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  1. crisper added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Destroyed relationship and hurt girlfriend I love deeply
    Hi everyone,
    I really need some help to change myself and try to get rid of some of my addictive sexual compulsive behaviours and am seeking any advice people can offer.
    I have only fully realised this problem too late and it has destroyed my first relationship with an amazing women who I think I have hurt deeply and who i really love. I am 25 and have struggled with an addiction to internet pornography since i was 14/15 which later progressed to visits to massage parlours and prostitutes for the past 1 1/2 years. I had been in this relationship since I was 19 and met her at university, lived together for 2 1/2 years and I think we genuinely loved each other despite some problems and a lack of emotional honesty and honesty now on my part.
    This was both of our first relationship and I got tempted by wanting to explore sex with other people but did not have the confidence or strength to admit this to her at the time and wandered down this path of sex behind her back. I confessed to her a couple of days ago and there is so much pain and hurt caused that I feel so sick and disgusted with myself for having subjected her to this and I just want my actions to not hurt her and for her to be OK and the happy and amazing person that she is without having ever been exposed to my ugliness and badness and problems.
    I have made an effort to stop both the pornography and sex workers and made progress but always relapsed. I am seeing a counsellor about depression and anxiety issues which I have had for most of my life and we are beginning to explore this, but I'd really like to know if there's any help or groups or anything I can talk to about this problem based in the London or Surrey area. 
    I have been really selfish and this is not the person I want to be, I really want to try to make sure that this does not happen again and that I can never hurt anyone again and hopefully try to fix what damage I have done to my ex-girlfriend.
    I am quite desperate and confused about myself and appreciate any kind of help or advice anyone can give.
    Thank you
    • 2 replies
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  2. Judith added a post in a topic Struggling to trust again   

    WW- it's nice to hear someone else feels the same. It's a lonely business working on your relationship and trying to put things right and help someone in recovery. Talking about it with him makes it worse as this makes him feel bad.
    We had a big talk a couple of nights ago and have agreed that this year we will schedule a monthly chat to discuss how things are going. For his recovery and for me to move forward. But also to air the other irritations which seem harder to ignore since he revealed his secret. 
    Good luck with your relationship- I hope things improve for you and also for me this year. I don't believe it has to be the end of a relationship but all relationships require a lot of work to sustain them. I hope I'm right. 
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  3. WW added a post in a topic Struggling to trust again   

    Dear Judith, I know how you feel. It is exhausting being vigilant all the time. The mistrust and hurt leads to anger. All these negative emotions take the joy out of the relationship. I am in the same place and don't know how to get better. 
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  4. WW added a post in a topic Is there hope?   

    Dear Rosie, my husband refused to see a therapist for a long time because he did not think they could help. (ego issues) He did work through the reams and reams of material on Recovery Nation which he found helpful. It is free. Google it. FYI, we went to Relate and they said he had to be treated before they could do couple work. 
    I wish you all the best.
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  5. WW added a post in a topic Justifications   

    Dear Hopefloats,
    I think you have to ask yourself if you want to be married to a man who will ALWAYS be drawn to porn. He sounds as though he is quite IT proficient and thus no monitoring apps are going to work. The only way you can be together is if you accept that porn will always be part of your life. Even if he gets help, he will always be tempted and you can never trust him. I speak as a wife who has been married to a porn addict for 33 years. Years of despair and lies.....
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  6. WW added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Hate
    Like so many spouses, I have had a roller coaster ride with my husband. He has been a porn addict for most of our 33 year marriage. He has hurt me more than I can bear. I became depressed and am still on anti-depressants. To cut a long story short, after much rowing, he finally sought help. But I don't want to talk about him. I want to talk about how I feel.
    I am no longer depressed but I am not happy. I hate my husband for hurting me repeatedly, for making false promises, for ignoring me because he thought he would be better off on his own with free access to porn. At the same time, I still love him because in most other areas, he is my friend. But my hurt and hate dominate and the only way I can get free of it is to be indifferent to him. I tell myself "I don't care." and it makes me feel better. I do realise that this is not a good way for a marriage to continue. I read that indifference is the real killer in a relationship. I have a lovely family. I want this lovely family to continue. But I don't know how to make my marriage better. We went to Relate, but they said they could not work with us until he had been treated for his porn addiction. I went to see 2 counselors to help with my conflicting emotions and although they were very nice and empathic, I did not find it useful. Both of them suggested that I leave my husband.
    The question is How do I stop hating my husband? How do I stop the Indifference?
    • 3 replies
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  7. Rob added a post in a topic Tell parents?   

    Disclosing to people close to you is a very difficult thing to do. There are therapeutic approaches too which can help a lot.
    I think a good question to ask yourself is why you want to tell her? I think being honest with yourself about that can help guide you.
    I am 40 so don't feel accountable to my parents in that way. But I did disclose to my wife for a lot of reasons: I thought she was leaving me and wanted to be honest hoping it would bring us closer (my own insecurity), I also felt very guilty and wanted to come clean (unburdening myself onto her) and I suppose I wanted her to change and fix the problem for me (not taking responsibility). So my motivations were mostly selfish at the time and I wasn't really thinking about the true long term effects on her. It hasn't all been negative (we're still together 2 years later and working at it) but probably the only legitimate reason I think now is the honesty. Unfortunately it's not possible to disentangle that from all the other baggage. Hence why I think talking it through with a professional can be very useful.
    You can never "untell" people afterwards either so I think it makes sense to think it through a lot and really scrutinise your motives before you do so. Sometimes the other person can also be holding in their own issues that you don't know about either which can make it harder still.
    I think it's very positive that you want to be honest and open having carried this around for so long, that is a good thing I believe. But I would advise being cautious is how exactly you go about doing it and getting enough support for yourself before doing so. It is great to want to be honest though.
    I also disclosed to my sister and a couple of close friends. I think the motivation I had there was generally more positive and I feel these are people more able to closely support me without me hurting them through my behaviours (unlike my wife). It was still scary but everyone I have disclosed to has been supportive.
    The first time I disclosed was to Paula (before my wife) and then afterwards I went on to get help in group sessions. I got a lot of the sense of unburdening and support from those sessions - basically what I was trying to seek from my wife but it was very unrealistic and unreasonable if me to expect from her (it's not her job).
     
     
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  8. PJ added a post in a topic My Story   

    Help!!!  You are right to be encouraged.  Many people find recovery a slow process - 2 steps forward, 1 step back.  You did well not to binge.
    What do you need to do differently Help!!! to reduce your chances of acting out in the until she gets home?  e.g instead of a chat room, when you get an urge, why don't you facetime/skype your wife?
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  9. Kate added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    End of 40-year marriage
    Internet porn addiction has ended 40-year marriage

    I discovered my husband had an internet porn addiction 10 years ago, after 30 years together. This turned my world upside down. But I thought I’d dealt with it by being very clear, saying that if it happened again, that would be the end of our marriage, and insisting he get therapy. We both went a few times. It seemed to help. I put ‘family’ controls on his account on our laptop, and thought that would stop access.

    How naïve I was. Two years ago, I discovered a ‘secret’ smartphone in his workbag (otherwise we only had non-smartphones, that could not access pictures or the internet), after feeling something was going on – though I’d thought it was an affair. (He insists I’ve been his only real-life sexual partner.)

    That night I told him I’d found the phone, and he said he used it to access porn. Again, I insisted on his getting therapy individually or us as a couple. After a while he went to see someone on his own. (They focused on raising his self-esteem – he’s been depressed for 3 years.) And I thought, again naively, that was it.

    This summer I found he’d been using money from his mother’s account (over which he had Power of Attorney) for the last 10 years to fund phone use for porn, and cigarettes (he says). This is not yet a criminal offence. I did not then realise the problem was still continuing but realised it was serious.

    We went to a Relate counsellor privately (because of the long waiting list), who was brilliant. He revealed to her (then me) his self-bondage, which I’d never known about, which he did to relieve stress, since a traumatic family event aged 7 and early exposure to his father’s bondage porn.

    I would have given him another chance then, but found he was still lying to me even a month ago, even in the face of evidence (of buying a second ‘secret’ smartphone). When I asked someone to check the first smartphone, there were bookmarks of severe BDSM, which I find completely unacceptable.

    We are now living separately. I insisted he tell our son and daughter-in-law of his addiction, as he was just about to start caring for their toddler. Which he did, in person, at a ‘family meeting’, after seeing a sex addiction specialist from the Marylebone Centre. Although there were hugs all round, anger has since set in, and our son and his wife no longer want him to do childcare (sensibly realising that an addict of any sort in the initial stages of acknowledging their problem and beginning to get help, is not an emotionally stable person).

    I am so grateful this internet porn addiction only started when our children had left home, because it would have been much more difficult to separate earlier – he was a wonderful hands-on father, and has been an excellent emotional ‘carer’ for others (especially me) all his life. I can’t imagine ever being able to trust him again, so I think the separation will be permanent. Plus he has not volunteered anything about his addictive activities, only reluctantly admitting after I have made a discovery. Which makes me fear there is worse to come, though I doubt he will ever tell me. I must be careful not to forget this.

    The good news is he has finally accepted he has an addiction which has, at present, ruined his life. He has been to his first Sex Addicts Anonymous group (relieved to find others with a problem he has faced alone for over 50 years), and asked for phone support. Meanwhile I’ve been to COSA meetings. Though I'm doubtful about the relevance of the 12-step process for all sex addicts' partners, it has been really good to be among women grappling with similar (and some much worse) problems, and to be offered phone support between meetings.
    With luck, he will make a good recovery, but I think our paths are now separate and amicable. 

    The most useful mantra for me has been the AA one Paula recites in her fantastic U-tube talk for partners of sex addicts – ‘You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it’.


     
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  10. Help!!! added a post in a topic My Story   

    Thanks PJ and Essex Addict for your comments. So I did have a slip 2 days ago and visited an online chat room. Am disappointed in myself but as you suggested PJ loneliness is a trigger and my defences were low when I returned home to an empty house. However I'm trying to draw on the positives. Historically such a slip would have resulted in a binge right up to my wife coming home. That hasn't happened and I've been clean now for 2 days. I am determined to stay that way until my wife returns on Sunday after which I hope it will get easier.  PJ thanks for the links. Really helpful. 
    Essex Addict I'm really sorry to read your story. You are not a dirty pervert. You have, like all of us on here a problem that has spiralled out of control. I do hope that somehow you can resolve things with your wife although right now it will be very raw. If you haven' already, you need to try and understand the underlying reasons for your addiction. My triggers are loneliness, boredom, stress and anxiety  and I guess mist of all very low self esteem. Understanding your own personal demons is the first step on the long road to recovery. 
    Good luck
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  11. Essex addict added a post in a topic Tell parents?   

    Hi Yiksob,
    I know i have already posted most of what is below in my reply to your responce to me. But i thought i should add it in here too. Just in case someone else wants to comment on it.
    I read your post and my heat broke. I was brutally hard on my son when we discovered he had urges. I know, and me hidding my own addiction (pot kettle) Maybe he has inherited a faulty gene? 
    i’m in no position to be offering advise...but... talk to your mum before she discovers it herself.  Its easier to chat about it when everyone is calm rather then having to explain your actions when tempers are raised.
    good luck!! 
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  12. Essex addict added a post in a topic My Story   

    Until i found this site, i just thought i was simply a dirty pervert. It took my wife catching me for me to realise that i needed help.
    i was under the false illusition that i was’nt ‘actually’ cheating as i was just chatting to strangers on-line.  How wrong was i? She is devistated and i can barely look my wife in the eye. I can see the hurt in her face, it makes my shame and self hate worse.
    she took the kids out to give me some space and i have never felt more alone. 
    I have probably lost my wife because i thought i could contol my addiction, thought i could keep it secret. She even asked me why i didnt tell her and talk to her about it. To be honest i would’nt have known how to even start that conversation.  So ‘Help’ i know were you are coming from when you say you are afraid to tell your other half.
    To the wife of the addict i ask, do you have any advise on how to tell a wife you have a problem? I was always afraid that she would just kick me out as soon as i owned up.
    I am encouraged by what i read above and well done ‘Help’ you are getting there. 
    PJ thank you for those links. I’ll be working my way through them this afternoon. 
    Good luck everyone.
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  13. Essex addict added a post in a topic Lost everything   

    Hi Yiksob,
    thank you for your advice. I think you are right. I called another councilling service today but they dont deal with any forms of addiction. 
    I read your post and my heat broke. I was brutally hard on my son when we discovered he had urges. I know, and me hidding my own addiction (pot kettle) Maybe he has inherited a faulty gene? 
    i’m in no position to be offering advise...but... talk to your mum before she discovers it herself.  Its easier to chat about it when everyone is calm rather then having to explain your actions when tempers are raised.
    good luck!! 
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  14. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Lost everything   

    Hey, sorry to hear what has happened. Look I  am just another human in this struggle but surely seeking professional support ASAP is wise.
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  15. Essex addict added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Lost everything
    I am 47 and tried to dismiss the fact that I have a problem. Now I’ve been found out and have lost everything. My marraige is over, my boys look both digusted and devastated. I will be moving out as soon a rental can be found.
    I feel ashamed, guilty, hate myself - i have destroyed everything i have sent the last 20 years building. 
    All because i wanted to act out.
    My wife forgave me twice already, i have no right to ask for a third. I have hurt those closest to me. I’m not sure if i’m beyond help. 
    Soon to be divorced!
    • 3 replies
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  16. Judith added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Struggling to trust again
    Hello
    Last New Year's Day (2017) I found out my husband had a porn addiction, had always had this issue. 
    I found out because I was putting washing away in his cupboard and he had bought some used ladies knickers, which included a photo of the woman. 
    Its fair to say the bottom dropped out of my world, my daughter (second child) was 10 months old and my son was 4. I had just returned to work. It was a dreadful and stressful time. My husband had just started a new job. I can see how this was all a contributing factor. 
    We started marriage counselling, I saw a counsellor and he saw a counsellor about his issues. He completely engaged in the process. She told me she had never seen anyone engage as well in treatment. He knows and understands his triggers, he has lapsed a couple of times and we have dealt with it by adding restrictions to his phone. He did tell me about the time he lapsed. It sets me back in how I am coping with the problem. 
    I know he loves me and that he's in recovery, we have a great relationship on the whole, make each other laugh, enjoy each other's company, still enjoy our sex life (after some work) but I have so much anger. Particularly in the run up to the anniversary of finding out. Which if I'm honest has ruined Christmas and new year. I worry that I'll never fully trust him again.
    He kissed a woman at his work do before we were married, I am not sure I ever forgave him. But it was under similar circumstances, after his work do, when he was drunk. 
    He has only had one relationship, with me. I was his first and I think he has disappointment that he never had his chance to sow wild oats. He says not, but I think a lot of this is to do with this issue. I understand that addiction is complex rooted in all sorts of family relationship issues. i think it's a little bit about his lack of experience too. Particularly given his preferences. 
    What worries me is that, how can he ever really be happy with me. How will I ever be enough? How do I really work through this? Will it ever go away? The boundaries are set and he knows that another serious issue would be the end for us. But I don't know if I could ever go through with it, he's a wonderful father, I have come from a divorced family and I so did not want that for myself or my children. 
    The waiting...the waiting for the next mistake is killing me and I don't know if I can ever trust him again. 
    I am not sleeping, I am angry a lot, with him and it has affected all my relationships. My ability to trust people has also been affected. 
    There are times when it is easier, but I feel like Christmas and the run up to the new year will always be like this. 
    Thanks for reading 
     
    • 7 replies
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  17. Yiksob11 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Tell parents?
    Dont know whether to tell my parents about this. I need help and I am filled with guilt. It would brake my mums heart. I think I could say I am struggling with mental health and sex addiction. But detailing what I have done....no.
    Please I am so stuck I need help. I cant reallt afford Paulas service. Anyone with some experience in overcoming tbis please pleasw please get in touch I am on the edge here
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  18. PJ added a post in a topic Starting on a Journey...hopefully   

    Farnorth
    I think you have made the best start - and that is honesty.  In my experience, being honest with others helps us to be honest with ourselves and for me that has been the most powerful tool for recovery.  The 12 step programme says that honesty is a pre-requisite for recovery.
    I too looked at the road I was on - I realised that if I stayed on the road I would be in even deeper trouble.  The problem with addiction is you need a greater hit to get you as high as the previous time.  So for most it just gets worse and worse.  I have a mate in Sex Addicts Anon who is very serious about how it is a matter of life and death.  This addiction can lead to death - and therefore is a matter of life and death.  It sounds dramatic but the logic is sound.
    I go to 12 step meetings and we regularly get people who have just been caught by the police for illegal stuff and end up in prison.  This stuff can get us into deep trouble - it is worth throwing everything at it at this stage.  Don't hold back - do everything you can and need to, to kick the addiction.
    I wish you well.
    PJ
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  19. PJ added a post in a topic My Story   

    Hi Help!!!
    That is good news - no slip on 3 weeks.  
    I would be interested in knowing what you have planned for the next few days. 
    Two things that might help.
    1. The AA "Just for Today" card.  You can find it here: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/download/1/Library/Documents/Newcomers starter pack PDFs/Just_for_today.pdf . The goal addicts give themselves is: Can I go through today without turning to my addiction?  We can deal with such short term goals much more easily - taking a day at a time.
    2. The second is, rather than spend time on thinking about sex, spend time learning about your addiction.  Rob has put some very useful resources on this website here: http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/ . I found Recovery Nation very good, but there is a loads of stuff out there that will strengthen your motivation.
    Obviously loneliness is a big trigger for you - your wife being away is a going to be a big test for you.  I wish you well.
    PJ
     
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  20. Help!!! added a post in a topic Telephone Sex   

    Hi KDH
    Telephone sex is one of my addictions too. In order to work through this you need to understand what' driving your addiction, if you don't already know. Paulas Kick Start Recovery pdf is an excellent starting point. By posting on here you are acknowledging you have a problem. 
    However I know from reading the many posts on here that it can be beaten. I wish you all the strength you need
     
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  21. Help!!! added a post in a topic My Story   

    Hi all and happy Christmas!
    I thought now would be a good point to check in. It' been over 3 weeks since my last slip and I can honestly say I've been 100% clean in that time. I'm feeling quite strong but wanted to check in as I know the next few days will be a test. 
    My wife will be going away for a few days to spend time with family. I' staying at home due to work commitments. Historically that scenario would probably be a trigger for me acting out. I'm determined that won' happen this time although I know I've been here before. I have lots of positive things planned for the times when I'll be home alone and feel I have new found resolve to work through this. 
    Good luck to all of you 
     
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  22. KDH added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    Telephone Sex
    I am addicted to phone sex and when that's not enough I go to a prostitute. My mind has recently been making weird suggestions (for me) like gay sex and cross dressing. I am in a mess...I am a 48 year old man and all this had really exploded after a horrible separation...I wish I could talk about this !!
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  23. KDH added a post in a topic University Dissertation on Sex Addiction...   

    Hi Bailey
    i can be interviewed about porn addiction for your dissertation.
    Kieran
    admin.emilys@gmail.com
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  24. PJ added a post in a topic Back to London   

    Hi Yiksob
    It seems to me that you did really well in London - shame about the slip on the last day.  Very frustrating.
    Having been round and round the addiction cycle myself oh so many times - I can relate to your struggle.
    My question though is, are you getting help?  The wisdom and advice of every addict in recovery, of whatever addiction, is that you can't do this alone.  I would suggest you need both professional support (and there is nothing in my experience quite like a group context for that) and a friend/sponsor.  Personally I would recommend Paula's Laurel Centre because it worked so well for me - I went on one of her intensives in May 2015 and haven't acted out (my problem was porn and seeing sex workers too) since. 
    Keep coming back Yiksob - let us know how you are getting on.
     
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  25. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Back to London   

    Ended up acting out on the last day. There were signs of progress, however.
    Went to my GP who set me up with another service who then set me up with another. But it is too expensive for me.
    Saying that soending money on a counsellor is better than on sex...
    My current strategy is to push my non acting out to 3 weeks, I have reached 2 weeks twice now. I am ok with watching porn for now. I just want to quit paying
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