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Activity Stream

  1. Claire added a post in a topic Just discovered my husbands secrets   

    I just wanted to add a positive note to fellow sufferers - those of us who have had to grapple with the lies, the deceit, the horror of living with a sex addict.  I gave it three harrowing years trying to fix things for my two boys.   An absolute horror story.  I managed to separate last year and as Angel recommends in her contribution, I haven't looked back.  A weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  My husband proved obnoxious to the end giving me no choice but to leave and I now realise that this was a blessing in disguise.  I am so much better on my own, I'm getting my life back on track, and am stronger with every day.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  If there isn't any sign of remorse or a real commitment to giving up then my advice is to leave now and move on.  
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  2. MH added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Only 18, is it worth trying again?
    A few months ago my boyfriend of a year and a half admitted to cheating on me. We got together when we were 16 and had a really loving relationship (well thats what I thought), we were serious and everyone was completely shocked that he cheated as it was something so out of character for him. I broke up with him but he still wants to be together, I don't know what to do. As weeks went by, more and more things were being revealed, he cheated on me multiple times, not just physically but by sending nude photos, flirting with girls, having files of over 1000 photos of girls we knew without their consent that he would use to masturbate to. I knew he watched porn but but I did not realise how immoral and indecent the type of things he would watch and how frequent it was. We had previously had a period of time where he seemed completely disinterested in me and he now admits that he was having romantic feelings for another person which he tried to pursue while we were together. He came to the conclusion that he was a porn, sex and love addict. He had this type of behaviour for years before we even knew eachother. He says he used the porn and photos of girls as a way to cope with his depression. He wants to change and has been partaking in the online community NoFap and will start seeing a psychosexual counsellor soon.
    Right now I'm waiting for a specialist for their opinion on whether or not he is an addict because at least that way I would have some closure. Hes dealt with severe mental health issues for years, throughout his adolescene. I have remained friends with him as I deeply care for him and love him. But it is also largely due to the fact after the breakup his mental health plummeted and he is still struggling with feelings of suicide after several attempts. This time has been really intense but he is being put into counselling for his depression and I've been receiving counselling myself too. 
    Hes fully aware about how I feel. I love him but I am not in a place to have a relationship at all let alone him. I know I could find someone else, even being single now I have had casual encounters with people. But despite everything I love him so much. Maybe I'm being young and stupid but I thought I was going to marry this guy. We will both be moving away to go to university (not sure where yet) in Autumn this year and I have tried to explain to him how we are so young and have so many opportunities ahead of us to meet someone else. But hes convinced that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I tell him how unrealistic that is but he just tells me its what he want. So really, when I'm ready and he's recovering, do I try again? Is it worth it? Another complication is that after all this I'm refusing to be long distance. I wish someone would just give me their honest opinion and advice. Please help
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  3. PJ added a post in a topic Lost everything   

    Hi Essex addict
    Sorry to hear your addiction has got you into such a mess.  What support are you getting?
    There is hope.  You may feel it is hopeless but it is at rock bottom that we have the greatest chance of recovery, and in recovery we can rebuild our lives.  I would encourage you to use this rock bottom to do what has to be done to get free from this stuff.
    Keep coming back.
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  4. PJ added a post in a topic Hate   

    Hi WW
    Thanks for this.  I wonder if it might be helpful to say the forgiveness isn't the same as how you work through your marriage - at least as I understand it.  There is a common saying that 'Unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die'.   In other words one forgives another as much for your self, maybe more, than for the other person. It is to escape the damaging effects that the hate and bitterness have on you.  If you don't forgive, his wrong doing has an ongoing damaging effect on you.  
    As I understand it, forgiveness isn't:
    Approval of the wrongExcusing the wrongLegally pardoning themReconciliationRepressing the emotional impactForgettingPretending we aren't hurtI think of it like a debt.  When someone has hurt us, they have taken something they shouldn't have.  Our self-respect, our reputation, something material etc.  Such a concept crops up in our language around this area e.g. "I'll make him pay for that" or "He owes me for that".   Forgiveness is simply cancelling the debt - deciding not to make him repay it. Making him repay, has of course the sense of punishment.  That's another way of seeing it - deciding not to punish him.
    But forgiveness isn't reconciliation and it isn't trust.  They are different.  You can choose to forgive (not that it is easy or necessarily heart felt to begin with) but not to trust the person again (sometimes that is very wise!) or you can choose to forgive and yet walk away from the person.  Desmond Tutu talks about those two options v. well in his book.
    I do hope that is helpful.  You are right to look after himself and as an addict I think it is extremely important that partners set boundaries and for you to look after yourself in all this crap.  Don't deny yourself.  Look after yourself.  Addicts in addiction are extremely selfish.  It is a mistake to collude with them in their selfishness.
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  5. Christine added a post in a topic I really need help   

    You can recover from this addiction and find other ways to manage past traumatic issues that have led to this need to self soothe and address the anxiety, have a look at the success stories on the forum and be encouraged - their is hope. Christine
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  6. Christine added a post in a topic End of 40-year marriage   

    Thanks for having the courage to share your story on the forum, you have been through a long battle and I am glad that you have taken on the 3 C's in your own walk. I hope things work out for you in your future and that you are able to continue move away from destruction. Take care Christine
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  7. sunbeam32 added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    I really need help
    I'm in my 30s and have been seeing prostitutes since I was 16. I have been with my wife for 13 years and I have still been secretly seeing prostitutes/escorts . I love my wife so much but due to a condition she has, we never get intimate. I know this is not an excuse but I feel so lonely. 
    This has now led on to me trying to getting into personal relationships with escorts. I know it would never work (previous experience) but I get some kind of kick from it. I seem to get this love sick feeling, especially from one I have been seeing. I need help to stop. I've already been diagnosed with PTSD and acute anxiety. This habit will just top me off. 
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  8. WW added a post in a topic Hate   

    Thank you.
    I have often thought about the Truth and Reconciliation process in S Africa and wondered in awe at their ability to forgive. I have forgiven him more times than I can remember but the last time was unforgivable. He agrees that it was unforgivable given all that had gone before. Part of the problem is that I would never have hurt him like that. I would have sought help if I was hurting my spouse so much. He admits he loved porn more than my happiness. He loved porn more than me or his family. He now agrees that the issue is not about porn but about honesty. None of us can have everything we want. We have to make choices. If he wanted porn, he should have been honest and taken the consequences. At last, 2 years after his last relapse, we are getting somewhere. There are no more excuses from him. Porn addiction does not mean you cheat. Porn addiction does not mean you lie repeatedly. Maybe if he continues to face the truth, I will hate him less.
    BTW, I spent the first one and the half year after his last relapse pleading, cajoling, supporting him to seek help. Finally, he has sought help. Now, my feelings have come to the fore.  It seems as though at last I can look after myself and it is now my turn to work through my emotions. I am not dealing with his addiction any more. I have to deal with my conflicting emotions.
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  9. PJ added a post in a topic Destroyed relationship and hurt girlfriend I love deeply   

    Hi Crisper
    Well done on reaching out on this website.  It sounds like you have reached rock-bottom which whilst very unpleasant is an opportunity to take concrete and effective steps to recover from this addiction.
    I would encourage you to go to a 12 step meeting - SAA have some in Surrey - there is a big one in Guildford, but also other places like Slough and Twickenham.   They are free and you will find friendly like-minded people who can help you.  You can find there list of meetings here:
    I wish you well.
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  10. PJ added a post in a topic Hate   

    Hi WW
    I am so sorry to hear of the damage his addiction has done to you and your marriage.  This addiction is so damaging.  I remember Paula saying to me that the best way marriages recover is if the couple can externalise the addiction, identifying it as something external to you both, so that you can image it as an object before you both - something that you both work in partnership to overcome.  
    I think the road you probably need to explore so you that can lessen or even stop hating your husband is by forgiving him.  No one says it is easy and there is a lot of confusion around forgiveness.  As I understand it, it isn't about excusing or justifying his wrong doing in anyway.  Nor is it about minimising how serious and damaging it was.  I have personally found Desmond Tutu's book very helpful on the subject, but I am sure there are others that might help you along what will no doubt be a long road.
    I hope you find a way through this.
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  11. 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
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. WW added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    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?
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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