My husband's addiction

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by marsha124, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. marsha124

    marsha124 Fapstronaut

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    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Marsha. I am currently struggling with pornography addiction, in the form of erotic novels. It's gotten to the point where I think about them whenever I pleasure myself (and sometimes even when I'm not), so I am attempting to abstain from both.
    I may talk about that later, but right now I was wanting to talk about my husband. I'm not worried about him seeing this, as I know he doesn't go on this website.
    I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but it might be long as I've never discussed it with anyone before.

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years, after dating for 4. We have two beautiful children and live a comfortable lifestyle. I would call it paradise, except for the fact that my husband struggles with his own pornography addiction. While mine just makes me feel guilty and depressed, his...
    I don't want to sound harsh. I know this will paint him in a bad light. He's a lovely man, a fantastic man, but...it turns him into a monster.
    He becomes verbally abusive. He's cold, sarcastic, moody, he yells...at both me and the children. Honestly, it scares me. I don't think he'll ever hurt me, but when he's at his worst...sometimes...I can't help but wonder. It makes me feel awful to think that.
    I know this makes him sound terrible. He really isn't. When he's clean he's wonderful. Funny, charming, tender, sweet...he's absolutely perfect. I understand that it's his addiction that makes him this way. But it just hurts so much to see him transform.

    He's been strugging with it since he was 14. When we met I knew that he watched it, but I didn't know how badly it affected him. He had mood swings, but I always believed him when he told me that he was tired or stressed. His mood continued to decline...it wasn't until it got so bad (that we temporarily separated) that he confessed to me about it.
    Ever since then he's been trying to quit (abstaining from P&M, like me), but it's been 3 years. He's been getting better at fighting it (and controlling his temper when he does relapse), but he always relapses. It's hard, on both me and the kids. Two weeks ago he relapsed again, after being clean for nearly 4 months. I woke up in the morning and went to kiss him before he went to work...it was like Jekyll and Hyde. The night before he was cuddly and sweet, and that morning he was cold and snappy. At first I thought that he had a terribly bad sleep. I didn't think much of it, as the thought of relapsing was far from my mind. After all, he had nearly made it to 4 months. It was the farthest he had gone, and he hadn't mentioned anything to me about struggling.
    However, he was still "off" after he came home. And the next day he was even worse. We bickered throughout the day, resulting in a fight right before bed.
    He apologized the next day, but he was still in a foul mood. His emotions were like a rollercoaster: happy one minute, angry the next. After a week of this he started to get better again, but by that time I had already put two and two together.

    You see, this is mainly the reason why I'm posting here today. The thing is...he never talks to me about it. He'll occasionally mention it, mainly on how hard it is to fight it...but he never actually TALKS to me about it. I've told him time and time again that he can use me as his support. To let me be his rock. I've told him that when he's at his worst and about to relapse, to come to me. I'll sit with him. Talk to him. Listen to him. I'll do whatever he needs me to do in order to get through it.
    But...he never has. In 3 years the closest he came was just casually mentioning that it was rough and that he ALMOST did it. I asked if he needed me to "watch over him" (so to speak) but he said no. Then he relapsed a week later.
    He tells me that he doesn't want to bother me about it. He tells me that he doesn't want to wake me up, or distract me, or interrupt me while I'm in the middle of something. I tell him that it doesn't matter what I'm doing; I WANT him to lean on me. I'd much rather have my sleep interrupted or to be caught off guard on the toilet, then to find out later that he relapsed. I'd take a few minutes of that, over months of him regaining his footing.
    My words fall on deaf ears. He refuses to let me help him. I know that it's hard to talk about it. I know that he cares about me and really doesn't want to bother me about it. But I just can't convince him that it really is okay to talk to me. Or even to just sit with me. No matter what I say he just won't believe me.

    After he relapses, he doesn't tell me. He might hint at it a month or two later, but the closest he'll come is mentioning that he's hit a milestone. He'll say "I'm at a month" and I'll say "I thought you already were?" and he'll reply "Oh yeah, I had to do restart it again". Casually.
    I have to either beat around the bush and hope that he confesses, or directly ask him about it. Which upsets him and usually leads to a fight.
    I know he doesn't tell me himself because he's ashamed, and because he doesn't want me to be disappointed.
    Well, it does disappoint me. But I'm also proud of him for trying to fight it again...and I'd be even prouder if he came to me after he relapsed. Even if he can't come to me before, I'd be happier if he at least told me afterwards. Either or.

    I suppose I'm just looking for advice. I feel stuck, and...I guess this sounds selfish, but I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. I'm tired of tiptoeing around the subject. I'm tired of going to bed, not knowing if I'll wake up to my husband or the monster. I'm tired of feeling utterly useless. I'm tired of telling my children to "leave Daddy be for now, as he's not in a good mood" and then making up excuses as to why.
    I just don't know what to do anymore.

    I'm not sure if anyone here will have any advice to offer, but I just wanted to thank you for reading this. It feels nice to get this off of my chest, even if it doesn't change anything.

    I hope you are all well. Have a lovely day and weekend. :)

    Marsha
     
  2. countitjoy5

    countitjoy5 Fapstronaut

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    Sorry to hear about your plight. Go through your own rebooting process... a lot of this is a spiritual issue. Take the information you glean from this site and try to share it during your process. Let him know what you battle and your willingness to let it go for the relationship, maybe he will try harder to reciprocate.
     
    marsha124 likes this.
  3. marsha124

    marsha124 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your response! :emoji_blush:

    I'm definitely trying to gain as much info as I can. There are a lot of good tips here!
    I forgot to mention this before, but he does know about my addiction. I haven't talked to him about it in a while, but maybe I will. It's a good idea, thank you :)
     
  4. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Yes Marsha, you've had quite a lot to say. So I'm just going to give you a brief synopsis of what is going on here. First, your husband is carrying around this big ball of shame. He needs to get over it. With that in mind, I would suggest he seek out Brene' Brown. She has lots of material on the internet as well as numerous outstanding books she has published. "Shame cannot live without empathy". Unfortunately, you're giving it to him, but he's just not hearing it.

    The next thing is, he's been going at it for three years. Or so he says. The reality is, he has had sufficient opportunity to work this, yet hasn't. YOU CANNOT WHITE KNUCKLE YOUR WAY THROUGH THIS. The reason he isn't recovering is he isn't ready. Oh, he may patronize you and say that he is, and he probably even believes it. But until he hits "Rock Bottom", and there is nowhere to go but up, he isn't going to take the necessary hard steps to fix it. He is avoiding it like all the rest of us did. He needs to learn the recovery tools necessary to overcome it. What has he actively done? Therapist? Groups? 12-Step? Addiction Treatment Center? What has he actually done to address it? The very fact that any of this is an honorable mention whenever you bring up the subject, his unwillingness to proactively talk about it with you, etc. is indicative of one who has never really put forth any reasonable effort to recover. And maybe, just maybe, you've been enabling him by not setting your foot down.

    My suggestion to you is Boundaries & Consequences. This is necessary for an addict. It is not control. It is not punishment. It is protecting your own health and well being. If you need help with those, let me know.
     
  5. I’ve found this video series helpful...

     
  6. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    I’ve had the same thoughts of Jekyll/Hyde lately. I’m impressed you have put up with it for so long! I’m only into a couple months since discovery of my husband’s PA and chatroom affairs and I’m already seriously considering the door after he’s lied to my face and abruptly removed accountability software from his phone without discussing with me first. He is not on his way to earning back trust. Which is sad considering the kiddos.
     
  7. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    “Instant asshole,
    Just add alcohol.”

    Seen on a hat years ago.
    Swap booze for P...

    Some form of help will certainly
    give him a chance
    As @GhostWriter noted.

    Found a 12 step group so helpful, essential myself.

    My SO may still watch minor stuff and recently commented that I was fast forwarding through the “good stuff” in some movies. I can’t anymore and entertain sobriety. But I have to do it for myself inspite or her habits.

    NoFap and the resources here
    were my step 0
    Preceding the 12 steps.
    Some are more therapy oriented.
     

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