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ExhaustedI’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years. His porn addiction had just started getting to the point where it cause ED when we first started being intimate w/ each other. He told me about his addiction shortly after we became sexually active and I did some research on the subject then, but I didn’t realize the extent of his addiction until we moved in together 9 or so months later.
His addiction has driven him to lie, watch old videos of his ex girlfriend touching herself, and hide whole parts of his life from me. I’ve recently found out there has been another woman in his life for the entirety of our relationship whom he’s confided in. She knows everything about me, I just learned of her existence . Not only does he not need me for sexual gratification but for our whole relationship up until this point he’s had another woman for emotional support as well. This experience has been soul crushing to say the least. I’ve turned into a different version of myself I didn’t even realize existed. I’ve recently found a website that has put into words exactly how I feel:
* “I have been traumatized by the repeated discovery of his deception and betrayal of me with these activities.”
* “Now I feel unattractive, ugly, wondering what’s wrong with me. I can’t sleep or concentrate. I’m missing out on life’s happiness.”
* “It obliterated the trust in our relationship. I no longer believe a single thing he says.”
* “We don’t have sex often, and it irritates me that he puts more time into the porn than trying to be intimate with me.”
* “I became over-the-top with snooping, spying, trying to control the behavior, and thinking if I just did, then I could stop it. It caused complete erosion of my self-esteem, boundaries, and sense of self.”
* Emotional instability, including frequent mood shifts, over-the-top emotional reactions, tearfulness, rage, etc., sometimes followed by feelings of intense love and a desire to “make it work.”
* Hypervigilant behaviors (detective work), such as checking phone and credit card bills, wallets, computers, phone apps, texts, and the like for evidence of continued infidelity.
* Anxiety, depression, loss of self-esteem, and other mood-related symptoms.
* Being easily triggered into mistrust of the addict partner; common triggers included the addict coming home five minutes late, turning off the computer too quickly, looking “too long” at an attractive person, etc.
* Sleeplessness, inability to wake up, and/or nightmares.
* Overcompensating by trying to lose weight, dressing provocatively, etc.
* Obsessing about the betrayal and struggling to stay “in the moment.”
* Avoiding thinking about or discussing the betrayal.
* Emotionally escapist use of alcohol, drugs, food, spending, gambling, etc.
It certainly doesn’t help that I’ve always struggled with some form of self esteem issues and mild depression. But it’s never been this bad. Ever. It also doesn’t help that both of the relationships I’ve had prior to this ended due to my s/o cheating with another woman. Both of those relationships only lasted 6months. It would seem I’m never enough.
I resent him for making me feel this way. In a way I have always held ill feelings but my love for him has always been stronger. Lately things have taken a turn. We are now living apart. We still speak/see each other frequently, but I needed space to think. He’s so amazing in so many other ways. He’s too good for this addiction. I’ve gone into therapy myself and he’s finally taken action to find a sex therapist. Up until now he’s tried (or at least he told me he has) to stop watching/masturbating to porn without the support of a professional. I’ve done everything he’s asked of me sexually including dressing up, sending video/pictures of myself as a replacement, and performing sexual acts I’m uncomfortable with. I no longer do this. I now know better.
I have continuously made an active choice and commitment to go on with our relationship despite knowing what he struggles with.
But I feel at this point it may be too late for us. I fear major changes that he is making are coming too late. We’ve been together for 3 years and things have gotten worse over time, not better. I never knew I could feel this way. The thought of being without him is paralyzing. We still have a good time together and he’s still a good person to his core...but it’s hard for me to imagine us 5, 10, 15 years from now still struggling with this. His addiction is something we’ve been able to put under a rug at times and pretend as if it didn’t exist. That’s when we were at our “happiest”. It’s much easier to not talk about. But now lately more than ever it’s almost always the subject of conversation even when we don’t want it to be. I can’t even watch nudity on tv if I’m watching it with him. This can’t be normal. I don’t know if I am strong enough anymore. Or that I ever was. I don’t know if we can survive, together, like this any longer.
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