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Ginny

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  1. Dear Freddiebear, it does sound like you could do with some extra support to help you love yourself again. I know I am constantly plugging Paula's books, but the Partner book has helped partners to rebuild their shattered self-esteem, learn how to care for themselves and to help them rebuild their lives. I think this book would help you (as well as the online workshops - which I mentioned in the other forum thread). Ginny
  2. Dear Freddiebear, thank you for sharing. Sadly, nothing can wipe your memory of what you now know. It is also very painful to hear the person you love say that he prefers 20-30 year olds. Has he shown any acknowledgement that this comment was very hurtful and how the addiction has damaged the relationship? From my experience, partners can only start to build trust again in their addicted partner, if they see significant commitment to change? The couples book that Paula has written is a useful guide for couples to see how to start to rebuild and repair their damaged relationship. Can he commit to reading this with you? Can he commit to seeing a sex addiction therapist or attending one of the online workshops to help him understand the root of his addiction and gain ideas on how to understand his triggers and put things in place to not have a relapse. If the book is too much, then you can go to the blog page on our website which has a section for couples and many of the blogs are little summaries of what is in the book. And finally....what support are you receiving? Have you shared your pain with a close friend or a family member? or if that feels too close, then the Laurel Centre offer support groups and one day online workshops for the partner. You are not alone. Hope these thoughts help. Ginny
  3. Dear IamEnough, I am one of the Laurel Centre counsellors. I wanted to reassure you that not all couples go down the disclosure route. Each person is different and deal with sex addiction differently. However, I will say that the therapeutic disclosure is there any option to provide a path of healing, not one of doing more damage. That is why Paula puts the word 'therapeutic' in front of the word disclosure. It is also recommended the disclosure is done with the addicted partner's therapist (trained in doing therapeutic disclosures) as well as the partner's therapist (again done the training). So the therapeutic disclosure is done as sensitively and safely as possible. Hope that helps to reassure you that you don't have to have the therapeutic disclosure. All the best Ginny
  4. Dear Cowslip, thank you for taking the time to share. I think this is a beautifully written post and really agree with the part where you say the following: the idea that at every point in the past you make the best decision you can based on what you know at the time, what you feel at that moment, and what else is going on in your life, and you have to accept those decisions. You can't go back and change the past to reflect what you know now. It's about making peace with yourself, and I'm trying to do that at the moment. This is so so true! With best wishes Ginny
  5. Dear Maeday, following on from my response to your earlier post. I see from what you have written above that things have moved on quite quickly since your last post on Friday. With regards to your sex life, I would probably refrain from any fantasy talk e.g. him imagining you with other men etc. Try and keep it to being in the moment with you in whatever positions you both feel happy with! I can understand your reason to wanting to know everything but I am not too sure you reading a list of his triggers each day will be helpful to you. It is very common for partners to want to know every piece of acting out and every thought. One of the problems with having all this knowledge is that you can't delete the information from your mind, once you do know it. I think a private diary for him is a good idea. He can work out what his triggers are and he can then work out how to avoid or manage those triggers. He can also explain the triggers to you, so you can plan together how he can manage these. I think him taking the diary to his own individual therapy would be more beneficial to him and your relationship, than you reading it every night. I think the rest of the list sounds very useful to you both. Regards, Ginny
  6. Dear Sunflower, I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so low at the moment. It sounds like you were retraumatised with the new discovery to your husband's behaviour 6 months ago. I am glad to hear that you have a counsellor that you have connected with and can support you through this time. The images that are popping into your head uninvited....when does this happen? Is it when you are going to bed? or when you are dreaming? is it when your husband walks into the room? Working out what is triggering these flashbacks, will enable you to put a plan into place on what to do when the images come into your mind. Building a place of safety for yourself will help to calm the body and mind and tell yourself that in this moment you are not going to be hurt. This is incredibly hard because you are mourning the loss of what you thought your marriage was, and I suspect you are also on edge wondering if you know everything. You have mentioned that your husband is working really hard at his recovery. This is good! It is not easy, but try and see what is good and positive right now about the relationship. What are the strengths, what are the positives you can build on? Healing from sex addiction betrayal is extremely hard but it is possible. I think hearing from other partners may also help you to know, that your thoughts and feelings are normal. There is a workshop coming up which might be of interest to you....https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/courses/online-partner-workshop Take care Ginny
  7. Dear Maeday, Thank you for sharing your story. Firstly, you are not alone. You are not going crazy. Our 'gut' reaction is often true. He has acknowledged that he does need help. But it is does sound like you are unsure of what he needs help. Has he attended a SA meeting yet? If so, how did he find it? did it resonate with what he is thinking? Paula has written some free resources which might be of use to your husband to ascertain if he does have a sexually compulsive habit/addiction. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/am-i-a-sex-addict https://sexaddictionhelp.co.uk/ I am also wondering if you would both benefit from going to couple counselling? Couple counselling can give you the space to review your entire relationship which would cover the changes to your sex life, your fears and wonderings and hopefully him to voice what is going on in his head. Again, the Laurel Centre can help with couple counselling, along with lots of other organisations such as Relate. Best Wishes Ginny
  8. Dear Deldan, Thank you for sharing more of your story. It does sound like your partner is not showing the behaviour that you want to see to start to build any trust or feel safe in the relationship. Maybe the couple counselling can be the opportunity for you to explain to him that you need to see some major changes in his behaviour before you can decide if there is a future in this relationship? I hope the partner workshops you found online have been of use to you. Take care, Ginny
  9. Thank you for sharing part of your story. It sounds very painful at the moment and I am glad to hear that you are going to seek out some help. Discovery of this secret behaviour is very traumatic for the partner. We have written quite a few blogs to help the partner to see that their thoughts, reactions and feelings are normal following discovery. I hope these links will help you to see that what you are going through is normal, even though it is incredibly painful. It is also hard when your husband does not see how much his behaviour has hurt you. I hope in time he will be able to see the damage caused and is causing to your marriage. You cannot make him stop and you can't control his behaviour, but you can set up boundaries for yourself of what the consequences are if he remains acting out in this way. Again, the partner blogs as well as the couple blogs can give you guidance on setting boundaries. I wish you all the best in the start of this painful journey. Ginny https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/categories/partners https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/categories/couples-relationships
  10. Ginny

    Mrs

    Thank you for sharing your story. One thing we say to partners on the Partners Workshop is.....You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it. You can support and encourage but your husband needs to do the work and acknowledge he needs help. What you can control is getting support and help for yourself. This support can help you communicate what you need from your husband, putting in boundaries as well as consequences if he does not seek help. The link Firefly has added will give more information and also Paula's book written for Partners is also a good place for information on getting support for you. Take care Ginny
  11. Dear Freddiebear, it can feel like you are hanging on by your fingertips on certain days and then other days feel okay. Did you discover his behaviour on a Sunday? that may be another reason for why Sundays might be difficult? It does also sound like you are suffering from trauma symptoms and it is normal to be triggered by random things. After a big shock, our bodies can be in hypervigiliant mode for some time afterwards....waiting for the next big shock. This blog talks about how the body reacts after discovery. It might fit in with the things you are experiencing at the moment: https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/how-the-body-is-affected-following-the-discovery-of-sex-or-porn-addiction Take one day at a time and if a really bad day...take one hour at a time. Take care Ginny
  12. Dear Work in progress, unfortunately there are no set answers to your question. Each couple is unique and so their decision to stay or leave will be unique to that couple too. Separation can help a couple have the head space to individually work on their journeys towards healing and give you enough strength to then look at the couple dynamics. Seeing a trained sex addiction couple counsellor can also help the couple decide what the next steps need to be towards healing as a couple, or deciding if a permanent separation is required. Ginny
  13. Thank you for sharing part of your story. Firstly, it is encouraging that your husband is now seeking help with his addiction. It is quite common in the early stages of recovery work for the addicted partner to feel they have beaten their addiction and they have no desire to act out again. This is partly because they are still living in shock they have been discovered, their remorse keeps them focussed on their recovery work. This period can be used for good as they have the energy to focus on starting their recovery work and put in healthy lifestyle choices. However, there it is a long journey ahead and he will need to plan with his therapist for possible slips and/or relapses. Complacency can be no 1 reason for a relapse. Saying all of that, there is good news that many people do recovery for their compulsive sexual behaviour and lead happy lives with their partners. I attached two partner testimonies which are 4 and 5 years post discovery. I also link to some research Paula Hall has done recently on the success of sex addiction group work therapy. I hope these help. Kind Regards, Ginny https://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/forum/7-success-stories/ https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/does-sex-addiction-treatment-work-
  14. Thanks for sharing your worries with us. I would agree with Firefly, that there could be a whole host of reasons why he is not in the mood for sex. It is very easy for the person on the receiving end of hearing the word 'I'm not in the mood, or I am tired' to think it is because you are no longer attractive and this can really knock our self-esteem and body image. There are lots of other ways that you can show each other care and affection. Sex is just one way of being intimate with one another. I am sharing a blog which describes the other ways to show intimacy. It is focussed around couples recovering from sex and porn addiction, so please read around that. I am not suggesting he has an addiction, as Firefly says, it could be lots of different reasons. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/sex-addiction--a-guide-for-couples--rebuilding-intimacy. Another thing to focus on is the aspects of your relationship that are really good. It may feel like sex is everything, but a relationship is built on a whole lot of other things. So while you ride through this stage of mismatched sexual desire, maybe look at the relationship as a whole: https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/sex-addiction--a-guide-for-couples--analysing-the-strength-of-your-relationship. Life under lockdown has not been easy, so I hope when we see further restrictions lift, you will see a shift in him too. Take care Ginny
  15. Dear Australian Fly, thank you for sharing part of your story. it sounds like you are in a very tough place at the moment. I am glad to hear that you both have started getting support. Is the therapist a trained sex addiction therapist and are the support sessions your partner is going to focussed on sex and porn addiction? Couples do survive porn addiction and sex addiction. They can even thrive, as you can see from the testimony that Firefly has attached. Paula has written a guide book for couples as she does believe couples can get through this heart break. If you don't want to buy the book, then you can read up on the blog section focussed on couples - which are snippets from the book. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/categories/couples-relationships Take care. Ginny
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