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  1. 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
    7 points
  2. 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
    6 points
  3. 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
    5 points
  4. 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.
    5 points
  5. 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!
    4 points
  6. In my experience, addicts can't deal with real emotions, which is why they hide away in the fantasy of porn and meaningless relationships. I know you want him to help you, be accountable etc, I wanted the same, I still do, but it has been 11 months since I discovered all the awful things my partner was doing, and while I can see that he is working on his recovery, it is only now that I have been able to ask him to work on our relationship. We have started couples therapy and, to tell you the truth, I am still highly doubtful that he is able to think of anyone other than himself. Your partner won't know which end is up at the moment, but well done him for taking himself off to treatment. If these 30 days give you a chance of beginning a healthy honest relationship, then it is worth it. It also gives you a chance to look after yourself without the distraction of his crumbling in front of you. He can't make your PTSD go away, only you can do that, preferably with professional support. Being in the same house as him won't necessarily stop him acting out over the next 30 days, or any day after that. His recovery is his work, and yours is yours. Taking care of yourselves is absolutely necessary before you can take care of each other. Now, almost a year on, I'm not sure how far my partner can recover. I'm not sure that we will be able to have an ongoing relationship, but I do know that I can and will look after myself. Be kind to yourself, Ann x
    4 points
  7. 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.
    4 points
  8. @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
    4 points
  9. 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
    4 points
  10. 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.
    4 points
  11. Goodness that’s so well said 👏🏼
    4 points
  12. @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
    4 points
  13. Thanks all . Having had my therapy this week, I'm going to try accountability contract. If that doesn't work then I know I've tried. Xx
    4 points
  14. Domino69 that is a powerful analogy! It’s hurtful to know that there is something driving our partners that is stronger than their sense of loyalty to us... I suspect the level of addiction , or whether it is an addiction at all or just bad behaviour is somewhere along a spectrum and may even swing back and forth over time... I suppose all we can do is look at our partners in the context of their wider behaviour . Something I could never grasp with my husband was how at odds his acting out was with the rest of his life and strong values- which makes me think it MUST be an addiction . But on a bad day of course I’m only too ready to believe that he is just a *~@x<* 😆
    4 points
  15. Hi ElleS, I’m only just catching up on here today after a few days away but wanted to thank you for posting and to say I totally understand your pain. The shame and secrecy surrounding this horrible addiction adds another layer of weight and isolation that feels almost unbearable at times. I’ve found a huge amount of support on this forum and I hope you can do the same. i also made an ultimatum to my husband and he has been through the online programme and now considers himself to be fully committed to recovery. However one thing I have learnt in the weeks since this all kicked off (and he has admitted to being fully physically involved in acting out) is that my choices around staying or going are not dependent on his recovery. Also that the most important thing is for me to work actively on my own mental health and well-being . This feels like it is taking the pressure off the relationship for the time being. don’t get me wrong- it is still a rollercoaster, as you will see from my previous posts and I still have many bad days along with occasional glimmers of hope. keep sharing, and take in day at a time. Sending love x
    4 points
  16. I have just picked up on this post as a newbie on here, and I can only speak for myself, but please, PLEASE, if you are a SA reading this , consider telling your partner everything. From my own experience I cannot tell you how much more painful and destructive it is to be drip fed information or to have to prise it out of someone. If my husband ever reads this post, I just want him to know that whatever you have to tell, it cannot be any worse than the things I have imagined.
    4 points
  17. Hi Rose, I’m glad you’re taking this step to support yourself. I look forward to seeing you there. I’m doing ok. Husband has agreed to take a week off work (he’s an extreme workaholic on top of everything else) We are just trying to regain some sense of what our lives could be if we overcome this nightmare. love to you and anyone else reading this and struggling x
    4 points
  18. Thank you all for your kind words. Today has been much better.... I got dressed cooked lunch and dinner and sorted some emails that I needed to do. I’m exhausted now. One day at a time..... thank you for sharing your stories with me too. I’m very grateful to this forum right now as it’s my safe space. I hope in time I’m able to offer support back.
    4 points
  19. 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.
    4 points
  20. Hi NJJ and Kittywood I am sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I think I got to the point where I couldn’t face even looking at this forum. There are times when you become sick of this being your new unexpected life. I too have cried every single day for 14 months... without fail and often several times in a day. I have felt every emotion possible and it’s horrible. The worst is anger. It has, at times turned me in to someone I don’t even recognise. Maybe rage is a better word. It has led me to physically lash out... pushing and slapping my husband and I believe no one should hit anybody. Not in a way to hurt, but even so, it’s goes against all I believe a person should be. This is such a devastating feeling. I am still in a state of disbelief and shock. But the prolonged disclosure hasn’t helped that. My husband is doing all that he can and is having trauma therapy. But that still doesn’t take away my trauma. I think we have to listen to our inner voice. I feel I am more attuned to that now. So whatever you are feeling, listen to it but don’t make any hasty decisions. Seek therapy and talk it through. Hopefully you will come to the right decision for you and your family. Take care x
    4 points
  21. Dear Zaybd-24, Your husband has a LOT of issues he needs to deal with before he will be ready to try and make things better between you. I've been dealing with my husband's addiction for some time, and I've come to realise that it isn't in any way, shape or form anything to do with me. He can make my life miserable, if I let him. Or, he can leave me alone and sort himself out, whether through counselling or whatever it takes, and then - and only then - does he have any right to want to have a married life with me. It is not what any of us signed up for when we said I do. And we should not have to go through it - it isn't fair. So the only thing you can do is say, I'll be there when you've had help, but until then, I'm looking out for myself. I think I still love my husband, but I don't like him or his behaviour at all. You can't fix all the horrible things that have happened to your husband, and you're going to drive yourself mad if you try to. Stand firm - but look out for you. x
    3 points
  22. I really relate to this. It’s heartbreaking: I’m trying to stay strong. Will try to message again when I’m feeling stronger x
    3 points
  23. I’m hoping that those suffering from Sex and Pornography addiction on here may be able to offer me some insight. I feel like I’m really struggling to understand what my husband has done. How he kept so many secrets from me when our relationship seemed so loving and beautiful! I really want to know what he was thinking when he made visits to a sex worker. What the trigger was at the time. But he is really struggling to do this. It makes me question everything. I’m just trying to understand it all. The betrayal is so painful 😢
    3 points
  24. Hi Scarlett, I'm so, so sorry you have had this experience and like many of us have turned to this forum in desperation for support. The knowledge that you now have of your loved one can never be 'un known'- something that, for me, has been the very hardest thing to deal with as, like you, I have loved my husband for a very long time and can't imagine life without him. But the feeling that I can't live with the knowledge of what he has done can be very corrosive. He is now in recovery- if you're not sure what that means I urge you to investigate the blog posts on this website and maybe download Paula Hall's excellent book for the partners of sex addicts. This will give you encouragement as well as practical advice for what will inevitably be a long journey for you. If you can afford it, some counselling from the expert therapists at the Laurel Centre will be incredibly valuable for you. Your wellbeing, health and recovery must be your top priority. Whether your partner decides to embark on his own recovery is a separate issue. If money is tight there are some free online support groups too, such as S-Anon. For now, I'm sending love and a virtual hug, please know that you are not alone. I think all of us continue to be amazed at how far this addiction reaches into all parts of society. Please look after yourself and reach out again as often as you need to. x
    3 points
  25. Hi Tired, Welcome to the forum. I have come to the realisation that things will always be a little different now. I think perhaps - like me - you are putting too much pressure on yourself for things to go back to 'normal'. I no longer think this is the best way to approach life. There will never be that same normal for us. My husband and I are working hard, for him things are better as he has a weight lifted from his shoulders. After months of trying to get back to our 'normality' I have slowly realised that not only is that not going to happen for me, but that it wouldn't be the best thing for me if it did. I think we need to move forward. However is best for us as individuals. Put aside for a moment anything your husband is doing for recovery, and think about what you want. (I do recommend the Paula Hall book on the partners perspective to help with this). Things will never be exactly the same for you. There has been so much damage done. But this doesn't mean you can't have a good and fulfilling life. Together, if that is what you want. I've stopped waiting for this to ' leave me'. I know how you feel, but I think the better way is focussing on things that are positive for you. Gradually you will build up resilience and the balance of good and bad days will shift so there will be more good. This will never go away completely, but it can be put in a place where you can get on with your life. You will find the more you do for your own self, to comfort yourself, be productive, or just focus on the things you want, the more your life will become more manageable, and ultimately enjoyable again. This is not to say try and forget about it, you can't, and shouldn't be expected too. Equally, if there is something you still need an answer to, then ask. The least you deserve is honesty about anything you wish to know. You can only put it behind you when there is nothing left festering away. I found this to be happening to unanswered questions. Naturally my husband was keen for us to never mention certain things again - and most of the time we don't - but if there is something specific bothering you, get it out in the open, discuss it properly, then put it away. It may be hurtful at the time, but it will save a lot of pain in the long run. Things can be better. Things will be different. Just put yourself first at the moment. Take care x
    3 points
  26. Bean86 , I found out [ because I turned into a paranoid detective ] now week ago today my husband has been watching porn , web sex and joining swinging sites for over a year. He wasn't interested in me sexually for a long time and gave every excuse under the sun. It made me feel disgusted in my body and my appearance. His ex wife rang me and explained this had destroyed their marriage of 20 years and she divorced him when the children where really young as she caught him inviting couples round o the house to watch them having sex. I am traumatised and about to start therapy for PTSD. When I say I cried for 6 days solid , I literally did. And I haven't eaten a single meal for a week. But I KNOW in my mind I can't hurt myself like this anymore. I love him yes, but I have to think of my well being, and that of our three daughters who are in their 20's and need to feel safe with men when they come to have long term relationships. Its my duty to show them you can find good and honest partners who won't lie, cheat, expose you to behaviours that I find abhorrent. I am not a prude and if that what my husband wants he should find someone who has the same tastes as him. Pretending to me he is someone he isn't is cruel and selfish. I would never have given him a second look all those years ago had I known. this is the hardest things I have ver done in my life but have to move forward and build a new life without this distress and heartache in it. take care all , please message me if you want to talk cx
    3 points
  27. Hi Saffy, I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a terrible time. My husband has an addiction spanning over many years too. From my research and conversations with therapists it is not possible to stop this compulsion without help and ongoing support. This sort of compulsion doesn’t come out of the blue, it’s a symptom of deeper issues, often stemming from childhood. One thing that is a common experience for partners on here is to understand that addicts are liars. I can imagine that we have all had our questions similarly dismissed only to discover more pain and hurt. You can’t fix him and he’s not willing to address this himself. Keep caring for yourself and maintain the good relationship but don’t even consider taking that further unless he seeks help. Very best wishes
    3 points
  28. 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 ❤️
    3 points
  29. 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
    3 points
  30. 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
    3 points
  31. 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
    3 points
  32. 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.
    3 points
  33. 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
    3 points
  34. 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
    3 points
  35. Hello again IamEnough. I think what you feel is very normal and very common. I found that even though I am still nowhere near being happy again, I am able to take responsibility for my own feelings. I may not be expressing this very well, but I no longer rely on my relationship to provide happiness. I don't know when, if or how that will come back, but I'm working on it. In the meantime I have found a hobby, outside of the house and I go every week for one evening, and it is my special time. I don't have to think about the past, the future, the kids, my husband anything. Is there any way you could do something similar? I go to a local college as these are now allowed to be open (educational setting). There are courses on everything from baking to photography, or yoga, crafting etc. I have made new friends who know nothing of my problems, so it's easy conversation. I think this has kept my - at times very thin - grip on sanity. I hope you find some peace. I know how important that is. x
    3 points
  36. 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.
    3 points
  37. Hi there, I really feel for you right now. I am only 6 weeks into discovery. Each situation and relationship is different and I can only really talk from my own perspective, whether this is the right or wrong approach I dont really know. For me FULL disclosure meant everything to me and it took 5 weeks to get there, eventually ending up with sex with prostitutes during our entire relationship and marriage. I guess the 1st question is do you want to know everything AND do you believe that he has been totally honest about the extent of what has been going on? Full disclosure allows you to make an informed choice that is right for you. Addiction is selfish and he is probably only thinking about how this has affected him at this moment, how his life will change and is probably clinging on to salvaging whatever he can from this but this may change. As for what you should do? I would say try not to overthink his thoughts, his actions. He made the choices he did, try to let him make the next ones too and hope they are positive. If you want, walk through in your mind your two different journeys... life with him as he recovers or life without him and try to see the pros and cons in each. I have a plan A which is to stay and also I have a plan B to separate and I am prepared, certainly at this point to follow either path. There are no quick fixes to this and no timetables to follow. Please know you are not alone, there are thousands of women just like us tonight across the UK and beyond going through this exact same nightmare. Women who did not ask for it and certainly do not deserve it! Lift your chin, hold your head up if you can and stay afloat. Kind Regards x
    3 points
  38. Thank you IamEnough. I have just logged on here as I just felt so rubbish and it was like your post was meant to be. A struggling partner and Domino69 I echo all that you are saying. Today, although I function, do my very demanding job and clearly seem that I am so much better, I am overwhelmed with the shock of what I have discovered. 16 months in from discovery, 8 months from full disclosure and I feel it will never leave me. I too am consumed by intrusive thoughts and just sheer horror that this was happening for 20 years. I can’t even process it! If I had only had some sign of it, if only we had had difficulties, but we were the happiest couple! Makes no sense 😢. I thought tonight that I felt I was the luckiest woman alive to be with him, now I feel the unluckiest! Some things help. The blog on Psych Central.com ‘Why Should You Forgive? The impact of sex addiction‘ with Dr Linda Hatch helped me try to process things. I hope it’s ok to mention on here? I too question if it’s addiction. Given my husband’s past issues I believe it is. But that doesn’t always help. I agree it’s about acceptance too. That can be hard. Accepting our relationships are changed as are we as people. Our relationship has become much closer and I didn’t realise it could get even closer, but it has. So there is a positive. Forgiveness I think is letting go of the pain, not forgiving what they did. I’m tired of always feeling sad, angry, shocked etc. I hope that there will come a time when we can let go of the pain. Focus on the positives. I’m practicing saying ‘ no stop I’m not engaging with you’ when I get those horrible images and thoughts. Sometimes it works which is a bit of progress I guess! Stay strong everyone. Keep posting. 💜
    3 points
  39. Hi HelloIamEnough good to hear from you. I cant seem to get more than 2 days in a row of successfully managing to push down waves of utter loathing for both my husband and myself. I am plagued with thoughts of his acting out with prostitutes and convincing myself that he isnt an addict but that he wanted his cake and to eat it, which he managed to do for 5 years. Its so hard to tell if he has just jumped on the band wagon of "sex addiction" because he got caught out. Why did he marry me in the 1st place when he had 15 years of this horrible problem under his belt already and ruin 5 years of my life?? If like me you are a "Lord of the Rings" fan you will know the story of Smegal and Gollum, I see him sometimes as Smegal,the victim, once a good and honest hobbit who was overrun by his desire for "his precious" and eventually it turned him into the pitiful and unrecognisable villian Gollum. Excuse the analogy but I think its so apt. Love and strength to us all xx
    3 points
  40. Thankyou everyone for your thoughts on this. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I think I am going to move forward with this, for me there is so much value in knowing the truth. I am consumed with thoughts that he is still lying and whether or not he actually has an addiction or he is simply a massive d@£k head who thought he could have his cake and eat it!
    3 points
  41. Hi Bea11, I’m not in or near London I’m afraid , but hope you can find some support. I’m beginning to think I would really benefit from having some real life connections with people who have shared similar experiences, as other friendships feel a bit hollow right now with this huge issue that we can’t talk openly about... good luck x
    3 points
  42. I really feel for you and wondered if it would help to let you know that 4 months in I still have days like this, the mind has amazing ways of manifesting the hurt, shock and trauma you have experienced. I can honestly say that it gets better but there are still days when I feel absolutely blindsided and these come out of the blue without warning.. Focus on the positive parts of your relationship because they will be the basis for rebuilding if that’s what you chose to do and they will also remind you of happier times. There’s no quick fix or remedy it’s time and talking for me. We’ve not gone down the route of therapy so far, WiFi is off and there was never any contact by text or in person. He’s a technophobe, I set up and have access to emails accounts etc so I know he’s telling me the truth that it was only visual and nothing more. It’s still hideous and I’m dealing with loads of other family stuff and putting a face on. It’s hard and was a total shock but we are working through it. I find the forums immensely helpful especially the anonymity as I don’t want anyone to know. Be kind to yourself xxxx
    3 points
  43. Today has been the worst day physically..... I had to go shopping and it was hard work. I had to control my panic attacks the entire time. I’m exempt from wearing a mask but wore one as makes me panic not too. My husband was suicidal throughout the night....... and my body has given up today. It’s my period and I have to hide this secret. I rang a helpline but they just said they would send me stuff to help support me support my partner with his sexual abuse disclosure.... nothing for me and it took me several days to make the call. I think ten days of bottles of wine has took its toll... today I had only one glass and going to bed very soon. I plan to detox the next few days and see where that gets me. I plan to get up tomorrow and try to get some stuff done... I’m sure my tween son must wonder why I’m in bed all the time. It’s just draining me all the shocks, all the trauma what is my future and will j stay sane. I already had PTSD so now what do I have have.... sorry I suppose I’m just feeling it today and feel so overwhelmed with trauma. Tomorrow is a new day. I know that. Sending love out to all you partners going through this. I have read most of the posts and really feel for you all it’s such an emotional rollercoaster.
    3 points
  44. I absolutely agree with this- we’ve always laughed about the way men generally and my husband in particular can partition different parts of their life- work- sport- home.... (acting out...). whereas I, and many women I think, see the world as a complex cauldron of interrelated events and personalities , none of which is separable from the other. I’m as certain as I can be that whilst they are acting out, they are not thinking of us... not that it makes it any easier for us, of course 😔
    3 points
  45. Hi Blindsided24- we’ve all heard about the new normal’, haven’t we! I agree with you that ‘normal’ doesn’t exist any more. It’s a new reality for us. I suppose the challenge is to work out how we will live- and hopefully one day thrive- within that new reality. It helps me to remember that I can only control what I myself do, and think, and not anyone else. So my priority is to get myself on stable ground in order to deal with whatever life may throw at me. x
    3 points
  46. Thank you all it’s comforting to be a part of this forum and know that X
    3 points
  47. Yes I agree. I’m always checking so please post whenever you need to. It is a tough time to face, but we can support each other xx
    3 points
  48. I’m in a similar position - though in the daytimes I’m pretty good as distracting myself and focusing on the ways in which my partner’s strengths and the ways he is making progress. But late at night and early in the morning I get visited by imagining the betrayals and thoughts of how could be possibly treat me like this and put my health/life in so much danger if he is supposed to love me. It’s really difficult to fit all of the information into one person. I also worry that if I focus too much on the positives I am colluding with the ‘perfect’ persona when I feel like the key to things becoming different is him accepting and integrating the different parts - good and bad - to become a whole person who has genuine control over themself.
    3 points
  49. 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.
    3 points
  50. So, if you are anything like me I bet you've found yourself here desperately looking for an answer, desperately looking for reassurance that real people get through this, and that this isn't the end of everything as you know it. I remember, sitting there where you are 4 months ago. I had just discovered my husband's sex addiction, and looking back it was the most surreal moment of my life. We'd been together 6 years, married for just over a year, and had just bought a house together. Life in my eyes was "perfect"......planning the future together, wondering what colour we could paint the bathroom, talking about when we'd start a family. Then came the discovery. I won't go into great detail as I understand everyone has their own story, but I found out my husband had a porn addiction, had wracked up a huge amount of debt and had been sleeping with prostitutes. I had every question go through my mind, "why would he do this to me? how could I be so blind, how could I not know? Could I have an STI? Could I be infertile? How are we going to pay this debt?" etc etc. I have never felt so low, or so lost in my whole life. The feeling was overwhelming. It was all rather dramatic, the whole "GET OUT I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!" sort of drama. His addiction started long before we met, and I found out more recently it has stemmed from a life time of depression, anxiety and just generally feeling very low about life, this addiction was his way of dealing with it. I just would like to reassure you, this is real life, people do go through this, and people do get through this. Currently my husband and I have decided to stay together, I am keeping a very open mind, I may decide to pack up and leave at any given point and I have every right to. My husband has a lot of work to do and as long as he sticks to the straight and narrow we should be fine as a couple, more than fine, we should become stronger as a couple. I have been there, where you are. I have had the shame of telling family and close friends, my work. I have had to deal with many situations rippling from this, the effects it has on others, the opinions of others, it's not easy. The sitting there questioning everything you know, questioning how you are going to get through this, not knowing where to start or what to do next. The best piece of advice I was given from someone on this forum is "look after yourself" and that is what I did 100%, and I continue to do. There have been so many ups and downs along the way, and sometimes I have felt like leaving, I have felt like changing the locks on the doors, but somehow found the strength to carry on and you will too. I bought Paula Hall's book for partners, and remember reading it, nodding along to every page like "yes, yes this makes sense, yes this sounds familiar" My husband bought the book for addicts which I found him reacting in the same way. Now, please don't feel that I am here to advertise her work, I am just very much in awe of her work, I am so grateful that all this help exists. This forum, the books, the youtube videos - they have genuinely saved our marriage. My husband and I both have counselling (separate counsellors) who are trained specifically in sex addiction.- who were in fact trained by Paula Hall. Get as much help as you can, you won't regret it, it has helped me in ways I didn't even know were possible. Life will get better, no matter whether you decide to stay with your partner or not. It won't be easy, but it'll get better. I had to slow down, and take life one day at a time. We both have an amazing support network around us which helps immensely. Look after yourself, do whatever you feel the need to do, have a good support network and try and get help as and when you are ready. Please feel free to message me if needed, I am quite happy to talk more about my experience, and how life has been over the last few months. Hang on in there, you're doing the best you can. xx
    3 points
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