Help

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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SquarePants
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Re: Help

Postby SquarePants » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:51 pm

You might want to take a look at this thread on Sex and the Power of the Visual. In case you can’t access it, here’s a link to the video that is being discussed.

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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:50 am

Is there a good book out there that I can read for MYSELF to further understand sex/porn addiction?


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:29 pm

I need advice. Do you think having joint counseling and his individual sex addiction at the same time is good or should we stop joint counseling for awhile?


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Sex after Discovery

Postby hifromme67 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:44 am

How has everyone handled being intimate with spouse again after discovery? We are going on 3 weeks since discovery. We are in joint counseling (and had been) and he is now in individual for the porn addiction. I expressed in our session yesterday that I felt he had screwed up our sex life. I don't know if he wants me because of something else, because he feels sorry for me, when he is making love to me is he thinking of porn, etc. It's a viscious cycle. I have become emotional after we are done and I do not know what to do.


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Re: Sex after Discovery

Postby Leah » Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:53 am

What does your counselor say? Ask your counselor if s/he recommends 12-step work.
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Re: Sex after Discovery

Postby FoxluvsBunnyDFC » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:08 am

I would recommend either personal counseling or a 12 step program for yourself as mentioned above.

For us, it's about 2 months post discovery. It's been a roller coaster, honestly. Before discovery, sex wasn't great at all. In fact, discovery was made because i confronted my husband because i wondered if something was up because he just didn't enjoy sex with me, and never had an orgasm during sex w/ me (he'd seem disconnected during, but would do it for me, so i could orgasm, but he never would no matter how long we went for, and afterwards masturbate himself to orgasm, sometimes and i thought something was really wrong with my love making since we are newlyweds), ever (we had been married for only 7 months).

He got clean right away, and then after a week or two, he finally really wanted sex with me, all. the. time. His ejaculation problem suddenly resolve (since he is actually in recovery, he might slip once in a while, but he doesn't have that problem at all anymore)!. It was amazing and we did it more than ever and we were so happy. In the few weeks after that, he slipped a few times w/ porn, and more lies; serious lies; came out as he confessed them to me; also he shared that one major reason he did porn was because he was unhappy with our marriage and didn't know how to communicate that to me (and we had to start communicating about that stuff). I started wanting to disconnect during that time and feeling how you feel. We had lots of stuff to work through, and the porn opened up communication in many ways that we never talked about before.

I think this past week, we are coming into a somewhat healthier place again and i feel closer to him the past few days than ever... but porn really is a roller coaster, and i'd recommend getting help for yourself. We are both in recovery (12 step- 2 different programs CODA and Celebrate Recovery), so this all acted as a catalyst for us to grow and we are grateful. I'm really sorry you are going through this and feel that way ::bh
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Re: Sex after Discovery

Postby doug-h » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:42 am

Hifromme67, I am so sorry you are going thru this. It breaks my heart, both for you, and because I know that my own wife faced so many of the same doubts and uncertainties. I know that my words are probably meaningless to you, and may not even reflect the truth in your situation, but I will offer them up anyways and pray that you can see some truth in them and take some measure of comfort from them.
hifromme67 wrote: I expressed in our session yesterday that I felt he had screwed up our sex life.

You are right in thinking that. It is the truth, and will be the truth until you are past this season. I wish I could tell you that it will be a short time, but honestly, it depends on both of you healing the wounds that caused that.
hifromme67 wrote: I don't know if he wants me because of something else

That was never the case for me. I have always wanted my wife, and nothing else. There have been times thru the years that we have struggled, there have been times that we have hurt each other, but there was never a time that I did not want my wife. There was never anything else for me, but I have to admit that my own actions would bring the truth of that into question.
hifromme67 wrote: because he feels sorry for me

I guess I understand how that question could come to mind, but I really don't know how to answer it. If you are asking if he is giving you "pity sex", I would guess no. There may be a dynamic in play, where he is honestly trying to prove to you that you are desirable, not because he doesn't find you to be so, but because he understands the hurt he has caused, the doubt he has created, and is trying to undo the damage. I hope that makes sense.
hifromme67 wrote: when he is making love to me is he thinking of porn

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, in all the years that I was using, was this true for me. I never had any fantasies, never wanted any. The fact is that it was only when I quit using, that an image would pop into my mind. I didn't understand it, and I hated it, and did everything I knew to suppress it. It didn't happen often, it was never intentional, and it was always an intrusion when it happened. I may be alone in this, but I doubt it.

I know that his answers may differ from mine, maybe completely. Only your husband can answer them for himself. Can you ask him? Can you believe the answers he gives you?

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Re: Sex after Discovery

Postby Leah » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:43 am

12-step work will help if you work the steps.
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Re: Sex after Discovery

Postby hifromme67 » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:33 pm

Our sex life started going down hill only in the last several months. He had been sick off and on and so that was always a good excuse. He has suffered from ED for several years and has continued to see his doctor who checked his testosterone, all blood work, PSA, etc. My husband explained to the doctor that he felt old and felt lack of desire. I just really started to question the porn when I found myself constantly initiating, given excuses and fighting over it. I asked him if he was watching porn and masturbating and he swore he wasn't. I had no reason not to believe him as he was very open with cell phone.

So now we are rebuilding and I'm having a difficult time. Our therapist asked my husband if he could promise that if during or before sex he couldn't focus on me, to please let me know and that there would be no sex. My husband told her he could do that. We just had therapy on Thursday and it was a very good session. He did tell me that he had always made excuses for the porn (even with old therapist) and maybe what he thought was okay, is not. He said he never realized how damaging it could be. He was raised around it and there were never any boundaries so to him it was no big deal.

He is starting his porn addiction treatment workbook/session this coming week and I have inquired about meetings for partners of sex addicts. We have celebrate recovery but not sure which one I would attend.

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What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:25 am

This is probably a stupid question but needs answers and thought. So hubby is the one in treatment for porn addiction. For those struggling, does that mean no pics of women at all? To me it would seem logical since it can trigger porn usage correct? We haven't gotten to that point in therapy (joint) because discovery just happened. Right now things are raw and I don't know what his triggers are so everything hurts me. For example, we were in a large city on Friday and trying to find our way to the bridge. We ended up on a main street that had well-known strip clubs. For me it was an immense painful trigger because I don't know if that stuff makes him want porn. When will this torture end?


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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:51 am

Hifromme,

For me it was not just a question of pics, videos, etc.

What I did for weeks, was to just avert my eyes. If An attractive woman walked by on the street, I was looking at the sidewalk, or traffic light. Anything to remove any stimulous. It's almost funny, but I Guess sort of sad, I was working out of town and my wife drove down to spend the weekend with me, and of all places, she wanted to go to the beach. I guess she didn't think about it. All I can say is that I have a new appreciation for seagulls and hermit crabs.

I'm throwing that out there for you, because I think you need a little reality, but I want you to understand that it doesn't have to be painful all the time. It that case, I could actually joke about it. Your husband is going to see women, and images of women. It may even be a trigger for him, but a trigger that is overcome, is a victory, not a failure. It took me a little while to realize that, and I was beating myself up horribly. If I accidentally saw something I didn't want to, going thru the channels on the TV, I would feel like I failed somehow.

I am pretty well past that now, and I really haven't faced any temptation. I'm into my 8th month right now. I have surrounded myself with people who support me, my wife has a new understanding, and as the days pass, we find that we can joke a bit and play, without the reminders. I still deal with more guilt than I like, and I am trying to let it go. At the same time, I am sure that on occasion, my wife struggles with her own memories.
We have both decided in our own way, that it was not going to define US, and our marriage.

I want you to know that you and your Husband can get to that point also.
I understand how seeing things can be a painful reminder, but you can get thru this.

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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:13 am

Can you begin a culture of just being open with each other? Keeping things in the light/open, keeps the enemy at bay. Why not just straight out ask him.... is [this] a trigger for you? You may not be at this point yet, but in your marriage, you want to start building towards an openness where you can ask your questions and share your concerns and that he can be just as open and share when he is being tempted and being triggered and that he can ask for help without having to worry about a very negative reaction from you. You want a "safe" culture between the two of you.
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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:55 am

We have not yet gotten to the point of triggers. We are not allowed to discuss pornography outside of our joint therapy sessions. She did tell me last week to list questions I wanted to ask, go over it when done and pick 3 of the most important. She reminded me that my husband may not know yet answers himself. I get that totally. I am a need to know person so I can better understand. I get that in time the pain will heal, but I need to understand things in order for that to happen. Because we can only discuss porn in our sessions, I read a lot online on my own time. I think for me it makes it worse because I don't know the extent of his addiction so I just assume. It's almost as if I am living in another world.
doug-h wrote:I am pretty well past that now, and I really haven't faced any temptation.

So are you saying that you no longer avoid any type of sensual images/pics? For example, the other night we are watching the NBA All-Star game. Right after they had the Sports Illustrated special with the new models and covers. As soon as the special started, my heart sank and he changed channel immediately. I didn't say anything but I'm sure he knew. There are sensual images everywhere. We have disabled internet from his phone but he has Facebook and there is always models being shared by his friends. I don't know how to deal with that and shouldn't have to worry about it but I do. He does not do well with peer pressure and well we all know how guys are right? Can't look foolish in front of another guy. So my worry is that he won't be able to remove himself from a situation that may trigger him. Things are very raw right now so hard to discuss things. It's only been about 3 weeks since discovery. There is still a lot of anger and resentment off and on that we are both dealing with.

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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:37 pm

hifromme67 wrote:So are you saying that you no longer avoid any type of sensual images/pics?

I don't know if I would say I quit avoiding it. I choose to avoid what I can avoid. I don't sit and watch cheerleaders, and I wouldn't have watched the Sports Illustrated Special. I will rarely watch Dancing with the Stars, and will only watch a moment of that at my wife's invitation. I avoid the imagery, not because I worry that it would trigger anything, but because I don't want to see it anymore. I guess, more than anything, I am annoyed if I see something unexpectedly. I avoid it when I, but I am not going to be ruled by it either way.

I'm curious as to why your heart sank when he honored you by changing the channel. Yes, it is a reminder of bad experiences, but it was, more importantly, a very clear message that he valued your feelings.

I honestly don't know that any image would trigger a temptation in me. I know I have been tempted a very few times, out of resentment, when I let myself be ruled by my expectations, and then they weren't realized. It wasn't anything I would have acted on, just more of a quick subconscious lashing out. It was very much the pattern when I was using. If I expected sex and it didn't happen, or more often, I just knew it wasn't going to happen, that was when I would turn to it. I will add the caveat, that those were the times when I was home. I work on the road, and out on the road, I really didn't need any particular justification. I just figured it was OK.

I don't know if that helps. I know everyone has different struggles, and a lot of what I read tells me that I am very lucky to not be in continuous struggle over this, but really, I haven't.

Got plenty of other shortcomings and struggles to deal with, so I am grateful for that.
Guilt comes to mind. If an image triggers anything in me, then I would have to say it would be guilt.

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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:38 pm

doug-h wrote:I'm curious as to why your heart sank when he honored you by changing the channel.

My heart didn't sink when he changed the channel, it was when it came on. Porn, sensual images and honestly anything female or sex-wise is like the elephant in the room at this time. It's there but not yet talked about. It's extremely, extremely difficult when you can't discuss it outside of therapy. I know why we can't but if something bothers me or is eating me up, I have to let it just do that until we see her again.

I am still working on questions I need answered but believe me I have more than 3 and not sure which ones are more important. Sometimes I feel as if the marriage won't make it because the trust has been damaged beyond what I feel can be fixed. I don't know if I can live the rest of my life wondering if he is still hiding porn from me. He did such a great job at hiding it, how will I ever know if it is happening again? Thanks so much Doug-H for always listening and giving advice. Right now I have nobody to talk to so it helps to come here and read responses.

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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby doug-h » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:14 pm

I'm sorry, I should have understood better. I guess it goes show that we all look at things differently. As bad as it was, in the moment, try to see it as a victory, because that is what it was.

To be honest, I think I can speak for your husband here. He was caught in a moment of shame and embarrassment. I'm sure that in that moment, he felt every bit as bad about the elephant as you did. It's a trap you will both have to find your way free of.

I don't want to presume to know more than your therapist, but I don't understand to boundaries on communication. If you need to talk to someone, to work thru some feelings, I can't imagine it is good to bottle them up and schedule them. You need someone to help you thru this, as much or more than he does. Do you have anyone besides your therapist?

I attend the Celebrate Recovery group at my church, and it has made a huge difference in my life. I started going, mostly because I thought it would help me quit using pornography, but I have found it benefits me in ways I never imagined. I really can not recommend it strongly enough to someone who is hurting or trying to step outside a hurtful behavior. It could be beneficial to both of you.

Just take one day at a time, and don't borrow trouble from tomorrow. What burdens you today, just give it to God and let him carry it for you. I know how hard that is to do, but it is such a relief when you can manage it even for a little while.

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Re: What do you do about all nudity/bikini/lingerie pics

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:37 pm

doug-h wrote:I don't want to presume to know more than your therapist, but I don't understand the boundaries on communication.

The reason we don't discuss it outside of therapy is because it escalates into arguments. He goes in for individual for the porn addiction and we do joint counseling with her. I also go in for individual as needed but have only been in once since discovery. I feel it is better for me to discuss my issues when we are in for a joint session so I can express myself and also get some answers.

I guess what really bothers me is that the entire time he was watching porn, he would avoid women, images, etc. When on Facebook in front of me and if his friend shared a bikini pic, he would immediately delete it. So that doesn't really mean anything to me right now. He was acting innocent in front of me but watching garbage behind my back. The same with sex, acting like Mr. Vanilla and not wanting to try anything new but yet watching filth. Can you tell I'm angry?

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Re: Help

Postby SeekingChange » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:16 pm

hifromme67 wrote: Can you tell I'm angry?

You sound like a woman betrayed, who questions whether she really knows the man she married or not....and that makes us question our own judgement and makes us feel like a fool. Where else has he duped me? I have been there.
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:25 pm

Exactly. It will take a long time, if ever, if we can get to a place where I can honestly trust him. I told him and our therapist last week that I didn't know if I could stay for the long-haul because it was just too much for me. It's a day-by-day thing right now. I want to believe he wants to change but then that little voice pops up saying "don't be stupid, he fooled you before."

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Re: Help

Postby Nvr2Late » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:37 am

I am still working on questions I need answered but believe me I have more than 3 and not sure which ones are more important. Sometimes I feel as if the marriage won't make it because the trust has been damaged beyond what I feel can be fixed. I don't know if I can live the rest of my life wondering if he is still hiding porn from me. He did such a great job at hiding it, how will I ever know if it is happening again? Thanks so much Doug-H for always listening and giving advice. Right now I have nobody to talk to so it helps to come here and read responses.


Hi. I have been where you are, to some extent. I wanted to weigh in on this part of your comments. What I would advise for you is your own recovery program like S-Anon. There you will gain insight and tools to begin to heal and recover from the pain and betrayal of your spouses' porn use.

This article states it much better than I can: http://salifeline.org/article/effects-of-pornography-on-a-spouse/help-for-spouses I wish you all the best.
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