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Snowflake last won the day on February 26

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  1. Hi Bluebell, I've just read this page. I've answered you on the 'I'm struggling' page you wrote on. Just to add to what I've written there, my husband was away a lot with work too. I think it makes it easier for them to compartmentalise. Home is separate from away, and what happens away doesn't seem so bad. I know now this is where the years of hidden porn started. It crept into home life, but only after many years. And yes, it really added insult to injury that while I was feeling so alone and supporting his working away, bringing up the kids on my own etc., he apparently wasn't quite as alone as I'd thought. I felt so much anger at the beginning, followed by every other emotion imaginable. It's such a rollercoaster. There are lots of us here to support you and each other. Snowflake x
  2. Hi Bluebell, So sorry to hear your pain. The first few months will be really hard and there is no easy way through. You are probably still in shock. The problem is that we often don't suspect anything. My husband would have been the last person ANYONE would think would do this. I would have sworn that this was an issue we would never have had to face. And yes, it had been going on for years. The most important thing now is you. Don't try to make any future plans at the moment. You will be finding just getting through the days is hard enough. Don't put any pressure on yourself. One day, one hour, sometimes one breath at a time. I get it. I have never known pain like I felt at the beginning of this journey. One of the hardest things is that for us this is all new. For our husbands it has been part of their lives for a long time. Your husband may not understand that you will be in shock as well as heartbroken. I don't know if your husband has admitted he needs help, or started a programme? This is something he has to decide for himself as wanting to seek help must come from him. Mine is working through the 12 step programme. We are working hard on our relationship, but at the beginning I honestly thought I would never even be able to bear looking at him again. What I'm trying to say is that however you feel, that's ok. There is no right or wrong way to think or feel. It is totally unique to you. What we all have in common here is hurt, but also to gain strength from knowing we're not alone. Do whatever you need to do for you. It is time to focus on yourself. Your husband must work out what he will do, but that is not your problem. Sending you hugs and strength. Things will get easier, whatever the long term outcome, but I know it won't feel like it at the moment. Take care of yourself. You are no fool, just trusting, as most of us were. x
  3. Hi Scarlett, Welcome to the forum. (Though sorry you've had to come here). I can empathise with your shock. Discovery is one of the worse things that can happen in your life, and speaking from experience, it will leave you reeling for a long time to come. Please remember any emotions you are going through are normal. Rage, anger, pain, uncontrollable crying, feelings of loss, lack of control, panic, etc. etc. I think I went through every emotion possible and then started them all again. You don't say if your husband has looked for help himself. I hope so, but if not, or if he doesn't see himself as having a problem, then please remember there is nothing YOU can do about that. It is his choice and his decision to seek help. What you can do is look after yourself and your needs. You are the important one at the moment. The selfishness of the person in the grip of an addiction knows no bounds. Think about what you want and need. Talk to people if at all possible, This is one thing I can't do (for many reasons), but if you can, please confide in someone you trust. In the meantime this forum is always full of good advice and plenty of willing ears and shoulders! The one thing you will find is that although circumstances between us vary, we have all been enormously hurt and are all carrying our own wounds. No-one will judge you whatever your decisions are in the future, but hopefully you will gain strength and comfort from knowing you are not alone. Take care of yourself x
  4. Hi Carol, Thanks for the message. Sorry for the delay in replying, but I find it too disturbing to come on here more than every few weeks. I can see that you have been through a lot of pain and trauma. It is very difficult to be sure of the right thing to do. At the beginning I was convinced I would never speak to him again. After we separated he went into therapy and is still continuing with this. I have to believe that his actions were a result of an illness that he is now being treated for. If I didn't we would have no future together, and in fact you are right I would not want to build a life with him in any respect. Having said that I really believe he had never done anything like this in the first 30 years we were together, and would never do it again. I do not believe that every person relapses, and I believe he has been through this and come out of the other side. He knows absolutely there are no second chances. If there was the slightest doubt in my mind that he would repeat these behaviours I would run away and never look back. However, I have no reason to doubt he has really managed to control his demons. (Apart from the fact that in lockdown he has been with me 24/7 anyway!). I don't think even if he were tempted he would go backwards. He knows what he nearly lost and he knows I am quite capable of being on my own. I'm. not sure he is. I am sure he will continue with his SA meetings and his therapy, probably for life. I can see the difference in him. He has been given a chance because I believe that he was ill, and that he has has taken positive action to ensure that he will remain well in the future. I do not live with permanent anxiety and distrust. I am sorry you felt that way. Maybe I am different in that I do trust my husband to never relapse. I also trust myself that if he did I would leave and that would be forever. I couldn't live a life where I was constantly worrying. I will accept that he is on a strong recovery path. And I believe this to be true. Therefore I will live my life without this hanging over me. It can never be forgotten, and our relationship has obviously taken a battering, but I genuinely believe this will never happen again. I wish you well in your future. Take care of yourself.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Hi Lorna Ann. I was just wondering about you too. I hope you have found some way of getting help. It must be so much more difficult for you if you are bedbound. Please do reach out on this site if you need it. It does help sometimes to know you're not the only one in this position xx
  8. Hi Ail. Sorry to hear what you are going through. It can be very hard to accept what is happening sometimes. Especially when you have no control over it, but are suffering from the actions of someone else. I don't think it is just your culture that doesn't talk about these things. I could certainly never discuss this with my friends and family, so please don't feel you are on your own in that respect. That is why this forum is so good. You can vent, cry, say anything you want or need to without ever being judged. And, more importantly you are connecting with people who genuinely understand the hurt you're going through and the journey you're on. Things will move on, but IamEnough is right, it's you that you need to focus on. If your husband wants help there are groups available to him, but he has to want that himself. You have to look after you. I also endorse Paula Hall's book on the partners perspective. It can be tough going in parts, but it will help you focus on what you need. Good luck x
  9. Hi Lorna, Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry to read your post, you must be in a lot of pain. You will find many of us here have very similar stories to tell (unfortunately), and though we are all sorts of different people, we have all been through the struggles involved in our partners addiction. You will find lots of understanding and compassion here, and please don't be afraid to vent as much as you like if it helps. I have, and if you look around the site you will see plenty of others have too. Don't feel lonely or that you can't reach out. It's tough, but you will be okay. There are lots of us here for you. Sending you a hug x
  10. Hi Freddiebear. I am so sorry to read your story, and how much you are hurting. You have gone through so much this year, I'm not surprised you are feeling so sad. Sorry about your Mum, and the breakups in your family. It may not seem like it, but six months is still early days. At six months I couldn't even face being in the same house as my husband, and we were separated for nearly a year. But gradually things will improve. You may not be able to discuss things directly with your husband, but perhaps neither of you are in the right space for that. Lockdown has brought its own problems, but for you it will have also exacerbated the ones you have. You don't say if your husband sees his porn watching as a problem, or even addiction. If he does there are plenty of places he can look for help, even in lockdown. My husband does both Zoom and phone calls a few times a week. Wherever you are there are local, confidential sex addiction and/or 12 step groups who would welcome him. But this is only if he feels he has a problem and wants to do something about it. This must be his decision. I do understand how difficult this is for you. I also don't know exactly how many years my husband was watching porn, before he then acted out, but I do know it was a long time, and yes, sometimes in bed next to me while I was asleep. It is hard to accept, but this is not your fault or problem. Please don't think you could have done anything differently. For my husband this was a way of coping with past traumas I knew nothing about which came to the surface when other things in this life began to go wrong (his work), and everything snowballed from there. Could your husband be similar? One of the hardest things is not having anyone to talk to. I am very close to a couple of my friends, but would never be able to speak to them about it. My family would be too shocked also. This forum is a great place to turn to. You can vent, say anything you need to, ask any questions you need answering, and no-one will judge or think any less of you for it. In fact the support and understanding I've seen has been amazing and has really helped me so much. I'm sure you will find the same. As to the miserable year and weather, I know, and I sympathise, but everyone is in the same boat with this. You are just feeling it so much more because you are so unhappy, Could you start making some plans for next year so you have something to look forward to? This is what I have done. It can be as big as a holiday, or as simple as a night out at a concert, theatre show, musical, anything you fancy doing. And do it for you. If there's anything you'd like to ask me, please do. I know it has helped me enormously having some of my questions answered. Some of the nagging doubts are no longer quite so nagging (thanks a lot to Firefly for his frankness). Be kind to yourself. Take care xx
  11. Hi Firefly. Thank you so much for your candour and honesty. I felt almost numb at times reading this. The parallels with my husband's situation are striking. Other than wanting more sex, my husband was completely distant from me. He worked away and I discovered the porn use first but he refused to talk to me about anything; work, porn, daily life etc. There was nothing forthcoming. I used to have long conversations with him every night while he was away once the kids were in bed, but even they had become non-existent. From a brief goodnight, to a call or text earlier in the day to say he'd be working late and would either be too late to ring or too exhausted. I know now he was clearing his entire evening for porn. This is the stage I went to see a counsellor on. my own. The refusal to engage on any level was heartbreaking. No conversations even at the weekends when he was back. He'd walk through the door and pick on something (the house, the pets, the kids...) almost as though he need an excuse to be bad tempered all weekend. Yet still complaining he wasn't getting enough sex! I told the counsellor at the time I thought I was going crazy because he seemed to hate being around me, yet when I suggested I move out for a while, told me he couldn't live without me and became genuinely really distressed at the thought. The similarities with your story make me so emotional. We started going out together when we were 19 and 20, but I met him when he was 12 at my brother's boarding school. I thought I knew everything about him as he was close to my brother and our families met up at times for school events. He started the year before my brother at age 11. I found out about six months ago that he had been sexually abused by a family member for many years from the age of 7 or 8. I couldn't believe that this had happened, or that he'd kept it from me for 35 years. He said he'd put It in a box in his head and never went there. It was only when when he started the SA counselling that it 'came out'. He begged to be sent away, and was then abused at boarding school too. Again, he never mentioned this until recently. In his therapy he was told that this is an often repeated scenario. I.e. past traumas hidden away, rough present time (he'd lost his job and although he found another one within months he is very proud and it hit him hard). His PA took over. By the time he got his new job he felt ashamed and was too deeply in to get out. We rowed about his porn (and I only knew a fraction of it at that time), and everything just escalated. You've answered a very important question that has been holding me back from properly moving on. I haven't been able to really believe that he can't remember dates, even roughly, that he visited prostitutes. He says he'd blocked the exact details out, but I just couldn't believe this was possible. Obviously I have no-one I can actually ask here as no-one knows even that he's a recovering sex addict. My family could not handle this. I struggled too with the fact that he never told me about this family member, but perhaps that genuinely was something he couldn't admit to even to himself until therapy? I am not sure I will bring that up again with him as it is obvious it is very painful for him. He is on step 9 and has forgiven him. I am on step zero and never want him in my house again. Fortunately we don't live near so haven't had to deal with that problem since disclosure. But that bastard (sorry - still raw on that one) has ruined my husband and damn near split up our whole family. Thank you again for replying. It has changed my view that my husband may just be unwilling to say these things, and may genuinely be unable to. I hope you are well and happy, and wish you and your family all the very best.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Hi ElleS. I'm new here too. Welcome to the forum. There is so much good advice, and much more importantly, understanding on here. It's worth its weight in gold. I hear you about violence being easier to explain. I told my husband I wished he was an alcoholic (obviously I don't) but the secrecy is such an added burden. I know even my closest friend would be shocked, and unable to keep it to herself, so it all gets bottled up. As far as anyone knows it was a one night stand and we're having counselling for it. What no-one sees is the deep despair that in fact it's something that has been going on for years and I have no control over. I too have teen/twenties children and I sometimes have to bite my tongue in case I scream at them "Your father's a bloody sex addict". I find it so hard because we separated for nearly a year, but the kids seem to think I'm overreacting to be so upset over a 'one-off'. So I'm the bad guy, So glad I've found here to vent on. I cried writing my first post a few days ago, but all I've found is understanding and support. I'm sure you will too. Take care of yourself x
  15. Hi Emma, I'm new to this forum too, but hopefully can give you a little comfort. My husband went on a 12 step programme and did one meeting a week as well as several weekly phone calls. Even though he was fully committed it took him two or three months to get a sponsor.. Apparently sponsors want to know you are serious about recovery. As long as he is working on his steps I think that is what's important. Look after yourself.
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