Can porn addiction change someone's personality?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Lilla_My, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, what you describe seems to make sense. He is very lethargic. It's a weird thing with masturbation... it leaves one drained, while sex makes you "energized".
    I'm sad to hear about your girlfriends condition; I hope it works out for you both.
     
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  2. Roffelaar

    Roffelaar Fapstronaut

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    I just read the first few posts in this thread, so I might repeat something that has already been said.

    It's not just porn addiction that does this. It can be work related aswell. I was working at this terrible job and got screamed at daily by my boss for the minor things that bothered him. After years you just get fed up with that stuff and you become tired and get angry over the smallest things.
    But because you have a family, a mortgage, a car, insurance etc to pay for, you can not or do not want to take the risk in finding a different job and do something else.

    If you also add up a porn addiction to sort of have an escape from thinking about your shitty job, it makes it all worse. You turn into a fucking zombie with no desire for anything in life and unfortunately this is a huge problem. I see it all the time.

    You can not make a person in that situation happy by making jokes etc, it's all just temporary. They still are in the same shitty situation and probably will be for years to come if they do not step up and do something about it.

    This is just an example, it being work related. It could also be something else that has happened recently.

    I really hope you and your husband can sort this out eventually. It must be awfull to be someone that puts so much effort in cheering someone like that up for weeks, months and you get nothing for it. You are a strong woman we can all read that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  3. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for your reply. I agree with you, there are probably many factors that has caused this behaviour.

    I've stopped trying to cheer him up since he confessed to me that he was actually depressed. Like you, he has a job he doesn't like. And he is very much "a fucking zombie with no desire for anything in life". He has moved on to p subs, and I'm beyond devastated.
     
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  4. Roffelaar

    Roffelaar Fapstronaut

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    It is your life and you are the one controlling your own happiness.
    There has to change something drastically or it's probably gonna be a long long struggle.
     
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  5. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    That's so true. A question women in here ask is, "how long am I in this for?" It feels like a life sentence. I'm more than willing to help him with the depression and the only reason I don't actively try to help him is because he says it makes it worse. But all these semi nude women... I can't cope any longer.
     
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  6. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Porn addiction is a progressive illness. A really great book on how it changes is the brain is called. Your Brain on Porn. Written by Gary Wilson. Simple and easy to read it provides documented proof on the brain changes, personality changes, emotional changes etc..
     
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  7. Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario Fapstronaut

    The thing about people helping others with depression saying "it makes it worse" is that it's only sometimes true...I know in my depression case, it made me more miserable, until I stopped trying to be some kind of superman. Once I realized that it's okay to accept help, I was able to open to others helping me. But I'll admit that before then, others helping me would make me shut down further.

    I..don't know how I even got out of that cycle in the first place, looking back. My best two guesses are that Christ pulled me out, or that I realized I couldn't stand wallowing in my own stench any longer. So, it was probably the first, through the second.
     
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  8. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    Thank you. I've thought I should read it for the longest time. But ultimately, he needs to be interested too. When I bring the subject up, he literally leaves the room.
     
  9. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    That's powerful. I've noticed that especially men are very keen on trying to do everything with as little help as possible, even if the world cracks down around them. It was honourable of you to look outside yourself and see your own weakness. My husband is definitively not there yet. He has said categorically no to any kind of therapy, saying he "is not a person that asks for help".

    As for wallowing in your own stench... maybe that's the best description of it. He seems very ashamed. OR he just shuts me off so he can do it more.
     
  10. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    You can’t fix him or change him..only he can do that. The best thing you can do is take care of you, gain as much knowledge as you can about the addiction. When you have the actual science behind the addiction and behaviours you will be in a wise position.
     
  11. Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario Fapstronaut

    Every man that wants to be a man--and not just a boy--wants to be someone strong, someone that helps the weak. Of course, you can't help another if you yourself are weak. And yet, it's obvious that no one is perfect.
    So, you get two extremes. You've got the soiboi hyper-feminist "nu-male" that is so busy apologizing for his "toxic masculinity", that he pretty much jettisons his masculinity altogether. And then you've got the John Wayne, gritty cowboy types that refuse to ever show emotion, weakness, or the need for help, lest they become one of these soibois.

    The nuance that I've found to be much healthier is that you want to be working towards strength, while recognizing and admitting your current weaknesses. No one is born a man--we're only born as boys. We have to grow into men, and into strength, in every area of our lives. So you help others where you're strong, and you get help from others where you're weak.

    At least, that's my understanding. I could definitely be wrong!
     
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  12. RealRockNRolla

    RealRockNRolla Fapstronaut

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    Thank you so much - the thing is, I had a very open and honest conversation with my partner, she didn't understand it at first but then realised how much of an effect it was having on me. I'm on Day 8 as of today and feel a million miles better, I have bags more energy, feel upbeat and genuinely feel back to my old confident/cheeky self. What she said to me is selfless and shows how much she cares, she actually said "Right now you don't need the added pressure of a relationship, so take the time out to focus on you for now, I'll be waiting for you when you feel as though you're back happy and content with life as I just want you back". It's bittersweet but it relieved a lot of added pressure and in the meantime, she is going to see a Doctor about her health issues too.
     
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  13. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    I think that's a very spot on analysis. My husband is 100 percent a John Wayne. He despises people that ask for any sort of help or admit to any kind of flaw in their character. He refuses to talk about any problems, it doesn't matter how big they are, we WILL pretend they don't exist.

    The last part you wrote is more my mantra as well, and beautifully worded. Isn't that really the point? We wanna be there for others, give them everything we got, carry them when they can't stand on their own. And then, from time to time, we fall, and hopefully there will be people around to pick us up. Isn't that pretty much the essence of humanity?
     
  14. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    Wow, that's some partner you got there! If I could be half as diplomatic as she is, I would be very proud of myself. How cool of her!

    I'm so happy for you! Amazing work and such a wise decision to confide in her. That's the mature and loving way to do it. :)
     
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  15. Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario Fapstronaut

    Ah, the never take help type.
    The no fun truth is that he probably has to get broken before he's willing to admit a problem. Like, a rock getting shattered levels of broken. Anything less and it sounds like he's not gonna admit his shortcomings. Not sure how to do it safely...but until he realizes he's not in control, he's gonna try to cling to his control. Problem with these types is you never really know how they'll react to being "shattered".
     
  16. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    I had to make my husband want to ask for help. When he got to the point he thought he would lose me and the kids, he finally asked for help. At first he only did it to keep me and thought that eventually he would be able to go back to it. But once he started doing the work, the real, hard work, and he was out of the PA brain fog, he realized exactly how PM was ruining his life and is doing the work for himself now.
     
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  17. Lilla_My

    Lilla_My Fapstronaut

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    I wonder if he realized it ruined your life too? I mean once he was out of the fog. They seem rather oblivious to the incredible pain they inflict when they are in the PMO cycle. Did he felt guilty towards you?
     
  18. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    I know you were asking @EyesWideOpen , but I can chime in with my experience here. I told my husband, in ever more desperate words and actions that he was destroying me, us, and himself. He would nod and say he understood and even give sympathy, but there was NO EMPATHY. I even posted on these forums asking for advice and information about empathy. I was told again and again by addicts that when a brain is soaked in porn, NOT feeling the feelings, including empathy, IS the point of the exercise. They don't feel anything until the porn brain "wears off" or they have some kind of "enlightenment". Eventually, I just started working reports of my feelings and experiences into everyday conversation. It would be something like,

    Him: "What were you talking to Susie about on the phone?"
    Me: "She was telling me about a fun new restaurant she went to last weekend. It sounds great"
    Him: "Oh - let's go there! Sounds great."
    Me: "That's preposterous, sweetie. It would still be way too triggering for both of us. I would spend days of mental torture preparing to go, and since you really haven't worked on getting your scanning and ogling behaviors under control, the night would end in disaster. It just isn't worth it. We just can't do things that other people do."

    At the same time, when he would ask me "What are you thinking?" (It's a thing we often do), instead of leaving out the "troubling" thoughts, I began just saying exactly what I was thinking.

    Him: "You look lost in thought. What are you thinking?"
    Me: "Oh, I was drawing back the blue curtains in the breakfast room and I had a flashback about that night you were compulsively staring at that 13 year old girl at our son's graduation dinner. That girl's dress was the same color of blue."
    Him: "Really? That happened a year ago."
    Me:"Yup. That's the way post-traumatic stress works. You never know what will pop up and why. Who knows how long I will be this way. Research says the brain can heal, but it takes time."

    There would be no judgment in my voice - just very matter-of-fact. I had given up escalating and repeating and crying in attempts to get him to finally "see". This became my everyday approach. No more hiding. No feeling guilty for or trying to "spare" him my "bad" thoughts. I had nothing to be ashamed of and we were just going to live in the reality of our situation and i wouldn't mince words about it. Sometimes he would get mad, some times he would just go about his day, other times he would act out in some dramatic way like self harming by banging his head on the wall, etc. This was a late development and I now see it as perhaps the beginnings of empathy. In those cases, I believe he was experiencing guilt and shame, as evidenced by his need to divert attention from and avoid accountability for the fallout from his actions. ie. He caught glimpses of the damage his behaviors had cause, he felt pangs of guilt he couldn't deal with, he acted out in order to draw fire away from those pangs and their associated behaviors.

    Now for the interesting part of the story (at least to me!). I just went on with my matter-of-fact reporting and telling the truth about what it was like to be the addiction-damaged me. Then one day, I said something that I thought was very simple and ordinary. I don't even remember what it was (something like the curtain/13 year old girl thing maybe), but after I said it he burst into tears and said, "Oh my god! Is that what it is like for you?" I told him "yes", but that I was happy because I had recently seen dramatic improvement - those thoughts/incidents were down to about 50 or so per day from a peak of much higher than that. He fell apart and said, "Are you serious?!" I was absolutely shocked. This was something I thought he KNEW! I wasn't giving him any new information. After all, I had been telling him directly in those very words and indirectly with my behavior (when words didn't help) FOR 16 MONTHS STRAIGHT! But for some reason, it was only at that moment that it all came rushing in on him. He got out of our car (we were parked at the time!) and walked over to the grass on the side of the parking lot, lay down on the muddy ground and sobbed for 10 full minutes. Only this time it didn't feel like theatrics meant to distract. It felt real. Since then, this type of thing has happened several times and for the FIRST time I (and he) believe he feels empathy.

    So I know from observing his experience that it is possible for an addict to develop / start to feel empathy, but I don't imagine there is a magic formula to make it happen. It is probably different for every person. I hope it happens for your PA very soon, for your sake. Sending hugs.
     
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  19. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    No, he doesn't he realize how hard it has been. He does know i've been hurt immensely and that I carry that with me, but he doesn't have a clue exactly how hurt. I also don't tell him much of how it is for me. In the very beginning, him knowing what I was going through would have caused major setbacks for him. The shame was very deep. It still is, but almost 3 years later and he is finally getting to the point where he is able to address it and is taking steps to overcome it. Now he's ready, but after healing a lot on my own, i don't find the need to pour it all out. I have told him some. I will probably never tell him everything.
     
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