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Everything posted by Firefly

  1. Welcome to the Forum. Your story does sound a familiar Sex Addiction Cycle, especially the disgust afterwards. I would have a look at the following questionnaire as it will help you to determine the level and impact. Am I a Sex Addict? | The Laurel Centre Additionally I point you towards the series of Blogs that will start you along the road to recovery. You have made a big step by admitting to yourself that you have a problem that needs attention. What’s at the root of compulsive sexual behaviours, sex addiction and porn addiction | The Laurel Centre Good luck on your journey.
  2. As an addict we are all familiar with the word “numbing” as it’s the acting out that we do to block out pain and regret afterwards. I have always thought that “soothe” falls into the same category BUT that is not so. The dictionary states “soothe” is to gently calm a person or their feelings while “Numbing” is defined as deprived of the power of sensation, without feeling, desensitised, senseless, unfeeling; anaesthetised, paralysed, frozen. Soothe does not deaden the feeling but relieves, takes the edge off, without loss of senses, but the dictionary clouds the issue by stating similar adjectives as numbing, which has in the past been a cause of confusion for me! I have now concluded that it is ok to soothe as it’s a thought-out process to provide relaxation. I am NOT going to define numbing behaviours as this will be too triggering, and we all know what they are; and focus instead on activities that we can all use for soothing without feeling guilty or having the shame afterwards. Having healthy coping strategies can help in our self-care journey. Self-soothing techniques come in handy if panic comes on suddenly and without warning. It’s crucial to note that self-soothing doesn’t replace reaching out to your support system. Staying in touch with the people you love (and not pushing them away) is an important part of looking after your mental health and well-being. Over the last few years, I have discovered the art of talking… taking a shower, creative writing, poetry, painting, woodwork and walking very helpful. I have also rented a ¼ plot at a local allotment and this has given me fresh air, exercise and a place to go. Listening to music in the car is another soothing activity. In the past sport, especially sailing was helpful for me in clearing the mind and very relaxing while being out in the elements. If you are lacking ideas, put “Self soothing activities” into your search engine. Build up several new soothing skills to add to your armoury to tackle feelings that normally take you towards acting out. In my recovery journey I am currently looking to reconnect with my digital piano and make my own music. I do hope this article has been helpful.
  3. Welcome to the forum and as you will read there are many facing this roller coaster 🎢 of emotions. Everyone is at different stages and you are not alone. I think it will be helpful to read the associated blogs and I point you to the start of this series which will help put in place boundaries and care for you. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction-discovery/ Look after yourself.
  4. Hi Georgi, Everyone reacts differently but there is a pattern of the addict being ashamed and thinking their partner is better off without them. My story is not the same but you might find it helpful. I hope so anyway. Living a double life - Sex & Porn Addiction - Paulahall UK Sex addiction forum You are not alone in this nightmare as you will have seen from other partner posts.
  5. Hi Georgi, Welcome to the forum. I am so glad to hear you are getting support for yourself. It is very sad to hear that your husband has relapsed. While in his numbing state he will not be able to be objective! The cam girls will be trained to extract as much money as they possibly can. I would not think that love comes into it and is all about getting his fix; similar to a drug addict. Until your husband comes back to his senses there is nothing you can do. I am sure you are worried and I would also be very concerned about the debt he is running up and the impact that will have on your joint finances. You will not be able help him admit his addiction. He has to do that. It is so sad watching from the sidelines but you do need to put in place protection and support for yourself. I am sure you have seen this blog but I post it for others who are reading this. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Rebuilding your life | The Laurel Centre I hope this is helpful. Firefly
  6. Hi Confused me. Welcome to the Forum. Your heading for the post is “addicted to sex” but the first question is how much is it affecting your day to day life and so I would point you to the following resource. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/resources/am-i-a-sex-addict/ This will help you to gauge if you have any negative impacts. I hope this is helpful. Firefly
  7. Hi. To send a private message click on members icon to bring up their details. Below profile in middle is a small mail (envelope) symbol. Click on this to bring up form. You can add others to the same private chat in the “to” section. Hope that helps.
  8. Hi, Welcome to the Forum. Admitting to yourself that you need help is always the hardest thing. You cannot fix this on your own as you may have experienced. I would first quantify the extent of your porn / sex addiction and there is a helpful test here:- Am I a Sex Addict? - The Laurel Centre There is a lot of resources on the Laurel Centre site and some good blogs that can also be found, and I have highlighted one in particular:- Breaking the cycle of sex addiction – part 1 | The Laurel Centre Reading between the lines in your post (and I may be way off) I also point you to this post:- Online images - Sex & Porn Addiction - Paulahall UK Sex addiction forum Unfortunately there is no quick fix but putting in the foundations now, arrange to talk to someone and being honest is a good start. This Forum has a lot of people who have been on similar journeys. Take care.
  9. Hi Domanic, Welcome to the Forum. You have done the hardest thing which in my mind is to admit to yourself that you need help. I would first quantify the extent of the porn / sex addiction and there is a helpful test here:- Am I a Sex Addict? - The Laurel Centre There is also a lot of resources available now and some good blogs that can be found here:- Addiction Recovery Archives - The Laurel Centre The site also contains advice and help for addicted partners and also this Forum has a lot of people who have been on similar journeys. Unfortunately there is no quick fix but putting in the foundations now and being honest is a good start. Take care.
  10. Hi. So sorry to hear that you are having a bad time 😳 If the arrangement is that your partner texts or contacts each day then I would be very pi:():;d off if he chose not too. No excuse!!! Having a low mood does not wash! A simple “I am having a bad time today so not able to give much of an update. So sorry…” So don’t try and rationalise it. Just be angry 😡 If you want to rant on here that’s fine… Take care.
  11. Lilo - 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 counselor. I am a volunteer moderator on this forum by invitation, but do not work for the Laurel Centre. In my response to the questions I will give a little insight into my journey below in the hope that this will help. The overwhelming urge to act out and get my FIX overruled any impact my actions would have on my relationship? I often did not even grasp or remember the incidents and in my mind, it was just a FIX. Love did not even enter into my mind. I do think I used the LOVE word in some of my correspondence, etc. but that was only as an enabler to get a FIX. There is a clear difference in my mind between a serial adulterer and a SA. I wanted to honour my vows and when not in the throws of addiction wanted only my partner! Even when part of my behavior 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. In my struggle with my addiction (Without help) I became more and more distant from my partner, which has devastating effects within any relationship. 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. 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 counselor 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 I hope my journey helps put some context around what is happening with you at the moment. Firefly
  12. Hi Lilo, Thank you for sharing your pain on the forum. You may have already found the blog pages but I highlight the following which complements all that Ann has said above. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Self-care (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) In respect to your final paragraphs "I spoke to a sex addiction therapist and he says well if he’s really committed to recovering it may make sense, as you won’t ask an alcoholic to keep hanging around a bar whilst he’s trying to stay sober would we? (The bar here being ME). What do I do? How do I react to this? Is it fair? Should I just give him the benefit of the doubt and calm the fuck down? " I want to echo that you didn’t cause the sex addiction (You are not the BAR!), you can’t control the sex addiction and you can’t cure the sex addiction. Only your addicted partner can stop their sex addiction or porn addiction. This is not your fault. It certainly is not fair! But the important message is as Ann say's "Be Kind To Yourself" I hope the blog helps and you will be in my prayers.
  13. Oh Kay... A virtual hug from us. You are doing all the right things but it does not take away any of the pain of this roller-coaster ride. I have heard it said that this experience is like a bereavement; except the other person has not died, so it keeps repeating the bereavement journey. The above might help a little bit and explain why each moment will trigger different emotions. Take care and I hope the counselling sessions become available soon.
  14. Hi Kaykay. I wish I could give you a definitive yes and no to answer your questions. The truth is and born out by other partners that we addicts are very good at minimisation to ourselves and loved ones. As such we will actually believe that communication on chat / escort lines and masturbation to porn is not physically cheating! But as we all know (now) that’s a cognitive distortion. I am so glad you have been able to tell your sister and start to build your support network. Take care.
  15. Hi KayKay, I feel the desperation and despair in your post. You do need to weigh up the options and although I know you will have seen this blog, I post for others reading this Forum. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Do I stay, or do I go? (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) I would like to echo your words "Look after you. You are most important. Please don't forget that!" My wife has been on a roller-coaster with me and in the end I did get the help. There have been times however when there have been hints for me to consider, like property listings left around that were at 1/2 the value of our current property.... not that I think that this is a good way to communicate but it did bring me to my senses! In respect of the cycle of addiction it may be that there was a gap which might account for the jump to 2018. Take care and I hope my ramblings have been helpful.
  16. Let us know if you have any experiences of using Laurel Centre, S-anon, others, etc. I will then compile a list sorted for Partners and Addicts.
  17. Hi, I am not a qualified therapist but from my own experience and what I have read there does appear to be a link between childhood trauma (including sexual abuse), contributing to a reliance to self soothe with porn, and this becoming an addiction in a lot of cases, to a lesser or greater degree. Sometimes it takes a specialist therapist to get to the root cause of an individuals triggers. Hope that helps.
  18. Dear HeartorHead, Welcome to the Forum. So very sorry to hear your story. From what you indicate and from my own experience it would indicate that your boyfriend may have a porn addiction. Following on from what Christine has suggested he might also be interested in this online test as it will help determine the level of addiction. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/am-i-a-sex-addict You may find the following blog useful to get your head around what is happening and give you some helpful points to consider. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Self-care (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) You need to look after yourself as a priority. I hope this helps a little and I am sure that others may share their experience with you. You are not alone. Take care.
  19. I am so sorry that you are being punished for something which was / is outside of your control. Unfortunately Porn & Sex addiction never confines itself to the addict but impacts everyone around them! I would like to point you back to the blog, now that there is a forced separation you have more time to focus on your needs. You will need to decide if you receive calls, write, visit, etc. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Rebuilding your life (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) Take care. Firefly
  20. Hi Kaykay, I am very sorry to hear that your partner has relapsed! I can understand why you are tired after so many years of trying to help him! I would look at the blog and Paula's book again as this latest disclosure / discovery will have brought back Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the first painful discovery of your partners addiction. It's an awful roller-coaster for you and it's sad that he does not see the effects of his relapse on you. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Rebuilding your life (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) You have been so helpful for other partners on here and hope we can be of some comfort for you today. Look after yourself.
  21. Welcome to the Forum. I have finally read the whole of your story and so sorry to hear your pain. I am glad you are getting help and your BF is looking at getting professional help. It does sound as if he is showing the signs of sex addiction, which might be due to childhood trauma, so he needs to look at finding help from a person or organisation that specialises in Sex addiction. You need to look at help for yourself and if you have not seen the blog then this one might be a good start. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction--selfcare You are not alone and there are many other on this Forum who understand the rollercoaster 🎢 you are on. Take good care.
  22. Welcome to the Forum. Your boyfriend is displaying all the signs of an addict and it is encouraging that he is starting to talk; but saddening that he is not able to open up to a therapist who will be able to help him. He needs to understand that he is not alone and his therapist will have heard it all before. However it should not be up to you to have to control or put in place restrictions, especially as you say in your last paragraph how this makes you feel. If you have not seen the blog I would point you to this particular one that talks about your role and setting boundaries which might be of help at this time. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Rebuilding your life (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) Take care.
  23. I have read a lot of partner posts on the forum and thought it might be helpful to chat about my experience as the addicted partner. I have been an addict for all of my life, but my partner only became aware later on in our marriage and she has been very supportive since. In the same way as I will have to take blood pressure tablets for the rest of my life I have to wake up each day and recognise I am an addict, and like taking my tablets have a routine to ensure that I am not triggered and so far it’s working.. My partner has however suffered much in the same way as many of the stories in the partner posts. If I am feeling low then my partner recognises this, however this is where I see a similar thread running through other posts. The partner when asked if all is OK often gets “I’m fine..” and I am guilty as charged! Why do I respond like this? Often, I feel it is routed in childhood where I was not allowed to show my feelings. “Boy’s don’t cry!”, “Don’t be such a baby”; so the initial reaction is a reaction to that, BUT it really is not helpful as the following example will indicate. The other day I was worrying about my elderly parents and had bottled up feelings of helplessness for a particular situation. My partner asked me if I was OK and yes I responded with “I’m fine!” Clearly I was NOT, so my partner with nothing to go on thought I might have relapsed! Luckily I was able to share later that day. But the damage had been done as it clearly worried my partner and brought back times when I had relapsed. But equally it brought up issues around being secretive and yes dishonesty, as I had lied about being OK! Take note that our actions / statements have reactions which may not be as we intended. Firefly
  24. Hi Newbie 21, Welcome to the forum. Very sorry to hear that you are struggling and finding yourself constantly relapsing. Certainly you are not alone and everyone will have times when they think about relapse or actually go as far as relapsing. For me I work on my mood and feelings everyday in an attempt to fend off the triggers that take me back to that dark place. I am not sure if you have seen the blog pages but there is some useful stuff and draw your attention to the following:- Relapse prevention for sex addiction and porn addiction (thelaurelcentre.co.uk) I would also be very honest with your therapist and don't try to minimise the relapses. He will have heard it all before, especially if he is trained in Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder (CSBD), also known as sexual addiction. Take care. Firefly
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