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  1. 2 points
    Hello. Thank you for sharing. And thank you Josh for appearing to us like an angel to give support to the likes of me and 'outofwishes'. Outofwishes - I am only a few weeks into my new life after reality booted it's way in and changed things for ever. My wife and family have to deal with the knowledge that I committed a crime; the social worker from Children's Services has labelled me as a serious risk and my wife is under a ton of strain. Some things I have read have helped and some have terrified me. This time that you are currently in, this limbo between being found out and being convicted is the time when we are becoming free of addiction, free of stupidity, starting therapy and/or 12 step programmes. It is ironic and paradoxical that at the time you are convicted, you will be the most cleansed and risk free of all your adult life. The conviction and sentencing is haunting because at the moment it is unknown. From your wordpress blog you might be lucky and have a non custodial or suspended sentence. Whatever happens, I hope and know that there will be a good you at the end of it. There will be lows, serious lows on the way, but hold on to that as motivation, hold on to the love of your wonderful friends (I sobbed too at that) and hold on to the knowledge that you are now a good person with things to offer. You can talk to people about where porn addiction can take you, you can save another life with that. Sorry, it's a bit of a diatribe this. All the best and perhaps we'll chat again sometime soon. P.
  2. 2 points
    “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” Oh, Judith, I understand that feeling so well. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it I’m over 2 years into recovery but what I can pass on to you is that you are competing with a ‘thing’, a substance, an object. No one person can ‘compete’ with that thing, that entity that is at the core of the addiction. Not that lady in the picture No individual woman can. Not even that lady can compete with the chemical soup in the brain of a porn/sex addict. They are chasing the high. Judith, you ARE enough It took me a lot of time to get past this mindset but I did. Learning about porn addiction was an enormous help. There is a website called YourBrainOnPorn.com where there is a video that explains what’s going on in the brain of a porn addict. It’s about seeking and novelty, dopamine, creating pathways in the brain, the hijacking of the brain’s reward system and sensitisation to the ‘thing’ they’ve become addicted to. They appear to be people that the addict is seeking out, but it’s not really. They’re just the ‘substance’ that’s needed to get the high. Obviously, the way to feel OK about yourself takes a lot more than understanding what goes on in men’s brains when they look at porn or similar, but it explains what people mean when they say it’s not about the us, that we weren’t the cause of it or that we weren’t good enough. A bit about me. My husband was an internet porn addict for 15 years and before that he was buying magazines and videos from seedy sex shops although I only ever found two magazines on one occasion. He also went to strip bars, which I was never supposed to find out about. In truth, I don’t really know how far it goes back, but as soon as he was online at home I lost him to porn addiction. Eventually we had no sex life whatsover. Zero. Nothing. No interest in me. Never looked at me. Never complimented me. I could have been stark naked and he’d just keep his nose in his book. Eventually I got dressed and undressed in the bathroom. I knew full well about the porn but after if caught him in the first days and weeks of getting online he had all these cleanup apps installed. It really hurt. Deep down I felt rejected because I was over 30 (oh, hahaha, seems so young now) and then I was over 40... and so on. So I thought it was all over. I only managed because I was in denial. I ended up feeling totally rejected and lonely and depressed. Nobody ever touched me or kissed me. I had to ask for a goodnight peck, otherwise he would just turn over and go to sleep. So, did I feel not good enough? In my mind I BELIEVED I was not good enough, never would be, never could be. I didn’t see the depression coming. I developed a sort of adult onset midlife anorexia. I didn’t know it could happen. But it did and it happened to me. I developed body dysmorphia. I was shrinking away to nothing because I believed I had no right to take up space. Hiding my ‘hideous’ body from my husband was so easy because it would never occur to him to look. Privately I could see I was emaciated. And then one day I saw myself in the mirror and had a depressive breakdown. My only thought at the time was “he’ll never want me now. Everything I once was has gone forevermore”. That was how far it had to go before he quit porn, and even then it was only the beginning of all the pain of discovering the extent of this habit and all the lying. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. I wasn’t his porn type. I soon discovered that. I had gone through my early adult life with this enviable physique and I’d pretty much stayed the same shape but I wasn’t some 36GG painted Barbie. I didn’t have a negative body image at all. But somehow, in midlife I ended up painfully thin and frail with body dysmorphia disorder, and that was before I had any idea about what he sought out in porn. I stopped neglecting my appearance. I treated myself to some new clothes. I coloured my hair. I bought some nail varnish. I started eating more. I was clinically underweight and it took some time to gain weight. I didn’t want to eat junk either. I bought some self help books. Gael Lindenfield does some good ones on building self esteem. I tried to get back to my previous interests and hobbies though this was hard because I was so distressed and preoccupied as the reality of my husband’s addiction behaviours slowly tricked out, and I was traumatised over and over with new discoveries followed by lying and denial. It was hell. I bought myself some cheap exercise books and biros and I wrote and wrote and wrote to get it all out of my system. My anger, my hatred for porn, and the industries that make money from this misery, the difficult emotions about my husband. I journalled a lot. I saw my GP who arranged counsellor. Not brilliant but it was support for me. Not for us as a couple but just for me. I couldn’t deal with it along. My husband began to appreciate me physically after d day but to be honest this was more of a honeymoon period. As soon as I raised an awkward issue or when I discovered more evidence of his acting out which he would deny, this would create rifts which he did not have the skills and maturity to deal with. So I noticed the compliments were not so forthcoming. And then one day something lit up in my mind — I don’t need his compliments to feel worthwhile. If he doesn’t notice, then so what? I notice! I can see who’s looking back at me in the mirror, and she’s an impressive lady. He’s a man with a problem, he’s a porn addict, and I’m not going to let his behaviour that caused so many problems for me decide whether or not I’m going to feel good about myself. So so that’s how it began. That was my turning point. Of course it’s not that easy. There are many difficult and upsetting moments, but the important thing is to uncouple yourself from his ‘approval’. It’s late and I’ve been writing for ages so i’ll stop. I hope this helps. I still get upset about it all. I still feel like an ugly nobody at times. I still feel wretched when I have my doubts and suspicions. Our ‘recovery’ is far from ideal. But I know that where he is lacking, I must continue to work on my own personal healing.
  3. 2 points
    Hi Sargam, There's some really interesting questions and points there. For me, a lot of it stems from what is your own personal definition of acceptable sexuality and sexual behaviour. Some people and couples obviously do use pornography and most people obviously encounter it at some point in their lives. It's something that can be seen as exciting or taboo and people can be drawn to out of natural curiosity too. For me, it started when I was young (a teenage) as I didn't have any sexual experience and it is a way of "learning" of a sort. For me, the real problems came with it when I realised that it had actually turned from something that it was a "dirty little secret" that I couldn't or wouldn't discuss with my partners. And then further on, when really I became fully addicted to it and "needed" it regularly, often easily spending an hour or two every couple of days for many years on end. It became something that I felt I wasn't in control of and was very ashamed about. It helped drive a wedge between me and my wife as well. Particularly, I felt that whenever she was withdrawn or not wanting sex, I could instead go and masturbate to pornography to "make myself feel better" - it was a crutch and meant I didn't have to work harder at improving the relationship or really discussing our sexual needs fully. In turn over time, real sex with her became dull and monotonous because I couldn't spend hours with her edging to the multitude of wild crazy content and unlimited variety of online porn. Why try harder to enjoy sex with the same woman you've been with for 17 years, when instead you can have a unlimited supply of novelty - different women every night, limited only by your imagination? For me, this is the real problem at the root of online porn - it sets up extremely unrealistic expectations of what sex is and should be that no partner or human being can ever compete with. At the same time, I would also be secretly disgusted with myself at some of the content I was looking at and needing to view more and more extreme material to keep that hit going over the years. Then asking partners to do these acts that I wouldn't otherwise in a million years thought up myself. I felt really ashamed of that. It is a myth and fantasy world that I would run to whenever real life was a bit too tough or things didn't go my way. This created greater emotional distance between me and my wife and also a much bigger disconnect with the world in general. Nothing (except maybe serious drugs) competes with sex in the human brain reward system. So, when you have unlimited sex on tap 24 hours a day with unlimited fantasy, what happens? Well, I withdrew from the real world. Why bother going out to meet people and talk about real problems? Why bother having real hobbies or going out an doing things? Why bother sorting myself out and actually achieving my life goals? Instead, porn would always be there for that instant hit. But it's not real. Although I knew for a long time deep down things were badly wrong that I "needed" porn so much, I thought I was the only person in the world like it and was in deep denial about quite bad the effects of it were in my life. It's taken quite a bit of clean time and lot of help to really understand the depth and the impact my issue with porn actually was causing in my life. The good news is, now I am straightening things out and enjoy a lot more from life - my time goes elsewhere but mostly into myself in other ways. I do still masturbate but much less frequently and only in ways that I am comfortable with are a completely physical experience for me. That means staying away from any form of sexual contact having any form of computer or phone screen involved in any way. That's what's good and what works for me but it's taken me time to figure that out and everyone is different. Maybe things aren't like this for you with porn and you don't have the problems I have with it. I really deeply hope not. Maybe you use porn responsibly or it doesn't affect you like it affects me. Only you can answer that because our sexuality is deeply personal thing and everyone has different needs and boundaries. My belief is that the only person who can define those is you. Clearly there are plenty of people who do look at and masturbate to pornography but don't feel it's a problem or impacts their lives. For those people, great. I'm not one of those people. The really interesting thing with a lot of those people who insist they can easily put it down is that when you ask them to stop to prove it, they come up with many excuses why they can't or won't. They enjoy it, so why stop something you enjoy? Why deny yourself? If these people feel so OK about it, why don't they go and tell their wives and friends and mothers all about what porn they watched last night? Probably because deep down they feel ashamed at some level of what they are doing and especially if they are doing it regularly. All these creeping rationalisations can often be because secretly they are hooked and cannot or do not want to let go of their "crutch." Again for me, the real reasons came down to wanted to escape and actually needing to radically change my life because my previous life sucked a lot. Sometimes people who use porn heavily can think that porn and masturbation causes all the problems in their life. I have found that what's really going on is that I had a lot of nasty problems already in my life, porn was just one more of those that was pretending to "make it better" or comfort me but actually just burying it all and making even more mess to sort out. Weirdly, although I have never been a religious person, since starting my journey I have started to see more of its merits in attitudes towards sex. Previously, I would regard most religions as prudish and discouraging of enjoyment or pleasure in their attitude towards sex, porn and masturbation. But I can now appreciate more keenly some of the moderating views they cultivate because of the damage I feel using porn has done to me. Because sex is such a powerful and potentially destructive (as well as creative) thing, the message to treat it with more care and respect is something I had not fully given it credit for. Western society also has specific social attitudes and perhaps a more relaxed approach which makes this harder still for people to figure out for themselves. Yet at the same time, putting in hard boundaries that people don't fully understand or make porn and masturbation taboo also can cause a lot of harm and push people away from trying to work out their own ideas - it can easily feed shame and the feeling you are bad for having sexual desire and that it must be repressed at all costs. It can easily blanket all forms of sexual activity as destructive, apart from procreation, if taken to the extreme. Personally, I find this attitude too restrictive but again, different things work for different people. One last thing also I have found is that while it mostly men who have serious issues with porn addiction (in its many different forms, images, "soft" sites, chat/sexting etc.) or even escalation to sex workers, sex addition, serial affairs etc. this problem most definitely can and does affect women too - the forum at rebootnation.org has a specific women's section, for example. There are a lot of links here if you want to explore and understand further: http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/ Most notably if you only have 5 minutes: http://paulahall.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-addict/ Thanks for taking the time to read my very long reply here. I hope it's helped in some way and if you want to discuss further, it would be great to hear your thoughts back. Peace.
  4. 2 points
    I asked myself why do I feel sick when empathising with what she needs. I felt that she does not openly reward me. She feels grateful inside but does not seem to have a need to express it. Unfortunately I am very trade-in person, I evaluate what I achieve by how much I get back which in this case it feels like I am getting nothing. Furthermore she wants to tuck herself inside me and grow. This scares me because of my fear that it would annihilate me, wipe me out of existence, leave me like a rotten tree in the roots of a new tree. Obviously I would still be somewhere, I would just have to shine through her. Which does not seem to be the worst case scenario when I think about it. Thanks everyone who read this and let me tap into their collective subconscious to solve this.
  5. 1 point
    Hi, This is my journey through addiction, I hope it can help others see there is a way out. I first struggled with alcohol addiction and went to rehab in 2006, there it was quickly identified that my primary addiction was indeed sex addiction. I was hoffied and in complete denial. I refused to accept it and labeled myself an alcoholic. I carried on relapsing with alcohol and stayed in complete denial about SA until July 2007. Then my partner found out about my affairs and I told him I had been told I was a sex addict. But really I wasn't ready to accept it myself. After another two trips to rehab, I finally managed to stop drinking in September 2009, and started my recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous using the 12 step program. I managed to be faithful and not act out until February 2012. Then because all I had done in my recovery up until then, was deal with some of the symptoms (ie drinking) and I had been too afraid to look at the root causes and deal with the real issue,which was sex addiction I relapsed into SA. I tried to convince myself it was actually a new love of my life (even though I desperately loved my partner) and that it was not me using men to deal with my fears,shame, insecurities and pain. It escalated over the next 4 years to many sexual encounters and I came more insane and irrational. Eventually my partner found out again and I was ready to accept my real problems. I went to Paula Hall (as my partner had previously had some partners counselling with her back in 2007 when I was using 12 steps for my recovery). There I was introduced to my therapist and started my real journey into getting well. Too begin with I was still holding onto bits of the truth and lying even to my therapist, but she was patient and she helped me see the need for absolute total honesty. To be honest I didn't know what true honesty was and it took me a while to learn how to be completely honest. I was so ashamed and so afraid to face all what I had done. But I knew that to deal with this meant dealing with the causes of my addictions, not just the symptoms. I had to accept why and how had I became so dependant on sex and lust to fill the pain inside me. The journey was painful and extremely hard at times, but I had the most amazing therapist and I was able to totally trust her in a way I had never trusted anyone. Over the years I have had some many people try and help me but she was different, she understood me and my issues totally. i will forever be so grateful to her. I spent 20 months going to see her once a week and I believe I needed that much time to really process my issues. One thing I did regret was D Day and trying to go through disclosure with my partner on our own and too early. As I took so long to be able to be completely honest, each time I tried to tell the full truth to my partner I either hide something or lied about something or denied it. This caused so much more pain. I wish we had waited until I was honest enough to do it properly. Eventually we did a therapeutic disclosure with two therapists from Paula's practice, which went very well. So I would advise using the therapists to help with this totally. My partner has been amazing and we are still together, I know I have been extremely lucky to have someone who understands my issues and believes in me overcoming them. I am just about to start seeing a new therapist from the practice who is relationship trained, who hopefully can help me further with some of my lasting relationship issues, and take me to a further place of healing. There is a way out, if you can be honest and face yourself and your shame. If there are any other females who would like to talk, I love to make contact, unfortunately the one draw back at the moment is there are not many women coming forward for help, so it can be lonely journey. Cat
  6. 1 point
    Hi Hannah, I would like to offer a different perspective. I am someone who wants to know that if I ask for information it will be given to me. I am 8 months down the road form D-day and in the beginning I didn’t ask for information as I was unsure whether he could be trusted to tell the truth. Now, all these months later, and with intensive therapy, I feel that my husband owes me the truth. I feel that without this I could not move forward. Also, not knowing stuff felt like he had got away with it. So whilst Rob has said it would make him feel shame, well so be it - when faced with the question, “why do you want to know what happened?”, then my answer would be, “why shouldn’t you tell the truth, you have acted without any regard for me and you want me not to ask? Well tough, you did it, now face up to what you have done.” That might sound like I am seeking revenge, and in a sense maybe I am. But I am not interested in throwing all this back at him, it is just that I need to be clear about what has taken place throughout 24 years of a 27 year marriage. So, I know that he visited prostitutes on a frequent basis and that with the advent of easy access online porn these visits became more extreme in content. I know the towns and cities where they occurred, including the town where we live, but not exact locations. I know that in the main it was for paid ‘regular sex’ but in recent times there were a lot of ‘extra-curricular’ activities, if you get my meaning. This has come out this weekend, after him doing his step 5 of the 12 step programme. I felt that having come clean to somebody else it was now my turn. The way we did this was I asked questions and if needed he referred to the list which I had not read. The extent of his acting out was quite shocking, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t know that, however shameful it was for him. I am obviously upset, angry and hurt, but I truly don’t think I could have continued to live with him, if he hadn’t been prepared to tell what I wanted to know. So in short, my answer to your question should be, if you want to know more then that information should be forthcoming. I did not accept the excuse ‘it wouldn’t be good for me to know’ as that is my decision to make and no one else’s.
  7. 1 point
    Hi Florrie, First of all - I am sorry that you are one of the many women who are having to deal with this. There are so many of us, and we each have a different story to tell, and are finding different ways to cope with this situation. I also have adult children, a few years older than yours, who are no longer living at home. My partner's addiction has been present, to a greater of lesser extent, throughout our marriage, and so throughout our children's lives, but the extent of his addiction had been hidden until the last couple of years. These are my thoughts, and are in NO WAY meant to be advice - this is just to share what I have decided to do in my own life. I decided at the beginning that the children should be told if I ever suspected that either of them had ever been exposed to, or harmed by, his addiction. As far as I can tell, this is not the case. They are both extremely loving towards their father, and he has been (and still is) a great and devoted Dad to both of them. I know how agonising I have found this whole situation, and I see no reason to put them through the same misery. I am not sure how either of them would react, but I know that they would find it devastating. We all keep some things from our kids (as they keep things from us) - in this situation, I think that disclosure would only cause harm. I have also spent a lot of time getting to a place where I truly understand that this is my partner's problem, and it is his responsibility to fix it, and to put right the damage he has caused. If I ever felt that the children should know, then it would be up to him to tell them, and not up to me. I am not going to be an intermediary in this; I am not going to apologise for or excuse what he has done; and I am not going to put myself through the agony of telling my children. That may sound selfish, but I think when we are coming though this situation, we need to be putting ourselves and our recovery first. Finally, 18 months on from 'D' day, I am getting into a better, happier place, and my relationship with my partner is beginning to heal. If I had told my children early on, I am not sure I would then have been able to stay with my partner - I suspect once the information was out there, it would have pulled us all apart. These are just my own thoughts, but I hope you may find them useful. Thinking of you and hoping you get some good advice and find the right way through this for yourself and for your children.
  8. 1 point
    Hi all. I discovered this site on 23rd October after another weekend of acting out. I found some of the stories so inspirational. Found myself nodding in agreement as so much of what others have gone through resonates with me. I had stayed 100% clean from that date.....until this weekend where after yet another slip I feel I'm back to Square 1! So what's my story? I think I discovered porn in my mid teens. A very shy guy growing up I never really had much luck with the opposite sex. Didn't lose my virginity until my mid twenties but all that time porn was my substitute. My emotional crutch when stressed, lonely sad or whatever. Anyway with the digital age, added to my porn addiction has come chat rooms where I seek cyber and phone sex. I'm 51 now. I've been married for 7 years to a wonderful woman who I love more than anything. No she has no idea about my problem. It would break her heart...and selfishly mine too if she were to find out. I haven' physically cheated on her but shamefullly the porn, cyber and phone sex has continued at various intervals during our marriage. Having worked through Paulas Kick Start Recovery I have a clear understanding of my addiction of the roots of my addiction. Beating it of course is something else! I discovered new found motivation when I first found its site. So why did I slip? One of my triggers is loneliness and my wife has been away for this weekend. I mentally prepared for this and planned lots of positive things to do with my time. However I have a very stressful job and I have had something really big hanging over me from work this weekend. Stress is another trigger so I guess the two combined and I slipped again. Usual feelings of shame etc coupled with a renewed determination to beat this. For anyone who has taken the trouble to read this far, thank you. I have found writing this quite therapeutic and would appreciate any thoughts or advice from anyone on this forum. Im not a bad person. I just just have a very bad problem which I need to address. My motivation is to lead a happy, healthy life and be the husband that my wife deserves. Good luck to you all
  9. 1 point
    As Christine says, there is no right or wrong in this - only what feels right and makes sense to you. First and foremost, take care of yourself. I am the same age as you and can understand how devastating it is to find out that your partner of so many years has been deceiving you all this time. In my case it was 'only' a porn addiction, which started when he was a teenager. There have been several times over the years when this has come to a head and he has told me he was giving it all up - only to go back to it at some time afterwards. And each time he has returned to porn, the type of thing he has been viewing has become more extreme and more at odds with the kind of man he appears to be. We had our rocky patches over the years (and looking back now, I wonder how many of those were when his porn addiction was at its worst), but despite everything I still enjoyed his company, he still made me laugh, he was a good father to our children and he was still my best friend. On the last occasion (18 months ago), I was where you are now, and had decided to end the marriage. I have since changed my mind, and would like to share my reasons with you. Firstly, I did some research into porn addiction, so that I could begin to understand why and how it comes about, and what the chances are for recovery. I reached out to other women through on-line forums (like this one), so that I felt I had some support and that someone else understood where I was coming from. Finally, I told my partner that if he wanted our relationship to continue, it was up to him to make the running. Basically, I took a step back and made it clear that this was his problem and it was up to him to fix it. His responsibility to save the marriage and not mine. He had ruined our relationship, not me. The turning point was when he decided to come clean about his porn habit - the kind of thing he was watching, when he watched, why he watched. I recognised how difficult this was for him to say (and how difficult it was for me to hear). This was the first time, in more than 40 years, that we had properly talked about it. He did some reading and spoke to some counsellors and was able after a short while to talk to me about how he was fighting this and what he was doing to stay clean. I made the decision at that point to wait six months to decide whether to go or stay (I didn't tell him this). I decided to stay, but I now feel it is my right to ask him, at any point, if he is still clean and to expect an honest answer. I make it clear to him that I expect him, from time to time, to let me know how he is doing, and the bottom line is that if I once again have to find out for myself that he is using again, then I leave. If something triggers a bad memory or a reaction in me (something he says or does, something we are watching on tv, or a news item), then I tell him, and tell him exactly why it makes me feel so terrible. He has to own this! The best thing is that on a day-to-day basis, everything is fine, and we now have a level of honesty between us that was missing before (about everything - not just the porn). My partner taking real and genuine responsibility for this situation has been key. I could not have stayed if we had continued to have that elephant in the room. The worst things are the sadness which I think will never go away and the feeling that I may never entirely trust him. Staying has not been easy, but (for me) leaving would have been harder, and I felt I stood to lose more than I would gain. Please give yourself time and space to process what has happened to you. This is not 'all about him and his recovery'. This is about what has happened to you and the impact it has had on you. Be kind to yourself, and whether you go or stay, just make the decision that is right for you.
  10. 1 point
    Hey, sorry to hear what has happened. Look I am just another human in this struggle but surely seeking professional support ASAP is wise.
  11. 1 point
    Hi Yiksob11. Sounds like you are planning all the right strategies to prevent slipping. Good luck and stay strong
  12. 1 point
    Hello, It's great to start over with a new chance and do things differently. I wish you every success. I think understanding when and how you get into such a "bad frame of mind" is really important to stopping yourself going back down the old paths of coping by acting out. That's tricky to do sometimes but if you can spot that ahead of time and realise you are getting in a vulnerable place then you can do something about it before it gets too bad. You also list a lot of healthy habits there but sometimes I think it's necessary to give yourself permission to be less restrictive at times and have fun when it is nothing to do with sex. Finding hobbies and activities can be a lot of fun in itself. For me, I found I need something and I'd I try to be "good" all the time or be needless then it just gets bottled up more and is a trigger to acting out. So I definitely need things that are mine. As long as those hobbies are safe, without shame and in the open then all is well. I would really like to encourage you strongly to stay away from places and areas where you used to go and act out. Because I know from experience that going back there becomes a big trigger in itself, even if you're otherwise feeling fine. It can easily destroy hard work especially at the beginning where things are so fragile in recovery. Further, for me, a critical part of recovery has been keeping away from any and all sexual fantasy and thoughts as much as possible and avoiding masturbation. Different people are different here but I found me always gently guiding my thoughts away from any sexual fantasy helps tremendously. Just being aware of that made me realise actually that I used to think about such things a lot but not really acknowledge how much time and distraction it was. It continues the porn fantasy in the mind, even when you are not acting out. So, if I let the fantasy thrive, it will keep the battle in my mind going on and on. I am fighting myself. Peace
  13. 1 point
    Hey, It's good you recognise this problem and want to change. Things can be different and you can sort this out. Here are some online resources: But mostly I would like to encourage you to reach out and find some people in the real world you can connect with and help. You are not alone in this and there are many guys like us who struggle and we can help each other. I did Paula's course and met other guys through that but there are other ways too, e.g. SAA or SLAA. I think it's great you can come on here and ask for help and be honest. That is a big step and it took unfortunately a lot of things going wrong in my life before I could admit that. I also wasted a lot more of my time on it than you did. You still have so much life ahead. I'm really excited for you! Please keep learning and growing. Finding out what things truly make you happy and trying that out is a great way to learn about yourself, it's something I think everyone struggles with to some extent but sadly we don't talk much about it. And then for some guys like you and me, when we feel down or directionless in life, we want the "comfort blanket" of porn or sex. But it's only temporary and doesn't solve the real problems and even creates more because we then feel ashamed and isolated. There's a whole world out there for you. Although it's something you have to gift to yourself, you're not alone and others are here to help. Peace
  14. 1 point
    My GP forwarded me to psychotherapy for porn addiction which was very helpful. I'd say that was a first step. It sounds like your partner wants you to get help, so I'd recommend starting there. If the first GP doesn't help, try another at the same surgery. I'd say be wary of SLAA and other support groups as they will probably force feed you Christian stuff, guilt trip you and will ignore science.
  15. 1 point
    Far from alone, ha, like Rob says. Your explanation reads very similar to the one I could have written a few years back. I wish that I'd been brave enough to come clean, instead of always needing to be caught out. That always made me feel even more of an arsehole. Not sure it would have made things any better for my SO or for myself, with benefit of hindsight. Maybe focus first on getting yourself clean for a spell, and then when your brain's not clogged with fog, and you can think straight, consider what you want to disclose?
  16. 1 point
    I have lived with a similar problem from exactly the same age but in addition and due to the fact money wasnt an issue as my life went on it led me to use prostitutes as that gave me an extra buzz! Sadly it led to my 20 year marriage breakdown so i am now divorced and im finally searching for help on this. Reading about other people in similar situations does help for me as im sure it does for you. Keep positive and be happy!
  17. 1 point
    My partner quit porn last year after many years of porn addiction. I just couldn't deal with it any longer. I was at the point of emotional breakdown and self harm. My husband was shocked to discover me in such a state. He quit as much for his own reasons as he was suffering in secret and had tried to quit but found that he couldn't. He has been successful so far but I've had a lot of trouble coming to terms with how we ended up in such a negative rut. Reading through Paula's book for partners I have had to face my own sexual history which began with a very traumatic sexual assault at the age of 12 by a group of youths aged about 14-17 years old. The grabbed me, stripped me, and intended to rape me one by one, telling me they'd kill me if I told anyone. Someone must have tipped off the police or witnessed it because two policeman came running past and the boys ran, with the police in pursuit. The two policemen ignored me, which at the time I was glad about because I feared my parents finding out and my school too. I thought I'd get into trouble. This was in the 1970s and I know from campaigns in the 80s that rape was not taken seriously and victims were not treated with respect in those days. I was not raped. There was no penetrative sex but I was sexually assaulted. Most of all I remember being in a state of shock. I went to my friends house and told her what happened, although I didn't quite remember that clearly because I was numb with shock. The following day I didn't go to school. I stayed at home whilst my parents were at work. I never told them. All I remember was that I was still in shock that day. I was just 12 years old. I grew up with this shameful secret. I've never told anyone in my adult life. My husband doesn't know. I have never liked porn. I have always considered it abusive, the gratuitous objectification is disturbing to me. I was really upset when I learned of porn categories like "teen porn" and "gang bang" and "rape" for obvious reasons. Even in social media, the abuse directed at women in the public eye, with threats to rape and murder is disturbing. My husband says he didn't watch "abusive" genres of porn, but to me, that whole realm of watching and objectifying and consuming women as commercial products is horrible anyway. Not only do I dislike porn for its objectification of women, I dislike the male attitudes to viewing consuming porn, and the normalisation of this porn culture. As a 12 year old, although this was before Internet and hardcore videos, I felt that I was reduced to the level of entertainment when I was sexually assaulted by that gang, a lot like being the subject of a "teen rape" genre of porn video. I watched a documentary on sexism and "lad culture" which included references to online rape threats directed at women on social media. I found myself crying by the time the programme ended. I couldn't believe how violent sexual threats towards women were just like "hey, it's ironic" and complaints about sexism were dismissed as just humourless feminists who should "get over it". How what happened to me at the age of 12 ties in with my difficulties in overcoming the effects of my partner's porn habit on my self esteem and self image, I don't know. My reaction to his porn videos was visceral, like a physical blow to the stomach, and I felt traumatised by it too. I don't know what to do now. I just want to cry. I can't make sense of my experience as a 12 year old and my experience as the partner of a recovering porn addict.
  18. 1 point
    Hello everyone. Hello Rob, thanks so much for your advice and support. Rob, what can I say except: Thank you. I'm a bit lost for words at this moment. (several minutes later) You make some excellent points that I will think over and process, it's great advice and so simple when one hears it said by someone else; but I've been in the eye of the storm of my own self-loathing for so long that I had trouble accepting and realising the wisdom of what you'd said. Please excuse me if I don't answer specifically each point you've made, but know that I have read and will re-read your post carefully and follow all your advice. I have a lot of work that this addiction is taking time away from, I am job-huntiong and studying for a degree at the moment, so that itself is a source of motivation to spend my time more wisely. Since posting on Tuesday I had a slip, I looked at P and acted out (BTW for me that only ever means masturbation), so I really feel in danger at the moment of falling behind of the small amount of mental progress I feel I have already made. The over-ridng feeling I've had for the last 24 hours is that I've seen all the images I'll ever want to see, I'm sick of novelty, I'm sick of the drudgery of going through the motions of being a slave to the addiction, of being on the merry go round. It feels like the desire to stop is strong, and the excitement gained by P has waned, all that's left is the seeking of an escape from my day- to day-responsibilities. I know i'm in the regret phase, and I don't want to move to the phase where I prepare and to act again. Despite knowing that, this morning before I came to this forum and read your reply I had another slip in the sense that I wasted 2 hours looking at and collecting images. However I just wasn't turned on. Despite the fact that I kept looking I didn't get an erection, despite trying to (I hope that was not too much info. I am aware of the rule about describing acting out behaviours. Please anyone, feel free to say If I describe too much. Still new to this). Anyway, I stopped, didn't masturbate and deleted the imagery. Despite what you say Rob, it's hard not to feel like I failed in the sense that I looked at P, but I will try and take heart from what you say, I definitely need to read all the support material and research on this whole sexual addiction issue, and reread the kickstart PDF and do it's exercises again, so that I can hopefully come to know such insights as truth to me. The more down this recovery journey I go the the better I'm getting at listening to my instincts and motives. I can see better than ever what I stand to lose by letting this addiction win and contrasting it with what I stand to gain my truly becoming free of it. I know I'm still in danger, but maybe one could say I've learnt something from this particular latest mistake: To not just listen to my instincts, but act on them, use the strategies, R.U.N. for example. Anyway, I should go and concentrate on my other tasks and positive work right now, but thanks again. Really, thanks. I can't tell you how positive it feels to finally be conversing with people who understand and who are going through / have been though similar experiences. You know what? I do feel a bit excited about the future! I will keep posting. As you say, peace.
  19. 1 point
    Hello Ben, According to UK law, sexual content of people under the age of 18 is illegal. I believe this can include content where an individual is made to appear under age, or animation giving the same impression, though I may be wrong on this. If you want further information on the law then you should take a look at these pages: Prohibited Images of Children (UK Government official site): http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/prohibited_images_of_children/Extreme Pornography (UK Government official site): http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/extreme_pornography/A factsheet, which is not legal advice but may be helpful: http://www.fpa.org.uk/factsheets/law-on-sexIf you stay within these guidelines then, legally, you have little to worry about. Alternatively (or even additionally), you may want to see someone to help you address your anxieties, OCD and pornography use.
  20. 1 point
    Hello everyone, I agree with you workinprogress, Schrödinger's story is inspiring...I really hope he hasn't dropped out. Schrödinger, if you see this post, I want you to know something: It's thanks to your courage in telling so candidly about your battle that has inspired me to sign up to this forum. I'm a 43 year old man who has struggled with looking and masturbating to P images since accidentally finding a magazine of a relative since I was about 6 or 7. I have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to stay away from P. It has only been in the last few months I I have accepted that to truly improve my chances of recovering and staying recovered, I needed to reach out to a forum like this one. But I was so mixed up, I always felt I could do it on my own, I was embarrassed and ashamed, so always procrastinated from signing up and asking for help. I didn't have the stamina or courage to go longer than 14 days or so without relapsing. Anyway, after an abstinence of 16 days I relapsed yesterday and again today. But as I said, it was reading YOUR posts Schrödinger, and the other encouraging messages from the rest of you that has helped me commit anew to this fight. Thank you. Schrödinger, if you have dropped out, please know that you are not alone, and we are all here to help each other. Your story and these other positive messages are the latest inspiration I've needed in order to say this: I'm an addict, and I need help. Thanks for listening everyone.
  21. 1 point
    I have come across this forum and I strongly believe it could give real help to anyone who is facing porn/sex addiction. I am a 35 year old male with a beautiful wife and two amazing kids; I have been recovering for 4 months now (cold turkey) and I would love to give something back to people experiencing a similar situation. I went through the usual features of this horrible addiction: watching porn with increased levels of "sexual intensity", looking at escorts, reduced sex drive, masturbation, family problems, the guilt, the shame, the worry of being caught, etc. As already mentioned, I decided to go cold turkey and the psychological battle, especially in the first 4 weeks was immense... I needed all my inner strength and will power to fight this battle, but I never think for one second that I have won the war. It's a long road to changing my life and I am fully aware that I can't afford any slip ups. I don't think my mind will ever be free of the urges, but they certainly are much much weaker and considerably more controllable. Being free of the guilt, shame and worry has changed my life so much... My wife and I are so much happier and I have managed to get my life back. Being on this website and identifying the problem is the first step to recovery. Please feel free to get in touch with me on this forum and I will do my best to help. I wish you the best of luck V
  22. 1 point
    Hello, Thank you for sharing. It's always good to read from someone who is making a positive difference in their life and changing things for the better. I wish you continued success. I can connect a lot with the psychological battle you felt you faced. The opening up of feelings after stopping porn and the emotional repression for me was a huge event and has taken many months. It's still an ongoing journey and not an easy one at times. Shame, guilt and hiding behaviours and being secretive - all these things are so damaging not only to those you love but also to yourself. So, I am glad you are finding a better place. Perhaps you could share some of the tools and tricks or tips you've found helpful to coming off porn? I believe having some plan is critical to long term success and ensuring that we don't slip back into old patterns, which can be all too easy after the initial relief of coming clean. Peace.
  23. 1 point
    DAY 33 **** you-you ancient cretinous chimp brain of mine. You have caused me untold misery for 25 years, and most of the time, i did not even realise it was you. This morning you tried to get your foot in the door. After 30 seconds, I realised what you were trying to do and I slammed the door shut. I have now completed successfully 33 days of my no PMO reboot, without relapsing once. I have watched no porn, and this morning, all i did was google image a woman’s name. I will NOT let you beat me, no matter how hard you try and repeatedly rear your ugly head. The next few days, you will try again and again. But i will indulge in healthier pursuits. I will be social, go and see friends, read, walk around a National Trust place, treat myself, exercise, and dress well. But moreover, i will be on my guard, and make sure i complete 90 days no matter what. And each time you try to stop me, I WILL RAISE MY GAME. I will starve you of the oxygen you crave, so eventually-I promise you- you will just wither away and die.
  24. 1 point
    Hello I am in a similar position to you. I have been married for 14 years and for eight of those my husband was messing around with random women, random men, frequenting swingers clubs, dogging sites, dating sites and having sex with one of his pals. He tried to stop but replaced hisphysical acting out with porn which led to an addiction all of its own. I suspected but never had proof, I confronted a couple of times but he always denied it. I found proof eventually and confronted the situation after burying my head in the sand for all those years (my counsellor calls it unconscious collusion). I was 'lucky' that when I managed to get the whole truth out of him (it took 3 months and an ultamatum) he realised what he had become and got himself a counsellor who specialised in sex addiction. He is a changed man, he is far more open, far more calmer and where we never argued or confronted our issues we now do. I have my own counsellor (who was trained by Paula Hall) which you may benefit from, I didn't think I needed it and I REALLY didn't want to go, but it has helped enormously with ME. You need somewhere to vent and someone who can make sense of it all and someone who won't judge. It is always a risk staying with an addict, it's scarey as they convinced themselves that what they were doing was OK at the time. I do live in fear, but I cannot control his actions nor do I want to be his mother and I don't want to become co-dependant ( have you read Paula's books for partners). We had lots of open discussions and I can see a difference in him, but they have to really face what they have done. I do snoop on his emails and phone, but not as much as I used to, the pain does diminish. It is difficult to trust though, I am nearly a year on and it is very very difficult. I am not sure if they ever get off the cycle. I am going away for a couple of days soon and I a, leaving him alone and this is when he would normally do his physical acting out and it is tearing me to pieces, so much so that my counsellor booked me in for an extra appointment just before I go. I would recommend you get a counsellor to yourself and one that Is Paula Hall trained. I think the sex addiction will always be there in the back of my mind (a way to protect myself according to my counsellor) and thats not a bad thing, it's just a different way of being. Hope this helps, sorry for the ramble.
  25. 1 point
    I have recently discovered that my husband of 8 years has had multiple affairs throughout our marriage and probably our entire relationship. He thinks it is a sex addiction. How can I know if it is or if he is just unfaithful and never committed to me? it sounds although over the years things have escalated from flirting, through to kissing, sexting etc ending up with multiple sexual affairs It is only in the last few years that things regularly became sexual. Does that mean that it was not a sex addiction in the early years but now is? Or did he just realise over time that he could get away with affairs so did more and more. I am not even sure if it matters if he was addicted or not I guess cheating is still cheating but I just can't make sense of how he could do this for so long when he claims he always loved me.
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