My addiction has ruined my marriage. I want to change

4 posts in this topic

Posted

i am a married man and have been with my wife for 18 years and we have 3 young children.

i became addicted to porn at an early age (15 ish) and I am now 40. The addiction changed from porn to focusing on online chat rooms.

My wife found me chatting online a number of year ago and told me that she felt it was like cheating and I should stop. I managed that briefly but fell back into bad habits.

Over the years I have carried on chatting online despite my wife wanting me to stop. I didn't realise my wife knew what I was doing but she told me she knew, but just buried it down for the sake of our family.

My wife reached the point of no return just before xmas and told me that our relationship is over.

I feel so ashamed and disgusted by myself and my behaviour because I have ruined a picture perfect family life and hurt my wife and my children.

If anyone can offer advice or thoughts on how to deal with my compulsions I would be so very grateful.

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Posted

Hi Simon,

I'm in a very similar position as you... I have always looked at porn, but over the last 2 years it has become steadily deeper - I've been suffering with depression and anxiety (for which I have got help for), I was viewing anything that was available, chatting in chat rooms, and, what I am most ashamed about, getting someone over to my house, we were looking at porn together while masterbating... and I my wife came home and disturbed us... I really don't know where it would have gone if she hadn't!

I realise now that this is an addiction (which I had been denying), and I hadn't spoken about it to my therapist or anyone else!  I really wish I had!  I thought I was "back to normal", but still had this secret life which was very likely to progress even deeper!  I had been filling a void in my life with porn and chatrooms... a void that wasn't there - which I would have seen if I had been giving as much attention to my wife and kids as I was to porn and people in chatrooms.

The trust my wife had in me has now gone, but she does understand that I have a problem and that I want and need to address it.  I've gone from feelings of total dispare and wanting to kill myself, to feelings of hope that I might be able to get better.  It's early days, together we have blocked all adult content on any web access I have, and I have contacted my Doctor who has referred me to see a proper psychaitrist now (rather than a therapist), which I hope to see ASAP.

I have sworn to my wife that I want to get better, and I will do anything I possible can too rebuild that trust.

Burger!

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Posted

  Paula Halls book  sex addiciton the partners perspective is very helpful. p24 and p60 explores cycles of addiction and cycles of reaction . this helps to gain an understanding of a partners pain. P 42 43 goes a long way to explaining that. I know this means buying the book but it is a serious step in the right direction in self help to gain knowledge over this to gain control to lead to understanding , empathy to then work through and on a place of forgiveness to rebuilding trust  

Ian

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Posted

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.

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