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  1. Today
  2. Thank you to all of you who took the time to read my post and offer support. It is very much appreciated. I try not to come on to this site so much at the moment as I find that it tends to trigger my feelings of pain, self loathing and total despair. Maybe I am burying my head in the sand a bit but, at the moment, I find it easier to get through each day if I don’t immerse myself too much in the subject of SA.. Of course, I am attending the partners course at the Laurel centre in just over a week and a half and I’ve no doubt this will force me to face my demons again and maybe start to think about how I can move forward. My husband also attended the one day course on on understanding the partner’s perspective but, I am sorry to say, I’ve found little change in his behavior towards me since,and he hasn’t really made any mention of the day or what he learned from it. I had hoped it might lead to some more honest and open discussion. I don’t think that this has anything to do with the quality of the course, just that he isn’t prepared to take responsibility for his recovery or repairing the relationship at this moment. This leads me to wonder if, after so many years of giving him my absolute trust and support, I should not just move on alone with my daughter. I think he clearly still has a way to go and I don’t seem to figure in his priorities at the moment 😢.
  3. *Update *following initial therapy session . The therapist was amazing she seems to know what's going on she wants to see my husband alone she thinks he may have sex addiction certainly addiction problems and has told him it can take a long time but that if he's committed to working on his addictions and issues she believes he can work to deal with his impulses. Since we met her my husband has read a book on the pain this causes spouse he seems to be really trying more affectionate more attentive explaining that he never wanted me to be hurt etc he seems so genuine he's given me access to his phone ipad etc he was defensive before (possibly deleted things? He's had time) though anything I've asked he's now trying to answer me calmly no longer defensive, but he seemed so genuine in the past therefore apart from my gut feelings how can I really know if he's being honest now? His actions do seem different but maybe he's realised I really am ready to walk I've booked myself on a girls holiday I go this Thursday I booked it last Friday and told him I need some head space and pamper, since this I'd say he's been different I've never been anywhere alone really never mind joining my friends in a girls holiday in the sun! Feeling more positive but also very scared of what I could yet find out as I think he needs therapy to work on himself to finally admit things and also scared of what the future holds for us.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Lulu18, I hope you’re feeling somewhat better now that you have some information about what you’re dealing with and that the course is going to help you. In answer to your question, I have stayed with my husband. His addiction was mostly pornography, but there were other behaviours like strippers that I’m aware of. I don’t believe I have ever had full disclosure but like all partners I have had to learn to live with the possibility (or probability) of the undisclosed, and that I may never know the whole story. My husband’s behaviour has been easier to forgive than if it had been escorts and massage parlours. What I found most difficult was the deception and the betrayal of our relationship. His behaviour resulted in a sexless marriage and gradually he became emotionally distant. Of course I believed it was all my fault, and I felt very rejected and alone for many years, and that had a disastrous impact on my emotional health resulting in a total loss of libido, an eating disorder that was like a late-onset anorexia and depression. I was so detached from my feelings that I couldn’t actually recognise that I was not in a good place. I became worse and worse and had some sort of breakdown, and that was when I told him his behaviour was hurting me. In fact, it was actually making him unhappy by that time and he wanted to quit. So that was another factor in my decision to stay, that he was motivated to do so. Coming to terms with the reality of his addiction was not easy. In fact, it was horrible. He lied to me over and over, he gaslighted me, he had angry rages, he would be angry at me for asking questions or discovering things about his addiction. Meanwhile I didn’t know how to tell the difference between when he was lying and when he wasn’t. But he stayed committed and he kept away from porn, and I guess we both knew that we had to think long term. I arranged counselling for myself and eventually for both of us. None of this was easy. It’s been devastating. Staying isn’t an easy decision. It involves accepting that the past happened, that my husband is a flawed individual who had a ‘secret’ self, and that in some ways I colluded with the addiction by not challenging it sooner — actually, I did in the past but nothing changed. I also have to accept that I may never know what really went on. I have had to take the risk that I may be living with a huge lie. I don’t know if that’s a consequence of what we’ve been through. One thing I can say is that trust never feels the same again. My husband remains committed to avoiding his past behaviours and he is committed to the relationship. He’s not perfect. He still lies about stupid things and that undermines my trust. Our communication, though better, remains difficult at times. Recovery is tough . I hope this helps. I know you are going through the worst of it now but I promise you will feel better eventually.
  6. NHF

    We are here for help.

    Joshua, thank you for your response. We have both looked into the suggest material and making positive steps. Equally reading like-minded and simar situtations on this forum is helping to make things feel and seems less "skewed". There is a long way to go, but I hope this is the start of the correct direction.
  7. Last week
  8. Joshua Shea

    We are here for help.

    I would suggest you Google "World Health Organization" and "sexual compulsivity disorder". You'll find a lot of articles that will explain how this past summer WHO finally included this disorder as a treatable condition. You being a porn addict is not a moral failing of a weak man. You have/had an illness. If she can view this in terms of a mental health problem, you may find that she can put this into better perspective. Good luck, mate.
  9. Before I start, the other half of this is in the main chat section, written by my partner. But these are my thoughts and feelings. A few days ago, my boyfriend(he is 23) told me (I’m 21) about his addiction to pornography. He said it is no longer an issue now, and hasn’t been for around 8-9 months now. However it was ongoing before this and for over a year of our relationship. He said it started just over a year before our relationship, as he had a girlfriend who didn’t get intimate with him (they apparently only had sex 5-6 times in a 1.5 year relationship) so it essentially started in their relationship and got much worse in the time he was single and having no sex at all. It’s gradually got better since being with me and somehow he got past it. However this doesn’t change the emotions I have felt since finding out. We have been together 1 year and 8 months, so the majority of this time he had still been struggling with the addiction. I had absolutely no idea however looking back there were warning signs that bothered me at the time but I never came to the conclusion this was the cause. Red flags: - Sexual performance difficulties at the start of our relationship (i just assumed it was because I was new to him as our sex life has been absolutely fine ever since the first few times) - Liking and following girls on social media. The photos he liked were often bikini/provocative photos both from girls he knew and girls he didn’t know in person. I regularly told him that this made me feel uncomfortable, but he continued for a long time despite promises he respected my thoughts and he would avoid them. (He has since said that these photos were a factor in his addiction, fuelling him to want to watch porn. This is one of the really hurtful parts of it all, because some of these girls are people I know too, and from my perspective it feels like I wasn’t good enough, for example why didnt he just look at photos of me instead of the friends/random girls he had on social media. - Looking at attractive girls when they walked by (some of which were my friends) which really hurt my self esteem. - Hiding and deleting messages from female friends. The only ones I read myself (that hadn’t been deleted) were a string of texts to one of our mutual friends/colleagues. He was extremely flirtatious in the messages and I honestly almost walked out the night I found them. Just before I confronted him, i pretended I hadn’t seen them and asked if he had heard from her. He straight up lied to my face. That’s when alarm bells started ringing. Lies are something I never want in a relationship. (He has since said that this was another way of satisfying that other side of him - although I have no idea how that relates, if anyone could explain even just this one particular part it would mean so much) My biggest fear is if this dishonest side will continue to show up in our future. I completely believe that he hasn’t watched a thing in months (we moved in together, work from home and spent lots of time together). He said he will be completely honest in the future and never hide things. But my question is - how do you trust after broken promises, lies and someone who can cover things up so well. Since finding out I have felt so many emotions, confusion, anger, betrayal etc. I have anger that he knowingly had the addiction, but pursued a relationship with me, but at the same time I feel like we have had so many amazing times I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve wondered if he truly does find me physically attractive, because I think of all of the girls online he must have thought about in a sexual way. I wonder if the times I was having the best time with him, that he was thinking about his addiction more than me. I worry that he’s not told me everything, despite him being so honest with me. I feel disgusted at the thoughts he must have had, the countless hours of watching other girls have sex, the material he’s viewed. I feel disgusted that he’s had these thoughts, particularly whilst in my family home, and to satisfy the urge/want he flirtatiously messaged our mutual friend while sat in the room with one of my parents, it truly does disgust and devastate me. But at the same time I go through feelings of trying to understand and rationalise things, but then a few minutes later I will go back to the negative emotions. I have never had to deal with anything like this and never thought I would have to. It sometimes doesn’t feel real. I’ve not been able to sleep properly for 3 consecutive nights and I’m now still in bed on a Monday afternoon, I’ve wasted the whole day again. But one thing I’ve never stopped feeling is love for him. I am honestly so confused. We have also recently left our home country to do some travelling, so finding out this news in a time that I’ve been really enjoying and knowing they should be the best months/year of my life has really made things difficult. It’s just me and him, I haven’t got my family and friends nearby anymore to take my mind off things and talk to them. I also feel I couldn’t talk to anyone I know about it any anyway, as I now feel I can’t trust the people closest to me in a way. I am so confident that he is ‘the one’ and I completely want a future with the man I fell in love with (he really is one of the most caring, loving and respectful people I have ever met, which is maybe why it has been such a shock), but finding out about the past dishonestly in our relationship is crushing and it does make me worry for the future. I want to find a way to get past this, stop thinking about it, be able to sleep, enjoy travel and live as normal. I want to trust him and have no worries. I want to understand what he is trying to explain (that it was nothing to do with me and it was completely separate etc). Any advice on how to understand this all will be really appreciated. Thank you, The Partner
  10. Hello all, I want to keep this as short as I can but I make no promises, I tend to get carried away when emotional. Also there will be a second post by this account in the "Partner Concerns" section, if you would like to read my Partner's writing, which has been written separately to me writing here. So here goes... A few nights ago I (23) told my girlfriend (21) about the addiction to porn I suffered with in the past, and it overlapped with our relationship in the beginning (Edit: I suffered the addiction for just shy of 2 years). The worst of the addiction was before we got together roughly two years ago, I think we are both understanding of why the addiction occurred looking at my past history. This is the second addiction I have had to contend with in my life, as I had an addiction to gaming in my early teens, this coupled with other factors of my past we are certainly confident we know why things got the point they did. That point in question was feeling disgusted and humiliated at myself when it got to the point I couldn't get an erection trying to masturbate for the fifth time in a row, with raw and bloody friction burns on my penis. I made the decision to make a change in my life, I went to university and the gym obsessively to fill my time. It was at university I met my girlfriend in my second year. My addiction was being better managed at this point, the filling my time with work and the gym along with actually wanting to get a handle on my life that made the difference. However it still wasn't 'cured', it did lead me to making some awful decisions in the beginning of our relationship. These included things like following and looking at random female accounts on instagram, looking at girls in public, messaging other girls in a flirtatious way, watching heavy amounts of porn and masturbating when we were apart. Granted not anywhere near as severe as it used to be but it was still a problem. The worst part is my girlfriend had suspicions something was up, she asked me about the messaging and the images on instagram and I lied straight to her face. It is this which is the worst part of all of this for me. I have battled with my addiction myself, I have never told a single soul about it until my girlfriend just a few short nights ago. This girl is the love of my life. I look at her and she’s the most honest, kind hearted human being I have ever met. She has shown me so much love, so much affection and understanding through out our relationship. We ended up living together, because of our daily routine we spent 24/7 together, very literally, and it was never a chore. I woke up and was excited to start the day with her, I went to bed every night looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. She has captured my heart in a way I never thought possible, and I feel an unprecedented level of guilt, shame and sadness that I have caused her so much hurt because of this situation. How could I hurt this person like this? How could I not be in control of myself. It’s terrified me, but not as terrifying as it is to feel like I am losing her. Nothing hurts me more inside than seeing her anything less than the happy person she is, especially when I am the cause of that pain. She wants me to explain myself and rightly so… but I have never talked to anyone about this and if I am truthful I don’t understand it myself. How can I explain this to a person who means so much to me? Something which I don’t even understand myself. I tried to explain it’s not me, it’s like having a backpack that is always attached to me, background noise which just won’t disappear no matter how loud you make the music of life. I cannot quantify the levels of struggle I have endured to pull myself in the right direction. It’s been about 9 months since I have watched porn, and I have been feeling great in myself in that regard the past couple months. This is thanks to the fact we are together 24 hours a day 7 days a week (we work from home) in our current lifestyle. It has been a so hard, so so so hard to get to where I am today fighting on my own in the background, but I wanted to do it for her, me and us. Our future is what’s important to me and I am glad to say I feel in control of myself and my actions. However now she is left trying to make sense of the situation, and of course she is struggling, devastated, confused and broken. I need help, she needs help, we both need help to move past this and to what we both want. A happy, normal life full of the all good things we have experienced together, less the bad. She cannot comprehend that I am not the person she believed I was, a kind hearted, caring, empathetic, dependable boyfriend with morals. But I want her to know, I am that person, however just like our favourite TV character, I have a dark passenger of my own. I feel like we have been moving down a road together so brilliantly, I love every minute of it. However now there are two extremely complex mazes in our path. I feel like I have nearly completed my maze, getting on top of my behaviour. But sadly she has only just entered her maze, and I need some help me to take her hand and guide her through there back onto our common path. It's all either of us want. Thanks everyone, The addict
  11. Pj I just have to say thank you so much for your knowledge and your kind detailed response this is so helpful. My husband has booked in with a 20+ years addiction and sex therapist she's supposed to be highly regarded I have told him today that I won't push him for answers he should seek help then once ready disclose the truth not sure if that's right but I feel he can't be honest with me yet. You have definitely made me feel more hopeful and I understand he has his own issues deep down and that's why I'm sad for him too, but it's hard to see past the not good enough stuff after being gaslighted for so long. I also apologise for too much detail I have a tiny phone and didn't realise I may have disclosed too much until after then tried to edit and couldn't! Thank you again I will certainly look to your post when in need for guidance and getting my head straight you sound like you have made a true recovery or understand what it takes. I will update also thank you
  12. Hi Kate I am so sorry to hear how your husband is treating you and caught up in this wretched stuff. I write as someone who has been on the other side - got heavily into porn, visited sex workers, but have been free of all that for 3 1/2 years and still married having confessed everything to my wife. There is hope...... You are sounding devastated and understandably so. A few thoughts if I may. 1. This isn't about you, the health of your marriage or your sex life. There is no excuse for what he has done or is doing. So don't blame yourself, don't take on the responsibility of it one iota. It isn't about your looks, your age or anything else. It is all about his shit. 2. Addicts are unhappy and many, perhaps all, hate what they are doing but they are caught in a vicious circle. They are in pain but habitually turn to their addictive behaviour to escape their pain. It is a shitty place to be. 3. Addicts usually need to hit rock-bottom before they come to their senses and realise they need help. Until they come to the realisation they need help, they won't change. 4. They need people who will not allow them to deceive themselves, minimise or excuse their behaviour. If you stay with him, you will need to help him in this. 5. You are a precious and beautiful person in your own right, who deserves kindness, goodness, love and honesty. Don't believe or tell yourself anything else. 6. You therefore have a primary responsibility to yourself. Do whatever it takes to look after yourself. I would really encourage you to confide in a friend. You will need people to help you through this very dark time for you. You will probably be surprised at how friends will love you and support you if you reach out to them. 7. Finally, I would encourage your husband to find a specialist sex addiction therapist, rather than just a sex therapist. His problem isn't sex, as strange as that might seem, it is addiction. Hopefully the sex therapist will recognise that very quickly. I saw a counsellor who wasn't qualified in sex addiction stuff and wasted some years because they weren't knowledgeable or expert in this specialist area. You will find a load of help for a person in your position by reading Paula's book "Sex Addiction: The Partners Perspective". The Laurel Centre also has specialist counsellors for partners, you might do well to contact one of them. I hope this helps. Keep coming back, let us know how you are getting on.
  13. Hi everyone I'm new here. So sorry for the long post in advance! I have recently found out that my husband is a possible porn/sex addict. We have been together for 22 years, since high school. Not sure where to start but here goes. I was 14 when we met he was 17 he seemed to head over heels and has always made out that he is crazy about me hes very quiet and seemed very sensitive. When we would be out and about in our early days I used to notice how much he was ogling women, I did explain that I felt this was disrespectful and that he should not do it it hurt my feelings. I had been a model in my later teens so thought I was attractive enough to keep his attention obviously not, he actually use to tell me regularly I was crazy he said would never do that to you what do you take me for as if I love you etc. Stupidly and blinded by love I believed him or wanted to and decided it was jealousy on my part so pushed it aside I've seen him since but ignored it until recently. We just returned from a family holiday in a villa my brother in law brought his new girlfriend and her daughter of 17 she's same age as our daughter, my husband was wholly and completely distracted by the girl and hardly spoke to me all week the girl appeared to be flirting and enjoyed the attention as teenagers sometimes do so it was pretty awful he was constantly focused on her. I wanted to come home, half way through the week I told him to stop it it was wrong keep ogling the young girl he's nearly 40 and made me feel worthless and she's the same age as our daughter, he swore on our kids lives he wasnt but he's later confessed that he was and was having sexual thoughts it's like a knife in my chest. During the holiday he did something very random unlike him he walked into the shower whilst I was showering and started foreplay I was shocked I told him to stop he ws upset by this. I believe he was checking out the girl again and following his fantasy it makes me feel sick. our sex life was amazing in the most part but odd times he would be rough pulling my hair or positions he's never wanted to try. Then sometimes he'd have no interest at all. Although around the time my gut feeling was nagging me a couple of years ago he started trying it on whilst I was asleep and times I'd let him once awoken be living he really wanted me this went on for over a year more or less every night and suddenly stopped I'm not sure if this is common or not or has anything to do with this. However since returning home I have had a funny feeling a feeling that really has been off and on for some time you see I smelt perfume on him and there were nights he'd go out drinking and not come home work away etc. I started going through laptop after hols and found loads of nude pics porn 4 dating sites etc. He denied it all then finally admitted it that he oggles women all the time and the girl on holiday problem is we have to see them it's his brothers girlfriends daughter who will be attending family events. He admitted he watches porn daily always has since teenage years sometimes he watches more sometimes not but times after we have sex, but says he never chatted or met up with women, quite frankly after 22 years of deceit and making me think I'm mad I don't believe him I believe my instinct and I am positive something has gone on with other women at some point, there's pictures on the data files on laptop that look like everyday women in bras skimpy clothes. They all seem to be dark haired I'm blonde that also makes me wonder if I was really what he wanted my confidence is shattered probably lower than I have ever felt in my life I'm totally heartbroken I've lost over a stone in 3 weeks. have got a therapist for myself starts next week. Also Google maps time line places him at an address regularly I found out its a single women's house appears he's been there on at least 40 occasions but he still denies it I know maps can be off at times but surely not so much everything else is right and he agreed all other timelines were correct . Now and then I get snippets of more lies I keep catching him out. There's so much he's hidden at one point had 3 mobiles but until now I never questioned him I trusted him with my life I know that sounds silly why 3 phones/ different numbers he's an engineer and one is work one privatel one was broke he said but I don't think it was and I've now got the sd card and phone records. In the last few weeks things have been manic my husband seems almost lost I'm either angry or crying or stressing searching for more evidence I can't sleep etc. He's the love of my life and Im devastated. He is going to see a sex therapist on Saturday I'm going for the first appointment this is good. However he seems ashamed he has told me how sorry he is and that he never meant to cause any pain he loves me and has never had sex with anyone else, but his actions seem unlike a person who is remorseful I mean he's still not communicating with me hardly he also tried to blame me after an argument the other day, I told him straight this is his addiction and not my problem. I also found out he's had a gambling problem really bad for 8 years again he lied to me until confronted with bank statements. Sorry to go on but any support from fellow members would be appreciated it's difficult to talk to anyone who I'm close with as this is so personal I don't want others to know details. Thanks in advance x
  14. Thank you for sharing. I am in pain. I was told through his family that his therapist tells him who he can and can’t contact and when. He can’t be reached either. He’s in outpatient therapy in the US now for a couple of months. Even though he’s completed inpatient for two and a half months too. Being in the UK and he’s in the US is so far from home.
  15. I think you may have to accept he is on his own journey. Thats not to say that will be with or without you but maybe get some therapy yourself. Give yourself time then maybe reach out to him. I spent almost 20 years with my husband before finding out he is a SA. We have children, I love him very much, my first response was to fight for him. Thankfully we have had a great therapist that has worked with Paula and he has been involved from the start. It took a few months for my other half to stop petit slips and really get on track each time he did something stupid it broke my heart a fresh. I know how that feels and I am sorry you are in so much pain. Thankfully we are currently on track and my other half seems to be making great progress but he almost did as much damage whilst I waited for him be ready to make real changes as he did when I first found out. I can't say we are living a happy ever after but we are in a better position we have been in for years and we are committed but we have both really put the work in and are continuing do so. I hope it goes well for you. I can read how much pain your in. Good therapy shouldn't have told him to cut ties with you, unless that is his choice but if he isn't responding maybe he needs time. Maybe he isn't really ready or committed to his therapy. I can't tell you what he is thinking. I think you have to deal with the pain you are in and the damage this has caused you for now. I'm so sorry.
  16. Thanks. I already read this.
  17. Having been there on this! I would say this may have been a slip rather than acting out. It may be he was at the preparation stage (assuming you've seen the addiction diagram, its in the partners book written by Paula rather than just the sex addict book) whereby he was all ready to act out but decided not too. I understand the pain this causes and the rage.
  18. Absolutely not your fault the 3 partnering C's of addiction. I didn't Cause it I can't Control it I can't Cure it I suggest you read Paulas book for partners if you haven't already. It really helps also you need therapy together if you can afford it that will help tremendously.
  19. Paula has written a book for partners, you can also buy it on the kindle app etc. I would recommend reading it. I can't advise you on his position but I think the book would really help,].
  20. Earlier
  21. I had been dating my partner for over two years. The first day I met him, I thought he was the “one”. We connected in a way we had both never felt. Under a year into our relationship we were experiencing rocky patches, he was coming home continually after 3am and drinking a lot. I knew my partner was social and could talk for hours to anyone that would listen (he is Irish :-). So I thought nothing of it. I had always felt suspicious, as he always had his phone with him everywhere. On two occasions I found texts, pictures and videos from other women. It wasn’t just one, it was multiple. Graphic pictures, videos and texts that to be honest, I was disgusted reading. From the day I met him, I knew sexually he was experimental, I was only to a “vanilla” extend. The first time I found the texts we were four months into seeing each other so I forgave him as it was early days and he promised he wouldn’t do it again. The second time I found a message (1.5 years in), he decided it was time to move out. He said it would “help” our relationship. It ended up doing the opposite. There was endless silence when trying to contact him via text, email or calling. When he did contact he was either crying or saying how much he loves me and that he’s always so sorry and wants a life with me. He evens few months ago sent me a video of him crying saying that I am the love of his life and he only wants to be with me. He was due to move back in June this year, I went on a holiday with my sister and niece and he had my door keys to move back in. While I was on a holiday he was breaking down, he was saying that he was unsure about how he feels and if he could do this. He then went quiet which stressed me out on holiday! I got back and he was at the airport waiting for me but very mean to me when we got back to my flat. A few days later I sent him a voice note to say that I need to let go, I love him but I can’t go through it. I heard nothing for a month, until he text me on the first day of his rehab in arizona. I was in utter shock and anger. I wasn’t aware of his sex addiction. I do know of his adhd and drinking but we didn’t discuss prior that this was a sex addiction. I responded telling him to get lost and I met someone else. I guess I wanted to hurt him, like he hurt me. I was so angry, the person I loved the most and thought that loved me had this addiction. Yet he couldn’t just tell me, he couldn’t contact me before he went to the US. This is now12 weeks on and I’ve still heard nothing from him. He spent July to sept in the gentle path rehab and then he went to his mums for a week and then back to the US for the outpatients part of the rehab treatment. I have no idea how long he will be in that for. im worried I’ve lost him for Good and rehab would tell him to cut ties and start a clean slate. I left messages when he was in the inpatient rehab, but no contact back. His mum and sad don’t talk to me as they said before that I’m wasting my time due to my age and wanting a family. It’s been so tough as I feel I’ve left him alone. I feel awful for also saying on the first day of his rehab I met someone else. Any advice or anyone else experience this? Did your partner do rehab? How are they after?
  22. Hello Lulu18, Your story is very familiar to me, and I feel your pain. I discovered my husband/partner of 29yrs has had affairs during our marriage, a unhealthy habit with porn and then sleps with numerous sex workers in the past 3 yrs, his SA was spiralling out of control. When i discovered what was going on (caught on his phone), last Oct (one year soon) I was utterly devastated. It is a very lonely place. I have told nobody. My 3 teenage children know about one incident with a working girl via his self help notes (we have discussed his issues as a family, without details), we all love him and are motivated to help him get better. However, he is their father for life (and a good one) but I have choices. I love him and we seemingly have a better marriage now than we have for years. It is very hard, as he is my trigger and I am often making him feel shame and guilt, but we talk a lot, cuddle and cry, we are doing our best. I have thrown myself into podcasts, hypnosis apps (wow, not me at all!!) and many books, now I need to start living again! I also torture my husband with podcasts about relationships (Relationship Alive) and we are more intimate in our sex life - sex without orgasm is all about being close and intimate. My husband has been given a chance - and only one chance. I have a good job, great kids, lovely friends (however, they I believe would not understand, its just too risky, another thing to worry about for me!) and so much to live for (did feel suicidal initially, for 6 months I recon). Good luck with the Paula Hall course - my husband went and thought it was excellent. Look at PartnerHope website - also good for us partners. I hope this message is helpful, you are in my thoughts.
  23. Hi LuLu18, please please please do not blame yourself for your husbands SA!!! They all look for an excuse for there behaviour and you are not anything to do with it!!!! It is a very lonely place for the partner of a SA, not being able to talk to friends and family on not only a delicate subject but one that is not recognised by everyone as an addiction !! plus finding someone you can trust to confide in.I can see you have suffered enormously, but believe me it is time to put you and your daughter first. The hardest part is walking away , but believe me it does get better!! I don't doubt that your husband loves you and your daughter but you have to think how emotionally drained you are and you need to build your strength up for you and your daughter she needs her mum right now too!! if you decide to walk away you will be ok!! you will have your life back!!! I speak of being married to a SA for the past 16 years , i have had depression, self harmed ,panic attacks ,anxiety, and very low self esteem, plus all the stress on top and it has made me so ill. I to had a 13 year old daughter from my first husband at the time of finding out about this husband, and I wish I had left there and then being honest as it was so heartbreaking and emotionally draining for my daughter to watch her mum crumble and become weak ,but I somehow carried on believing that the many therapists he visited and we visited together would help but they didn't . we just spent huge amounts of money to add on to the huge debts that he had incurred with the addiction. it never got better it got worse. I am now only just free of it all and have a long way to go to rebuild my life and yes it is heartbreaking but there is light at the end of the tunnel...............ADDICTION is a selfish disease and it shatters lives . good luck with your partners course I hope it helps you.
  24. Hi Hannah - thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate your explanation and your empathy. I know in my heart of hearts that what you are saying about “fault” is true and I have, of course, thought this myself but I guess when your self esteem is so low you can’t help but believe that you must have done something terrible for someone to want to treat you so badly. You’re absolutely right when you describe an addict as having a split personality. No one would believe even half the story about my husband if I tried to tell them. Everyone thinks he is a warm, friendly and charismatic guy - and he is for the most part when he isn’t playing Mr Hyde. I also truly believe that he does love me and our daughter. The problem I have getting my head around is the conscious decision he made in the beginning to “throw me under a bus”. I’ve also now discovered that he was already displaying some addictive behaviour at the age of 15. This makes me feel so angry as I have given up so much to support him in his career and happiness and I just feel so used. I now have to make the decision whether to walk away and lose everything I have spent the last 23 years sacrificing my own happiness for; or stay with a man who I can never truly trust again and with whom I will find it very difficult to rebuild any kind of intimate relationship. As for my poor daughter, she didn’t ask for any of this and shouldn’t have to put up with either situation. I sincerely hope that the Partners Course will help me with my decision and I will definitely take your advice and read Paula’s book. Let’s hope that this all helps to make some sense of the appalling mess I’m in. If you don’t mind my asking - what was your ultimate decision?
  25. “I am now beginning to feel that he would not have become a sex addict were it not for my depression. That I was not there for him when he needed my support and love and so, he took to looking for it elsewhere. He tells me all he ever wanted to do was make me happy and the stress of not being able to do so was just too much. I feel so much guilt and shame for this I don’t know what to do “ Lulu18, your husband’s sex addiction was not caused by you. The roots of this behaviour probably go back a very long way, and very probably before he knew you. The reasons are often complex and individual but there tends to be common elements that make someone vulnerable to developing a sexual addiction Your story is heartbreaking. If anything, I would say that your husband wasn’t there for you when you needed him You were isolated and living in countries where you didn’t know the language, you had a baby to care for, and meanwhile your husband was paying for sex and happy endings in massage parlours, watching women remove their clothes for money, and listening to women talk ‘dirty’ to him on the telephone He did not do all of that because you were depressed or not sexually available to him. At some point he made a deliberate decision to do those things and eventually he became hooked on his own brain chemistry — that is, he became a sex addict. I have no doubt that he loves you and your child. Nor do I doubt that he’s a decent man in every other respect. Sex addicts typically have a dual identity — the decent guy everyone knows and loves, and his addict self, cloaked in secrecy and shame Sex addiction is rarely about sex either. There is an excitement ‘high’ when acting out, or anticipating his next ‘fix’, but it’s often used as a way to self-medicate feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, depression or stress because he never developed the skills necessary to deal with these feelings. The irony is that these feelings become more acute because often the addict feels dreadful shame and self loathing after acting out, and eventually he will cycle round to the very feelings he was trying to escape from — where he once again finds himself acting out again. The effects on partners can be devastating, and you will definitely need to work on your own healing to come to terms with something so awful as this. Many partners have no clue and their world is turned upside down Your own healing is separate from healing your relationship and from your husband’s recovery. It’s great that you’ve signed up for the partner’ course. I hope it helps Paula’s book for partners was my lifeline. I recommend it, but I’d advise you to stay away from Paula’s book for addicts, at least for the first 6-12 months whilst you come to terms with this awful situation. You’re in the worse phase right now but I promise you that you will get through this with the right support and information.
  26. Hi Lulu 18 So pleased to hear you are already booked onto the 4 day intensive - i'm sure this will help. The one day workshop is for your partner only, it is called "Understanding Partners Needs" have a look at the workshop on the website I believe the next one is coming up very soon, you could print off the information for him to look at. Perhaps when you have completed the intensive you could think about having couples therapy in the future. You need to give each other time. Take care Christine
  27. Hi Christine - thank you so much for taking the trouble to read my post and give me some guidance on a way forward. I have signed up for the 4 day partners intensive course at the end of October and am looking forward to getting help and support from that experience. Please could you tell me the name of the one day programme - and is it designed for both addict and partner to attend together? I am very interested as my husband is taking no interest in my needs or feelings at all. He says that by just going to meetings and working through the 12 steps he should be doing enough and showing me enough commitment to make things work. Whilst I agree with that in part, it doesn’t help to restore any of the broken trust or repair the damage to the relationship in the past. Since coming out of rehab he is almost self obsessed with his own feelings and recovery. I just want to know that I still matter☹️.
  28. It is never the partners fault, addictions usually develop as a result of underlying reasons which are nothing to do with a relationship and have usually happened at a much earlier stage. Recovery does give the individual hope that they can change, meanwhile you are left dealing with the pain, hurt and trauma of discovering and not knowing whether this will happen again. Partners need to gain their own understanding of the addiction and consider how they themselves recovery from the knowledge this new reality which is traumatic, all of what you are feeling are normal reactions and responses to this trauma. The Laurel Centre run a one day workshop that helps the person in recovery understand what and why their partner responds and reacts in the way they do, it also helps the partner with the addiction to understand their responsibility and think about the impact of their behaviour both the impact of the addiction on the partner and the need for openness and honesty in recovery. You can go to the website and book directly onto this course.
  29. Hi Lulu18 I have just read your post and wondered who are you getting support from, trying to work through the issues for yourself, the mind field of what is truth and what is not truth, how can you know whether he is lying or not and if he is lying then is this about the addiction or is this an habit that still needs work as part of the recovery? Constantly wanting to look into his behaviour but then being triggered by what might or might not be happening, let alone the pain and fear of what you might discover. I wonder if you have considered your own support needs through all of this and whether you would find some of the partners support offered through The Laurel Centre beneficial, both in how to manage your situation and also to enable you to have a support network of other women who are experiencing a similar situation to yourself. Have a look at the courses being offered, either as an intensive or weekly, depending upon your circumstances. Many women find the support of the group very helpful. Not only does it give you the support of the group but it will help you think about why someone develops this addiction, how they recover and what you need to consider in order to look after yourself and manage the trauma and ongoing situation. I hope you are in a position to consider this.
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