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?
Good luck on your journey, Tortoise... and to you, 10. The addictive behaviour is a tough thing to fight but you're taking the right steps. Hopefully at the same time as resisting the damaging, compulsive, behaviours, you can find time to look at some of the underlying issues that may be causing you to self-soothe through sex and porn use.
Well done, first of all, on recognising that you may have a problem. From my own personal experience, I remember that things had to get really low before I did, so hopefully you've reached your personal "rock bottom" and you're ready to try to get some control of the situation. Lots of self-help resources available, like Paula's site and like the your brain on porn website, which helps explain a lot of the science. Paula's "understanding and Treating Sex Addicition" book is a really useful read and there are loads of others out there to help you understand your issue and then get a grip of it. It may be a sensible first step to try to understand your situation before you try to change anything. If you're of a spiritual nature, a 12-step group might eventually be helpful, like Sex Addicts Anon, or Sexaholics Anon. They didn't work for me but they may for you. I used Group Therapy and one-to-one counselling with differing degrees of success. But maybe just start with trying to get an understanding of your own circumstances, and your own personal addiction cycle first? Good luck to you, my friend. You're not alone. There are so many of us who have been similarly messed-up, and we're all at different phases in our own, personal, journeys to recovery. It's tough. But you can get there if it matters enough to you.
Maybe out of order of me to say, Tantalus, but until you do have a serious desire to change, you won't. Your story struck a lot of chords with me. Echoed a lot of my own history. I wasted many of the most fertile years of my career in a porn-addicted haze, and it was only after I kicked the behaviors that my home life and career got back on the rails, to the extent that my earnings doubled within 3 years. I found a really fulfilling life outside of porn and you can too.
If it's important enough for you to kick the addiction, please install those blockers that Paula suggests on all your Tech. Don't find the ways around them. Please do review the self help info. If you're the kind of person who needs to understand in order to change, there are loads of books, websites and apps that can help you. Paula's book is great. "Your Brain on Porn" is another that worked for me. But there's a huge body of work available. There are support groups all over the country that can provide some fellowship, help you to understand, and stop you feeling like an outsider. There are brilliant counsellors, like Paula, that you can trust to help you through the shit, if you can afford them. There are also 12-step groups, if you're at all spiritual, which offer a low cost alternative to group therapy. When I think about my own fight, and my successes and failures over the years, the successes came when I prioritised being clean above anything else. The failures came when I was complacent, arrogant or lazy. You've really, really got to want this for it to work, mate. Good luck.
Sorry to read your story, Craig. Must be pretty grim for you and your missus right now. Hopefully you can find a way to recover the relationship. I echo everything Paula says and I hope you'll follow the advice. And please do it for yourself, rather than just to save your marriage. I was a married bloke who got caught in the middle of a porn and sex addiction. Trying to save my marriage was the initial trigger for action, but as I invested in the recovery process, I realised pretty quickly that kicking my porn habit was about saving myself. Good luck, mate.
Not ideal for everybody, Royston, but it looks like there's an Sex Addicts Anon group in Hove. Another in Eastbourne. They cost pennies. Maybe worth seeing if their 12-step approach works for you? https://saauk.info/en/meetings Well done on taking the steps you;ve already taken, and wishing you every success in your fight.
Hi Gary. Your writing here suggests that you're serious about stopping, or at least serious about trying to stop. o assuming you decide that you're definitely up for the fight, congratulations on taking a first step to getting control back. Other people who have been through similar fights, and I include myself as a recovering sex addict, have found it useful to separate the fight into two workstreams. The first and easiest thing to address could be called "First level" measures. If you want to stop looking at porn, there are plenty of software tools that you can use to prevent it being accessible on your laptop. I use K9. It keeps a log of all your internet activity as well as blocking certain things and transmitting alerts. I found it really useful when I was deep in the shit to get an "accountability partner" - basically somebody I could genuinely trust to help me get clean - to hold the password and admin rights. That may be a bit tricky but it can really help. K9 isn't the only tool. There are plenty. They are also available for your smartphone and smart TV too. I also found it really helpful to think hard about all the times that I'd recently numbed-out to porn, or acted out, and work out what was influencing me just before, or at the time. I wrote a list of them as the "triggers" of acting out, and could then look at practical ways to avoid them. Certain places, emotions, times of day or situations make you feel porny? If it matters to you enough, you'll find ways to change those patterns. Many of us have found that descending deeper into compulsive porn use was combined with becoming more introverted and isolated, and I know i found it massively helpful to re-establish more sociable ways of living my "real" life; filling my time with real interactions with real people and friends... getting out in public, stuff like exercise and friendships. And that hopefully gives you a stable environment for the "Level 2" changes, which are much deeper and more difficult. For me, they were about trying to understand the underlying issues that were making me use porn and sex so compulsively and self-destructively. I was hating the stuff i was doing, getting no pleasure from them, and hating myself for doing them... but seemed unable to stop. WTF was that about? And how do I stop doing the stupid stuff? Well - that's where I'm out of my depth and you need to get help from people who know what they're about. I found Paula Hall's book to be one of the two most useful for me, along with the book (and online tools) from Gary Wilson and the Yourbrainonporn.com website. I found The Chimp Paradox book really helpful in working out why i behaved in such a self-destructive way. Some people value the books by Patrick Carnes, like "Out of the Shadows". I found them a bit dated. I also invested a lot of money in counselling and therapy and I believe it was mostly really well spent. Might be worth checking out counsellors in your area? And of course there are 12-step groups, like Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous, which work really well for some people, but didn't for me. Christ - that is a long answer. Sorry if it has bored you to tears! But if I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to write back. Porn made a bloody mess of my life and i hope you can kick it before it damages yours too much. Take care.
I feel your pain, guys, having been similarly hooked until I was caught in 2013. I worked from home and spent the vast majority of every day on porn sites and in chat rooms. Cost me what should have been the most productive years of my career and at least one sacking. Jeez.... can still remember the shock and pain when my secret life of lies crashed down around my family. I worked hard on recovery for the last 3-4 years and my wife and I worked hard on rebuilding a relationship, and I know it was really important to separate those two things. I had to get beyond seeing recovery as just a way to save my marriage. Had to be much deeper than that. Recovery was a way to save myself! It had to become more important to not be a practicing sex addict than to be married. Does that make sense at all, guys? Maybe worth giving that perspective some consideration for a moment? On the subject of compulsions, Simon, I guess you need to ask whether you just want to deal with them, or eventually be rid of them. Key message I remember from the best counsellors I worked with was that those compulsions are happening because of some underlying, unmet need in your life. And porn/chat is the drug you've become reliant on to soothe the pain of that unmet need. So there are a bunch of "1st Level" things you can do to stop acting out; porn filters, accountability partners, digital detox, documenting and avoiding triggers etc. But until you address the unmet needs, you;re just brushing the dust under the carpet. I'm not sure I'm in any position to offer advice. Unfortunately I slipped recently after nearly four years in recovery. People say it's the most natural thing in the world for an addict to relapse but I thought I'd kicked it. Didn't address a couple of underlying unmet needs . And I let the snowball roll for two weeks before I got a grip of the situation. Pretty arrogant of me to think I could play with porn and not get a bloody nose. Back on my wagon now and rebuilding but feeling shitty beyond belief.
Is there an option to change your mobile number, Bilbo? And would it be possible to downgrade your handset from swanky smartphone to camera-less feature phone? They're not things that will provide a long-term fix, but they're the kind of 1st-level protections you can implement while you get your brain back in shape. If you need a Smartphone, I think K9 and others now do a mobile version of their porn filter. Must be worth a try!
I guess they work for some and not for others. Like Marmite! Sex-Aholics Anonymous didn't work for me, but appears to work for others (like PJ). Couldn't get my head around being absolved of accountability for my own actions... and my own recovery. Everything bad or good that happened was the work of my Higher Power. That said, after 4 years of "sobriety", I've suffered a slip, so I won't sit in my glass house and start throwing any stones . I might have a crack at one of the others that I'd understood were a little less religious.
Hey Ian. You're one of a very large and growing universe of people who suffer with this issue and have been chewed-up by it. You;re not alone and you're far from unusual. Congrats on facing up to the challenge, because porn is fucking your life up, for sure. Please be very careful about disclosing to your wife at this stage. That could be a bloody awful piece of advice by me, and feel free to ignore it. But it could be like dropping a match in a box of fireworks - very difficult to predict how things will progress but sure to be dangerous and frightening all round. It is absolutely sensible advice to ACT NOW and to deploy those "first level" defences, like a web blocker (I use K9) and like destroying your collection and contact list. Maybe consider a "reboot" as described on the excellent yourbrainonporn website. And perhaps get your behaviours "clean" and under control.... and maybe then think about disclosure.
Hi Burger. Sorry to read about your situation. I expect there may be considerable pain, fear, anger and shame washing around. Having been through a similar pattern of behaviour and discovery, I think you're right to move quickly to set up the structures to help you try to get over the addiction. But please prepare yourself for what may be a long haul. Your behaviours are pretty well established and will take a lot of work to break down. Earning your partner's trust could be a lifetime project. But you've taken steps to recover control and that's absolutely moving in the right direction, so best wishes to you. Be strong. Good luck.