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Everything posted by Tabs

  1. Also Jo, has your husband sought professional help? He needs to do this urgently. What if his behaviour escalates? What he did to you was actually a crime. He must feel terrible and I understand that you would want to protect him, but he needs help. If only my husband had sought help he wouldn’t be in the mess he is now. This addiction is truly awful abs sadly most people do not understand it as it is not discussed as it is so personal. I hope you don’t think this is harsh, but I have personally suffered great hardship as the result of my husbands porn abs live addiction. xx
  2. Hi Jo, I don’t comment on the forum too often as I am in now a form of limbo relationship wise ,as I can have no form of close relationship really with my husband (my story is on here). I just want to say how sorry I am for what you are going through. It sounds very traumatic. You are clearly a very kind, strong and emotionally intelligent person with masses of empathy. You said that you thought your husband may be a narcissist. I now know this is what my husband is. It’s not something that anyone sets out to be, it can be due to their upbringing. My husband, through therapy uncovered childhood abuse, emotional abuse and emotional neglect. I read somewhere that narcissists tend to fall for people with high emotional intelligence and a kind nurturing nature. None of this do they know, or indeed do we know. It’s all very deep within ourselves and feels natural to us. It’s only when something happens to shake the foundation of the relationship, that we are forced to look at things and of course hindsight makes things much clearer. It actually is emotional abuse and I have always said I would never tolerate any abuse or infidelity! I have now learned to put myself first, I always put him first in the past, and excused him for his lack of support. For him everything was always someone else’s fault, and to a degree it was. But he now knows he has to own his actions and feelings and think about how they impact on others, empathy does not come naturally but he can learn. I think out of every awful experience we can all grow and become stronger, and I am sure you will do. I do hope that you might talk to a therapist or at least look at a trauma course. I found a great free on line course, which helped me work through my trauma. Google bloomforwomen, I personally got a lot out of both. My husband had lots of support, and I found myself left to try and unravel everything on my own, which was not good for me. It also wasn’t good for me to hear the outcome of his therapy without some professional support, as it showed that the man I loved wasn’t actually real! He had hidden so much of himself from me through fear, shame, learnt behaviour. I am sad for that. Take good care of yourself, you are amazing and will get through this! xxx
  3. Hi Lottie, so sorry to hear of what you are going through. This is a very difficult journey. Initially, I blamed myself. Why didn’t I notice, what wasn’t I doing, why did I make him look for other excitement? Now though I can clearly see, with the help of much reading and therapy, that none of it is my fault. It is an addiction. The addiction feeds off poor mental health, provides a hit and soothes. So the addict seeks more and more risky behaviour and avoids ‘real life’’. My husband had no idea he’d ever be found out! I could never compete with an addiction as powerful as that! It is great that your husband is getting help, this addiction can get completely out of hand and destroy many lives. My story demonstrates this. I am now 2 years and 3 months from a very traumatic ‘discovery’. My story is on this forum. Whilst I am saddened by all that I have lost, I am no longer so haunted by everything. A good supportive network has helped me. I also don’t mind talking about this to friends and strangers as it may help others. More and more are getting caught up in addictive porn. It is surprising how many people of going through this in secret. it will get better! xxxx
  4. I’m so sorry Caramack. I feel so bad for you, I remember that feeling. It’s awful. We had been married for just short of 39 years when my world crashed around my ears. Have a read of my story, ‘why do I feel so helpless’ and ask your husband to read it too. It is a dangerous path that he is on and he needs professional help. You need help too, it’s a massive trauma. Please know his behaviour is down to him, none of it is your fault. You too need help and support to process this and come to the best decision for you. Have you anyone you can talk to? Take time for you, try to do something to distract yourself. You have taken a brave step posting on the forum, everyone story is different but we all share the same emotions…sending virtual hugs Xxx
  5. Sorry, also wanted to say that my husband told me, after many therapy sessions, that latterly, he started to look at females in a sexual way…I guess this is why he went on line to chat inappropriately, and eventually hook up to fulfil his needs ‘safely’ . I have talked about this to friends, female and male, and they all say that he never gave that impression., in ‘real life’ he always seemed respectful of women, and appeared to have worshiped me, he never made them feel uncomfortable and never was Inappropriate , or engage in “men’s chat”! It was his secret…..but what an ugly unhealthy secret it was. It is clear too that his upbringing and the taboo around sex, and mistrust of girls/women other than his mother, led to this thinking. It is only when under extreme stress that these hardwired views come into play….I hope this makes some sense! x
  6. Kaykay and Ann, this situation is truly awful! I have days where I live with it all, and am accepting that it is about him and his demons, and then other days I can’t help but go back over it all and asking myself the same stupid questions! But, as you say, it has a massive impact on us partners. I can see no future relationships, other than friends, I can see no lovemaking in my future. That is sad. I was such a romantic, and he took that away from me, leaving me feeling foolish and like I was blind to real life! Please tell me that it isn’t real life? That there are good, honest loving men out there? I look at make friends and their relationships with their partners, and wonder if they are being truthful. I analyse everything and everybody. I see people’s unhappiness and the fact that people “put up” with behaviours that are not right. I do have many days of being at peace with my lot,and I have found happiness in other things, but I also have days where I can’t imagine living the rest of my days without that special someone where you know each other inside out…. Sending love. It’s good to explore these feelings with people that understand! Xx
  7. Hi Long-suffering, I have been on my own for nearly 2 years. My story is on the forum. I cannot even contemplate having a sex life, or even a relationship other than friends, with anyone. Maybe if I meet someone in the future this may change, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be easy. It all comes down to trust for me, what is real, what isn’t, what would he be thinking about, am I good enough, too old, body imperfect etc! He was my one and only, married for 39 years, I was totally comfortable with him. But I often think of how he actually saw sex, the fact that he objectified women, and that I didn’t recognise it. I know it’s him and not me, but it doesn’t stop me feeling like I am not worthy of someone’s love and wondering if all men think the same! It is good that you want a sex life, that’s healthy, and you deserve what you want, in the way and with whom you are comfortable. xxxx
  8. Foreverhealing, I am so very sorry for how you are feeling. I totally understand what you are saying, it is such a difficult situation to deal with and impacts us partners in such a massive way. As you have said, the lies are the worst thing. And sadly that is what addicts do, they lie to cover up their habit. I always prided myself on having good instincts about people, but completely missed what was happening with my husband, and that has then created insecurities about everything! I wish I had the answers, but I don’t! I have come to learn that I have to look after myself first and foremost. That’s what I try to do. I have therapy with a therapist trained in this area, I try to practice mindfulness, and I look to my friends and family for emotional support. I try to just be! sending you a virtual hug and love xxx
  9. Life goes on. I’m still on my own. Now 23 months! I can’t imagine ever being with anyone ever again, but that’s ok. I am getting quite good at organising my life, and now quite enjoying doing what I want and not putting someone else first. I read all the posts here, and realise that I am lucky not to be navigating an ongoing relationship with him. I recognise that I have been to hell and back with everything, but at least I’m able to have space and time to recover and focus on myself. My friends and family remain wonderfully supportive. So most of the time I don’t feel lonely. However, I have some people close to me who are very sick, including a sibling. I am supporting them, and feel his absence so much at this time. Why, again, when I need him, has he abandoned me? I’m not talking physically, as that ability has been taken, but emotionally. I now recognise his lack of empathy. He is emotionally immature and or damaged. He always relied on me to do the emotional things in our relationship, I thought it was because he was busy or that I tended to recognise things quicker, but I think he was blind to them. I had hoped for some concern from him, a check-in. But no, it seems I am still more invested in this relationship, albeit as friends, than he is! I guess that’s a lesson for me. I shouldn’t expect others to be as I am. I though need to be true to me and my values. He still hides away. Me on the other hand, am still trying to change things for those that will follow, us and me. I just do what I can, as I don’t want this experience to not benefit someone! I managed, last week, to get a face to face one to one with my MP! I’d already written to him 3 times, acknowledged once, ignored twice. I rather took him by surprise, and he couldn’t say no! I raised the subjects of porn, justice system, on line harm bills failings, prison life! I was very open and frank. I have nothing to lose, and I want to talk for those that are afraid to or still carrying their partners shame. I have no great hopes, he was very ill informed! Thought that I would have been supported very well by ‘the systems’…..hmmm no! But at least I can say I tried! Wishing you all strength and love. Onwards! Xx
  10. I read your posts with admiration. My position, as you know is different. We have had to live and deal separately with outcome of this addiction of his. I really don’t know how we would have dealt with this whilst living a ‘normal’ life together. I hope I would have been as strong and compassionate as you are. Only you know what you is right for you and your families. Xx
  11. Hi Lilo, I’m sad to read this post. I can hear that you feel very abandoned. I am no expert in this, it seems that every situation is different. I hope an expert will be able to give you some answers. From what you said earlier he is having therapy, maybe he is struggling with his own feelings still and needs to continue to deal with his demons alone? My husband I myself have been apart for 22 months now, I doubt we will ever be reunited as a couple, but I am supporting him. We have only met for 3 times for probably an hour total during that time. We texted and talked on phone, but only when we needed to to address practical issues. My situation was different in the outcome but the same root cause. The emotional support I needed I found from friends and family. I have have therapy which has helped me to see that I am capable of living alone and helps me explore what I want, what my values are. He has not been ready to open up and discuss fully, his therapy was intense and identified and explored a lot of hidden traumas. We have agreed once he is out of prison we will have a joint therapy session to help us explore our relationship and find closure. He still says he loves me and has hopes for us reuniting, but I have to make sure that any decisions I make are good for me, and honour my core values, I am responsible for me and me only. He is responsible for himself. I do hope that you find peace. Sending love. xx
  12. Hi Cara, I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is truly awful. It’s good that you have sought help, it’s important to look after yourself first and foremost. All you feel is valid, the trauma of this is rather like grief, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it, and no right and wrong decisions. That I think is what makes it so hard! You have to come to your own decisions that bring you peace. He has to focus on himself, only he can decide to change the way he lives and to address his own demons. Have you read any of the resources on this site? Paula Hall has a great book for partners, it’s good to know that what you are feeling, with the triggers, is ‘normal’ Have a read through old posts, there is a wealth of information, but most of all, it helps to know that you are not the only person with those feelings. One day you will find the old you again, the confident and strong woman that you are, and surprisingly you will find that you are even stronger than you were before, and wiser! Take good care of yourself xx
  13. I’m so sorry Yet Again that you are going through this painful ordeal. I’m now 22 months down the line from a very traumatic ‘reveal’. I knew nothing at all, but now, with hindsight, I can see the withdrawal from me, the lack of intimacy, the avoidance of eye contact, the lack of meaningful communication, the lack of enthusiasm for day to day activities. I have crawled my way back from the depths of despair, through learning about this awful addiction, and the realisation that it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with him. We cannot be held responsible for our partners behaviours and actions, but once we know, we can support them, if we choose to. And that is key, it’s our choice, and no one else can say what the right thing is for us to do. We could be the most attractive woman in the world, but we cannot compete with porn. Sadly the world generally is blind to the fact that porn is so destructive. It reframes what sex is, in an entirely unhealthy way. Try hard to focus on yourself and your needs first, he needs to address his own behaviour, because he wants to change his life, not because you want him to. It’s very hard. You are not alone, there are many of us. I hear of more and more, People do not generally talk openly about this. It is so taboo. Which is sad, as without acknowledging it, more will fall victim. take care xx
  14. Hi DeeJay, So sorry you find yourself here. As you say it’s so surreal, and not where any of us would imagine being! There are too many of us! I think, for me, having that final full disclosure felt almost a relief. It’s better knowing the truth than imagining all sorts of things. I always felt there was more after earlier confessions, I didn’t believe him when he said there was no more, and that feeling was right! Now that feeling has gone, and I can try to understand and unpack what the reality was and how I feel about it/him. You need to do whatever it is you feel you need. Everyone reacts differently as every situation is different. Don’t feel pushed into anything you don’t want. Put yourself first. Practice self care. I cried a lot, I talked to friends a lot, I read and researched…then I eventually came to a place of peace. We all deserve that. Wishing you the very best. xxx
  15. Hi Sofia, first of all, be kind to yourself. You are grieving the loss of the relationship as you knew it, with all that grief entails. There is no right or wrong way to feel or deal with things. Take your time. Look after you first. I am 22 months down the line, and can say for sure, none of this is your fault. His demons to fight, by him, not you. He needs to understand what took him there, and deal with that trauma. You need to heal from this betrayal. There are many books and there are blogs too on this site that can help you understand. You are not alone. Many struggle with this in secret and alone. Therapy helped me enormously, as I am sure it will help you, in the meantime, just breathe and try to eat and drink, don’t put any pressure on yourself. Take care. xxx
  16. Hi KR1212, I believe you have come to a kinder place than mumsnet. Porn addiction, from my experience, isn’t really acknowledged and understood by anyone who has not been impacted by it, or those that have studied it. It is real, it is relationship destroying and sadly, as I have experienced it is life destroying. The good thing is your husband recognises he needs help and has sought it. That’s takes courage. For us partners we are suddenly thrown into an alien world, where we feel are we no longer able to trust our judgment. My husband, like yours was the kindest gentlest man. Unbeknown to me he was suffering mentally and porn, including on line chat, and actual hookups, was his medication. From being very broad minded on the subject of porn, and social media, with the knowledge I have gathered, I now believe it to be toxic. Many lives are being destroyed, and will continue to be, with those affected getting younger and younger. Until society wakes up to this, it will continue, and get even worse. It might help you to read Paula Halls book for partners, and there are other books covering porn addiction which I have found useful, The porn trap, the porn myth….it’s very real. Do you have anyone that you can trust to talk to? It’s a heavy burden to carry alone. It is a tough and emotive subject, and as you found on mumsnet, the ‘public’ tends not to want to understand or look deeper. Remember, this is NOT about you!! It took me some time to realise this, but it helps enormously to know this. You could have done nothing to stop this behaviour. It is about him. look after yourself, put yourself first, and practice self care….hugs to you! xx
  17. Hi, this has nothing to do with his feelings for you. It’s about him. So please don’t think you could have done anything to change him. He needs to seek help, he needs to understand why is is doing this and the impacts on others. You are not alone in this confusing and upsetting world. There are many of us. Some support their partners going through this, and some choose to walk away. Have a look through stories on here, and look at the recommended resources that may help you. It is a truly heartbreaking situation to find yourself in, and you need to look after yourself first and foremost. I found that, for me, finding out as much as I could helped me to understand and stop me from constantly searching for why it happened to me. It can and does happen to many people, more than we know. That knowledge helps a little. It is early days, so live an hour at a time, breath, practice self care…. Big hugs
  18. Hi Feeling Fragile, I’m doing ok thank you. Settling into some sort of normality. I am fortunate to have some great support. I am still shocked at times that I am in this position. Honestly, if you knew us as a couple you would not have guessed that we would be where we are! I am now navigating the truly awful prison system. I was painfully unaware of how it is in there. I will continue to support him until he is back on his feet. I feel I need to honour our long marriage. I am doing lots of self help, and finding what works for me. I’m still sad for the life that I lost, but looking back and being bitter doesn’t help me. I’m still trying to get authorities/ media/anybody to talk to and get them to listen to my story. I honestly believe that until porn is tackled more and more, mostly men, will get caught up and ruined. We also need to find some open discussions on the subject. I honestly had no clue there was such a thing as porn addiction! I want my experience to be help others. That my healing. x
  19. Hi Kaykay, I feel for you. This is such a difficult situation, you’ve given your all to someone and they have betrayed you. Have you tried therapy? It sounds as though you would welcome help in unpicking your thoughts and feelings. I find talking to my therapist incredibly helpful. She helps me pinpoint exactly what it is I feel unhappy about and then helps me to explore what I can do about it. I feel like I have control over my life and my decisions now. I talk to her less frequently now, but know that she is there should I need her. That gives me strength to face the future. xx
  20. Lilo, I hear you, I really do. I so wanted my husband to plead with me to stay with him, to tell me that he really loved me, tell me why, to demonstrate his love. It it such a mess of conflicted emotions, but all I wanted was the person I thought he was......I needed him so badly. But, I know now, that he really needed to focus on himself, and try to understand the root of his problems, his, NOT mine or ours, HIS. He needed to find out who he was. I needed to take time to heal, to reflect, and to find myself again. Therapy helped me, as did lots of mindfulness and meditation, and my friends, they became my source of comfort and love. And I read, lots, and tried to understand. Firefly, thank you for sharing your experience with us, it must be painful to remember. But you are certainly helping me understand the ‘why’s’. It’s a brave thing to do. I am in a position now of some peace. I’m 20 months in from D day. Of course, life still sends me problems to overcome. But I try now to not let it overwhelm me, sometimes I’m better at that than others. My husband is in prison, for a total of 14 months. He’s nearly served 2. He will have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but they are his. I choose to support him, by doing that I am being true to myself, but I am also protecting myself, by keeping some distance relationship wise. I forgive him, I forgive those in his life who made his life so difficult. That’s the only way forward. I do not want to live the rest of my life in anger, resentment or fear. I so want to help others, there are so many on this path of destruction. I wish I had known about this ‘danger’. Until we start being open and honest, this addiction will continue to rise. That is so sad! To everyone, I wish you peace going forwards. We can and will learn and improve from this horrendous experience. xxx
  21. Dear All, I just want to share something that I feel is a positive to come out of this awful situation we find ourselves in. I now actually really SEE the world that I live in. I have been gifted with more compassion and empathy than I had before. I now believe that if we truly open ourselves up to learning about what is in front of us, taking our time, and instead of going along with our initial reactions and emotions, gifted to us by past experiences, our education and morals, together with media propaganda and mob rule mentality, we really grow. We improve as individuals. So, even though I have gone through the very worst, I have, I believe come out of it as a better and stronger person! I do hope so! I’m sorry if this grates with some, but I just want to share some hope and positivity. I needed it so badly at the start of this journey. much love and strength to you allxxx
  22. GemGem and Nort123, I have read your heartbreaking posts. I have been where you are. My husbands addiction took him to prison. Not a happy ending. I have learned that what he did had absolutely nothing to do with me. He did truly love me. Therapy for him was very powerful, he started to understand what led him down the path...unbeknown to me, and previously ignored by him, he was suffering with various mental health issues. The porn and sex was his self medication. He should have dealt with the issues that made him self medicate, but, that’s the problem, he was ill! A vicious circle! I do wish that this subject wasn’t so taboo. Then we could talk more openly, know where to go for help, have non judgemental support. This is an escalating problem, porn is an unregulated drug. I found the 3 (free) videos on this website so informative https://fightthenewdrug.org Our marriage has not survived it, we’re not yet divorced, but have been apart for many months. The trauma I have lived with has been truly dreadful. The loss of a long and happy relationship and marriage is hard to deal with, but for this reason?!!! I have therapy, not so often now as I have finally processed it and come to some sort of peace. We are all ultimately responsible for only ourselves, we cannot force anyone to do anything. We deserve to find happiness and peace. Whether that is with the person that we love that has put us through this ordeal, or alone, or with a new partner, who knows, but we have to open ourselves up and love ourselves first! That’s what I’m trying to do! Hard some days! Keep strong, sending love. xxxx
  23. I think, from what he said, it was addict zone. Not thinking, just going for the dopamine hit. It coincided with some tough stuff going on with his work, and added to difficulties with his family, he self soothed instead of addressing the problems. It has come as a shock to him too! There are so many men caught up in on line sex crimes now, it’s so easy to access illegal material and engage in illegal chats. They think it’s not real life, and can be hidden away....but no! The reward part of the brain takes over from the part of the brain that risk assesses, like all addicts I guess. Xx
  24. Kaykay, have a look at my story, it’s on the forum here. It’s the very worst story, as he has ended up in prison through his addiction. I hope recommendations are allowed on this site, but in the absence of therapy etc I recommend this book to help find yourself and your inner strength, and for therapist, have a look in line but only look for therapists trained in sex addiction! xx Sandy Brown Porn Addict’s Wife: Surviving Betrayal and Taking Back Your Life
  25. I understand. I don’t think there is a future for me and him. He has betrayed my trust, and also, as you say, damaged something that was so special. I don’t think I will ever truly trust anyone again. But I have to live my life and be true to myself. I recognise that he was in a bad place, and as such I can’t abandon him. I could not forgive myself if something even worse happened to him. I see him as a friend in crisis. That’s not to say that is the right choice for everyone. I’m learning more about me, my values and belief, and the inner strength that somehow emerges from these traumatic places. I am fortunate to have a good network of friends supporting me. But it is a difficult subject to talk about. There is a lot of judgment, but I now know there is no right and wrong way to feel and no right or wrong decisions. I’m just glad that someone said very early on, that decisions don’t have to be made quickly. Take your time. Do what’s right for you. If the Laurel centre are not able to help, try to find another therapist trained in sex/porn addiction. What is important is for you to deal with your own trauma and find yourself again. what would be unhelpful is for someone to tell you what to do, and what they think. As we know there are a lot of black and white views, but I now know that there are many shades of grey. We deserve to honour ourselves, and we deserve gentle kind support. We are victims xxxxx
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