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  1. Hi Hec, being sober is not the same as recovery at all. The acting out behaviour is a symptom of much deeper issues and, in my experience, if those aren't addressed, they will come out sideways elsewhere. I agree with Kaykay, it isn't unreasonable to expect your partner to work at your relationship, if he wants to be with you. Last week, I read a letter that I had sent my partner a month after I discovered all the things he was doing in secret. I was soooooo encouraging and reassuring and I could practically see myself jumping up and down with pom-poms like some over-enthusiastic cheerleader. Reading this letter a year later, I was struck by how little energy he had put into meeting me in the relationship. I felt ridiculous putting so much energy in, whilst he went through the motions but has yet to make the commitment to really working his programme, and to really working our relationship. So, I've stepped back. I'm still there to support him, if he will step up and support me too. Much to my surprise, he noticed that I had put the pom-poms down and was quietly getting on with my life. For the first time ever, he initiated a conversation about my feelings and about our relationship. He said, "I hate to see you so sad. What can I do to help?" This is completely new for him, and I know it wasn't easy. My partner too has to work on himself, but our relationship can't sit on ice while he does this. I have been the mad cheerleader for over a year now; I'm not doing it any more. I know his initiating a conversation is a tiny baby step. I don't know that he will continue to put the effort in, but I know that if I keep repeating my groundhog day, there is no space, nor need, for him to put effort in too. Every couple is different, but I think what this forum shows me is the similarities in the pain we feel when our need for emotional and physical intimacy isn't met, and when our love and support is betrayed. It also shows me how devastatingly damaging shame is and makes me sorry for the addicts that flail about stuck in their shame and doing so much damage in the process. I don't know if your partner can step up into your relationship (hell, I don't even know if mine can!), but I do know that whether our men can be there with us or not, we need to look after ourselves. We are no good to them or ourselves if we get sucked into their shame and pain too. Ann x
    4 points
  2. This thread is very timely. I spent all yesterday afternoon in tears, trying to explain to my partner how soul-destroying it is to live with someone who is sexually anorexic as part of his addiction. He swears that he finds me attractive, but I have to take his word for it, because he shows nothing more than a sisterly affection for me. I give him credit for actually joining in the conversation, even though he wanted desperately to run away (and probably act out, for all I know). It became apparent that at 56 y/o, he has never had a physically and emotionally intimate relationship. I think that is really sad. So when I say I want a normal healthy sex life, he has no model at all for what that is. He says he wants to learn how to do that, and I honestly believe him, but the task seems, frankly, insurmountable. I likened it to wanting to be fluent in German; sure, he knows enough German to get by, but how realistic is it that he would become fluent at 56, and how much work would it take to do so? How motivated is he to put in the effort and really, what does it do for my self-esteem to have a man who has to put in effort to show me that he loves me? Where does this leave me? Like you, Long-Suffering, I have contemplated finding another man, but that isn't what I want and, to be honest, my sexual self-esteem has been destroyed by my partner. His ex-wife and I had a conversation last year where she told me that for 26 years, she thought that she was too ugly for him to want sex with her! Poor woman! I assured her that it wasn't her, but I know exactly how she feels. Or do I take matters into my own hands, so to speak, and end up satisfying my needs without him, which is the very thing that I get upset at him doing? And that does nothing to satisfy my need to be part of a loving relationship. Very occasionally, we both let down our guard enough to make love, and it's wonderful. I stupidly think that we have turned a corner, and how can he not want more of this closeness and good feeling; then he sabotages it with acting out in some way and we are back to square one, with me feeling like a fool - yet again - for hoping that things could be different. We are in couples therapy, so I am hoping that this will help us break the cycle, but I have been here so many times that not only do I feel stupid, and unattractive, but hopeless too. I work with a lot of people with addictions, (for a long time before I met my partner) and while they all hurt their loved ones, I don't think any addiction takes down a partner's sense of self like sex addiction. While my head knows that there is nothing wrong with me, my heart is so crushed by the repeated rejection, not to mention the betrayal, lies and secrecy of the behaviour I discovered last year, that if I were to start over with another man, I think my sexual self is destroyed now. I never thought I would be in this position, and I don't know how to change it. I think it is tragic that there are so many of us who evidently have been hurt in this very personal way. I can't explain this, even to my close friends, because they just wouldn't get it. I am grateful to you all who are willing to share your similar experiences. Ann x
    2 points
  3. Thanks so much Chrissy-i hope you do one day find the partner you are looking for and deserve. I like your definition/understanding of real intimacy and agree wholeheartedly and can see that is at the root of my issues with my husband. I will try and raise this area with him when we next talk in that kind of way. My situation is different - i presume for a host of individual, personal and family reasons....I really imagine that I am in for the long haul and do not plan to leave, separate or divorce in my present thinking but of course there is always the bomb that could go off and change my mind!! hug to you too. x
    2 points
  4. I recently found out the guy i got married to and had a relationship with for more that 2 years had been sleeping with transgender escorts for past 7 years . Before getting married he told me he is a virgin and has been waiting for us to be together. he also kept of going to the transgender escorts website and kept on messaging his previous transgender partners on our honeymoon. I don’t know what should i do? My whole world is crumbling down
    1 point
  5. Hi Bluebell, I’m also in a very similar situation. I’m currently 5 weeks discovering of my husbands sex addiction - I’ve always known he’s watched porn, but I naively never assumed it would escalate. We’ve been together 5 years, married for 2 (our anniversary is next week 💔) and have a 4 month old baby boy! After discovery, my husband told me he wanted to make things work with me, but the man was simply dead behind the eyes…. He wasn’t the man I knew, loved or married. I’d put down the lack of enthusiasm to having a new baby and him getting a new job which meant getting up earlier! After speaking with a friend who was also cheated on, she told me his actions were not that of a guilty man trying to make things right. I continued to drill down on other things that might come out of the woodwork, he simply put his head down and said nothing else will surface. Early hours the next morning I went through his phone and found out not only had he continued to message sex workers, but he’d been having an affair! I woke him up and immediately told him to leave - the meaningless sex was something, but an affair? I couldn’t even handle the pain! He told me he was going to tell me about the affair because he was leaving me for her… well that just ripped my heart right out, I felt sick! Once he’d left, I bagged up everything he owned and put it all in the shed… I wanted a divorce within the hour, I wanted him off the mortgage and I certainly didn’t want him playing dad to my new baby! I literally had to fight for him to spend time with our baby, to bond with him. He’d possibly changed 3 nappies over 3 months…. It was so challenging for me! Over that weekend, I found out he hadn’t gone running to her… which I didn’t understand at all. He told me he was leaving me for her and even told me he loved her?! How could he love someone he’d never spent quality time with, or even spent a night with?? He told me he found love in a dark place…. The visits to sex workers have been going on for 8 months and the affair 6 months. Was the affair based on the way he was feeling after his addiction started? I was months away from giving birth & he wasn’t using protection - he put all our lives at risk of STIs. Which angers me so much! Since the discovery, he’s started therapy and taken responsibility. He’s moved into our spare room and our lives have continued as normal and strangely our closeness and communication is better than ever before. We enjoy spending time together, he’s being such a better husband & father - but he keeps telling me he wants to focus on himself and that we’re not together. But everything else including the sex still remains! But last night he told me he’s still messaging this other woman, telling her he loves her and he’s sorting himself out! I'm devastated. Like you, I’ve also read that infidelity is different to addiction. And like your husband, mine feels awful about the addiction; but not for the affair. Is this what they call Sex & Love addiction?
    1 point
  6. Please please read Paula Hall's book The Partners Perspective or one similar. I have been married for 29 years and until 14 years ago very happily. Then I discovered my husband had been watching porn and using his bad back as an excuse to sleep in a different room to enable it. Promises were made not to do it again and I believed him but my self esteem bit rock bottom. I put weight on. 5 years later my husband lost his job. He suffered from depression due to this. Then at his new job he had sex with a colleague on the premises twice and lied to me about meeting up with a male friend to meet her for sex. I only found out because he lost his job again through it. He expressed remorse and said he loved me. We separated for a year but had 2 teenage children and I still loved him so got back together. There followed a couple of years where I thought all was ok. The children grew up. We moved house. Then I found out he was still watching porn, swinging sites and dating sites. More promises were made and like an idiot I believed him. Even trusted him to get a smartphone! I had terrible self esteem by now. I had wanted my husband to keep being remorseful and to keep showing me he was sorry and loved me but sensed a withdrawal and he was suffering from erectile dysfunction which he claimed was due to age. He's now 54 as am I. Viagra helped with that which I found hidden under his car seat. Then last year I was more stuff on his phone and I thought it was the end of us. I had never heard of S.A. and it was only when looking online for a counselling that I came across a website about it. My husband agreed that he was an addict. We both believed we could 'cure' him ourselves. More promises made. Then a couple of weeks ago a work colleague showed me his profile on a dating all which was extremely humiliating. He has now disclosed absolutely everything to me which has included more infidelity with strangers 3 years ago which I am horrified about. The anger and pain I feel is frightening. He is extremely remorseful and wants to change and has committed to a 12_step group. He has always said it's never been about how he felt about me or his love for me but I never believed him. I have suffered with my weight and anxiety for years because of his behaviour. Then I read Paula Hall's book a few days ago. Thank God I did and wished I could have read it years ago. Understanding what sex and porn addiction is and knowing it's not because I'm not attractive (and actually I am) rubbish in bed (we did have a very good sex life in the good times) has been a revelation. I have gone from having little self esteem to thinking I'm going to be the best I've ever been in just the 2 days I spent reading the book. It has given me so much hope. I don't know if I'll stay with my husband. There maybe just be too much hurt and lies now. He wants us to be ok. Wants us to have therapy. I just don't think I could go through this pain again if he relapsed in his recovery. I just know it's my time to look after me and it's not going to be easy to look past the hurt for a while but I'll get there.
    1 point
  7. Hello everyone. I have been reading the comments & can relate to everything being said. 2 weeks ago I discovered my husband had been seeing a transgender prostitute for the last 3 months. It all started from me discovering a Facebook comment he made & then researched her name. Myself & my son & daughter spent the next few days going through all her social media & found many comments from him, we sussed his usernames, he was basically professing his undying love for her. She’d posted Tiktok videos of flowers he’d sent her, we found receipts in his car where he’d taken her for expensive meals & the worst was he’d checked himself into a Travelodge near her supposedly to sort his head out away from us & she had posted some photos of herself posing in his room & you could see the speaker I had leant him to take in the background. I’ve also found out he’s been seeing escorts for the past couple of yours, but I don’t know how long it goes back? It’s killing me just trying to find things out & investigating all the time! I’ve been with him since I was 18 & married 35 years. He is in a bad place now & the shame makes him reluctant to come back home to talk to me. He left here the night everything was found out & slept in his van initially, but has been staying at the trans prostitutes home. She lives there with her partner who is the same as her. He’s trying to sort a place out but it’s taking a while for them to chase up references & do checks. I hate the thought of him being there? He says it’s purely business for them & he’s sleeping on the sofa. It’s absolutely heartbreaking! I want him out of there & talk to him!
    1 point
  8. Hi Ann, I am so sorry you are feeling so unappreciated and your self esteem is at an all time low -I can only hope that the couples therapist will help you both. I know that there are no easy answers to all our common issues and the pain of betrayal certainly cuts a deep wound- rebuilding intimacy and trust is my life's work i think. I know that finding another man for what i earlier referred to as normal sex is a non-starter really and because you don't get intimacy and love automatically hand in hand ( apologies for the bad pun) with 'good healthy sex' with a new partner just like that....I also do not want to go down the self soothing route as a solution per se although when i do occasionally do this i experience a very exquisite climax that is way more intense and pleasurable that in sex with my partner!! sadly have to dash now but will think on and add more tomorrow....stay strong and be kind to yourself. You sound like an incredible human being to me.
    1 point
  9. Hi, I hope this helps, so I’d like to give my experience. Sadly, my experience mirrors your husband’s. That’s where I’ve been for most of my life and, at the tender age of —well, mid-fifties — I’ve decided I need to change. I’ve caused a lot of wreck lags in my time, but: I’m coming up on 3 months no porn, no masturbation (and to be sure, the rewiring process is a beast). So, to answer your titular question, yes it is possible to give up the addiction. It takes your husband to make the conscious decision, to realize he needs help, and to get to it. As to your other question, can you get over it? Well, I don’t know. You’re the only one who can sort that out. But you sound strong. And, as the other poster replies, none of this is about you. It’s all him. Addiction is a beast and I’m sorry you’re in its path. I think that, in that you’re here, that you’re searching for information and answers, well, that is a huge start. I have the dubious advantage (yay) of having been in 12-step programs for drugs and alcohol. I’m coming up on 11 years of sobriety so that’s been a rock for me, ie applying those principles with regard to porn. (This is not an endorsement for 12-step programs, just my experience.) But it’s up to him. He needs to search and find that window in himself and pull himself through it. God(or whatever) I hope this helps and I’m putting out positive feelings for you and your husband.
    1 point
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