Author Topic: Unavailability  (Read 3244 times)

Emerald Blue

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Unavailability
« on: January 26, 2017, 01:07:36 PM »
This just dawned on me today. We have all heard that our partners porn addiction was not a judgement on us. We are told "it's not personal". Eventually we reach an understanding that it's not about us.

But how often have we heard, and been told, "you weren't available". Even when I found porno mags a year or so before we got online, the excuse was that I hadn't been well. Right from the beginning, that was the first excuse he gave me. I was unavailable so he had porn instead. After he could watch internet porn at home, and after d day, the excuses were: I was asleep when he had the urge so he used porn. I was working late so he used porn. I was studying in the evenings, so he used porn. I lost interest in having a sexual relationship with him, so he had porn. Always, always, always it was down to my unavailability. So, porn was his substitute for sex. According to the way he tried to account for his behavior.

Ultimately I was unavailable and I had given up on having a sexual relationship but that was because he showed very little interest, when I did make an effort he'd turn me down and eventually he couldn't function and I'd just lie there alone, feeling unhappy after failed sex, while he went off to sleep without reassuring me or anything really. I mean, there's only so much of that any woman can take. No-one is going to throw themselves into rejection and failure, especially sexual rejection as it's felt so deeply.

But today I realised, all along it was my supposed unavailability that was the catalyst. I know that like many men he didn't see how his porn use could possibly change anything. Think about it! We ALL know something is off. We almost always pick up some sort of shift or change even when we can't find a rational explanation. Of course it changes things.

I'm actually finding the realisation that he almost always found a way of excusing his porn habit because of my lack of availability to be somewhat traumatic. It's also an example of how we act and react to each other's adjustments to the escalation of the addiction and the deterioration in the relationship.

Now when I remember his "reasons" I see them as excuses. He used the times when I was out or busy or asleep or unwell as opportunities to act out and justified his behavior by saying it's because I wasn't there!
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

AnonymousAnnaXO

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 02:00:04 PM »
Hey Emerald, that is a big realization. I know a lot of partners on here have had their partners say that it was because "they were unavailable" "they let themselves go" etc. It's true that those statements are just projections, it's a way for the addict to not take responsibility for their actions.

In my experience, my partner never said the addiction had anything to do with me. He admitted that he had a problem way before me and so his continued use while with me wasn't about me. He did admit that whenever I was away (i.e. at work) he would use because of the opportunity. I personally haven't felt like I can get a job since knowing that. I am a student, and I do want a job, but I feel traumatized knowing that working was the time he would use, and I haven't had a job since... 

Has your husband ever, once, said, "I used because I felt X,Y,Z, not because you weren't there"? I think you might want to mention how important it is for him to take responsibility for his actions. My partner and I were discussing this topic, and he was telling me that just because your partner is busy, or out of town, or sick, or pregnant, that doesn't give anyone the excuse to meet their needs elsewhere. He said that the men should be patient and understanding to the changes happening. That goes both ways, as we women, if there were sudden changes, would be patient and so on. So maybe mention to your husband that even though life throws curve balls and things aren't always as we want them to be, we need to find ways to be patient, supportive and able to cope.

If your husband is in therapy, a good topic to discuss with his therapist would be taking responsibility for his actions.

For example, hypothetically, if my partner isn't emotionally available, or sexually available (which during his addiction he wasn't) that doesn't make it okay for me to say to him, "well I cheated because you weren't there." 

The real answer would be, "I cheated because I felt unloved and craved a feeling of being loved and instead of making myself vulnerable to you and expressing those feelings, I chose to find relief of those feelings elsewhere." That way you see the person is taking responsibility for the way they handled their feelings.

I think maybe you should ask him how he would feel if you cheated and said that you did that because he wasn't there, or asleep, or sick, or whatever else excuse your husband gave you.

I personally use flipping the positions with my partner and sometimes it wakes him up, and it shows him that he is either excusing, justifying or whatever else behavior that is actually harmful to his recovery and our relationship.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" - sir Walter Scott

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AnonymousAnnaXO

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2017, 02:42:35 PM »
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It's not an excuse though, it's bullshit like Anna basically said. If you commit yourself to someone that doesn't mean you turn to porn when they are unwell, or working etc etc. That's not how it works is it, how about go without for a little bit, your penis won't fall off lol. Or better yet have a conversation about it and find a compromise of sorts. Or fair enough sort yourself out, but do it without porn and only when your partner is genuinely unavailable, not at every opportunity!

Thank you JKS!  Yes, you said that so wonderfully. When you commit yourself to another person, you have to think about how your decisions affect the other person. I know that I personally have a high sex drive, and it's higher than my partners most times. So often, I will have to be the patient one at times, and that doesn't mean I go out and find another guy, or go online to look at other guys, no I will be there with my partner when he wants to, and if I want to please myself, I think about my partner and the amazing times we've had. If I ever felt like the sex was fading, I talked about it. He has done the same with me too, when he felt like he just wasn't up to sex because of work pressures he let me know. We made compromises, and we talk whenever things change. In the end it's all about communication, and addiction really really makes communication difficult.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" - sir Walter Scott

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aquarius25

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2017, 03:03:32 PM »
This is just my perspective but it feels like when a partner wants to blame "unavailability" they are not completely owning their addiction. When you look at any addiction one of the first things that is needed is for them to take responsibility and ownership of their actions. Actually I think all people need to do this in every aspect of their lives, good and bad. If I screw up I need to own it and when I do something good I need to own that too. For myself I tend to overlook my good things. I have a hard time receiving complements and when I do its hard for me to really believe them. Taking ownership, fully, for our actions, words, and behavior in life is so imperative.

With my husband we discuss this a lot. In almost all areas of our life we talk about things and when either of us feel the other isn't owning something we ask them. "Are you fully owning your actions and the results of them?" This they respond with any excuse at all then the answer is no. Weather the excuse is warranted or not you still need to own the action, word, or behavior first. Only then can you asses if it was a good choice or not.

As a partner if you are with a partner that isn't doing this than you need to set clear boundaries and decided where your limits are. If you feel they truly can't take full responsibility for their actions then you should take real stock of what is keeping you in the relationship.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2017, 07:13:53 PM »
Anna, he will admit that his need to use porn was emotionally driven, because of feelings of depression, loneliness and boredom. Also as a form of procrastination. He also acknowledges the role of his upbringing in the development of his habit – that he can't talk easily about personal and sexual problems, keeping his feelings to himself or denying his feelings. He comes from a family where nothing was spoken about, the family had secrets and grew up feeling isolated and emotionally rejected. He acknowledges this now but early on my supposed "unavailability" at various times was given as the catalyst.

I now know that it is not quite fair or accurate to "blame" me. I mean, being asleep when he had the urge? Like I should have been providing a sex-on-demand service during the time when he expressed no sexual interest in me whatsoever?! OK, that's not quite how he put it but he did use me being asleep as an excuse. In reality he was using that time as an opportunity.

Aquarius25, what you say about taking ownership of his decisions and the consequences of his behavior is absolutely right. I have had to explain to him that his excuses concerning my supposed unavailability were not quite accurate. It took years of porn addiction to reach the point when I gave up. I'd long given up on catching him out because he was meticulously careful about detection and all my previous hopes of getting him to quit failed. He set it up in such a way that I would fail and I would be silenced, and he could carry on. It took many years for me to give up on sex but I felt very strongly that all my efforts had ended up in spectacular failure. He wouldn't even touch my breasts and I had to face away from him so he could orgasm. Ehh.... thanks. And then he couldn't reach orgasm at all. I was well aware he was still actively engaging with porn at that time. He refers back to that time and the years that followed as me not being interested any more. Excuse me?! No. I had to do all the initiating, all the time, on every occasion.

He created the set up that provided the excuses. If he was lonely, he made himself lonely. If I was out or asleep, he used that as an opportunity. If I wasn't interested, it was because he lost interest and not only that, he outright rejected me. When I gave up, and he knew I was well aware he was using porn, he interpreted that as permission

He has taken ownership of many of the real reasons he became addicted to porn. He is taking more responsibility for his behavior and its consequences. But that's all about HIS recovery, I suppose.

My recovery, as you know a partner's recovery is about recovering from the effects of what we didn't see and maybe didn't know. I trusted and my trust was just another opportunity to be exploited. I asked straight questions and I didn't get straight answers. The realisation that all his excuses after d day were about me and my supposed lack of availability is a huge eye opener. Even if it was loneliness it was because I left him alone, and I'm talking about a few hours, not days or weeks.

I know that this is about my own personal healing. It's not so much a relationship issue right now. It's just another aspect of the damage his porn habit did to me. I now absolutely refuse to accept my role as the reason why he "turned to porn". In reality, he didn't "turn to porn" like some wretched lost soul. I can say this now only because I asked him why he didn't realise the effect his habit would have on me and on our relationship. He said he didn't think it made any difference. He really believed that, which is effectively saying that he saw porn as an interest he could pursue regardless of our relationship status. He never did intend to quit when I had confronted him several times in the early years. At that time I really believe he thought he could have both and each 'activity' could exist provided I was kept ignorant about it. In reality his brain was being rewired and we know the rest, addiction was taking route.

If I knew my marriage would be like this I would have thought twice. His porn addiction has been a huge blight on my life and the effects will always be with me.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Indiepeaches

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 10:49:33 AM »
One month in and still waiting on full disclosure. I I've had the "you were unavailable" asleep.... That stung because I've lost count how many times I've asked him to wake me up - even explained that it would be nice to wake up feeling loved and wanted.... He never has.

I am beginning to wonder now how he would feel if I went off and got my needs met elsewhere..... He's unavailable right? So yesterday when he got jealous some one that makes him uncomfortable sent me a message I very nearly laughed....he deosnt realize when I'm at work and a male colleague says "hello beautiful... How are you?" That it hurts - it hurts because I don't hear those things for him. I've literally just got to work and that's just happened! So on goes the fake smile and the chirpy attitude and I bottle it up until I'm walking home. I'd say 50% of my walks home are through blurry eyes.

So now I'm Sat in the canteen trying to find something positive to make me feel better - I'm not going to lie.... I'm struggling.

JediMaster

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 11:21:05 AM »
Not too long ago I was in a very similar way. My partner told me over and over again what she needed and i didn't give her what she needed. I realized not too long ago that I had been repressing A LOT of feelings, most of which was involuntary. I was still in a bad mindset and I really didn't understand how much I had hurt her no matter how much I thought I did. Maybe he knows how he hurt you but isn't really feeling the emotion that comes with it. That took me a while to feel. After months or working on recovery I'm finally learning how to feel my emotions and to me the only real way to do that is to fully take responsibility for what I've done and not just say it. I have said I understand for months but really I was still processing the emotion and not feeling it. I guess it just took me a while to REALLY 100% come to terms with what I did. Now that I have my partner and I talk a lot more often and really connect and feel emotionally close. This morning we had sex and for both of us the orgasm wasn't the most amazing we've had with each other because I was already late for work but I initiated because I wanted to feel close and afterward even though the orgasm was decent the sex was amazing because I felt so, so close to her and I've been in such a good mood all day.

So I think he really hasn't fully come to terms with the damage. That's just my perspective based on my experience. So maybe, and I know this can be hard, but maybe if you can get him to talk to you about what he's done and somehow use probing questions that really get him to dig deep and feel the emotions rather than finding an excuse to get you off his back.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 01:03:35 PM »
Indiepeaches, one month in is still very early. It probably took 6-8 weeks for my partner to disclose anything and even then it wasn't much. I often wonder if I've had full disclosure or if I ever will. There comes a time when you just have to draw a line and end that discovery/disclosure stage when there's nothing else to discover and there's no more disclosure. It took me about 6-8 months to reach that stage but there's always that gray area of the unknown that I have to live with. I think that's the same for all partners to an extent.

It's almost always the case, we see it when the dust starts to settle, that it's the addict who wasn't available. The addict wasn't making the effort. The addict was investing nothing in the sexual/intimate part of the relationship. Meanwhile the partner is trying to create the occasion, create the opportunity, send out signals through what's she's wearing or whatever to let him know she's available and interested. I did. I know others have done the same. But nothing happens. There's no reaction whatsoever. My husband even became somewhat hostile towards me on one occasion very early on in his addiction. The occasion was burned into my memory. I recalled the occasion to him after d day but he had no memory of it. I remember it because it hurt. It was as if he was angry with me for making the effort with my hair up, the beautiful dress I was wearing, and I couldn't believe it. Early on in his addiction he became so angry and aggressive in his attitude towards me. I'd never known him to behave like that before. But I never wore that dress again. I kept it for a long time because it was so pretty but I couldn't bring myself to wearing it again.

I felt very alone for years but I never sought a relationship outside of my marriage. I think there are reasons for this. Firstly I know that an infidelity or affair would create far bigger problems. I knew it would really fuck with my head if I had to lie and cheat and plan, and then have to go home and sleep beside my husband after having sex with another man. That was just too much of a bad mindfuck to even contemplate. Secondly I didn't even have the physical and sexual confidence in myself any more. It became such a long time since I'd done anything sexual I felt like I wouldn't know what to do. Sex just seemed like a ridiculous idea, and why would I want to do all that with some guy, and then have to pretend where I'd been etc. It's just not the way I wanted my life to be.

In fairness, there were a lot of aspects to our relationship that were really good. I actually enjoyed spending time with my husband doing other things, but when his porn addiction accelerated in the two or three years before d day, I admit there was an increasing emotional distance. I think most relationships go that way eventually when one partner is addicted to porn. I really didn't want another man's company to be honest. I had friends, male and female, and I could enjoy their company so I didn't really need anyone else to share my time with.

There were men who were interested, but I was very good at putting up clear boundaries, that I was a married woman, that I would mention my husband, that I would talk in terms of "we" and "us" in conversation. I remained committed to my husband. If I had sexual urges I would pleasure myself. That was enough for me.

Indiepeaches, it IS hard. We stay because we are committed 100% but if my husband was not equally committed to staying away from porn I don't think I would want to stay. I went through the discovery/confrontation cycle several times early in his porn addiction and nothing made a difference. Eventually he became miserable, trapped in a cycle of acting out followed by feelings of self loathing and disgust. By the time I'd had enough, he'd had enough. He was ready to quit and it was only then that he saw the true extent of the damage his addiction caused.

In the early years of his habit, internet porn addiction was unknown. Not everyone at the computer, and mostly people connected to the internet on the dial-up modem. The porn tube sites didn't exist so the compulsive clicking and seeking behavior wasn't really possible until high speed connections and sites with literally thousands of videos to watch. My partner was already hooked when he was on dial-up. It was causing problems in our relationship but it only got worse and the technology got better and better as the addiction became entrenched. I used to look on the Internet for answers to my situation but sites like this and yourbrainonporn.com didn't exist. Neither did the research and studies into the brain. I'm so glad these resources exist. The effect on partners is not as well understood. At least people have a better chance of knowing about porn addiction m. but it is an awful situation for the partners.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

JediMaster

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 02:53:18 PM »
Quote
My husband didn't get it at all a month in, I also hadn't had all the info then either, even though he said he had told me it all. When we discover instead of them disclosing sometimes we are coming up against them not realising they even have an addiction, and everything will be done to avoid thinking they have one. I think it's all a shock for them, they've spent all these years in this false reality they've created where what they are doing is ok and now suddenly they are being told it isn't. It takes time for those layers to be peeled back and for them to start seeing what they've done, really seeing it

That is exactly how it happened with my partner and I. I was trying so hard to believe that I'd never hurt her like that, I love her more than anything how could I do that? Only about a week ago did I seriously feel it, it poured in and I cried a lot. It still hurts to think about and as I've said before there is no way to make up for it. All I can do (and all I want to do) is to make sure that she is happy for the rest of our lives into marriage and until we die. And I plan on doing just so.

My partner also journals and I feel that if you two swapped journals you'd think you wrote it.

Just_Keep_Swimming, I'm am so sorry to hear what you've been through. It really is horrible. You could have been speaking for my partner. She has been through such similar experiences and not only has ptsd from them but also cptsd from me. It really is absolutely awful that you all have gone through such horrible experiences and then meet people like us and think things are going well until we blindside you with this addiction and bring out all the horrible crap. I am truly sorry that you all have gone through such terrible things and truly sorry for what we have done to you all.

It horrifies me to see how this generation is growing up with all of this and it sickens me to think that this will happen to so many more women. But it may even be worse seeing as kids (At least around here) are growing up with it younger and acting out sexually in the wrong way and getting into porn even younger. In high school, years ago, we heard about two kids getting in trouble because a girl and a boy were caught in the stairwell with the girl performing fellatio... They went to the middle school down the street.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 07:55:21 PM »
JKS, what amazing similarities we have in our stories.

Like you, my weight fell and I became clinically underweight. I've always been a slim person without much weight to spare. My arms and legs were like sticks and my ribs were clearly visible. I never had any sort of eating disorder and I never had problems with my weight, but here I was, an adult woman suddenly with the problems a teen would have. I developed body dysmorphia. I would keep myself covered, arms and legs. My husband didn't see me naked because I'd dress and undress in the bathroom. I could trace it back to his sexual rejection of me. It wasn't even that I wasn't eating I just didn't eat very much because I didn't enjoy food any more. I would feel hungry a lot but when I think about it, feeling hungry was a distraction from all the other things I felt. I mean, I was in denial about the porn and therefore the loneliness and isolation that inevitably happens. I really did hate his fucking porn habit. I'd try to make myself go to sleep when I knew he'd be using it because I hated being reminded that he was being sexual in a way that not only didn't involve me but that he quite literally shut me out. If you can distract yourself by a physical feeling like hunger or even pain, it's frighteningly preferable to believing you're surplus to requirements and no longer useful. That's how I felt.

Like you again - the alcohol occasion. I'm not much of a drinker, never have been. But just after d day it was like the floodgates had opened and suddenly I was caught inside the horror of discovering what had been going on over the years and I just couldn't take it. Couldn't face my husband. Couldn't get my head around the magnitude of his porn addiction, but the biggest shock was that he lied and lied and lied. As I made my discoveries, it wasn't just the porn I discovered but the lies he was telling, denying everything. It was like there was a whole side to him I didn't know about. And then it all comes out about the strip bars. I didn't have any idea. So suddenly I don't know him. I drank all the alcohol in the house, which wasn't that much anyway, but when he came home he had the shock of his life. I told him that the very thought of him jerking off to that shit made my skin crawl and things like that. All the things I never could have said before, I said that night. Afterwards, feeling so wretched, I started trying to inflict physical pain on myself. If I felt the physical pain it was somehow more comforting than all this emotional hell that I couldn't bear. I think that occasion was his real wake up call. That was when he saw how far gone I really was. He saw how big the damage was, how destroyed I was, and for what? Tossing off to some stupid videos of women with fake tits faking it for a camera crew? No fucking way am I having that shit sitting like a fucking cuckoo in my marriage. Of course I regretted the alcohol, and I'm shocked that I was trying to create physical pain on my body. Self harming. Again, something that I never felt the inclination to do before. Something that teens might do. Not a mature adult woman.

And also, like you, I experienced a traumatic sexual assault at around the age of 13 and it didn't go as far as rape because they were disturbed, in my case it was the cops that showed up and they ran. I didn't revisit this trauma properly until several months after d day. But I know how it felt to be physically overpowered and thrown about like a rag doll, a plaything for other people's sexual entertainment. I also realised the impact that surviving such a trauma can have. There's a lot I could say about how it feels growing up to be granted status as a sexual object for other people's entertainment and ultimately their power to subjugate and denigrate your very existence. I journaled a lot about this. I fully understand why women who were sexually abused and sexually assaulted as children can find themselves working in the sex industry.

I have been through such a journey of recovery, learning and growth that there is no way I am ever going to live through the experience of living with someone else's porn addiction ever again. No fucking way. The cost was so high. He thought it was 'free' porn but it cost me every ounce of self respect I had. It suffocated my self esteem. My anger, call it what you will, was turned inwards to the extent I would rather be hungry or in physical pain, or having some kind of physical manifestation of my emotional dis-ease, rather than say "what you are doing is hurting me to the core". I'm shocked at that realisation. I'm never going back to living that way. Im determined to do right by myself. I'd rather be single than live through that again.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Indiepeaches

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 09:45:35 AM »
Wow! Bit of a mind bender reading your responses ladies. Firstly the flood gates opening. Now this has took the wind out of me. Residue from the situation that caused my cptsd is the wiring that causes me to be sick after eating - this is not to be confused with bulimia! It is a product of having my food messed about with when I was young, eating because I was starving and then being told it had been tampered with.... Over time this caused a physical pattern where my body expected to reject food and caused discomfort when I tried to hold food down. This is back and it's not the first time but it has been a long time so I feel quite embarrassed in my own mind at this obvious sign of weakness.... I thought I'd overcome it.

Sideblinded.... I can't even begin to convey what an appropriate bterm that is for what has happened as I haven't fully processed my situation yet - but that is definitely a word that describes it very accurately!

Self harm... I've done this in the past and that's back too. Now it's not a case of harming for the chemical release... For me it's the fact I'm in emotional pain and it has reached the point of being a physical pain that I can't handle so if my coping stratergies aren't working the only way I know how to make it stop is by redirecting it. So far I've managed just with turning the cold water off in the shower and waiting until the sting makes the psychosomatic pain fade. I really messed up on Wednesday though (2 days ago) and I relapsed and burned myself. I didn't use oil or anything just the lighter and then the shower which emphasises the burn - so when the realization hit that I'm escalating when we are supposed to be getting better is a big red flag to me.

My partner regularly TELLS me that I'm pissed off... And that day I was and made the conscious decision not to regulate or pretend.... Now his reaction came across that he was worried - about what exactly I'm not sure as a lot of guys have said they only started REALLY considering the true situation once their own comfort was jeopardised. He did ask me what was different this time to all the other times I'd been hurt/upset/angry.... But I didn't really realize until yesterday that the new factor was that I was disappointed and angry at myself.

Things do seem to slowly be improving but I need more.... The resurgence has put meninna place where I need support and because of this stupid porn ED/DE my partner is busy exploring and trying to get his head around the full impact of that..... One of which being his attitude towards me which leaves him unable to support me! It's just a big bleeping mess!

So tired of words and no actions.. promises of actions and no follow through or acknowledgement. Tired of flashbacks and the realizations. Just lies.... That's what has done it simple lies and betrayal. There's no hiding from them now though - he can't disguise the DE even behind the ED improvement if he acts out and he can't blame me for his attitude towards me sliding when he is withholding purposely or being resentful of my intrusion into what was his solo sex life.

I have hope though.... We'll see.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 09:54:31 AM by Indiepeaches »

Indiepeaches

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 07:14:26 PM »
I did install a spy app on his phone and it made me really uncomfortable. I knew I was going to be working all weekend and the kids were away - he was going to be home alone. My anxiety went through the roof! I told him the evening beforehand to take it off his phone.... I need to be able to trust him and it would've been really unhealthy for me... Especially with him not knowing about it. If he offered to have accountability software that would be different though..... It would definitely show some understanding on his part.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 09:24:01 PM »
Accountability software can only deal with one part of a very complex problem. It's a useful tool but the addict ultimately has to develop the ability to not only quit the porn behavior but to deal with all the other personal and relationship issues that have contributed to the addiction or kept it going.

I survived early sexual trauma but later on I experienced four separate attempts of rape by four different men on four different occasions. On all four occasions I had to physically fight with these men to protect myself. Somehow I saw this as a 'normal' part of a young woman's life. At that time there was a stigma about rape, but it was being challenged by women's rights groups through various campaigns and eventually the treatment of women by the police and the judicial system after reporting a rape was changed, but when I was growing up the reports in the newspapers referred to rape victims as "party girls" or whatever. That's why I feel so indebted to the so called "second wave" feminists who campaigned vociferously for change, and I am saddened beyond words when I see that progress being reversed and worse.

So many other issues that were around at that time, the recognition of eating disorders as a complex psychological conditions, for example. I never really went into it in any depth but when I looked up middle aged women developing eating disorders, and learned that it happened to women who had no prior history. I read one of the 'classic' feminist books on this subject and although there has been significant changes in society since that time – and changes for the worse in terms of this body image tyranny we are all living under now – so much of that book made sense to me. I mean, I felt invisible to my husband and I was literally shrinking myself, I was occupying less space. That made me think. Also, that my body, my very physical being, was the reason why he rejected me for porn. What I saw in the mirror was the obvious explanation why he didn't want me. His sexual rejection, as I felt it, really was the rejection of my very existence. We can't exist without our bodies, can we? If the message we get is "your body isn't wanted any more" it's almost like hearing "your physical presence isn't wanted any more". I didn't feel entitled to occupy my personal space.

I feel certain as more research is done on porn addiction and the impact it has on the partners of addicts, I'm sure that more stories like ours will come to light and the true effects will emerge.

My recovery has certainly taken me into areas of reading and research that I didn't expect. I feel a lot better informed about all sorts of issues. I wasn't ready after d day to even understand my own feelings and reactions. It's only as time passes that I gain perspective. All the same, I'd rather not have had to go through years of living with porn addiction in my marriage.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 09:29:00 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Indiepeaches

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2017, 08:54:49 AM »
Well there was a huge aspect of my body not being wanted - and he was rather "meh" about the rest of me too... Including my presence. And that was destroying! I can still be naked in the room and he won't even look up from his phone but everything is so up and down atm that it's hard to tell what's going on - something is though. I think we're both in some kind of post d-day availability cycle atm. Trying, not wanting to try, so so messy! Early days though.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2017, 08:25:46 PM »
Yes, I know.... it's the indifference and the invisibly that hurts. Eventually I wouldn't get dressed or undressed in front of him because every instance of non-reaction felt like another rejection, another reminder that he had no problem paying attention to porn, another message spelling out "your naked body does nothing for me". I couldn't deal with that.

It's true that once the physical intimacy is lost, the emotional intimacy will ebb away and eventually you find yourself in solitary confinement within your own marriage. It's a very lonely place to be. He stopped telling me things, stopped sharing things. When I look back my self esteem must have been non existent to tolerate that degree of aloneness and indifference. But that's what happened and I didn't even notice how far I'd sunk.

But now, after quitting and working at our relationship, he really is noticing me. He now says he was blind referring to those years he spent on porn. It's a barbed compliment in a way because he's more or less admitting that I was totally absent from his 'male gaze' radar. Still, I'd rather hear this from my husband than from some toy boy I might have had to resort to if I had craved this sort of attention. I just didn't have the self confidence to find a lover to feed my fragile ego, thank goddess.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

ABGL3

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Re: Unavailability
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 11:43:42 AM »
Emerald I think your post is spot on, and I am glad you are speaking out against the "Unavailable" excuses. First of all, both men and women deserve honesty from their partners. You can't be honest to yourself if you do not take responsibility for your actions. I do not need to be an expert to see that a partner who continually finds a way to blame you for their actions is in the wrong. Pornography is such a harmful issue to deal with in a relationships, and the pain is only grown when the guilty partner pins the fault on you. More people need to realize the truth you have come to know, about the excuse of partners being "unavailable".

If a partner is dealing with pornography, I strongly encourage you or anyone to download Internet Accountability Software for their devices. If someone is serious about getting past pornography, they should not have objections to it. Accountability applications are not filters. Instead of blocking sites, it monitors their online activity. It then flags the bad stuff in a report once a week to you, their partner. I believe that people can work through issues in their relationships, and partners working together will have more success. Pornography isolates people, so break that isolation. The reports only go to you, and the application is 24/7. In a sense, you will never be "unavailable" while he is on the internet. He will know you are going to see it, whether he is alone or not.

I personally use Ever Accountable on my devices (https://www.everaccountable.com). My fiance knows each week whether or not I am respecting her when I am alone. I really believe in this kind of product, and am working part time for the company to raise awareness of the help these applications can bring to people. If a man really wants to respect you, he will try his best to pornography out of his life.