Support for spouses of husbands addicted to porn

Looking for advice/tips ...how to deal with and overcome the feeling of betrayal when your husband uses porn
  • 66 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I don't have much advice, I am new to this unfortunate club. My bf told me upfront that he had a porn addiction. I didn't realize the magnitude of what he was telling me however. It has been a roller coaster for sure. Patience is about the only thing that I would advise. It is uncomfortable for him to talk to me, but he will if I broach the subject in a non threatening or judgemental way. My bf has been good about comforting me when I feel betrayed. He has given me space when I needed it and has let me bawl my eyes and pour my heart out when it gets to be too much. Just knowing he loves me and he is not intentionally hurting me helps. He is also hurting, I try and remember that too. Good luck
  • As I myself feeling I'm addicted to porn, the best thing you can do is be there for him, it's not you. In my case I'm very attracted to my wife but this impulse comes over me to watch porn. I've been good up untill recently when event made me relapse or that's what I think but it's hard for both parties but hopefully like myself he wants to be free of it.
  • He says he wants to be free.. i just have a hard time believing him as we keep going down the same path were he says he'll quit and then relapses. He's finally contacted help so that's a good sign.. do you know why you do it when it causes your wife so much pain?
  • I don't want to do it, its a mental thing where your brain tells you, that you need it. I don't know about him, but its an embarrassing thing to share with someone that youre addicted to porn, only 3 people I know, know I am, my wife who isn't really speaking to me, my mom who has been very supportive and my bishop at church, who I feel is the person I can most talk to. at this point in time I feel empty inside without my wife. I'm very attracted to her. but this hurts out marriage greatly, ive never reached out for help like this. right now I'm desperately looking for someone who understand what I go through to talk to. it gets very lonely when theres no one to talk to, you het isolated and depressed. this site helps me, just the responses alone help me to keep my mind on other things and gives me hope. I researched online and found out I made the mistake of making my wife my the go to person I talk to. if he is really willing to reach out and get help, don't give up on him. I really don't know whats going to happen with myself and my wife, but I need to do this and learn to motivate myself alone, because as of right now I'm all I have to believe in myself right now. don't make your husband feel isolated. hes going through a battle right now too just keep him talking, my problem was that I would lie when I got caught its the first thing I do to avoid confrontation.
    its tough out here by yourself.
  • I think it's important for you to talk to someone even if it's your bishop..the more the better. Maybe it would help for your wife to talk w/him w/you. It's lonely on both sides ..both need support. I dont think divorce is the answer if you love each other and are willing to work thru it together
  • @chudmeister I like your inside input. When you said the best thing is to be there for him, what specifically did you mean?
  • @chudmeister yes, it's great that you are here sharing...b/c others need to hear from the recovering addict's point of view. we know you don't want to, just like any addict doesn't really want to use.... i'm glad you are trying, and opening up to those you can trust...

    there are many thousands in your shoes...you're not alone. know that there are always testimonies on youtube of men and women who have overcome...or are trying...  

    you're going to be alright!!!!!!!! :) 
  • Thanks for your insight, @chudmeister. It's always helpful to hear the thoughts of the person struggling with the addiction. It goes a long way toward educating people about the problem.
  • Hello all, I am new to this site. I stumbled upon it while researching for an advice blog/forum for wives whose husbands are addicted to porn. My situation stems back to the mid 90's for my husband when porn first came about and was legal in the work place. Where he worked at the time was a company that had employees who would watch what people "watched" on their personal computers. So, a lot of men looked at porn and this caused a trickle down effect aside from the simple Playboy Mag, etc. 

    I came across my husbands addiction after roughly 6 years of marriage. Our second son was born and about a year and a half. I was shocked when I found his collection on the computer as he left it wide open for anyone to see. I had my older son with me as we were looking for a game for him to play. I was pissed, confused, sad, all the emotions at the beginning of discovery one feels. We went to counseling and the therapist was basically useless. Now, jumping ahead a year or two, yet again I discovered he did not get rid of his collection. Caught! It's the I love you, I want to make love to my wife, yadyada. I am petite, attractive, fit, and I am after mid 40's under 50. Still am told I look like I am in my 30's. I told him, one more time and our marriage is over. I will not live my life or my marriage with this porn crap. Not only is it the porn, it is the age of the girls he is looking at. Teens. It makes me want to vomit. My older son will be 13  very soon. The thought of him bringing girls (girlfriends) over when he becomes more interested and dating fears me in what my husband may think looking at them. I just noticed the other day by accident needing to use his computer to scan a document. Low and behold, the crap was still there. Recently downloaded from an old hard drive. He never did get rid of all the hard drives, or the "one". Needless to say, I am on the verge (hence my name) on ending the marriage. Not now, but at some point. I am in my 3rd Semester of college, aside from Summer classes the past two Summers, and need to focus on school in order to graduate. I grew up in a divorced family and it can do damage to the children, myself included. So, it would be a while. Clearly, he has a problem and our marriage is not worth saving to him. We just got done with adding on to our home and have/had so many goals. I just don't know what to do. Like I said, it if were "women" he was looking at then I would say get help or we are threw. 13-17 year olds....uh...no. (sigh) >:(

  • @ontheverge ;I'm sorry that you are struggling so much. I'm sure that you do feel many feelings associated with his addiction. What does he say when you talked to him about this addiction? Is he willing to reach out for additional help to try to stop? 

    You have every right to feel how you feel. Regardless of the addiction, being on the opposite side as a loved one can be very challenging. I've told many who are with an addict that it's not necessarily them choosing the addiction over you. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and the Brain becomes hardwired to intensely crave whatever the addiction is. Whatever the drug of choice is. For the crack addict, all else goes to the wind while the brain frantically searches for its next hit. For the porn addict, it's frantically craving that next hit . I don't know what to say about the age. I don't know why some think that looking at young girls is a turn-on. 

    Does he know that this is a deal-breaker for you if he continues? This may be an opportune time for you to talk things through with a counselor as well.

    We are here for you to support and encourage you however we can.
  • Thank you for the note, Dominica. He just left for work. I told him we need to talk and we did. He admitted to it and said he doesn't know why he does it. He has no reason to explain why. He said he loves me and craves me when we do make love. But, that is not good enough for me. It is the age of the girls. My boys will be bringing home girls age 15. I think I noted 13-17, but girls nowadays are 13 and look 17. So...there you go. I told him I can't get past this as it is the third time and if there was a third time then it was over. I feel like I am in a dream. This is all so surreal. I said I don't want to sell our home, I know he worked financially hard to get us where he did. Our boys are in private Catholic school. Ha! He also went growing up. He is a church boy. What happened?? Anyway, I will stay until our youngest is out of HS. He just started 5th grade. So that is how many years we have. We have to resume all is ok with the boys. Or, we will have to let them know our marriage is not going to work out, but not the real reason why. Ugh....this just really, really sucks! He never said he wanted to get help and go to counseling. I did with him the first time around and it was a joke. I think I may have mentioned that in my first post. We had so many goals and dreams for retirement and move out of Silicon Valley. :( Interesting how life can change on a dime. Thank you for listening to me, or should I say reading what I have to say. Ok...time to hit the books. I need to stay focused on 4 classes. Not easy....
  • @ontheverge it's important to get help..my husband told me over and over again he'd quit....for 17 years...this last time was finally the time he made the call to get help. It is hard to focus on anything when this is going on in your life..it consumes you, thoughts, feelings, emotions..in a negative way
  • @MaggieElizabeth, did he get the help? My husband has not mentioned he wants to get help. He doesn't want to end "us", however, he should have said he would make the call to get help "today". Never did. Not sure what to think. Married coming up on 15 years the end of this month. Together for 19 years. He was into this before then. So, hard to say. The first two times it consumed me and it was awful. Since i have been through this, I know I NEED to focus on me and my goal which is to graduate in Spring 2018. Wish me luck!!

  • @ontheverge yes he has finally gone for help. he was into it before we met too I was just naïve to the frequency and depth of it. I was stupid to think it should be easy enough to give up. he was very good at hiding it but every time I'd  find it he would make excuses like "it's not cheating". I'd go for days giving him the silent treatment and he would promise never to do again so I'd get over it, ...this was the pattern...if he thinks you'll continue to get over it he'll continue to do it. I believe that my husband knows that this last time was the final straw for me, and this time the choice to get help was his not an ultimatum from me
  • Hi Maggie,
    So glad he went for help. My husband and I had a long talk. We are working it out. All about behavioral modification. If he has an urge he will come to me. We will see. He will try on his own, if that is not enough he'll get counseling. He did have counseling the second time but that clearly did not help long term. They don't see it as cheating but we still feel like we are being cheated on. I read that 56% of marriages end in divorce to to porn addiction. That is a lot! Technology sucks sometimes. So easily accessible on the computer with just the use of fingertips. Also, at least half the men, if not more, are into porn. :/ I sure hope my boys don't get introduced to this s**t. I don't want them jeopardizing their future relationships.
  • @ontheverge glad you and him talked. my only two cents i want to give is that you may not be the best "accountability" partner for him. i've read that the addict ought to have someone outside of the family to go to in such circumstances...as i'm sure you may be able to understand. i wouldn't go to my partner... b/c i do not think my partner could handle the truth...at that time...and i'd be apt to just keep it to myself. anyway, something to think about.  i'm glad he'll reach out for help if he cannot handle this.. is he willing to read books? surely there are some good books on the topic....

    underneath the addiction is always some sort of pain or emotional trauma begging to be dealt with.... i hope he will begin looking underneath the surface... :)  
  • Thanks, Dominica. I appreciate the feedback. Good recommendation on a book. I can research on that. Only thing is I can't force him to go. I see it as if you want to save this marriage then he'd get help and seek an outside source. If he screws up again, then that is the final straw. If he has an urge he wants to come to me at that moment, yet he should have a counselor to call. The thing is if he slips, he most likely won't tell me. It is when he is careless from being drunk that he gets caught. I don't know...I am still confused and trust is definitely torn.
  • @ontheverge I am so sorry ☹️ Being the spouse of a porn addict is awful. I am lucky in that I've never actually seen the crap my guy looks at. I have seen the google searches from when I was doing research for an online class and typed in 'girl' for short after several times if typing some renaissance painting. Not happy. I'm not ready to throw in the towel, he says he wants to stop but has closed me out of talks for a while. He knows I'm not happy and need to talk. It hurts me, but it does help knowing he struggles a lot with his own pain of just having the addiction. Idk, it just sucks.
  • Hi ern,
    Yes, it does just suck. I am not ready to give up either. Sorry you are dealing with this too. I saw the pictures and it scars me. I talk to him about it because it helps some. He does know I will have good days and bad days. However, I can't get over what he chooses to look at. I bring up reasons like because the young girls have no flaws. And, he agreed. So how does that make me feel. Before kids I had a flawless body. Worked out a lot, toned, nice smooth stomach and definition of abs. I am still in shape for  47. But, knowing this doesn't help any. I don't know if I can get over the age of what he likes/liked to look at. What really sucks is we just completed an add-on to our home. I wish I could find some in person groups where I live for support. He still won't get help on the outside for himself. He says he can do it. Well...didn't work 2x before. SO how can it miraculously work now.
  • @ern, @ontheverge, and @MaggieElizabeth... I just want you to know that I'm thinking about all of you today and sending you lots of positive energy and hope. I am also keeping you and your families in my thoughts and prayers. Remember to take good care of yourselves. You deserve some radical self-care.
  • @ontheverge he probably believes that it will work, even though he fell before. The past couple weeks I've done what @DeanD advised, and made myself a priority. I feel better and my bf seems to have realized that he needs to try harder as a result. What i would like him to do, is imagine what he would feel like if the roles were reversed. I'm going to ask him and see what he says.
  • Yay, @ern! Always put yourself at the top of your priority list!! :)
  • So many women are affected by their partner's acting out, and trust can be the most difficult thing to rebuild. I'm doing a free online workshop geared towards helping couples understand how to effectively repair the relationship without having the same fights over and over again.



    Whoever is interested is welcome to come. I'm doing it for free in
    exchange for just 2 minutes - a survey that can help me put finishing
    touches on the workshop and there is a space to leave your email so I
    can send you the link when we have the workshop in a few weeks.



    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T8G7SQD
  • it's been a while since I've been on here...I'm not having a few good days, I thought I/we could get through this but i'm not so sure. even though I love my husband and want to work this out I am having a really hard time with trust and because of this it affects my desire to be intimate...does anyone else struggle with this?


  • @MaggieElizabeth... Unfortunately, trust can take a long time to come back once you lose it. And I totally get how that would affect your desire to be intimate.

    Sending you lots of positive energy.
  • @MaggieElizabeth I'm sorry things have turned that way. So far my intimate needs haven't been affected that way. My trust hasn't been compromised like yours though. What I do experience is feeling like I don't know what to do. I wait for him to make the first move and then follow all of his leads. That's something we are trying to deal with, because it does ruin my enjoyment.
  • It's been a very difficult road. My partner used to be very abusive in many ways, and his sex addiction has a lot to do with this. He has shared that he has an intense rage toward women, especially confident women, and especially regarding sex. He used to control and degrade me and compare me to my friends, siblings, and other women in porn, insulting my looks, my weight, height, clothes, etc. He was very degrading. He doesn't say these things anymore. Throughout our relationship, he will claim that he has stopped watching. Later, either I end up finding something or he admits to watching. Every time, he tells so many layers of lies and manipulation- denying and/or downplaying, etc. He says it will be the last time and/or I am overreacting to what I found and/or controlling him by not being okay with it. It seems that he hasn't been clean of it at any point throughout our relationship. He has been addicted to drugs and alcohol for several years, as well. He has (to my knowledge) dropped the drugs but won't admit that he is an alcoholic (even though he follows the stereotype of a typical alcoholic).

    He claims he wants to stop his porn addiction - not for me, but for himself - and says that it is okay if I ask how he is doing, but then he freaks out and says I'm controlling him. I don't know what to do. He has admitted that this cycle of lying has to do with that he wants to live a single lifestyle while I remain committed. I have offered to have an open relationship (even though the thought makes me uncomfortable and sick), as I think that would leave me feeling less like I'm being used and lied to.

    I'm so hurt. How do I not let his past insults and control lead me to being scared when he drinks and watches porn? I'm afraid of him. Im afraid that he will hurt me again. It hurts so badly that he says that I'm being controlling. It makes me not want to talk with him about it at all. I don't mind if he chooses to watch porn, fantasize, etc. It just isn't what I am looking for in a partner. In my opinion, it is cheating.

    Also, I'm not at all sexually attracted to him. Not because of his looks - I just don't feel like I can trust him anymore, and I feel very insecure when I am with him.

    As I write this post, I acknowledge that I can not change him. I wasn't put here on this earth to try to control others. And I don't want to. I'm just looking for comforting words, advice on how I can use this experience to better myself and grow, detach emotionally yet still show love, etc. He is my best friend. I just don't want to hurt any more. I want to let this go. I don't know whether that means addressing the co-dependency that developed from the abuse and leaving him or being able to detach emotionally from his actions.
  • @FitLife123... Welcome to the community and thank you for sharing so openly and honestly with us. I'm sorry you've had to go through this with your partner, but I'm glad you found us and reached out.

    I don't have any experience in dealing with porn addiction, but I know how much other addictions affect the addict's loved ones. And I'm guessing porn addiction might even be worse for a partner to deal with. So I know you must be hurting.

    My advice to you would be what I tell anyone who has a loved one struggling with an addiction: Practice radical self-care. You have to realize that YOUR life is the most important one, and you have to do all you can to make yourself feel better. Whether it's going to support group meetings, going to counseling, or just doing simple things like taking a hot bubble bath or treating yourself to a favorite treat, you need to take care of YOU. Because YOUR life is the only one you can control.

    You mention detaching emotionally while still showing love...and codependency. Have you ever read Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself? If not, I suggest that you order a copy and read it ASAP. I think it will really help you. One of the things discussed in the book is how to detach with love. And how it doesn't mean that you stop loving, caring about, or supporting your loved one; it just means that you learn how to do those things without making yourself crazy.

    We're a caring group of people who are here to help and support you any way we can, so don't hesitate to reach out and lean on us anytime you need to. Even if you just need to vent, please come here and do it. Venting can be very cathartic!

    I'm sending you lots of love, light, and hope. And big hugs, too. I hope others will weigh in on your post, too.
  • @DeanD Thank you so very much for your supportive response! Before reading your response today, I had begun to become involved in group activities around my community. I already feel better now that I am not just living to go to school, work, the gym, see my partner, and sleep. I notice that although this doesn't directly change the level of hurting that I feel, it has helped me to detach emotionally from my partner. Your post encouraged me that I'm on the right track with focusing more on myself. I'm going to keep this up.(: I'm going to look into that book, as well. Again, thank you for your encouragement and advice. :smile:
  • Don't mention it, @FitLife123. That's what we're here for. Just remember: You should always be number 1 on your list of priorities!!! <3
  • @FitLife123 hello and welcome. thanks for sharing and reaching out. you've been through a lot...and i imagine you're feeling a lot of mixed emotions about it all.

    dean has given some great advice. that book really is great, and my personal opinion is that you should address the codependency. to remain there and continue to wrap your world around his solely for his sake..it's not healthy. you'll continue to spiral.... i have been there.

    it sounds like you are not happy at all in this relationship, and if you do want to cut ties, it will take you becoming stronger in and of yourself. practicing radical self-care like dean mentioned. YOU are important.

    what you want and need matters, so you shouldn't have to do things you're not comfortable with....

    continue to learn about codependency and addiction.... there are support groups that you may get a lot out of... codependent's anonymous or nar-anon. there you can connect with others going through similar things, and letting others mirror strength and goodness and hope to you!!

    you deserve a great, healthy relationship... with yourself and with others.

    abuse is never ok. i'm sorry you've been through that, and i pray you never have to again. speak your truth, stand in your truth...and remember: YOU MATTER.
  • @FitLife123 As the resident porn addict here, I can tell you that you need to first know that this has nothing to do with you or some other lifestyle he wants to lead. If he truly wanted to be single, he'd be single. There are plenty of people without porn addiction who get divorced exactly for that reason.
    The story you tell is very familiar to me as I was cross-addicted to porn and alcohol for over 20 years. I've just passed my 4 year sober mark with porn and this Sunday will mark 4 years sober with alcohol.
    He's got a lot of issues that are going to take a lot of time to deal with, but aside from some lip service, I wonder if he really does want to deal with them. If so, he's at a critical point where either inpatient rehab or intense outpatient program is probably where he should start. I don't think he'd probably get very little out of once-a-week-therapy or a 12 step meeting here or there. Those can be great and played a role in my recovery, but they probably won't be the TNT that is going to be needed to crack his shell at this point.
    I don't know all of your circumstances and specifics, but I'd advise anybody who feels physically unsafe around somebody to leave. Maybe that would be the wake-up call he needs. Maybe it wouldn't, but you shouldn't feel like you're in a situation of danger. Your safety trumps his addictions.
    @DeanD and @dominica will give you a lot of great advice from the loving family member side of things, and already have. If you're at all interested in more first-person experience of my recovery, I have a blog at RecoveringPornAddict.com you can check out.
  • Thanks for sharing that insight, @JoshuaShea. It's super helpful!
  • I'm having a very difficult time dealing with my man's slip. That's what he called it. He is in a 12 step program for his porn addiction. I knew of this before we got together. He had all sorts of precautions in place such as blockers on his phone and computer. We live together but work opposite shifts. He does not have the password to the Wi-Fi or any of my devises per his request. He even has a timered lock box for his phone so that he doesn't have access to it when he should be sleeping. Yet even with all of that in place . He looked up porn through YouTube at some point. He feels horrible about it. And I can't even begin to tell him what this discovery has done to me. I found out by accident. I don't go through his phone or anything like that. He was watching a documentary on YouTube on the living room tv when I came home from work. When it was over he handed me the remote as he usually does. When I hit the button to switch to Netflix it went to his resent YouTube searches. Right there on the screen it was. I just looked at him for a minute and said "really dear" he turned and saw what I was seeing. He immediately broke down in tears. I couldn't even look at him for a good ten minutes. We had discussed how I feel about porn. I'm not ok with it at all. It's just like cheating in my opinion. This happened yesterday. Today I am physically ill. I was up most of the night in tears grieving the loss of the trust I had in him. Feeling like I'm never good enough. It's not my addiction and I also know it's not my fault. But I can't help but to feel so betrayed and hurt. He is a good man. And I love him. It's just really hard to be strong for him when I'm hurting so badly. I don't have anyone I can talk to about this so it's a very lonely , cold and sad world for me right now sorry to have unloaded so much in my first post but this is very raw for me . Thank you to whom ever may read this .
  • @Crushed44 I'd urge you to consider checking out the Betrayal Trauma Recovery website at www.btr.org It's probably the best immediate resource for women in your situation. You will certainly not feel alone there and I've talked a bit to a couple of the people who operate the site and they are terrific.
    Don't apologize for ever stating how you're feeling. It's far better and healthier to express whatever you're feeling, even if your heart and head are sometimes in conflict.
    As a recovering porn addict who was probably a little more intense than your husband, I offer these thoughts:
    1) He's not going to get over porn addiction locking his phone in a box or putting Net Nanny on his computer. It's like locking the liquor cabinet and hoping the alcoholism goes away. It doesn't address the actual problem. Any addict worth their salt is going to know how to get around all of these barriers. Yes, the barriers are there for his safety, but the biggest reasons those barriers are there is to serve as a smoke screen for you to think he's not engaging in addict behavior. Do you really think this is the one time he was looking at porn on YouTube? Do you think he doesn't have access to porn 50 other ways if he really wants it?
    2) You didn't really say why you hate porn, but I'm guessing it's a moral issue, and like about half the women who live with porn addicts, you feel like the porn is a form of cheating. These are your opinions, but your opinions are not going to stop somebody who has a brain disease. Tell a hardcore alcoholic that you think drinking is morally wrong. They'll tell you that you're right and then take a big sip when your back is turned because they are sick. I'm not defending pornography, or your husband, but you need to see this goes much, much deeper than a conflict of philosophies toward porn. He loves you, but his addiction doesn't care what you think about porn.
    3) He needs help, and you can probably use some, too. Something like 94% of the time, addiction is directly tied to trauma, with porn addiction it's almost always childhood, but it's not fair to say it's 100%. His problem of porn addiction is actually a symptom of something else. Losing the wi-fi password (which I'm sure he knows, BTW) does not address any actual problem other than your moral stand against pornography. I'm guessing you're talking about SAA for his 12-step group, but clearly he needs more. I'd suggest one-on-one counseling and some kind of intensive program to learn tools to cope with the addiction so he can then delve deeper into the real issues.
    4) If you want to talk to someone about this, have you tried talking to him? Let him know how you feel, but do in a safe, non-judgmental way. He knows what you think about porn. That's why he goes to such lengths to hide it. Are you able to have long conversations about pornography without judging or condemning him? If he truly understands his problem and some of the roots of it -- which he may not -- you should learn what they are, too.
    5) I don't do this often here, but I'm going to plug my book. I was the last person most people thought was a porn addict because I was so good at hiding it and then it blew up in my face in ways that you'll thank God you're in your situation and not the one my wife was faced with. But, it tells the story of my descent into the addiction. It's more memoir than self-help, but I designed it for addicts and those close to them to see a mirror and realize that there are many parallels in porn addict behavior. I just spoke with a couple in a situation not unlike yours and both read the book. I hope they're telling the truth when they said it brought her more understanding of the disease of addiction and it showed him the future road he was heading down if he didn't get help right away. You can get links to buy my book from my website at www.RecoveringPornAddict.com

    And please, don't ever feel alone. There are a lot of people in this world who are here, even if we're spread all over the country or world through the Internet, that are here to listen and here to help.
  • Thank you for your response. I know there are ways to get around the blockers especially if you're bilingual as he is. And I half expected to run into this at some point. I know how addiction works. It doesn't just go away, it's just not that simple. He has worked very hard to stop and has been doing well. And yes he has childhood trauma as do I. I don't want to have to feel like I need to constantly check his phone or computer. I don't want to live like that. I have been through this problem with my ex husband and his porn obsession. That is why I can't stand it. It destroyed our relationship to the point of him forcing himself on me and then cheating not just online or with movies but with another woman. My complete hatred of pornography may be extreme because of that. I just wanted so badly to believe just this once I would be enough for someone. I realize that is a stupid and selfish thing on my part and maybe it's just feeling sorry for myself. This man that I love so very much was honest with me and didn't try to deny anything. He goes to the only meeting of this kind in our area every week. I believe he is really trying. I know we all make mistakes and addicts do relapse. But this is the first I've felt with this with him . And the pain is unbelievable. I can not talk with him much about this unfortunately because the pain it causes him I can't bare to make him hurt. I will check out the book and sites you recommended. Thank you so very much.
  • @Crushed44 You may or may not be enough for him....but that has nothing to do with his porn addiction. The addiction has nothing to do with you. Nothing. Zero. Your first husband had other issues beyond porn addiction and just because he did does not mean your current husband will. I'm sure he's trying, but if what he's doing isn't enough, it must supplemented, or you're setting yourself up for more relapses. As for you sparing his feelings because of the pain it causes him, he needs to know that. And he needs to deal with that pain and make decisions how to fix it. He may also be playing that part of it up to garner sympathy. Any solid relationship needs to have communication. I'm not suggesting he share specifics of what he's seen, but you can't swallow your emotions because you're worried about his. That's just not healthy.
  • Thank you. I will try to have a conversation with him today. I know it needs to happen. I held in everything when this happened and since. I have just tried to be loving and understanding to the best of my ability. I was very angry and exploded viscioucly with the last husband. I couldn't stop I was angry all the time . I can't go there again it was extremely detrimental to my health physically and mentally. That's why I held it in and am now seeking advice and help. Thank you again.
  • Your experience is invaluable to people here, @JoshuaShea. Thanks for being a part of our community.

    @Crushed44... I hope the conversation goes well. Always remember that YOUR life matters, too. <3
  • @Crushed44 hello there! thanks for sharing!! not sure i have anything more to add to this b/c @JoshuaShea has shared some excellent information. i want to echo the trauma linked to addiction... and that trauma or the effects of that trauma don't just disappear. the addiction is a symptom of something deeper AND is now somewhat hardwired in the brain... BUT, YES, treatment is available, change can occur, over time.

    continue to practice self-care... if you've got old trauma and wounds that need addressed, make a plan to get at it..counseling or however you choose. that will help :) i'm sorry you are struggling... all of this is opportunity for growth for each person.

    sending hug.
  • @Crushed44... How are things going? How are YOU doing? If you get a spare minute, check in with us and let us know. We're here and we care. <3
  • Thank you all so much for your caring and concern. I was off for a few days for Easter with the grand babies. I am ok. We talked very little but expect that he might be more willing to have a better talk now that the family get togethers are past. I have checked out the btr.org and have ordered a couple of books. I'm trying to not let this take over my thoughts constantly. I do work 9-10 hours a day so that is somewhat of a distraction. Right now I'm gonna work on me and try to keep my self from letting the past make the present worse than it all ready . Thank you all! I hope that when I get through this I can be as helpful to someone as you all have been to me.
  • @Crushed44 It sounds like you've got a plan, which already puts you ahead of so many others. Good luck and you know where to find us.
  • Well today I couldn't go to work because my blood pressure was to high so I stayed home. We had a talk. And it did not go as well as I had hoped. He literally has no clue as to the depth of pain I am suffering. When I tried to explain it he just cut me off saying how it's not easy on him that it hurts him way more than it does me. I'm sure in his mind it is like that. But right now I am barely able to keep from crying continually. I'm a pretty strong person but this is really getting to me. And the worst part about today's talk is now he feels he needs to move out. I have done my best to be caring and not condemn him . I haven't yelled or screamed . For the most part I haven't even really cried much in front of him. I did try to tell him how I feel . I told him that him looking at porn feels like a complete breach of trust. And basically it's just like cheating in my mind. That was last week. Today I was cut off . My feelings are not heard or acknowledged in any meaningful way.
    He has informed me he will be moving by the end of next month. I can go with or I can stay . Now this move is over 800 miles. And we had planned to stay here untill we had money saved up and had arranged for a place to live and had prospects of employment. I can not just throw my whole life in a bag and live in a car.... when I was a teenager maybe... But not now. He has to do what is right for him and I understand that. But running away never worked for me. So I have to figure out where I go from here mentally. Physically I'm staying put. I have no interest in doing without a home and job. I've been down that road ....Don't wanna go back there. As for the relationship between him and I....I'm not sure how that will turn out. It's beginning to sound not so good at this point. But for the next hour or so I'm just gonna meditate and focus on some personal healing. Thanks for listening
  • @Crushed44 i am sorry you're having to go through this... it does sound stressful and confusing.... i don't blame you for not wanting to up and leave without a set plan and some security.

    yes, take some time to focus on you..your peace of mind. i find meditation helpful, and listening to some spiritual folks on youtube always helps me gain a solid perspective...especially on the grand scheme of things.

    we are certainly here to listen and support you however we can.
  • @Crushed44 Yup, that falls into the "not a good talk" column. He may feel that he needs a break from his current environment to try and get things straight in his life. While he doesn't sound like the warmest person, some of the things he is doing are familiar to me, and despite his lack of communication, I think he's trying to do what's right for both you and him. Whether it is right, well, that remains to be seen and without professional help, odds of success are limited.
    The ironic thing is, he does understand the depths of your feelings and he probably is suffering just as much but doesn't want you to have to take that on as well. You may feel unacknowledged because it is simply too emotionally difficult for him to go down that road. For years I was labeled as having no empathy. It was furthest from the truth. I have too much to the point when I turn it on, I can't turn it off and that leaves me a crying heap of despair. I couldn't think of others' pain because it made me focus on how much I had. If I turned off your pain, I could leave the spigot of my pain alone, too.
    Take this break as an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings on not just relationships or pornography, but everything else in the world. Truly get to know who you are and how you became who you are. We tell ourselves what we want to hear, what we wish was the truth and what we don't know are lies all the time. Sorting that stuff out was so freeing to me.
    Just know at the end of the day, it's going to work itself out. I see a lot of weak people I don't have a ton of faith in. You're a strong person and you'll do the right things and be better for it.
  • Sorry the talk didn't go as well as you had hoped, @Crushed44. Be sure to practice some radical self-care, okay? You deserve it, my dear. And know that we are here for you. Always.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Thank you both . I'm doing a lot of reading. And I'm working. So there have been no further talks. I'm a complete train wreck emotionally. But I think I'm dealing ok for now. I'll be off work again on Monday due to having to go have extensive testing done at the cardiology center. And if I'm feeling well enough I hope to try to speak with him a little about the moving out. I won't ask him not to leave .I just would like to know what he is planning. I don't feel secure in my life right now but I won't do any better if I don't know that he is going to be safe. I know he is a grown man and can take care of himself. I just worry a lot . Does this sound like an ok thing ? I don't want to push him. But I don't think I'll be able to deal with this move if I'm just left clueless. Well I'm off to spoil myself a little for the night. Thank you all. It's chocolate and bubble bath time...lol
  • @Crushed44 I think you can ask what his plans are if he'd like to share them. Your best hope for the future if for him to leave remembering you as a supportive friend who is always there for him, not a nagging shrew who had to know everything about everything up until the final second. That would just make him feel better about his decision to leave. Then, let nature and fate do their thing and know that universe will deliver exactly what it supposed to happen, even if it takes years to understand.
  • @FitLife123 @Crushed44 I am so sorry you are going through this. My bf has a porn addiction that has been under control, but when we were sitting on the couch a couple nights ago, I looked over and saw him ‘follow’ a nude woman on Instagram. Broke me again, but I do now understand it is him and not me...not that it makes me feel great about myself.
    @JoshuaShea I do appreciate your input and want to look into the website. The codependent book @DeanD recommends is great too.
  • Thinking of you today, @Crushed44. Sending you love, light, hope, and hugs. <3
  • How can I stop feeling this pain of betrayal and rejection? I understand that addiction has nothing to do with me and that he’s sick. But it is so hard to rationalize my raw emotion. We were finally getting to a good place with his gambling addiction, when I’m blindsided by sex addiction too. But this time feels so much worse. It ripS my heart out, and it’s been going on since we met 15 years ago. He wants help now that he was caught but, how can things go back to the way they see? How can trust ever be built again?
  • @Tired18 i'm sorry you're having to go through this. it is unfortunate and doesn't seem fair, i know...

    it's a process and you'll likely need time to begin processing and healing and building trust up.... things may end up better than before, as some couples come out of struggles stronger and with a deeper intimacy....

    continue to seek support for you... we are here, but you may need some face-to-face support too, so don't be afraid to reach out.

    sending you big hug....and just know that we are here.
  • Thanks DeanD,
    Things have been crazy here. I ordered a couple books and have been reading to gain some insight into how to deal with this. Well Thursday he found my books. When I came home after work he was angry. He began yelling and screaming that he's not a bad person. Then went on screaming about things that happened to him in the past that had nothing to do with me. It went on for over an hour. Then I just told him I have to learn how to deal with this.and that he has his groups to go to they use books so why shouldn't I? Then it was dropped. He got ready and left for work and I went about my evening. Everything has been much calmer since this all happened. But I fear what the next blow up may be.
    There is just so much to deal with with this kind of trauma. Both for him and for me. I believe we may get through this . But it's gonna be a long rough road I'm sure. I'm thankful to have found this forum. Thank you to everyone here and light and hope to all that are suffering.
  • You're very welcome, @Crushed44. That's what we're here for. Just take things a day at a time, and strive to make progress as you go along.
  • I hope everyone is doing well. I'm ok. Things are not great .most of the time I feel like I'm walking on glass slippers , just waiting for them to shatter and shred me. But I'm hopeing that this will pass soon. I wish it would get warm and stay that way here. Id love to be able to get outside . We live in very close quarters so the tension can be unbearable at times. When I come home and he is having a bad day for whatever reason. It's hard to even breathe. I don't try to pry information. I ask what's wrong . And get told he got triggered by something. And that's it. I made the mistake of trying to talk about things last time .... that talk was horrible. So I just make dinner and eat alone because he doesn't want to eat right then. I feel like he is trying to punish me and I don't know what for. He barely speaks to me on days like this . It's kinda scary. Usually he is a very affectionate person. We all have off days but his are becoming more frequent. I'm not sure how to take this. Is it a sign that he is doing worse? Is it a side effect of not fulfilling his addiction? I just don't know. Maybe it's just me... reading to much into everything. There's no real communication happening so I'm just left to guess at what happens next. This whole process is exhausting and confusing.
    Goodnight y'all thanks for listening.
  • @Crushed44 my bf has bad days too and is poor at communication. Hopefully it will be a phase and you’ll be able to figure things out. It took a while, with definite trial and error, but we did find a system of communication that he and I can both live with. Sometimes it works well for me to tell my bf a day in advance that I need to talk to him, then he can ask for an ‘itinerary’ and mentally prepare. I write things down and try to stick to my notes which helps me stay on track and not get over emotional. I have told him that me not understanding something and having to overthink instead is not what I need. As much as the truth hurts, I do prefer understanding what is going on.
  • Thanks. Ern , we may have to try your process. It's very difficult trying to heal and not being communicated with. Before his slip we talked all the time . We were happy. We went places we did things together. Now we work and sleep that's all. I feel such a great loss it's indescribable. The dreams of our future are all just gone. I keep thinking one day I'll come home and he will just be gone. No explanation just gone. I hope not but at this point it is a distinct possibility.
    Thank you again.
  • Hello.
    My story is similar to most others but seems to have its differences. My husband and I only got married 8 days ago. I found out about his addiction when I noticed he had transferred money from our joint account into his personal. I had never asked before to see his account, but I had a strange feeling that I needed to. I found that he had been sending small amounts of money to "Lexi SQC" for months. I'm not dumb, so when he tried to play the story off as its him helping a "single mother friend in need", i told him to give me the real story. Turns out he was sending money to a porn star on Snapchat. His personal account showed that he even sent her money on our wedding day. I was devastated. We had JUST turned in our certificate of marriage so I got him into the car and got halfway to the courthouse to retract it when I came to my senses and drove us back home. He was a wreck, of course, through the whole thing.
    Even though it felt like someome had ripped my heart out and tore it apart, i needed to know more. I learned that he had a Kik account for a while, its an app that lets you talk to strangers. He only had it for a month but deleted it. He also had these games on his phone that were sex games where you pleasure the girls. He also found and used Reddit for his porn needs. I asked if he thought he had a problem. And he said "I always came up with excuses as to why it was ok what I was doing. And it was constant. So yes, i think I have a problem"
    I was really upset the first 2 days. Couldn't eat. Couldn't sleep. So angry and sad. But, overtime, after looking more into addiction and unfortunately coming from a divorce due to narcotic addiction, I know that addiciton is a true disease. The next day after finding out, he took me to our cell phone provider store and downgraded his smart phone to a flip phone and turned off his data. All on his own. He then showed me everywhere he could access internet in our house and had me put passwords on it. He told me that he doesn't feel like he's going to relapse, but wants to put me at ease however he can. Hes 6 days "sober" today and is constantly reassuring me that him and I are both strong and can persevere.
    We both have counselling sessions set up this week with different therapists. He's right I AM strong. But this has made me feel so weak and fragile. I cry all the time. I'm suffering from insane paranoia and anxiety. I'm so inlove with him and believe that he wants to get better. But I'm still in shock of it all. Its hard to not feel alone, so finding this site has truly saved me.
  • @LahDeeDah Well...the nuclear option is annulment. Depending on where you live, you're probably still in the window where that isn't a huge legal ordeal.
    You've got one thing going for you...you understand what he's dealing with is a disease. I'm still not sure a lot of the people close to me understand my porn addiction was essentially the exact same thing as my alcohol addiction.
    You also are already set up to go to therapy, which is terrific. You're really doing better than 95% of the women in your position. I know that's little consolation at the moment, but you're not going through some of the typical questions which slow this whole process down for most women.
    You have an absolute right to be in shock. That, along with the paranoia and anxiety are par for the course here. No matter how you feel about pornography, it's a world-shattering thing to discover what you did. You have the right to feel any way you want about this. Just understand and appreciate that at the core, he's not making you feel this way. Nobody can make you feel anything. A lot of people don't get this concept, but I have a feeling you do and when you really internalize it, it will make you stronger. "You make me feel" should never be part of your vocabulary again.
    Now, let's talk reality....you probably have less than half the true story from him and ultimately, you can't fix him. His problem, as I'm sure you recognize, has nothing to do with you. He's going to minimize things to not hurt you further and with the belief saying more will just dig a bigger hole for himself. But this doesn't even really matter. I'm not a big believer in full disclosure being a healthy thing.
    He may have a stretch of sobriety right now because he's scared shitless about what you're going to do next, but cold turkey is not a successful way to beat an addiction. You described four ways he met his porn needs in your entry, but I guarantee you that's only a fraction. While I don't have enough information to say he's reached a critical point, he's far beyond the early stages of addiction. He's in the ongoing stages, and that usually builds to a critical point. It did with me and most of the porn addicts I've met in my four years of recovery.
    Maybe an hour of therapy a week will help, but there are 167 other hours in the week. Has he talked to his doctor about this? Has he considered an inpatient rehab, 12-step groups or other modalities of recovery? He very well may need a combination...and he is going to have to do some difficult work to figure out what the addiction is REALLY about. That takes time, but can be the key to recovery.
    Finally, you need a plan. If that's to stay and support him as long as he behaves, you need to let him know that. You need to create boundaries and if you give him ultimatums, you need to stick to them or your word is worthless. He's an addict, so he's going to lie to you. He's going to minimize, negotiate, rationalize and make you feel like you're the one with the problem at times. Stay strong. Maintain your boundaries. I don't know what happen with your first marriage, but you probably have experienced much of this already.
    I'd urge you to check out the BTR.org site for additional resources. My website has a few at RecoveringPornAddict.com that may help you as well, including other forums. The Paula Hall one is out of the UK, but it has a section for wives. And of course, continue to use this site as a resource and means of support.
    Good luck.
  • @LahDeeDah hey there! thanks for sharing. i'm sure it was a shock and disheartening for you. sorry you've had to go through this. it's great he wants to stop and is willing to take action. and, therapy is wonderful news! i am a firm believer in therapy.

    i also think that b/c this is now in the light, he has the opportunity to deal with it. to grow. to get more in touch with the deeper issues surrounding porn addiction. someone once told me vulnerability breeds intimacy. both of you being vulnerable and working through this can deepen your intimacy level, and that's great!

    you're def not alone. we're here!

  • @LahDeeDah I am so sorry, Especially hard being newlywed. My bf has a porn addiction, and hopefully your husband is willing to work on it. We have found that open and honest communication is key, but it is very hard for him to open up about as he feels terrible and knows he is disappointing and hurting me. I love him a lot, we have an otherwise great relationship. If someone where to ask me if I could go back would I still be with him and sometimes I honestly don’t think I would. It is not easy.
    I can relate having a terrible bombshell dropped on you immediately after marriage. I can see the warning signs now, of my ex husbands controllng and manipulative abuse. But when I did relent to marrying him, I was pregnant and about a week after the wedding I knew I made the most terrible mistake in marrying him. He dropped all his masks and became so awful. I ended up staying about 4 years, it only got worse.
  • Hello everyone,
    I stumbled onto this thread and wanted to share my experience, even though it's not over. I've been married for over a quarter century, and for most of it, I've been addicted to porn. This twist in my case is, my wife doesn't care. She even encourages it, so I won't bug her about having sex. We love each other dearly. We've talked about this extensively.
    My desires to give up porn were essentially selfish. I could see the damage porn was inflicting on my mind, and it just felt wrong - really wrong. Yes, my faith played a large role in shaping my perceptions, but I do not believe it explains the intense feelings of self-loathing. I found it sickening that I was so profoundly enthralled with these fake depictions, all the while knowing that the women and girls in these videos were being exploited, even if they wouldn't admit it. I loathed the porn purveyors that created this filth. I could see their machinations and tricks. I hated the fact that I was part of feeding this beast. I hated myself for falling into this trap. I’ve read fascinating reports about dopamine and its connection to porn addition. But it seems too convenient an explanation, I’m just broken.
    My efforts, in earnest, started eight years ago, and I've been 'sober' for about a year now. I tried to stop and failed. I tried again, and again, and again... and failed, but I just kept trying. Over time I learned to recognize triggers and would formulate strategies to beat them. For example... when I read a story or article online, I don't scroll down much further into those 'recommended' stories on the bottom. Far too often they're just click-bait anyways. Even those small images of a beautiful young girl in a bikini, or some other suggestive picture, would trigger me. What I had to learn was to capture the moment, and choose to deliberately do something else. That's essentially how I've done it. I know many it may sound childish, but for a man approaching his 50's, it's what I have to do. I’ve asked my wife for forgiveness, even though she says she doesn’t care. I know I’ve allowed the beauty of others to influence my behavior, and to me, that’s unfaithful. Her willingness to love me is more precious to me than everything else combined. I want to die knowing I made her happy and did my best to honor the love she’s given to me.
    The struggle will never end. I will have to fight this until the bitter end. I love my wife for far more than her ability or willingness to satisfy any one craving. I could no more hate her for not being interested in sex, than being too tired to cook dinner. I have to command this ship, and I demand that my rational mind maintain its rightful control over the rest of my mind, otherwise I will be susceptible to whatever this messed up world will toss at me next.
  • @MikeS... I'm glad you stumbled across this thread. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your insight. And big congrats to you on your 1 year of sobriety! I wish you nothing but the best going forward.
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