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In need of advice please

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Hi everyone,

I'm back again looking for some advice.  I have written other posts explaing my situation.

Since the discovery of my husband's porn use he got rid of all internet connection including his phone. Within the last month he has returned to his old phone which he has access  to internet again but we discussed it before hand and now we share the same accounts. 

The pattern for my husband's porn use was early mornings, every shower and about 20 mins after I left for work each day. So hear is my question. ...he has downloaded a game that doesn't need to be played all the time but just keep an eye on how the city progress. I know this sounds inocent but I notice that it's the first thing he does when he opens his eyes in the morning before he even gets out of bed and the last thing at night, also maybe twice a day but only when he uses the bathroom. 

My concern is now that his addictive behaviour is back but I am so questioning myself because it's just a game. I am finding it very hard to trust him again and am very paronid.

If anyone has any thoughts on this I would really appreciate it. Is it something I should be concerned about are am I just being overly worried? 

Thanks xxxx

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I know that I find it very difficult to have confidence in my partner's recovery, and, like you, I have found myself worrying that something apparently innocent is either a cover for renewed porn use, or a symptom of a new addiction which would lead on to a return to porn use.   I think this is a fairly normal response, under the circumstances.

There is a lot of debate over whether there is such a thing as an addictive personality.  If it exists, then it would not be unusual for someone with a tendency to addiction to develop an overwhelming interest in something like an on-line game.  Whether that is dangerous or not is a question for a psychologist.

There is also the fact that a lot of people would describe themselves as being 'addicted' to the internet.  I know my partner still spends a lot of time on the internet - the difference now is that he spends his time hunting for bargains relating to his hobbies rather than looking at porn.  Interestlngly, he buys very little - it seems to be the act of searching for things that grabs his attention.  I guess this is very like what he did when searching on-line for porn.

He also spends a lot more time on his hobbies, and has explained that they are vital for keeping him mentally and physically 'busy', and as a de-stressor (stress was a major prompt for him to use porn).  Might your partner be doing the same thing with this game?

But at the end of the day, the thing that matters is how it all makes you feel.  My view is that if the behaviour seems risky or unhealthy to you, then you need to raise it with him.  Maybe you can reach an agreement about how often he will check the game, or when and under what circumstances he would look at it.  

I read that one of the after-effects of finding out that your partner is addicted to porn is 'hyper-vigilance' - basically expecting danger to lurk round every corner.  I know that is something I have struggled with.  It's hard to let go of the feeling of needing to be on guard all the time, but it isn't a healthy way to live.  I hope we can all get to a place where we can let go of these feelings.  It's a tough thing to do.

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Hi Cowslip , thank you for your response.  Even reading my post back it sounds so silly..... it's just a game.

I definitely agree with the hyper-vigilance, I hate even going for a walk now because I am so concious of every woman,  wondering if he would be attracted to them .

Yes my husband would have an addictive behaviour  (if that's what it's called). On line gaming was a big one years ago but he realised after we spoke about sharing household responsibility  just how much he wasn't responsible for as he was always gaming, this changed and he began helping out a lot more and as of today he things are always shared without having to think about it . 

My husband's father and brother were both addicted to alcohol so my husband  (after seeing the damage it caused to their families ) said he would never bring that hurt into our family so there was never alcohol in our house. We would have a drink rearly Christmas ect.    So yes I wonder if porn was his way of handling life as they had used alcohol. 

Can I ask how you feel now Cowslip when you see your husband on line, does it not bring everything back, how do you trust him again?????

Since last Sunday I have been working so hard on not acting out on my emotions and to bring myself back to my values and morals . This has led to very few arguments, less nasty comments, better atmosphere for my children ect. I hope this will continue as it makes each day easier to get through. 

some days I still can't bare to look at him but  have realised that I was treating him very badly and saying things that I knew were upsetting and hurtful to him. Now I am concentrating on being me again, the person I was who would never say things so hurtful  and who trusted and had a lot of love.

I don't know if I can ever trust him again. He is trying so hard to do everything right and I do appreciate this but at the moment I feel I can never love him again the way I used to because now I know that was a different person.

I hope you and your partner are doing well now and respect to you for being so strong and understanding  xxxx


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Hi Nanook1975,

It's not 'silly' to be worried (even if it is just a game).  If you are uncomfortable about this, you do need to talk to your partner about it.  He should be able to understand your worries, and perhaps together you can find a way to manage this.  What you should not be doing is fretting over this on your own.  Listen to your instincts - if it feels wrong, then it needs to be addressed, and not ignored.

It is immensely difficult to trust someone again when your trust has been broken, but for a relationship to work and flourish, then it is absolutely essential.  We laid down some ground rules early on -  we now have shared passwords, we both keep the door open when on the internet (no shutting himself away with the computer).  But my partner travels a lot of the time, and I know he can use private browsing if he wants to keep something secret.  So I either have to trust him, or drive myself nuts with worrying. I have chosen to trust him - but for my own mental health and wellbeing, and not to benefit him (if that sounds selfish - well, I think we all need to be a bit selfish in this situation). 

You will have read the line - you didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it.  It is easy to say, but difficult to believe and very hard to live by.  But if you can really take it on board it becomes almost liberating.  At the end of the day, I can't control my partner's behaviour, but I can decide how I will respond to it.  And at the moment, I choose to trust that he is doing, and will continue to do, the right thing.  I say 'at the moment', because if the situation were to change then I may choose to respond differently.  

As for loving them again - you are right, it is not possible to love again in exactly the same way.  We are sadder and wiser now, but I've found that I can love my partner in a different, but still real way - with my eyes wide open this time.  And sometimes I am hurtful towards him, and that's part of being honest, too (and I try to be honest enough to apologise if I feel I was unfair).

Take care of yourself, trust YOURSELF and let us all know how you get on!

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Hi Cowslip, 

After reading your post I decided to talk to my husband about the behaviour and not so much the game. I told him that I felt he was compensating and playing the game at all the same times that he used to watch porn and how it had become the first thing he done in the morning.  He immediately went and got rid of it from his phone saying that if it was making me feel that way that he would stop but he didn't see it the same way I did. 

I really appreciate him doing this but still I believe he is doing everything for me and not for himself. 

The weekend was good and again I kept my emotions on track until Sunday,  beautiful sunshine and again thoughts start creeping back.... what about the summer, beautiful women out and who is he going to be looking at..... mind starts racing again.....I feel I'm going crazy 

Some days I feel I will do anything for our marriage to work, that he is doing everything possible to save our marriage but then Bang .......he goes to work and I wonder who he is checking out or where his thoughts are at. I know I have read I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it and I keep telling myself this, that no matter how much I worry I still can't change anything .

It has now been nearly 2 years since my gut feeling and a year this month since I found out the true extent. I am still feeling all of the hurt, loss of trust, not believing, not good enough ect ect ect.......will it ever stop. 


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It was 18 months ago that I found out that my partner had returned to porn addiction, despite two previous 'discoveries' - after each of those previous events, he had promised to stop, but then gone back to it.  So I understand what betrayal feels like.  The difference the last time was that he finally realised that he had an addiction, and that he needed to do more than just hope that he could give up.  Until then, he said, he just thought he was 'made that way' or 'nasty piece of work'.  The worst thing is that I could see how his porn use changed and escalated over the years, and I just wish I had known back in 1992 what I know now, and done more to make him stop the first time I confronted him.  Then he was just buying relatively soft videos and magazines - once he got on the internet, it all became much more graphic, more extreme and more disturbing.  As he says himself, he was just looking at anything and everything, mainly out of curiousity.  

I understand what you mean about him giving up for you and not for himself.  My partner would not have given up (had not been able to give up) until I basically broke down and told him that our marriage was over unless his porn use stopped immediately.  From that point of view, he gave up for me.  But later, when we were able to talk things over more calmly, he told me he had tried to stop several times before, because using porn just made him feel bad about himself, but had not been able to, and that seeing my reaction to his habit had give him the impetus he needed to look at the problem properly.  

I know what you mean about feeling all the hurt and lack of trust some days.  In the main I am able to keep positive, but there are days when I feel I am back at square one, and all I can do is cry (yesterday was an awful day, for no apparent reason), and all I want from my partner is reassurance that, yes, he has stopped, no, he won't start again, and yes, he does recognise how much he has hurt me.  I still need to hear that from him.  I am lucky that he gives me the time to sob and rant and shout, and never tries to close me down or shut me up.  I think we need to feel that we have a safe space to do that, and also that we have the right to do that when we need to.  Physical closeness is important to me, too, and I find that helps immensely (although I realise that may well not be the case for everyone - I can understand anyone who feels that they don't want to share their bed or their body with their partner at a time like this).

I don't know if or when I will get to the point where the pain disappears - I can only hope that for all of us there will be a day when this nightmare is just a memory from the past.

And never say you are 'not good enough' - no-one in this world is perfect, and there are days when I look like the back end of a bus on a wet Sunday in Whitby - but we are tough and strong and resilient.  If we weren't, we wouldn't have the strength to stay with and support our partners through this mess, and we wouldn't have the courage to write so openly and so truthfully on this forum.

Hope you and I have better times ahead.



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Thank you Cowslip , real words of inspiration.  You sound like a very strong woman. 

I have visited my GP and told him (in so many words )how I was feeling because my husband has made bad choice and has affected our marriage. Neither of us actually said the words but I knew that he understood,  he advised antidepressants so that I could let my mind relax for a while and I could look at things clearly.  I agreed and have been taking them since I last posted. I have to say I am calmer and I am seeing things more clear.  I believe now that yes this had nothing to do with me and was not my fault and the biggest thing for me now is I believe I can't cure this......

I have no intention of staying on antidepressants but for now they are keeping me sane.

I really hope things work out for you and your husband and you can be happy again.

Thank you again for your inspiring words, they mean a lot xxx

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