My first post... reaching out

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Lostlover22, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Lostlover22

    Lostlover22 Fapstronaut

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    This forum has been an incredible resource for me along my journey. I have never actually posted and tonight I feel like telling my story because it will help me get started in this community, which I very much need right now. I don’t know that anyone actually wants to read my long boring story but I need to let it out.

    Why didn’t I see the red flags waving from the start? I knew from the start he was into PMO, because I asked him about it and he was honest. I had no problem with his use until we had been dating for over 6 months, had gotten serious, and recently moved in together. We went on a weekend getaway together and I had a bad headache the first night of our trip and went to lie down early. Well, three hours later and he hadn’t come to bed or checked on me or anything and I was suspicious. I thought he was chatting with an old girlfriend and I was a little upset when he acted all cagey about it. He tried to tell me he was on Facebook and I knew he was keeping something from me.... a couple weeks later I figured it out. The first thing I found was his Instagram. Women aren’t even naked in Instagram! But the fitness models and all that... it was obviously a sexual thrill. I was so confused. They weren’t even naked! It just shocked me that he was so interested. Then I found some hardcore videos on the computer after I came back from being away one time. Didn’t bother me. I figured it was healthy and I was not threatened in the slightest. I noticed a while later that the videos were gone, and mentioned it in a fun loving way. He said he deleted all that stuff since he got together with me. A few months later I found his collection of nude photos and I realized just how often he used P. That terrible moment of discovering it on his computer, realizing he had been contributing to his collection all along, feeling so guilty for spying on him, confused and betrayed - I realized that he would look at these photos while I was home, in the other room or sometimes even on the other side of his screen. He would even get horny looking at his porn pics and then have sex with me. I wondered why didn’t he just tell me? Why couldn’t we look at them together, have fun, and be honest? I tried soooooo hard to be cool with it. After all, his taste in P was just fine, nothing overly degrading or weird. I gently confronted him about it and he would look me right in the eyes and lie. We had recently gotten married. I felt terrible for spying. Every time I even opened the browser history my heart rate would go crazy and I would be so afraid to look, but just had to know at the same time. I was disappointed over, and over, and over again. He brought porn on our honeymoon and was secretly looking at nude models while I was two feet away in the bed at the hotel. I tried sharing porn with him and watching it together. I would send him beautiful photos that appealed to his preferences. He appreciated it and I could tell he felt my acceptance and reassurance. At some point he admitted that he felt addicted, and that he knew his use was compulsive. But, he just kept lying to me, and I would get upset. This went on for a couple years. I still felt like I was to blame for having a problem with it. Like, all guys use porn, and I needed to get over it.

    Finally I went away on a trip by myself. I was gone for a month. I knew he would be using while I was away, so I tried to stay connected to him, told him to share pictures with me, to let me know where he was at with his addiction. I could even tell from miles away that he was binging. He wouldn’t respond to my messages, he would be extremely curt and distant, it was obvious. And not fun for me! He finally said to me, “I think I have a problem” and When I came home I was ready to say goodbye to him. We were talking about counseling and then somehow I found NoFap and rebooting. He immediately said yes, this is for me, and we decided to hard mode reboot together for 90 days. Abstaining from the O part didn’t last very long but he did indeed stay clean from PM for 90 days, and then added almost another 90 days on top of that. But, porn came back into our lives and so did his sneaking and lying. I found all of the links he told me he deleted, saved in another program. He tried to tell me the truth - he fessed up a few times and would usually admit it when I asked about it, but it was obviously still a destructive force in an otherwise wonderful relationship. He finally said, “you know what, I need to stop this. Maybe I will be an addict forever and this just isn’t something for me” That was pure music to my ears. He still had usernames and passwords to all his social media sites (all of them were solely used for porn) and with my help he deleted all of them and erased a couple of hard drives of collected content. I finally became at peace with my own feelings toward his porn use - I hate it. I can’t stand it. And that’s okay. It took me years to get to that place of accepting my own feelings about it. I so badly wanted to be “okay” with it, but I’m just not. At this point it has caused me so. much. pain. It is going to be what ruins my marriage. (It already has, although I am not ready to leave yet. I’m hoping for a miracle here....)

    His abstinence lasted a few months after that, until the first night I spent away from him. I came home and of course my intuition tells me what’s up so I asked him what he got up to while I was away and he confessed. This time, I was fine with it. Masturbating is normal and healthy and I know he can’t actually do it without help from porn. And he was forthcoming and honest and that made it okay. He had abstained for so long. Buuuuut not even a week later and he PMOd again. This time he just acted weird and didn’t say a word about it. I only found out several days later when I acted on a hunch and checked the computer (which we have talked about and he is fine with me checking the computer and history. Even when he tries to cover his tracks, I find it) I then confronted him and he had the nerve to act like he didn’t know what I was talking about! After everything we’d been through, he would still play dumb? Of course I’ve said before that if he lies to me again, we’re through, but I didnt stand by that. I love him too much. A couple weeks later I was suspicious and he said he was being good, but it was hard. He was trying to initiate sex and I got sort of emotional about our trust issues. He said,” just to make you more comfortable, I’m going to put my computer away. I want your trust back” what he forgot to admit to was using porn again! I checked his computer after he put it away and it was all over the place. Ugh. Gag.

    It has made me feel better to see that damned laptop out of sight but I still have this terrible anxiety about leaving him home alone. It’s ruining my social life. I don’t want to go out because I’m afraid he will relapse. I am wary of denying him sex because I’m afraid he will relapse. I am so sick of this problem and I feel like it defines who he is and he will never be free of it. WE will never be rid of this plague on our relationship. How can I believe in him when he lies so freely, still, after all we’ve been through? He admits he has a problem. I know he gets triggered easily by images online, even fucking makeup ads do it for him. He told me recently, “you don’t understand what a big deal this is for me to give up” .... he sometimes says he is abstaining for himself, but I know other times he resents me for taking it from him.

    I feel so depressed and defeated because of this. I so desperately wish he could give it up for good and we could move on with our lives. But porn has its talons in his soul and will not let go. So I am here, posting. I don’t know where to go from here. All I know is that I really need people to talk to and people who understand. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone and I need some support..... Thanks for listening.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  2. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hello lostlover22 and welcome...you have come to the right place. I am a spouse of a porn addict, and understand exactly what you are going through.

    Three things:

    1) Your spouse is an addict. Addicts lie, and manipulate and display a host of hurtful behaviour. He will not get healthy without outside support . It is a progressive illness.

    2) None of his porn use has anything to do with you. You must take good care of you at all times. Remember, you are good enough in all aspects.

    3) Your spouse may have to hit rock bottom before any concrete changes are made. Set some firm boundaries to protect yourself.

    Good luck , keep coming back, and don’t isolate yourself. His behaviour is not your responsibility. An addict will always find his drug of choice regardless of what you do.

    Prayers sent your way...
     
  3. Lostlover22

    Lostlover22 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you so much for your words. This whole thing has me feeling kind of like a pathetic idiot. It is nice to feel heard and understood by other people who know what it’s like.... I know it could be worse.... and I do feel fortunate that my PA has admitted he has a problem. It’s just something I have to live with every single day. So sick and tired of it.
     
  4. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    You’re not a pathetic idiot. You love someone who has an addiction. Please remember it’s not your job to fix him...that’s his job. Your job, is to take care of you...especially as you go through this. Be kind, gentle and loving with yourself
     
  5. One thing I learned that might be helpful (because you were talking about being sober for 90 days) is that just being sober wasn’t a long term solution for me.
    I had to plan a whole recovery program that fills my life with connection and things I like to do to replace the thing I was avoiding.
    Now I don’t even desire it anymore.
    Also my thinking has changed where I can watch shows without wondering if I can find nude pics of actresses somewhere or fantasize about them later.
    Granted this has occurred over time (over 4 years no M) but it has gotten easier.
    It’s good to have goals like 90/120/365 for tracking progress, but it’s a whole lifestyle change to beat this
     
  6. Lostlover22

    Lostlover22 Fapstronaut

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    I think you are totally right. My PA has decided to put his computer away for a while. It has been wonderful for me. He’s been reading books and spending more time outside and I’m spending less time on the internet,too, because I don’t feel so ignored and excluded by his screen time. He recognized that certain movie scenes trigger him and so does just sitting in front of the screen because it is such an ingrained habit to surf for P. He has been working on curbing his addiction for about a year and there have been some rough periods of depression and boredom for him. He says there is a void to fill, but he isn’t sure quite how to do that. I will not be surprised when this issue creeps up again. But he has said that it has gotten much easier. Thanks so much for your input, I am glad we are not alone.
     
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  7. ComplexRiddle

    ComplexRiddle Fapstronaut

    I completely agree. Certainly in my case, my addiction is basically a learned method of coping with negative thoughts and emotions. If you can eliminate the negative stuff, or deal with the need that he was trying to fill with porn (and this is almost certainly not lack of sex - more likely loneliness, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety etc.) then the temptation to go back will begin to fade. Guys don't just wake up one morning and decide to become a porn addict, any more than we wake up and decide that gambling or drugs will make all our problems disappear. I might not be in the majority in this view, but I think that porn addiction is often a symptom of some other underlying issue - and (particularly in guys who are less emotionally literate) it's almost a sick kind of self-medication for poor mental / spiritual health.

    Well done for coming here, and well done for supporting your SO. You might not be able to fix him yourself, but you can certainly help him on his way. He might not be able to say it himself, but really: thank you. You're clearly putting a lot of yourself into sorting this.

    Hope this helps. Blessings
     
    Lostlover22 and Lostneverland like this.
  8. Liina

    Liina Fapstronaut

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    Hi Lostlover, I know exactly what you're going through!
    My ex was/is a PA, and I got all the same feelings with him. For years I tried to accept the fact, PMO belongs to every man's life and I have to accept that I will be always lesser, or worse in his eyes than the women online. I was so miserable. All the time thinking how do other women accept all this? I couldn't find the answer. Unfortunately I found nofap long time after our break up, and I still suffer from his addiction.

    I can also relate to that my social Life suffered. I always canceled everything only because I couldn't leave him home alone. And if I did leave him, I was thinking non-stop that now he is doing PMO. I was so anxious. I never enjoyed the time with my friends or family. And of course he never came with me anywhere, he wanted to stay at home (and PMO).

    And he also blamed me for having nonsense problems alone in my head. And it was my own fault if I was unhappy, he had nothing to do with it. I believed it couple of years, as I said I thought I just have to accept it before I can be happy. Now I know that I don't have to accept any P usage from my SO!

    It feels like P is a big boogieman in the closet. I feel like people know it's wrong and they are embarrassed by doing it. So why everybody lies about it? And hides? Why don't they see it's destroying the happiness? Yeah I know the answer is that they don't care because it's an addiction... The whole P thing is so disgusting. It has ruined many lives and still it's thriving.

    It really sucks. I wish you all the best.
     

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