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About Firefly

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  1. Dear Freddiebear, I am so very sorry that you have had a tough weekend again. I re-read your other posts this morning and realise that you and your husband did take the online test, so I am very sorry to have asked you that question again. In my experience looking at images can be the same as looking at pictures in an art gallery. Looking at a bit of porn does not mean you are a SA and with a score of 16 this does appear to be the case. However spending lots of time, at the expense of other activities and keeping it secret is very unhelpful and now that it has been discovered will mean that your husband has to rebuild trust with you. I am sad that he does not appear to understand the pain he has caused. It seems from the threads as if things improved but then this last weekend came to a head again. It is possible that him smashing the iPad was to demonstrate he would not surf again, rather than hide his past. I have been known to get rid of equipment in an attempt to stop my habit. Not sure I can be of much help.
  2. Hi Domino69, I feel the continued pain, despair and wanting it all to stop. The decision to leave is always very difficult. I am sure you have already seen and read the following but it may help others who find themselves at this turning point in there journey. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction--do-i-stay-or-do-i-go I wish you well in whatever you decide to do. Take care.
  3. Welcome to the Forum. I am sorry to hear your pain and the disclosure will have as you say ripped your heart out. If you have not already read it this blog is very helpful:- https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction Your husband may well be in denial and deflection. A Porn Addict is very good at cognitive distortion and minimising things. A good online test to determine PA is here:- https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/am-i-a-sex-addict I hope that helps and I am sure that there are many others with similar experiences. Take care.
  4. I totally agree with what you are saying and what is worse is the innocent partners (and victims) are often tarred with the same brush; as if they must have known; or because they are still in contact with their partner must support what they have done!! Clearly this is not the case, otherwise the Police would be investigating them as well! As you say you are now "both outcasts" and no one is interested. Very sorry to hear that. As this is issue only discussed negatively (similar to Aids a few decades ago) people are unable to get the help at an early stage. Take care. Firefly
  5. Welcome back to the Forum. I was very saddened to read your update and your continued pain. There are many more people reading the forum than posting and your post is really helpful. I certainly agree with you that the internet is a very dangerous place for porn addicts (PA) and as you say " The nature of Online Images on PAs is outlined in my post in an attempt to get PAs reading it to get the help early before their behaviour escalates into offending. I hope that other partner posts may help you as well. You are not alone. Take care. Firefly
  6. Firefly


    Hi Lorna, Welcome to the Forum and I was very sorry to hear your pain, but so glad you are able to share. There are many other’s at different stages of their journey who I am sure can offer you support. Can I point you towards the main Laurel Centre site for partners at https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/support-for-partners If you have not already seen this the blog series below is very useful, although you are probably already aware of the stages - addiction is addiction whatever the substance. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction Take care. Firefly
  7. Disclaimer - I want to state that these are my own views from my own experience. I am a recovering SA & PA but I am not a counsellor. I am a volunteer moderator on this forum by invitation, but do not work for the Laurel Centre. Any products discussed below are only ones I have experienced and it is by no means a definitive list. I assume that your question is on behalf of a PA. You only have to Google how to get round software controls to find out that there are many ways to get around protection devices and I have tried many over the years! This may seem flippant but the best control is to switch off the router (or certainly the WiFi) or remove the direct LAN cable to the laptop; but this is not always practical! I also feel that the addict needs to take responsibility, otherwise the partner ends up becoming a gatekeeper. However I did find ColdTurkey worked well for me, as once installed I had to go through a long process to override it, allowing me time to reflect!! Another product on Amazon is Kitchen Safe. You put your iPhone, Android or a key to laptop draw/box/room; turn dial to set number of minutes or hours or even days. The only way to get into it once set is to smash it open with a hammer (something an addict trying to hide behaviour is unlikely to do when the family is asleep and then have to explain why it is now broken 😂) I still lock my phone away at night for 8hrs as an extra support and reminder for me. I hope this has been useful. Firefly
  8. Prior to trying to answer your questions I want to state that these are my own views from my own experience. I am a recovering SA & PA but I am not a counsellor. I am a volunteer moderator on this forum by invitation, but do not work for the Laurel Centre. My response to the question in paragraph A) also partly supports your statement in paragraph B) although in my case I became more and more distant from my partner, which is opposite behaviour, but equally has the same devastating effects within a relationship. The overwhelming urge to act out and get my FIX overruled any impact my actions would have on my relationship? I did not even grasp or remember the incidents and in my mind, it was just a FIX. Even when part of my behaviour was discovered I minimised the impact and convinced myself that I could sort out my life without any help. Effectively I had pandered to the little beasts inside my head craving for a fix to numb the pain of past shame and now the additional shame of this latest disclosure. To admit I had a problem in my mind, at that time, felt like it would STOP my soothing mechanism and so it felt better (wrongly) to deny, minimise, deflect blame, etc. than admit I had a problem. In the cold light of the day I felt even more shame, remorse, self-loathing and the feeling that everyone would be better off without me around; but this only fed the need for more soothing, acting out and so the disastrous cycle continued. One thing is clear the addict must be the one asking for help to truly get the help they need. One of the issues with SA & PA over other forms of addiction is there is often little evidence of “material” impact, but the mental impact is enormous. E.g. the case of a Grandson, who loved his Grandma for years, but still broke in and stole the £20 to get a quick Cocaine Fix. Here there is a lot more evidence to hold onto, with the same cognitive distortions in play by the addict. So, this leads onto trying to answer your question in paragraph C)!! The root causes of my addiction (to which I am still discovering more) stem from childhood and teenage years. There were a number of traumas, which were not resolved at the time. Whenever I was feeling low or depressed, under attack, bullied, feeling worthless I would bottle everything up and keep my feelings hidden. I found in my teenage years that self-soothing helped to eliminate the pain for a short time and it became a habit. In addition, I discovered other acting out behaviours as I went into my early twenties! The problem was I did not resolve any of this, was unable to speak about it to anyone and was thus very unprepared when it came to a 1:1 relationships. It was easier to hide the truth, as I did with my bed wetting at boarding school! I thought it would all sort itself out and was so happy to find a partner, which initially reduced the stresses in my life and thus the need for acting out. However when we got married I was suddenly out of my depth and everything compounded, and I was back to acting out and trying to keep everything hidden. My partner knew there was an issue and we had counselling but I hid my past, because I was afraid and very ashamed (I was raped at school and never told anyone until recently) and the first counsellor 30 years ago raised the idea I was Gay and I just went along with that idea to keep everyone happy… and hide my true thoughts and feelings. I have had much better help recently and mapped out my highs and lows to my acting out peaks and how they coincided with depression, low times at work, etc. etc. I had over years built a very robust second life to which I became addicted, to smooth the pain of these painful events and I spent vast amounts of energy and resources keeping it hidden. Finally everything unraveled (after too many years) and it was all out in the open for everyone (including me) to see, and I could finally feel able to ask for and get the help I have always needed. I don’t spend too much time looking back at what could have been.. I can only look forward. One thing is that everyone has a different journey, different issues, and certainly there is not one size fits all. Thankfully there is now more knowledge and help available for sex and porn addiction than even 10 years ago. Thankfully support for partners, who are not to blame or the reason and get caught in the crossfire, is improving. I highlight this blog which is also good for addicts to read as it highlights the pain their past and present actions cause. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction If I can help just one person to reach out, get help and gain a better life then it is worth me sharing a small part of my struggle. Firefly
  9. Hi Snowflake, Welcome to the Forum and sorry to read your pain. Everyone is at different stages of their journeys and also many people who read the forum are at exactly the same stage as you. I am however so glad that you have been able to share your feelings here. I think that normal family life is a bit like Covid 19 and our new normal for today. What is important is you. Take Care Firefly
  10. Hi Sunflower365, Welcome to the Forum. There’s a lot of support on here and as you have found other’s at different stages of their journey. If you have not already seen this the blog series below is very useful. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction I was very sorry to hear your pain, but so glad you are able to share. Certainly you are not rambling! Take care. Firefly
  11. Hi Belle79, Welcome to the Forum and I was very sorry to hear that your husband has relapsed. Certainly he has minimised his behaviour and it’s impact on you. This discovery takes you back to the first time you discovered your husband is a SA and all the painful emotions. If you have not already seen the blog there are a number of articles that may be helpful. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/sex-addiction--a-guide-for-couples--do-i-stay-or-leave I have selected the one above because I felt that might be how you are feeling right now 😐, but do read the ones before and after. I am sure that others will empathise with your situation and offer support. There are couples who have come through the tunnel and come out the other side but each relationship is different. Here is one story that might help. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/partner-testimony--part-2 Look after yourself. Firefly
  12. Hi Emma, Welcome to the Forum. Very sorry to hear how you are feeling. Has your husband attended any 12 step, 8 week course or 1 to 1 sessions? Look after yourself. Firefly
  13. Firefly


    Hi Lynjay, I am so sorry to hear your pain and thank you for being able to share it. The partner book is very helpful and if you have not seen it the following blog is good. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction As you will expect everyone is different. If your husband is willing to engage and be honest with himself it may be worth him taking the following test as it will give a useful indicator. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/am-i-a-sex-addict From my own experience it is possible to continue in the cycle you have described, and repeat without the need for escalation for many years. However if the root cause is not addressed, now that the behaviour has been found out, then the acting out behaviour may change and then there is a real possibility for escalation you describe to take place. I hope I have gone some way to answer your question! I hope that other partner posts may help you as well. You are not alone. Take care. Firefly
  14. I am so sorry to hear about this and that it opens old wounds. I guess that your husband will be defensive if you present the evidence on his return. My partner in a similar situation left the evidence on my desk and let me take the facts in! I had similarly not fully let go in the early days of my recovery and wrongly it was a security blanket. Paula talks about this in her book about the keeping a packet of cigarettes in her handbag after giving up smoking. I fully agree with Rose when she says “I don’t know how to advise you to approach your partner but all I can say is breath and be kind to yourself. You will be Ok. Maybe not yet but one day.” Thinking of you at this time. Take care. Firefly
  15. Firefly


    Rose, welcome to the Forum and I am glad you have managed to write down how you feel and so very sorry for the pain you are going through. The discovery affects everyone in different ways. You are not alone and unfortunately it’s normal to be on this emotional roller coaster 🎢 If you have not already seen it the following is a useful blog series, while you wait for Paula’s book. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction I am glad your husband has finally had the courage to speak out and get the help he needs. You will see from other posts you are not alone and although there are no specific answers to the question about staying or leaving it is important to get the support for yourself either from this Forum, a Partner group or one off use of a trained counsellor to help you. I hope that other partner posts may help you as well. You are not alone. Take care. Firefly
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