Author Topic: seeking support and ideas on how to process  (Read 2018 times)

aquarius25

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seeking support and ideas on how to process
« on: November 03, 2017, 08:28:32 AM »
So this might be kinda long and I am sorry for that, lol.

Most people on here know me and know that my husband and I recently moved across the country at part of our recovery. Part of my husbands "Porn" was FB and masturbating to my friends, like my real life everyday friends. This brought up so much insecurity and real difficulties in healing because we were living in a town of just under 10,000 people and every time I left the house I would end up bumping into at least one person my husband preferred to stick his dick too instead of having sex with me. It made the entire thing so much more personal. Plus, it made it tricky because the people I would normally go to for support I felt I couldn't. I didn't want to have to tell them he was masturbating to them, that would greatly impact friendships. The entire thing is just a mess!

Anyway, we moved, it has been really great. I know I can't run away forever but it is nice to not have it in my face every day. It has really helped me process and get a hold on my emotions. So a few weeks back when one of our friends from back home said she was flying out and considering moving, I kinda freaked! IT was really hard and my husband was less than supportive. He said she was never part of his spank bank history but I have a  hard time believing it because she is just his type. He just didn't really check in or anything. It was hard but we worked it out, she left and I let it go.

Well, she is back again and really serious about this move. It looks like it is happening. We have never been super close friends and I have never told her about anything. It really isn't our dynamic. I feel like I can't run forever and maybe this is the time I need to work this out. I am struggling but trying. I have a hard time realizing that this is part of my husband history and that he would do something like this. Either way, it happened, I need to accepts it. Just as it is part of his history by me stay with him it becomes part of mine too. I am just struggling with how to process this. I have been doing breathing and other things to try and move out of my emotions, I am learning to sit with them and just feel them when I am in a safe place where I can just let go. I just thought maybe some of you might have a recommendation? Once again, my husband still hasn't even asked me if I am doing ok with everything. Instead, he has just been working like crazy and has been helping her set up apts to see houses. I feel like I just need to deal with this and just not sure how to. So I am reaching out and seeking support from you ladies. Thoughts?

Emerald Blue

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 11:42:01 AM »
Aquarius, this must be such a crazy-making situation to find yourself in after making such big changes. Even what would seem to be the most insignificant of events can trigger memories and put me back in the past, so this must feel really unsettling. You changed your life, made a new start, and it’s as if the past refuses to stay where it belongs. I really understand that his history is very much a part of your history too.

It’s impossible to “advise” given that you can’t control whether or not this ex-acquaintance decides to move to your town, and ultimately we all know we can’t control our partners’ behaviour either. However, you are perfectly within your rights to do what you have to do to feel safe. The obvious question is, Do you want your husband helping this woman to find her new home in your town? I suspect not. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t masturbate to her image or not. It’s about how you feel. You wanted a clean break and this isn’t it. You are not comfortable with this situation. All you can do is to communicate it. You can ask him not to help her, or contact her, or anything else. He may think you are overreacting, but your boundaries exist to protect YOU. It’s your feelings that count here. He can act in accordance with your wishes, or he can choose not to. And that’s about all. If he goes against your wishes, you might have to think what to do in that eventuality. Its not an easy situation to find yourself in.

I have found that recovery has thrown up so many gray areas. We start off thinking in terms of relapses involving porn use but in my partner’s recovery, the things I’ve had trouble with were just not anticipated. Porn addiction also made me less trusting of my partner’s motivations, because he did some of his acting out almost in plain sight but I was too naive and trusting to see it. Before d day he had a FB account under a false name, but for what reason? Then I discovered his visits to strip bars in the past which I had no clue about. I also felt his ‘friendship’ with a female coworker was stepping over the line. Yet he still has to go to work every day and see this woman. These days I doubt whether anything happened but there is always that possibility. . I’m prepared to leave the past in the past, although I’ve told him I can only forgive what I know, not what I don’t know. The porn issue is much easier than the unforeseen gray areas. I’d be climbing the walls in your situation.

You need to feel safe. Your husband doesn’t NEED to help her. If he does then he’s choosing to become involved with her life to some extent. You can ask him not to. It’s probably all you can do right now. And hope she changes her mind and stays where she is.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 01:20:28 PM »
Thanks for the response.
Raven- my husband is almost a year and a half clean. He regularly attends a 12 step group specifically for porn addiction and has been reading just about every book on porn addiction and recovery that he can. He has consistently been doing better about setting aside time to read before bed and that is a huge improvement.

Part of the reason this friend is picking this town is that the real estate market here is really low and all the other town in the area are growing and this one looks like it will increase in the next few years too, so it's a good investment. We are working on a project house and I have been posting on FB pictures of our process and some of the town so my friends and family back home can see. Well, she is an FB friend and she is also looking for ways to invest some of her money. She is late 30's, single, no kids, and making it on her own without any real career. She has made some good move in real estate and is using the proceeds to keep the nest egg growing so she will have a retirement. It's actually really smart. The town is needing people to come to it to help it grow. I think a big part of my husband's encouragement is because she has friends who do startups and he sees this as an opportunity to help the town grow.

Something I have noticed, he is far enough along that he honestly doesn't think about porn anymore. He claims to have no desire for it and we are working on rebuilding our lives. Most of the time he spends his thoughts on our business or helping in our neighbourhood and community. So, when a friend from out of town expresses interest he was excited more from a business standpoint. He doesn't really think about porn except for to talk about his past actions, how they have impacted me and our family, and how to rebuild that. Most of the time, I feel like I am the only one still struggling. That is probably why I feel like maybe I need to deal with this? Like, I need to be able to get past this. I have friends I love that I avoid seeing because every time I even think of them it conjures images of my husband stroking his dick while staring at them!!! It isn't my friend's fault, I shouldn't withhold my friendship that they value as well because of his actions. I go through a lot of emotions from shame and embarrassment, to hurt, rejection, sadness, you name it. But that doesn't change the situation and I can't just run away every time something hurts. 

We are flying home for Christmas next month and I am sure I will see all kinds of ladies my husband jerked off to. I feel like if I can develop some sort of system or thought process then maybe I can handle those situations better? I am not super crazy about the idea of this girl moving here but I also have to recognize that I am the only one with the problem. It would benefit the entire community for her to come, as it would be one less empty house. She would fix it up. It would be one more person in the community, spending money, and supporting local business. At what point is it selfish to prevent community forward momentum for my comfort? My husband did what he did. He said he wasn't thinking of them as people, he was objectifying our friends. He hasn't done it since and has shown plenty remorse. He really regrets his actions and understands now why they hurt so much. So is this still bothering me? I wish I could just get over it. It really sucks.


NewBeginning

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 08:56:22 PM »
Aquarius25, I'm sorry you're facing this. Sometimes guys aren't good at knowing what women are thinking or feeling. The best way to get through to us is to just tell us.

 If my wife and I were in this situation, I would want my wife to sit me down and calmly tell me how my actions are making her feel. Keep it short and simple. No blaming. No accusing. For example, maybe something like, "Honey, given everything we've been through, you spending time with and helping this friend of ours is making me feel uneasy and scared."

I wouldn't want my wife to tell me what I can and can't do even though she has every right to. Nobody likes to be told what to do and it usually causes a negative reaction. He might react negatively anyway by lashing out at you for accusing him of something. Or he might be like, "whatever, you're crazy, there's nothing going on." Either way you can't follow him emotionally in the conversation. If he freaks out and wants to argue, let him freak out. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and stick to your main point which is how this situation is making you feel. If things get too heated and you can't keep your cool, you should walk away. If he gets up and walks away. Let him. Don't egg him on and try to force him to stay in the conversation. I know it's hard, but once the conversation escalates, positive communication stops.

You got your point across without yelling about it or accusing him of anything. What he does with that information is up to him. Hopefully it will work on his mind for a day or two and he'll think, "my wife's feelings are more important than me helping this other lady", and he'll stop.

I think the main thing is to try to communicate what you're feeling. You have every right to express your feelings in any relationship. If you sit there and wait for him to ask you how you're feeling, meanwhile he's out helping this lady, you might start to become resentful. But it's not his fault if there's no communication and he doesn't know how you feel.

AppleJack

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 01:03:43 AM »
oh boy, where to start with that. Firstly I feel you are belittling your own feelings a bit, or maybe that's not the right word. Shaming yourself for still struggling with it, which frankly my thought is who wouldn't be struggling with it, so my first suggestion is to have compassion for yourself and you're very real and VALID feelings about this situation. He may be being truthful about not using her images for his acting out, but you don't believe that, and that is the consequence of him lying, if he's in recovery he needs to accept that consequence and understand that saying he didn't wouldn't ever be enough reassurance, or in fact make any difference at all until trust has been rebuilt a lot further than it has. But lets take the scenario that he didn't and he is being truthful, would that help, I think probably not actually, because she herself is a trigger to you because she reminds you of the whole FB thing even if she wasn't directly involved, she also reminds you of after d-day and being in a small town and bumping into triggers constantly. That alone would be enough reason for him to be as close to no contact as is possible and it's not unreasonable to limit your own contact as well.
I agree with boundaries, I disagree with newbeginning to an extent, I think that stating your feelings is really important but I think equally important is putting a boundary in. Personally mine would be stop helping her immediately, and failure to respect that boundary would have him sleeping somewhere else, potentially a different property. Your safety (emotional/mental) is paramount here, you can heal and process these triggers and deal with them better in the future whilst in a state of fight/flight which is where this is putting you.

As for xmas, I think a mantra might help, something like "his problem, not mine, not theirs". Something else i find useful with negative/triggering thoughts, is to acknowledge it and tell it no thanks. I find the acknowledging it and actually mentally saying no thanks works a lot more effectively than trying to ignore/distract away from. I read trying to ignore thoughts makes them escalate, it becomes your main focus. There was an experiment where they asked people not to think about white bears for a minute and all people can do is think of white bears when they actively try not to. I keep my acknowledge and say no to this simple statement "I hear you, but no thanks"

NewBeginning

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 05:19:36 AM »
I agree with boundaries, I disagree with newbeginning to an extent, I think that stating your feelings is really important but I think equally important is putting a boundary in. Personally mine would be stop helping her immediately, and failure to respect that boundary would have him sleeping somewhere else, potentially a different property.

Yeah, I can see that. The more I think about it, the more I kind of agree with the boundary thing. Aquarius25, I guess I was just more focused on your approach in communicating your feelings to your husband. I'm a recovering porn addict and a partner of a wife who uses porn among other things, and I was relating it to the way I had communicated with my wife in the past, which was through anger, slamming doors, and attempts to control her. None of these things worked.

You and your husband made a drastic change in your lives, moving across the country, as part of your recovery. He knows the gravity of the situation and should respect that. I really do hope the move to a different geographical location is effective in helping restore your marriage. I don't know your whole story, but I'm assuming you are both doing other things as part of your recovery, such as counseling, church, etc. Because the thing that would concern me is that there are women in your new town with whom you may become friends. And they may have Facebook accounts as well. The underlying reason for his behavior, Facebook infidelity, if you will, needs to be addressed or it may be the same story in a different city. I know when I was using porn, you could take away my phone and my computer, but I would find a way to use it or I would turn to some other way of acting out.

aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 07:39:57 PM »
Well, I really appreciate everyone's response. I am going to just talk to my husband and lay it all out there. I think before I can make any decisions, boundaries, or really anything I need to be honest and open. Communication is the first step. He has been focusing more on work today and has given me and my friend an opportunity to spend time together. No kids, just girls. It was really nice. I didn't feel triggered when it was just us. Later I was thinking about it and I realized that it isn't my friend that triggers me, it's my husband. I need to talk to him about it and see his reaction because I feel like that will make sense of a lot of things.

I also spent a little more time with my friend and realized after talking to her that apparently even though I didn't think we were super close she thought we were. She really valued me. I know not enough to justify moving but she said that she had been wanting to get out and a change of scene for a while. Seeing us move was what she had been wanting to do. SHe said that seeing the investment opportunity and knowing that she also would know someone else made it less scary. She still isn't sure if she is actually going to do it but she was really appreciative that we were so supportive.

I do need to talk to my husband. I need to make sure that I am setting good boundaries, but I also need to know that not everything is about me. I am trying to be open and deal with my fears and not run away from things.

AppleJack

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 08:15:40 PM »
I thought this passage from "How can I forgive you? the courage to forgive and the freedom not to" might help, as I feel it's relevant to the current situation.

3. Genuine Forgiveness Requires a Transfer of Vigilance

After a traumatic injury, you, the hurt party, are likely to become hypervigilant, patrolling the border between you and the offender, making sure you’ll never be violated or fooled again. You may live and breathe the injury, obsessed with its grubby details. The offender, in contrast, may want to repress, deny, or minimize his wrongful behavior. With Genuine Forgiveness, a profound shift in preoccupation takes place. You, the offender, demonstrate that you’re fully conscious of your transgression and intend never to repeat it. You, the hurt party, become less preoccupied with the injury and begin to let it go. Here’s how one couple engaged in this process. After Julia learned about her husband Evan’s affair, he gave up the lover, recommitted himself to his wife, and worked hard to earn back her trust. On their twenty-fifth anniversary, he took her out to dinner to celebrate. The waitress came to the table and announced, “Hi. My name is Sandy, and I’m going to be your server tonight.” Sandy happened to be the name of Evan’s ex-girlfriend. Julia’s mood plummeted, but Evan reached out to her and said, earnestly, “I’m sorry this is happening. I really wanted this to be a special evening for us. How are you doing?” Julia paused, then responded, “You just made it easier.” This is an example of a transfer of vigilance. Evan paid attention to Julia’s suffering, and Julia in turn worked to let it go. If he had remained silent and let the moment pass, she might have sunk into depression. If she had bludgeoned him with reminders of his affair, he might have become cold and sullen. Over time, as Evan displayed a continued interest in her pain, mixed with compassion and contrition, and she responded with encouragement, they arrived at a place where she could say, “I believe you’re sorry and will look out for me. Your efforts allow me to open up to you and feel more trusting.” As forgiveness expert Terry Hargrave points out, “Forgiveness is accomplished when the victimized person no longer has to hold the wrongdoer responsible for the injustice; the wrongdoer holds himself or herself responsible.”1

aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 09:20:26 PM »
Raven- you did not overstep at all! I appreciate honesty so much. To me, it is important to take in multiple points of view. I feel it helps me see a bigger picture than my narrow up-close view, so thank you!

AppleJack- that is so fitting. I would say that describes pretty close to what I am feeling. I do think that my husband didn't masturbate to her specifically but to be honest, I think its probably because he never had a good picture. The truth is the person he was then certainly would have. I don't believe that he would today. He is not that person anymore. It doesn't erase my hurt though. I feel like I am still grieving the past. I think that seeing situations that remind me of who he was and what he did, it also reminds me of my hurt. I can't change that. I have to accept it and move forward. This friend coming out here, well it has brought all this up but honestly, I think its a good thing. SHe is just one person, whereas back home I would run into 3-10 every time I left my house. I couldn't breathe without it in my face all the time. Relocating have given me a chance to breathe again. Now when I run into her, I am taken aback but I am also able to step back and process. I am not just instantly overwhelmed all the time. It feels good. I know that if I asked my husband would tell her not to come. I know if I asked he would cut all contact. I know if I asked him he would do just about anything if I said that was what I needed for support. Knowing that makes everything so much different. It allows me safety. These reminders are scary but, I don't have to run away from them because I have support. I know it will hurt but I am not alone.

Today we went to church as a family. Then after church, we pick up my friend and our entire family spent the day together. It was good. There were a few times where I started to feel overwhelmed but I practised taking a moment and going to the ladies room. I would go in a stall and just take a few deep breaths. I would remind myself that history is history. Yes, he did do those things but they do not define who he is today just like my past behaviours do not define who I am now. I picture who we are today and think about the goals we have set and what we are working towards. As soon as I was able to feel better I would come out. It felt really good to know I had the power to be under control and not allow my hurt to just run wild and consume me. Taking time to shift my perspective really helps me focus on my reality. We are doing so much better than a year ago! We and I have come a long way! I know that there are ups and downs. Today felt like I was able to take a down and turn it around. That feels good.

stillme

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 08:11:13 AM »
I know this might not be a popular opinion, but jacking off to specific people sets up an emotional affair for your husband. He was aroused by specific people and jacked off to specific people, not a generalized 'porn'. When it comes to any affair, including emotional affairs, the rules are always no contact at the conclusion of the affair and when a choice for reconciliation is made. He should be having no contact with the person that was his sexual desire.

A year and a half clean seems like a long time to us (my husband is around the same mark), but that isn't a long time in the scheme of things. Reading the journals of many men, arrogance that they have 'kicked the habit for good' is what can lead them on the road to falling off the wagon. This is an addiction, not just a little issue. No one would tell an alcoholic that after a year and a half they can start to be sloppy and play along the edges of alcohol.

It seems like a red flag that instead of staying away from her, he instead worked like crazy to be near her. It doesn't seem like he considered your feeling or year needs, he focused on his own desire. We can't control our partners, but we can ask that they be respectful of our needs. There is no way I would be okay with my husband hanging out with someone he used to jack off to and get secret sexual pleasure from. They were a big part of his addiction, and part of breaking an addiction and staying clean is keeping clear of the things that were a part of the addiction.

Again, he wasn't just using porn, he was addicted to porn. He used people close to you as 'favorites' for jacking off to. As a show of respect to you, he should have stayed away from her. There is no way he didn't realize it would be anxiety inducing for you. He should have gone out of his way to make sure you felt comfortable. He should have come to you and talked to you, not the other way around. He should have come to you and asked you what assurances you needed, you shouldn't have had to negotiate anything - it should have been his desire to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

Also, does your friend know he was jacking off to her pictures? I will be honest that I would be highly upset if my friend's husband was jacking off to my picture and my friend didn't tell me, then let me go back around that same man. It doesn't matter if he doesn't do it anymore, it is wrong for everyone around you to know you were used as a sexual object by someone and then they are hanging out around you as if they never did anything wrong. He violated the trusting relationship between you and your friend and he shouldn't have access to her without her permission. I just know I would be pissed if I was in the position of the friend and everyone else knew the 'secret' and I had no idea.

aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 11:46:14 AM »
I want to make one thing very clear. I am not saying I think he is healed! I am saying that I think he is a different person than he was before. He owns his behaviour, he doesn't excuse it. He sees himself as an addict, and he sees that as a lifelong label. He talks about his recovery. He engages in group recovery, he seeks accountability, he reads to educate himself on his own recovery as well as reading material on how to be more support to me, he has transparency on all of his electrical devices, he doesn't have FB or social media accounts, and he is open to all history. I can pick of his phone anytime I want and look at everything. He has even gone as far as to have our phones on the same acc so all of his call histories are synced up to my phone and I see all of it. He is not perfect. He is trying. He still has a long way to go, just as I have a long way to go too. All of the things l have listed are what give me hope. These are things he would have never done before. That is why I feel he is a different person than he was before. Not because he is healed but because he sees himself as not healed, he sees his problem and is working diligently on improving day by day. Do I wish he would initiate communication more? Absolutely! But I also know Rome wasn't built in a day. If he was just absolutely perfect overnight, well that would be suspicious.

One thing I have learned from being on here is as much as his use of FB for masturbating was so gut-wrenchingly hurtful, he is not alone in this. It is more common then we think. I am sorry if this is triggering but it is a reality. I have received countless messages from men on here saying they had done the same thing and that it never occurred to them as a bad thing. They thought "hey at least it's not porn, right?"! My husband and I have talked about this a lot. Most of the time he would have multiple windows open and FB was one window. He would view friends, not because of any emotional connection but because they were objects. He knew first hand that they were attractive in the image would be a reminder. Some of the women were not even women he liked in person at all! This is in no way to excuse it but more as to give understanding to the phenomenon of it. It is almost the opposite of an emotional affair, it is complete objectification. He isn't seeing that person as a person at all! To me, well I find it worse. After months of recovery, something seemed to click for him and he came to this realization of his actions and how bad they were. It was really hard for him and still is hard for him. He seems to really understand the weight of his actions and how far off of acceptable behaviour they were. Asking him to not have contact with any women he may have masturbated to would mean he would never be able to visit our hometown again. As some point, I feel, I can't control everything and we as a couple have to learn how to navigate that. For me, I feel it would be more healthy for me to learn how to deal with this and how we can be ok when facing these people rather than cutting them completely out of our lives. Some of these women are in my own family! I would rather us deal with this and grow together than run away. The move is helpful so we have got a break but honestly, temptation and women are everywhere. He finally realized he needed to dig into his root cause and deal with why he was doing this behaviour because just cutting it out will only lead to relapse.

I am learning how to forgive. That doesn't mean forget. That doesn't mean pretend and minimise my hurt. That means says yes I am hurting but I am still here. I am wanting to look forward and not say in the past forever. I am learning how to let go of bitterness and resentment. I don't wish ill on him, I want to see him healthy, and I want to see our family healthy.

As for him telling every woman he masturbated too what he did, I am not even sure how to respond to that. Do you really think that would be helpful to those women? Really? Maybe this is a good topic for another thread? It is an interesting thought. I know if I asked him to he would. I know he has considered it and we have talked about it. He said it would be really scary but if it was pertinent to his recovery he would do it. I just felt like the emotional trauma could cause to these other women and families seemed less than purposeful. That was just my thought on it. Maybe that is a good thread to start a discussion on? I wonder what other men and women on here think about that?

stillme

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 12:03:51 PM »


As for him telling every woman he masturbated too what he did, I am not even sure how to respond to that. Do you really think that would be helpful to those women? Really? Maybe this is a good topic for another thread? It is an interesting thought. I know if I asked him to he would. I know he has considered it and we have talked about it. He said it would be really scary but if it was pertinent to his recovery he would do it. I just felt like the emotional trauma could cause to these other women and families seemed less than purposeful. That was just my thought on it. Maybe that is a good thread to start a discussion on? I wonder what other men and women on here think about that?

No, I don't think he should tell every woman that he masturbated to that he did it. But, I absolutely thing someone that is your friend should know that your husband was masturbating to her picture so that she can decide for herself is 'she' feels comfortable around him. That is respectful of the friendship. It might just be me, but yes - I would want to know if one of my 'friends' husband was jacking off to my picture so I could decide for myself how I wanted the relationship to proceed. This isn't about a stranger on the street, this is supposedly someone you are friends with. I would expect my friend to respect me enough to allow me to choose for myself. I get wanting to protect your husband and trust his growth. But, what about your friend? Does she get a choice or is she supposed to be around this awkward situation and tension? Just like we as spouses could 'feel' something was going on, but ignored it - maybe your friend is feeling something was amiss and is just blowing it off.

But, whatever. I get everyone has different values.

aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 01:41:37 PM »
No under that rationale, it would be all of my friends. It wasn't just one friend it was like 50. So you are suggesting I call up all of them?

AppleJack

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 05:44:16 PM »

Again, he wasn't just using porn, he was addicted to porn. He used people close to you as 'favorites' for jacking off to. As a show of respect to you, he should have stayed away from her. There is no way he didn't realize it would be anxiety inducing for you. He should have gone out of his way to make sure you felt comfortable. He should have come to you and talked to you, not the other way around. He should have come to you and asked you what assurances you needed, you shouldn't have had to negotiate anything - it should have been his desire to make you feel as comfortable as possible.


That is what I was referring to as well with the quote from the forgiveness book, it should be him who is making sure this situations don't arise in the first place, or if they do that he's managing them in a way that is least damaging and has the relationship at the forefront. You shouldn't even need to raise it with him, the roles should be reversed and he should be the vigilant one.

I can see both sides of telling people, I personally would want to limit contact with any friends partners if I knew they had used my images that way (which I doubt they have, I rarely put pics of myself on facebook, I'm also not facebook friends with most of them either). I can also understand the otherside of how damaging telling them all could be and with moving away and him not on facebook anymore it may be unnecessary as they aren't around him and he doesn't have access to their images anymore, but then if this one friend does move closer it may be that she does need to know. And I agree she might be picking up a vibe of you guys even if she doesn't know what it's about.

One thing about it being emotional, oxytocin is released during orgasm and they bond to whatever is causing that orgasm, be it there partner, or porn, or facebook. So, as much as he might not have been emotionally involved, as in he wasn't talking and confiding with them, he did have an emotional relationship with his activities on facebook. (Mine also used facebook, he looked at a colleagues friends though, all early to mid twenties, not my friends and he also looked at women's profiles who were playing games that he also played on there. I know this as I found the facebook stuff by logging into his account and going through his activity and my friends weren't on there, he's off facebook and other social media too, I in no way would be ok with him being around that colleagues friends, or seeing that colleague out of work, which could result in seeing his friends)

Kimba

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 10:56:49 PM »
Wow there is a lot been said here... love that quote on forgiveness Apple, made me bit sad as my partner is the one who just sits silently.  Ok so this women is thinking of moving there and your hubby is helping, I’m not super comfortable with that, I know you have to have trust etc but I’m one for not creating any opportunities, connection with a single women could undermine your relationship, u know your hubby so u are the best judge. I’m all for help thy Neighbour but this world we live in is not so accommodating. You are still in the raw stages of building trust in your relationship, I think letting him know your thoughts is a good start. It’s your life u do what needs to be done to feel comfortable and to protect your family in every way. Anyway you’ve had plenty of advice so I’m not going to rave on just be true to yourself and sit bac,  have a good think and go with your gut !!!!!
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aquarius25

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2017, 09:24:05 AM »
So, update. I had a long talk with my husband and my friend. He is completely in support of whatever I needed. He was also under the impression that I believed him when he said she was not part of his past usage. He thought having one friend who wasn't part of that might be nice. Clearly, the lesson here is a communication one. After settling things between us I went and talked to my friend. I did tell her about my husbands PA (with his permission) but did not go into any details or anything, more of a general conversation. I was really surprised by her response. She said she was sad that we were going through this and that we are her favorite married couples. She said she knows that PA is a real thing and it is actually a big part of while she is still single. Apparently, it has been a big issue for her with more than one boyfriend. It makes finding someone really difficult. She said she doesn't really care about sex in a relationship but she does want someone healthy and someone who is willing to work on themselves. They are hard to find these days. I think she likes being near us because then she feels less lonely. I can see her coming to a slow acceptance of being single and never really finding someone ever. It is an odd thing.

 I am glad we connected, but I am also glad I did not overshare and disclose the entire situation. I wish this topic was more out in the open. It would remove a lot of the shame. But it's not. I don't want to cause trauma and damage to someone else. I think that is a risk you take when telling someone that your husband masturbated to an image of them. It's upsetting, off-putting, and feels really violating. But the reality is that it happens all the time. No one likes to feel objectified without their knowledge. Maybe that is more the conversation we need to be having? Bringing awareness of that behaivor and how upsetting it is.

Another thing I think I have taken away from this experience is the affirmation that I am on the right track. I am glad I didn't just freak out, blow up at her, and break this relationship off. The reality is that its hard to be in relationships with others. I have my hurts, they are real and valid. But she also has hers. My husband has his. We are all just trying to make it. From the beginning my gut was saying to face this fear and deal with this, not to run away. I can now see that I am glad I am dealing with it. This situation is not just about me. I have formed a deeper layer of relationship with this friend. I have also opened my awareness to what another person is going through. I had never really thought about how difficult life would be for her. Porn addiction impacts so many people. Even the women who are still trying to find relationships. Its ripple in this world and culture is large, a lot larger than I gave it credit for. I knew it was a problem, but seeing the problem and the sadness on the face of a friend makes me feel the problem more. For that I am sad, but I am also glad that we can be in a community and a friendship where we can support each other, not isolate.

Hypatia156

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 09:59:34 AM »
Wow.  I’m so glad you shared this process with us. Your friend sounds like a good person and I’m really glad they were supportive of you.

The thing I think does help, is for these guys to really SEE what they do, to know how it affects us and others. I suggested to my husband recently after seeing it posted here somewhere that instead of the male gaze and feeding his addiction he should really look at the person he’s sexualizing and try and see them for who they are. A tired single mom. A young woman feeling unsafe on the train. A wife going home to an unemployed husband, who may himself be an addict of some sort. A woman who is an alcoholic. One of your wife's friends who respects you. We all are people with feelings and being objectified only damages self worth and respect for others.

He says it was helpful and so we are onward and upward for one more day.

Gentle thoughts for you today.  Good, deep work you are doing.

raven song

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 10:13:58 AM »
Quote
So, update. I had a long talk with my husband and my friend. He is completely in support of whatever I needed.
  That is such great news! I'm so happy for you.

Quote
From the beginning my gut was saying to face this fear and deal with this, not to run away. I can now see that I am glad I am dealing with it. This situation is not just about me. I have formed a deeper layer of relationship with this friend. I have also opened my awareness to what another person is going through. I had never really thought about how difficult life would be for her.
What an incredible learning experience for you. Thank you for sharing this. It helps me to see that there are many other people suffering from this as well.  This is so profound. Good for you for listening to your gut, digging in, and doing some really courageous work!!
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AppleJack

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Re: seeking support and ideas on how to process
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2017, 02:02:39 PM »
That's really great to read. I feel for your friend, it seems no one is immune from the effects of this.