Jump to content
Tabs

Why do I feel so helpless?

Recommended Posts

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. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine what you're going through. If you can afford it definitely see someone from the Laurel Centre to help support you through this. Sending support x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another avenue for support is StopSo.   They offer support to the family members - who often get forgotten by the police.   https://stopso.org.uk/

I agree with KayKay, the one day workshop for partners will be another place to get support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 "

2 hours ago, Tabs said:

if it was more acknowledged then maybe he would have sought help? Maybe I would have seen the signs? 

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Tabs, I am glad you are having some therapy with a StopSo therapist.  I hope they are able to hold you in the 'waiting' space.  It is a painful time of being in limbo.  Not knowing what is going to happen.  It is very hard to plan a way forward when things are so unknown.    I know there are women in similar positions to you, that are silently struggling because of the fear of people's judgements.   I thought StopSo offered a partner support group for wives and partners?    am I wrong in that?    with kind regards Ginny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Tabs, I am sad that there is not more support for you.  In my opinion I would see you as a victim too, because the fall out of your husband's behaviour leaves the partner in a place of devastation and requires a lot of emotional and physical energy to keep going.  Ginny 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tabs, firstly I’m sending my love to you and hoping that you are managing to move forward without too much pain. But I also wanted to say how inspiringly positive you sound at the end of your last post. The fact that you’ve seen that people can be good and supportive even though often it’s easier to shy away from these difficult subjects. I absolutely agree that in being vulnerable we allow people in to support us in a wholehearted and authentic way and this can make all the difference between hope and hopelessness.  Please keep us posted as to how you are doing xx

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2020 at 8:35 AM, Tabs said:

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?  
 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tabs

I hope you are coping. It must be so hard for you. I agree with what snowflake says. I haven’t been on here for a while because I have been really struggling and sometimes you just can’t face reading posts. It’s like you just want to run away. But I always find comfort on here. Nothing is taboo and your situation could be any of us. Maybe it is but people don’t always say. I hope you have managed to find some more support. But please keep posting on here. Much love to you ❤️

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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



 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tabs and to all. I have been thinking about your last sentence in your last post and the use of the word "I". This is the conclusion that I feel I am beginning to reach. I shot out of the traps really fast so to speak when I found out about my husbands 20 year addiction involving all sorts of sexual liaisons with other women from live cam, live chat and multiple prostitutes. I focused so much, so fast, on helping him into recovery, counselling, lie detector tests etc that I found I didnt explore the possibility that I didnt actually want to stay in the relationship... that a "we" could become an "I".

This morning I have the energy to write ... and to just disappear! Thats the overwhelming feeling of the last few days, that I want to just go somewhere ,anywhere that people don't know me as the wife of a sex addict. To  re-invent myself as someone different, someone happy, funny, full of life, to start again without the stigma. I dont want the tainted memories of it anyway so why not create fresh ones that aren't littered with grief and deceit? I want to look at myself in the mirror and be able to see something different what what I see today.

Thinking of you all x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...