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Tabs last won the day on November 3

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  1. Hi Firefly, I’m so sorry that you have struggled in this lockdown, you have given me, amongst others, strength, and your story has helped me make some sense of my husbands addiction. I’m pleased for you and your family that you took control. Due to our circumstances my husband left our home suddenly and has been living away for nearly 15 months now. He has no support network and is focusing on work and therapy only and living a very simple life. We talk occasionally, it’s always difficult, and I do occasionally ask him if he has relapsed or thought of it, and he says not. I can’t quite understand that, I know the shock of arrest was a major wake up call, but wonder if as an addict it can be that simple. I just don’t know whether to believe him. He seems to be putting his ‘old life’ as the triggers. This worries me as how will he ever live a ‘normal’ life with ‘normal’ relationships again. I doubt we will ever be back together again, as a couple, but I want him to well and safe and happy.
  2. Hi Natalieb, I have read your post and just want to say how very sorry I am that you are suffering this alone. I am not in the same position as you as I only found out about my husbands behaviour when he was arrested after being stung by vigilantes. I now know he had a hidden porn and sex addition which got out of control. I am also not an expert and am only slowly learning about this addiction. It is very complicated. Please please please don’t let your husband drag you and and your family into any dangerous positions. I wish I had known before his arrest so I could have at least tried to get him to get help before he destroyed everything. He lost all parts of his life and mine too in the process. You need to take care of you and your children first and foremost and be and feel safe and loved. Maybe show him my story, which is on the forum, to demonstrate to him the very real dangers of not dealing with the addiction. Share your fears about your relationship. Communicate with him. It’s then his choice what he does, and your choice to do whatever you need to do. One thing I have learnt is that we are not responsible for anyone, other than ourselves, and obviously our young children . I have a therapist who is trained in this area, (one good thing about covid is that the sessions are very much cheaper now that they are on zoom). Talking it through with someone who understands makes it easier For me to understand and Identify what I need to do whilst still supporting from afar. It is painful hearing him in distress but he has to get himself well and healthy. I need to do the same for me. If you can possibly find some way of affording it, it will really help you. Otherwise reading all the resources. Sending you love and strength. x
  3. Thank you so much for your kind words Ann. They have really touched me. Right from the time that the police knocked at my door I have been searching and searching for answers, lots of reading, searching the internet and talking, lots of talking. I have always thought that I couldn’t have misjudged him. How could I have loved and lived with someone for so long and not recognise the person that the police and public now believe him to be. So I guess I found comfort in learning about the addiction. The addiction was not all of him. He is still that original good man, but made bad choices. I understand now what an impact peoples childhoods have on them, all can go on very comfortably in life until they are put in a stressful situation then they go back to the deep recesses of their mind. I have been through every emotion known, and I still hate what he did, but I can’t hate him. How can I? However, a very important part of our relationship has been broken, trust. It is so important to me that I don’t think I can ever have him back in my life fully. He is still very broken and isn’t able to have a real relationship I think. He has his journey to go through and I have mine. I’m just so sad. I’m just so very grateful for the wonderful support I have been shown. That has carried me and enabled me to try and find my own strength. I wish you all the best in your journey too. It’s a horrid thing to experience. I just wish people were able to be more open as it would actually improve many lives. xxx
  4. This post is so useful. Thank you snowflake and Firefly for sharing your experiences, particularly you sharing your experience as a SA/PA Firefly. So many similarities with my husband. It is awful that my first reaction to my husbands explanation was disbelief, but it was. It’s only by hearing others that I now believe him., particularly the not remembering details of the physical acting out, and saying it did not mean anything........ I couldn’t imagine how this wouldn’t have been a huge thing, with every emotion heightened, and other people involved, which to me would make it memorable. But then I am not an addict therefore I would think differently I guess. I feel so sorry for everyone that gets caught up in this cycle. x
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Hi Ginny, thanks for your reply. Yes there is an online forum, And Stop it Now (Lucy Faithful) have a forum which I have used, and a course for partners. I have not heard of any wives on there whose husbands have had physical relationships, if you can call visiting prostitutes and random women for sex, relationships. I guess that we all hurt in the same way. The charities, rightly, focus most of their efforts on offenders and victims. I am not seen as a victim. The course focuses on understanding the offenders behaviour. I understand it, having read and read and read. But it doesn’t stop the hurt.
  9. Thank you Firefly. I’ve read your post about illegal images and it is so true. I hope that it has touched some people and helped them to avoid stepping over that line into illegal activities that make an unbearable situation even worse for them and their unknowing partner. My husband was drawn into chat rooms, on sites I hadn’t even heard about. I used social media to connect with friends and family, and always rejected unknown requests and requests from people that I wouldn’t want to invite home for a cup of coffee! He, to me, seemed even more against social media and used to get annoyed at what I would tell him about people’s pity posts, so I had no idea he was using it so prolifically and for the purposes of porn and sexual hook ups. It was a massive shock. I understand in theory how these addictions take hold, but the shock of police at my door to tell me of his arrest and to search the home will never leave me so I can’t think I can ever fully forgive him, He now says he was always going to stop, always was the ‘last time’ . Amazingly, he says that once he was arrested, lost his home, lost his job, his friends and family, he came to his senses and has never looked again. He lost the stresses of his old life I guess, which he was dealing with medicating with sex. I hope it’s true that he’s stopped. I doubt his actions were worth the labels he now has as a paedophile and worse, even though he hasn’t even been charged and is free to do as he wishes. Until the subject of porn addiction is talked about openly then so many more people will fall into this hell. I am particularly concerned for younger people who have such easy access to it and will become addicted, and also learn about sex from porn, which will lead to heartbreak and broken relationships. I have written to my MP, Police commissioner, some media outlets, but no one is interested in me or in him. We are both outcasts. That is scary. When will this change? To all the people whose spouses have hurt them, I feel fo you all. I have never felt such shock and pain, and never cried so many tears. I feel sure that there are many more of us. It would be so great to be able to meet and find mutual support, but instead I lurk on forums afraid to actually give any of my information to people that do reach out. I find now I can’t imagine trusting anyone completely, as my husband betrayed me so badly, and lied so well.
  10. 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.
  11. I’m thinking of attending a partners course, however due to my circumstances I have to be really sure that it will help me as suddenly money is very tight. My story is we were married very young, sadly did not have children, unexplained infertility, both had good careers, a happy life with great friends, lovely holidays and a great lifestyle. I took redundancy, we jointly decided that I would stay home and support him in his job as it was very stressful and he travelled a lot, with him having had a heart attack, it made sense for me to support him as he wanted to continue to work, I was happy to have time away from work. Then BAM, 6 months ago I had the police knocking at my door. My honest, loving, kind husband, had been arrested following a vigilante sting, which was then kindly shared via Facebook and a particularly unpleasant member of HIS family!! He immediately lost his job, had to leave home for both our safety, and left me to cope with the massive fallout!!! I’m still recovering, slowly. Society sees this as black and white. Social media is of course always true!!!! From our pension pot, and no income, we now have to fund 2 homes, and therapy for him. I am holding on to my life by my finger tips. I am the one left to talk to friends and family, whilst he hides away in shame, many miles away. Not able to return to our home, not even so I can leave it to get a break for myself!!! I’m trying to recover enough to face finding a job, having thought I’d retired early and being out of the workplace for a few years. Following this he has disclosed that he has been addicted to porn, images and chat room sex talk. The internet has made this so easy, so accessible. He has also, only recently, admitted to using sex workers during the period leading up to ‘capture’ as he was inwardly, spiralling out of control. This has cut me deeply. We were each other’s ‘one and only’. I knew nothing of his activity. I just knew he was sometimes snappy. He was distant sexually, but I put that down to his heart problems and medication. Therapy sessions and physiologist report have shown him to have been silently suffering from stress and anxiety, culminating in a breakdown. He had a bullying boss, and had not been dealing with his rather toxic family, who have with too many issues to go into here! He appears he was using porn/activities to self medicate. He is shown not to have any interest in underage....why then was he caught attempting to meet a 13 year old??????? I suspect he was going to meet someone for sex, and was trapped. But I’ll only know this after police have investigated. As they have all electronic devices and are waiting to search them, we are talking about at least a year, could go on for as long as 2!! Months/years living in limbo, not knowing who my husband was and is. I am 60 soon and feel so bitter and angry that I gave my life to a man that cares so little for it that he would throw it away for cheap thrills. Why couldn’t he talk to me??? I’ve known him since we were teenagers, I thought we grew up together and knew each other inside out! I coped with his family too, but I cried and shouted and tried to sort things out. He was a people pleaser who wanted to be seen as strong calm and capable above all else. In doing that he destroyed himself. I’ve read a lot on the forums, here and elsewhere. It is useful to read addicts stories too. I understand it all in theory, but in practice, it is hard to accept, the pain is so awful. I feel helpless. I am trying my best to support my husband from afar. I know he’s suffering. But despite him really wanting a future with me, I can’t imagine it now, after 6 months of separation. Having to cope on my own. And to have to cope with the shame....all his and now my, secrets for the world to know and speculate about. It’s so tough! For addicts reading this, please get help before it gets you into serious trouble and damages those that you care about.
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