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  1. Yesterday
  2. It certainly sounds as if you are making a determined effort this time and so pleased to here that you are finding the course helpful. This is a great place to share and if that helps you even better. You are in our thoughts. All the very best to you.
  3. I just thought I'd say 'hi' and share my story so far. I'm doing 'this' solo, so I figured that posting here occasionally with an update would help with this. Hope this is an okay use of the forum. I'm 45. I can trace when I first got hooked on porn (and everything that followed) back to pre 2000, when my housemate got his first computer. I sat down at it and, well, it went from there. I remember trying to find excuses to use his PC. Deleting the history and blaming some tech problem as the reason that he'd lost all his recent browsing links. This repeated itself with another housemate, who had a faster PC and was out more often. Eventually I ended up with my own PC and I think that's where those neural pathways really started to develop. Nuts that this was 23 years ago. Since then, my addiction (I now realise what it is) has spiralled through endless hours and years of browsing, massive financial costs as I bought new subscriptions, and in later years 'toys', costumes and more. This would be such a kick for a short time, but I'd soon get that clarity and guilt and throw them in the bin, only to buy more a few weeks later. The amount of money I've wasted is unfathomable. Hours just slip away when deep in an acting out binge. "I'll just have a quick look..." and before I know it, it's been 12 hours or more since I logged on and it's dawn. Cue a day of sleep feeling terrible through sleep deprivation, cancelled work, cancelled appointments... etc. It's true too that you just need 'more' each time. Either more f*&cked up porn, bordering on stuff that you're questioning the legality of (and if you're unsure on this, then surely that's a 'stop' by default, to a non-acting-out mind anyway). I'm straight, I think, but it even went into same sex stuff, meets in the woods... endless. Anyway, this could go on and I've literally described the tip of an iceberg. I've tried not to be specific, to not trigger others. As for the relationships that this has no doubt affected, and the multitude of neuroses that years of acting out has embedded.... who knows. But I'm done with this nonsense and this time it's different (who's said that before?! - I know I have!). I've never made it onto a programme though. I'm on day 5, or is it 6, of the Pivotal Course and I'm determined. Lets hope that stays strong. It's great to know we're not alone out there. Big love to you all. D
  4. Last week
  5. @Anile78OP is 5 years old! Hopefully things have improved.
  6. Kat, my heart goes out to you during this incredibly challenging time. It's vital to prioritize the safety of yourself and your children. Seeking legal advice is a crucial step, and communicating with your husband about the gravity of his actions is necessary.
  7. That's definitely my learning Roberto , it was not professional of the therapist to attempt couple therapy and certainly not at a stage where my partner had obviously not even come to terms with his own behavior. It was more harmful than healing and the therapist should have known that.
  8. @AnnaThat sounds far from positive. I've not done couples therapy but I think I'd want to be using a fresh therapist which neither party has met.
  9. Hi I left my husband and it was the best thing for me . You will know in your gut what is best for you . Ask yourself if this was your best friend what advice would you give them ?
  10. It's hard to find a good therapist. My husband and I did a couple therapy with a sex therapist at a quite renowned hospital and some of the stuff we heard was appalling. Eventually I walked out in the middle of a session, maybe the fourth session or so, I was lost for words. I remember I grabbed my jacket and just walked out. He had individual sessions with him and then couple sessions together which was a bad idea anyway and it was also at a time when my husband lied to the therapist and I had made him aware of that and frankly, I got the impression that the purpose of the therapy was to bring us back together sexually rather than helping my husband fight his compulsive solo behavior. Really, it made me feel like I was falsely accusing my husband of a behavior that was in fact totally normal and we were undergoing therapy in order for me to recognize that, i.e. the therapist seemed to team up with my husband to convince me that all was perfectly fine.
  11. Earlier
  12. I totally agree, many if not most people have certain fetishes, quirks and desires but it’s like @Robertosaid, it’s about what this does to you on a day to day basis, if it is affecting your ability to do certain things effectively or affecting relationships then this is something that needs addressing by someone trained to help.
  13. This is all a question of control. How much control one feels one has over one's viewing habits. If porn use is forcing you to hide your fetishes from your partner(s); if it's taking time away from your kids; if it's making you late for work; if you choose it over your friends, then you've got a problem. I worry that fetishes and natural expressions of sexuality get quashed in this forum. There is absolutely nothing wrong in having a fetish as long as it's not hidden - tell your partner about it and discuss it. However, the role it plays in your life is the issue we have to grapple with.
  14. I have my own experience in this. I was seeing a counsellor this year and admitted that I watch fetish videos online, and visit profiles on social media if I have been having a bad day. I did stress that the videos were on YouTube, and the women taking part were as far as I knew, consenting and that I wasn't paying to access it. But she insisted that if it wasn't hurting anyone then it was ok, even though I am trying to stop watching them. I realise I might not be the best person to give advice, but that is something I have found myself. I believe she meant well, but it wasn't something I wanted to hear.
  15. Hi @Sammi As John D said, no, no and definitely not, this a huge boundary breaker for me. No porn at all ever! There are amazing therapists out there who are trained in sex and porn addiction, your partner needs to be in the care of someone who has experience in this and he needs to ensure that this is the field of expertise he looks for when selecting one.
  16. Hi Sammi, many therapists and counsellors, who do not have training and experience in the field, often make unfortunate and unhelpful suggestions like this. The reality is that a healthy, respectful, balanced and enjoyable sex life does not need porn for it to flourish and certainly it is no way to deal with any kind of compulsive or addictive behaviours. If your partner is trying to recover from his use of porn, no amount of exposure to porn will help him in any way. I would always advocate seeking therapy with a trained professional or organisation. In the UK look for COSRT and especially ATSAC memberships
  17. Hi guys, My partner just recently relapsed after being porn free for 1.5 years. I’m devastated and our relationship is on the rocks. He’s never done therapy before and this was one of my boundaries for us staying together, however the more therapists I enquire about the more many of them say they advocate ‘healthy or occasional’ porn use. This is crushing me, he will hear this and it will give him the green flag to continue. Does anyone have any advice? Is this normal?
  18. Hi I found your post to be very emotional and truthful and I felt so sorry that you’re going through this. I agree you ARE NOT a bad person, people are capable of doing bad things but that doesn’t have to define you! I feel that SAA could be the right path for you, my husband found that the fellowship there to be amazing aid in his recovery. To be able to connect with others who will support and listen without judgement or condemnation is a blessing and you deserve to have that support. Also please look at doing the Pivotal via the Laurel Centre, my husband said it made such a difference to have the understanding and wisdom that Paula brought to him. I wish you all the very best in forging ahead in your recovery and I truly believe you have the ability to succeed if you are willing to do the work.
  19. (TL:DR I'm a sex addict and need help to not relapse) Sorry for the really long post, I had a lot to get out ! Hi, I'm a 50 year old man with a long history of interest in fetish/s&M domination etc etc. Also, an 'addictive' personality. Meaning, I basically get obsessed and single minded with things. In some ways it's my SuperPower and has helped me do many difficult things. But also, my weakness as when I get a hit from something I can get hooked and convince myself to keep doing it. 15 years ago I had a bad break up leaving a hard situation with a child and a controlling mother (of child) who used child access as a weapon. My subsequent relationship attempts failed, and I gave up trying. Decided I would make do with myself, and revived my old teenage fetish interests. This led to years exploring the fetish scene, going to some events, and ending up crossdressing and identifying as a gender fluid person. However, it was also an emotional dead-end, leaving me alone, still unprepared to connect with a genuine person. The crossdressed version of my was providing a substitute for a real woman. It was a bit complicated. Even the therapists couldn't seem to figure it out. This person is not really me. If anyone is going to tell me 'once you are a crossdressed, it never goes away' forget it. I don't want to hear it. It's not true. Sometimes it DOES go away - it depends why you are doing it. For me it is an unhealthy, unsustainable, dysfunctional cycle underpinned by a fear of intimacy with women (or anyone). I fully intend to fix this. Ultimately I'm ready to do this. I'm satisfied the underlying issues have been pretty much resolved. I KNOW I'm not a bad person, and I have a self confidence that has grown over the time I've been a father. THE PROBLEM? It's really hard to stop, I was in pretty deep. Everyday is a bit of a struggle. Also, I've stopped many times before and relapsed. Essentially I think what I have is a SEX ADDICTION. It works like this : 1) I feel strong and capable of living a good life, meeting someone maybe someday, things are balanced. 2) I see attractive female bodies and get triggered to feel lusty and sexual. 3) I question how I will ever manage to meet anyone for real 4) I feel weak, that maybe all the crossdressing stuff IS really me and I should just go back to it. I don't want to go back to it. When I'm away from it, I feel strong, really great about myself, and the future is full of positivity and possibilities. When I think of going back to it, it's like a dark hole, which is a little bit comforting in the short term, but ultimately a depressing lonely place with no future, I never connect properly with anyone, I get old and and day I'll die. I don't want to be there. I need help to stay strong. Any advice please? Thankyou if you've read this far!
  20. Hi, thank you for sharing your experiences. I too have struggled with trying to turn away from porn and masturbation, which is a habit I acquired from a very young age. I still am not perfect, but I have found a few things that help me turn away on a day-to-day basis. It's always going to be a struggle, and I think that's the hardest part to acknowledge, even if it's the truth. You will always have urges, no matter what you do. What you can change is how you respond to those urges, and how you view your struggle with your own personal experiences. For a long time, I jumped from self-help website to self-help website looking for ways to just ignore the urge or get rid of it entirely, but many stated that the best way to face my addiction was to look at it from a moment-to-moment perspective. This is really hard on its own, and all I could imagine was moment after excruciating moment of having to hold back what my entire body was telling me to do. However, every time I failed to stay away, I felt a feeling of complete and utter disappointment in myself, because I had not only failed myself but also my family and my future partner as well. After learning about psychology in high school, I decided to take a new approach to my addiction. I found the most important thing holding me back was a lack of consistent effort/strategies and a feeling of complete isolation from anyone else I knew. Some sources I had read asserted that up to 90% of men masturbate, but the topic is very taboo in almost all social circles and no one voluntarily talks about it. The strategy that I came up with was multifaceted, and I think looking at the issue from multiple perspectives is very helpful when it comes to avoiding the addictive habit. First, I looked at my addiction from a biological perspective, visualizing the addiction cycle of highs and lows, and needing to seek a higher high each time to get back to equilibrium. I also learned about which neurotransmitters were released by pornography and masturbation, and which brain structures were responsible for my urges. it was important to me to realize that a sex drive is an instinctual part of human biology, and I didn't need to eliminate it completely, only return it to normal from its twisted existence at that point. Second, I took a look inwards at my own pattern of thought, such as what situations triggered my urges and which emotions I was feeling at the time. this helped me to identify and avoid things that might send me into a spiral. For me, this situation would typically be if I was alone, tired, and/or bored. I also tried to identify patterns in the type of pornography I viewed. I realized that I would normally go down a rabbit hole of the same topic, seeing variations of the same theme. My curiosity to find something better of that same theme would often bring me back to pornography, which was a very important fact to acknowledge. To combat this I took a radical strategy, to which I have a better alternative now. Since I knew that my curiosity was what was pulling me back, I decided to take a path similar to "flooding," where a therapist exposes a phobic person directly to the object of their fears. I created a mental list of all of the things I was curious about, then sped through them all online without trying to enjoy it or masturbate to it. My hope was to eliminate the curiosity I had been feeling before. This helped, but I believe that exposing oneself to porn to get rid of addictive urges is too risky. What I learned from this experience was that if I could make myself realize that all forms of pornography are the same on the basic level, just images to inspire erotic urges, I could convince myself that I would become bored of porn. Changing the thought process that tells you that you want to watch porn in the first place is something that can completely change your journey. Next, I decided to use operant conditioning to make myself avoid porn and masturbation. Every time I went back to porn (against my better judgment), I focused on the negative feeling which haunted me afterward. I began to associate this feeling with porn, convincing myself that those short few moments of bliss were not worth the days or weeks of shame and lowered self-worth that came afterward. Eventually, I realized that having a constant state of feeling somewhat "meh" was better than feeling bad most of the time just to wait for the time when I could consume porn or masturbate. I am a somewhat religious person, and I used my faith to help me as well, which allowed me to talk to people anonymously about my problems, This also relieved some of the negative feelings I was experiencing because they showed me that I would not be shunned for my shortcomings and that I could always try again. However, I realize that others may not be religious or believe in a higher power, so I advise just finding a person or group of people you can talk to, whether it be your wife, a friend, or someone completely anonymous so that you can talk through your thoughts with them as well. I won't lie, it is hard to discuss, especially the first few times you talk about it, but it does get easier. These trustworthy people can keep you accountable and prevent you from going back. Lastly, I began to build relationships with new people. The feeling of isolation I felt from everyone was a major factor in my use of porn. After a few failed attempts at friendships, I found 3 or three people who I truly enjoyed being around and who made me laugh whenever I was around them. You don't need an entire army of friends to make a change, but having a few good ones can completely change your life. Whenever you feel the urge to return to porn, I advise that you think about the happiness you feel being around those people, and show yourself how enjoyable life can be without pornography. I hope you realize that you are not alone in your struggle and that my experiences and suggestions can help you. Don't forget to stay vigilant and enjoy all of the happy events that come your way. I wish you the best of luck on your journey
  21. Hi dear I'm also sorry that you have to go though this. I think you will see clearer down the line, no need to take any immediate decisions if you are in two minds about it. ll refrain from sharing my story in detail now, you have enough to come to terms with. I don't know if and when his therapy will see a change in his behavior. If you want to give him a chance, it will be a while before you will know that. I hate to sound negative but you know, after years of porn use he might have escalated last year.... or earlier. You just won't know. And as the trust is gone, we tend to assume the worst. Just be good to yourself now, take care of yourself and give it a bit of time. You might think of putting boundaries in place to protect yourself. That would be my advice but yes, it is not going to be easy. I think the pain goes away a bit but then the wounds might re-open. All the best for now. xx
  22. Hi all, Just reaching out as I found out last Sunday that my partner cheated on me last year with a woman he arranged to meet on the internet. I've known he has struggled with porn addiction for a long time, he always told me he knew how to handle and manage it etc. But honestly not and it's clearly escalated. I never thought he would ever do anything like this and I'm obviously worried there's more disclosures to come. We have been together 11 years and just bought our first house together, I'm so conflicted with what to do going forward. All my family and friends are confused as to why I haven't left already, but I feel confused with how to go forward. I am also very aware how difficult it will be going forward staying with someone with this kind of addiction and I suppose I'm seeking some kind of understanding of how its worked out for others. He has joined SAA and is also getting himself sorted with therapy, he feels he has an addiction and is doing everything right going forward, but I'm not naive that it will be a difficult journey ahead whatever the decision. Big love to everyone and sorry we've all had to go through this xx
  23. Hi Roberto, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't think we're here on an anti porn quest (although there is a lot of abuse in the sex industry including porn so I cannot praise its existence either and you mentioned that). No doubt the base problem was not porn itself but in my case it has turned into that. Imagine how much time someone invested into watching and saving 14,000 porn images and clips on his or her PC. That was the initial discovery besides a plastic bag of porn DVD's which my husband never left out of sight as he transported it to and from work as he didn't dare letting them lie around in the home. He then escalated to other stuff as well. That was a big part of his life, should I say his No 1 leisure activity and totally not compatible to a healthy couple life. This is what shocked me in the very beginning. His inclination to consume porn with this magnitude while I had been made to believe that our sex life was mutually satisfying. Of course I felt cheated, I thought our intimacy was fake. I then moved on to realizing that this entailed a lot of fakeness, lies. I hate being manipulated, fooled, lied to, deceived etc by anybody but this was the person I trusted most. I had an easy, very content and very good life before I met him, there was very little trouble coming my way. I didnt get together with him with the idea that he would bring eternal happiness into my life. And the shame which you bring up, I frankly didn't care if this is shameful for him or not. He had no right to marry me under false pretense. It takes some nerve to hide something so big so maybe being shamed one day is a calculated risk, right? I mean, it wasn't like he watched porn from time to time. It was hugely important (and still is). And it's not just the shame why they hide it It's mainly because they wouldn't want to stop. Of course I now just talk about the initial fake situation and discovery. I know there is a lot more to say about this as I stayed in the relationship. That's for another time. So no, I cannot minimalize the porn problem once you cannot live without. I can even imagine that the initial problem which was medicated by porn use has been replaced by another, bigger problem which is the creation of the need of porn. If you see what I mean. You cannot then chose therapy to deal with your initial problem and the porn will go away automatically as you developed a porn need in the meantime which needs to be dealt with on top of it and that seems to be killing couples.
  24. I do feel for you in this situation. Coping ourselves is one thing, but children obviously bring another dimension. Again, one thing I've take on board since D-Day is that it's impossible to play out in our minds what is going to happen in the next 30 ,40, 50 years. You need to take time to see how you feel now. No sudden movements. No need to rush. Nobody expects you to predict the future and there is no 'right solution'. Life isn't perfect and it became a little easier for me when I finally came to the realisation that there was no absolutely 100% method to getting through it. Good luck.
  25. This pains me from the perspective that: our partners because sex addicts in the first place because of the shame they felt about themselves. They way I'm ready this quote, the suggestion is that the sex addict is now, ultimately, doomed because he can't, or shouldn't reveal this shame to a new parter. If I've learnt anything in the journey I've been through it's that we all need to be totally honest with each other.
  26. I realise it's most probably not a popular opinion on here but, from my perspective, porn is not the problem. If we consider alcoholism in the same light, gin is also not the problem. Gin can be fun and complex and exciting, but we all know that if you drink too much of it all the time, you cease to function properly. I'm sure you can see what I'm getting at here. Again, from where I'm sitting, some of the issues presented on this forum are the result of people being fed false expectations as children of what relationships ought to be. The Disney Corporation has a LOT to answer for: maybe I'm the one who's got it wrong, but there is no The One, there is no proverbial Prince Charming and there is no guarantee of some kind of Rick Astley Together Forever experience. It's unreasonable to expect that, once married or partnered, our partners and we ourselves are simply going to stop noticing the attractiveness of other people. A gazillion years of evolution has put a stop to that in order to ensure that our species survives. What counts for many people in closed relationships is whether we decide to act on those attractions, or not. Hence many of you have found yourselves on this site because your partner failed to engage his or her frontal lobe. I know that I find other men who are not my husband attractive. My husband has the same thing going on. The issue that he faced was that he was using porn to underpin his life, and had been since he was a teen. Shame stopped him sharing this with me. As many on this site know, I'm gay. Potentially I want to say that some LGBTQ+ people approach porn and relationships a little differently. One of the reasons for this is because many of us were still closeted in our teens when straight people were out getting actual real-life sexual experiences, and we turned to porn instead. This then means that, as adults, we potentially accept that porn can play a role for an individual or even a couple (but, of course, it doesn't have to) more readily than others. My point is, however, that if we initially shame partners by declaring that all porn is bad, well then they're NEVER going to admit that they use it. Personally speaking, I don't think porn is bad. Too much porn is bad, in the same way that too much gin is bad. We need to remember that people of all genders are involved in making porn (not just females) and that, in addition, some of them willingly do it for exposure, or because they're exhibitionists or for any number of reasons - they're not all being exploited by by sharks (but I fully realise that many are and I'm not naïve enough to think that the majority of porn is squeaky clean - I'm pretty certain it's not). That said, new-ish platforms such as OnlyFans have enabled individuals to make their own calls on how they are going to sell their bodies, cutting out the middle-man (who has been, in the past, the person exploiting a vulnerable 'porn star'). I realise, however, that many of us partners have been stung by our sex addicted other halves using OnlyFans, and acknowledge that this particular fact is a little bitter-sweet. It's certainly one of the sites my husband used to use. My thesis here is ultimately this: if we had more realistic expectations of our all-too-human partners, then potentially we'd be less devastated at what has happened to all of us on here who are partners of sex addicts. The real issue here is the deceit, some of which has happened as a result of our communal unrealistic expectations and the fact that we, as a society, shame people who indulge in porn (and I think we all know that the majority of people view internet porn rather than the minority). My life fell apart not because I discovered my husband was using porn. It fell apart when I discovered he was using it to prop up his entire existence. He then went on to lie to me about other schemes he was involved in, and that's what really sent me over the edge. Please do not think that this message is about advocating that your sex addict partner be allowed to view porn again. That's not what this is about. This is about being more realistic as a society in our expectations regarding love and partnership.
  27. @NeedToRetireYour fetish is not weird. You clearly are holding on to a lot of shame and that's what makes you label it as weird. Shame has forced you to keep it secret from your wife. That's unfortunate, but it's also not uncommon. We dear people will leave us if they discover the real us. Your legitimate fetish harms nobody. It's just a fetish. But I'll tell you from personal experience that telling your wife about your fetish will help. A fetish becomes an addiction when it stops you from living your daily life and prevents you from doing what you need to do.
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