At a loss

Submitted by Rachel123 on
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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and stumbled upon it whilst searching for a support group for the partners of sex addicts. All the other sites requires me to pay subscription fees in order to partake in the forums. I am hoping that talking to you guys might help...

I met my husband on a well known mobile chat site (Mxit) in 2006. Everything between us was so special and he treated me with the utmost respect from the word go. Never was sex chat or porn or anything like that mentioned. He never even attempted to do such things with me. As far as I was concerned we had the perfect relationship. In Oct 2006 we moved in together and then suddenly things started to change. My kids were nothing more than an irritation to him and it compelled me to move out. He begged and pleaded to such an extend that I took him back after just 3 weeks even though I did not move back in with him. I started noticing a severe change in our sex life at this stage and his explanation was that he was tired from having to drive 2hours daily to and from work (which was also the case in the beginning and never seemed to have that effect).

Soon after we reconciled I was alone at home one Saturday and he had accidentally left his work cell phone in my room. I heard an mms coming through and suddenly I had to check...something I never do. What I saw shocked me to such an extend that I was physically grasping for air. It was a picture of some girls genitals. On further investigation I realized that he had been sending and receiving such images to and from a number of different women - all mxit contacts. I confronted him and his answer was that it started when we were separated and that he was feeling rejected and alone. According to him he was trying to stop but the woman would not let go. I believed him and forgave him and never looked back.

In 2007 he urged me to resign my job of 17 years and move with him closer to his workplace as this would supposedly help our relationship in that he would be so tired all the time...So I did and we got married in 2008. Just before the wedding I had a miscarriage and he was so considerate and took such good care of me.Having no job and no where to turn to I was totally reliant on him. Our sex life was virtually non existent after this and he gave excuses like hes tired, the bedroom door has no key, theres no bathroom in the bedroom etc.

I begged and pleaded for him to open up to me and tell me what he wanted and needed or at least to recognize the fact that something was wrong. He reacted very defensively and accused me of only being with him for sex. Him working away from home further complicated things as he tended to ignore me when he was away. I tried to spice up things by videotaping myself stripping etc and sending it to him he never even acknowledged me sending it. I tried to entice him into sex chats with me but he refused saying that it was cheap and filthy.

Last year I accidentally found porn in his cupboard. When confronting him he explained that it was old stuff that he just never got rid of. Again I believed him. In the meantime we started a company together and was working very nicely together as we make a great team...our sex life however never recovered. About 6 weeks ago I had had enough and I moved out of our bedroom. At once he came out with everything..

He confessed to being addicted to porn and to watching it every chance he gets. Masturbating daily and having had sex chats for the entire duration of our relationship.It felt like our entire relationship had been one big lie. I acted emotionally and told him to leave which he did. He soon started begging and pleading again for another chance. I seriously do not know what to do. He says he is seeking help and that he does not want to loose me. Apparently he is willing to do anything to win this.

I am so unsure of what to do. I really and truly love the man but I do not want to wake up in 10 years finding myself broken and used up. I also do not want to check on him. I HATE these feelings I am having now. I used to be a strong, well motivated person. This is killing me.

Do any of you have real concrete advice????

Welcome to reuniting

Welcome to reuniting Rachel123 :)
As a porn addict, I understand exactly what your husband is going through and I also understand your pain and confusion.

It's likely that the more science-savvy members will be able to explain this better for you, but I'll give it a go :)
Internet porn is a super stimulus, it hooks people due to its appeal to the primitive part of our brains. An interesting thing I heard was that during a single porn viewing session online, a man will see more naked women than our ancestors would have in their entire lives!

Your husband evolved to find something like internet porn super stimulating, because the porn is fooling his brain into thinking it is a firtilization oppurtunity, its like a cave-man stumbling across a large tribe of receptive females, he would mate with every single one of them likely. His lack of desire for you sexually isn't because he doesn't find you attractive anymore, its because his reward circuitry in his brain is so drained from watching porn, anything other than porn movies/images doesn't jolt up his dopamine and basically arouse him.

I suggest you want the yourbrainonporn series of videos, they explain this whole thing much better than I can :)
http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

As for what to do with your husband, only you can answer that, but just so you know, if he tries hard enough, he CAN get better, porn addiction is very difficult to break free from, but men and women do break free from it and return to living a normal, ordinary life. But it won't be easy.

I'm one of the lucky ones, because my girlfriend has supported me from day 1 and I have to say, it has made a whole world of difference for me.

Welcome

As I read your account I can totally relate to your husbands' pain and frustration and the confusion, and range of other emotions that you must be experiencing.

As 20UK said above, this addiction can be so powerful and insidious and difficult to break free from - especially if you don't understand the brain chemistry piece. At least that has been my experience as well. As another addict who has struggled with these same issues for a very long time the best advice I can give is to echo what was said above and to visit the YBOP site and to continue exploring and reading this site, communicate with your husband about what you are learning, and hopefully he will want to jump in here too. I've found it to be a great resource and source of support as well.

I am pretty new to this community but I have already felt such great benefit from reading and interacting with others here to share my journey and get an education on this problem that has been knocking me around for quite a long time. But the good news is that I think there is real reason for hope here.

Be well.

Slowly-Gaining-Energy

Welcome

Thanks for sharing your story. Just so you know, you can never compete with porn...not because you're less attractive, but because there's only one of you. It's the constant novelty that acts on the brain like a drug: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201108/porn-th...

Besides, he clearly wants you to be the "angel" in his life. The buzz from porn can come from its hidden, forbidden qualities. Even if you could paint yourself in that disguise it wouldn't be very satisfying for either of you.

Unless he stops numbing his brain's pleasure response with this extreme, "risky" stimulus, sex with you will not register as exciting. Even after he quits, you won't see a big improvement for a couple of months. The good news is that if he returns to balance, sex with you will be much more interesting, and neither of you will be stuck an an artificial role. Did you read this husband's blog? http://yourbrainonporn.com/no-more-yankie-my-wankie-blog

Is he interested in learning about what's going on in his brain?

my 2 pennies

As an addict with ED whose marriage failed (largely due to it), there are a couple of things i would say

1) A wife/woman is not in competition with porn, full stop. One is a film/entertainment, the other is a person. A husband does not see one as a preference or substitute for the other. The problem is one impacts the other because of the nature of it (the now better understood side effects of porn).

2) Porn is an addiction (in the truest sense), i can no longer watch porn without a good juicy thick cock in it, I'm not gay and not attracted to men at all, but when it comes to porn its just not the same for me otherwise...It is not the women or the men in it that matter, it is just the reaction it has on us (me) that I am addicted to. It's just a fix, but when it has side effects such as low libido (which may sound strange) and more importantly ED then the easiest option for a porn addict to become reclusive, thus avoiding these embarrassing situations.

Many partners don't wish to stay with an addict of any sort, it's not an easy life, but with this one i think with the right counselling and someone to confide in (such as a wife) it can be overcome. I only realised i had PMO related ED after my divorce. It's a shame to lose a marriage over it....in fact it's a very, very sad state of affairs and i would not wish anyone to go through that.

Personally i would say sit down with him, join a site such as this together and put together a plan, i suspect you'll see improvement in weeks of abstaining assuming that is the only issue (though i would probably allow a whole reboot period of no hanky panky. You do not want to wake up in 10years so don't set a 10 year target, be honest in that you want to see improvements, from what i am reading here a reboot can be done in 3-6months...perhaps something like 9 months is not an unreasonable deadline/date to review the situation...but ultimately the choice is yours.

@ my 2 pennies (Vissage)

Hi there,

Thank you for all the comments. Firstly please explain what exactly a reboot is? Secondly hubby says he is not keen at all on abstaining for any length of period, which makes the withdrawal process impossible. He does not have ED....

I am also not as upset by the porn as I am with the sex chats.....I know it sounds funny but these were real people in other words it is not just the sex images in the traditional porn sense. These were relationships even being only sexual (hopefully) they were with real people.

We are starting therapy tomorrow though and I hope that it will help us and especially me as I refuse to be defined by this. I do not need to beg and plead for affection and it feels like these actions have changed me into a pathetic jealous female which I never were. I absolutely detest checking up on someone as I feel it is their own responsibility to behave within accepted norms...I need help urgently trusting again as his job entails travelling etc...I cannot expect that he stops doing what he does just to put my mind at ease but equally I do not trust him enough at this stage.

As for confiding in me I hope the therapist can manage to drive this important factor home. If he did confide in me I could and would gladly assist when things get to much to handle. Help him divert his attention to more constructive means of coping. I believe he has never had someone to confide in even though I have tried my utmost to show I can be trusted to share anything with.

But talking to you guys do help. Puts a new perspective on this for me.

Thanks a lot.

No one

is "interested in abstaining." But if he wants to regain control by bringing a primitive part of his brain back into balance, then a temporary time-out from all intense sexual stimulation may be his best option...uncomfortable as it is in the short term.

ED is only one of many indications that someone has addiction-related changes going on in his brain. For a more complete check list, see this article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201109/are-you...

Checking in just to say hello

Hi Rachel 123,

Greetings. I hope all is well with you and your husband. Since I first read your initial post I have been looking for your posts occasionally when I come to the site, just to see how things are going. I personally am on my 24th day of a "reboot" after nearly 40 years of fairly consistent porn use. For about the past 10 years I had had a sense that orgasm was "messing with my brain chemistry" but never knew for sure until I discovered this site and YBOP.

I'm not sure how long my "reboot" will need to go on for but, to this point, the fact that my brain chemistry seems to be "calming down" as a result of no orgasms for 24 days is such a welcome development!

I hope all is well with you guys.

All the best,

losingenergy

Hi There

Thank you for your interest. I am pleased to say that since my initial post things are much better with me and hubby. :) . We are talking for the first time ever and I think he is relieved that his big secret is out in the open now. At least now he can talk to me. We are much closer and also more honest which gives me hope.

I hope you are also doping well and I will pray for you to stay positive ans focused on your end result. Strongs...

Blessings

Rachel123

Bad Day

Today is a really bad day for me :( . Reading posts and also talking to addicts I have come to realize that most of them experience flashbacks, withdrawal symptoms and cravings. My hubby has been of porn sex chats and masturbation for nearly 8 weeks now (according to him) and he is not experiencing any of those - again according to him.....

This is troublesome to me. How can it then be an addiction if there are none of the symptoms present? Is not then maybe a choice?

We are in therapy and we each received a booklet to complete...he hasn't touched his. Is he then really committed?

I just feel like I am doing all the work......

Advice please: did anyone go through this without these symptoms????

Blessings

Rachel123

Hi Rachel

I'll leave this brief as I have to check out of a hotel and have a meeting soon.

Personally I don't really have flashbacks of porn or the fantasy chats, but do picture scenes of girls I knew in real life, in fact on i only met once, so it's amazing that a fantasy of a real girl i met only for a few hours over powers decades of porn abuse, that being said I have, in previous reboots had the occassional flashback of a scene I may have watched 20 years ago, which is odd lol.

I would encourage him to fill in the booklet, but please remember to you this is something you want to fix immediately so I understand your frustration. To him it's an area of his life that he has never let anyone 'real' or someone he loves into, so it's difficult to suddenly start talking openly about it (especially if low self esteem/self loathing/embarrasment about the actions is there). Also he may be having flashbacks but does not want to tell you because he may feel it will make you feel insecure or upset you. It's a difficult one for you because the more you ask (About flashbacks), the more he may feel that you are testing him and only asking because you feel insecure about him having flashbacks, after all every wife wants to hear, "oh no, they were meaningless therefore I don't think of them" at least in his mind. He probably hasn't researched withdrawl as much as you and does not realise that flashbacks are beyond his control and not a sign that his antics meant more to him than you.

Don't give up on it though, perhaps you could complete his booklet together?

Just a thought.

Vis

Hey Vis

As usual go give me practical advice :) . Thanks!!!

Update: I now know the reason he could not complete the booklet as he did not understand most of the terms... I helped him over the weekend to complete it.

Furthermore he sat me down, went into every single chat site and porn site he ever visited, wrote down all the names so he can deal with it in therapy. He deleted everything after allowing me to see it all and also answering all of my questions. I think that is fabulous progress. It means he is now taking responsibility. The best part (FOR ME) [tanz] is it did not stir him AT ALL. But my goodnight kiss did.... [bigsmile] .

Blessings

Rachel123

I am, I am, I really am...

Oh you meant Rachel's hubby [bigsmile] [bigsmile] . Seriously though, great news Rachel, I think the fact you can share this thing will make things a lot easier for your progress, also it takes that secretive aspect out of it, which for some can add to the appeal of such things but additionally, it makes it easier to slip away into this world that is not real, but makes us feel better....well it doesn't 'really' make us feel better, it's what i now refer to as the quarter pounder with cheese meal effect. It's easily available, it's made to look good and we automatically yearn it, but once we have it we do not feel truly 'full up' and kinda regret it...until next time we have that hunger pang.

Moral of the story, you can start taking him out to a real classy restaurant now, of course I'm speaking figuratively Wink

great news, I'm very happy for you.

Vis.

Hi Rachel

As someone who would say he was an addict, and to the chat/web cam stuff that you talk about it's great to read what you have written and see that things are moving in the right direction for you. Thank you.
I think that some of us have addictions within us and they have potential to come out at different times. My step dad was an alcoholic and my mum lived with this for years, despising his drinking and the fact that it was destroying our lives. However years after they had split up, she developed a drink problem herself - I really don't think this is where she wanted to be but it's where she ended up.
"How can it then be an addiction if there are none of the symptoms present?" If hubby was an alcoholic the addiction would still be there even if he was sober but he would have to stay of alcohol forever. I think it's the same with porn, we can't flirt with it. It will get easier with time to keep winning.
From an addicts view I think you are doing all the right things. It's a different path to mine but I read your words and thought that your path was one to success. He is a lucky guy to have you work through the things you have on the websites. I think if you can do all this together, you'll do very well.
About the book - us boys don't like being hassled to do their homework. Leave it, don't mention it ,don't push him or it's an issue then. Maybe he'll do it in time.

Hi IM

Thank you for the encouraging words.

I also think that together we can get past this in a loving way after all we got married because we love each other and previous attempts to break up just ended up in being together again [blinzel] - maybe its meant to be then .

Thank you for the compliment as well but equally I am a lucky woman to have a man that cares enough to trust me with this. It cant be easy to admit these things especially not to someone you love. And as I said previously besides the fact that he is an addict he is also the best man alive on all other levels. The booklet is done and dusted and handed in lol.

Blessings

Rachel123