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Sunflower

Discussion about addiction

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I’m hoping that those suffering from Sex and Pornography addiction on here may be able to offer me some insight. I feel like I’m really struggling to understand what my husband has done. How he kept so many secrets from me when our relationship seemed so loving and beautiful! I really want to know what he was thinking when he made visits to a sex worker. What the trigger was at the time. But he is really struggling to do this. It makes me question everything. I’m just trying to understand it all. The betrayal is so painful 😢

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It would be great if a few SA’s could be encouraged to respond to this. I’m sure there are many of us partners who have the same questions. 

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Thank you IamEnough. I often look at this post with sadness that no SA has responded. I would have hoped that there may have been some response. 

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I have been waiting for a response on this thread as well, ever hopeful that someone else would answer this difficult question. I also relate to everyone’s thoughts. “How could I have kept risking my relationship, losing friends and family, impacting my health, JUST FOR A FIX? 

Surely, I knew what impact it would have? SURELY knowing the hurt it causes, I would NOT have done it. EASY

Easy to realise in the cold light of day maybe.

Why did I still do it? Well each fix led me to more shame, remorse, self-loathing and feeling that everyone would be better off without me around.

I saw an advert in 2006 about the beasts craving for nicotine and the pictorial resonated with my dopamine craving. If you search for “Nicorette commercial by Genndy Tartakovsky YouTube” you can see it.

At the time I wished for a Nicorette substance or patch for sex and pornography addiction, to suppress the cravings going on inside my head.

Even though I had promised myself after the last relapse not to repeat the acting out behaviour….

Unfortunately, the cravings continued! The cycle continued. Worse the cravings required more and more risky behaviour, to gain the same fix.

Often, I did not even grasp or remember the incident. I did not know any way to get off the acting out cycle.

I ended up living a second life and compartmentalised the pain and shame. 

I did everything wrong in term of disclosure and getting help once my second life was discovered! I have a first edition of Paula’s book (Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction); which was invaluable in my road to recovery.

I have been lucky that my partner found the good times outweighed the bad and we are still together.

I still have a Laurel Centre counsellor and carry out a mix of one to one and partner sessions. 

The reason for being on the Forum is to try and support others, and hope that I can help others to not make the same mistakes in their recovery journey.

I am happy to answer questions if I can.

Firefly

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Thankyou Firefly, hope it's okay to piggyback on this post. It sometimes feels as this can make sense prior to, or post event, but when in the moment it's almost too painful to unpack without emotion. 

Can I ask, did you ever have an issue with ogling? That's the sticking point for me that I can't get my head around.  My husband is working very hard to curb this behaviour (it was never overt and he's not a stereotypical ogler), but it hurts just as much when I see him desperately trying to control his compulsion as it does when he surreptitiously looks. There's very little to read and therefore understand on this topic, but I think it may impact many more partners of SA than we know or understand.

I'm told the looking doesn't create  sexual fantasies, but that is even more confusing. 

I'm overwhelmed...

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Firefly, thank you for your courage and generosity in speaking out and describing what goes on for you with regard to your addiction. Clearly every experience is different , both for addicts themselves and their partners, but it’s helpful to get a small insight into one person’s story. I’m glad your partner has felt able to support you- does she I wonder know the full story? Has that helped her, and you? 
I’m hoping that I can be as positive and that my long and otherwise happy marriage can sustain these discoveries. 

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1 hour ago, Maeday said:

Thankyou Firefly, hope it's okay to piggyback on this post. It sometimes feels as this can make sense prior to, or post event, but when in the moment it's almost too painful to unpack without emotion. 

Can I ask, did you ever have an issue with ogling? That's the sticking point for me that I can't get my head around.  My husband is working very hard to curb this behaviour (it was never overt and he's not a stereotypical ogler), but it hurts just as much when I see him desperately trying to control his compulsion as it does when he surreptitiously looks. There's very little to read and therefore understand on this topic, but I think it may impact many more partners of SA than we know or understand.

I'm told the looking doesn't create  sexual fantasies, but that is even more confusing. 

I'm overwhelmed...

I can’t help with offering any insight into this behaviour, Maeday, I hope you can get some answers. But I wouldn’t worry about jumping in this thread, we all just need to keep talking after all. Sending love x

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Thank you FireFly for sharing this personal experience. It can’t be easy. But it does help me. I also know the most crucial part of recovery is to deal with what issues caused the addiction in the first place. A complex thought process, I know and this is what my husband is working on. 

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1 hour ago, IamEnough said:

I can’t help with offering any insight into this behaviour, Maeday, I hope you can get some answers. But I wouldn’t worry about jumping in this thread, we all just need to keep talking after all. Sending love x

Thankyou, that's a very comforting thing to hear. Talking definitely helps in my experience. I wonder whether we can actually emerge stronger from this...I strangely feel closer to my husband now he's beginning to open up to me. Feeling on the outside of your own relationship is soul destroying, especially if you're fears are constantly batted away. Thankyou again, I appreciate your strength.

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1 hour ago, Sunflower said:

Thank you FireFly for sharing this personal experience. It can’t be easy. But it does help me. I also know the most crucial part of recovery is to deal with what issues caused the addiction in the first place. A complex thought process, I know and this is what my husband is working on. 

Sunflower, I'm not sure if we're supposed to (or whether you would like to), but I'm always open to a chat. Totally understand if you're not interested in that, just a thought as it's difficult to find other people with non judgemental attitudes and insight.  Mae

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7 hours ago, IamEnough said:

Firefly, thank you for your courage and generosity in speaking out and describing what goes on for you with regard to your addiction. Clearly every experience is different , both for addicts themselves and their partners, but it’s helpful to get a small insight into one person’s story. I’m glad your partner has felt able to support you- does she I wonder know the full story? Has that helped her, and you? 
I’m hoping that I can be as positive and that my long and otherwise happy marriage can sustain these discoveries. 

Thank you IamEnough, Sunflower and Mae for all your support and questions. Very pleased that it has generated discussion.

I feel much happier in myself that everything has now been disclosed. It has certainly helped me to not have any secrets left and I can focus my energies on (as Sunflower has put it) dealing with the issues that caused my addiction in the first place. 😀

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