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Activity Stream

  1. Janey36 added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Hi Vicky
    Hows things?  Silly question really, I know, but hoping for a positive reply just the same. 
    Its so difficult to cope which ever way you go, isn't it. There's you and others in a similar position where you have left or the partner has left and you feel so utterly alone.
    Then there's those like me who are still sharing the same roof and yet find it equally as hard being in the same room as this person who you loved so much and has destroyed so much of your faith in people.
    Things have settled a little here after an explosive half hour from me last week. Tension build up I guess. Trouble is I still feel the same as I did weeks ago, still don't see a future together but trying to see this as a type of mental illness. The husband on the other hand, says hes avoided all contact and not watched any porn for the last 3 weeks. I'm inclined to believe him but not inclined to believe that he wont in the future. He talks about our planned holiday in May and asks if I want to go and see some comic or other in June......its like he knows hes done wrong and is trying to make it right but doesn't seem to understand that there is no quick fix. Its like he thinks that now he has admitted his problems and stopped that everything is okay now. Even if he never looks at porn again, never meets up with a prostitute again its never going to be okay again. 
    I was very interested to read PJs response and so glad to see that there can be light at the end of the tunnel for both himself and his wife. 
    I do love my husband and am broken hearted that this has happened, but its the loss of trust I feel so strongly about most of all. Even if he did stay clean for the rest of his life, how would I know?
    I'm rambling now, so I shall say fare well and talk again soon. 
    Lets us know how you're getting on Vicky.
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  2. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Destroyed relationship and hurt girlfriend I love deeply   

    Hi Crisper,
    Hope you are ok. I am in a similar position to you. Early 20s and been seeing escorts/massage parlours over the last year or so. And I really want to stop. I am in the London and Surrey area and there is just such easy access to escorts and massage parlours. I deeply regret my actions as well. Get in touch if you want to chat.
    Best
    YIK
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  3. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic I really need help   

    Hey Sunbeam,
    Sorry to hear about your issues and well done for reaching out. I have a similar issue with seeing escorts. You are not alone. Have you seen the film Shame? Happy to chat so message me if you would like.
    Best
    YIK
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  4. Victoria added a post in a topic How do I get through this?   

    Yes Angel. Look forward. You know the truth and so does he. We can do it! 😌
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  5. Victoria added a post in a topic Just discovered my husbands secrets   

    Hi,
    Ive decided to not stay with my partner. Although the pain has been unbearable at my loss, I too feel a weight has been lifted. I no longer have to be scared, anxious and suspicious.
    Its not a loss actually, because what I thought we had was just a lie anyway. I have freedom, as scary as it is and I’m sad that I may never find the love of my life after all, not to mention falling for the wrong man again or not being able to trust the right man.
    I know however, that my decision is the right one for me and my children.
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  6. Victoria added a post in a topic CRISIS PHASE! ADVICE FROM EXPERTS/SEX ADDICTS OR PARTNERS   

    Hello Prue,
    What a heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this.
    Im guessing his anger is directed towards you because he loves you, but really he is angry at himself. He’s ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted with how he is and it sounds like he is heading towards rock bottom.
    I truly believe that he needs to reach rock bottom before he can fully address his issues.
    When that happens, I’m sure he will feel truly alone. This is when he will need you.
     
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  7. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Vava,
    I am almost out of words. I feel your pain.
    I’ll write more soon. Stay strong!
    Vicky.
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  8. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    PJ,
    Thank you for such a candid answer. Thank you!
    I can feel my ex partner’s pain and suffering through your words. You have described him totally.
    I feel your pain too and I hurt for you too.
    You are one brave soul and your wife is another.
    I wish you all the strength you can both muster on your journey together and am hopeful that your collective strength grows and grows. You deserve this.
    With respect,
    Vicky.
     
     
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  9. PJ added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Hi Victoria
    I will try and answer your question - but the mind is a puzzling organ and addiction is 'cunning' as SAA describe it.  I will try and answer your question but to be honest it is puzzling and I don't quite know where to start, but I will try.
    1. For me, it crept up on me and it became a slippery slope.  For me, I used porn/masturbation/sex workers to anesthetise pain.  The tragedy of addiction is that it erodes your self-esteem and so the more you get into it the more you need something to anaesthetise your pain.  Sex addiction isn't so much about sex as finding something that makes feel good - but it is an addiction so you become tolerant and need a bigger hit over time.  I could have become addicted to alcohol or drugs, gambling etc - the causes and dynamics would have been the same.
    2. Paula talks about splitting.  I think what that means is this.  Addiction is usually secret and shameful.  Why?  Because it goes against your values.  Your partner might genuinely say that it is wrong for people to watch porn/see sex workers AND do it himself.  He is doing it secretly and in shame because he believes it is wrong.  If he didn't he would be brazen about it, he wouldn't be in an exclusive relationship (rather he would be in an 'open relationship' or none at all).  The mind somehow manages this contradiction by 'splitting' (I think that is correct - don't quote me).
    3. Addicts become deceitful as a result.  Which means that they are not only dishonest with others, they are dishonest with themselves.  e.g. 'This isn't such a big deal - others do it' or 'I need sex, I am not getting it...', or 'it's just biology' etc.   To regain their self-respect and have any hope of recovery, they have to recover their honesty.  But it is difficult - we don't like pain, and being honest leads to a whole load of pain!  And we feel crap about ourselves anyway, without needing others telling us we are shits.  Shame is a big hindrance to recovery.
    4. For me - I knew it would be so very painful for my wife, so couldn't tell her.  I didn't know where to go for help.  I couldn't beat it on my own.  So I felt I couldn't get off the tramlines.  There were no other options but to keep acting out, which I hated.  That is the strange thing - you hate what you are doing. I eventually found help after a few false starts over the years, and it took some persuasion to tell my wife.  The clincher was when Paula told me that my recovery had to be more important than my marriage.  I realised that if I didn't beat this then I wouldn't have a marriage, that the only hope was honesty and if I was honest with my wife, I might, just might save my marriage.  
    5. In the addiction cycle, there is a point when you get obsessed.  It becomes very very consuming.  At that point, you will do almost anything to get your fix - hence 'risky behaviour' - whether it is doing something illegal, getting found out etc.  
    You and your partner may or may not have a future together.  What I can say is from my experience, and from other couples who have survived this, is that we have learnt more about yourselves, we have both grown personally through this crisis and our marriage is now stronger, better and closer than it has ever been.  My wife would agree, although it wasn't so long ago that she told me that she still feels the pain most days - I presume that is still true.
    I am not sure whether that helps.  This stuff is now nearly 3 years old for me - so I am struggling a little bit to remember - but it is good for me to remind myself just how awful it was.  Addiction is horrendous - once it has taken over, one feels like a slave who cannot escape.
     
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  10. PJ added a post in a topic A year into recovery   

    A partner on this forum once asked what advice I could give to help him recover.  This was my answer - I hope it is helpful.  Please remember though every situation and every person is different.   I can talk from my own experience and perhaps draw out some essentials?  
    1. I reached rock bottom.  I decided that the road I was on lead to destruction.  I wanted find a way out.  Your husband is the only one who can decide this.  It is up to him.  He has to be desperate to get out of addiction.  On my course, which I will tell your about, Paula said, 'your recovery has to be more important than your marriage' - I took that to mean it had to be more important than anything and everything.  It makes sense - if you don't recover, you won't have a marriage (in normal circumstances), and if you do, then you might have a marriage.
    2. I contacted Paula and had some counselling.  That was good but she really sees the intensive recovery as the most effective therapy, and I now see why.  In fact, just a few weeks before my intensive I saw two sex workers despite something like 8-10 sessions with Paula.  Since the intensive I haven't looked at porn, seen a sex worker etc etc.  I would make sure he/you get specialist counselling from Paula or one of her associates.
    3 I did her 5 day recovery.  It was amazing - I had wanted to recover before, but on the course I finally had the tools to recover and I made the decision that I would recover at all costs.   I also decided to tell my wife of 20 years.   Her courses are advertised on her website.  
    4. I told my wife some weeks later - it was awful.  It was a strange path we then took - I was feeling a whole load better because I was beginning to recover into a vaguely normal person, she was devastated, and that is an understatement.  She had specialist counselling with one of Paula's associates and went on the partners course a few months later.
    5 My wife was amazing for a number of reasons.  Firstly she didn't pretend it wasn't important.  She didn't collude in any way.  Many partners of addicts are 'co-dependents' which means they collude and compensate.  My wife didn't.  If she could have done she would have thrown me out of house for some time but for various reasons that wasn't possible, but she did kick me out of the bedroom.  In other words she asserted boundaries, and I needed them.  You need to be uncompromising with him.  To do otherwise won't do him any favours.  
    6 Your husband will only recover if he is honest, brutally honest with himself and with you.  Eventually I came to tell some of my friends and my employer - they were all great but I could have lost my job (I didn't and that was a miracle).  i did this to recover my integrity - to become the same person on the outside as the inside.  I would be very surprised if your husband wasn't also addicted to porn.  He needs to be honest about this - indeed about everything.  Paula/her associates can help him and you to go through a full disclosure of everything and that is important for you both.  
    7. This addiction isn't about sex and it isn't about you or your sex life.  It is about deeper stuff in your husbands mind/soul, pain etc. that it is eased by the sex.  It could have sought solace in alcohol, drugs or gambling it.  It is important for you to hear that.  It isn't about you or your sex life.
    8. I abstained from masturbation/sex etc for 90 days (recommended by people in this line of business).  When I told Clare, she then asserted a 90 day period of abstinence.  Addicts think they can't live without their hit, but the truth is they can, they won't die.  They refer to this 90 days as a reboot - it worked very effectively for me.  It was like a system reboot.  Weird.
    9.  I have continued in my recovery using a local Sex Addicts Anonymous group (SAA) - this is recommended after an intensive recovery course although Paula now runs post course groups too now.
    9 I am 2.5 years in - I haven't masturbated, looked at porn or visited a sex worker since.  For me, intrigue is a big enemy - they talk about it quite a lot in SAA.   I still have cravings, and sometimes I watch stuff on terrestrial tv that comes close to porn but haven't gone any further.    I have discovered that I need to pursue serenity as much as anything else. (c.f. serenity prayer of the 12 step movement), if I do that then my cravings diminish.
    I hope that helps. 
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  11. PJ added a post in a topic Anyone now feel completely disconnected?   

    Hi Disconnected
    I am a recovered addict so can't speak from the perspective of someone who has been in your shoes, but I have watched my partner go through the trauma of my disclosure to her about my addictive behaviour - porn, sex workers etc.
    For my partner it was devastating and she had symptoms of ptsd subsequently.  At one point she very nearly stabbed me with the kitchen knife - a near crime of passion! 
    It sounds like you are in shock, that your emotions have shut down.
    I would encourage you to see a counsellor who is specialises in sex addiction.  My partner saw one of Paula's counsellors who counsels the partners of addicts.  She was brilliant.  Both of Paula's books are worth reading too - the one about the addiction and the one for partners.
    I hope other partners post something that might help you further.
    Don't underestimate the emotional trauma this puts you through.  Take care of yourself - seriously.
     
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  12. Prue added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    In desperate need of experienced advice!
    It was 2.5 weeks ago when I discovered my partner was a sex addict, by accident. The discovery unveiled in the staggered disclosure pattern a few days and what I know so far is that my husband who is 35, has been having erotic massages since 21 and also has been involved in prostitution. He has done this through all of his relationships including ours. We have been together for 4yrs and married for 1 of those. I am currently 4 months pregnant. Leading up to the discovery I knew something wasn't right, for some reason I couldn't trust him and it resulted in fights over the past year. One fight in Nov I asked him to leave the house over his lack of support of me being newly pregnant. He returned after a few days, telling me wanted out of our relationship. I was shocked, he could want to leave so easily. I later discovered that he had been on a binge of acting out after that fight. I believe he may have otherwise been abstinent the whole year. It took him 3 weeks to appear less depressed settle down and re-commit to investing in our relationship. Following that over Xmas and NY things were going well. He was excited about our 1st child on the way and came to my ultrasound appointments and was telling his friends about the pregnancy. This all came to a hault at discovery time. Initially he was remorseful. He said he still loved me and he didn't want me to give up the baby. He admitted to being a sex addict and even turned up to a sex addict anonymous appointment. A few days later we were supposed to go and tell his parents about his addiction so they could help us through while I was pregnant and we were trying to go through professional help and he did a complete 180 and flipped and walked out on me. On that night, it was like he was taken over by another human I had never met before. Two days later he phoned me to say he wanted a divorce, that our marriage is irreconcilable, that he didn't love me anymore and that he didn't care what I did with our baby, whether I kept it or not but he wanted nothing to do with it. He was so angry at me and blames all of our problems on me, he also denied on that phonecall being a sex addict.
    I haven't heard from him since, I assume he went out on another bender. I reached out to him to apologise for my reaction to his discovery and still nothing. It is like he has just run out of my life with no remorse. One of his friends who has been in touch with me tells me he is still very angry at me and still blaming everything on me. I know he really did want children and he is a very proud person who cares immensely what others think of him. I know he hasn't faced yet the judgement of what people will think of him walking out on his pregnant wife. My question is, will this anger and blame that is directed towards me by him resolve or will he carry this forever? I keep receiving advice to take care of myself for now and even to think myself lucky that he has walked out on me, but that does not help. I wanted the chance to try to work through this. I still love him immensely and believe people deserve second chances. I don't know whether to reach out to him and continue to tell him I love him and am there for him or whether to just give him some space in the hope that in time he will cool down. Has anyone else seen sex addicts react like this immediately post discovery and do things from there every change?
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  13. Disconnected added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Anyone now feel completely disconnected?
    Hi all, 
    so a short question: my fiancé and I are planning our wedding. Since we started seeing each other two and half years ago, I knew he had an issue with sex addiction (porn/massage parlours) but had not cheated on me with someone “real” - if that makes sense. Problems we worked through meant that the boundaries we agreed was profound honesty, communication and no porn, moreso as it leads to other things.
    Ive now found out that he lied to me twice - he’d been using before Christmas and only came clean as he thought I’d found out (I hadn’t as I had started to trust him), and then after a huge revisit to the relationship, New Years consisted of him making huge promises to fix his issues and one more chance etc. Ten days later, whilst away with work, he’s been online on porn again. 
    Has anyone else ever felt so numb or just felt nothing? Not even the want to leave? Like I feel like every time this and his anger outbursts happen, it diminishes my sympathy and patience for him. Now I don’t know what to do. Not that I feel anything - no love, no hate, no pain nothing. I used to be an incredibly loving person. I’m just not that anymore. 
     
    Anyone else? 
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  14. Prue added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    CRISIS PHASE! ADVICE FROM EXPERTS/SEX ADDICTS OR PARTNERS
    It was 2.5 weeks ago when I discovered my partner was a sex addict, by accident. The discovery unveiled in the staggered disclosure pattern a few days and what I know so far is that my husband who is 35, has been having erotic massages since 21 and also has been involved in prostitution. He has done this through all of his relationships including ours. We have been together for 4yrs and married for 1 of those. I am currently 4 months pregnant. Leading up to the discovery I knew something wasn't right, for some reason I couldn't trust him and it resulted in fights over the past year. One fight in Nov I asked him to leave the house over his lack of support of me being newly pregnant. He returned after a few days, telling me wanted out of our relationship. I was shocked, he could want to leave so easily. I later discovered that he had been on a binge of acting out after that fight. I believe he may have otherwise been abstinent the whole year. It took him 3 weeks to appear less depressed settle down and re-commit to investing in our relationship. Following that over Xmas and NY things were going well. He was excited about our 1st child on the way and came to my ultrasound appointments and was telling his friends about the pregnancy. This all came to a hault at discovery time. Initially he was remorseful. He said he still loved me and he didn't want me to give up the baby. He admitted to being a sex addict and even turned up to a sex addict anonymous appointment. A few days later we were supposed to go and tell his parents about his addiction so they could help us through while I was pregnant and we were trying to go through professional help and he did a complete 180 and flipped and walked out on me. On that night, it was like he was taken over by another human I had never met before. Two days later he phoned me to say he wanted a divorce, that our marriage is irreconcilable, that he didn't love me anymore and that he didn't care what I did with our baby, whether I kept it or not but he wanted nothing to do with it. He was so angry at me and blames all of our problems on me, he also denied on that phonecall being a sex addict.
    I haven't heard from him since, I assume he went out on another bender. I reached out to him to apologise for my reaction to his discovery and still nothing. It is like he has just run out of my life. One of his friends who has been in touch with me tells me he is still very angry at me and still blaming everything on me. I know he really did want children and he is a very proud person who cares immensely what others think of him. I know he hasn't faced yet the judgement of what people will think of him walking out on his pregnant wife. My question is, will this anger and blame that is directed towards me by him resolve or will he carry this forever? I keep receiving advice to take care of myself for now and even to think myself lucky that he has walked out on me, but that does not help. I wanted the chance to try to work through this. I still love him immensely and believe people deserve second chances. I don't know whether to reach out to him and continue to tell him I love him and am there for him or whether to just give him some space in the hope that he will cool down. Has anyone else seen sex addicts react like this immediately post discovery and do things from there ever change?
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  15. Vava added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Hi Vicky,
    Thank you for asking this question. I am also waiting for PJ (or Rob) to comment on this. It is so difficult to get my head around... My husband did try to explain this to me but I am struggling to believe in anything he says, and therefore any such explanation would sound like another lame excuse. He was talking about compartmentalizing his addictive behaviors and his marriage, like they would be two separate things. So when he is with other women he does not think about me and when he is with me, he doesn't not think about other women nor his addictive behaviors. Now, for a woman this is just a load of baloney. Even I cant be next to him without thinking about his other women for a second. It has stained everything i do and everything we have ever done together for the last 14 years.
    I have read through your posts and my heart aches for you. It is painful painful experience. My prayer is that in a long term we will grow stronger through it and not be crushed.
    Vava
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  16. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Hello PJ,
    Could you tell me, if you can, how you understand you could do this to your wife, potentially ruining the best thing that has ever happened to you? This is only so I can hear it from an addicts perspective. I greatly respect you for being so honest with your wife and people on here, and I hope that you remain in recovery. Yours is such an inspiring story. My ex partner has said that he never wanted to hurt me, never wanted to ruin the best thing in his life, but couldn’t stop himself. I know that I need to move on, but I’m hoping your answer can help me to realise that it wasn’t about me. I’m so hurt and am struggling with self esteem.
    Many thanks,
    Vicky.
     
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  17. Cowslip added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Hope you felt able to spend some time with your friend, and that her support helped you.  We've all been through those awful mood swings - one moment ready to fight and take on the world, and the next just frightened and lonely and desperately, unbelievably sad and hurt.  Whatever you choose to do, and however you choose to deal with this, believe me things do get easier, and although it is a cliche, time does help to heal the wounds.  This situation makes us vulnerable, so be kind to yourself and keep yourself safe.
    Thinking of you tonight - let us know how you get on this week xxxx
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  18. PJ added a post in a topic Sex addiction and lack of empathy   

    Hi Joy
    Your situation sounds very hard.  In reading your post, what came across is that he is minimising his responsibility in all this, and putting most of it on you.  It sounds like the pressure is on your to change and he doesn't understand his part in how you are.  If he did, he would give you time, kindness, space, love, encouragement.
    I am tempted to ask you to give him a message from me, a recovering addict, 'get real'!  When we act out, when we hurt our partners with our unfaithfulness, it is devastating.  DEVASTATING.   It results in devastation.   Some partners get PTSD, it is so traumatising.  It is entirely understandable that you are finding it difficult, he needs to hear that he bears responsibility for this.
    I have done the 12steps with SAA over the years.  They talk about making amends for our wrong doing.  Making amends for him would be to give you what you need, not to highlight your faults.  
    I wish you well.  Let us know how things go.
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  19. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    I can’t stop crying, the pain is overwhelming. I love him so much and wish that he didn’t have this illness. I miss him and want him right now. I want his arms around me, to feel him, to smell him. I feel so weak and vulnerable. I just want my soulmate. 😞
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  20. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Thanks Janey,
    I'm going to a friend’s this afternoon until tomorrow. She’s single and we’re just going to hang out and talk and laugh. She’s been my rock through FaceTime and it’ll be so lovely to spend time with her.
    Stay strong.
    X
     
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  21. Janey36 added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    You haven't let him down, Vicky, and I doubt very much that he sees it that way either. So please don't add that particular burden to your heavy load.
    My husband is totally wracked with guilt and I think that I should be supportive of him as I have been in the past thru a couple of serious illnesses......but I don't have the strength at the moment. He has bought this down on us all, he has his therapist and support, he can fight this battle alone, for now at least, tho maybe for ever.
    We still share our home, Vicky, he still works and unfortunately from home half the time, but I don't work.
    There is no conversation just the 'have you feed the dog' and 'do you want anything to drink' type thing. 
    Its good to have people on here to talk to  because I don't have to explain myself. You already know why I can't look at him, or talk to him. 
    I have a trip away with number 2 daughter next weekend, which I am looking forward to, its been planned for a while. Then in Feb am off to London to stay with number 3 daughter, even tho she will be at work during the day.......its London, I shall find plenty to do to entertain (and  distract ) myself! Meanwhile, here in my home town is number 1 daughter and their 2 sons.
    I am very lucky to have 1 of the 3 close by. 
    I urge you to accept any invitations that come your way from family and friends. Anything is better than sitting at home and staring at the walls or the TV, which I seem to do a lot of. I don't want to go out and walk the dog or go to the shop. I don't want to bump into any neighbours or friends  who will ask how I am or ask after the family. I don't want to have to lie about having a good Christmas, when in truth it was the most heart breaking time. 
    Hang in there ladies...........
     
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  22. Victoria added a post in a topic Struggling to trust again   

    I feel so sad for all of us 
    Only time will tell whichever path we choose.
    I hope, with all my heart that we can all recover.
    X
     
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  23. Victoria added a post in a topic No compassion, no nothing   

    Janey,
    My partner waited until he destroyed us before he came clean. His addiction is so powerful that he could see what he would lose but NOTHING could stop him. It had to come to this devastation before he had the power to say ‘enough is enough’.
    Of course it’s about your husband ‘s  recovery. It’s heartbreaking that people are suffering this mental illness. But you have to decide whether or not you can be part of this. Your recovery is essential.
    Everyone is suggesting that you take time for you. Clarity about your needs and how you feel you can honestly cope with them is so important.
    Alone......it’s such a frightening word.......but is it just fear of the unknown?
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  24. Victoria added a post in a topic Recent discovery of partner’s sex addiction   

    Thank you Cowslip, so much, such wise words, we each have unique experiences and situations. 
    I understand that people in the long haul have a different situation to mine, and in a way I almost wish that we had been together for twenty years, had children together, so that I would have no choice but to repair alongside him. That sounds quite twisted I realise. But we have only had two years together, no children together, and his addiction (and acting out) and mental suffering is so extreme that I honestly don’t think, no matter how hard he wants to and tries, that he will ever be free of it. Knowing what I know, I’m guessing this started at puberty or earlier for him. This breaks my heart, for him. He is hurting more than me, I’m sure. Walking away from him was so hard. I feel like I’ve let him down.
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