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Kate2018

Overwhelmed with emotion is this really happening?

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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

Edited by Kate2018

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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.  

 

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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 :)

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*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. 

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Just to add a little anecdotal encouragement. When my ex-partner heard that I'd hit rock bottom with my porn addiction (it involved criminal charges) she contacted me and offered practical support which helped hugely with the legal process. Once that was over we rekindled our relationship and I am currently moving house to be closer to her because she wants me to. 

It wasn't easy for her to support me, not easy at all. She was full of self-doubt and all, and I mean all, the support groups and help lines she went to basically said, 'men like him never change, leave him and we'll help you build a new life'.

It's now a year since I last looked at porn. Because of the offence, my life has changed in many ways, but the re-building of this relationship has brought us closer together than we ever were in its previous incarnation. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 1:48 AM, Kate2018 said:

" 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".

Hi Kate,

Its always a scary place to be right now but you seem to be dealing with it really well.  It looks like you are doing whats best for YOU right now and at the same time your husband is going to work on his recovery and deal with his behaviour. The fact that you are both taking this 1 step at a time and are hopeful for the future can only be a positive thing. Stay strong and see how things go.

 

Enjoy your holiday!

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