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  1. Jo added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Should I be stressed out?
    my husband has been a porn addict since before we started going out but he was always trying to deal with it. 10 years on it's still going on when he gets the chance/the urge is too strong/he's down etc. We have filters on the computer, he says he hates doing it, he has some one who checks up on him. But every few months he slips again. To be honest I have buried my head in the sand about it but I'm getting fed up now, and don't want to have to forgive him anymore. Obviously it affects our sex life as well although for a long time I didn't think it was, I just thought he didn't find me attractive. I just want to know if I should be doing something more and whether he can be, to try and properly defeat it if that's what he says he wants to do.  Thanks.
    • 3 replies
  2. Ede added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Partner addicted to erotic massages and prostitutes - over 20 years..
    Dear Paula, Dear fellow partners who have suffered infidelity of such nature,
    My husband has a sexual addiction (prostitutes, erotic massages, etc), which has been ongoing for the last 15-20 years. He is almost 60 no. We are on a second marriage (now together for 6 years) and I have recently discovered what has been going on. I am mentally and emotionally devasted by the uglyness of everything that he has subsequently (after going through cycles of lying and denying) shared with me - often describing it in such vivid detail that the pain drives me into despair and hysteria. I do not live in the UK and would like to receive some advice as to possible treatments for him - we have tried therapy multiple times but he just lies to the therapist, waisting large amounts of money for no good reason. Are there any other medical solutions we could do? I am just so desperate, as well as ashamed, embarassed and frustrated by all that has just been dumped on me that I feel paralyzed in thought and action..
    I hope for your advice soon.
    Kind regards,
    • 1 reply
  3. Claire added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    Hi Miriam,
    Your message means a lot to me.  It is so comforting to know that I'm not alone .  I have only told my two sisters the truth about what's going on - I know it would help to talk to others but my sons haven't been told and I want to protect them from the truth, at least until they're older.  Besides it's not an easy topic to discuss.  I do realize however that this secrecy is bad for the soul and only compounds the loneliness and isolation. 
    I hope you find help and comfort here on this site.  I realize that my posts are bleak and lacking in hope but that's only been my experience.  Many here have sought help and are in recovery so there is hope.  I would recommend Paula's book for partners as it helped understand some of what was going on.
    I really wish you the very best.  Keep heart and keep strong.
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  4. Miriam added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    Hi Claire, 
    I'm new here - only joined today. I came here looking for support in knowing I'm not alone. On reading your posts, I have to admit that my own pain took a back seat. Their are only two things I can say to you; 1) You have tried so very hard to support your husband and save your marriage. I can understand that you are now at the end of your tether. However, only you can call time on your marriage. 2) It is better for children to have one happy parent than two unhappy ones. 
    Stay strong, and know that you are not totally alone. There are others, like myself, who are in turmoil too even though you don't know them personally; they are out there feeling just as lonely, lost and isolated. 
    Take care of yourself. You are important, and you are, clearly, a compassionate person who has a lot to give. 
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  5. Claire added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    I really appreciate those of you who got back to me with such kind and helpful advice.  I found your message, Rob, to be particularly helpful as it gave me an insight into my husband's way of thinking as an addict.  My husband is very much still in the "bubble" you refer to but being unfamiliar with this term, I have always called it a shell which unfortunately is impenetrable. I have accepted this.  I gave up trying to reason with him a year ago.  I had revisited our marriage counselor in the hope of making one last effort to save our marriage and he seemed on board  - for a few hours.  Next day we were back to normal.  All my efforts were met with resistance - his words said he wanted a loving relationship his actions said otherwise.  I have wasted so much time in trying to make sense of this but have come at last to the understanding that one cannot reason with an addict.  Their actions do not make sense.  The addict did not want to make it work but that would mean having to commit to a life of sobriety.  We've been on this merry go round for over three and a half years and I'm exhausted. I realize now that there has been little or no sign of him being in recovery all this time.  His last counselor who was treating him for trauma in childhood terminated the counselling on the basis that she said he wasn't in recovery and needed residential addiction counselling.  I met her for one session and she spoke of his resistance, his obsession with my behavior and his unwillingness to own what he's done - all of this I witness on a daily basis.  His response, as always, was  to refute what she said.  
    I have finally accepted defeat.  I desperately need to separate from him - but what about my two beautiful sons - it breaks my heart to see them embroiled in this sordid mess.   I have proposed a separation whereby they stay in the family home and we divide the time we spend with them between us.  I even moved out for 2 and 3 days a week during the winter to let him see that it would be the best way forward.  But there has been no cooperation from him.  We are still living in the same house.  I feel powerless against this disease.  Can anyone help?
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  6. gaypornaddict100 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Gay Porn addict
    Hello there, I am a 21 year old gay male that needs some help mentally with my porn addiction. I need some help with my addiction. I am watching way too much gay porn that its becoming a problem for me to get aroused when in a relationship or on a hook up. Its becoming a serious problem. 
    • 1 reply
  7. dave42 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    HI Serial porn addict and cheater
    hi new here  and im addicted to porn and swinger sites one in particular that i keep going back to time and time again  i have meet a few people from these sites to enjoy times with and have been found out several times but i keep trying to stay away but i fail and relaspe everytime  and i am a heavy porn addict 
    now we  are  expecting our  first child and i need to change and sort my self out ready for my child as my wife knows ive cheated and wants me to take the steps to sort my self out in both areas so i am looking to go to support meetings  and do councilling  if i can afford it 
    • 8 replies
  8. Rob added a post in a topic 'Enabling' my husband's porn addiction   

    I can connect with a lot of what you write about the enabling part and self-doubting aspects. A lot of what you write I've had similar feelings about regarding my wife's affair and like you write, I struggle with going down questioning a lot about myself and exactly why certain aspects of our relationship were like they were. I think those are really important questions to ask yourself but at the same time, it's very easy to find answers that turn back in on yourself and lead to serious problems with your self-esteem or feeling that there is something wrong or bad about you because of what's gone on. There isn't. You've done the best you could at the time and being able to look back and reflect with compassion for me is the only way I can let go of the anger and hurt but still learn and not forget. But this is a really slow and precarious path. It is hard. Personally, for me and my relationship it was about me not actually wanting to take responsibility for myself and my own life and standing up for what I really felt and wanted - apart from the "usual" stuff like fearing being alone, the loss etc. There is a lot comfortable and familiar with how things were and the patterns - we'd both created a relationship where real intimacy was not really possible because we were both afraid of it deep down - a lot of fear over many things actually. The porn for me was the tool I used to help keep things at arm's length, not lose the good things we had and help keep my head buried in the sand not knowing what to do or how to cope (and making things much worse in doing so, a vicious circle). This I am still learning intellectually but coping emotionally is different level.
    It sounds like your husband still needs a lot of help and isn't really recovering at all if he's still using porn and has gone back to the same old behaviours of lying about it and covering it up. He needs more help and until he stops completely and starts honestly being able to work at things then I can appreciate that you must feel horribly stuck and unable to move forward. That's on him though, not you. I've felt at points with my wife's affair denial that the only way I can get her to confront it would be to leave her but then that means losing a precious person I love from my life, so becomes self-defeating and completely stuck. Having the other person really empathise somehow is key for me but so very hard and you cannot force or control other people into doing it.
    Regarding the enabling part, I don't know what to say really - again, please just have compassion with yourself. Yes, it takes two of you to make a relationship and you might identify certain things that you can do differently - this is true of everyone and all relationships - but ultimately I think he has to own his problems and stop. The old patterns and behaviours you both use don't work and need to change. The reasons why you tolerated it etc. are more about you and understanding yourself better but please do not blame yourself for his actions at all - he must take responsibility for those.
    It sounds really hard for you and I hope you can get the help you need - best wishes and peace.
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  9. Alys added a post in a topic Help? Should he stop or should I live with it   

    Behappy, I think you need to tread very carefully on this one. Porn addiction is rarely about sex and is almost always an emotionally driven behaviour.
    There are two obvious caveats that come to mind. Firstly, that you may find yourself turning to porn as a comfort, or to escape your own feelings of upset about what's going on in your relationship. If this is the case, you need to ask whether this is actually good for you and your relationship in the long term. 
    Secondly, if you are hoping that your husband shares his interests in porn as part of your lovemaking, but you discover that he is continuing to watch it without you and in secret, and continues to lie about it, then I doubt very much you will be able to incorporate porn into your shared sexual relationship in a healthy way. 
    I know that some couples can and do incorporate porn into their lovemaking but in porn addiction, the addict most likely does not have a healthy relationship with their own sexuality to begin with and has used porn and masturbation to deal with uncomfortable emotions without having developed adult coping skills.
    In addiction to this, porn addicts will often have several windows and tabs open as they frantically seek for the ultimate clip to 'finish' to by clicking and clicking and clicking on video after video until they do. This is a characteristic of internet porn addiction. As the addict clicks on each new video, the anticipation creates a dopamine spike that falls away rapidly that makes them click on the next video for another dopamine spike and so on until the reward centre in the brain gets what it's craving i.e. the orgasm. So this might explain why addicts can't really "share" their porn activity with a partner. Could you honestly be turned on by your husband seeking out the ultimate 'hot babe' just so he can ejaculate to calm down some weird brain mechanism that fools him into believing he's having some great sexual experience with the woman on the screen? 
    My husband's interest in porn was always something hidden and and kept secret from me. He couldn't really have both a real life sexual relationship with me AND a porn habit. He thought he could have both, and that his porn habit would have no impact but it didn't work out that way. The porn took over as soon as he could get online for the first time at home. But before then he was buying porn and watching it alone on the video and then DVD player when I went out. I had no idea he was buying porn back then. So it was always something he did alone and kept hidden. Some years before the internet, I even suggested maybe we watch an erotic movie together, I don't mean porn but maybe a movie with some steamy love/sex scenes but that suggestion fell on deaf ears. I think he was buying hardcore porn on VHS then and he'd have rather masturbated away to that with me out of the house than watch some tame little movie with some racy scenes as part of a date night with me. The secrecy/solitary aspect seems to be important in porn addiction. 
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  10. Alys added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    'Enabling' my husband's porn addiction
    I'm almost two years into recovery and I'm still struggling at times. Recovery in relationship terms, although successful in that my husband has quit and remains resolute, I still have issues about trust and I feel insecure quite often. I trust my husband in terms of his behaviour but I don't believe there will ever be full disclosure of the true extent of his past behaviour and nor do I expect he can ever by 100% honest with me. Perhaps this is the legacy of being lied to so many times about his behaviour in the early months of recovery and having to search his devices so thoroughly to get a more realistic picture of what had been going on over the years. But here we are now. He's quit and we've slowly made progress, although erratic at times. 
    I was aware of my husband's use of internet pornography as soon as we were online at home, which was 16 years before we reached a crisis point where I just couldn't take the distance between us any more. It was my fear of his behaviour escalating to beyond the internet is what triggered a crisis in me – that is, I could not stay in a relationship and 'turn a blind eye' to more than just' porn. 
    The problem I created for myself was that after 1-2 years of his online porn habit I gave up. I had 'caught' him 4-5 times and initially it was all nice and polite, he'd been a bit 'naughty' or whatever and it was just a curiosity. No big deal, etc etc. Then there were a few more times, including finding saved files on a disk. By that time he'd become very thorough about his internet history we a shared computer then. It was his lack of interest in sex that was alerting me. One day I walked in on him when he was viewing porn, as suspected, as this was the only way I thought I could. He was mad at me and said I was sneaky, as if I was the one breaching some sort of code of conduct, and not him. We had a row. I said that I thought his interest in porn was becoming unhealthy and I catch him out again he (or we) would need some sort of psychosexual counselling.
    But what happened?
    He became so thorough about deleting his history and changing the file names and file extensions to appear like innocent documents, not that I ever searched his computer much after that. Whenever I looked everything would be cleaned up by his special cleaning apps, his browser history was set to delete history and cookies on closing. He made it so difficult to find any evidence, so it became impossible to live up to my word. 
    I knew from other signs it was still going on, that he would be online when I was sleeping (or out) and if I woke up he'd have the door closed, but he wouldn't at any other times. Sex became a rare occurrence and eventually it stopped. He never initiated anything anyway and I was becoming used to being turned down. Eventually the early signs of erectile dysfunction happened, and after that had happened a few times I just couldn't take the feelings of rejection. I gave up. I hurt. But I gave up. 
    I feel really bad about this. 
    - I stopped looking for evidence because he had made it too difficult to find anything
    - I never attempted to 'catch him in the act' because he made it so he always had enough time to shut down the browser and always had the BBC news page open to pretend he was reading the news
    - I considered other options for gathering  evidence but I lacked the knowledge and didn't know what to do or how to go about it
    - if I had presented him with the evidence, I seriously doubted that anything could be achieved. Nothing had ever changed in the past, so whatever I did I would most likely end up back to where I started. Like before. 
    - I was aware of having said I would insist on psychosexual therapy in the past, but I became afraid of not being able to enforce it and besides, after 10 or 15 years there was plenty of opportunity for him to 'forget! I'd said this
    - *FEAR that if I didn't 'let' him have porn he would look outside the relationship for sex, and I could lose everything
    - *FEAR that if I insisted on no more porn it would only confirm that he did not want me sexually any more, and I couldn't force him to have those feelings towards me if they weren't there. 
    So, I had the unhealthy belief somewhere in there that the 'success' of our relationship depended on him having access to porn as a sexual outlet because whatever attraction he had felt for me in the past was long gone. I was  actually afraid of what stopping the porn might do to our relationship. So I buried my head in the sand. I became an 'enabler', I suppose. 
    The crunch came when I began to suspect that his interest in porn had maybe run its course. That it was no longer enough. Don't ask why, it was a gut feeling and to this day I don't know what I felt or suspected, I don't know what/if anything else was going on. It was when I found myself asking what else was I prepared to ignore. If I was actually reaching the point where I would have to make another deal with my psyche, that there may be/possibly have been physical infidelities and could I put all thoughts of it out of my head and ignore how I hurt I would feel? That was the crunch. I couldn't put up with more hurt and more pain than I already had. Our sexual relationship had ended maybe 7 years previously and I couldn't see him actively using porn and not being interested in sexual opportunities. I couldn't take it any more. So I more or less broke down one day and that was the beginning of 'recovery'. 
    I am having trouble with reconciling this 'enabling' role. I can acknowledge the role I played in perpetuating his behaviour because it takes two to make a relationship. But I didn't stick to my guns about getting help and I ended up in a warped mindset that he had to have the porn in order for our relationship to work in all the other areas (though not sexually). I also feel that I have been the architect of my own misery and all those years of putting his 'needs' before mine, and putting up with him having no respect for my feelings about it, covering his tracks so thoroughly etc. Why did I tolerate it for so long? My self esteem was completely demolished. But why did I "collude" in something that wasn't happy about?
    • 14 replies
  11. PatBatemanBlog added a post in a topic Medication for sex addiction   

    Hi Nomore,
    Your GP should be able to refer you to a therapsit but there may be considerable waiting time. There are groups like SLAA and SAA but they will try to shove Christianity down your / your husband's throat and won't actually offer much solid advice. It's perhaps wrth looking at Youtube advice, particularly Paula Hall's.
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  12. Tortoise added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hi AtWitsEnd, 

    Thanks for your comments. I'm generally humbled also by the willpower of people who are fighting this and the efforts they go to.
    My biggest challenge at the moment is willpower. I know the logic and the common sense, but it's just within a heartbeat that I can weaken and go online and get some images and act out. The time it takes is not long, but the mental fallout and stress lingers, and weakens my resolve, causing me to slip again later.

    I feeling disappointed with myself and just tired to be back at this stage again, but I take heart from your words of support and those of others, it really does help to know we're not alone. 
    So, here's to moving on. I think we act in a way that has the effect of being self-centered and  damaging those we care about not out of a wilful desire to hurt, not out of spite, but because we have an addiction. Years ago, we sought comfort in something that seemed innocuous, almost seen as a rite of passage for young men. Something in the subconconscous gets comfort from it. The brain gets used to getting it's reward of Dopamine (or whatever), as we use P to escape from our own particular difficulties.
    The process we have to face now is a tricky one but not impossible; to force that change by abstinence. To concentrate hard on other things, to avoid the familiar habits and situations that lead us back to that old trap. There's a part of our subconscious  that we're having to rebuild, to reverse engineer based on what we now know, think and feel.

    I'm sorry if all this is over-simplified or ill-informed, but I think each of us who has really thought long and hard about this (and we all have I'm sure, that's why we're here), have our own personal take on it, we know the common sense approach. It's just super bloody hard when that comes up against our instinctive addict side that has been neurally programmed for years, in many cases.
    There is no easy answer, it's just a hard slog, but the main thing is that we know it's a problem and we're trying. AtWitsEnd, it's great that you're going to meetings and getting real face to face contact with people who know what it's like and who are fighting too. Keep it up!

    When I started writing this post I was quite despondent, I have fallen off the wagon a lot in the last few days, and the latest time was just before I wrote this. But the very process of reading the other posts and writing has helped. I feel a bit better. I know it's worth carrying on this process of abstaining and rebooting the brain.  I hope it's helped you. All of you, whoever you are, whatever your own personal stories are, and whatever stage you're at.
    Once again, apologies if this all seems a bit impulsive and badly thought out....I'm just getting it out there.
    Take care everyone. You're not alone.   
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  13. AtWitsEnd added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    i suspect everyone who reads this forum finds themselves nodding to what you write. My God, it's difficult isn't it?! I do find a lot of comfort and support from people like you and those I meet at the Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings I go to, and I am genuinely in awe of the superhuman efforts people go to in order to break the cycle.
    I find myself in a post-traumatic stage of being absolutely disinterested in porn, particularly the dangerous sort as a result of a very nasty shock not so long. Like a lot of people on here I am in the process of losing everything - wife, children, home, friends - and I just don't think about any form of porn, I'm sure as a result of what's happened in the last few months. I'd be naive however, to believe that the poison is out of my system for good, and I'm trying hard to set up a framework to protect me for the rest of my life, and to avoid falling. There doesn't seem to be much to look forward to and I find myself Googling far away places to live out my remaining days completely separated from those I've hurt so badly. The system will have to grind me down first, which seems likely. In my lucid moments, I wonder how I can have been so self-centred and damaged those I love so badly. I don't think of myself as a bad person, and yet the fallout is absolutely horrendous for them. How is it possible we allow ourselves to cause so much damage?!?!
    Anyway, still encouraged by posts like yours, Tortoise. Keep up the good fight!
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  14. Behappy added a post in a topic Help? Should he stop or should I live with it   

    Hi Rob, 
    Thank you for your response, I really appreciate the time you took out to reply.  
    I am pleased to say my husband came back.  We talked lots, and lots, and lots.  In the time since he came back things have been so much better, I am so much happier, we are so much happier.  However, when talking about the porn issues that came between us I asked maybe rather than me going off at him for him watching how about we watch together.  On this occasion he agreed much to my surprise!! I figured its me feeling left out and that he has secrets of a sexual nature that bother me and yeah, it felt like he was cheating although not with a physical person in his head at that moment he was watching, he would not be able to detach himself from the reality and the image on the screen and I want his sexual encounters to include me, we are married.
    So, he asked me to choose what I wanted to watch and I did.  We watched and I found it a great turn on, which he loved.  But when it came to him, he couldnt do it, he couldnt put his past of alone time with the images on the screen and let me be part of it and see him also enjoying it.  We have tried a few times now and the same happens.  He is fine with me when no porn is involved mainly, but put porn in the mix and he just isnt able to enjoy it with me.  
    Do you think us watching porn together is a tragic mistake and will probably turn him to more porn alone time?  Is it normal for a man who is clearly turned on by porn to find it impossible to watch with his partner even though she has no problems with it, just with him "porn cheating on her"?  Will it get better in time and will it help our relationship or will it hinder it massively? 
    I would love to know your thoughts on this?  
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  15. Rob added a post in a topic Help? Should he stop or should I live with it   

    Hello and apologies for having taken some time to write back.
    No you're not wrong or crazy by any means.
    It sounds like your husband is in denial about how seriously his behaviour is hurting you and impacting your relationship. I'm very sorry to hear that and how hard it is for you to cope with along with trying to raise the kids. If he respects you and values your marriage then he should stop those behaviours that are so hurtful to you irrespective of whether he thinks they are harmless or not. It should be enough for you to say you don't want it in the relationship I think.
    I think it's courageous of you to be able to stand up to him and say these things, even though that confrontation is difficult. Ultimately he needs to own his behaviour.
    A common rationalisation from porn addicts is that it's meaningless along with a minimisation of exactly how much time is being spent doing it. One way of challenging this is to ask him to honestly keep track of how much time he spends doing it and how often. Also then if it is meaningless he should be able to stop easily for a few weeks or months. It should be nothing, right? Also encourage him to go through Paula's checklist here to see whether he's addicted. He's not answering to you here but to himself, so there's no reason to lie or minimise. For me, a lot of the anger I had was actually inward anger at myself that I would project our onto others and my unfortunate wife. You're only asking for him to control himself. Why would he keep doing something that apparently means nothing to him even though it hurts you and damages your relationship so much? Well, because it's a lot more serious than he wants to admit or take responsibility for. And why does he want to keep on hurting you so much? You are not enemies but partners. He probably sees you from the warped perspective of you trying to take away his "toys" but he should be a lot more worried about himself and how porn is melting his brain and sense of rationality and driving a wedge between him and the mother of his children.
    Above all I think he needs to stop and get help. Then over the next few months, if he puts in the works, things can and change. But that won't be a quick or comfortable ride in my experience although it will be very humbling and there is a different perspective on life down that path.
    If you (reasonably IMHO) won't tolerate porn in your relationship then he needs to shape up or realise he is putting his family in serious jeopardy. I continued for a very long time because I was excellent at lying about it (particularly to myself) and there were no apparent consequences to my life (actually later I started realising there were lots but again I was very good at lying to myself about it). 
    He can get help in a number of ways. Through online material (yourbrainonporn, reboot nation etc), books etc. But for me personally what's worked the best is connecting face to face with other guys in a similar position and working through Paula's group course but this does cost money. There are other groups too like SLAA but personally I've had no experience with them. This at least gives guidance to understand how and why the addiction works and how to fight it and recover to build a better life. When I tried to fight alone, invariably you're doomed to failure and this is very common. Most of all, he can connect with other guys. Ultimately though, he must put in the work to make that happen as the most important thing in his life. That also means finding compassion for himself and you. Honestly, I think being very clear you won't tolerate his behaviour but that you do still love or care for him is the best way you can approach that (having been on the other side of it). I still have bad times too but I'm a lot more able to recognise them and be honest when I messed up, learn and reach out. It's always a risk I am wary of in slipping back though and it sounds like your husband has become complacent in that leading back into a big fall. It's sadly common.
    It's also incredibly draining and frustrating for you to try and help in that way too. I strongly believe that you need time out and to take good care of yourself too as he goes through recovery. After all, it's a huge emotional shock to handle along with all the breakdown of the trust, the lies and half truths. Again, Paula does run partners groups for women in a similar position to yourself. There's also the option of marriage/relationship counselling e.g. Relate too. That may or may not help depending on whether his baseline behaviours continue or not.
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  16. Brice_Kelly added a post in a topic Medication for sex addiction   

    If your husband is addicted to sex accompanied with other mental health issues like depression, a prescription treatment may assist in combating the cause of the addiction. One such medication that can be used in the treatment of sex addiction is Anafranil. This medication is an antidepressant. But if you are seeking help for sex addiction, there are a number of treatment programs available. Sex addiction can be as serious as any other addiction, with the same detrimental effects on one's life and relationship. So, it's better to seek support from a professional as they will help you overcome it.
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  17. Nomore added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Medication for sex addiction
    my husband is a few weeks into recovery from sex addiction. Is acting out has included multiple physical infidelity as well as porn and masturbation. He tells me he is struggling with compulsive thoughts to act out and intrusive thoughts that he cannot control. He had OCD tendencies as a child with performing repetitive activities, etc. is there a place for medication in the recovery from sex addiction? Does anyone on this forum have experience of using medication for sex addiction?
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  18. PhilippaAnn added a post in a topic PLEASE HELP   

    Also, and I know this sounds weird but I think he finds it very hard to empathise with me.
    If I struggle with food or feel ill he very often cant show me much sympathy. If I'm generally struggling with stuff he doesn't like it. He seems to love me when I'm being my best self. I find this quite hard as I can't always be my "best" self.
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  19. PhilippaAnn added a post in a topic PLEASE HELP   

    Thank you for replying. We had a camping trip booked over the weekend which I decided to go. I wanted to give him the space and time just between us to be able to tell me about his problems which he did. He opened up a lot and was the most honest I've ever known him to be. I really didn't want to make it about myself, I just wanted to offer him support, but unfortunately I realise that was asking too much of myself.
    I now feel more confused than I ever did. We have an amazing dynamic when we're together, we just bounce off each other and I found that whenever we weren't thinking about the problem we just naturally ended up like this. To the point where at times I found myself thinking I could stay with him and help with conquer this. It's only now I'm home, and back to reality, I'm starting to wonder whether or not I can. I don't want him to feel messed about either.
    I love him very much and when it's amazing it is amazing. But has it only been amazing because he's been happy getting what he really needed elsewhere? If he finishes doing that will I actually be enough? Can he stop doing it? Is it going to be a year down the line I find out that he's been texting girls all over again? I'm worried I have no self respect and I'm a mug for staying with him. I'm worried that what he has isn't quite a full blown sexual addiction, rather he is just highly sexualised, a flirt and a cheat. I'm angry if he feels like he can say "it's not my fault" which he does, to a certain extent, believe.
    I have overcome an eating disorder, for the most part, but still suffer with low self esteem. I do understand how hard it is to actually talk about an embarrassing problem. However, with my low self esteem now comes me wondering what's wrong with myself. Is this the most unhealthy relationship ever? Can it actually survive? He says he will do everything it takes to prove he can stop this and that he wants to be with me. And I want to believe him so much, but is that to my own detriment?
    Sorry for the most confusing thread and all the questions, but if anyone could reply with any type of advice please do.
    Is there anyone out there in a similar situation that stayed with their partner and did it work?
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  20. Tortoise added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hi all, to those who've replied and those who haven't.
    Just checking in. I hope everyone is well and looking after themselves.
    This is not a long post as I have SO much work to do and deadlines soon. But I need to post because things have been difficult. I have l slipped 8 times in the last 7 days. looking at P and masturbating.
    One of my triggers is stress and trying to escape from tasks I think are hard. I have ADD tendencies  too, which doesn't help.
    Rob, 10, Atwitsend, Workinprogress, it's not that I've ignored your advice and insights; I know those things as true for me and my particular situation. It's just this damn addiction, will power and the falling back into easy familiar patterns. The neural pathway re-establishing itself?
    Anyway, in a nutshell, I am NOT giving up. This is a journey, and I've come so far and altough I have a hell of a long way to go, I know I'm learning something about myself and how this whole thing "works within me,"  for want of a better term. Anyway,  point is, I really am in this deep, and I have a lot of "baggage" I'm bringing to my own personal table. But I am determined to keep trying. I AM going to beat this somehow, so I hope that sentiment can also bring some strength and hope to someone else too.

    Keep fighting. Stay positive     
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  21. Behappy added a post in a topic I Just Need To Vent   

    Hi I'm new here and going through a similar situation with my husband.  Although I have found no recent evidence of chat sites I have in the past and also fake a Facebook account, which he deleted and refused to the chat but maintained it was just for looking, as well as porn.  My husband is very good with technology and therefore very good at hiding what he's doing.  Going to the trouble to download new browsers as my account is always logged into the laptop.  I think these days it's just porn with him.  How have you been able to live with it and accept it so long?  My husband says I am the one with the problem because it's "normal" for guys to watch porn and it's harmless and it's just fantastical.  I've tried to watch myself to desensitize myself a bit and say "ah yeah it's nothing" but every time I catch him he makes out it's me and we row and I feel so hurt.  I don't understand how they can love you but still do things to hurt you so deeply. Sending ((((hugs)))))
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  22. Behappy added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Help? Should he stop or should I live with it
    Hi I'm new here and looking for opinions and advice.  I have been with my husband for 5 years.  Of his own admission he "used to be" addicted to porn.  He watched many times a day and I guess a variety of genres but he was single so up to him.  He even mocked my ex when I told him he watched porn while i was asleep said he would never watch porn when he has me.  Anyway, it took me a couple of years to realise he was still watching.  I would find images and unclosed webpages on his phone.  He would use private browsers on the shared laptop while I was out.  I would be up sorting the kids and he would be in bed looking at images and probably videos.  I confronted him and we argued.  He says I am the one with the problem as it's harmless and why should I tell him what he can and can't do.  I suggested we watch together as I don't hate porn I just hate secrets and lies in a marriage.  He refused.  Eventually he says he would stop but he doesnt.  It makes me distrust him every time I leave the house or he spends hours on his phone with me entertaining the kids I think he's watching porn.  It hurts so much. 
    So this week I found he was downloading a porn app.  Yes I looked at his phone to see what he was downloading (bad of me but I don't want to be mugged off).  He denied it said he didn't know what it was...lie!  So we finally rowed about it to the point I told him if you can't stop watching it I need you to leave, it's hurting me and I can't take it any more.  He said I'm controlling and why should I be the centre of his world.  He wants privacy to do what he wants.  We have a 4 year old which we suspect has adhd and a 6mth old.  I get no privacy or alone time, he won't come to the park with us or soft play  (ok its not exciting but has to be done) as he prefers to stay home and obviously I believe he's watching porn when I'm out.  So he left.  He chose the porn.  He claims he's not addicted and hardly watches it.  If that's the case why is it such a big deal to consider my feelings and how hurt I am and just stop?  I really wish i was one of those women who wasn't bothered at all.  Our sex life now is not effected but it has been in the past.  But I still am not ok with the man I love looking at other women naked and having sex.  My brain won't allow me to overlook that.  Am I wrong?  I need help to save my marriage. (Sorry for such a long post)
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  23. Rob added a post in a topic PLEASE HELP   

    That sounds totally heartbreaking and is very sad to hear.
    Your boyfriend I think needs to take a long hard look at his actions and what he is prepared to do to clean up his act. This could be a real rock bottom for him that will promote him to change or he could just keep on doing it. He had to be prepared to change. You can point him at the resources here and other sex addiction sites but he needs to find help for himself and do the work which is hard and takes a lot of effort. Having an affair with another person is a whole additional layer of hurt and damage. Honestly, I think the best thing you can do is to explain to him that you won't tolerate that behaviour in your relationship and be prepared to back that up if he doesn't shape up. It's not good for you either. You also have the option of walking away too but that's obviously not a quick or easy decision to make. Ultimately it's up to you to decide though.
    The denial is very common in us addicts who will try to minimise and sweep it under the carpet. He has to want to talk about things willingly through recovery but for me personally that has taken a long time and there are still uncomfortable areas.
    One warning sign from what you wrote that jumped out at me was him asking to trust him and that this would make everything alright. This is a part of the fog of denial and addiction. Firstly, trust is not bestowed but earned. Secondly his actions have been highly undermining of the trust between you two. You being suspicious of his online activities is perfectly reasonable and it's on him to demonstrate he is trustworthy, not vice versa. For me, that shows some very faulty thinking that he needs to get to grips with.  Perhaps you might even think that you can't trust him again - that I believe is a better place to start from. He has a LOT of work to do.
    You sound rightly very angry too at being treated so badly. You don't deserve that at all and it's very important that you look after yourself and do whatever you need to do to healthily cope and be well in yourself. I believe this should be your priority until things become clearer but I don't know all your personal circumstances and the firm of that, how practical etc. Is something you can work out. But above all, please realise his problems are his and nothing to do with you. You will have contributed to the dynamic in the relationship, everybody does - that's normal. But his choice to get hooked on porn and carry on such damaging behaviour and particularly to have an affair is his responsibility entirely and he needs to own it. His feeling low and down at what he has done should motivate him to change because he's done some very hurtful things  - but you cannot control how others feel, only yourself.
    Feeling a lot of strong things all together I think is quite common and normal, though unpleasant or even contradictory. It can be overwhelming perhaps. It's all part of you trying to process what's going on. For me, it has got better with time but it can be a slow process. I would like to encourage you to please not judge yourself over your feelings, particularly those you might feel are negative or negative to yourself. But to try and accept them all for what they are and allow them to be part of it, for better or worse. They don't define you in any way and you still have total choice and control over how you act on them, in whatever manner or direction that is.
    Finally, I also would say that while I used to continue to have a sexual relationship with my wife I thought everything was fine between us (or rather it aided my denial) . Once that stopped then I truly wasn't getting a key part of the relationship and that helped me realise there were major problems. And in fact, now my attitudes have changed and I don't want a sexual relationship while there are relationship threatening issues abound. For me, it became about my own self respect also. That's just me though.
    Peace and kindness to you at such a difficult time.
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  24. PhilippaAnn added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for the past 3 and a bit years. Last April I found a lot of messages on his phone and ever since we’ve had lots of problems. He’s been very sneaky with his phone, denied ever texting any girls (to the point where he called me crazy and asked if I’d imagined them), really had a go at me for not trusting him. This has gone on for the past year with various stuff and different situations.
    Today I’ve found out he’s been sleeping with another girl. He denied it vehemently at first but eventually has broken down to me. He’s told me that he can’t stop watching porn and masturbating. He told me that he has slept with this girl. He told me that his is continually texting girls off porn websites, or dating websites, and has been doing since we got together. He said it’s for instant gratification. He cried a lot down the phone, said he hates himself and that he wants to get “better”.
    I’m in a state of shock. He sounds like a desperate man who needs help. He said he’s sick of living this double life and always worried about me looking at his phone or going on his computer (to which now I look back, he has always been extremely weird about me being near his phone or computer). On the other hand I’ve been treated like absolute shit for the last 3 years with him making me feel so guilty for not trusting him. It’s so important that he’s trusted. He’s now said it’s because if I trust him, then I won’t look at his phone, then he can relax. I’ve asked him if he still wants to be in a relationship with me and that if he doesn’t or needs time alone then he needs to take it. He’s told me he does.
    I’m not sure what to do for the best to help him? Part of me wants to tell him to sod off as he’s treated me so badly but the other part is desperate for him not to feel so low.
    Can you please advise on what’s the best way forward to get him some help? Do I need to back off? Is it awful that I'm disgusted with him? And now questioning every time we have sex and what he feels with me?!!!
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  25. Tortoise added a post in a topic Hello, I'm a porn addict.   

    Hi AtWitsEnd,
    You are NOT alone! And when you said...
    "...unlike most people, I don't get a hardon and then think "I need to masturbate" - I have usually had a session because I was bored."
    .....let me tell you, you are definitely NOT the only one who does this. I use P and masturbation as an escape from everyday situations I think I can't handle, so it is very common for me to seek out the feeling of getting aroused, having a hard-on etc, without having those thoughts "naturally"; I would see porn as a "quick-fix" way to get to that place of escape. I still do when I slip. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would say this. We understand here on this forum. 

    I also worry about self-disciplne. I am alone in the house often while my wife is out, and the opportunity based triggers are very real.
    Have you read The Kick Start pdf and the other resources here and on the Paula hall site? If not please check them out, and look at the courses available. I think you will find parallels between the advice given and your situation.   
    On Monday Tuesday and today I slipped. Before that I was 13 days clean, and before that, another period of being clean, punctuated with slips. But I want to move on, as we all do. The point is, I realise now that I can, that while a slip is not what one wants, that it is part of recovery. Trying to learn from one's mistakes. If you have not yet, please read Rob's answer to my first post, above. He makes some excellent points and has good insights (and puts in more eloquently than I could  ). As do 10 and Workinprogress

    Indeed, all of the repiles and other posts here have have many truths and insights in them that I can relate to my situation and use, to fight on. So I'm sure, and I hope that is true for you AtWitsEnd. 
    To those of you who have shared already, Workinprogress, 10 and Rob, thanks again for having the courage to share and offer your thoughts. And to anyone else reading this going through anything similar, we are NOT alone. You are not alone.
    And you're not hijacking the thread, you're reaching out. Please post more often! 

    Take care everyone, keep fighting!

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