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Hello all,

I want to keep this as short as I can but I make no promises, I tend to get carried away when emotional. Also there will be a second post by this account in the "Partner Concerns" section, if you would like to read my Partner's writing, which has been written separately to me writing here. So here goes...

A few nights ago I (23)  told my girlfriend (21)  about the addiction to porn I suffered with in the past, and it overlapped with our relationship in the beginning (Edit: I suffered the addiction for just shy of 2 years). The worst of the addiction was before we got together roughly two years ago, I think we are both understanding of why the addiction occurred looking at my past history. This is the second addiction I have had to contend with in my life, as I had an addiction to gaming in my early teens, this coupled with other factors of my past we are certainly confident we know why things got the point they did. That point in question was feeling disgusted and humiliated at myself  when it got to the point I couldn't get an erection trying to masturbate for the fifth time in a row, with raw and bloody friction burns on my penis. I made the decision to make a change in my life, I went to university and the gym obsessively to fill my time. It was at university I met my girlfriend in my second year. 

My addiction was being better managed at this point, the filling my time with work and the gym along with actually wanting to get a handle on my life that made the difference. However it still wasn't 'cured', it did lead me to making some awful decisions in the beginning of our relationship. These included things like following and looking at random female accounts on instagram, looking at girls in public, messaging other girls in a flirtatious way, watching heavy amounts of porn and masturbating when we were apart. Granted not anywhere near as severe as it used to be but it was still a problem. The worst part is my girlfriend had suspicions something was up, she asked me about the messaging and the images on instagram and I lied straight to her face. It is this which is the worst part of all of this for me. 

I have battled with my addiction myself, I have never told a single soul about it until my girlfriend just a few short nights ago. This girl is the love of my life. I look at her and she’s the most honest, kind hearted human being I have ever met. She has shown me so much love, so much affection and understanding through out our relationship. We ended up living together, because of our daily routine we spent 24/7 together, very literally, and it was never a chore. I woke up and was excited to start the day with her, I went to bed every night looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. She has captured my heart in a way I never thought possible, and I feel an unprecedented level of guilt, shame and sadness that I have caused her so much hurt because of this situation. How could I hurt this person like this? How could I not be in control of myself. It’s terrified me, but not as terrifying as it is to feel like I am losing her. Nothing hurts me more inside than seeing her anything less than the happy person she is, especially when I am the cause of that pain.

She wants me to explain myself and rightly so… but I have never talked to anyone about this and if I am truthful I don’t understand it myself. How can I explain this to a person who means so much to me? Something which I don’t even understand myself. I tried to explain it’s not me, it’s like having a backpack that is always attached to me, background noise which just won’t disappear no matter how loud you make the music of life. I cannot quantify the levels of struggle I have endured to pull myself in the right direction.

It’s been about 9 months since I have watched porn, and I have been feeling great in myself in that regard the past couple months. This is thanks to the fact we are together 24 hours a day 7 days a week (we work from home) in our current lifestyle. It has been a so hard, so so so hard to get to where I am today fighting on my own in the background, but I wanted to do it for her, me and us. Our future is what’s important to me and I am glad to say I feel in control of myself and my actions.

However now she is left trying to make sense of the situation, and of course she is struggling, devastated, confused and broken. I need help, she needs help, we both need help to move past this and to what we both want. A happy, normal life full of the all good things we have experienced together, less the bad. She cannot comprehend that I am not the person she believed I was, a kind hearted, caring, empathetic, dependable boyfriend with morals. But I want her to know, I am that person, however just like our favourite TV character, I have a dark passenger of my own.

I feel like we have been moving down a road together so brilliantly, I love every minute of it. However now there are two extremely complex mazes in our path. I feel like I have nearly completed my maze, getting on top of my behaviour. But sadly she has only just entered her maze, and I need some help me to take her hand and guide her through there back onto our common path. It's all either of us want. 

Thanks everyone, 

The addict

Edited by NHF

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I would suggest you Google "World Health Organization" and "sexual compulsivity disorder". You'll find a lot of articles that will explain how this past summer WHO finally included this disorder as a treatable condition. You being a porn addict is not a moral failing of a weak man. You have/had an illness. If she can view this in terms of a mental health problem, you may find that she can put this into better perspective. Good luck, mate.

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Joshua, thank you for your response. We have both looked into the suggest material and making positive steps. Equally reading like-minded and simar situtations on this forum is helping to make things feel and seems less "skewed". There is a long way to go, but I hope this is the start of the correct direction. 

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