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Everything posted by PJ

  1. Hi Susie I hear the sound of desperation in your post. Sounds like a very testing situation. Can I ask, other than coming on this Forum, are you getting any support? That would be my first piece of advice? Whether from friends or counsellors. Going through such times alone makes things so much more difficult to bear. I have this addiction, and my only other piece of advice is that it thrives on deceit, collusion and secrecy. I would encourage you to pursue truth and openness, that way you might both come through this with a stronger marriage. There is lots of help here - Laurel counsellors are helpful and Paula has written an excellent book for partners of sex addicts - well worth a read. Let us know how things develop?
  2. Hi Antnick I you can't stop, then that is a sure sign you have an addiction, and the only way to stop is to get specialist treatment. Having been on Paula's recovery courses, I would highly recommend them, but you could also try a local 12 step programme. I think there are 3 main ones - SA, SAA and SLAA - google them and see how they differ and whether any have meetings near you. I would commend Paula's book on sex addiction too - it will help you understand a little more what you are dealing with. Please come back and tell us how it is going.
  3. Hi Ruby I am sorry to hear about all you are going through - being a partner of a SA is grim, and sometimes worse than grim! You can find a lot of really helpful information about the impact of a caution (any criminal history) on www.unlock.org.uk - they are excellent.
  4. Hi Kate I am so sorry to hear how your husband is treating you and caught up in this wretched stuff. I write as someone who has been on the other side - got heavily into porn, visited sex workers, but have been free of all that for 3 1/2 years and still married having confessed everything to my wife. There is hope...... You are sounding devastated and understandably so. A few thoughts if I may. 1. This isn't about you, the health of your marriage or your sex life. There is no excuse for what he has done or is doing. So don't blame yourself, don't take on the responsibility of it one iota. It isn't about your looks, your age or anything else. It is all about his shit. 2. Addicts are unhappy and many, perhaps all, hate what they are doing but they are caught in a vicious circle. They are in pain but habitually turn to their addictive behaviour to escape their pain. It is a shitty place to be. 3. Addicts usually need to hit rock-bottom before they come to their senses and realise they need help. Until they come to the realisation they need help, they won't change. 4. They need people who will not allow them to deceive themselves, minimise or excuse their behaviour. If you stay with him, you will need to help him in this. 5. You are a precious and beautiful person in your own right, who deserves kindness, goodness, love and honesty. Don't believe or tell yourself anything else. 6. You therefore have a primary responsibility to yourself. Do whatever it takes to look after yourself. I would really encourage you to confide in a friend. You will need people to help you through this very dark time for you. You will probably be surprised at how friends will love you and support you if you reach out to them. 7. Finally, I would encourage your husband to find a specialist sex addiction therapist, rather than just a sex therapist. His problem isn't sex, as strange as that might seem, it is addiction. Hopefully the sex therapist will recognise that very quickly. I saw a counsellor who wasn't qualified in sex addiction stuff and wasted some years because they weren't knowledgeable or expert in this specialist area. You will find a load of help for a person in your position by reading Paula's book "Sex Addiction: The Partners Perspective". The Laurel Centre also has specialist counsellors for partners, you might do well to contact one of them. I hope this helps. Keep coming back, let us know how you are getting on.
  5. PJ


    Hi Pippa I am so sorry you have had this devastating news. Yes, that is very hard to believe. Not sure what more I can say - have you challenged him any more on this?
  6. Hi Outofwishes Sorry, glad you came back. What a story you have. The good news is that despite a very difficult time, you have risen to the challenge and you are sorting your life out. Whilst you now have a criminal history and excluded from certain areas of employment and voluntary work, the truth is that you can still live a full life. I hope you find your niche, something that gives you real satisfaction in life, enough income and total recovery from your addiction. Keep coming back from time to time, we would love to hear how you are getting on.
  7. Hi Outofwishes Thanks for this, very helpful. It seems to me that being found out can, perhaps often, comes as a great relief. For me, I couldn't live with the deception any longer - so when things come into the light, I felt like I became more integrated. At SAA, most, perhaps all, often find it a relief even when the police have caught them and are facing trial. It demonstrates what a terrible affliction this addiction is - when we are relieved to be caught. Do tell us what the outcome was - please give us an update. Best wishes
  8. Have you looked here: https://www.nacro.org.uk/resettlement-advice-service/support-for-individuals/advice-prisoners-people-licence-sex-offenders-mappa/advice-people-convicted-sex-offences/ or http://hub.unlock.org.uk?
  9. Hi Matt That's great. I would recommend you read Paula's book too. There is also a post here [http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/] with lots of good resources. Read up as much as possible and feed your motivation to get out of this addiction.
  10. Hi Confused.com I suppose I would want to ask whether your addiction life makes you happy and builds your self-esteem. And where is it going? If it doesn't make you happy etc I would do everything you can to escape from it. I would recommend Paula's course - it enabled me to escape and get into recovery. Well worth the money.
  11. Hi Kat Wow - that does sound absolutely terrifying. My only comment is that it doesn't feel right that you feel you can't go to the police to bring a degree of safety to your children, home and work because he might get into trouble.......... When in addiction we are selfish, in denial and manipulative. Hence him turning on you. Those in addiction usually have to hit rock bottom before they go into long term recovery, maybe, maybe, this is what he needs. The loving thing is to hold your ground, assert your boundaries, and don't take on board his accusations. All strength to you.
  12. Hi Cowslip. This is a journey - it will be right sometime to leave this forum......
  13. Hi Rena Just read your post. He sounds like he is in denial and that he doesn't understand how mired he is in his addiction. If he doesn't know he needs help, it is very unlikely he will recover - addicts can't do this on their own. You aren't going crazy - it sounds more like he is manipulating you by blaming you for the situation. He is clearly not taking responsibility. Put your boundaries in place and don't take on his crap. Have you read Paula's book for partners? I would highly recommend it. Best wishes.
  14. Hi Cheesecake. Addicts can be deep in denial, can be very manipulative and deceitful. I am sorry for your sad experience. Life can be crap at times. I don't have much to say, except that I hope you find the answers to your questions. There are men out there who aren't addicted to sex, or are in long-term recovery. I hope you find one that loves you and whom you fall in love with too.
  15. Hi Jem Sorry for the slow reply, I have been off-line for a few weeks. Guilt - gosh, there is a big subject. Guilt is a very complex area and raises some really interesting questions. I suppose I would want to dig into what sort of guilt your husband feels. Guilt is very closely allied to shame and I am persuaded is as much a spiritual issue as it is a psychological one. Off the top of my head (I think it needs longer!), I think there are 3 components of resolving guilt. 1. Repentance. This concept is often used in religious/christian circles but one doesn't have to be spiritual to take advantage of it. Repentance means, not just remorse but changing one's attitude and behaviour. I wonder if, pointing this out to him and 'accepting' his repentance, might give him some relief from his guilt? 2. Forgiveness. Forgiveness benefits the forgiver the most. You may have heard the maxim 'unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die'. Whenever a wrong is committed, a debt is created which cannot be repaid/undone. We use the concept when we use such phrases as "I will make x pay for this" or "she owes me". Interesting the original Lord's Prayer in the gospels of Matthew and Luke use 'debt' as a metaphor for wrong doing/sin. If you think about it, when someone does wrong against you, they take something from you - be it money, self-esteem, health etc. Such 'debts' cannot be undone, they cannot be paid back. Revenge doesn't give you your health back, doesn't heal your self-esteem etc. Forgiveness is then like cancelling the debt - striking it out. Tearing up the IOU. Forgiveness is a process and takes a long time. I wonder, if you are in the (long) process of forgiving him, telling him that might help - using the language of forgiveness. It might well cause him to cry, but it might help his guilt. The next step, once you have forgiven him, maybe for him to forgive himself. 3. Making amends. In SAA - one works to make amends. I find this very helpful. Whilst wrongdoing can't be undone and the debt can never be repaid, yet one can demonstrate a desire to put things right, acknowledge a debt to someone or society, and make contributions back. I suspect the best amend your husband can make to you is to actually put his life back together again, become healthy - to recover from his addiction. The second best amend (I suspect) is to help re-build your self-esteem and your marriage. I would encourage him to channel his guilt into making amends for the damage he has caused you and numerous others. I would be surprised if the above sorted it all completely but I hope it might help. It is a long journey.....
  16. A gentle reminder, this part of the forum is for success stories. PS Joshua - great point, so true.
  17. Hi Nanook Based on what you say in this post, and from personal experience (rather than as a expert therapist, which I am not!), I find it interesting that he doesn't try and appease/reassure you when he says that he didn't think about how you feel or think it was wrong. That makes me think he is telling the truth. I wonder, and everyone is different, whether he was addicted but is now in recovery, even if he doesn't call it that? It could last indefinitely but he would have a better chance of that if he did see it as an addiction and looked at the causes, had some support and made various changes to his life. You aren't being selfish at all. However addicts are very selfish and they lose their moral compass. Addicts it seems to me are actually very conflicted - deep down they often know what they are doing is wrong/shameful - that is why they keep it a secret. The problem is that they can't see a way out. They can't stop doing what they are doing - so they bury/deny/split off that part of their psyche that tells them it is wrong. It goes very deep it seems to me. The encouraging thing is that he now sees that and is 6 months into recovery (although he doesn't see it like that). That is basis for real hope. If he subsequently slips, that might be the moment to raise the question of addiction with him again. Given you have had the conversation already and he doesn't see it, I wouldn't I think raise it again - but that is up to you. If he doesn't slip, then perhaps he is right - he wasn't addicted, and even if he was - he has come free. Paula has written a very helpful book for partners of addicts - I would recommend it. I hope that is helpful. PJ
  18. Hi Prue I am so sorry things are no better. What a horrid situation. I am at loss to know what to say that would be helpful. I am sure antidepressants is a good option - they should give you greater emotional energy to process all the crap that you have had to go through. Very strange that he has just disappeared. The uncertainty must be very unpleasant for you. I guess it is about taking it one day at a time. I will keep you in my thoughts in the coming days. PJ
  19. Hi Andy Boy, its a grim place isn't. Many of us have been in a similar situation. It is a crappy place and I am sorry you are there at this moment. There is hope though. First of all, many are of the opinion that the only hope of escaping such addiction is by hitting rock bottom. It's crap that that is the case, but at least we can see a ray of hope in the mess, however slight a ray it is. It sounds to me that you need support asap. Do you have some friends to reach out to? I know it can be scary confiding in people, but in my experience they have been a lifeline. It is good that you have come on here. There are a load of resources. Rob has put a list of many here: http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/ I would highly recommend Paula's book on sex addiction too. I would also suggest you find a twelve step group. I have been going to one for about 2 years. There are 3 such 12 step programmes for sex addiction in the UK - sexaholics anonymous, sex addicts anonymous and sex and love addicts anonymous. Each programme is v. slightly different in approach although they all follow the AA 12 steps. Not only that but groups vary even within the same programme. They also take a few weeks to getting used to. So I would recommend trying one out for a few weeks, if it doesn't work for you, then try another group if there is one near enough. I go to SAA and it works well for me. There are many of us out there - come and finds us in a 12 step group. To encourage you, I am now nearly 3 years free from this addiction. My life is better than it has been for so many years. No deceit, no hours of wasted time, no wasted money much better self-esteem, my wife has got through the devastation of hearing of my infidelity and we are still together, a sense of wholeness. You can get there too. The future might feel very uncertain and scary but you can survive this - life might be different but it can be as good as, even better than it was before. Come back and let us know how things are going. We are here to support you.
  20. Hi Matt Well coming onto this Forum is a good first step. You can't recover unless you realise its a problem. It sounds like you are realising it is, so that is good. Speaking for myself, one of the reasons I started to look for help was that I realised that the road of addiction only led into increasingly dark stuff, and I really didn't want to go further. It scared me. I also hated the deception and sense of disintegration of what I can only describe as my soul. There is a lot of good stuff on here that can help. I would commend two things in particular. One is to get Paula's book on sex addiction. It is very helpful. The other is to find a twelve step group. There are 3 such 12 step programmes for sex addiction in the UK - sexaholics anonymous, sex addicts anonymous and sex and love addicts anonymous. Each programme is v. slightly different in approach although they all follow the AA 12 steps. Not only that but groups vary even within the same programme. They also take a few weeks to getting used to. So I would recommend trying one out for a few weeks, if it doesn't work for you, then try another group if there is one near enough. I go to SAA and it works well for me. Please come back and tell us how you are getting on. PJ
  21. Welcome back Whyme. Yes, it is a long road, but you are on the right road - keep going!
  22. Hi Hannah What an encouraging (I want to say 'brilliant'!) post. You are a legend! Can I suggest you repost this as a post in the section of 'Success Stories'? I think we consider success only for the addicts, but yours is very much a partner's success story (despite the addict's recovery or lack of it). Wow. Keep going!
  23. Hi Hannah I agree with Rob, mainly because that was the advice Paula gave me. So for example it isn't helpful to my wife to know where I acted out - why? Because that might trigger her going there in the future. I didn't tell her the detail of what I did either - just the main headlines. Having said that, I am generally a great advocate for full disclosure along the lines of the boundaries above. I tried to prepare for it, tried to have someone mediate it professionally but events overtook us. However I knew at that stage the advice of not giving detail and telling her everything at once - not leaving anything out so that there wouldn't need to be further disclosures. Can I ask why you ask?
  24. Hi Prue How are things going? As I re-read this post, it seems to me that you have a massive amount of stuff to process. Betrayal, marital breakdown, parenthood and single parenthood at that, bereavement etc. So many hopes and dreams lost. Are you getting help? Don't lose hope, a better day comes.
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