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Anon89

4 months post discovery - a partner's persceptive

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So, if you are anything like me I bet you've found yourself here desperately looking for an answer, desperately looking for reassurance that real people get through this, and that this isn't the end of everything as you know it. I remember, sitting there where you are 4 months ago. I had just discovered my husband's sex addiction, and looking back it was the most surreal moment of my life. We'd been together 6 years, married for just over a year, and had just bought a house together. Life in my eyes was "perfect"......planning the future together, wondering what colour we could paint the bathroom, talking about when we'd start a family. Then came the discovery.

I won't go into great detail as I understand everyone has their own story, but I found out my husband had a porn addiction, had wracked up a huge amount of debt and had been sleeping with prostitutes. I had every question go through my mind, "why would he do this to me? how could I be so blind, how could I not know? Could I have an STI? Could I be infertile? How are we going to pay this debt?" etc etc. I have never felt so low, or so lost in my whole life. The feeling was overwhelming. It was all rather dramatic, the whole "GET OUT I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!" sort of drama. His addiction started long before we met, and I found out more recently it has stemmed from a life time of depression, anxiety and just generally feeling very low about life, this addiction was his way of dealing with it. 

I just would like to reassure you, this is real life, people do go through this, and people do get through this. Currently my husband and I have decided to stay together, I am keeping a very open mind, I may decide to pack up and leave at any given point and I have every right to. My husband has a lot of work to do and as long as he sticks to the straight and narrow we should be fine as a couple, more than fine, we should become stronger as a couple.

I have been there, where you are. I have had the shame of telling family and close friends, my work. I have had to deal with many situations rippling from this, the effects it has on others, the opinions of others, it's not easy. The sitting there questioning everything you know, questioning how you are going to get through this, not knowing where to start or what to do next.
The best piece of advice I was given from someone on this forum is "look after yourself" and that is what I did 100%, and I continue to do. There have been so many ups and downs along the way, and sometimes I have felt like leaving, I have felt like changing the locks on the doors, but somehow found the strength to carry on and you will too.

I bought Paula Hall's book for partners, and remember reading it, nodding along to every page like "yes, yes this makes sense, yes this sounds familiar" My husband bought the book for addicts which I found him reacting in the same way. Now, please don't feel that I am here to advertise her work, I am just very much in awe of her work, I am so grateful that all this help exists. This forum, the books, the youtube videos - they have genuinely saved our marriage. My husband and I both have counselling  (separate counsellors) who are trained specifically in sex addiction.- who were in fact trained by Paula Hall. Get as much help as you can, you won't regret it, it has helped me in ways I didn't even know were possible.

Life will get better, no matter whether you decide to stay with your partner or not. It won't be easy, but it'll get better. I had to slow down, and take life one day at a time. We both have an amazing support network around us which helps immensely. Look after yourself, do whatever you feel the need to do, have a good support network and try and get help as and when you are ready. 

Please feel free to message me if needed, I am quite happy to talk more about my experience, and how life has been over the last few months. Hang on in there, you're doing the best you can.

xx
 

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Thanks Anon, its good to hear that there can be light at the end of the tunnel and its not just an express train coming straight for me! 

You are so right about the good advice to 'take care of yourself' and I am trying to do that. 

We've been together 39 years and married for 36. I discovered his 'addiction' at the beginning of December tho I know that he has been sexting a colleague before and watched porn. I thought it had been going on for about 14 years off and on. When he got found out this time I believe he thought that he could carry on after placating me for a few weeks. He soon knew I was serious about divorce and then started taking HIS problem seriously. I'm not sure that monthly counselling sessions are quite enough though. When I asked him how long the porn thing had been going on for I was shocked when he said for most of our marriage!

At the moment I'm hanging in there. Still couldn't tell you if I'll be here this time next year or not. 

One day at a time!

 

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I’m not addicted to porn but texting other women and wanting her to have a male male threesome,how do I convince my girlfriend I have a real problem and not just finish with me as she has,I’m desperate 

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A gentle reminder, this part of the forum is for success stories.

PS Joshua - great point, so true.

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Hi, 

I have been with my partner for 4 years, and recently found out that for the majority of this time he has spent the beginning 2 years having multiple affairs, and during the whole 4 years on and off calling sex lines, searching escorts and going to see happy massues, and hookers, with one visit to a transvestite escort. He also has a gambling addiction on top of this.

The discovery has left me feeling lost, with a mixture of emotions. I am a counsellor myself, so my training and nature is to understand that peoples actions are complex, that developmental trauma and attachment issues can result in these kinds of addictions in adulthood. I know my partners developmental history and can see how his additions came to be. This allows me to provide empathy, whoever, he is my partner and not one of my clients, therefore, the behaviour of the addiction effects me on a deeper level and makes me question what I should personally accept in my private life. I question where my boundaries are? How my own developmental experiences my be triggered or guiding my decision process? 

The dialogue of disclosure about the sex addiction has only just been opened between us, so I am still unsure if I am going to stay with him or not. I fear if trust can be built when it's so broken? And if he reacts out on his again, do I stay? As recovery for the addict is also not easy and some can have relapes as part of their journey to recovery. As can be demonstrated through this post I am still processing a lot for myself. 

I have read the posts above and wonder now that it's a year on for you how have things developed? As an element of trust rebuilt? Is there hope for a loving, honest, trusting and caring relationship to develop after the discovery of sex addiction 

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Dear Shellb04,

Thank you for sharing your story.    Hopefully the other people on this forum will be able to tell you about their own personal journeys from the partners perspective how they are doing in their own relationships.  From a sex addiction counsellors perspective, relationships can repair and find a new 'normal' following the discovery of sex addiction in the relationship.   It is a long journey and can be very painful at times for the couple and on an individual basis.   One of the first steps for the partner is to focus on their own healing journey.  You have received a huge shock and in a sense a bereavement.  The relationship is not what you thought it was.  Trust has been broken and you are wondering how things can change for the better.    There is a lot of pain to process.  This pain can be processed through a variety of ways - counselling, the partner one day workshop, reading Paula's couple book and partner book and reading the variety of blogs written for the partner.  All of these can be found on the Laurel Centre website.   

Kind Regards,

Ginny

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