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  1. GMTherapist added a post in a topic Ali   

    Hi Ali
    this must have been a devastating shock for you. It's very hard to discover that the person you thought you knew very well has a part in their life that they have kept secret 
    Many partners would describe similar responses to yours. Such as feeling that they haven't been enough for their partners sexually, losing confidence in themselves, feeling the need to uncover their suspicions by playing detective but being very uncomfortable in doing that, and feeling they would find it hard to ever fully trust their partner again.
    i would echo PJs comments about being honest with your boyfriend and being clear with him  on what you expect in a relationship.
    I would also recommend reading Paula Halls book on the Partners Perspective as well. If you could get your boyfriend to read both books, for the addict and for the partner it might help him understand his own situation and the effect his compulsive porn viewing is having on you and his own life. 
     
    Good luck. 
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  2. Grace added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Sex addict partner and had enough :-(
    My partner of 14 years and 2 children later has admitted he is a sex addict, in the sense of watches porn daily, fantasises daily and is ruining a family and relationship because sex is more important to him than his actual reality and life!
    It all started 2 years ago when he tried to cheat on me with a friend of mine and as he so kindly put it, "I was only fixated with her and wanted to F her!" To him it was "just" sex. To me it opened up a massive can worms and a lot of truths learnt about him and still finding out now.
    He admitted to me then his daily use of pornography since a very young age, before me and him were together. He watches straight, gay, bi, any really as any sexual act gets him off. He about 8 months ago came out to me bisexual which was yet another blow I was not expecting but reassured me that he "didn't want to experience men, just felt attracted to them and its me he wants to be with."
    I do, however, have my reservations about him being bisexual though and feel its just another part of the addiction taking over his life due to the fact he has admitted its gay porn he watches 90% of the time and the fantasy of it is all he gets off on, he doesn't think a sexual encounter with a man is what he expects it to be or what he actually wants. 
    Its like he lives constantly in his head and has no grasp of the actual world around him. Me, his children, his job! He is self employed and has rarely worked over the last month as he just lies in bed thinking about sex. I seriously don't know what to do!
    I am frightened, lonely and have no one I can talk to about any of this and if I try to with him, he just gets amgry and says he doesn't want help and can do it himself and just stop watching porn. I have a feeling this will all end in disaster.
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  3. PJ added a post in a topic Ali   

    Hi Ali
    I think it is more complicated than that.  Strangely people with sex addiction, are lonely, they want intimacy but at the same time fear it.  His pain latches onto sex, but it could have latched onto anything.  It isn't really about sex, perhaps surprisingly. It sounds like you have a good relationship - hold onto that.  
    Can I suggest you read Paula's book on Sex Addiction - it will give you a very helpful insight into this rather strange but dangerous addiction?  It is called "Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction".  
     
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  4. Ali added a post in a topic Ali   

    PJ and Rob, many thanks for your replies, very interesting reading, much appreciated. I just think men and women view things differently I view it as a betrayal and I'm not pretty, slim, good enough in bed for him so he looking elsewhere. I wrote to a problem page about it and was told he probably looking as our sex life is lacking! Before this I would of said we had a brilliant relationship, never row, laugh all the time, have date nights every week, and lots of sex. Which is why it has come as a big shock. His only saving grace is that he is not looking at porn on the days he sees me (4xs a week) 
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  5. Rob added a post in a topic Will things get better?   

    Hello Rena,
    Your experience sounds really shocking and devastating with a huge amount of damage done. It sounds like your world has been completely turned upside down and the man you thought you knew is actually somebody else entirely.
    My wife has expressed very similar feels of questioning her own judgement over my complete denial and covering up of my porn problem for pretty much 20 years. I think the fact that she had no clue whatsoever and all other parts of our relationship were apparently "good" caused a huge amount of damage. That you can recognise the very bad treatment you've had from him is really important although terribly painful too.
    How long it takes for an addict to recover I don't know for sure. I can tell you that personally I am 18 months in and still find days and behaviours difficult and challenging. I think I have changed significantly but it's not something I feel has completely vanished from my life. It is something I could easily fall back into and recovery is still a fragile and precious thing for me personally. People can change but I think it's important to be realistic about the time frames involved - I don't think it's something that anyone can get over in a few weeks or months. It really takes years because you are reversing patterns of behaviour that have often gone on for years or even decades.
    The shattering of trust is a huge issue and again that takes a lot of time to very slowly rebuild and is not a linear path. My wife had an affair shortly before I confronted my problems with porn and (for various personal reasons) we are only recently starting to tackle some of the root issues. There is a lot of brutal honesty needed on both sides and often the answers are painful and difficult to hear. Deciding to stay or go has been very hard for both of us and the emotional ground can shift day to day.
    I think the painful truth is that it's not really all over because it's out in the open - quite the opposite actually. That is now the starting point for the real work to begin and things to change. I am learning to accept that it will never really be "all over" or done with - rather instead it has become part of my life experience and learning about myself and my wife and how relationships really do (or do not) work.
    For me, it's critical that I owned my porn problem and stay on top of it. That's something that's totally on me to do and that I am responsible for. I can't expect my wife or anyone else to do that for me. I didn't always have that level of emotional maturity and sometimes I still find it hard to stay in that place but I feel it's part of shaping a different future and changing my behaviour. Sometimes accepting responsibility for all the hurt I've caused and the undermining of trust, hidden behaviour, anger etc. is very hard to do.
    This has been my experience.
    Some of these online links may help:
    http://recoverynation.com/partners/
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?board=7.0
    All the phases of grief you describe - the anger, depression, anxiety, shame are very difficult to tackle and take a lot of time. These things in many ways have been thrust upon you by your fiance's actions. It might feel very unfair and frustrating and it is. The most important thing I think is to take all the time you need and find more help and outlets to help you process the huge range of strong and painful emotions that this situation creates. Above all be kind to yourself because this isn't anything that you've done in any way and is no reflection on you but instead on him. It many ways, the relationship that you thought you had and the man you thought you knew is gone - that's a extremely tough thing to have forced upon you and I can definitely connect a lot with those feelings of grief. It has got better for me over time as I slowly accept my wife's affair and working at my issues but that doesn't make it easy and there are no quick fixes sadly. It is a truly awful situation as you say.
    Peace.
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  6. PJ added a post in a topic Will things get better?   

    Wow, what a dreadful experience for you Rena.  I am coming to this from the other side, as an addict but free of this stuff for 2 years.  I think I would say two things.
    1. You intuition is correct, for an addict to recover, s/he has to be brutally honest with themself and I would suggest (though some others will disagree with me) honest with their partner.    It is painful, but it is the only way to recovery and the only way to rebuild trust in a relationship.
    2. There is hope.  You can read a short post from me about my recovery in the Success Stories section.  People do kick this.  
    Keep going.
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  7. Rob added a post in a topic Online Resources for Addicts Wanting Help   

    Added - thanks! That's a new one for me, looks very useful.
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  8. Rob added a post in a topic Ali   

    Hello Ali,
    I'm very sorry to hear the great shock you've had to learn of your boyfriend's problem and the effect on your confidence. I can only imagine how difficult it is to try and come to terms with it, especially if it's come as a surprise. It's so sad to hear.
    I think the most important thing is for you to take care of yourself and get help wherever you can to just try and get by and process things, which takes time. Whatever help and care you can take of yourself is what really matters. I'm not an expert on partner's help but there are support groups out there and other women who've sadly had to go through similar problems with their husbands and partner's who can offer a lot better help. Saying "no" to porn in your relationship is a perfectly reasonable thing to want and need - there's nothing in the slightest wrong with you in any way whatsoever for asking that. Maybe it is a deal-breaker for you if your boyfriend ultimately can't stick to it. That's a very tough place to be.
    Your boyfriend sounds like a man who's very unhappy with himself and unable to cope without porn. I think he needs to get help for his problems and sort that out himself. 4 years is a long time of misery. Really there is nobody that can do that for him apart from himself and he has to want to do it and acknowledge the damaging effect it's had. That's a really difficult thing to do though and takes time but it's on him and not you. He has to want to change and seek out sites like this and others for himself. It may help in time to recognise that his problems predate your relationship and are therefore nothing really to do with you - logically and rationally that may make sense but emotionally I appreciate it's very different. If you want to understand more about his problem and where it came from, that's something to explore but right now please take good care of yourself as number one priority. Maybe finding some trusted close friend (your friend who had a similar problem with her husband) or professional help could give you a one possible outlet.
    Also one more thing, I'd like to say, please don't feel guilty or beat yourself up about "snooping" or let him use that against you - yes, it's obviously not a great to do in a relationship but clearly you suspected things were being hidden from you and there are much bigger problems to tackle. He is the one who has been hiding this from you.
    Peace.
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  9. PJ added a post in a topic Porn   

    I wouldn't be negative about the various 12 step programmes.  I go to SAA group and it doesn't 'shove religion down your throat' - in fact there is no religion.  Yes a 'higher power' but they are quick to let you define what that high power is.  Groups vary a lot, if one doesn't work, try another.  
    Keep going!
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  10. PJ added a post in a topic Online Resources for Addicts Wanting Help   

    I would add Recovery Nation to your list of website resources - I found it very helpful. www.recoverynation.com
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  11. PJ added a post in a topic Ali   

    Hi Ali, this sort of thing is devastating and you have good reason to feel very upset.  I have come from the otherside, having been married for 22 years, addicted to porn since my teenage years but have now been completely free from it for 2 years now and still married.  From my own experience can suggest that you are honest with him about the fact that you know.  The only hope he has, is if he faces things honestly and lives in rigorous honesty.   This addiction thrives in secrecy and shame.  So the first thing is to bring it into the open.  Tell him that you know.
    Secondly, this can only be beaten with help.  There is a lot of help on the internet - sites like www.sexaddictionhelp.co.uk.  
    Others on this site may also recommend how he can get help.  
    Keep going, there is hope.  People do kick the habit.  
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  12. Rena added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Will things get better?
    Hello,
    I'm new to using forums, and very new to 'being the partner of a sex addict'....
    I need to ask whether it actually gets better. Can someone with strong and long running sexual addiction problems ever get better? Or will I spend the rest of my life paranoid and sick, because I don't trust my partner?
    I know there are no magic formulas for this, and I have had some short term counselling for myself, but I have never experienced anything like this, and neither has anyone I know - that I could speak to about it. My support network is very small because I am confused and ashamed of everything that has happened. There are very few I feel comfortable discussing this with.
    I have been with my partner for 3 years, we are engaged. We have a beautiful life together (besides this). I discovered 7 months ago that he has been cheating on me with numerous people, hundreds of online affairs / inappropriate behaviour, long term secret online girlfriends, porn addiction, shopping addiction, constantly cruising exes, reigniting exes.... it goes on. He has done some incredibly unkind and cruel things, and destroyed the relationship I thought we had. Without going in to too much detail, he has been gaslighting me and deceiving me so deeply and completely for so long, that he still believes his own lies to some extent. I have spent a long time in grief, trauma, despair.. in and out of anxiety and depression.
    I discovered that he has been acting like this for over a decade, and created a huge web of lies for himself which crept across all aspects of his life. Unfortunately he works in pop culture, and is a little 'famous' so there is opportunity for him to access sexy girls pretty much 24/7. The girls he cheats with are all famous models (usually he has dated them), suicide girls, fetish models... nothing like me. I'm a babe, but I'm not a fantasy girl.
    While things are improving significantly, there are still a lot of issues not being addressed. My main problem is that while things feel more level now after a heart breaking period of explanation, new discoveries, digging, therapy for both of us, revelation after revelation... we are both exhausted... I don't think he fully grasps the fact that he has addiction problems. He is directly addressing the core, root problems that caused his unhappiness with a therapist (childhood trauma, recent death of parent), but won't address the acting out behaviour or participate in the directly 'addiction' based things I want to talk about, or work on. He thinks it is all over now that everything has come out in the open. The pressure release was devastating but great, for both of us, but I'm worried it will be damaging for the future for him to sweep it under the carpet. To give him credit, he is working very hard to be better, to change our life, and to demonstrate his love and commitment to me now. I feel a lot of positive changes.

    I want to know how to rebuild trust, and to love him fully again. I don't want to marry someone I don't feel safe with, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling paranoid and crazy. It's truly truly awful.
    Does it get better? Is it possible?
    I believe in the life we have together, and in our future, but when you have been lied to so successfully, so fully, it is hard to trust your own judgement again. I have chosen to stay with him right now, because I am optimistic, but I am cautious.
    I appreciate any words of light, or encouragement.
    Thank you xxx
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  13. Ali added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Ali
    Hi,
    Just found this site today, looking for advice. I've just found out my boyfriend of 4 years has been looking at porn websites all the time we have been together. Has made me feel devastated, have no confidence as it is. I found it on his laptop (yes I was snooping) He's goes on it 3xs a week first thing in morning when he gets back from work. This has really upset me, we don't live together, he rings me says love you, miss you then a minute later looking at porn! He also goes on 3xs + a week in evening. He don't know I know what do I do? He's knows my feelings on subject as a while ago a friend caught her husband looking at porn, and I told him about it. Said I would be upset and make me feel insecure about my body. I said to him I don't know why men do it if they had a partner. I just feel when we in bed is he thinking about the porn he has watched? Sorry for long post thanks Ali x
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  14. recoverforever added a post in a topic I am considering doing the 4 day in intensive course...   

    Hi
    Thank you for your honesty and for the courage you have shown in posting this story of your life and your addiction.
    I am a regular attender at two SLAA groups and can honestly say that I have not encountered the same situations that you describe so I would echo GMtherapist's advice and say try and find another group or groups. I first attended a year ago the day after my wife confronted me with her discovery of my acting out. Since then I have managed to maintain sobriety and have actually been celibate for the whole period.
    My life has been transformed and for me two things have played an enormous part in that recovery to date 1) SLAA and 2) The intensive recovery course.
    The intensive course I attended about a month after being discovered, meeting 7 other men with an addiction really helped me to understand what was happening to me in the early stages of recovery and it gave me the starting point to begin to understand what had driven me to this point. Sharing our experiences and our hopes and fears for the future brought us to a better understanding of ourselves and each other and I would say that Rob has described benefits of the course well.
    The course for me provided the foundations from which to begin the process of living in healthy recovery.
    SLAA provides the weekly routine and reminder that recovery is fragile and precious, for me attending these meetings keeps me grounded in my recovery to date. I do not take my recovery for granted and I am grateful each time I attend for this gift of recovery.
    Good luck with your recovery journey 
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  15. Rob added a post in a topic I am considering doing the 4 day in intensive course...   

    Hello,
    It takes a lot of courage to write so honestly about your life and the difficulties you've faced. I can't really connect with all the terrible things that happened to you in your early childhood and am very saddened to read that.
    I can connect a lot though with some of your other feelings and thoughts there, such as the isolation and disconnection. For me, it's also been a depressing time too.
    I have attended Paula's course last year and found it beneficial in a number of ways. Content-wise, I think it adds a lot of structure and depth to material presented in her book. Most of all, I found though that meeting the other guys on the course and us bonding as a group (we still stay in regular contact well over a year now after the course ended) has been the biggest benefit. We all have a lot we can connect with across a whole range of life experience and all know what it's like to face this problem and feel the shame and difficulties. ways forward, the whole spectrum. Forming close relationships with men in a safe environment has been a key part of the healing and recovery experience for me and I wouldn't have been able to do that without Paula's course.
    Personally, I think the 4 day intensive is way too much in one go. I did weekly sessions over a few months and even that felt like it went very fast because I was learning so much about this problem and myself in the meantime. But that's just me and the kind of analytical person I am. I hadn't had any experience with SLAA or other groups before, unlike yourself.
    You're right that nobody can do this for you but equally that doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
    Peace.
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  16. Rob added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Online Resources for Addicts Wanting Help
    Here is a list of various links and websites I've collected over the past year or so as I've been tackling my problem with porn.
    I hope they're useful for other guys who come here maybe not knowing very much about porn and sex addiction so you can understand:
    You're not the only person with this problem at allThere is help out there and it's never too late to changeWebsite Resources
    Am I an addict? - A quick test if you're not sure.
    What is Porn Addiction? - A breakdown if you're just getting started learning about this problem.
    Emergency NoFap - A useful quick inspirational site when you're feeling triggered or tempted to remind you why you're becoming a better man. Homepage for me.
    Your Brain On Porn - Huge website containing many resources to educate yourself about the effect of porn on the brain and to get help.
    Reboot Nation - Gabe Deem's website containing another great set of resources and a forum.
    Recovery Nation - Free self-help website for sex addicts, love addicts and porn addicts.
    Fight the New Drug - Buy a t-shirt. Great set of educational material and an eye-opener.
    Porn Addiction is the Best Thing That Happened To Me - Great end-to-end set of resources from a guy who's done it.
    My Thoughts On Rebooting - Very long and detailed set of notes and crucial advice from another guy who's been there and mastered himself. Great stuff. If you've got an hour to look at porn, you've got an hour to read all this.
    50 Reasons to Quit Porn For Good - So many benefits to be gained from shifting this addiction out of your life.
     
    YouTube Videos
    The Great Porn Experiment - Arguably the most revolutionary and revealing TEDx talk about the real nature of pornography and it's impact from Gary Wilson. A must watch if you see nothing else!
    Terry Crews Dirty Little Secret: Part 1 - Hugely inspirational and brutal self-honesty from Mr Crews, much love and respect to him. A great man who's been making real change. Follow the YouTube links to part 2 onwards.
    Why I Stopped Watching Porn - Another brilliant TEDx talk to help you see how things really are. Huge respect to Mr Gavrieli to deliver such a worldclass talk on such a personal topic to so many people.
    We Need to Talk About Sex Addiction - Paula's fantastic TEDx talk, honestly and compassionately understanding sex addiction. 
     
    Other Online Forums
    Your Brain Rebalanced - Huge community of other guys struggling to get their lives back after porn and sexual addiction problems.
    Reboot Nation Forum - Many people here to connect with, mostly addicts but also a small and growing partner's section.
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  17. Rob added a post in a topic Schrödinger's 90 day reboot   

    Mr Schrodinger is still going. He's not given up the change completely but has suffered some setbacks as we all do. I hope very much he will come back here and post some more because his energy and persistence is admirable.
    Your point about making things into a fight is very relevant and something I think a lot of us addicts struggle with - fighting ourselves. I've found moving forward requires me to make peace with myself but that's not a simple thing, it's a process.
    I don't know any guys personally who've decided to quit and then just stayed clean from there on after. Instead, it takes some slips and a lot of learning about yourself, what works and what doesn't along with what you really need and how your life may not be giving that to you, then how I could change that and so on.
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  18. GMTherapist added a post in a topic I am considering doing the 4 day in intensive course...   

    Hi
    thank you for your very honest share here. Your life sounds a real struggle for you now and you have experienced much pain and trauma in your troubled past  I feel that finding connection with others in an intimate but not sexual way is what you are currently missing. Any recovery work that involves a group where you can find fellowship amongst others who will not judge and who will have understanding about your situation will be of most benefit. I think that you are referring to the intensive Hall Recovery course which would be beneficial to you, but as you say is also expensive. If money is an issue could you try to find another SAA or SLAA group where you might feel more comfortable and park some of the reservations you have about the approach? 
    Good luck 
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  19. GMTherapist added a post in a topic Constantly Thinking of sex   

    Hi. It sounds like your fantasies are becoming a problem for you and may be getting out of control. It may be having a negative impact on other aspects of your life such as concentration on your work, your relationship and perhaps your social life. It would be interesting to work out how much of your day is spent in your day dreaming! 
    Fantasies are in themselves not abnormal or problematic, but it's what you then want to do about them and the impact it has on your life that can become problematic. Try to seek some help from groups like SAA or SLAA, or a specialist therapist from ATSAC site 
    Try to find replacement activities to keep your mind busy elsewhere. You could also try, when you're aware of where your thoughts have gone to, to concentrate your thoughts on to something else. 
    Good luck. 
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  20. Mart555888 added a post in a topic Schrödinger's 90 day reboot   

    I wonder what happened? 
    Making things into a fight ....takes enormous amounts of energy ... fighting what exactly.
    i find its best just relax and let the feelings be there and just put attention onto them.
    i think the thing to watch is the linkage between Porn and masturbation or watching porn as a prelude to acting out.
    masturbation in itself is not really harmful and is perfectly natural , like any other bodily function.  
    There are so many different views on this. 
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  21. Mart555888 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    I am considering doing the 4 day in intensive course...
    Unmet needs are the underlying problem for me. We all seek love ...to love and be loved. It's a basic need for survival. We cannot survive alone as small children and I never really grew up. To find love requires us to be intimate with others. I was sexually abused from around 5 onwards by a close family male friend who should have been taking care of me.  I was sexually abused by both men and women and other older children. I was sexually abused by my aunt who also abused her son who was the same age as me. She would abuse us together when I stayed at their house. She would put my cousin and I in the same bed and we were having homosexual sex at the age of 7 until we were 10.  We had homosexual sex again when were 17 and on holiday together. I loved him.
    We both married in early 20,s and had children and successful careers. My marriage broke down and my wife left me and my sons after 30 years of happy marriage. I was watching porn in chat rooms and meeting young men while on business trips to London. I was leading a double life.... running a business from home by myself. Before this I had been a high flying media executive working with hundreds of other people. I now realise that I became more and more isolated with no routine. I was breaking down and could not get the help I needed. My GP was giving me more and more antidepressants and other medications which only made me much worse.
    I was totally unaware that I was sexually abused and had repressed all memory of it until I was diagnosing see with complex PTSD and was self admitted to a private trauma clinic at the age of 53. It came out in therapy using EMDR that I was gang raped at the age of 11 by 3 men and two older teenage boys. I have tried to count the number of people who abused me before the age of 16 and I loose count.  I joined the armed forces at the age of 16 and was sexually abused there as well. 
    I am now facing sex addiction .. mainly using internet sites to meet young men and have sex with them. I also visit young female sex workers and watch online pornography. I live with a wonderful woman who I did have a great sex life with but she announced 3 years ago that she no longer wanted to have sex with me...then a month later that she no longer wanted to be a couple. We still live together but as friends. I have been unable to to work very much apart from a small part time job that connects me with serving the public. Running out of money and time is the underlying feeling. I am totally isolated from my family ...my sons and little grandchildren. My ex wife never contacts me. All my previous friends and contacts have left my life . I have a few friends who I meet with locally but it isn't the same as the wide circle and all the roles and interests I have in the past.
    I am healed from my cPTSD and my sex addiction seems to be the last thing I have to deal with. I have attended SLAA before but just don't agree with their contention that sex addiction is a desease that I am powerless over and can only be healed by a higher power. It's a condition  that is brought about by dysfunctional people abusing me and my response to find a solution to the emotional pain and perceived abandonment and lack of love and support. I simply had no boundaries and defenses as a child. This went on into teenage and adulthood. If people hit on me...and they were my type..I would have sex with them. But once I met my wife to be I was totally monogamous for 20 years or so. I started having problems when I lost my high flying job a few years after my beloved Mum died in my arms. 
    Without being conceited I have always attracted attention and had people "hit" on me since I was a teenager...maybe before. At SLAA and CoDA 12 step I found that men and women were using my share information to "hit " on me. I also found that there was not really any support and lots of unhelpful advice in coffee shops after the meetings which is termed fellowship. I was gven information about sex parties and other things I wouldn't want to share here. A whole world of activity that I had no idea is common place in London. I am no prude either.
    Its work in progress. I am thinking about doing the four day intensive course. But I guess that's going to cost a lot of money ... and not sure what I could learn further from attending. I would be grateful if others who have attended the 4 day course could comment.
    i just need to rebuild a structured life of meaningful employment and someone to share my life with and that means going back to a state that I enjoyed for many many years. Nobody can do this for me.
     
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  22. Mart555888 added a post in a topic My addiction has ruined my marriage. I want to change   

    Unmet needs are the underlying problem for me. We all seek love ...to love and be loved. It's a basic need for survival. We cannot survive alone as small children and I never really grew up. To find love requires us to be intimate with others. I was sexually abused from around 5 onwards by a close family male friend who should have been taking care of me.  I was sexually abused by both men and women and other older children. I was sexually abused by my aunt who also abused her son who was the same age as me. She would abuse us together when I stayed at their house. She would put my cousin and I in the same bed and we were having homosexual sex at the age of 7 until we were 10.  We had homosexual sex again when were 17 and on holiday together. I loved him.
    We both married in early 20,s and had children and successful careers. My marriage broke down and my wife left me and my sons after 30 years of happy marriage. I was watching porn in chat rooms and meeting young men while on business trips to London. I was leading a double life.... running a business from home by myself. Before this I had been a high flying media executive working with hundreds of other people. I now realise that I became more and more isolated with no routine. I was breaking down and could not get the help I needed. My GP was giving me more and more antidepressants and other medications which only made me much worse.
    I was totally unaware that I was sexually abused and had repressed all memory of it until I was diagnosing see with complex PTSD and was self admitted to a private trauma clinic at the age of 53. It came out in therapy using EMDR that I was gang raped at the age of 11 by 3 men and two older teenage boys. I have tried to count the number of people who abused me before the age of 16 and I loose count.  I joined the armed forces at the age of 16 and was sexually abused there as well. 
    I am now facing sex addiction .. mainly using internet sites to meet young men and have sex with them. I also visit young female sex workers and watch online pornography. I live with a wonderful woman who I did have a great sex life with but she announced 3 years ago that she no longer wanted to have sex with me...then a month later that she no longer wanted to be a couple. We still live together but as friends. I have been unable to to work very much apart from a small part time job that connects me with serving the public. Running out of money and time is the underlying feeling. I am totally isolated from my family ...my sons and little grandchildren. My ex wife never contacts me. All my previous friends and contacts have left my life . I have a few friends who I meet with locally but it isn't the same as the wide circle and all the roles and interests I have in the past.
    I am healed from my cPTSD and my sex addiction seems to be the last thing I have to deal with. I have attended SLAA before but just don't agree with their contention that sex addiction is a desease that I am powerless over and can only be healed by a higher power. It's a condition  that is brought about by dysfunctional people abusing me and my response to find a solution to the emotional pain and perceived abandonment and lack of love and support. I simply had no boundaries and defenses as a child. This went on into teenage and adulthood. If people hit on me...and they were my type..I would have sex with them. But once I met my wife to be I was totally monogamous for 20 years or so. I started having problems when I lost my high flying job a few years after my beloved Mum died in my arms. 
    Without being conceited I have always attracted attention and had people "hit" on me since I was a teenager...maybe before. At SLAA and CoDA 12 step I found that men and women were using my share information to "hit " on me. I also found that there was not really any support and lots of unhelpful advice in coffee shops after the meetings which is termed fellowship. I was gven information about sex parties and other things I wouldn't want to share here. A whole world of activity that I had no idea is common place in London. I am no prude either.
    Its work in progress. I am thinking about doing the four day intensive course. But I guess that's going to cost a lot of money ... and not sure what I could learn further from attending. I would be grateful if others who have attended the 4 day course could comment.
    i just need to rebuild a structured life of meaningful employment and someone to share my life with and that means going back to a state that I enjoyed for many many years. Nobody can do this for me.
     
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  23. Paula Hall added a post in a topic who can my partner talk to?   

    Hi Jo,
    I can assure you that no-one will judge your husband here.  We've worked with literally hundreds and hundreds of people with this problem and we know how difficult it is.  But as you can see from some of the posts on 'Success Stories' people do get through this.  The support of other people who have been through this is so important and that's why we deliver our group recovery programmes as well and also aftercare groups where people continue to meet and support each other in recovery.  Do encourage your husband to get in touch and we can talk more.  I don't know where you are in the country, but another place to go for help could be one of the 12 step support groups such as SAA or SLAA.  Do google them and see if there's one local to you.  Warmest wishes.
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  24. Paula Hall added a post in a topic Not sure if I have a problem or not...   

    Thanks for writing such an honest post.  It's good to hear a female voice on the forum to remind us that this problem can affect anyone.
    It certainly sounds like you have a problem, but whether that's 'addiction' to sex or just a different desire to your partner is hard to know.  Regrettably we often want what we can't have even more, so it may be his lack of interest that is driving your desire more than anything else.  You know something is an addiction when you feel dependent on it.  When it becomes the most important thing in your life that pre-occupies you.  Also when not being able to access your 'drug of choice' leaves you feeling low or irritable and the search for it starts causing problems in other areas of your life.  It may be that a session with a therapist would help you to think these issues through.  Certainly a question I would ask is whether or not this has been a problem for you in previous relationships and whether you've ever struggled with other types of addiction or if addiction is in your family of origin at all.  Do take a look around the rest of this site for more information and you might find the 'Am I an Addict? assessment tool helpful too.  Do get in touch with us if you'd like a one-off session to explore - many of us are sex and couple therapists as well so we can help you - whatever the correct 'definition' might be.  Best wishes.;
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  25. PJ added a post in a topic A year into recovery   

    Hi, yes, I am now 2 years and a month into recovery and slip free (other than a minor slip at 9 months).  Paula tells me that after two years one's recovery is well established.  I feel great!  
    Other than my wife, SAA has worked very well for me as an additional support.  I would recommend something like that to everyone.
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