passworded every device I can in our house and he still finds ways to do it. For instance I leave my mobile phone in the living room to charge, he doesn't know the pattern to unlock it. Well, he watched me, found out the pattern and I caught him last night, actually doing it, caught in the act. I'll spare you the details but I can assure you it wasn't pleasant. 
    I guess I don't know what to do. He is such an appalling role model for our sons. They know what their dad is like and they feel disgust for what he does. He says he wants to stop, but he will do anything to get his fix. He told me that if I leave my laptop open he will use it to look at pornography and have cyber sex with other people. He does the same if my son leaves his laptop open. He also looks at the X-rated TV channels, the adverts for the programmes coming up, he uses those to masturbate to. 
    I feel quite numb inside over this latest occurrence. I have known he looks and porn and does the cyber sex thing for years, but lately he has been trying really hard to beat it. He has had help through our religious organisation, so much help. But it isn't enough. I don't know what is enough........I don't know what else to do to help him. Should I get rid of the television so he can't use that? .,
    I have tried putting a watchdog thing on his computer, I really hated it, I hated being his policeman and seeing what he was looking at. I did that for a year but I didn't renew it, it didn't stop him anyway. I think probably he stopped for a few months. He probably used the television then. I don't know. 
    What I find frustrating is that he seems to think it is acceptable because he didn't pay for it. I tell him, those poor women are just lying there doing that so they get money to feed their families but he doesn't care. He doesn't care about anything except himself and his sexual needs. It's really sad. 
    I have read some of your comments about emotional attachment. He is similar to your husbands, he is not exactly cold, he will cuddle occasionally and he often asks me for a hug. But he doesn't see any need to take emotional care of me. I have friends who's husbands call them baby and really take care of them. But he isn't like that with me, it is me that has to take care of him. I feel constantly lonely and although I am a strong woman, it would be nice to just have a shoulder to lean on once in a while. 
    He doesn't like himself when he does it, and he is devastated when he gets caught. I wish he could have just come to me and said, I had a slip up, I'm sorry. I could have shown him some empathy then. But finding out about all the things he has done after, all the cyber sex, well, that is horrible. Horrible to think that something that should have been precious to us, our intimacy and our love life, is being shared on the internet with who knows who? 
    I try to persuade myself that he is probably cybering with men some of the time. I suspect that is true, but sometimes I expect it is women. 
    He tells me that he is attracted to me, and although he has erectile dysfunction, if he stops looking at pornography completely then function returns. We can have a reasonable sex life. But when it creeps back in, he starts to have more problems with sex. 
    I work part time from home, I have two boys who are on the autistic spectrum and I teach them, I have a busy enough life as it is without this going on too.
    Sometimes I wish I could just run away and find someone to just look after me for a little while. 
    Well, if you read this far, thanks for listening. 
    Best wishes on your journeys.
    R
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  4. workinprogress added a post in a topic Please Help Me   

    Well done, first of all, on recognising that you may have a problem. From my own personal experience, I remember that things had to get really low before I did, so hopefully you've reached your personal "rock bottom" and you're ready to try to get some control of the situation. Lots of self-help resources available, like Paula's site and like the your brain on porn website, which helps explain a lot of the science. Paula's "understanding and Treating Sex Addicition" book is a really useful read and there are loads of others out there to help you understand your issue and then get a grip of it. It may be a sensible first step to try to understand your situation before you try to change anything.
    If you're of a spiritual nature, a 12-step group might eventually be helpful, like Sex Addicts Anon, or Sexaholics Anon. They didn't work for me but they may for you. I used Group Therapy and one-to-one counselling with differing degrees of success. But maybe just start with trying to get an understanding of your own circumstances, and your own personal addiction cycle first?
    Good luck to you, my friend. You're not alone. There are so many of us who have been similarly messed-up, and we're all at different phases in our own, personal, journeys to recovery. It's tough. But you can get there if it matters enough to you.
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  5. Aaron_31 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Please Help Me
    My behavior has gotten so out of control the mother of my child can barely look at me after I betrayed her again and hurt her deeply.
    My actions keep hurting my best friend and I've already become single because of my behavior.

    I'm so lonely and scared, if I didn't have a daughter I am worried I'd hurt myself.

    I really can't live like this, the damage I am causing is too much and I can't keep hurting her

    Where can I get help ?
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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