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  1. 2 points
    Hello Desperateforrecovery, Yes, you're at rock bottom. Welcome. I'm here too. So are others. You're not alone. I'm discovering that the compulsions we share LOVE the shame and secrecy and isolation, so good on you for sharing. Keep doing it. I've started with a therapist; absolute key is to be 100% honest with them. If you're not comfortable saying things to your therapist then get another one. I told mine some things that I've never told anyone, thoughts that I've hidden for 30 years. She notes it down and we talk around it. It is liberating. It might not affect whether my wife stays or leaves me but it will affect the future me that I want to be and she will see one day. Keep going to therapy. Have you tried Sex Addicts Anonymous? There is also Sexaholics Anon and Sex & Love Addicts Anon. Hopefully something will be close to you to attend. Try different ones as they are all different, even the different location groups under the same organisation. I've started. the first visit was very scary. But I actually look forward to going, because I know it will make me feel better and I know I can get some support, which is ultimately what it is about. Try the letter. Even if you write it and screw it up afterwards, that means you have got out what was in your head. Keep going and check in often. P.
  2. 2 points
    Hello. Thank you for sharing. And thank you Josh for appearing to us like an angel to give support to the likes of me and 'outofwishes'. Outofwishes - I am only a few weeks into my new life after reality booted it's way in and changed things for ever. My wife and family have to deal with the knowledge that I committed a crime; the social worker from Children's Services has labelled me as a serious risk and my wife is under a ton of strain. Some things I have read have helped and some have terrified me. This time that you are currently in, this limbo between being found out and being convicted is the time when we are becoming free of addiction, free of stupidity, starting therapy and/or 12 step programmes. It is ironic and paradoxical that at the time you are convicted, you will be the most cleansed and risk free of all your adult life. The conviction and sentencing is haunting because at the moment it is unknown. From your wordpress blog you might be lucky and have a non custodial or suspended sentence. Whatever happens, I hope and know that there will be a good you at the end of it. There will be lows, serious lows on the way, but hold on to that as motivation, hold on to the love of your wonderful friends (I sobbed too at that) and hold on to the knowledge that you are now a good person with things to offer. You can talk to people about where porn addiction can take you, you can save another life with that. Sorry, it's a bit of a diatribe this. All the best and perhaps we'll chat again sometime soon. P.
  3. 2 points
    “What worries me is that, how can he ever really be happy with me. How will I ever be enough? How do I really work through this? Will it ever go away? The boundaries are set and he knows that another serious issue would be the end for us” Oh, Judith, I understand that feeling so well. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it I’m over 2 years into recovery but what I can pass on to you is that you are competing with a ‘thing’, a substance, an object. No one person can ‘compete’ with that thing, that entity that is at the core of the addiction. Not that lady in the picture No individual woman can. Not even that lady can compete with the chemical soup in the brain of a porn/sex addict. They are chasing the high. Judith, you ARE enough It took me a lot of time to get past this mindset but I did. Learning about porn addiction was an enormous help. There is a website called YourBrainOnPorn.com where there is a video that explains what’s going on in the brain of a porn addict. It’s about seeking and novelty, dopamine, creating pathways in the brain, the hijacking of the brain’s reward system and sensitisation to the ‘thing’ they’ve become addicted to. They appear to be people that the addict is seeking out, but it’s not really. They’re just the ‘substance’ that’s needed to get the high. Obviously, the way to feel OK about yourself takes a lot more than understanding what goes on in men’s brains when they look at porn or similar, but it explains what people mean when they say it’s not about the us, that we weren’t the cause of it or that we weren’t good enough. A bit about me. My husband was an internet porn addict for 15 years and before that he was buying magazines and videos from seedy sex shops although I only ever found two magazines on one occasion. He also went to strip bars, which I was never supposed to find out about. In truth, I don’t really know how far it goes back, but as soon as he was online at home I lost him to porn addiction. Eventually we had no sex life whatsover. Zero. Nothing. No interest in me. Never looked at me. Never complimented me. I could have been stark naked and he’d just keep his nose in his book. Eventually I got dressed and undressed in the bathroom. I knew full well about the porn but after if caught him in the first days and weeks of getting online he had all these cleanup apps installed. It really hurt. Deep down I felt rejected because I was over 30 (oh, hahaha, seems so young now) and then I was over 40... and so on. So I thought it was all over. I only managed because I was in denial. I ended up feeling totally rejected and lonely and depressed. Nobody ever touched me or kissed me. I had to ask for a goodnight peck, otherwise he would just turn over and go to sleep. So, did I feel not good enough? In my mind I BELIEVED I was not good enough, never would be, never could be. I didn’t see the depression coming. I developed a sort of adult onset midlife anorexia. I didn’t know it could happen. But it did and it happened to me. I developed body dysmorphia. I was shrinking away to nothing because I believed I had no right to take up space. Hiding my ‘hideous’ body from my husband was so easy because it would never occur to him to look. Privately I could see I was emaciated. And then one day I saw myself in the mirror and had a depressive breakdown. My only thought at the time was “he’ll never want me now. Everything I once was has gone forevermore”. That was how far it had to go before he quit porn, and even then it was only the beginning of all the pain of discovering the extent of this habit and all the lying. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. I wasn’t his porn type. I soon discovered that. I had gone through my early adult life with this enviable physique and I’d pretty much stayed the same shape but I wasn’t some 36GG painted Barbie. I didn’t have a negative body image at all. But somehow, in midlife I ended up painfully thin and frail with body dysmorphia disorder, and that was before I had any idea about what he sought out in porn. I stopped neglecting my appearance. I treated myself to some new clothes. I coloured my hair. I bought some nail varnish. I started eating more. I was clinically underweight and it took some time to gain weight. I didn’t want to eat junk either. I bought some self help books. Gael Lindenfield does some good ones on building self esteem. I tried to get back to my previous interests and hobbies though this was hard because I was so distressed and preoccupied as the reality of my husband’s addiction behaviours slowly tricked out, and I was traumatised over and over with new discoveries followed by lying and denial. It was hell. I bought myself some cheap exercise books and biros and I wrote and wrote and wrote to get it all out of my system. My anger, my hatred for porn, and the industries that make money from this misery, the difficult emotions about my husband. I journalled a lot. I saw my GP who arranged counsellor. Not brilliant but it was support for me. Not for us as a couple but just for me. I couldn’t deal with it along. My husband began to appreciate me physically after d day but to be honest this was more of a honeymoon period. As soon as I raised an awkward issue or when I discovered more evidence of his acting out which he would deny, this would create rifts which he did not have the skills and maturity to deal with. So I noticed the compliments were not so forthcoming. And then one day something lit up in my mind — I don’t need his compliments to feel worthwhile. If he doesn’t notice, then so what? I notice! I can see who’s looking back at me in the mirror, and she’s an impressive lady. He’s a man with a problem, he’s a porn addict, and I’m not going to let his behaviour that caused so many problems for me decide whether or not I’m going to feel good about myself. So so that’s how it began. That was my turning point. Of course it’s not that easy. There are many difficult and upsetting moments, but the important thing is to uncouple yourself from his ‘approval’. It’s late and I’ve been writing for ages so i’ll stop. I hope this helps. I still get upset about it all. I still feel like an ugly nobody at times. I still feel wretched when I have my doubts and suspicions. Our ‘recovery’ is far from ideal. But I know that where he is lacking, I must continue to work on my own personal healing.
  4. 2 points
    Hi Sargam, There's some really interesting questions and points there. For me, a lot of it stems from what is your own personal definition of acceptable sexuality and sexual behaviour. Some people and couples obviously do use pornography and most people obviously encounter it at some point in their lives. It's something that can be seen as exciting or taboo and people can be drawn to out of natural curiosity too. For me, it started when I was young (a teenage) as I didn't have any sexual experience and it is a way of "learning" of a sort. For me, the real problems came with it when I realised that it had actually turned from something that it was a "dirty little secret" that I couldn't or wouldn't discuss with my partners. And then further on, when really I became fully addicted to it and "needed" it regularly, often easily spending an hour or two every couple of days for many years on end. It became something that I felt I wasn't in control of and was very ashamed about. It helped drive a wedge between me and my wife as well. Particularly, I felt that whenever she was withdrawn or not wanting sex, I could instead go and masturbate to pornography to "make myself feel better" - it was a crutch and meant I didn't have to work harder at improving the relationship or really discussing our sexual needs fully. In turn over time, real sex with her became dull and monotonous because I couldn't spend hours with her edging to the multitude of wild crazy content and unlimited variety of online porn. Why try harder to enjoy sex with the same woman you've been with for 17 years, when instead you can have a unlimited supply of novelty - different women every night, limited only by your imagination? For me, this is the real problem at the root of online porn - it sets up extremely unrealistic expectations of what sex is and should be that no partner or human being can ever compete with. At the same time, I would also be secretly disgusted with myself at some of the content I was looking at and needing to view more and more extreme material to keep that hit going over the years. Then asking partners to do these acts that I wouldn't otherwise in a million years thought up myself. I felt really ashamed of that. It is a myth and fantasy world that I would run to whenever real life was a bit too tough or things didn't go my way. This created greater emotional distance between me and my wife and also a much bigger disconnect with the world in general. Nothing (except maybe serious drugs) competes with sex in the human brain reward system. So, when you have unlimited sex on tap 24 hours a day with unlimited fantasy, what happens? Well, I withdrew from the real world. Why bother going out to meet people and talk about real problems? Why bother having real hobbies or going out an doing things? Why bother sorting myself out and actually achieving my life goals? Instead, porn would always be there for that instant hit. But it's not real. Although I knew for a long time deep down things were badly wrong that I "needed" porn so much, I thought I was the only person in the world like it and was in deep denial about quite bad the effects of it were in my life. It's taken quite a bit of clean time and lot of help to really understand the depth and the impact my issue with porn actually was causing in my life. The good news is, now I am straightening things out and enjoy a lot more from life - my time goes elsewhere but mostly into myself in other ways. I do still masturbate but much less frequently and only in ways that I am comfortable with are a completely physical experience for me. That means staying away from any form of sexual contact having any form of computer or phone screen involved in any way. That's what's good and what works for me but it's taken me time to figure that out and everyone is different. Maybe things aren't like this for you with porn and you don't have the problems I have with it. I really deeply hope not. Maybe you use porn responsibly or it doesn't affect you like it affects me. Only you can answer that because our sexuality is deeply personal thing and everyone has different needs and boundaries. My belief is that the only person who can define those is you. Clearly there are plenty of people who do look at and masturbate to pornography but don't feel it's a problem or impacts their lives. For those people, great. I'm not one of those people. The really interesting thing with a lot of those people who insist they can easily put it down is that when you ask them to stop to prove it, they come up with many excuses why they can't or won't. They enjoy it, so why stop something you enjoy? Why deny yourself? If these people feel so OK about it, why don't they go and tell their wives and friends and mothers all about what porn they watched last night? Probably because deep down they feel ashamed at some level of what they are doing and especially if they are doing it regularly. All these creeping rationalisations can often be because secretly they are hooked and cannot or do not want to let go of their "crutch." Again for me, the real reasons came down to wanted to escape and actually needing to radically change my life because my previous life sucked a lot. Sometimes people who use porn heavily can think that porn and masturbation causes all the problems in their life. I have found that what's really going on is that I had a lot of nasty problems already in my life, porn was just one more of those that was pretending to "make it better" or comfort me but actually just burying it all and making even more mess to sort out. Weirdly, although I have never been a religious person, since starting my journey I have started to see more of its merits in attitudes towards sex. Previously, I would regard most religions as prudish and discouraging of enjoyment or pleasure in their attitude towards sex, porn and masturbation. But I can now appreciate more keenly some of the moderating views they cultivate because of the damage I feel using porn has done to me. Because sex is such a powerful and potentially destructive (as well as creative) thing, the message to treat it with more care and respect is something I had not fully given it credit for. Western society also has specific social attitudes and perhaps a more relaxed approach which makes this harder still for people to figure out for themselves. Yet at the same time, putting in hard boundaries that people don't fully understand or make porn and masturbation taboo also can cause a lot of harm and push people away from trying to work out their own ideas - it can easily feed shame and the feeling you are bad for having sexual desire and that it must be repressed at all costs. It can easily blanket all forms of sexual activity as destructive, apart from procreation, if taken to the extreme. Personally, I find this attitude too restrictive but again, different things work for different people. One last thing also I have found is that while it mostly men who have serious issues with porn addiction (in its many different forms, images, "soft" sites, chat/sexting etc.) or even escalation to sex workers, sex addition, serial affairs etc. this problem most definitely can and does affect women too - the forum at rebootnation.org has a specific women's section, for example. There are a lot of links here if you want to explore and understand further: http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/ Most notably if you only have 5 minutes: http://paulahall.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-addict/ Thanks for taking the time to read my very long reply here. I hope it's helped in some way and if you want to discuss further, it would be great to hear your thoughts back. Peace.
  5. 2 points
    I asked myself why do I feel sick when empathising with what she needs. I felt that she does not openly reward me. She feels grateful inside but does not seem to have a need to express it. Unfortunately I am very trade-in person, I evaluate what I achieve by how much I get back which in this case it feels like I am getting nothing. Furthermore she wants to tuck herself inside me and grow. This scares me because of my fear that it would annihilate me, wipe me out of existence, leave me like a rotten tree in the roots of a new tree. Obviously I would still be somewhere, I would just have to shine through her. Which does not seem to be the worst case scenario when I think about it. Thanks everyone who read this and let me tap into their collective subconscious to solve this.
  6. 1 point
    Be careful....you're moving pretty fast. You've had a lot happen to you, made big changes and assimilating a lot of new things. You recognize the sun still rises and sets and nobody is going to firebomb your car, if they even care at all. There's a thing a lot of people have as they leave inpatient rehab called "Pink Cloud Syndrome". It's when they've stayed away from their addiction for the longest stretch in years, picked up new tools to cope and have had so many breakthroughs and good days with new perspective that they tell themselves, "I've got this". I've seen a lot of people convince themselves everything is going to be fine with their addiction and then something sideswipes them in life and they fall back into their old coping mechanisms. I'm not say it will happen with you, and I certainly hope it doesn't, but the most dangerous thing you can say is, "I got this" because after four relapse-free years, I can tell you the line between "I got this" and "what happened?" is razor thin, and overconfidence and be a narcisist will be the poison.
  7. 1 point
    Have you managed to feel any serenity about your conviction? Do you feel a better person now, no matter what the court decides? I ask, because I will have the same position in the months ahead. Well done on 5 months. I bet that in itself feels better.
  8. 1 point
    So officially day 1, thought I'd be full of optimism but it started bad. Woke up all hazy, disorientated and recovering from some harrowing dreams, I wasn't surprised as I knew I was going to have to talk about my mental health with someone. I know I was panicking, looking for a route out. I went straight to an app that I thought would help, but no memes would help me here. The whole time I was getting ready my mind was telling me to run, just pretend to go to the Dr, go get a coffee, no one will know. No one but me, who is desperate to finally beat this. If I give in now ill never start my road to recovery. It took a lot to walk in to the surgery take a seat and wait. I could feel my heart pounding, my temperature started to rise as I could just feel my cheeks blushing. My name was called and I followed a young female Dr into the room, my instant thought was how the f*ck is she going to understand? She will probably just think I'm some kind of pervert. As I sat there I thought just make something up and walk out. I opened my mouth and said I'm still having huge issues with my mental health. Tears welled up and I tried to not cry but it was like trying to cover a burst watermain. Without about 30 seconds and a few words I was a mess, but I had said it. The Dr just sat there and said she will help me, it's just what I needed to hear. After I calmed down I told her about my whole addiction to porn, prostitution and that I need my life back. It's not been mine since I was about 13. I could see the pain in her eyes looking at me but she called a more experienced doctor in, we sat down and talked about my options, what the NHS can offer and medication. I took the leaflet to get help but I won't take medication, not unless I'm at the point of self harm and because of past experiences i don't think I ever will, just like letting my children see me drunk, I won't let that happen. They can't see the things I've seen. I walked away from that building on a high, I felt like this was the beginning and I made a step even though my mind was screaming at me not to. I started to think the 'me' that uses porn is an alter ego, someone I'm not and i need to lock him out of the house, he no longer has the keys, they're mine. If he comes back in it's because I've let him. I know this won't be easy but I need to fight him and all he represents. This may not be a good clinical assessment of my mind but it helps me if I think I'm physically fighting the 'me' of old and every characteristic he represents. After that I told the wife about the help I could get, and then had the most amazing day with her and the kids. It was full of laughter and smiles (a few tantrums from the kids but that's normal When they've had too many treats). I also found last night that having a bath relaxes me, it opens up my mind and helps me get perspective. I'll definitely be having more, I just need to find out what works for me. Same as physical challenges, I've never been a gym goer but in my last job I exceeded everyone's expectations on arduous tasks, I never let my size beat me, I'm built like a runner but I can out perform stronger and faster guys because I just have the mental spirit to never give up on something physical. I just need that attitude with locking him out. This house is mine. So to end it was a positive day, one step at a time. The next task must be the letter, not sure if I can get it done in one day or one week, but I need to maybe count my dreams as they dance around me, one by one put them down in writing and send it away. It's not all my fathers fault, he was the beginning, I was the one that took that issue and ran with it until I'm at the point where I won't run.
  9. 1 point
    Hey Desperate...I'm sure you felt a little bit better after sharing that. Please continue to share. You might even consider starting a blog. It's been a key part of my recovery. You've clearly got some issues with your father and while you're right that they MAY never be resolved, I can guarantee they WILL NOT be resolved if you don't try. Simply by the act of reaching out, even if you're rebuffed, you can clear you conscience that you tried to begin the process of making peace. There are probably a lot of things he doesn't want, or constitutionally can't share, but it's still worth the effort for you to try. I wouldn't spill your heart out in a letter, but rather say you'd like to get together or have a phone call and do it in a more personal forum so you can read the situation and keep it safe for yourself. If you're worried about him trying it again, well, you're not the problem. It seems like an extreme excuse to avoid reaching out, IMO. If you feel you need a support network, they exist. Sex Addict Anonymous and Sexoholics Anonymous are two places to start. Your GP may have more knowledge of what's in your area. Obviously, he should refer you to another therapist. If you have the means and can go more than once a week at first, that's great. Have you actually thought about some kind of inpatient or outpatient rehab? Are you really desperate to kick the habit or do you just feel really bad that you were caught again? It's an important question to answer. You don't have a habit. You can have an addiction and an addict's minds work in strange ways. Like you said, fighting your mind is difficult. NoFap is cool if it works for you. I don't completely agree with their messaging and sometimes feel like they and a few other companies out there are more about selling T-shirts and other trinkets than they are about helping. Good luck, man. I'll be following.
  10. 1 point
    P is right. It is ironic that we face the music when we are at our healthiest, but I think that's also a good thing. I viewed my sentence (ended up serving 6 months) through objective eyes. You can't do what I did and expect to get away with it. Being punished was a huge part of my recovery and I'm thankful I was at my healthiest when I was punished so I could truly appreciate the price I was paying. Don't be fooled into thinking the police stopped the addiction. You can be scared straight, and I certainly experienced a lot of that, but you can't have an addiction scared out of you on a cellular level. Stick with your program, seek fellowship with others and, for me, one-on-one and group counseling have been huge keys to my recovery success. Also, keep writing about it. Granted, I've been a professional writer for more than 20 years, but I've yet to meet the person who isn't helped my putting their thoughts on paper. You don't have to write them here, or blog, or do a book like I did. There were plenty of times I wrote things and then tore them up and threw them away. It's just a matter of getting the mental garbage out of your system. Don't worry about your friends. Those who love you and understand addiction aren't let down. They're concerned for your well-being. You let yourself down, and that's a harder wound to fix. Yes, there will be people who cannot see beyond your crime and will forever label you a certain way. It doesn't matter. They clearly don't know you as well as you thought and they don't have the kind of compassion you require, so let them go. With your real friends, this will be something that happened to you, and something you deal with, but it will just become part of your ongoing history.
  11. 1 point
    I'm American, so I can't say 100% what it looks like assuming you're in the UK, but a lot of it has to do with what you have NOW, meaning cars, houses, etc. I've found in most cases, horror stories of insurance, loans, etc. have been overblown. That said, there are a lot of restrictions where a registered sex offender can live and it varies from town-to-town in the US. I wouldn't want to try to find an apartment now. Thankfully, since I've had my house almost 15 years, I'm grandfathered in on most. Ironically, since I've pulled my life together, my credit score has actually greatly improved since my conviction. I am on probation for three years, with about a year left. At first, I had to report to the officer every other week and there were periodic checks of my house. I also had to take two lie detector tests in the first year. Once it was established that I'm low-risk for reoffending, it's been much easier. I check-in once a month and usually he just looks at me and says "Everything good? Any questions?" and then I move on with my day. We built trust and I've shown that I've learned my lesson. So, your relationship with law enforcement will be the tightest immediately after your conviction, but it does get better. I was fired the day I was arrested...and because of my visibility in my community...I was all over the media. I will most likely never work for someone again in a white-collar environment. So I started freelance writing on my own, wrote my book and actually now make more money doing less work than I did before the conviction. And yes, I'm on the register in America for life. But that just involves checking in with the police where I live every 3 months. Sure, it's a pain sometimes, but I look at it as a good reminder to stay in recovery and a small penance considering I created victims. My best advice to you is use this time now to get your stuff together. Find out why you did what you did -- it's a long process, or at least it was for me -- and it involved a formula of reasons I couldn't have guessed when it first happened. You should have nothing to worry about with the police checking on you if you have nothing to hide. Live a life of honesty with your family and friends. I saw on your blog that your friends were great...people usually are. Some aren't, but that's their problem, not yours. Your life will be forever different, there is no denying that, but despite the hoops you'll be made to jump through both in the short- and long-term, you may find that a couple of years from now, this was just the thing you needed to turn around. Consider checking out my blog at www.RecoveringPornAddict.com for more about my story.
  12. 1 point
    Hi Hannah, I would like to offer a different perspective. I am someone who wants to know that if I ask for information it will be given to me. I am 8 months down the road form D-day and in the beginning I didn’t ask for information as I was unsure whether he could be trusted to tell the truth. Now, all these months later, and with intensive therapy, I feel that my husband owes me the truth. I feel that without this I could not move forward. Also, not knowing stuff felt like he had got away with it. So whilst Rob has said it would make him feel shame, well so be it - when faced with the question, “why do you want to know what happened?”, then my answer would be, “why shouldn’t you tell the truth, you have acted without any regard for me and you want me not to ask? Well tough, you did it, now face up to what you have done.” That might sound like I am seeking revenge, and in a sense maybe I am. But I am not interested in throwing all this back at him, it is just that I need to be clear about what has taken place throughout 24 years of a 27 year marriage. So, I know that he visited prostitutes on a frequent basis and that with the advent of easy access online porn these visits became more extreme in content. I know the towns and cities where they occurred, including the town where we live, but not exact locations. I know that in the main it was for paid ‘regular sex’ but in recent times there were a lot of ‘extra-curricular’ activities, if you get my meaning. This has come out this weekend, after him doing his step 5 of the 12 step programme. I felt that having come clean to somebody else it was now my turn. The way we did this was I asked questions and if needed he referred to the list which I had not read. The extent of his acting out was quite shocking, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t know that, however shameful it was for him. I am obviously upset, angry and hurt, but I truly don’t think I could have continued to live with him, if he hadn’t been prepared to tell what I wanted to know. So in short, my answer to your question should be, if you want to know more then that information should be forthcoming. I did not accept the excuse ‘it wouldn’t be good for me to know’ as that is my decision to make and no one else’s.
  13. 1 point
    Mak, First of all, you're probably not a pervert. I don't think those really exist. It sounds like you know you have a problem and it's great that you're seeking help, but if the help isn't working, you either need more or different help. You have an addiction. You have changed how your brain operates. But you can do it, even at 60. It just takes time and a lot of hard work. Keep coming to sites like these and if you can find a fellowship, be it a 12-step group or some other kind where you can talk to other men face-to-face about this, you may be able to start figuring this burden out. Good luck. Josh
  14. 1 point
    Hi Florrie, First of all - I am sorry that you are one of the many women who are having to deal with this. There are so many of us, and we each have a different story to tell, and are finding different ways to cope with this situation. I also have adult children, a few years older than yours, who are no longer living at home. My partner's addiction has been present, to a greater of lesser extent, throughout our marriage, and so throughout our children's lives, but the extent of his addiction had been hidden until the last couple of years. These are my thoughts, and are in NO WAY meant to be advice - this is just to share what I have decided to do in my own life. I decided at the beginning that the children should be told if I ever suspected that either of them had ever been exposed to, or harmed by, his addiction. As far as I can tell, this is not the case. They are both extremely loving towards their father, and he has been (and still is) a great and devoted Dad to both of them. I know how agonising I have found this whole situation, and I see no reason to put them through the same misery. I am not sure how either of them would react, but I know that they would find it devastating. We all keep some things from our kids (as they keep things from us) - in this situation, I think that disclosure would only cause harm. I have also spent a lot of time getting to a place where I truly understand that this is my partner's problem, and it is his responsibility to fix it, and to put right the damage he has caused. If I ever felt that the children should know, then it would be up to him to tell them, and not up to me. I am not going to be an intermediary in this; I am not going to apologise for or excuse what he has done; and I am not going to put myself through the agony of telling my children. That may sound selfish, but I think when we are coming though this situation, we need to be putting ourselves and our recovery first. Finally, 18 months on from 'D' day, I am getting into a better, happier place, and my relationship with my partner is beginning to heal. If I had told my children early on, I am not sure I would then have been able to stay with my partner - I suspect once the information was out there, it would have pulled us all apart. These are just my own thoughts, but I hope you may find them useful. Thinking of you and hoping you get some good advice and find the right way through this for yourself and for your children.
  15. 1 point
    I read the postings above with tears in my eyes, Victoria and Janey. Thank you for your honesty and clarity! It breaks my heart to think that so many women are having to deal with this trauma in their lives (I recently read an article which described what we are going through as 'betrayal trauma', and that certainly made sense to me). As I have said before, there is no right and no wrong way to respond to this kind of life event. We all have to find our own paths. My partner and I have been together since we were teenagers and have children and grandchildren, and a whole web of friends built up over more than 40 years, and so walking away (or uncoupling, as Gwyneth Paltrow puts it) is both more difficult and more complex. I also suspect that I am luckier than many other women - my partner's addiction has been only to porn (and free porn at that). If he had been seeing escorts or paying for sex then I think my reaction would have been very different. The length of our relationship also means, I think, that I find it easier to take the long view and to accept that no genuine recovery from addiction can be quick - we are in this for the long haul. I am also perhaps a little further down the road than you - there had been a number of times when I had become aware that my partner was using porn in the past, and called him out on it, but only in the last 18 months have I really understood the extent of his porn use and had the courage to properly confront him over it, and he has had the courage to accept that he has an addiction and take the steps to deal with it. I am a staunch atheist, but in trying to understand the situation I find myself in, I have read a number of 'faith based' articles, and what I have taken from them is a message about 'hating the sin and not the sinner'. It has taken me some time to get to this point, where I can begin to detach the act (the porn addiction) from the man, and see them separately. I understand what Janey says about past memories being 'tainted'. Again, it has taken me time to give myself permission to look back on the good times with pleasure, and to face the bad memories head on. Trust will take time to be rebuilt, but I am willing to give myself the time to see if that can happen. I have also prepared myself for the fact that it is possible that my partner will relapse, and I have discussed with him what must happen if that occurs. None of this is meant to suggest that anyone should stay with their partner if that is not right for them. I have complete and utter sympathy (and admiration) for anyone who walks away from their partner in this situation. I absolutely feel that I am not in a position to give anyone advice! I think that recovery from this type of trauma is always a work in progress - there are good days and bad days; days when I want to scream at the world; days when I want to lie in bed and sob; days when I want to see my partner really suffer for what he has done to us. And there are days when my partner and I laugh, talk and have fun, and I am full of optimism for the future. And with each month there are fewer bad days, and more good days. All this is only possible because my partner has taken responsibility for his actions and his addiction - without that, there would have been no hope. I also wanted to thank this forum for giving us all a safe space to share our experiences, to try and make sense of what we are feeling, and to share with other people in the same situation. This forum, and others like it, have been a lifeline for me, and I hope it will be there for me and others like me for a long time to come.
  16. 1 point
    Hey, It's good you recognise this problem and want to change. Things can be different and you can sort this out. Here are some online resources: But mostly I would like to encourage you to reach out and find some people in the real world you can connect with and help. You are not alone in this and there are many guys like us who struggle and we can help each other. I did Paula's course and met other guys through that but there are other ways too, e.g. SAA or SLAA. I think it's great you can come on here and ask for help and be honest. That is a big step and it took unfortunately a lot of things going wrong in my life before I could admit that. I also wasted a lot more of my time on it than you did. You still have so much life ahead. I'm really excited for you! Please keep learning and growing. Finding out what things truly make you happy and trying that out is a great way to learn about yourself, it's something I think everyone struggles with to some extent but sadly we don't talk much about it. And then for some guys like you and me, when we feel down or directionless in life, we want the "comfort blanket" of porn or sex. But it's only temporary and doesn't solve the real problems and even creates more because we then feel ashamed and isolated. There's a whole world out there for you. Although it's something you have to gift to yourself, you're not alone and others are here to help. Peace
  17. 1 point
    Here is a list of various links and websites I've collected over the past year or so as I've been tackling my problem with porn. I hope they're useful for other guys who come here maybe not knowing very much about porn and sex addiction so you can understand: You're not the only person with this problem at allThere is help out there and it's never too late to changeWebsite Resources Am I an addict? - A quick test if you're not sure. What is Porn Addiction? - A breakdown if you're just getting started learning about this problem. Emergency NoFap - A useful quick inspirational site when you're feeling triggered or tempted to remind you why you're becoming a better man. Homepage for me. Your Brain On Porn - Huge website containing many resources to educate yourself about the effect of porn on the brain and to get help. Reboot Nation - Gabe Deem's website containing another great set of resources and a forum. Recovery Nation - Free self-help website for sex addicts, love addicts and porn addicts. Fight the New Drug - Buy a t-shirt. Great set of educational material and an eye-opener. Porn Addiction is the Best Thing That Happened To Me - Great end-to-end set of resources from a guy who's done it. My Thoughts On Rebooting - Very long and detailed set of notes and crucial advice from another guy who's been there and mastered himself. Great stuff. If you've got an hour to look at porn, you've got an hour to read all this. 50 Reasons to Quit Porn For Good - So many benefits to be gained from shifting this addiction out of your life. The Recovery Workshop - Self-directed recovery workshop resource. YouTube Videos The Great Porn Experiment - Arguably the most revolutionary and revealing TEDx talk about the real nature of pornography and it's impact from Gary Wilson. A must watch if you see nothing else! Terry Crews Dirty Little Secret: Part 1 - Hugely inspirational and brutal self-honesty from Mr Crews, much love and respect to him. A great man who's been making real change. Follow the YouTube links to part 2 onwards. Why I Stopped Watching Porn - Another brilliant TEDx talk to help you see how things really are. Huge respect to Mr Gavrieli to deliver such a worldclass talk on such a personal topic to so many people. We Need to Talk About Sex Addiction - Paula's fantastic TEDx talk, honestly and compassionately understanding sex addiction. Other Online Forums Your Brain Rebalanced - Huge community of other guys struggling to get their lives back after porn and sexual addiction problems. Reboot Nation Forum - Many people here to connect with, mostly addicts but also a small and growing partner's section.
  18. 1 point
    My GP forwarded me to psychotherapy for porn addiction which was very helpful. I'd say that was a first step. It sounds like your partner wants you to get help, so I'd recommend starting there. If the first GP doesn't help, try another at the same surgery. I'd say be wary of SLAA and other support groups as they will probably force feed you Christian stuff, guilt trip you and will ignore science.
  19. 1 point
    Hello, You should know you're not alone in struggling with this problem and it is very difficult. I found it easy to get stuck in a vicious cycle where I'd act out, get angry and ashamed of myself and then so act out more to try and hide. Obviously this is a self destructive pattern. The key is finding ways to break it and so things differently. I'd recommend most of all that each time you slip up, you learn and understand why and then what things you can do differently in future. Otherwise the pattern keeps going. You have to find things that work for you. I think for partners, it's very tough on them. My wife feels isolated and rejected. So if I told her when I slipped or was tempted then I think that would be hurtful. I find it's easier for me to be accountable to guys in my group instead. It's very good you're being honest though - I had a big tendency to hide my behaviour. So being open is a good first step. Sorting this out and growing from it requires a lot of learning and self exploration which is a process. There's a lot of material out there both on the Internet and in books that has helped me a lot but required a lot from me to actively work on. The urges don't go away by themselves but can be managed and controlled over time while you build a better life. For me, a real life support group has been essential - I tried to stop on my own before without success and really need the help and insight of others.
  20. 1 point
    Hello everyone, I agree with you workinprogress, Schrödinger's story is inspiring...I really hope he hasn't dropped out. Schrödinger, if you see this post, I want you to know something: It's thanks to your courage in telling so candidly about your battle that has inspired me to sign up to this forum. I'm a 43 year old man who has struggled with looking and masturbating to P images since accidentally finding a magazine of a relative since I was about 6 or 7. I have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to stay away from P. It has only been in the last few months I I have accepted that to truly improve my chances of recovering and staying recovered, I needed to reach out to a forum like this one. But I was so mixed up, I always felt I could do it on my own, I was embarrassed and ashamed, so always procrastinated from signing up and asking for help. I didn't have the stamina or courage to go longer than 14 days or so without relapsing. Anyway, after an abstinence of 16 days I relapsed yesterday and again today. But as I said, it was reading YOUR posts Schrödinger, and the other encouraging messages from the rest of you that has helped me commit anew to this fight. Thank you. Schrödinger, if you have dropped out, please know that you are not alone, and we are all here to help each other. Your story and these other positive messages are the latest inspiration I've needed in order to say this: I'm an addict, and I need help. Thanks for listening everyone.
  21. 1 point
    Oh man.... this is inspiring, and i can feel your pain, Schroedinger. Looks like you've dropped out, which is a shame. Hope you won your battle with The Chimp.
  22. 1 point
    Hello, Thank you for sharing. It's always good to read from someone who is making a positive difference in their life and changing things for the better. I wish you continued success. I can connect a lot with the psychological battle you felt you faced. The opening up of feelings after stopping porn and the emotional repression for me was a huge event and has taken many months. It's still an ongoing journey and not an easy one at times. Shame, guilt and hiding behaviours and being secretive - all these things are so damaging not only to those you love but also to yourself. So, I am glad you are finding a better place. Perhaps you could share some of the tools and tricks or tips you've found helpful to coming off porn? I believe having some plan is critical to long term success and ensuring that we don't slip back into old patterns, which can be all too easy after the initial relief of coming clean. Peace.
  23. 1 point
    Hi there After a scare with a stranger tonight I've been researching and it looks like I'm addicted to sex and or porn. I'm married and love my life, pregnant wife and two dogs very very much, which is why when a girl I was texting threatened to put a photo of me on Facebook I panicked. After the research I think I'm addicted to porn and the attention of strangers, I have met other guys for sex and I can rationalise this as having no feelings for anyone and only wanting pleasure. This girl was advertising blow jobs and i thought I'd have a go, what a mistake, anyway it looks like she has done me a favour as now I know I have a problem and what it is. Can anyone help?
  24. 1 point
    DAY 33 **** you-you ancient cretinous chimp brain of mine. You have caused me untold misery for 25 years, and most of the time, i did not even realise it was you. This morning you tried to get your foot in the door. After 30 seconds, I realised what you were trying to do and I slammed the door shut. I have now completed successfully 33 days of my no PMO reboot, without relapsing once. I have watched no porn, and this morning, all i did was google image a woman’s name. I will NOT let you beat me, no matter how hard you try and repeatedly rear your ugly head. The next few days, you will try again and again. But i will indulge in healthier pursuits. I will be social, go and see friends, read, walk around a National Trust place, treat myself, exercise, and dress well. But moreover, i will be on my guard, and make sure i complete 90 days no matter what. And each time you try to stop me, I WILL RAISE MY GAME. I will starve you of the oxygen you crave, so eventually-I promise you- you will just wither away and die.
  25. 1 point
    DAY 25 So, it’s started. 24 days it what it took. Which is approximately how long it usually takes. A friend asked me to go on to iPlayer and watch Newsnight. As I was typing that in, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a programme about p. It grabbed me and hooked me in, and before I knew it I was watching bits of it knowing that I shouldn’t. Luckily that whole period of flicking through the programme lasted only 30 seconds or so on part, and because it was on the BBC, there was nothing explicit in it. Any other time, that might have been an OK programme to watch, but hey, it’s not in a reboot, and not at this particular time of a reboot. It left me with a deep pain in my heart though, and made my mind go into overdrive.I then put my relapse preventions strategy in gear, summarised by the pneumonic STAR.This will be me going in to a healthier auto-pilot mode.STEP back and observe what is going on in my head.The first thing is that I think my mind and body are missing porn-terribly. I have a deep ache in my heart, and I am wishing I can act out. My chimp is jumping up and down because it hasn’t been fed for 24 days. I have not satisfied its dopamine rush with the artificial super-stimulus of porn. I have also been busy with my sister and my nephews and niece, so have not really had time to myself. Originally I was going to build a few outer defences-go to the gym, learn a language, play tennis. I have not done any of those. But on the other hand, I have not done anything I did not want either, because I have spent time with my family. Which is healthy.The second thing I think that is going on in my head is that I had two dates with a beautiful and interesting woman. We connected really well. However she did not want to take things further, and I have felt sad about that. Perhaps deep down I am feeling it as a rejection. And so I have been going on Tinder and an online dating site and writing to a couple of other women, none of whom seem to be as interesting.TAKE a few deep breaths.Just chill man! My heart beat seems to be racing away at about 10-20 BPM faster than it should.ASK yourself what you wantI remember Rob saying that when he was struggling, he would write it down in a journal, or go onto a forum. Which is what I am doing now. My ideal self would be kind to myself. I have had a busy couple of weeks. And it’s OK to feel sad if a date didn’t work out. There is no reason why she would have to say yes to me. The world does not work like that. Moreover, it is not the ‘end of the world’ by any stretch of the imagination. And if I thought about it, I can quite easily deal with this! I have enough resilience inside of me to accept it as something disappointing, but that’s life. It doesn’t say anything about me, or her. And I won’t die from either not acting out, or from her not wanting to see me again!RUNRemove yourself immediately. I have listened to some feel good music for 30 minutes.Undo negative thinking. Remember one more time does matter, I don’t have to act out even though my brain is telling me to, my brain is lying to me, and all sort of neurochemicals are whizzing around.Never forget what you are going you lose. Look, I am on my 25th day. And I was doing really well.Porn does not fit in with the sort of person I am or want to be. It will affect my health. And it will make me lose out on a beautiful loving relationship with a real woman.PLANSo what is my plan:I will be careful over the next couple of days. I will go out for a bike ride later. I will continue reading a brilliant book on Willpower (by Baumeister, if anyone is interested). I will start my daily healthy regular habits that I had thought I would do from the start. This urge WILL die down. I will use this experience to learn more about myself, and grow into a better person (growth mindset). I will be more determined to continue with my 90 day no PMO reboot, not least because I have £1000 riding on it. Look at Federer or Djokovic-they are able to bat away any challenge that comes to them (challenge mindset). I will engage with my feelings rather than run away from them (engagement mindset). It is OK to feel sad about my dates, and OK to feel physically restless because I have not acted out for almost 4 weeks now. Patrick Carnes said breaking the addiction is about holding on to reality at all costs. I still have an ache and a yearning in my heart telling me to act out, but it has diminished by 20% simply by writing all this down, and knowing somebody out there will read it, and realising that I have brought my thoughts and feelings out into the open. I am a man. There is nothing bad about me. I became addicted 20 years ago and ended up forming unhealthy behaviours. All I need to do is start building new paths and roads in my mind. Look at my life tree. It’s growing nicely.I can do this, and I will do this, and I will break free.I should be like the rock on a beach, where a wave has crashed over it, but then the wave dissipates and it is all calm again.Laozi, the Chinese philosopher, once said-the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.This is my first step. It will be painful. But it will get easier.But it’s a step I have to take.And will take.Pascal once said: all of humanity’s problems stem from mans inability to sit quietly in a room alone.That’s all I need to do. Accept myself. Be myself. Be with my thoughts.I am a cool, interesting, loyal, funny, and intelligent man, with wonderful and beautiful personality traits, who has much to be grateful for.
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