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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / there is hope
« on: August 06, 2015, 08:30:09 AM »
First, I want to express my admiration for Gabe and his work on this site. It is very beneficial for us, to see that we are not alone and that this topic is being discussed so openly.

We have been married almost 20 years and have three beautiful, wonderful children. All the ingredients for a happy life. Lately, we are certainly working very hard, to find this happiness again.
Our story is quite long, but I will try to limit myself to the most important moments.
The first time that I found his hidden stash, I was devastated. My knight in shining armor fell from his horse. (is that an expression in English?) This was at a time in my life where I myself was not feeling too well: I had just given birth, we had just moved and because of that, I had to quit my job.. All this made that I was not the person I used to be. When I confronted him with my discovery, he said it was the first time and he was just curious. He later stated that he did it because he thought our relationship at that time was not really good. I was very disappointed that he was not talking to me about it, to find out what was going on, but he fled into porn. He promised me then that he wouldn’t do it again. The years that followed were a series of discoveries, confrontation, denial, excuses, sorry again and promises to never do it again. After the final confrontation (10 years ago) I came to the conclusion that this could not go on like this. It was tearing us apart. I turned to the Internet and looked for help. The only responses to questions from women in the same situation were: 1. You're a prude. Every (real) man is watching porn, it’s  healthy 2. He looks at porn, because you’re not giving him what he needs .... Work on yourself to be attractive to him so he does not need porn. I came to the conclusion, that is was because of me: it wasn’t a real problem, I made it a problem. Therefore, I made the decision to accept it as something that just belonged to him and  would never stop. It was impossible for me to accept it, so instead I chose to ignore it. Eight lonely years, I couldn’t talk to anyone about it (not even to him) I usually knew exactly when he was looking; you develop an extra sense. All intimacy slowly disappeared in those years. At first sex was less in quantity but also in quality. That was partly because of me too, because I could not enjoy the sex: I was always afraid to be compared with what he had seen on his screen. He started to avoid sex, and ultimately, all intimacy disappeared: a certain look, a little touch; we could not even look each other in the eyes anymore. To the outside world we were the perfect couple and that was often told to us. But they only saw a hollow shell. The ED was now a fact. I began to think that maybe he had a physical problem, or that he just could not make love to ME. When I found further evidence that he was surely capable of ejaculation, it was clear: he is not able to have sex with me.  That was the moment I felt the need to talk to him about it and I indicated to him that I knew he could not make love to me and (worse) I also understood him, because I was not attractive enough. (heart breaking, but that’s what it had finally done to me). He didn’t really react then; now I know, that is was very hard for him, because of the shame,  I turned to the internet for answers and more information about ED. And there it was in the top three of causes of ED: excessive consumption of porn. Then everything became clear to me! After many discussions and a month later he finally confessed: he was addicted and he had been using porn since the age of 12/13 yrs. That all happened 1,5 years ago and much has changed since. We went to a therapist together and a year later (after relaps) we went for the second time around. We now know that we have to do it largely on our own. I try to support him as much as possible and not to get angry during our conversations. About 6 months ago I saw a letter on the internet,(a wife wrote it to her partner)  which I could have written. I used this letter as a template for my own letter to my husband and gave this to him. The letter really touched him and it was also clear to him what had happened to me and more important: to us. With the letter I also gave him silver pendant containing a small note with the last words of my letter on it. He uses it as extra support: he holds the pendant, whenever he feels anxious. This really helps him.
I translated the letter (we are Dutch) and posted it as a reply so you know what I’m talking about. A few weeks later I received a letter from him with a pendant with a very loving  message inside. And this really helps me.

We watched Gabe’s video’s together and we decided that we both would register on this site. We feel, we can help others and by doing so, help ourselves as well. We’re not there yet, but we have come a long way. Now ,we don’t have sex anymore: we make love!
I want to end by saying again ,that I am very glad I found this site ... .. If it would have  been here 10 years ago, the past 10 years of our lives would have been very different.
I wish you all a lot of strength: it can be done!!

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