Jump to content

My addiction has ruined my marriage. I want to change

Recommended Posts

i am a married man and have been with my wife for 18 years and we have 3 young children.

i became addicted to porn at an early age (15 ish) and I am now 40. The addiction changed from porn to focusing on online chat rooms.

My wife found me chatting online a number of year ago and told me that she felt it was like cheating and I should stop. I managed that briefly but fell back into bad habits.

Over the years I have carried on chatting online despite my wife wanting me to stop. I didn't realise my wife knew what I was doing but she told me she knew, but just buried it down for the sake of our family.

My wife reached the point of no return just before xmas and told me that our relationship is over.

I feel so ashamed and disgusted by myself and my behaviour because I have ruined a picture perfect family life and hurt my wife and my children.

If anyone can offer advice or thoughts on how to deal with my compulsions I would be so very grateful.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

I'm in a very similar position as you... I have always looked at porn, but over the last 2 years it has become steadily deeper - I've been suffering with depression and anxiety (for which I have got help for), I was viewing anything that was available, chatting in chat rooms, and, what I am most ashamed about, getting someone over to my house, we were looking at porn together while masterbating... and I my wife came home and disturbed us... I really don't know where it would have gone if she hadn't!

I realise now that this is an addiction (which I had been denying), and I hadn't spoken about it to my therapist or anyone else!  I really wish I had!  I thought I was "back to normal", but still had this secret life which was very likely to progress even deeper!  I had been filling a void in my life with porn and chatrooms... a void that wasn't there - which I would have seen if I had been giving as much attention to my wife and kids as I was to porn and people in chatrooms.

The trust my wife had in me has now gone, but she does understand that I have a problem and that I want and need to address it.  I've gone from feelings of total dispare and wanting to kill myself, to feelings of hope that I might be able to get better.  It's early days, together we have blocked all adult content on any web access I have, and I have contacted my Doctor who has referred me to see a proper psychaitrist now (rather than a therapist), which I hope to see ASAP.

I have sworn to my wife that I want to get better, and I will do anything I possible can too rebuild that trust.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  Paula Halls book  sex addiciton the partners perspective is very helpful. p24 and p60 explores cycles of addiction and cycles of reaction . this helps to gain an understanding of a partners pain. P 42 43 goes a long way to explaining that. I know this means buying the book but it is a serious step in the right direction in self help to gain knowledge over this to gain control to lead to understanding , empathy to then work through and on a place of forgiveness to rebuilding trust  


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain, guys, having been similarly hooked until I was caught in 2013. I worked from home and spent the vast majority of every day on porn sites and in chat rooms. Cost me what should have been the most productive years of my career and at least one sacking. Jeez.... can still remember the shock and pain when my secret life of lies crashed down around my family. I worked hard on recovery for the last 3-4 years and my wife and I worked hard on rebuilding a relationship, and I know it was really important to separate those two things. I had to get beyond seeing recovery as just a way to save my marriage. Had to be much deeper than that. Recovery was a way to save myself! It had to become more important to not be a practicing sex addict than to be married. Does that make sense at all, guys? Maybe worth giving that perspective some consideration for a moment?

On the subject of compulsions, Simon, I guess you need to ask whether you just want to deal with them, or eventually be rid of them. Key message I remember from the best counsellors I worked with was that those compulsions are happening because of some underlying, unmet need in your life. And porn/chat is the drug you've become reliant on to soothe the pain of that unmet need. So there are a bunch of "1st Level" things you can do to stop acting out; porn filters, accountability partners, digital detox, documenting and avoiding triggers etc. But until you address the unmet needs, you;re just brushing the dust under the carpet.

I'm not sure I'm in any position to offer advice. Unfortunately I slipped recently after nearly four years in recovery. People say it's the most natural thing in the world for an addict to relapse but I thought I'd kicked it. Didn't address a couple of underlying unmet needs :$. And I let the snowball roll for two weeks before I got a grip of the situation. Pretty arrogant of me to think I could play with porn and not get a bloody nose. Back on my wagon now and rebuilding but feeling shitty beyond belief.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unmet needs are the underlying problem for me. We all seek love ...to love and be loved. It's a basic need for survival. We cannot survive alone as small children and I never really grew up. To find love requires us to be intimate with others. I was sexually abused from around 5 onwards by a close family male friend who should have been taking care of me.  I was sexually abused by both men and women and other older children. I was sexually abused by my aunt who also abused her son who was the same age as me. She would abuse us together when I stayed at their house. She would put my cousin and I in the same bed and we were having homosexual sex at the age of 7 until we were 10.  We had homosexual sex again when were 17 and on holiday together. I loved him.

We both married in early 20,s and had children and successful careers. My marriage broke down and my wife left me and my sons after 30 years of happy marriage. I was watching porn in chat rooms and meeting young men while on business trips to London. I was leading a double life.... running a business from home by myself. Before this I had been a high flying media executive working with hundreds of other people. I now realise that I became more and more isolated with no routine. I was breaking down and could not get the help I needed. My GP was giving me more and more antidepressants and other medications which only made me much worse.

I was totally unaware that I was sexually abused and had repressed all memory of it until I was diagnosing see with complex PTSD and was self admitted to a private trauma clinic at the age of 53. It came out in therapy using EMDR that I was gang raped at the age of 11 by 3 men and two older teenage boys. I have tried to count the number of people who abused me before the age of 16 and I loose count.  I joined the armed forces at the age of 16 and was sexually abused there as well. 

I am now facing sex addiction .. mainly using internet sites to meet young men and have sex with them. I also visit young female sex workers and watch online pornography. I live with a wonderful woman who I did have a great sex life with but she announced 3 years ago that she no longer wanted to have sex with me...then a month later that she no longer wanted to be a couple. We still live together but as friends. I have been unable to to work very much apart from a small part time job that connects me with serving the public. Running out of money and time is the underlying feeling. I am totally isolated from my family ...my sons and little grandchildren. My ex wife never contacts me. All my previous friends and contacts have left my life . I have a few friends who I meet with locally but it isn't the same as the wide circle and all the roles and interests I have in the past.

I am healed from my cPTSD and my sex addiction seems to be the last thing I have to deal with. I have attended SLAA before but just don't agree with their contention that sex addiction is a desease that I am powerless over and can only be healed by a higher power. It's a condition  that is brought about by dysfunctional people abusing me and my response to find a solution to the emotional pain and perceived abandonment and lack of love and support. I simply had no boundaries and defenses as a child. This went on into teenage and adulthood. If people hit on me...and they were my type..I would have sex with them. But once I met my wife to be I was totally monogamous for 20 years or so. I started having problems when I lost my high flying job a few years after my beloved Mum died in my arms. 

Without being conceited I have always attracted attention and had people "hit" on me since I was a teenager...maybe before. At SLAA and CoDA 12 step I found that men and women were using my share information to "hit " on me. I also found that there was not really any support and lots of unhelpful advice in coffee shops after the meetings which is termed fellowship. I was gven information about sex parties and other things I wouldn't want to share here. A whole world of activity that I had no idea is common place in London. I am no prude either.

Its work in progress. I am thinking about doing the four day intensive course. But I guess that's going to cost a lot of money ... and not sure what I could learn further from attending. I would be grateful if others who have attended the 4 day course could comment.

i just need to rebuild a structured life of meaningful employment and someone to share my life with and that means going back to a state that I enjoyed for many many years. Nobody can do this for me.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now