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squirrel74

Don't know what to do

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Hi everyone. I'm going to apologise in advance for the lengthy post. I don't think i've ever posted in a forum before but I feel so helpless at the moment and have no-one to turn to. 

So I first discovered that my partner had created social media accounts to talk to women around 8 years ago, the conversations were sexual and involved sending pictures etc. He had also been excessively viewing porn and visiting cam sites. We decided to work through it... he started counselling and it took a lot of time but we gradually began to build  trust again. Around two years later, i found out he had reactivated his own facebook account (he deleted this when he began to get sober as a way to stop any temptation, and also because I would never have trusted him on it). He had searched for some of the people he had talked to back when he had the accounts, and at the time that was enough for to break any trust we had rebuilt, and we split up. I know that during this period he began creating accounts and viewing pornography again, but after about 6 months he reached out and told me he had seen the error in his ways and had decided to turn his life around. We became friends again and gradually our relationship built and we got back together at the beginning of 2017. I liked to view this as a clean slate, and i (probably foolishly) thought that he was changed. We saved up to buy a house together (we are in our late 20s) and we got the keys only two months ago. I had never been happier with our relationship, however, i must have still had doubts because last night I checked his laptop, and found some hidden history folders which showed that he had been viewing porn (not for the past few months, but frequently throughout last year). 

He had promised me over and over again that he wasn't watching porn, and i feel so betrayed that he lied to me after everything he has already put me through. Last night I begged him to tell me about anything else, and he told me that at some point last year he created a social media account, he used it to add some people we know and talk to them, but he decided to delete it after a few months because he didn't like what he was doing. He said he never received any pictures from these people, but I have no way no know this, and I imagine the conversations were sexual. 

I feel so broken and helpless. Now I have no idea what to do... is it even worth carrying on with our relationship? Firstly, I still don't trust that he is telling me the truth about everything, and secondly I don't know how I will ever rebuild that trust that has been broken so many times. I always had a feeling that during his counselling, he was not open about everything. I have the feeling he did it because it's what I wanted, and he wanted to get it over with as soon as possible, not wanting to go deep enough into the issues for it to be any help to him. I feel like the only way we can continue is if he commits to therapy properly, but I don't even know if that will work or if he is really willing to change. If we separate, I will feel so embarrassed about our relationship falling apart so soon after buying a house together, and then there's all of the issues about how I will afford the property on my own etc, which I know shouldn't be a deciding factor, but it is on my mind. 

It's worth mentioning that putting this aside, he is the most loving and supportive partner I could wish for, he would do anything for me (except having the willpower to crack this addiction, it seems) and I love him so much. I want it to be able to work but I just don't see how it's possible. Am i being a fool? Should i give up on the whole relationship? He says he doesn't want to put me through any more pain, and while the thing he most wants is to sort himself out and rebuild our relationship, he doesn't want to cause me any more pain. He said he feels like killing himself so I don't have to deal with him anymore, which is really upsetting for me... and I find myself wanting to reach out and support him not to feel this way, but I realise that's putting his needs above my own and I feel like I shouldn't be feeling sorry for him. 

Sorry again for the length of this, any advice would be so much appreciated. I don't want to speak to any family or friends, because if we do decide to give it another go, I don't want them to judge either of us. 

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Hi Squirrel.  I am really sorry to read your story and there is no perfect answer to any of this. I guess it starts with whether your partner  is prepared to do everything it takes to be free from this and how committed he will be to a long journey  into recovery. It's either both feet into recovery or what is the point? Have you told him your staying is conditional on this?  Also aside from this have you out discussed boundaries that would help ? For instance wifi controls, blocks to certain sites with his mobile data provider,  his mobile phone only being used in your presence? You cant control this but you can ask for things that make you feel safer emotionally.

I made  the decision to tell my family and a few close friends and it was the  best decision for me. It was nothing but love from them, no judgement.suprisingly toward him too. They believe in the power of redemption as do i.... that the man my husband was is not the man he always has to be.

Remember that you have time and dont need to make any decisions about anything just yet, particularly about decisions that could have consequences. You are in control of when and what you decide, my own counsellor has advised I do nothing for 12 months and I am 5 months into discovery.

 Please also remember  that you didnt  cause this, you cant control this and you cant cure this.  

Take care of yourself x

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:08 PM, Domino69 said:

 Please also remember  that you didnt  cause this, you cant control this and you cant cure this.  

Dear Squirrel, I echo what Domino69 said about this is not your fault.  It is also hard to realise you can't control it, or cure it. Putting boundaries in place is a good place to start.  The blog page for partners gives lots of information and hopefully will help you understand your own feelings and reactions.    Last January we started a mini blog series for partners, so worth a read.  Here is the first one:  https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction    Take care of yourself Ginny

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Hi Squirrel 

I am new too but I have to say I was in your shoes. I was in my 20’s when I first found out that my husband had an issue. He went to counseling, 12 step groups for 2 years and we both believed he was better. Not so. 30 years later I found out he has been cheating on me for years. You see that porn addiction escalated to prostitutes.

I wish I had a crystal ball. Consider me yours. Run and don’t look back. Sell the house and move on. You are worthy of a better life. Why spend the rest of your life in doubt. Checking phones and computers. That’s no way to live. There are plenty of men out there without this issue. Just thank God you didn’t have children with him because that changes everything. You’re free. I wish someone told me that back then. All I heard was about forgiveness. You can forgive but save your sanity and go. 

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Reading the above treads I wanted to say again that it's definitely OK whatever you decide to do. There is no right or wrong answers in respect to "Should I stay or should I go" The following blog gives some very good points to consider as its not always black and white.

The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Do I stay, or do I go? (thelaurelcentre.co.uk)

I unfortunately I was one of the  850,000 plus men in the UK who made use of prostitutes! The journey to recovery has not been easy but my partner decided that there are far more positives in our relationship which she did not want to lose.  There are other success stories.  Partner Testimony : part 1 (thelaurelcentre.co.uk)

Wishing everyone well at this time. Keep safe.

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Hi, I don’t have the answer but I wanted to reach out to say you are not alone. I found my husbands secret email account when I was 6 months pregnant, he had been excessively watching porn and uploading videos of himself. I forgave him and believed we had got passed this he is a gentle caring man. 2 children and 7 years later he told me he has gone back to uploading videos of himself and had a secret meet up for Sex with someone off an app. He didn’t tell me for 6 months after this. I forgive him and support him in his problem but I simply can’t be his lover. I’m never going to know what he is doing on his phone or when I’m not at home and It’s the secrecy that’s led to the lack of trust. 
we are sadly looking at separating and co parenting with the best of friendships. I simply feel as selfish as it is, that I deserve honesty. I wish I could continue as his wife but I can’t continue to not know if he has slept with other people. 

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Hi squirrel74,

Thanks for the comments. Yes as others say it does take courage to meet the problem. I can be of help if your husband really wants to quit his acting out behaviour.  I follow a 12 step program called SAA.  By helping him I am helped more than he would be helped. Thanks 

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Hi Squirrel74, I am both saddened and encouraged by the similarities I see when I read our stories on this site.  You explain so well the conflict between loving a man who is kind and loving etc, and wanting to support that man, and at the same time, feeling humiliated by the repeated betrayal of trust.  In my case, it's not just that I don't trust him, although I really want to, it is that I don't trust my own instincts and responses.   I feel for you.  I feel for us all.  Sadly, we are not alone.  x

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For you, and others here that have mentioned that their partner is otherwise a kind and loving man, I’d recommend reading (and getting them to read) no more mr nice guy. It discusses one key root cause  of this behaviour.
 

I’m still reeling from finding out my partner has had a porn addiction, he was diagnosed and recovered without me knowing and him reading this book prompted him to tell me. I had no idea any of this was going on, I just knew something was  off.  I’m only in week two, but reading the book above helped with my understanding of his particular situation (it doesn’t apply to everyone) and thought it may help people here. 

I’m just trying to wrap my head around what next, what to tell our adult children and our 14 year old (if anything). It’s such a difficult thing to explain when on the surface we looked perfect and they ask why we need some space from each other.

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