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Topics - AnonymousAnnaXO

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So I wrote a letter to Codys dad because cody, well is too scared to stand up to his parents. I really need feedback. This letter is quite matter of fact and my goal was to be non-aggressive but assertive.

Is there anything I should change? (wrote this because Cody told his dad about in-house separation and blamed me)

-----------------------

Dear Codys Dad,


I know today was a shock. I was honestly shocked Cody told you. I was proud of him, for he is obviously starting to learn the importance of honesty. Now I understand that hearing the word “separation” could be a trigger word that might bring up painful memories for you. So, I can see how you could have been quick to anger, as anger is the easiest emotion to express when there is possible underlying pain. I want to assure you, that I do not want a divorce, and I don’t believe in divorce. I am doing my all to stay in this while also protecting myself.

However, your reaction was very unexpected for Cody and I. The only reason Cody wanted to tell you was because he figured you would have advice, given you’ve gone through something similar (you and your ex-wife divorced, with addiction being a factor). It was a way to reach out and try to connect. One of Codys biggest fears is disappointing the ones he loves, so for him to be able to tell you what he did today was big, because he figured you’d be disappointed.

Now, I personally was shocked and taken aback. I know Cody was too. Given history seems to be repeating itself with me and you being in the same spot and Cody and his mom in the same spot, Cody thought you would be more understanding of my position. I did too. I figured that you would be able to give me hope. Give me some advice, guidance, something, let me know of anything I might have missed trying to do. I know Cody looks up to you, and his praise of you and seeing your interactions with him, well, I’ve learned to look up to you as well. So, your anger towards me was very hurtful.

I know that love can be painful and that sometimes things are beyond our control so in the end things don’t work no matter how hard you fight for it. And let me say this. I have been fighting for Cody since day one. I have been by his side, supporting him, encouraging him, helping him turn his life around, while I remain on the sidelines hurt and forgotten. His addiction has not only cost him a lot but it’s cost me. It’s cost me my relationship with my sister (and she was the closest person I had before all this). It’s cost me my friendships because no one seems to understand the pain of addiction and what happens to the addict's loved ones. It’s cost me my relationship with my parents. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cover for Cody or bail him out financially (before we married he still owed me over $2k, but we are married so he doesn’t have to pay me back now). I’ve taken all the punishments for Codys actions or inactions.

I love Cody. I love him more than anyone in the world, aside from Baby A. Given I know psychology, I chose to stay with Cody once we realized he was a sex addict, but in truth, he just is an addict in general, and sex addiction was the first addiction to pop up. Now, I don’t know if you know much about sex addiction (porn addiction being a subset of sex addiction), but sex addiction hurts spouses and partners like no other addiction could. Sex addiction is not only an addiction but is cheating. So, the lies are a million times harder to handle, and the spouse’s self-esteem plummets, and their faith and trust are shattered.

Bear with me for a moment and let me try to help you walk in my shoes. If you found the love of your life, and you started making big life decisions, and once things are complicated you find out the relationship was built on a lie. That the person you love cheated and betrayed. But you chose to stay because you love them and know they have the capability to change. Over a year and a half goes by and change is still not there. You’ve begged, pleaded, cried, broke down, and yet, your love seems to not care to change even though their actions kill you.

That is what my life is. I love Cody but he hurts me emotionally over and over. I know he is capable of change, hence why I have given him over ten chances to change and be honest, faithful, and really work recovery. I told Cody that I can live with an addict in recovery but I will not live with an active addict, and especially so with a child involved now.

I am writing you because Cody is too scared, and I can understand why. I, however, don’t allow people to bully me or put me down when they don’t have the full story. I am a fighter and I refuse to be pushed around and will do my best to explain the story to people.

With Cody, he keeps hurting me, and lying, and betraying, yet I stay, and I endure. Love is endurance in the end, isn’t it? I want you to know I do not believe in divorce, and never have. The only reasons I know divorce to be a logical solution is because of abuse (whether emotional, physical, mental) or because of cheating. Now, Cody has been quite emotionally abusive in the past with gas-lighting, and given I told him what constituted as cheating before our relationship, and yet he did it, that is enough of a reason for me to have left him. But due to my understanding of addiction, I stayed. I know recovery and I know the ups and downs. But I will not be abused. I will not be discarded. And I will not have anyone tell me to stay and back down and submit when leaving would be a better option for my own health. My health has been compromised by his addiction and my education. But Cody knows what his actions do and have the capacity to do. I am not saying leaving is the better option right now, because I don’t believe in divorce, and I will fight for our marriage until Cody drives me into the ground and there is no more hope.

I am fiercely loyal to those I love, and I will protect them with all I have. And so, I write this, partly for me, but also because Cody looks up to you and he wants to connect and have a stronger relationship. He wants to be honest, but in truth, your quick reactions make him hesitant to reach out and be honest, especially when he needs help. I hope you do not take offense, but I will not tolerate people telling me to just take whatever abuse comes my way, and I know you don’t understand the full story.

I want Baby A to grow up seeing a loving, caring relationship of two equals. He should not have to witness a husband who mistreats the wife, and the wife submits because children learn by watching. I will not have Baby A grow up to believe that he can treat women with blatant disrespect and disregard and can be selfish and have no consequences happen. He should grow up to know that women deserve honesty, respect, and safety.

Now below are two video’s that are pirated, and I am not sure your feelings on that, but I know that both Cody and I would appreciate you watching them, and I know Cody would want to talk to you about this, but I fear he is too scared to reach out to you. Maybe you can reach out to him when you are ready.

(Would attach vids here)

Thank you for reading,

Anna

---------

Feeback please, I am terrified to send this but I don't want to be blamed here and believe in standing up for myself, it's honestly, part of my recovery.


And yeah, Cody and I are doing in-house separation due to 2 lies (not porn related, but he still lied)

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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Partners of PA's Let me know ...
« on: August 25, 2017, 05:04:10 PM »
Hey guys, so I haven't been on here in a bit with life getting so busy. This summer has been crazy, literally. With the pregnancy, wedding, school, my new blog, and landing a new online magazine job, my time has escaped me. My blog addresses many things and I have what I call "Married Monday" posts where I use psychology to benefit married couples or even people in long term relationships. I've always been a writer, and have written books before but never published them. Through writing for my blog and getting the magazine job I was inspired. I am inspired to write an ebook (that might possibly be available in paperback form) about surviving porn addiction as a partner. I have idea's written down, and I was wondering for you guys as partners, what has been the most beneficial key things and steps you took in recovering not only yourself but the relationship?

I know I'll be talking about discovery versus disclosure, the lying, the feelings of being betrayed, setting boundaries, and regaining your sexuality, but I would love to hear from you guys some aspects that truly helped during the journey (and I know most of you are still in this journey and might be near the beginning). What personally helped you get through the trauma of discovery/disclosure? What helped you be able to move forward in communication? What helped you heal yourself and regain your identity, etc.

So thank you to all those who respond!

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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / What it's like to be a partner
« on: August 25, 2017, 08:13:06 AM »
So I haven't been on in a while. Lots has happened. I am 27 weeks pregnant, got a magazine job, started a mom blog, etc. But I wanted to post this big moment for me. I finally was able to express the pain I've been through to my husband and he sat there adn listened and didn't fight me on it.



So last night I don't know what the hell happened but it was like he changed. I was so shocked (even more so because he hasn't been on nofap or read anything I've written). He came home I gave him a warm greeting like he has asked a couple times. I left the room and came back in and he was working on the packet. I was like, "wow, okay" and I was on nofap reading and catching up while he did that. Instead of talking about the packet, he put it down and said, "Anna I want to talk about last night and what happened." I was like "Yeah" (so happy he wanted to because I wanted to). We ended up going over what it's been like for me.

I told him why things on tv or ads trigger me so much if he see's or looks and I said, "Sweetie, it's like everytime you don't look away or see something sexual and we are together it's like you're watching porn and getting off in front of me, that is why I get so hurt and cry sometimes." He said that that description helped him understand my emotions and he encouraged me to continue. I felt safe because he handled that emotional reveal well.

I continued, "This is the easiest way to describe it. Esther Perel had a ted talk on infidelity and she described infidelity in the tech age as a death by a thousand cuts. The Instagram likes and other social media likes in front of me was like you cutting me with each like. The saved naked girl on your phone was a deep cut. The minimizing and denying was like you adding more cuts. I was bleeding. I was bleeding since the Instagram (which was 3 months into our relationship). Then it was the dinner where a porn site was on your phone when you pulled it out. That was like you stabbing a sword through my chest, grazing my heart. I was almost dying from that wound. Again, I was still bleeding from other wounds, and this just added. I now was bleeding profusely. I now needed emergency medical attention, if you follow my metaphor. Then I am now in a hospital, wounds all wrapped, can't get out of bed. And a month goes by to find SuicideGirls. That was deep cuts with each lie of saying, 'my friend took my phone' 'I didn't do that' 'don't know how that got there.' You promised me never again and I knew everything but I was practically dying with all the cuts from that night alone. Then, I go to work and your history reveals porn. You threw me into a spiked coffin, and with each scroll it was like you opened and closed the coffin on me over and over. I fell out of the coffin looking like swiss cheese on top of the old bleeding wounds that weren't healed. I can barely stay alive at this point, and I have to not cry or scream since my dad walked in the room. I metaphorically crawl out of the room, leaving a bloody trail. I am admitted to a hospital and they are doing everything they can to keep me alive. You come home with roses, attempting to bandage my wounds. The next day I am barely there, still in the most agonizing pain. The day after, I decide I need to look through your history since you were begging me not to at work the other day. With each scroll and new reveal it's more tiny cuts, with deep gashes and this time its gashes in my wrists (where I can die from) and my neck, and other important arteries. With the final discovery, you reached into my chest pulled my heart out and threw it in a paper shredder. I am officially dead. I'll never be the girl I was before all this. You get home and try to repair the damage, taping my shredded heart back together, and getting me to a hospital. I have no time to heal, and I wrap my wounds so tightly that with clothes on you would never see how much blood is constantly pouring out. I hide my wounds as I attend to yours. I take care of you, guide you during this discovery phase where you also seem broken. Now over a year later, I still have this trail of blood wherever I go. I am still bleeding. With each time you get back into recovery and then stop, you take a knife and open up a scar that was almost healed. You are peeling off scabs letting them bleed again. This is why I told you the other night I feel like I am dying in this relationship sometimes."

My husband was so shocked after. He said, "I feel like crying but I am holding it in. This is what I needed to hear. I can't even imagine what you've been through" and we hugged. I cried and continued telling him other things and he cried. We connected, strongly, for the first time in a couple months. It was one of the hardest things I've had to say to my husband because I love him so much. At least, now, I hope, he truly gets my pain. He seems to get it, last night he was very shocked, shamed, disturbed even to see what he has done. He told me, "Anna, this is why I say you're the strongest person I've ever met. You stayed with me while you were 'dying' and you helped me and you took it all and you still married me and are here, trying. You are so emotionally strong, I admire your strength." That was SO nice to hear.

We have a couples therapy session today, I look forward to it. I get to tell the therapist I was able to describe my pain, which has been something I've struggled to do since my husband would shut the conversation down to avoid it in the past.

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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Genuine Apology!
« on: June 16, 2017, 02:54:48 PM »
I've been with my now fiance for 2 years. I caught his addiction at the one year mark. He is a year clean.

Anyways, so during his year clean, he focused on building his life, and now we have started focusing on the relationship repair. Last two nights we've gone through the packets I'd printed out after d-day a year ago. He just wasn't ready to read them I guess. But now he is, and he has made so many connections and it's been amazing to see how far he has come!

Last night, I was having an "anorexia (or ED) attack" as I call them. I'm pregnant and I know my boobs are growing and I've been feeling insecure sometimes with the body changes and so I told him and we were being playful and somewhat sexual since I had my shirt off while he massaged my back. I got triggered to one of the memories of finding porn and told him, especially since we haven't talked about that one incident mostly, hence why I think it's so damn triggering.

Anyways, we talked about it, reconnected and made out and it was late like 11:30 and I wasn't sure if he wanted sex, but I knew I wanted sex, even though I got triggered. I liked that he was showing interest in me sexually, especially knowing how vulnerable I was last night.

So we went to the bathroom and came back down to the bedroom and we started making out, naked, and he couldn't get it up, which has not happened in a LONG time (I.e. in a year). I got really freaked out and felt rejected, and he could sense that. He asked what I was feeling, and to me, it felt like he was trying to humiliate me further by asking, but I know he literally was just trying to reconnect. I said I was going to go rinse off in the shower, and I left. He didn't follow originally. I was in the shower, he entered and sat down. I was really nervous, and he then started giving me the most sincere apology I've ever heard from him. He explained just walking up the stairs he had to pause because of how tired he was (it's 3 flights). I knew that he meant it when he said he was tired when he said that. (he has said he is tired a lot when sex came up in the past, hence why I am hesitant to really believe him when he says that.)

He didn't just say "I'm sorry" but said, "I am so sorry that it ended up that way, I knew I was tired and wasn't sure if I would have the physical energy to have sex, but I wanted to try anyways, to show you I wanted you, but it obviously didn't work, and I am so sorry that you are feeling rejected." That was only the first half. He kept talking about what he was trying to do by not just telling me he was tired, in which case, after the trigger, I would have felt rejected and he knew that. But as he went on with his apology, he started tearing up, which is HUGE for him! He said, "I hate to think that I've caused you so much pain, and again I just did it, I hate thinking of that when all I wanted to do was show you I am attracted to you and love you. It just hurts to know I've hurt you so bad with everything."

That was way better than an "I'm sorry." We ended up hugging and reconnecting and going to bed in a good mood and feeling close. I told him that that was the kind of apology I had been looking for this entire time throughout recovery with him, and he said he hopes he can give me just that (since I know he is going to write a letter apologizing for his actions).

I feel hopeful and I felt he genuinely cared about hurting me last night which was so different than in the past. I hope we keep moving forward like this!

6
Porn Addiction / Question about Responsibility
« on: June 09, 2017, 10:08:12 AM »
So I have a question to the addicts. My fiance is one year clean and he has turned his life around, and I couldn't be more proud of him.

Though, sometimes these days (it used to be all the time), he still doesn't seem to take things seriously and be responsible. Money is one thing he really struggles to be responsible with. And when it comes to work (he works for my parents) he used to be chronically late, then now he sometimes is late, and my dad tells me that he can't be late, it's unfair to other employee's and they can resent him for it. That's perfectly reasonable. Hell, my dad even said that if he was any other employee he would have been fired ages ago, so I do thank my dad for not firing him, but also for telling me there is an issue.

I know it is his responsibility to make sure he gets the things that he needs to get done, but I hate seeing him fail. When it comes to money, that affects me and our child that is on the way. I've been trying to save money, and well.. he hasn't... I don't know where all his money goes, well I do, it's to food and his car. It doesn't go to getting me flowers to show romance, it's always his car (sorry a bit resentful of his car).

I guess has any addict struggled with being self-centered with little regard for other people? He seems to have this habit or trait of thinking about himself and not realizing that his actions affect other people.

I know this may sound harsh, but I think if when I found out about the addiction, I should have left for a month to show him actions have consequences. I sometimes think he takes me for granted and thinks I'll stay through anything, and I will stay (but if he like did something very bad with money or physically/emotionally cheated we would have some serious things to talk about). I love him, and support him, but I also don't want him to think I'm a doormat because I am not and I've made that clear, but when things don't change I don't know what to do besides mention it, and sometimes I feel defeated when it doesn't change... so I sometimes give it a rest for a month, and will bring it up again.

I feel like I've really tried understanding him and how he could be that way, but since I am a person who always thinks about everyone else and if anything I do would hurt them, it's so foreign to me.

If you've struggled with being selfish how did you change those habits? How did you start thinking of other people? How did you realize your actions affected others? More importantly, how did you get the motivation to change?

I also sent my fiance some emails the other day with important things on rebuilding trust and such, and he hasn't read them and I know he forgets things but I guess I am slightly hurt... but at the same time, I tell myself he is busy or something. Idk.

Since I am pregnant I can't clean the cat litter, which I used to do because he hated it. It's supposed to be done once a week at minimum and I remind him so many times and I have to beg, in the end, he eventually caves because I've nagged him. I hate that because he claims to love the cats but he doesn't take care of them. I hate it because I love my cat so much, he is my emotional support animal from prior abuse and has helped me through very tough times, so for my cat to have to wait for him to clean the litter (sometimes it's every two weeks) I hate seeing that.

Any advice on how to get him to listen to me instead of saying, "Okay, I'll do it later, I'm tired now," or something along those lines. It's the same with dishes, or laundry, or picking things up...

Thank you!

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Porn Addiction / Why Men Objectify Women
« on: June 07, 2017, 02:24:06 PM »
So I found this article ages ago, possibly prior to D-day, but I was going through old books marks about found this article and I was thinking that this was a very enlightening article.
https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-men-objectify-women/
 I found that addicts could possibly relate to some degree with some of the things mentioned (hopefully the more mature answers). There are some things in this article I personally disagree with, and I know everyone has their individual opinions, but there are some good little nuggets of "ah-ha" moments. I know personally, my partner is reason number 3, pain avoidance.

So I guess something that I think addicts should think about if they haven't already, is "So when I check out women, what is really going on with me?"

I feel as though some addicts truly work recovery and others might still struggle because they haven't truly dug deep. Some addicts can quit porn and never go back while others relapse every couple months, weeks, or days. So my question to addicts, is maybe you can share what has truly worked for you to stay clean? Is it accountability? Making sure that you are busy? Having emotional support? Engaging in old hobbies? Connecting(or reconnecting) with a spouse/partner/SO? Therapy? etc.

I guess having a year go by, and seeing the progress my partner has made, made me think of all the addicts on here who still struggle immensely with either temptation, urges, or actually are still in the addiction cycle. I know that a lot of addicts get preoccupied with the physical recovery, but that is only part of recovery, and I think emotional recovery is why some addicts can quit and be clean versus other addicts who still struggle. Anyways, this post is just meant to get the brain thinking!

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I feel at a loss. I am trying to figure out if there is something wrong with me. I have this need to feel desired/wanted and to be romanced since I found out about his addiction. I feel like the addiction basically just ruined the "us" relationship, and I'm still wanting to feel romanced (pursued) and like I'm more than just a best friend at times. There are days where he can be romantic (like a date once a month) but on a daily basis sometimes I just feel so distant from him romantically it's insane, and then there are days I do feel romantic towards him and can show it, but that doesn't give me my needs. I am sure it fills his need to know he is still wanted after everything, but I still struggle with feeling wanted. Anyone else struggle from this? Any addict in a relationship, were you able to give your partner romance and the feeling of desire after D-day?

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Hi, so I am a partner of a PA.

June 8th will mark one year of him being clean. He has made such amazing progress on himself throughout this year, getting back in school and getting good grades, doing better at work and being more responsible with work, and getting back into his hobbies like his car, guitar, and science. I love seeing him be happy in his personal life because prior when he was using he was very depressed with his life.

When it comes to working on the relationship aspect is where he seems to falter. We have started couples EFT therapy as of 3 weeks ago and our communication has gotten so much better, maybe one fight a week now. Though we can talk to each other better, I still initiate 99.9% of conversations regarding addiction, recovery, parenting (I'm pregnant and we are expecting in November). I have printed out packets on infidelity and how to rebuild trust, I've bought books that I've read and have been amazing and could see him learning a lot from (both personally and relationally). His excuse is always, "I can't finish a book" which is somewhat true, he never seems to have the attention to sit and read for very long and I assume that might be a side effect of porn use with getting rewards instantly versus working hard for the reward???

Anyways, what I am asking is, to the PA's who have been at least 90 days clean and in a serious relationship, what were the steps you took to rebuild the relationship aspect of your life? What did you do to rebuild trust, intimacy, the romance and desire, and initiation (both sexually and emotionally)?

Thank you to those who respond!

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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Worst Therapist Ever.
« on: May 04, 2017, 11:30:48 AM »
I honestly feel so terrible for my partner. He had hoped this new therapist would be better but they were worse than the first. This therapist, when my partner cancelled his session to say it wasn't working because the therapist didn't seem engaged and doesn't talk, responded with saying, "Sorry you are disappointed. I give feedback when I think it is help or if ask for an opinion. Therapy is mostly a time and space for you to work on yourself. From what you tell me, I don't think you have a porn addiction. I do think you have issues around self identity and work. I wish you the best, Dr. ---"

I broke down crying and Cody was angry. This therapist basically told us our reality isn't our reality. This therapist also told Cody along the way that he thought my boundaries were excessive, to which Cody said they weren't because he wants me to feel safe in the relationship, and the therapist shrugged it off. This therapist claims to be an expert in sex addiction and trauma... yet this therapist knows NOTHING.

Cody asked why the therapist thought he didn't have a porn addiction and the reason was, "You are not watching for hours a day from what you tell me"

Cody said that he didn't feel that classifies something as an addiction.

The therapist replied, "You are able to not look at it, you look at it to get off, right?"

Cody said he was able to not look at it becasue of how often he used to do it and that he used porn to escape from reality and he would get really bad urges if he was away from porn for too long.

The therapist replied, "That's why men look at porn, play video games, play sports, watch TV, to escape reality. Good luck. But if you feel it's a problem you should go to sex addicts anonymous, there are meetings in ---- and they are free"

Cody told him he has gone to the meetings an they weren't helpful and that he has an emotional problem that is serious and from the porn addiction that he has had for 10 years.

In the end the therapist said finding a therapist he gets along with is important. Good luck and bye.

Cody told him he felt like he was invalidating his addiction and the therapist never responded.

Even though cody didn't look for hours a day, he went to porn 3 times a day and couldn't fight the urges, had tried to quit many many times unsuccessfully, and his life was negatively impacted by the use (school was poor, our relationship almost destroyed), and his life has improved 10 fold since quitting porn. I don't know how a therapist can justify telling someone they don't have a problem when there is clear evidence they do.

This incident brought up  alot of emotions for both of us, Cody is angry and let down, and I feel like Cody was decieved for months since this therapist led cody to believe that the therapist knew he had a porn addiction and was going to help with recovery tools. Now Cody is looking for a new therapist... I feel so angry at the therapist and so sad for Cody for having to go through that.

It seems so impossible to find a therapist who deals with porn addiction...

11
I am finding myself pretty depressed this past week and a half. We just moved and I know we are tired, but I have found myself just feeling a bit hopeless at times. There are days where it seems like we make progress with having conversations together (i.e. ones not about cars all the time, or ones where we talk about something significant like society issues or world problems) and then other days, if not most, it seems we can't talk. He will talk endlessly about cars because that's what he loves, but that's all the conversation. Knowing he wants to talk about that, I tend to just listen and would feel bad if I wanted to change the topic to something more meaningful and deep. Plus even when I try to get more depth only I am the one able to reach depths, and then it's a one sided conversation where I've made myself emotionally vulnerable and let down because there's minimal response, or even sarcastic at times depending on what I reveal my feelings to be, or very rarely (one or twice a month) he will actually be able to respond with some feelings.

I know this all must be part of the process, but I hate feeling so alone and disconnected. He knows I'm depressed and tries to reach out but I just feel like I've given up some days. Other days I'll try harder, but when the depression hits it hits hard. Maybe the emotions are also because im 11 weeks pregnant, I know emotions in pregnancy are amplified.

Has anyone else dealt with this? we are 11 months into him being clean and I still am waiting for a formal apology letter, and waiting for the date nights I suggested months ago. He says he feels stuck and lost. I have given him the answers on what he can do to make me feel loved and feel more secure in the relationship, but he seems either incapable of doing this or truly has no idea on how to plan a date or any other things I've mentioned.

To me, it ddoesn't seem hard to turn on a disco ball in a room, turn the lights down, and have a playlist made and surprise me one evening with a dance date at home. I told him this is something I'd like and it doesn't cost money, since money is tight, and I think he just hasn't done it because he thinks he can't dance, even though I would find it really romantic to do this. Though, given that 11 months have passed, I think I'd feel pathetic now about it and less interested.

Sorry, been a bit down. I guess I am starting to feel lost. I have done everything for this relationship. In the beginning, after D-Day, I sucked up my emotions as best as possible to try to help him get some footing in recovery, and once he had some ground (around 3-5 months) I told him that he had to start taking lead, which he started around month 8-9.

We got Dr. Sue Johnson's book, "Hold Me Tight" and plan to read that together.... or at least he says that. I've printed many packets on the fall out and how to mend the relationship and he doesn't get far. I want to trust him this time, that we will read something together, and talk about it, but I have my doubts.

I just don't want to feel so alone in this I guess. It's hard because I can't talk to anyone in real life, and talking to my partner usually leaves me disappointed and I try to bear the pain and suck it up and remind myself he is lost or stuck, but it still stings. I also know that guys tend to put effort into area's they feel confident in, and given that he doesn't feel confident in the relationship since I've found out, I wonder if that's why he hasn't put in that effort....

I guess, if I were to have anything before this baby comes in november, it would be him attempting to romance me and to have deep conversations where we can connect and feel the love and passion for each other... but I feel like that's a lot to ask for... 

12
Porn Addiction / Question to PA's
« on: April 29, 2017, 05:42:53 PM »
I am a partner of a PA and he has been 11 months clean. He has made progress in several areas of his life like education and work, and I'm so proud of him. For the most part, he understands the boundaries that have been set so I can feel safe in the relationship. Emotionally speaking, though, it seems ... difficult. I try to ask him how his day was (and I'm looking for more than it was good or bad), and I don't get much more than words like good or bad. The other day he did it once where he said his feelings about what happened, and that was nice.

But mainly, when I ask what he is thinking or feeling he says, "I don't know" or "I can't figure it out." He also can't remember much of anything which I think is due to the trauma of his parents divorce at age 10 when he was starting his addiction because the stress was too much. Ever since that he hasn't been able to remember things (he has no recollection of his porn use and only his history indicates whether he used because he represses his usage). He can't remember memories of us at times, or of things with girls he dated in the past and such. So it seems that porn and anything relating to women he has issues remembering.

I am asking addicts who have been recovered for at least a year about whether or not they eventually regained their emotions and were able to really connect with people whether it be friends, family, or a romantic partner? As of now, I feel quite alone at times in the relationship because he wants me to open up and tell him my feelings and I'll do so (with lots of effort on my part because I get anxious to share my emotions sometimes) and then I'll ask him and he can't reciprocate a lot of the times except for saying things like, "I don't like it when you're sad" or "I feel bad that you're depressed" etc.

13
Found this article and found it to be an interesting read. As someone interested in psychology and neuroscience I enjoyed learning more about the aspects of the brain and the mind. I've had classes where we learned about the brain and neurotransmitters, but I think this author really has a good way of explaining it so most people can easily understand it. I really liked the part where it talks about how most addicts get addicted as kids when their cognitive abilities aren't yet strong, and hence the reason why most addicts get addicted around 9-12 years old.

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/understanding_why_pornography_addiction_is_a_brain_disease

Any thoughts on the article?

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Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Cross Addiction????
« on: February 17, 2017, 09:44:27 PM »
I think I've mentioned somewhere on here before about how my partner can be obsessed with cars. We also thought at one point his porn addiction was turning into car addiction instead. For a while he got better, and now that we talked about it again, he realized that twice a week he gets strong urges to look at car parts. He admitted it was similar to a porn urge, and he said it was like in his head he just has to look up that part and find the price, and then he admits to finding the part and then just scrolling through other parts that he doesn't even need.

So my question is, does this mean he relapsed in a sense??? I am really confused about when one trades one addiction for another. My partner has been good with expressing emotion, being there, doing well at work , doing homework, so he has been recovering in all areas of his life....but does this car addiction mean that he lost progress? I told him to let me know when he gets those car urges and to think about what he was doing or feeling before he had that rush to look at cars.

He also admits to wanting to improve his car because he gets jealous and feels inadequate when he sees other people with nicer cars, so he said with his car addiction thing he says he is trying to be satisfied still in a way, like with porn....

I guess I am feeling quite confused, blind sided, and dismayed. I just don't know what this means for his recovery. I know his obsession with cars has had a negative impact on our relationship. Instead of being in a conversation with me, he is checking out the car outside the window! I mean at least he doesn't check out women, but he gives his attention to cars.... Cars. An inanimate object. We have had arguments about how he talks about cars too much, will check out of a conversation at times becuase he is distracted with cars outside the window. My therapist, who sees both of us from time to time when needed thinks he might have ADD.

So what does all this mean? Where do we go from here?

15
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / The Scarlett Letter
« on: February 16, 2017, 01:14:37 PM »
I loved The Scarlett Letter in high school. I remember reading it and feeling so angry at the towns' people for making Hester wear the letter "A" for adulterer.

I posted ages ago about how my partner had posted on facebook about his addiction and came out about it. I also mentioned the terrible reaction people had toward me.

My partner's dad and I made amends because I had written a letter and read it to him months ago. My partner's mother is still being very unfair. She still thinks I wrote that post and says she likes me but doesn't trust me. That really hurts. She also said that her whole side of the family had been talking about it. My partner isn't sure if what she is saying is true, or if she is trying to put blame on the other family members.

This weekend on Saturday his mom's brother is having a surprise birthday party. We have to go. I am really scared. The last family get together we had with them was in the winter, and one of his aunts made me take the family photo (which hurt!) and I felt very unwelcomed.

His mom wants us to meet at her house and go with her, but she hasn't even apologized for accusing me of screening his phone (back in December) and she also treated my partner like a child and was going to get him a new phone and all this stuff.
If you want the full story here is a link to my blog https://undiscoveredandexposed.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/moms/
That post is exactly how the conversations went with her.

She is very dismissive, avoidant. My partner's parents are divorced and have been since he was around 10 or 12.

I just feel like his mom hates me and I have no idea if she will show it, or if any other family member will show it (not in a public way, but in their attitude or looks towards me).

I am really anxious about going, and we have to go, I just feel like I have a Scarlett Letter on me because of my partner's post. Any advice??

Also! My partner last week when talking to his mom on the phone mentioned marriage. The mom was talking about how her side of the family wanted there to be weddings for their kids soon, and so my partner said, "There is going to be a wedding soon." His mom said, "Oh really? You better get your finances together."

I think she is really upset that he wants to marry me too. I talked to him about how wonderful it would be when he proposed and we would celebrate and all, but I told him I was also really scared of us taking that step because I really don't want people to attack me again (whether behind my back or to my face). I just hate that his mom (and possibly her side of the family) have been talking about his addiction and me in a bad way.

16
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Valentine's Day
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:16:22 PM »
Hey guys so I am really anxious about Valentine's day this year. I met my partner 6/6/15 and he asked me to be his girlfriend on 6-18/15. We've had one valentine's day together, and last year's Valentine's day was nice but also not the happiest because I was finding bits of his addiction around that time.

I feel like we have come such a long way and I feel really anxious about showing my love for him, not that I don't show my love all the time, just since I found out about the addiction I have spent less money on him because of how much money I did spend on him during the addiction. I have this feeling of does he deserve it which is so bad, I know. It's just for the first year, I spent a lot of money on him(over $1,000), whether it was gifts, or dates, and things, and he didn't spend as much on me or do thoughtful things like I did. Only recently with his recovery has he realized that he didn't do those things.

I am really nervous about Valentine's day because I have a list of things I am getting him, but I feel annoyed that I am doing nice romantic things again like I did in the beginning, money wise. I think I'm just scared he won't reciprocate and do the nice things too. I have always hated Valentine's day, even in prior relationships because it had always been a day I associated with being unwanted. So for me, to be with someone on Valentine's day and to "be wanted" is strange and unsettling, especially given that he was using last year.... I guess I feel like last year's Valentine's day was a lie, and I don't want this one to be a lie, and I want it to be real, and I just am scared.

We've talked about our expectations for Valentine's day this year, and I honestly am just scared that he isn't going to follow through on his word. I still don't always trust him to follow through on things because he doesn't always do what he says he is going to do... I guess my worry is that because we are financially tight, I am going to do all the "wooing" and "loving" behavior, and spend my savings, and then he will say, "I forgot Valentine's day was this week" or something like that.... I guess my real issue is I am scared of getting disappointed... Any advice??

17
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Feeling overwhelmed and triggered
« on: January 22, 2017, 10:30:41 PM »
I am really kicking myself for my trauma reactions and triggers. I got triggered yesterday and that caused an argument between my partner and I, we then made up.

Today, we went out with a friend since it was his bday and he knows about our situation and is really nice and understanding. So we were talking about the friends ex gf who cheated on him, and he suspected she was a sex addict, and my partner was saying that she didn't deserve another chance and stuff and I got really upset because I gave my partner 8 chances so it was really hypercritical. I said something mean back to him. Then we were at odds a bit. I apologized. He also did some passive aggressive things because he was angry about something I mentioned from my past which hurt me. It's been a crap night. Then we get back to our place with the friend and then they mention a movie that I know has things in the movie that are triggering to me, and then I looked up the movie on kids in mind and saw that in the movie there was porn stuff in it and now I am in the room with my partner and his friend and trying to not cry and break down from triggers, and I feel so overwhelmed, and stupid, and crappy. I just hate that I get triggered so easily. I feel so guilty and pathetic at times. I just am having the worst night... I feel so insecure and uncomfortable and just like crap and worthless and stupid. I don't know if it's just the amount of triggers today, because I didn't even mention ones from earlier....
I am sure I'll feel better tomorrow, but every time I get triggered I really beat myself up for it, and I can't seem to stop. My partner when I get triggered, gets mad at me, and he has admitted he reacts that way because in reality he hates seeing me triggered because he knows he and his addiction is what made me this way, and so he admits to taking it out on me. And idk... I just feel pathetic and not worthy. At times, usually when triggered, I feel like it would be better if I just left to save us both the pain and I know how stupid that is overall, but I just hate the triggers and amount of times in a day I can get triggered...I also feel so alone when that happens and shameful, like I can't talk about it.

18
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Made Progress- but freaking out
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:15:15 AM »
So it's been over 7 months of recovery for my partner and I. Last tuesday we had a talk. A talk I'd been longing for for months. We talked about his shame. He knew we had to talk and so we've decided weekly talk sessions for porn addiction and recovery specifically were to happen once per week, and more if necessary. He said we should go through the questions in the Love You Hate The Porn book and it's been wonderful.

Honestly I haven't felt closer to him since before I found out about the addiction. Since we started talking, and he has been open and honest with his feelings, we've been better, the anger and resentment is gone ( and only comes up when triggered), and I've actually enjoyed his company. I've enjoyed hanging out with him, and I've enjoyed doing things, loving things, for him again. I actually want to show my love to him again in a romantic way (i.e. buying sweet gifts, and giving surprises, etc.). I honestly never thought I would get to this place or level of happiness with him so quickly.

However, with this progress, and this feeling of new found trust (I do not completely fully trust him, but I do trust him a lot more than I thought I could at this stage) I am having a lot of anxiety and panic attacks.

The past two days I've had triggering things come up and I've fully broken down crying and that hasn't happened since I first found out about his addiction. My theory is, I am freaking out because I'm scared to trust him. Each time in the past when any trust was earned I would find something new that destroyed all the work. So I think that even though I'm trusting him more, I am scared that once I do accept that trust I will magically find something to tear it all down.

My partner has been clean for 7 months, hasn't had urges, and has told me if he ever saw something that to me is triggering due to my anorexia. Except for the one spotify and other computer incident (not sharing his history from that computer- there was no porn just a lot of wasted time at work looking at cars since he is a car nut) he has been recovering quite well.

I am not sure if anyone else here has experienced new found love for their partner, and has experienced letting go of the anger and resentment, and actually trusting their partner more, but if they have, did any of you guys get nightmares again, or be more sensitive to triggers? I had the worst nightmare last night and I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and my partner stayed up with me, holding me as I broke down, and we talked until 6 in the morning an hour before his alarm for work was to go off. So I've seen a lot of great progress with him and with myself, I guess I'm just really scared to trust myself that I can trust him more...

19
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / What do I do?
« on: January 09, 2017, 07:13:37 PM »
"What do I do?" , "I can't remember", "I'm ashamed", "I don't want to talk about it (ever)" are all things my partner is saying to me tonight. It's not the first time either. This is common and getting old. He wants me not to talk about it as much and gets up set if I mention it.

What do I do? I can't recover for him, I can't do the work for him. So what do I do? I have done everything in my capacity to help him, give him more freedom, deal with my anxiety and pain by myself, and I am at a loss now.

He says he doesn't know what to do, what to talk about, how to talk about his addiction, etc. So anyone else out there have a partner who says or does things like this? Any addicts want to chime in how they did recovery? How they were able to talk about the addiction and the actions and consequences with their partner?

Thanks!

20
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / How to stop parenting
« on: January 01, 2017, 10:51:27 AM »
So I have been working hard at not falling into the parenting behavior. My partner has made a lot of progress over the past six months of being clean, but he definitely struggles with ... real life responsibilities at times.

Over the past six months he has started to pull his weight in terms of house chores, and that has been amazing to see. However, financially, I feel he sometimes still struggles. I've been the one that keeps track of when bills are due and trying to actually calculate how much I have in the bank, and then I go through the bills and other budgets to see if I need to watch my money that month or relax a bit because I have money left over.

I am 23 and he is 22. We still get financial help from our parents for things like school and doctors. His therapist costs $75/session. My therapist costs $25/session. His dad agreed to pay for his therapy and well, my partner struggles A LOT to ask his dad for money, even though the dad made it clear he would cover therapy.

His therapist likes being paid that day, my therapist sends a bill at the end of the month. My partner owes his therapist for 3 sessions. I was just wondering if there was any way I could not parent him into being financially responsible, but encourage him to keep track of his money and bills better.

This is our first year financing and there's definitely a learning curve. But if anyone has any advice on how to encourage someone to keep better track of dates and money that would be appreciated.

21
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Feeling Anxious and Lost
« on: December 12, 2016, 11:33:24 AM »
Things have been hectic for the past week or so. Probably because my partner and I both have finals and our stress is heightened. But we've been getting into fights lately. It's really upset me and him. He gets down on himself. We had a really good talk last night though (finally because I initiated).

I told him that what I need is for him to tell me how it was for him to struggle with his addiction. I think my anger comes from not truly knowing the details of how hard it was when he would slip up or how he would hit the desk at work, or hate him self, etc. I think I need him to tell me about that side more so I can be more empathetic.

Our sex life has been up and down again. We had a talk a couple days ago and I think I might have stopped trying as much, and so he wanted me to try and for more  touches or caresses. So I've been doing that, and then I tried to initiate sex... Didn't exactly go as planned, and I felt stupid for him not getting it. We even worked out hints that he would understand.

So last night we were lying in the back of the SUV with the seats down, looking out the big moon roof window after dinner, and he we were talking about what it was like for him to have this addiction, and we eventually were role playing after that conversation. He knows that I've asked to role play before just to spice things up. And he was doing a great job in the car, and we excitedly headed home. We got home and I got dressed, and he was in bed not dressed and I asked about the role play and he shrugged. I got undressed and we talked.

He got shy. He second guessed himself and asked if I wanted him to say the things he said in the car, and I said that would have been fine. I took some space from him after telling him to read the Love Jar (a jar of all the things I love about him) while I showered.

I guess I realized I was extremely disappointed and felt a bit humiliated again. I did something for him in the car that isn't always my favorite, or it can be a trauma trigger if I'm not in the right space, but I tried it and then when he didn't try the role play when we got home, I guess I felt like he got lazy.

I already struggle so much with sex, my confidence around my looks and sex, and I actually believed him this time. Like, usually I know that he has a habit of saying things and nothing happens, but because we were driving home to do the role play and have sex, I didn't think it wasn't going to happen.

Has anyone else felt stupid or wrong or pathetic for still having a strong sexual desire for their partner? I feel like I am stupid for it, for still wanting that intimacy with someone who hurt me so. That's why I told my partner I want him to initiate, I still feel really anxious for trying to show interest and don't want to get rejected.

22
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / The Pain and Destruction of Lying
« on: December 01, 2016, 10:24:33 AM »
I am honestly feeling so low. I had a complete mental breakdown last night. I cried and screamed in pain for an hour...and my partner just sat and listened. I was glad he let me cry. But I was devastated because I actually started trusting him. He hasn't lied up until this one. I told him once I found out everything that I rather him be honest and hurt me than lie to keep me happy.

I have praised him every time that he has "screwed up" or faltered with little things I've asked because he told me right after. These things weren't porn related but were things to build trust. I.e. tell me when you get to work and leave. Let me know what you search before you do it. Or ask if you can go on a certain site. etc.

So last week sometime, possibly last monday, he searched a song on spotify. It was innocent, it was a song from sky fall. No bad cover or anything. But because he searched it, forgetting to ask or tell me, he decided to lie and not tell me. Of course, I went on his spotify yesterday and saw that. I asked him about it and he confessed.

I was horrified BECAUSE HE LIED. I couldn't care less about what he searched, it's the fact that he lied about it.

I am honestly destroyed and soul crushed right now. It's been 6 months since I found out everything and now, once I've begun to trust him again, he lies, destroying the trust that took so long to be built. And this trust wasn't full trust it was the first steps to bigger trusts. Like I trusted him not to act out if I am at treatment. Or I trust that he is where he says he is. Those were big steps for me to trust him.

I personally wasn't even sure if I was capable of trusting someone after betrayal because I've never done that before. So with him, I stayed and tried. I learned that I am capable of trusting again, to a degree. But I am just honestly shocked that he lied, and about something so small.

He told me he was ashamed and embarrassed about searching it without asking and said that he didn't want to lose all the progress he had made, and was ashamed that "something so small" could destroy all that.

Personally I don't think that him searching without asking destroys progress, I would have told him i would appreciate in the future if he asks or lets me know he is doing that, and tell him I am proud that he was honest. And the thing is this has happened before over the course of the six months. He has searched things without asking or letting me know, and then he would tell me, and I would be thankful he told me....which built trust.

Now, he has lied. And I don't know why... and I didn't even go to school today because I got 3 hours of sleep. I was and am so distraught. I know that it could be worse, but I am in pain right now... and I am just trying to wrap my head around why, after we have been making so much progress together and individually, he would lie....

23
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Sex and Anxiety
« on: November 23, 2016, 10:00:24 AM »
So for the most part things have been going well with my partner and I. He is working his recovery, I am in mine. I realize that I haven't initiated sex much at all or intimacy or making out or anything like that since I found out everything about 6 months ago.

I realized that I feel either embarrassed/ashamed/weak/humiliated if I have to try to initiate. I guess I feel like I was already "rejected" for the time he was using, and I don't want to come off as begging for sex or intimacy, that makes me feel stupid. Last night we were making out very intimately for maybe 30 seconds and he was turned on, and then well... nothing happened after that. I had a really shitty triggering PTSD day and for me to even feel any desire for him yesterday shocked me, and I actually wanted sex, but then nothing happened. He apparently had a stomach ache and couldn't even eat, so I get that. But I guess I just realized in that moment last night that I feel so negatively for wanting him sexually.

Has anyone else gone through this? It is strange for me to realize this, because before I knew about his addiction I initiated almost every time. He has noticed I don't initiate and I told him I need time, but until last night I never realized why I needed time or what I was feeling about sex.

24
My partner has been 6 months off porn. That's been great. I am still stuck with the PTSD and constant triggers. I am on edge. I am always looking around the environment for any sexually suggestive images. If there are tv's in the restaurant we are not to look at them and actually try to talk and connect. I just... I hate that when I get triggered and the PTSD gets bad I lose it. I completely am so tunnel visioned into the trigger that I forget everything. All I can focus on is what happened. I feel like crap that I do that, my partner then tells me that everything he has done means nothing - which isn't true! But he feels like that when I get triggered and am in so much pain.

Yesterday there was an unexpected trigger and I left the restaurant and I was crying and freaking out. I was in a lot of pain. My partner actually teared up seeing what has happened to me because of his addiction.

I guess my question to partners is HOW do you get through the triggers? How do you manage them? How do you get through them without taking it out on your partner? How do you get through it without your partner getting mad at you or frustrated?

25
Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Teasing me, why???
« on: November 01, 2016, 08:53:37 PM »
Today has been rough, extremely frustrating. I just need to vent and any comments or support would be appreciated.

So I have anorexia for those who've read my posts. I had the best year of actually eating and not feeling guilty. Then I find out about the addiction and I do my best not to f****** feel my emotions so I can help him in his recovery. So I help him and help get his life back together, and then he comes out about his addiction which is great. But people hate me now, and with the addiction and the hate, I now have relapsed and am going back to treatment. I am SO pissed.

I already feel unattractive (hence the restriction) and then he was so nice to me today and comforted me, and then teased me. He kissed me, started being sexual, went down on me for like two seconds, and then left for work after his lunch break saying there was more later. I, being A STUPID IDIOT, actually believed him. This isn't the first time it's happened either. So why did I think this time would be any different? God I feel like crap.

So instead of me taking care of my sexual needs and getting off, I waited for him to come home so we could have sex. This also doesn't mention the fact that he forgot his promise ring at home today which hurt because i found something on my youtube history last night from when we were first dating, and he used on MY account! The dumbass. Anyways, now jennifer aniston is a trigger. And I feel SO unattractive. I know he hasn't used but that triggered all the rejection and feeling ugly feelings.

Anyways so he tells me about this girl in class who talked to him, and he tells her, "me and my girlfriend watch walking dead too." I was hurt. First off, we are partners. I am not JUST a girlfriend. We live together, have a kitten together, and we share money, I mean we are technically a married couple, just not legally. So to be called a girlfriend was a huge insult. I know he doesn't care about titles, but we had the conversation of where we both felt strange to call each other boyfriend or girlfriend because we are much more than that. I have used "partner" since we had that convo, with occasional slips when I was angry...possibly me using it to make him feel not as good, I know I suck. Anyways, so he doesn't use girlfriend like that, he just doesn't care about titles. But I am hurt because that makes me feel demoted.

I already was feeling unattractive, and I felt hurt by him forgetting his ring this morning, and then to tell a girl he is talking to i'm his girlfriend.... that just hurt. I know I'm probably being SUPER stupid and over sensitive, but I'm sad, and triggered.

Also THIS PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH! He also said to me, "I don't think I know what I'm feeling because I'm focusing on you too much." I am sorry but that is Bull. Yes he has started making efforts but...he... no. He doesn't take initiative, and he really doesn't talk to me. I HAVE TO START A CONVERSATION IF ANYTHING IS GOING TO BE TALKED ABOUT IN THE RELATIONSHIP. Again sorry totally angry and hurt right now.

I love him, I do. But He was selfish and self-centered for over a year! When is it my turn to get my needs met? I feel terrible writing this too. I always feel selfish if I ask for something, and then I back down and take back the statement of what I asked. I just... I am SO tired of being sexually teased with no follow through. He doesn't have PIED. He claims to love me and find me attractive, but then doesn't follow through later, which hurts my esteem and also feeds the anorexic voice in my head telling me to restrict and if I starve enough I will finally be attractive enough for him to have sex with. And then he expects me to eat? He is freaking crazy.

Sorry, I just... has any one else dealt with their partner teasing them sexually and not following through a lot? Has anyone dealt with their partner making you feel minimized? Feeling not worthy? Feeling bad for asking for their needs to get met???

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