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  1. 6 points
    Lorna Ann, sadly, there are many many women (and probably men too) who have been where you are. We feel alone because the shame and horror keeps us largely invisible. On this forum, we can be heard by each other, without judgement and with compassion. What has helped me enormously is the realisation that his recovery is not mine. I have my own path to health and stability to tread; it may be parallel to his, but equally, the two paths may diverge. I know this is blindingly obvious, but it took me some months for the penny to really drop and for me to believe this in my heart, as well as in my head. Taking this position means that I can extend him compassion, and even love, but it means I am free from responsibility for his actions, and, equally importantly, he is not responsible for mine. I am free to choose what is meaningful and healthy for me. I hope that in time, you will find peace within yourself and the courage to choose what is safest and healthiest for you. And while you do that, know that you are in good company with the rest of us who are journeying with you. x
  2. 5 points
    Hi Tabs. I am quite new on the forum, and now only look at it every week or two as I find it quite emotionally upsetting. But I didn't want to read and run with you saying there haven't been many replies. My heart goes out to you. We have a lot of similarities. I have been with my husband since our late teens and we had only ever been with each other. My husband progressed from porn to sex workers before I found out. (Although I don't think he ever used chatrooms - I did ask when we had our disclosure). The sex workers were just before I found out and he admitted his addiction, but the porn had apparently been going on for years. I agree so strongly with your point about the ease of accessing porn. It will destroy so many lives. We separated too, for nearly a year. That was an awful period and I spent most of it crying and so angry and confused. We have been together 35 years and married for thirty. I understand how this completely screws up your mind and has you questioning everything you ever thought was real about your relationship. We are still trying to recover, but it is a hard process. The added burden for you of having people know and judge must be almost unbearable. Please don't think because people aren't responding it's because they don't care. Sometimes it's just because we don't know what to say. But on here you are safe and cared about. Take care, focus on you and your needs at the moment x
  3. 5 points
    Thank you Ginny. I see that my post has had many views. But I’m sad there are not many responses. I hope that in some small way it helps others, others who may be going through the same, or similar, heartbreak, to know they are not alone. Or some that are concerned that they or their loved ones may stumble down the same path, I hope it stops them. No one, not anybody, deserves to go through this. For those of you who are struggling in private, one thing I know that may reassure you, is that people are kinder than you know. I was not in a position to keep this a secret. The public knew before me. The truly wonderful thing to come out of it are the amazing people who came forward to support me, reassuring me that I had done no wrong, as I agonised about how we got here. Many loved him too and didn’t see it. So, there is no need to suffer silently, reach out for help. I have come to really know that being vulnerable is actually a strong thing to do.
  4. 4 points
    @OurLifeIsALie, I found similarly shocking stuff on my partner's phone. It was so disorienting for me, as he had never shown a shred of interest in other men. It made me think, how can I be enough for a man who fancies other men? If he had plain said he was gay, I think I would have found that easier to manage in a way, as I know some people discover this about themselves later in life. What I find hard to get my head round is that he vehemently says he isn't, but was sending very explicit material to other men (and women). I've done a lot of reading, and have talked to trusted and knowledgeable friends about this, and I have come to the conclusion that in SA, a big part of it is the secrecy and the shame, and that each reinforces the other. The expression of the relationship between the secrecy and shame happens to be sex and the more shameful and secret that sex, the more it does that job. I have learnt, from talking to my partner, that this kind of sex, and all the feelings that go with it, are compartmentalised into a different box in his head than his feelings for me. He kept saying to me, "it's not about you" which I found very hard to understand, as it felt so deeply personal to me. I don't put my sexual feelings into little boxes in that way, so it is very hard to understand what that feels like. It's not easy at all, but I am working very hard at not taking his addiction personally. He is doing the work, and I believe that he wants the stuff in the shameful box to lose its power in his life and for the feelings in the box in which he puts our life to be stronger and safer. I hope for that too, and am prepared to support him in getting there, as long as he keeps the work up. I hope that I am not being a mug for doing this, but I know that if he can't manage his addiction, it won't be for lack of support on my part, and I will leave the relationship sadly, but without blaming myself. Read all you can - knowledge is power! And I while everybody is different and has to find their own way, I would strongly urge you to be true to yourself, and remember that your recovery from this is yours, regardless of what choices he makes. x
  5. 4 points
    Hi Lorna ann, I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing. I’m sorry your having to go through this and feel you have no support. I also only recently found out about my partner of 24 years addiction. I feel for you I really do, I’m sorry you have already had so much trauma to deal with. Please know this forum is a safe space and if you need to vent you can do. I have found great comfort here in my darkest moments. There are lots of us here all at different stages. Please feel free to reach out and know that although you feel very alone there is a supportive group here for you.
  6. 4 points
    Goodness that’s so well said 👏🏼
  7. 4 points
    @Snowflake, it sounds as if you and I are at similar points in our partner's recovery and our response to it. All the weirdness and things that just didn't make sense came bursting into painful undeniable focus on 1st June. Anyway, several rocky months on, he is completely and genuinely submerged in his recovery, with 12 step groups twice a week, and daily phone calls and written questions that he is presented each day. All of this is great, and I cannot fault him for sincerity, however, as I keep reminding him, there are two of us in recovery. I find it very difficult to watch any tv programmes with sex scenes in them when we are together. I'm currently watching Harlots on i-player, and I turn it off when he walks in. He assures me that I don't have to do this, as it doesn't upset him. This makes me so fu***ng livid, because it's not his feelings that I am sparing by turning it off! I've told him this, and he still doesn't get it! At first, I kept my distress from him as much as I could, because he was too fragile to bear his own shame and guilt, and my hurt and anger. Now, I've started to let him know what I feel and think; if we are to move forward in the way that he says he wants, then he needs to know who he is moving forward with. I may be a supportive partner, but I am so much more three-dimensional than that. I won't bob along like a dinghy in the wake of his recovery. He assumes that we will live happily ever after now that he has seen the light. He needs to see me too, or he will be continuing his journey on his own. I don't know if any of this bears any relation to what you are feeling, but I wanted to share with you my experience of not being cowed into being the "good wife" and being frightened of derailing his recovery with the imposition of my own feelings. OUR FEELINGS MATTER TOO!!!!! If our partners can't handle the fallout of their behaviour, then they aren't really doing the real work. X
  8. 3 points
    Thank you for your responses. Firefly, exactly right. I am not being investigated and nor should I be. The question is why in this day and age are people so judgemental without knowing the facts. Education in this subject is seriously lacking I for one, was totally ignorant! So I guess I can’t blame them. But I’d like to think that I would have be willing to try to understand. Snowflake, thank you! I have been feeling that I may be on my own with the ‘one and only’. I used to be proud of that fact, that I found my true love and that making love was special and for him only. Then with recent events I wondered if that was what made him look elsewhere, that he felt cheated, I never did feel that way. He actually confessed to feeling that he felt almost entitled to mess around as he was listening to other men , of all ages, who boasted about their conquests!!!!! I should have noticed that he liked hanging out with them and having quiet secretive conversations. He thought if he kept it secret it wouldn’t matter!! With therapy he now realises that is totally wrong and that no-one should objectify any other person. his therapist has helped highlight his poor role models as a child. I am pleased that you are finding your way back to each other. I feel I will always love my husband, We have spent most of our lives together and grew together but I currently think I have gone through too much to ever truly trust him and believe in him again. For him to put me in the position where I was literally in fear of my life and leave me so he could look after himself first is not who I thought he was. He says he still loves me and always will but he is not fighting to be with me at all. He is still frightened for himself, and I don’t admire that. I have been fighting for him AND myself, and I don’t think he really understands that. He has no contact with any of our family, friends, godchildren etc. I am left to explain and comfort them, and they are as confused as I am. Sunflower, thank you for your support. I totally understand the need to step away from the forums. Sometimes it feels like you are picking away at scab. It is comforting and painful at the same time. I know for me, I feel everyone’s pain as well as my own and sometimes it’s too much to bear and takes some additional energy to then post. I so appreciate your support everyone. I actually feel more at home here than the ‘relations of offender’ forums. As here I can read and relate to the emotional and sexual side of things, without focussing too much on the ‘crime’ side. I can’t tell you how much it helps me . As that is the crux of it all. Meanwhile for me, his toxic family continue to do their worst. How can a family turn their back on one of their own who is in pain? I despair, but also In a way it helps me understand that he couldn’t cope with it. They are not my family therefore don’t impact on me in the same way. My family are loyal and dependable and have strong values, in that I am lucky. I AM strong and I WILL survive. I hope that soon I will thrive. That is my hope. There has to be some good coming out of this, there has to be!!! I hope we all find peace and happiness. xxxx
  9. 3 points
    Hi Tabs I hope you are coping. It must be so hard for you. I agree with what snowflake says. I haven’t been on here for a while because I have been really struggling and sometimes you just can’t face reading posts. It’s like you just want to run away. But I always find comfort on here. Nothing is taboo and your situation could be any of us. Maybe it is but people don’t always say. I hope you have managed to find some more support. But please keep posting on here. Much love to you ❤️
  10. 3 points
    Thank you IamEnough. I can’t tell you how much your reply means to me. This is a very difficult and bumpy journey for all of us partners. I just hope that in the future we can all find some peace. I am trying to learn on the way so that it isn’t a wasted experience. There has to be something good come out of the bad hasn’t there?!! Xx
  11. 3 points
    Hi @Girlinabubble, my husband completed the course a few weeks ago and has also attended a shorter workshop on understanding the needs of your partner. I would say he has been confronted now with the reality of how his addiction has impacted me, and not just from me! So I would say yes, I would hope that your partner will have a deeper understanding of the effect of his behaviour. If not, I’d be asking questions... hope that helps x
  12. 3 points
    So sorry to hear your story. It must be very difficult for you. But as said above, this forum is a great support. We all have our own story. Many of us have been with husband/partners for a long time. 21 years for me I had no idea, truly no idea of my husband’s porn addiction and visits to prostitutes. Nothing is taboo on here. We all understand your pain. Take care x
  13. 3 points
    Hi Freddiebear. I am so sorry to read your story, and how much you are hurting. You have gone through so much this year, I'm not surprised you are feeling so sad. Sorry about your Mum, and the breakups in your family. It may not seem like it, but six months is still early days. At six months I couldn't even face being in the same house as my husband, and we were separated for nearly a year. But gradually things will improve. You may not be able to discuss things directly with your husband, but perhaps neither of you are in the right space for that. Lockdown has brought its own problems, but for you it will have also exacerbated the ones you have. You don't say if your husband sees his porn watching as a problem, or even addiction. If he does there are plenty of places he can look for help, even in lockdown. My husband does both Zoom and phone calls a few times a week. Wherever you are there are local, confidential sex addiction and/or 12 step groups who would welcome him. But this is only if he feels he has a problem and wants to do something about it. This must be his decision. I do understand how difficult this is for you. I also don't know exactly how many years my husband was watching porn, before he then acted out, but I do know it was a long time, and yes, sometimes in bed next to me while I was asleep. It is hard to accept, but this is not your fault or problem. Please don't think you could have done anything differently. For my husband this was a way of coping with past traumas I knew nothing about which came to the surface when other things in this life began to go wrong (his work), and everything snowballed from there. Could your husband be similar? One of the hardest things is not having anyone to talk to. I am very close to a couple of my friends, but would never be able to speak to them about it. My family would be too shocked also. This forum is a great place to turn to. You can vent, say anything you need to, ask any questions you need answering, and no-one will judge or think any less of you for it. In fact the support and understanding I've seen has been amazing and has really helped me so much. I'm sure you will find the same. As to the miserable year and weather, I know, and I sympathise, but everyone is in the same boat with this. You are just feeling it so much more because you are so unhappy, Could you start making some plans for next year so you have something to look forward to? This is what I have done. It can be as big as a holiday, or as simple as a night out at a concert, theatre show, musical, anything you fancy doing. And do it for you. If there's anything you'd like to ask me, please do. I know it has helped me enormously having some of my questions answered. Some of the nagging doubts are no longer quite so nagging (thanks a lot to Firefly for his frankness). Be kind to yourself. Take care xx
  14. 3 points
    Sorry to add on a more positive note I’ve been so preoccupied with all of the other issues I’ve not had time to worry about him, it’s almost 6 months since I found out and I’m fairly certain he never progressed from watching porn as he’s too afraid of technology to do anything else and I have always had access to his email and the mobile phone bill comes to me. That’s doesn’t mean I’m not appalled he could damage our relationship, betray my trust and make the choice to watch in the first place but the advice on here to take one day at a time has helped me hugely and I’m very very grateful for the friendship and opportunity to vent. Thank you all xxx
  15. 3 points
    Hi Ann, Thank you for posting. Yes, I think your response is very similar to mine. I have repeatedly said that I am so pleased for him that he has found a way to recovery and is working very hard on it. But that is HIS recovery, not mine. I watch almost no TV these days as I found many things triggering, but you are right, the switching off wasn't for his benefit or to not risk him relapsing or getting upset, but because I couldn't handle it for some reason. I think our partners sometimes think that this whole journey is about them and forget we have a massive journey we need to undertake too. I too tried to hide my distress (after the initial massive meltdown!), but have come to the conclusion this is not just unhealthy for me, but for both of us as I build up resentments by bottling things up, and obviously if I don't speak about them ,my husband will never know why I'm upset. I try to find a balance, but you're right, it's important for our partners to understand they're not the only ones who need healing, we're all on a road to try and recover. Thank you, and good luck on your journey x
  16. 2 points
    Hello, In my teenage years and early twenties I developed a compulsive behaviour whereby I used porn and dating apps simultaneously, using the former as a kind of arousal 'fuel', with the latter providing a slot machine style reward. I am now in my mid-twenties and in a healthy relationship, but wanted to share this as it may be helpful for other people who have combined dating apps and porn in compulsive behaviour. After watching the Social Dilemma on Netflix recently - it's great - I thought a lot about how dating apps are engineered and the expensive UX testing to ensure users remain on them for as long as possible. These apps are designed for profit, not user welfare. Various apps make it a longwinded process to delete them, and I found myself in a constant cycle of deleting and reinstalling the apps. Finally, it's worth mentioning that I would not have used either porn or dating apps as compulsively as I did - often staying up most of the night - in isolation of the other. I never watched porn all night or used dating apps all night on their own. It was the combination of both that seemed the formula of my compulsive behaviour. After contacting a popular mental health charity about my behaviour, I was told that porn was not something they had any support in place for, and sent me links to various places including Laurel Centre. While I bare no grudge of this, I think it shows that our more holistic mental health services don't really have dating apps and porn high on their radar. As mentioned, I wanted to put this out there in case others had experienced any compulsive behaviour linked to both porn and dating apps. Thanks!
  17. 2 points
    Hi Ann, You mentioned that your partner didn't tell you about his lapses, but that you discovered them and confronted him. I've been in a similar position. Each time I've had to challenge him about a lapse, or about a return to old habits. This has been a major problem for me too. He has never come to me and told me he has relapsed, despite me demanding that he do that numerous times, and telling him that if he owns up I might be angry, but I would be supportive and would do whatever he needed help him get back on track. The most recent time this happened it very nearly led to the end of our relationship. His defence was that he didn't want to upset or hurt me by telling me that he had relapsed - I think he was left in no doubt that the deceit and lying hurt me far more than his lapses. After the most recent incident we started couples counselling, with a counsellor who supports Paula Hall's approach. With her support we worked through Paula's couples guide, as well as doing a number of other exercises. Most importantly, we were able to agree some ground rules and a way forward. The problem I now have (a year from his last relapse) is that I don't know how I can be confident that he would be honest and open about a future relapse when he has never demonstrated that. In my darker moments, I almost wish he would relapse, just so I can find out if he will come to me and tell me about it. I guess I'm finding it hard to take on trust that he now understands the need for openess and honesty around his addiction - I feel I need some proof. I have to say that in everything apart from this, he is always truthful (as far as I know!) and shares everything with me. We have a great relationship in all other ways, but I've also had times when I've wondered if I was stupid to stay with someone who repeatedly does something that he knows distresses me. My partner's explanation is that when he acts out, he can always justify it to himself as 'just this once', 'everyone does it', 'it's not that bad', or (most upsetting) 'she knows and doesn't really mind'. During periods of sobriety, he says he always feels absolutely sure he'll never do it again. I suppose that's the nature of the addiction. I hope you find a way through this that works for you and gives you the peace of mind you need.
  18. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, not been on here for a couple of weeks. I’ve been really struggling with an increase in anxiety, despair and sadness. I’m so tired of this roller coaster 😟. My mind has been bombarded with horrible images again of my husband with a prostitute. It’s like I’m being possessed, like I have no power over them. I’ve been doing that constant questioning again! I feel like I’m going insane sometimes. It’s like I’ve just discovered it all over again. Will I ever feel normal again 😢. My husband understands and supports me. Then I think that sounds pathetic. Why should that matter after what he’s done! He wanted to share with me his work he’d done at the weekend from the Paula Hall book (after much promoting!) But I just couldn’t do it. I felt too fragile. Then I felt bad for not encouraging him. I felt so bad, I had to take a day off work. I hope you’re all ok. I’m sure many of you are going through similar, or have gone through the same. It just seems to never end. Sometimes I feel I will never be happy again.
  19. 2 points
    Hello Sunflower, it’s just over 2 years from drip disclosure and 18 months from full disclosure. My heart is broken, I’m totally on a roller coaster with emotions. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change my feelings, I have read every book, article, listened to podcasts etc, on sex addiction and it makes me feel good temporary and then I start getting images of my husband of 36 years with prostitutes. When I look at him I still can’t comprehend that the man I trusted and also thought was above suspicion has done what he has done. I had so much respect for him as I always thought he was a upstanding gentleman with good morals. I’m an educated wise woman, how could I be so deceived. I can’t get my head around this, I can’t get around he is not the man I thought he was. I also constantly question him, I’m trying to make sense of everything. He is so full of shame and remorse and we are desperately trying to move forward but the images and thoughts I have of him is hindering our progress. Will I ever get be able to move forward from the day my life turned upside down. I often think of you Sunflower and I have total empathy for you. I do hope peace comes to you and all of us who are suffering. Take care x
  20. 2 points
    Hi Ail. Sorry to hear what you are going through. It can be very hard to accept what is happening sometimes. Especially when you have no control over it, but are suffering from the actions of someone else. I don't think it is just your culture that doesn't talk about these things. I could certainly never discuss this with my friends and family, so please don't feel you are on your own in that respect. That is why this forum is so good. You can vent, cry, say anything you want or need to without ever being judged. And, more importantly you are connecting with people who genuinely understand the hurt you're going through and the journey you're on. Things will move on, but IamEnough is right, it's you that you need to focus on. If your husband wants help there are groups available to him, but he has to want that himself. You have to look after you. I also endorse Paula Hall's book on the partners perspective. It can be tough going in parts, but it will help you focus on what you need. Good luck x
  21. 2 points
    Ail it doesn’t sound stupid at all, we all of us here understand what you’re going through and each of our reactions will be slightly different. And you will probably find as time goes on that your reactions will swing from one thing to another- anger, sadness, frustration, denial- it’s all in the mix. There’s no right way to respond. What I’ve learnt from my own experience is that you have to put your own needs first. A good starting point is to download Paula Hall’s book on sex addiction from the partner’s perspective, which will help you understand your own feelings and to start to think about what happens next, as well as understanding the cycle of addiction and why your husband has acted this way. Remember, none of this is your fault, but you are at the beginning of a long period of recovery from this trauma and betrayal. We will support you as much as we can. Keep asking questions here and venting your feelings, as much as you need. Sending love xx
  22. 2 points
    Hi Ginny, thanks for your reply. Yes there is an online forum, And Stop it Now (Lucy Faithful) have a forum which I have used, and a course for partners. I have not heard of any wives on there whose husbands have had physical relationships, if you can call visiting prostitutes and random women for sex, relationships. I guess that we all hurt in the same way. The charities, rightly, focus most of their efforts on offenders and victims. I am not seen as a victim. The course focuses on understanding the offenders behaviour. I understand it, having read and read and read. But it doesn’t stop the hurt.
  23. 2 points
    Thank you Kaykay and Ginny. I took a break from forums and reading constantly about this addiction. But feel I need to catch up again with others stories. It seems I am the only one on this forum in my position, with the police being involved. As my husband cannot be home, and with the added complication of covid, we have only met 3 times in 13 months. For less than an hour in total. I am so scared to be seen with him. We talk on the phone, but not very often either as it is too upsetting. I am having therapy with a StopSO therapist, as is he. I find that useful to help process the many thoughts and emotions. I feel so angry that the vigilantes have taken away my right to talk face to face with my husband of 40 years and have made everyone aware of his actions. It’s so very difficult to navigate this new world I find myself in.Friends have been incredibly supportive to me, but I still feel like I have lost a part of me and that my life is incomplete. The police are taking so long, until they do their job I and everyone else will never know the reality, and cannot move forward in any way. It is torture. All because of a porn addiction, if it was more acknowledged then maybe he would have sought help? Maybe I would have seen the signs? He has had a physiological evaluation which shows no attraction to children. However, he was attracted to sex and has met with prostitutes and women from chat rooms. I now believe the internet to be a dangerous place and an enabler for sex addicts to have a very private life. It has certainly destroyed mine. We should be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary soon. I am heartbroken. I gave my all to him. And am left alone.
  24. 2 points
    Dear All, I am at a point where I am numb or sad all the time. It is been 2 years since I first learned about an affair my partner of 7years (then) had. She looked a lot like me. Just a few years younger and few years happier. He was in deep remorse and wanted us to heal and stay together. We had couple therapy. one year and a few months later I discovered a whole lot more as I found out he not only knew her a few months but nearly a year - allthough they only met 3 times. lived in different citys. but also in this year he watched porn and even visited prostitutes. I told the whole story in a posting half a year ago. i ran away but after talking a lot about sex addiction and him starting therapy and then covid - we tried again saving our relationship. it is known by now that his mother who always tried to dismantle me, was emotionally abusing him as a child and as an adult. also his parents created situations in the living of the family which are sexually inapprobriate big way. also he says he can't remember what he did. he knows he did it, he remembers darkened rooms, but no more. in therapy they told him that can happen in extreme situations. first i handled the situation kind of well. but these days i am just falling. everything is very hard. in summer my beloved cat died. she was still young and she had cancer all of a sudden. we fought for her, but we had to let her go. the day i learned about her illness, this big tumor out of nowhere. my thoughts were i am not strong enough for this. not yet. it shattered me. he loved the cat as I did. we still have our dog and our first cat. nala was our youngest, our little one. I can't stop thinking about what he did. all the lies he put me through for such a long time. I am not perfect, I can be very hard, controlling and mean. But I am also a very loving woman, loyal and always there for my friends in a big way. I can be a force in all kind of ways. I just don't know if I can ever trust him to be really over all the lying. Or that he is really going to become an adult in relation to his, crazy mother who took so much of my strength and patience over the last years and did me so wrong, while he was passive and victimizing himself. Why would he want to be in this relationship after all of that? Why did he never even try to stop himself? Why can't I leave?
  25. 1 point
    Hi, I'm new to this site after coming to the realisation that my husband may have a sex addiction. How do we know for sure? How is it diagnosed? How do I know if he has a genuine addiction or is just wanting to have his cake & eat it? I have been drip fed/discovered things over the course of our marriage. From his sexually messaging his exes, watching porn, finding an escort website on his phone, to discovering he's joined dating websites. I am shocked by it all, but very confused that one of the porn websites was shemale porn & he had joined a transgender dating website. What does this mean? He claims he is not gay or confused, but he said on his 'about me' section that he has a fantasy to go with one, & had messaged one. I'm struggling to understand. I feel repulsive. Claims he has never met up with anyone, but how can I ever trust/believe him again? I feel like my heart has been ripped out.
  26. 1 point
    My partner has engaged in a 12 step SLAA programme, and has been reading everything he can about his addiction and recovery, as well as seeing a really good therapist weekly. So far so good, and I am proud of him for doing these things. However, he has not maintained more than three weeks sobriety, "slipping" twice since starting the program a couple of months ago. I was, understandably, furious and hurt, particularly the second time, because he swore that the first slip was just part of his withdrawal. I was hurt on behalf of the other men in the programme, who presumably rely on the honesty of their fellows in recovery to support their own recovery. Anyway, he is back on the programme now, with more calls to his sponsor, etc, and swears that he sincerely wants to get well, and to have a life with me. The second slip destroyed my faith, not so much in him, but in myself. How could I have been taken in by all his fine words, his nightly calls to his sponsor, his meetings etc, all of which I accommodate into family life, arranging mealtimes around them etc, as I think his recovery is so important, when he was lying to himself, his sponsor, the other men, and to me? I would like to know how other women manage to draw the line between supporting a recovering addict, knowing that it is a chronic relapsing condition, and being played for a fool? It might be important to add that he didn't tell me about these lapses, but I discovered them and confronted him. He admitted that without this, he would not have told me.
  27. 1 point
    I’m thinking of attending a partners course, however due to my circumstances I have to be really sure that it will help me as suddenly money is very tight. My story is we were married very young, sadly did not have children, unexplained infertility, both had good careers, a happy life with great friends, lovely holidays and a great lifestyle. I took redundancy, we jointly decided that I would stay home and support him in his job as it was very stressful and he travelled a lot, with him having had a heart attack, it made sense for me to support him as he wanted to continue to work, I was happy to have time away from work. Then BAM, 6 months ago I had the police knocking at my door. My honest, loving, kind husband, had been arrested following a vigilante sting, which was then kindly shared via Facebook and a particularly unpleasant member of HIS family!! He immediately lost his job, had to leave home for both our safety, and left me to cope with the massive fallout!!! I’m still recovering, slowly. Society sees this as black and white. Social media is of course always true!!!! From our pension pot, and no income, we now have to fund 2 homes, and therapy for him. I am holding on to my life by my finger tips. I am the one left to talk to friends and family, whilst he hides away in shame, many miles away. Not able to return to our home, not even so I can leave it to get a break for myself!!! I’m trying to recover enough to face finding a job, having thought I’d retired early and being out of the workplace for a few years. Following this he has disclosed that he has been addicted to porn, images and chat room sex talk. The internet has made this so easy, so accessible. He has also, only recently, admitted to using sex workers during the period leading up to ‘capture’ as he was inwardly, spiralling out of control. This has cut me deeply. We were each other’s ‘one and only’. I knew nothing of his activity. I just knew he was sometimes snappy. He was distant sexually, but I put that down to his heart problems and medication. Therapy sessions and physiologist report have shown him to have been silently suffering from stress and anxiety, culminating in a breakdown. He had a bullying boss, and had not been dealing with his rather toxic family, who have with too many issues to go into here! He appears he was using porn/activities to self medicate. He is shown not to have any interest in underage....why then was he caught attempting to meet a 13 year old??????? I suspect he was going to meet someone for sex, and was trapped. But I’ll only know this after police have investigated. As they have all electronic devices and are waiting to search them, we are talking about at least a year, could go on for as long as 2!! Months/years living in limbo, not knowing who my husband was and is. I am 60 soon and feel so bitter and angry that I gave my life to a man that cares so little for it that he would throw it away for cheap thrills. Why couldn’t he talk to me??? I’ve known him since we were teenagers, I thought we grew up together and knew each other inside out! I coped with his family too, but I cried and shouted and tried to sort things out. He was a people pleaser who wanted to be seen as strong calm and capable above all else. In doing that he destroyed himself. I’ve read a lot on the forums, here and elsewhere. It is useful to read addicts stories too. I understand it all in theory, but in practice, it is hard to accept, the pain is so awful. I feel helpless. I am trying my best to support my husband from afar. I know he’s suffering. But despite him really wanting a future with me, I can’t imagine it now, after 6 months of separation. Having to cope on my own. And to have to cope with the shame....all his and now my, secrets for the world to know and speculate about. It’s so tough! For addicts reading this, please get help before it gets you into serious trouble and damages those that you care about.
  28. 1 point
    Thank you so much for your kind words Ann. They have really touched me. Right from the time that the police knocked at my door I have been searching and searching for answers, lots of reading, searching the internet and talking, lots of talking. I have always thought that I couldn’t have misjudged him. How could I have loved and lived with someone for so long and not recognise the person that the police and public now believe him to be. So I guess I found comfort in learning about the addiction. The addiction was not all of him. He is still that original good man, but made bad choices. I understand now what an impact peoples childhoods have on them, all can go on very comfortably in life until they are put in a stressful situation then they go back to the deep recesses of their mind. I have been through every emotion known, and I still hate what he did, but I can’t hate him. How can I? However, a very important part of our relationship has been broken, trust. It is so important to me that I don’t think I can ever have him back in my life fully. He is still very broken and isn’t able to have a real relationship I think. He has his journey to go through and I have mine. I’m just so sad. I’m just so very grateful for the wonderful support I have been shown. That has carried me and enabled me to try and find my own strength. I wish you all the best in your journey too. It’s a horrid thing to experience. I just wish people were able to be more open as it would actually improve many lives. xxx
  29. 1 point
    Tabs, I admire your compassion for addicts. It's not always easy to hold on to that when we have been so abused, betrayed and hurt by them. I find it a hard balance to tread between holding compassion and not letting that manifest as making myself more vulnerable. I don't want to be bitter and angry, because I don't think anything positive comes from that, but equally, I want my hurt acknowledged. My partner too went to boarding school. Maybe boarding school is a positive experience for some people, but in my work, I encounter many many people who are deeply damaged by the experience. They aren't all SA, but their capacity for healthy relationships is invariably damaged. Anyway, Tabs, having read your story, I admire your courage, and your heart. I try to build those qualities in myself. Thank you for sharing your example. x
  30. 1 point
    Thank you Ginny. You are right using the word pain. There is so much pain! As partners I think we do take some comfort in knowing our reactions are normal. I do get moments when I understand the ‘mantra’ of how we have to heal ourselves first. But I find that very hard at times. From others comments, it seems like we can get ‘stuck’ in our thoughts and it really hinders healing. Not sure what the way forwards is with that. I guess there’s no quick fix, which is the hard bit. I feel like my husband has passed on his intrusive thoughts to me! Surprisingly, I think the sex addict is quite shocked at the true impact this has. Part of their cognitive distortions I guess. I think I need to start pro actively reading and completing exercises again. It’s just so hard as I have a very demanding job in a management role. When I get home I’m exhausted from trying to pretend I’m ok! I did wonder if partners struggle to let the pain go as that seems like you’ve forgiven them? I’m not minimising the pain but could there be other psychological influences at play?! Shannon. I relate to every word in your response! I’m 18 months in from drip drip disclosure and 9 months from full. I think I’m struggling more now than I was. I just can’t believe it’s happened. I do think Covid has made it tougher. I really feel at times I need space. I might have gone away for a few days or asked for him to leave temporarily. But then how do you explain that to family who have no idea and think you are an amazing couple 😢. My husband is very remorseful too. He says he can’t believe what he did. Like you say, I just hope we all find some semblance of peace soon. Sending you all lots of love xxx
  31. 1 point
    Hi All, A quick update. I have heard twice from my Ex. One to ask to speak, the second saying sorry and the fact he has been speaking to his counsellor, it's made him realise he has messed up and if there was anything he could do to make it better he would. However, he also saw my friend 2 weeks ago and disclosed he felt like a coward. Like he should have left as he hadn't been happy. I can't help but feel he is lying or denying how he truly felt - we broke up because I found the messages and asked him to leave. There were zero indiciations anything was wrong with our relationship. We were buying a house, getting a dog, discussing engagements - surely I would have known SOMETHING??!! I do not feel ready to hear his crap right now - I want him to have more therapy, its only been 6 weeks. I need him to connect more dots. I also do not feel mentally ready enough I feel I need to make some decisions in my mind first for example how much do I want to know? How much do I want to ask? I had in my head 3 months of therapy for him and myself separately before a discussion. I haven't been sleeping and feel rough, I look tired and hagged, so I want to feel amazing when I have that meeting - I want to know what I want out of it, not let him just dump his crappy emotions onto me. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? thanks in advance!!!!
  32. 1 point
    Hi Lorna Ann. I was just wondering about you too. I hope you have found some way of getting help. It must be so much more difficult for you if you are bedbound. Please do reach out on this site if you need it. It does help sometimes to know you're not the only one in this position xx
  33. 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
  34. 1 point
    Thank you Firefly. I’ve read your post about illegal images and it is so true. I hope that it has touched some people and helped them to avoid stepping over that line into illegal activities that make an unbearable situation even worse for them and their unknowing partner. My husband was drawn into chat rooms, on sites I hadn’t even heard about. I used social media to connect with friends and family, and always rejected unknown requests and requests from people that I wouldn’t want to invite home for a cup of coffee! He, to me, seemed even more against social media and used to get annoyed at what I would tell him about people’s pity posts, so I had no idea he was using it so prolifically and for the purposes of porn and sexual hook ups. It was a massive shock. I understand in theory how these addictions take hold, but the shock of police at my door to tell me of his arrest and to search the home will never leave me so I can’t think I can ever fully forgive him, He now says he was always going to stop, always was the ‘last time’ . Amazingly, he says that once he was arrested, lost his home, lost his job, his friends and family, he came to his senses and has never looked again. He lost the stresses of his old life I guess, which he was dealing with medicating with sex. I hope it’s true that he’s stopped. I doubt his actions were worth the labels he now has as a paedophile and worse, even though he hasn’t even been charged and is free to do as he wishes. Until the subject of porn addiction is talked about openly then so many more people will fall into this hell. I am particularly concerned for younger people who have such easy access to it and will become addicted, and also learn about sex from porn, which will lead to heartbreak and broken relationships. I have written to my MP, Police commissioner, some media outlets, but no one is interested in me or in him. We are both outcasts. That is scary. When will this change? To all the people whose spouses have hurt them, I feel fo you all. I have never felt such shock and pain, and never cried so many tears. I feel sure that there are many more of us. It would be so great to be able to meet and find mutual support, but instead I lurk on forums afraid to actually give any of my information to people that do reach out. I find now I can’t imagine trusting anyone completely, as my husband betrayed me so badly, and lied so well.
  35. 1 point
    Hi Lorna Ann, I’m so sorry to read of your pain. Please do look up the resources on the Laurel site and try and read the books that Paula Hall has written, especially the Partner’s book- I think it will help you understand the situation a little more. Are you able to talk to your husband at all? Is he seeking help for himself? sending love x
  36. 1 point
    Thank you so much for your posts. My husband too went to boarding school aged 8 he was flown from the Middle East to the UK and saw his family sporadically. He boxes things off in much the same way and while he says he loved boarding school I’m not convinced. He says his PA only started on retiring when I still worked full time and it was caused by boredom. I can deal with the PA which He only ever watched and never acted upon either physically ir literally ; this has stopped as I’m now retired and control the WiFi so he can’t access it. For me the worst part is that he said he preferred to watch 20-30 year olds. I’m 62 and that remark has devastated me. We’ve had a really hard weekend and I’m in the spare room now with palpitations wondering how it’s going to end. Any advice would be appreciated.
  37. 1 point
    Hi Lorna, Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry to read your post, you must be in a lot of pain. You will find many of us here have very similar stories to tell (unfortunately), and though we are all sorts of different people, we have all been through the struggles involved in our partners addiction. You will find lots of understanding and compassion here, and please don't be afraid to vent as much as you like if it helps. I have, and if you look around the site you will see plenty of others have too. Don't feel lonely or that you can't reach out. It's tough, but you will be okay. There are lots of us here for you. Sending you a hug x
  38. 1 point
    This may sound odd but lockdown helped me because I couldn’t go anywhere so we had to stay at home, there’s just 2 of us, and i persistently questioned and questioned. It was very very intense but we had to face each other all day every day. I think if I had left immediately I may not have had the opportunity to examine our relationship so intensely for so long. It was immensely hard but worth the angst and hammered home just how hurt and betrayed I felt and also how sorry and ashamed he is.
  39. 1 point
    Hi, I too feel the same. My ‘perfect’ husband has spent years watching porn. I’ve no idea how many but I think between 5 and 8. I thought we had it perfect and three weeks into lockdown the bombshell happened. He even watched it In bed when I was asleep. He swears nothing else, no acting out and I believe him but I’m devastated and have told no one other than this group. In the ensuing weeks my daughter in law decided she no longer wanted to be married or look after her children consequently my son is getting divorced and juggling work and childcare, my stepson declared he had fought with his wife because he admitted he no longer finds her attractive, we had a car crash, my friend and his wife separated and then my mum died 2 weeks ago. We are now back in lockdown, the weather is miserable and I’m dreading winter. My husband is sorry and swears it won’t happen again and it can’t as I control WiFi filters etc but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life policing our relationship. I’m the one worrying about Boredom in the winter, he seems to think every time I’m sad it’s about him and I’ve had so much to deal with I’m at breaking point. Finding a balance to discuss it is nigh on impossible but we are reaching 6 months since the discovery and it’s getting better. Paulas book is great but I read it in sound bites as it hammers home the enormity of the betrayal I feel and I can’t face it yet. He’s lovely in every other way, kind, funny and I adore him but I’ve no idea how to get over this and it’s changed my life completely from what I talk to him about to what we watch on tv. I’ve lost my best friend and it’s so sad. This forum is my confidant and my hope xx
  40. 1 point
    Hi Ginny - it does help - thank you - is there a confessional element to the course or at least a recognition of the effect their behaviour has had on others or is the benefit a result of the attendees feeling better about themselves? thank you !
  41. 1 point
    Hi Firefly. Thank you so much for your candour and honesty. I felt almost numb at times reading this. The parallels with my husband's situation are striking. Other than wanting more sex, my husband was completely distant from me. He worked away and I discovered the porn use first but he refused to talk to me about anything; work, porn, daily life etc. There was nothing forthcoming. I used to have long conversations with him every night while he was away once the kids were in bed, but even they had become non-existent. From a brief goodnight, to a call or text earlier in the day to say he'd be working late and would either be too late to ring or too exhausted. I know now he was clearing his entire evening for porn. This is the stage I went to see a counsellor on. my own. The refusal to engage on any level was heartbreaking. No conversations even at the weekends when he was back. He'd walk through the door and pick on something (the house, the pets, the kids...) almost as though he need an excuse to be bad tempered all weekend. Yet still complaining he wasn't getting enough sex! I told the counsellor at the time I thought I was going crazy because he seemed to hate being around me, yet when I suggested I move out for a while, told me he couldn't live without me and became genuinely really distressed at the thought. The similarities with your story make me so emotional. We started going out together when we were 19 and 20, but I met him when he was 12 at my brother's boarding school. I thought I knew everything about him as he was close to my brother and our families met up at times for school events. He started the year before my brother at age 11. I found out about six months ago that he had been sexually abused by a family member for many years from the age of 7 or 8. I couldn't believe that this had happened, or that he'd kept it from me for 35 years. He said he'd put It in a box in his head and never went there. It was only when when he started the SA counselling that it 'came out'. He begged to be sent away, and was then abused at boarding school too. Again, he never mentioned this until recently. In his therapy he was told that this is an often repeated scenario. I.e. past traumas hidden away, rough present time (he'd lost his job and although he found another one within months he is very proud and it hit him hard). His PA took over. By the time he got his new job he felt ashamed and was too deeply in to get out. We rowed about his porn (and I only knew a fraction of it at that time), and everything just escalated. You've answered a very important question that has been holding me back from properly moving on. I haven't been able to really believe that he can't remember dates, even roughly, that he visited prostitutes. He says he'd blocked the exact details out, but I just couldn't believe this was possible. Obviously I have no-one I can actually ask here as no-one knows even that he's a recovering sex addict. My family could not handle this. I struggled too with the fact that he never told me about this family member, but perhaps that genuinely was something he couldn't admit to even to himself until therapy? I am not sure I will bring that up again with him as it is obvious it is very painful for him. He is on step 9 and has forgiven him. I am on step zero and never want him in my house again. Fortunately we don't live near so haven't had to deal with that problem since disclosure. But that bastard (sorry - still raw on that one) has ruined my husband and damn near split up our whole family. Thank you again for replying. It has changed my view that my husband may just be unwilling to say these things, and may genuinely be unable to. I hope you are well and happy, and wish you and your family all the very best.
  42. 1 point
    Thanks all for your replies. Very happy for you @Domino69 I have still not heard a word... I don't know if this is good or bad, but I now know I will not chase. He knows where I am. I hope one day I at least get an apology, not for the addiction as such, but for how very nasty/mean his reactions have been.
  43. 1 point
    Hi Stillinlove- so sorry to read of your pain. Do you think that in the early days it’s enough just to stay afloat at all and find a way forward one day at a time, and then after a longer period of time we start to focus more on the longer term- both in the future and the last, and the enormity of what has happened and all the fallout around it comes crashing in? It’s early days for me and I know I would like to think that in two years everything in the garden will be rosy, but in my heart I know that things are changed forever. Are you getting support yourself? It sounds like you need someone to help you piece together your shattered sense of self and your partnership. I do hope you find some peace soon. Keep posting x
  44. 1 point
    That’s a great point Snowflake. I think I the last I have sometimes relied on my relationship for so many things including my own emotional state. Time to take control! Since I posted this I’ve been through a full cycle of emotions and am currently feeling really strong and positive (for myself rather than my marriage, about which I’m feeling somewhat ambivalent). I work in a creative industry and love my job, and im beginning to fully engage with my work again and although I wouldn’t say I am often joyful, I can on most days reach a level of contentment that feels really comforting right now x
  45. 1 point
    Hi ElleS. I'm new here too. Welcome to the forum. There is so much good advice, and much more importantly, understanding on here. It's worth its weight in gold. I hear you about violence being easier to explain. I told my husband I wished he was an alcoholic (obviously I don't) but the secrecy is such an added burden. I know even my closest friend would be shocked, and unable to keep it to herself, so it all gets bottled up. As far as anyone knows it was a one night stand and we're having counselling for it. What no-one sees is the deep despair that in fact it's something that has been going on for years and I have no control over. I too have teen/twenties children and I sometimes have to bite my tongue in case I scream at them "Your father's a bloody sex addict". I find it so hard because we separated for nearly a year, but the kids seem to think I'm overreacting to be so upset over a 'one-off'. So I'm the bad guy, So glad I've found here to vent on. I cried writing my first post a few days ago, but all I've found is understanding and support. I'm sure you will too. Take care of yourself x
  46. 1 point
    Hi, test passed, the results have just come through! His last round of disclosure was the final truth and no further behaviour associated with his addiction since this all came out. I am so relieved we at least have some stable ground to consider what happens next.
  47. 1 point
    Ann Hedonia- that sounds like a very reasonable reaction to me- you are the hurt party in this after all. I certainly recognise that need to scream- how do you think I feel in all of this! Ultimately though I’ve come to realise that I can’t expect him to make me feel better- only I can do that myself and that my own journey is just as important if not more so , than his. I can never guarantee he will never relapse- all I can do is make sure I am as strong as possible if he does. This is very much a work in progress though and there are moments when I just want to RANT!! sending love xx
  48. 1 point
    Hi all, I am new to this forum. I discovered my partner's deception on 1/6. My first response was to ask him to leave that day, but he crumbled in front of my eyes, and I realised he wasn't safe to be out in public/drive etc. Anyway, some months on, he is getting help from SLAA and from a really good therapist. I see how hard he is working, and I am proud of him for that, but I am raging inside, because all of his recovery talk is totally self-absorbed. There is little or no recognition that there are two of us going through this. Everything I have read about sex addiction (A LOT since the beginning of June!) talks about being patient with your addict partner and offering him the support he needs, but none of the literature I have read directed at addicts talks about being patient with us, and offering us support! He "slipped" last weekend, has apologised, and now I am supposed to move on from that. I am torn between pride and hope in his recovery, and rage at his utter selfishness. I feel trapped by my compassion for him. I feel as if my pain is too much for him to handle, alongside his own, so I have to look to friends, my therapist, and now this group, for support, all of which is good, but there is a place that only a partner can fill, and that place is devoid of anything but his pain and his need at the moment. How do the rest of you cope with the self-absorption, firstly of the addiction, and then of recovery? I just want to shake him and say, "what about me?"
  49. 1 point
    Thank you Axe20 for offering your personal experiences and thoughts. I think it’s good that you admitted you didn’t really drip feed to spare your wife the pain, but that it was more about sparing yourself the pain and trying to salvage what you could. I guess this is human nature. I also get that you may not remember every detail. But for me, it was about knowing the infidelities, the when, the where and how often etc. Partners are being asked to understand and forgive horrific behaviour and I wasn’t going to even attempt that with someone only telling me the bits they wanted to tell. To me, that’s just repeating the behaviour that had caused the issue in the first place. It’s a very long and difficult road. I did feel a little unsure of your final comment about it being able to stop if BOTH of you want it to. As a partner who had no knowledge of this behaviour, a great marriage for 21 years and fulfilling too, I am uncomfortable with the comment. I will not make my husband stop, nor was I to blame. So the only person who can do that is himself. I am willing to support where I can. But I have been deceived in the worst possible way and I have to recover too. That will not involve me making his recovery my responsibility. I’m guessing you may have meant the comment in another way. But I’m restating these thoughts for all those suffering partners out there. Axe20 I wish you all the luck with your recovery. This forum is an excellent support.
  50. 1 point
    I though you might want to hear about my experience, but this is just what I found useful, and it may not be helpful for you. We all have different experiences and are in different places. I found our first anniversary after discovery very difficult, too - I'm sure everyone must share that feeling. However, we had already decided to stay together and that we would work together to deal with his addiction (you may not be at that stage, or may be thinking of separating). I have to say that with him, there wasn't a 'just once' discovery - there were several minor discoveries and partial confessions on his part before the big one. So when we got to our anniversary, we had already been through a few cycles of discovery, confession and starting over. At first, I thought I wanted to ignore the anniversary, but realised that family and friends would be sending us cards etc, so it would be hard just to pretend it did not exist. Having decided to stay in the relationship, I decided I would put some time and effort into looking back over our time together and identifying all the good times we had enjoyed and the good things we still shared. I found it hard to do, but at the end of the process, I realised that we had a lot that was worth celebrating and a lot that was worth saving. We kept the anniversary fairly low key (just the two of us at home with a nice meal and a bottle of wine), but used it as an additional opportunity to talk honestly about what had happened and how we would go forward. We both shed a lot of tears. We've had a few bumps in the road since then, but my partner has kept moving forward and has continued to work to leave his addiction behind him. Anniversaries are different now - they used to be just a celebration, but now they are a chance to take stock of where we are, what we are doing well and what needs more work. Life after discovery is never the same as life before, so it is not surprising that celebrations now are different to how they were in the past (just different, not necessarily better or worse). If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to accept that this anniversary and future anniversaries will be different. What they look like is down should be whatever feels right to you. If you want to ignore the day, or spend the day in bed, or go out and give yourself a treat just for you, or do something with you partner, then just do it. Just make sure you take care of yourself and get through the day in one piece.
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