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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/28/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I thought it might be helpful if I told you my experience of this situation. I don't have any answers, but I have found some things to be useful. My partner was a lifelong porn user (we're talking over 50 years fo use here, including more than 40 years while we were together), starting with magazines, and then moving on to videos and then, in the last 15 years or so, to on-line stuff. I was aware that he was a 'user', but turned a blind eye, as our life together was in all other ways absolutely wonderful, and also because I grew up in the era when it was thought that all men did it. However, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the whole situation, and also became aware that his porn use was escalating. Over maybe twenty years, I confronted him half a dozen times, and each time he said he would stop (and I think he believed that he would and that he could). But he was essentially trying to go cold turkey each time. Five years ago we had a major bust up over it, and I threatened to leave him. He did a bit of research and read the on-line material available on this site. This time he was clean for three years, and then fell off the wagon again. I don't need to describe how I felt - everyone on here knows how completely devastating and overwhelming the feeling of betrayal and hurt is. But this time I insisted that he and/or we got some outside help. The first step was getting himn to admit to himself that he was an addict. He did one of Paula's one day courses, which he found incredibly helpful. More helpful for me was that we found a couples counsellor who followed the same approach as Paula. We used Paula's books as a basis for understanding the issues that we were facing. This was really a game changer for me. We didn't focus on why my partner had become so fixated on pornography, but focussed on how we could deal with the situation we found ourselves in. There was a lot of discussion about what triggered him to look at porn, and how he could deal with those triggers, so that he had a toolbox of strategies to use whenever he felt tempted. We discovered that he used porn to help with feelings of anger, stress, and sadness, which was not something he had ever really understood, and which I had no idea about. We did a lot of work on communication and on trust (although trust is still an ongoing problem for me!). I liked the fact that we were able to develop practical solutions that were based on how we lived our lives and how our relationship worked. I felt supported by the counsellor and was able to say things in our sessions that I would never have been able to say at home. It hasn't wiped away the hurt and the pain, but it has helped me understand the situation, and the pressures my partner was under that made it easy for him to become addicted. Perhaps the most useful thing the counsellor told us was not to think of this addiction as something to be cured, but as something to be managed. The addiction will always be there, so the challenge is to make sure that the addict does not act on it. Two years on from his last relapse, we still revisit what we learnt. My partner says he feels more confident that he can avoid viewing porn again. I still struggle quite often, but now we are able to talk about how I feel and what my worries are, and I feel my partner understands my position much better. Most importantly, if he relapses again, we know how to deal with it and what to do, so I am able to feel much more confident about the future. I'm not sure if any of this will be helpful for you, but I do hope you find a way through this. I wish I had been braver early on in our relationship and confronted this awful thing, but I had no idea the occasional magazine would lead to such an overwhelming addiction.
  2. 2 points
    Thank you, it’s a huge relief to have this resource and be able to draw on experience and professional expertise. I feel that we are ‘getting there’ albeit slowly and in a 2 steps forward 1 step back approach. Lockdown bizarrely has helped because we have been forced to be together and many aspects of our relationship have improved but it’s a work in progress.
  3. 2 points
    Hi all, I have been in a relationship with my husband for 5 years and we/he have battled with his addiction to dating websites which he uses like porn and his acting out is getting progressively worse and worse. He has always gone out driving so he can access the site and go and meet women and admits to having physical contact with them in various forms ( says no sex but obviously that’s unlikely ) Unfortunately he left his phone line open by accident and I had the hideous experience of listening to it happening live just before Christmas. We have talked and talked and cried lots about this endless cycle of lying followed by huge remorse, guilt and shame and despite going through the NHS for help we have got nowhere during covid. I feel abandoned by the services and I don’t feel I have anywhere left to turn now. We have a beautiful 2 year old and I know he loves us both deeply but he can’t control this addiction and in turn it’s now controlling me. I so want to keep my family together but it’s looking so unlikely now that I am devastated. I know there is not a question here for anyone to answer but hearing other people’s stories makes me feel just a little less alone.
  4. 2 points
    Thanks so much for your reply! Your absolutely right, the action has to come from him and I have to focus on me and building myself back up. I will have a look at your suggested posts, and thanks again for your kind response xx
  5. 1 point
    so i caught my partner in a lie. it was not a relapse, no porn, no contacts. he checked out my new dentist (female) who i felt surprisingly attracted to a lot, in this short moment. i told him and my best friend about it. one week later he scooped through the homepage of this clinic, to find out how this woman looks like. he did this at work and was not alone, so it was not quite for arousal. but what he did is, that he deletet his browsing history. i found out because there was an automatic download of the cv of one of the dentists on his notebook. so as i saw that i immediately knew, that he wanted to know what she looked like, because i told him that i got nervous about her. but as i asked him, why this cv was on his notebook he lied to me first about having tooth pain. afterwards he explained to me he felt ashamed for scooping and i kind of felt he invaded my privacy, what is so bigott as I am allowed to check his computer and stuff all the time I want. That he deleted his browsing activity. that is what really got to me. i am kind of frozen now. not want him to be my partner at this moment. we just moved in a new apartment 2 months ago. big but only two rooms. he is going to therapy, he is off porn. and then he lies to me about something he could have told me. he could have asked me, yeah well how dies she look? wouldn‘t that be normal? of course i wouldn‘t want him to tell me if he had fantasys about me and a other woman, i would have loved to be enough for quite a while further. but lying and hiding and then acting like a shocked little desperate boy. i really don‘t know what to make of it and I am very very sick of constantly helping him to grow, telling him how to act responsible.. how to share thoughts... I feel drained and exhausted for such a long time now. and there is nowhere to go, no getaway, not even meeting my friends who all life in my homecountry. as there are covid restrictions. maybe someone would share a thought. thank u all for reading and caring!
  6. 1 point
    Hi. I'm new here. I just don't know anyone who has been through this. My husband's sex addiction came to light 5 years ago, which was 5 years into our marriage. Long story short, we had been together since high school, married young, and he managed to keep it a secret from me for all that time. It was devastating. We worked it out. Lots of therapy and counseling and groups. I thought we had rebuilt. My trust was restored. We had a couple more kids. I asked how he was doing often. Always good, according to him. We recently decided to upend our lives and move (far), which meant a new job for him and me needing to stay behind with the kids to sell the house in the meantime. Last night he finally admitted to a relapse. Not just this week, but off and on for the past year+. I just can't wrap my head around being so comfortable with lying to me. I feel played for a fool and I'm furious that he waited until I made massive life changing decisions with him to finally be honest with me. I am about to leave my home and my entire support system. I can't stomach the thought of leaving him, mostly because it would wreck my young kids. And despite it all, I do love him, I just feel like a fool and i don't know what to do. Has anyone made it through another bout of long term lies?
  7. 1 point
    Hi Fool, I don’t mind you asking at all. For me, I don’t feel I can continue with the marriage. We have not been able to live together anyway since the event, and I don’t think I can get over his betrayal, and the devastation and pain he has caused me. I still care however, so I don’t want him to suffer any more. I love him, but I’m not in love....I’ve heard that said before but only now understand what it means! I was advised early on not to make any quick decisions, so that’s what I am doing. x
  8. 1 point
    Hi everyone. I'm going to apologise in advance for the lengthy post. I don't think i've ever posted in a forum before but I feel so helpless at the moment and have no-one to turn to. So I first discovered that my partner had created social media accounts to talk to women around 8 years ago, the conversations were sexual and involved sending pictures etc. He had also been excessively viewing porn and visiting cam sites. We decided to work through it... he started counselling and it took a lot of time but we gradually began to build trust again. Around two years later, i found out he had reactivated his own facebook account (he deleted this when he began to get sober as a way to stop any temptation, and also because I would never have trusted him on it). He had searched for some of the people he had talked to back when he had the accounts, and at the time that was enough for to break any trust we had rebuilt, and we split up. I know that during this period he began creating accounts and viewing pornography again, but after about 6 months he reached out and told me he had seen the error in his ways and had decided to turn his life around. We became friends again and gradually our relationship built and we got back together at the beginning of 2017. I liked to view this as a clean slate, and i (probably foolishly) thought that he was changed. We saved up to buy a house together (we are in our late 20s) and we got the keys only two months ago. I had never been happier with our relationship, however, i must have still had doubts because last night I checked his laptop, and found some hidden history folders which showed that he had been viewing porn (not for the past few months, but frequently throughout last year). He had promised me over and over again that he wasn't watching porn, and i feel so betrayed that he lied to me after everything he has already put me through. Last night I begged him to tell me about anything else, and he told me that at some point last year he created a social media account, he used it to add some people we know and talk to them, but he decided to delete it after a few months because he didn't like what he was doing. He said he never received any pictures from these people, but I have no way no know this, and I imagine the conversations were sexual. I feel so broken and helpless. Now I have no idea what to do... is it even worth carrying on with our relationship? Firstly, I still don't trust that he is telling me the truth about everything, and secondly I don't know how I will ever rebuild that trust that has been broken so many times. I always had a feeling that during his counselling, he was not open about everything. I have the feeling he did it because it's what I wanted, and he wanted to get it over with as soon as possible, not wanting to go deep enough into the issues for it to be any help to him. I feel like the only way we can continue is if he commits to therapy properly, but I don't even know if that will work or if he is really willing to change. If we separate, I will feel so embarrassed about our relationship falling apart so soon after buying a house together, and then there's all of the issues about how I will afford the property on my own etc, which I know shouldn't be a deciding factor, but it is on my mind. It's worth mentioning that putting this aside, he is the most loving and supportive partner I could wish for, he would do anything for me (except having the willpower to crack this addiction, it seems) and I love him so much. I want it to be able to work but I just don't see how it's possible. Am i being a fool? Should i give up on the whole relationship? He says he doesn't want to put me through any more pain, and while the thing he most wants is to sort himself out and rebuild our relationship, he doesn't want to cause me any more pain. He said he feels like killing himself so I don't have to deal with him anymore, which is really upsetting for me... and I find myself wanting to reach out and support him not to feel this way, but I realise that's putting his needs above my own and I feel like I shouldn't be feeling sorry for him. Sorry again for the length of this, any advice would be so much appreciated. I don't want to speak to any family or friends, because if we do decide to give it another go, I don't want them to judge either of us.
  9. 1 point
    Hi Squirrel. I am really sorry to read your story and there is no perfect answer to any of this. I guess it starts with whether your partner is prepared to do everything it takes to be free from this and how committed he will be to a long journey into recovery. It's either both feet into recovery or what is the point? Have you told him your staying is conditional on this? Also aside from this have you out discussed boundaries that would help ? For instance wifi controls, blocks to certain sites with his mobile data provider, his mobile phone only being used in your presence? You cant control this but you can ask for things that make you feel safer emotionally. I made the decision to tell my family and a few close friends and it was the best decision for me. It was nothing but love from them, no judgement.suprisingly toward him too. They believe in the power of redemption as do i.... that the man my husband was is not the man he always has to be. Remember that you have time and dont need to make any decisions about anything just yet, particularly about decisions that could have consequences. You are in control of when and what you decide, my own counsellor has advised I do nothing for 12 months and I am 5 months into discovery. Please also remember that you didnt cause this, you cant control this and you cant cure this. Take care of yourself x
  10. 1 point
    Freddie bear You're exactly where I was. Questioning everything. Me bringing it up, trying to fix it. Thinking about the women he was looking at etc it's an absolute mind fuck. As for the answers he's giving you I've been there too. My husbsnd said he would just give me any answer to make it better and make me feel better, because he didn't know the answers half the time. That's where therapy would really help him. Even now I periodically check his phone to see if he's back at it. Once an addict, always an addict. And 3 weeks ago I found more stuff from the past. It seems like it will never go away. Id suggest you get therapy with someone through the Laurel Centre in your own, regardless. You will feel understand, validated and able to see things more clearly. Then you can make a decision as to how you move forward with or without your partner. I hope that helps.
  11. 1 point
    Hi 718jojo, I am so sorry that you are going through this. You are not alone. Please get your husband to look at my post. This is where this addiction can lead if he doesn’t address it and get help. I am very sure he wouldn’t want that! Take care of you and your child first and foremost and get as much help as you can. It really is not your fault. It is his battle that he needs to undertake. xxxx
  12. 1 point
    Hi Fool, I can’t just read and not comment. I am so very sorry for what you are going through. We have no children, we were not blessed so I can’t give any advice. Telling anyone is so very hard. I had no choice. People, total strangers, knew before me. The shock and horror initially then through the many months of slow disclosure was like torture. I have learned that I need to look after myself first and foremost. It is not my fault, as it isn’t yours. But there are reasons for the addiction, and that needs work, and he needs to work on that first. Please take good care of yourself and your children xx
  13. 1 point
    Hi Freddiebear, from my experience with my husband I would say that therapy is very important. It has unravelled loads of issues for my husband. He was rather like a swan, on the surface very calm, in control, managing his work and family in ‘his way’. Very successful and happy. Underneath though he was in turmoil and not coping at all. He used porn to self medicate, instead of addressing his demons by seeking help. And walked down that path into dangerous behaviour. I also have therapy to help me understand that it is not my fault, and that he is an adult and has to be accountable for himself, as I am accountable for me. But when you’ve been together, like you, for a long time, it’s not easy. We are still living apart, it’s very very tough. I just have to have hope that one day this will all be behind me/us, whatever that future may be. But whatever that future is, he will at least understand his ‘triggers’, he was totally unaware of what these were before. I hope this helps! But it is just my view. Xxx
  14. 1 point
    Hiya. I thought my input may help here. My partner has not acted out in over 2 years. But the lies leaked out over the 4 years of our relationship. A therapist at the Laurel Centre told me it takes 3 months for the dopamine to stop so the craving stops. Or something along those lines. I chose not to ask if my now husband struggled when he initially stopped. I've asked so many questions so many times about stuff I didn't need to know, especially at the start and it just hurt me. If he's at the start of his journey, it's likely he still wants to act out. The important thing is that he's not. Sorry, that's howI feel, I don't mean to put my feelings on you. I hope that helps x
  15. 1 point
    Thank you so much for your reply. He physically can’t watch as I control everything and we spend 24 hrs together. We are both devastated and he swears he wouldn’t watch even if he could but I will never take the WiFi filters down so it’s not going to be tested. I can’t see how therapy will help, even if he finds out why he was hooked in to it, it won’t wipe our memories. I take comfort in fact we love each other intensely and we are moving forward slowly with the bad days becoming further apart. I consider myself lucky that he didn’t do anything other than watch because that would be a different outcome. Stay safe and thank you for this forum and confidential support, it is invaluable. Xx
  16. 1 point
    Hi Freddiebear, sorry to hear that you’ve been having a tough time. I can empathise with the tendency to pretend that it’s all ok in the hope that it will be. I do the same thing sometimes - I just get so tired of the whole thing being my reality and when there’s loads else going on (as has been for me in the last few months) I don’t feel I always have the capacity to keep it in my mind! Re. your question as to whether it’s possible to go cold turkey and not have cravings, I’m no therapist but it does sound easier than I would imagine it to be stopping after 5-8 years of frequent porn use? I don’t think it has to mean that your partner is still watching and keeping it from you. It could also be that he doesn’t want to worry you by telling you if he has been struggling. But I do think I would be the same as you in questioning the situation. Would it be worth asking him if the two of you can find some more time to talk?
  17. 1 point
    Hi Worry Wort Thankyou for sharing you story. I truly understand when you say that it may have been easier if they died. I am 4 months in, and my husband tried to take his own life after I found out and nearly succeeded and even now there is a part of me that wishes for everyone's sake that he had. That way only I would have known the extent of his issue ( 20 years of acting out with prostitutes). Instead all of us, family, friends live with the consequence of his behaviour and addiction. I wrestled at the start around the label of the partner being a victim and whether we could ever be acknowledged as such, particularly in law. I believe that for many of us who were having sexual relationships with our partners, totally unaware of their sexual contact with other women were not in a position to give consent and would more than likely NOT have given consent had we have known. This is what in law could be defined as "conditional consent". If consent is conditional upon sexual faithfulness and the addict knew that then the sexual act with us may be considered unlawful. Its an extremely grey area and would be a test case for many women (and men) in our situation. There just seems to be no justice for us, whatever that means. Like you have experienced, people have said said why don't I just leave if "justice" is what I want, but I want an explanation, I want to be able to understand "how" he could do it to me - not just "what" the addiction itself is. The truth and disclosure, if that is what you are seeking can be an extremely painful thing and you will never be able to unsee or unhear what gets revealed. You may not even get the full truth, as in my case I put my husband through a lie detector test to reach a point where full disclosure was finally made. Counselling for myself has helped - a little. If it helps , tell yourself this regularly....."I didnt cause it, I cant control it and I cant cure it". Take care of yourself x
  18. 1 point
    Hi Snowflake So much of what you say sounds like how I feel. I am 19 months since discovery and wonder if I will ever get over all this. I have had lots of good times since but it all never really leaves me.
  19. 1 point
    I really appreciate hearing this perspective on what, as a partner, seems a baffling course of behaviour. Whilst being angry beyond all imagination, hurt, betrayed, etc, I have also hung on to a great deal of compassion for my partner, and admiration for his courage in facing this. Your explanation helps me do this better. Thank you.
  20. 1 point
    Tabs, firstly I’m sending my love to you and hoping that you are managing to move forward without too much pain. But I also wanted to say how inspiringly positive you sound at the end of your last post. The fact that you’ve seen that people can be good and supportive even though often it’s easier to shy away from these difficult subjects. I absolutely agree that in being vulnerable we allow people in to support us in a wholehearted and authentic way and this can make all the difference between hope and hopelessness. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing xx
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