Author Topic: letting go  (Read 1869 times)

aquarius25

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letting go
« on: June 25, 2018, 08:10:24 AM »
I have been writing and thinking about a few things. I have been slowly forming a small group of support for women/ partners. My husband is been participating in a group for men and the leader is stepping down so he is taking of that group. I was reading though my journal and think about this process. I can see how forgiveness was so hard. It was like I couldn't let go, even when he was doing everything I asked and putting in so much effort. I  am in a much better place but I wanted to put the question out to all of you.

What was/is the biggest struggle that you deal with on your healing journey? What are the things that you have the most difficulty with and how has it impacted your life? What have you been doing to move past it? What has worked and what hasn't? Are you stuck now? Just wanted to see where other partners are at.

Gracie

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Re: letting go
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 05:00:12 AM »
Boy, nothing like asking for an essay.  I thought I wrote a long response.  I must have hit a wrong button the other day.  Now I have to rewrite.  "Sigh". Technology.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 10:51:30 PM by Gracie »

Kimba

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Re: letting go
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 02:12:37 AM »
Hi guys, well it’s been over 18 months now and I thought we were getting better but I am off to councillor tomorrow, I’m just not really coping with it I just don’t feel he ever really gave it all up, I’ve let go and stopped restrictions on his phone so that’s a small step forward but we went on holiday and we did not get on, Ive got trust issues ! Anyway since I told him I’m going to see someone he has been different I am not sure why to be honest!  We have been getting these full on emails in spam for awhile now, anyway they have suddenly stopped and I remember EB saying there are no coincidences so I went looking and i found something of course, I’m just not sure whether it’s left over from before, anyway I’m not going to say anything tell I talk to the councillor does that sound right ? I know I won’t sleep tonight but that’s nothing new ! The site is a dating sight but a P one, I won’t name it here. Anyway I thought it was good that’s why I’ve been quiet but mayb it’s not mayb it’s time to move on and sell up, it’s toigh as we run a business together. Anyway the things I did do to move on was try and keep busy and visit friends. I figure this is his problem it’s not mine so sorry guys I’m still not really in a great place but I’ll let u know once I’ve seen the councillor.
Three things that cannot be long hidden
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The Moon
The Truth

Gracie

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Re: letting go
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 10:56:53 PM »
Oh no!  That is a tough spot to be in.  Sometimes I just want to say, " m...fing porn" why did it start?  It screws up so many lives.   And causes pain.  Hopefully the counselor helps you.  Taking care of you is so importent now.  And know we are here for you!

Sending peaceful thoughts your way.

aquarius25

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Re: letting go
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 10:20:33 AM »
Yes, ditto everything Gracie said! We are here for  you! I am so sorry you are going though all of this. F*&$ing porn!

Kimba

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Re: letting go
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2018, 09:09:47 PM »
Hi guys, went to councillor and my doc Also as u get like a health plan here in Oz where u can claim bak counselling. Firstly my doc was great, she had very recently been to a conference on Porn use and the effects so she totally got it, all the stuff on here and the part of the brain that is susceptible to addiction and making bad choices!!  Then the councillor new all about what’s going on out there as far as porn etc and I felt a lot  better after talking to them, bit more clarity. So when I got bak to work he asked me what was said and I told him that I will talk when in a more relaxed situation, anyway we have talked and he reacted the usual way haha so that’s fine I got my piece out and I said think about it all.  He said he would go to counselling and in fact to my councillor but we will see, he thinks he can convince her that it’s me lol. That’s fine go for it, also my councillor agreed with me about the pack mentality of some men and that men who are in those groups need to step up and say Hey stop talking that rubbish!! We have ad campaigns here at moment saying to respect woman, there has been an overwhelming spike in violence against women, so it’s not just in the US it’s time to not sit quiet !! Sooo the short story is I’m making plans to protect myself and my future, no more talking, it’s up to him, I’m doing what you guys have said all along, I’m fixing me and he can sort his own shit out, if he seeks counselling then we may have a future if he doesn’t then probably not... I’ve got a session next Friday and I’m feeling much better thank u guys.  Sometimes I think if this gets any worse out there, people will take a class action against the Porn industry after all it worked against the tobacco companies.  Even the ISP May be open as they are letting this crap through, just wondered can u request an itemised list of sites visited, just a thought... ok thanks again for listening I hope my story helps someone out there, u are far from alone ...
Three things that cannot be long hidden
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The Moon
The Truth

Emerald Blue

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Re: letting go
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2018, 11:38:13 AM »
Kimba,
I’m so sorry to read about what you’ve been going through recently and of course you’re going to wonder if your husband really did quit or was he just working hard at creating the illusion of sincerity? There never are any concrete answers and it’s difficult to trust when out trust has already been violated. I’m sure all the partners reading this know that feeling.

I’m almost 3 years into recovery and I can say that even now it’s such hard fucking word to rebuild just about every aspect of the relationship that was damaged by the porn addiction. Even if the acting out has stopped, there are still artefacts of the ingrained behaviours that propped up the addiction that remain.

Trust is an issue in our relationship too. It’s not that I don’t trust him not to act out, I feel certain that he’s quit and intends to stay that way. That’s not my immediate concern. What IS the issue is that in his day-to-day life, he still omits to tell me things and he isn’t always straight with me. Obviously I find out about some of his omissions, and even if relatively minor, it still undermines my trust. It’s taken A LOT to rebuild trust and it’s a fragile process. For him, saying nothing about anything and keeping an emotional distance was a way of life during his addiction and he can’t seem to ‘unlearn’ it. He doesn’t seem to be able to grasp how this undermines trust. My attitude is that if he isn’t willing to be open about the small stuff then how can I trust him about the bigger issues?

There does come a time when you have to draw a line and say “I need to start caring about ME”. If I’m honest, I still have to remind myself of this over and over, even in small ways, because the effects of 15-20 years of my husband’s porn addiction go very deep. Relationship patterns get stuck too, and if you aren’t mindful about changing the ways you communicate and behave in the relationship, it’s so easy to fall back into old ways. I don’t mean relapsing and using porn, but falling back into the old ways that allowed it to happen in the first place and evolved to maintain it. Not communicating properly, maintaining an emotional distance, and so on. I keep trying but there comes a point where you need to take a step back and acknowledge that you’re trying to do the work of two people, and it can’t be done alone. Meanwhile, who’s taking care of you? No one! That’s why you need to think of your own needs. Even if your husband did become the textbook perfect recovering addict, it would still be very draining for you as an individual, as a partner. You still have your own recovery needs as a partner regardless of how well your husband is doing.

It’s only after maybe 18-24 months after d day that I could see the true extent of the damage that all those years of porn addiction did to me. Looking back, there was depression, disordered eating, low self esteem, no libido whatsoever. I was in a bad place but it had become my “normal”. I was very lonely in my marriage. This is why I wish men wouldn’t hide their porn use or lie about it. I paid too high a price just so he could wank to a computer screen. I know that I’m worth more than that. It was all preventable. I question so much about myself now? It’s not only ‘Can I trust my husband?’ It’s also ‘Can I trust my own judgement?’ So we need healthy emotional boundaries that protect us as individuals, so we can develop our own identity and know where our limits lie. We can’t do all of the heavy lifting all of the time, indefinitely.

The dealbreaker for me wouldn’t be a relapse, it would be being lied to about relapsing. If I were to ask questions and he swore blind that everything is fine when he knows damn well he’s misleading me, if I were to check his history (not that it’s foolproof, but…) and I found suspect data, and if he swore blind that no, never, he wouldn’t when it’s a lie, these are the dealbreakers. I have asked him to tell me if he relapses. That’s the deal. Just to add, checking is justified if you strongly suspect you’re being lied to, especially if you’ve asked on 4 or 5 occasions. Sometimes there’s no proof, and sometimes there’s no lie. Sometimes it’s impossible to know one way or another.

I really hope the counselling goes well, for both of you. The effects of porn addiction are very difficult problem to overcome, even when the acting out has stopped. I had no idea it would be this difficult, and my partner, to my knowledge, has not relapsed. One thing I know is that I never want to be treated like shit again. It’s such difficult situation to get beyond. That’s why I wish you all the best with your counselling. X
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Kimba

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Re: letting go
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 12:24:21 AM »
Yes I'm still here in this relationship but I feel sort of clearer and exactly what you are saying... this time when I ask the question I wont be accusing I will just be wanting to hear that he slipped up or he didn't slip up that all is good with us.  Im giving this another go... the councillor to be honest has not told me anything different to what you all say on here but I suppose its just that listening ear that I was needing.  I will give him the benefit that the stuff I found are remnants of his past crazy usage, which tell me also what a tosser he really was ha ha...  how desperate can he get, to me it makes him seem weak, its put a hole in our relationship For Sure and I feel stronger and what and where I am headed... there will be no next time unless he comes to me first, if I find any secrets I will be done and gone.  He didn't go to the counsellor and thats fine, thats his choice and I know a lot of men find it hard to express their emotions.  I will continue to ask the question of why he felt the need to turn to P, I have never said no and I  usually make the first move, just this last week since I said Im half in and half out he has actually been trying, not sure why that is maybe he was worried the councillor would say, leave...
So I feel positive today, a lot of the reason why I don't come on here is because the stories I read just make me depressed.  The deceit of some of the men on here leave me in despair, how can they do that to the one they love, its just so wrong...
Anyway thanks everyone, Ill pop on and off occasionally best wishes x
Three things that cannot be long hidden
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The Moon
The Truth

Stiffy

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Re: letting go
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 09:48:56 AM »
The deceit of some of the men on here leave me in despair, how can they do that to the one they love, its just so wrong.

You need to read more on addiction and how it works. Porn availability is at an all time high and continuing to be more and more readily available. This is a new phenomenon and men as well as women are BOMBARDED with media that is over sexualized. You literally cannot avoid it. Hardcore porn is something you indeed seek out generally speaking (you can even run into that unintentionally from time to time). You sound very jaded towards men in general. The men who are brave enough to post on this site are here because they recognize the problem and are wanting to make an effort to change that. Addiction is not easy, and often the last thing that the addict wants to do is alienate their loved ones. However, it’s unavoidable when one is active in an addiction.

I understand you are angry. You have every right to be upset. Forgiveness is something that you will absolutely need to practice if you are ever to move past this. You obviously are making an effort and I know that you care otherwise you wouldn’t be here. To me though, it sounds like you should read more on addiction and try to be more understanding of how sexualized our society is and the media that we encounter on a daily basis. Understand that we all have to make changes and be empathetic, letting go of resentments. Be encouraging rather than tearing somebody down or making them feel like they are a bad person.

I began looking at porn and masturbating under the age of 8. I am 27 now and have overcome a multi-year IV heroin and cocaine addiction. I went to rehab twice. I never would have gotten my life together had I been without the support of my loved ones. Of course, the only reason they supported me was because I accepted their help and truly made an effort to turn things around. It’s been about 5 years now off of drugs. I learned so much about addiction and how it affects family dynamics. It’s a sickness and it affects all relationships that the addict has. I think the chances of success for recovery go up exponentially when loved ones are extremely supportive yet also firm in setting boundaries/expectations.

I have started a business this year, been drug free, have a woman in my life whom I love, and a good relationship with my family now. I really have supportive loved ones to thank for that. I do not think they understood or were educated on the issue of addiction until they came to the rehab I was recovering at. It made all the difference for them and myself. Forgiveness for my previous wrongs allowed me to move forward and correct the past mistakes the only way that I could - by progressing and living in a way that would make up for it as best I could.


Porn and masturbation is something I continue to struggle with. It’s one of the earliest bad habits I established in my life and one of the biggest sources of shame and self-loathing. I am certain your husband feels ashamed as well. The last thing that he wants to do is deceive you. The addict is being deceived himself - by his own brain! This is such a complex issue. And it’s disgusting that we have to deal with it, whether you are the addict or the one affected by the addict. In the end we all have a common enemy, and that is porn. We must not point fingers and do our best to fight this together. As long as we are making an effort, we all want the same thing.

Much love to all of you women. Be strong and do your best. We are living in a time where in my opinion a WAR is being waged on on FAMILY. Let us work together to obtain freedom in love.


Edit: I also want to add a book recommendation. I am currently reading a book called “Cupids poisoned arrow: from from habit to harmony in sexual relationships” it is absolutely fascinating and encompasses all aspects of relationships with intimate partners and sex in general. It is changing the way I think about sex and relationships in a very positive way. I recommend it for anyone. Check it out.

Edit 2: I want to add that I am not trying to come off as attacking you. Your feelings are valid. I am grateful that you share your thoughts and experiences as well. To me, reading this section of the forum is one of the most valuable resources for motivation because it shows me the other side of the suffering. So thank you for your experience and for sharing it.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:06:04 AM by Stiffy »

Emerald Blue

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Re: letting go
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2018, 09:09:27 AM »
Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this discussion, Stiffy. I’m afraid we may be drifting off Aquarius25’s original question about what we, as partners, find the biggest struggle in the healing process. There are three distinct healing/recovery processes in a relationship affected by porn addiction — that of the addict, the partner and the relationship. It’s not a unilateral issue where it’s all about the addict

Most if not all partners here have done their own reading and research into porn addiction and have a reasonably good understanding of how it happens and how it perpetuates. However, understanding the mechanisms of porn addiction doesn’t really address the partner’s issues. I’m not saying that this understanding is not valuable. It is. But our issues can sometimes be very different and won’t be addressed by reading lots of articles on YourBrainOnPorn.com. Even though it’s an excellent resource, there’s not much there that addresses the needs of the partner.

Forgiveness is a process. It happens in stages. It can’t be forced. Forgiveness isn’t a duty or an obligation. Forgiveness is only possible once the partner has metabolised all the feelings and emotions that have come from this experience. Forgiving partners definitely helps the healing process but it won’t necessarily address the ways in which we have been affected as individuals, as women.

As partners of porn addicts (in recovery), our healing may encompass reconnecting to our sexuality, fostering a positive relationship to our own body image, learning to assert ourselves, practicing good self care, having therapy and developing other aspects ourselves beyond our relationship. This isn’t an extensive list nor does everything apply to everyone. Understanding how porn addiction affects the addict’s brain won’t make the partner’s issues vanish, nor will forgiveness necessarily help much either.

With regard to “support”, it means different things to different people. My partner can live very happily without porn. He doesn’t want it nor miss it. He’s not struggling with it at all. He was 100% committed to quitting porn, and it was his decision. Not mine. He needs support in other areas of his life sometimes, and that’s OK. In fact , that’s entirely normal even in relationships where there is no porn addiction.

Getting back to the original question, my biggest struggle in the recovery process was building trust again. Trust feels risky and it can only happen over time because actions speak louder than words. My own individual issues have been around body image and sexuality as these were impacted very badly by my husband’s porn addiction, prior to which I had a very positive relationship with these aspects of myself. These are issues that are very personal to me and had our relationship not survived, I’d still need to heal from them. As for our relationship as a couple, the biggest issue has been communication. We’ve actually had to learn how to communicate better after years of my husband having to maintain a distance and keep secrets, during which I instinctively knew what to avoid. I knew he was using porn and in some respects I was unintentionally colluding in a situation that wasn’t healthy but only because I’d busted him several times and nothing ever changed.

There’s been a lot to contend with throughout our recovery and healing processes. It’s been far more complex than I could ever have imagined, but worth it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 09:30:07 AM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

bob

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Re: letting go
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2018, 09:27:05 AM »
I just want to thank everyone for their posts on the partners of rebooters forum. It personally helps me as a rebooter to understand what partners are going through as they try to understand the actions of their loved ones.

Peace

Gracie

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Re: letting go
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2018, 09:35:09 PM »
Bob,

Thank you!!!  I think I am the only SO that was here when the Nation was started by Gabe and am still here.  So many have come and gone, and I do think of them often.  The reason I continue here is that addicts with partners need to recognize the the porn pebble ripples out far and wide.  And partners are not there by choice.  We really want to help.

I want to help.

aquarius25

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Re: letting go
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 09:50:59 AM »
Ditto Gracie! You have done so much for the partners here! Thank you for that!

brokensoul

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Re: letting go
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 08:27:45 AM »
I am struggling to get over my SECOND relationship with a porn addict.  I am more jaded than ever in my life.  More damaged, more destitute.  I mean you give your heart and soul to a man and they tear it apart.  Porn damages their entire life and they don't even realize it.  They are like starving beasts gawking, looking for that next rush, glimpse of sex in any form.  Now they have tittty restraints if your man gorging on naked women on a screen isn't enough.  We (women) are being turned into a side show for men....forced in a sense.  Little girls are now wearing cloths prostitutes wore in the 80's.  We have lost our true value.  I was a fitness model and professional athlete, still an athlete.  I've realized out "fitness cloths" are now about the size of a table napkin.  More and more exposure.  I have decided to cover up and not contribute to the flesh junkies.  Look at the rate of plastic surgery, porn, strip clubs, etc.  Our culture is permeated with it like never before.  I am in total despair at this point.  I really have no hope for a "good" man.  They are being driven like cows to the slaughter with this sht.  We have deteriorated as a society in the value of human existence. I have children still to raise and I am scared to what the future holds for them.

AppleJack

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Re: letting go
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 11:18:34 PM »
My biggest struggle right now isn't so much the past as in the pre d-day stuff but with the last 2 years and how things have been since discovery. I feel let down by so many broken promises and trust is not even close to being there. The thing is now I don't even want to talk about it with him because it never gets us anywhere and i don't even know what could be done now to put things right, so what's the point of keep going over it?


bob

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Re: letting go
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2018, 04:56:14 AM »
So sorry you are struggling with this.

While you are facing a very difficult situation, and our words may sound weak but we are really care about you and hope that you are able to rise above this pain.

Peace

aquarius25

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Re: letting go
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2018, 09:51:30 AM »
EB I think you describe the partners experience really well, thank you!

Something I have struggled with off and on through this whole process is the idea of addiction being a sickness. I agree that it is but I also feel like a lot of addicts use that as an excuse. My husband sure did and for a while that phrase "It's a sickness" was used to make me feel guilty, shame, and frankly bad for not being more supportive to him. He would hint at how I shouldn't be hurt or upset because it wasn't his fault, after all, it's a sickness ya know. Well, I agree and understand addiction, I have read extensively on this.  What I also understand is without ownership of the re-precautions of this "sickness" you can't heal and neither can the relationship. If you look at just about any recovery process taking ownership is a huge thing. Getting to the character of the matter. Integrity, honesty, transparency, all are needed for a healthy relationship. Blame shifting and lack of owner ship by hiding behind a "sickness" doesn't help anyone, not even yourself and your recovery. Yes it is a sickness, but there is a responsibility in the awareness that my husband has this "sickness" and he needs to know how to conduct himself in the world with this. Diabetics need to check their blood sugar levels, lots of people have various sicknesses and they have to understand how to navigate life with this. I can understand that my husband has this addiction and in certain circumstances I know I need to check in more often, I can cut him some slack if he is struggling and I can see he is trying. There are a lot of layers to it. But using the sickness as an excuse doesn't help anyone. That is just my experience and opinion.

As far as forgiveness, I have come to realize that it is one of the most difficult things I have and am still working on doing. It isn't for the other person who you are forgiving at all, it is for yourself. I needed to forgive for me. I needed to forgive not because they deserved it but because I believe in grace. I needed to forgive because I was the one suffering. Bitterness and resentment will consume your soul if you let it. The worst and most difficult thing, at least for me, is knowing that you are right, the hurt is real, and trying to let it go anyway. I have found that I couldn't really allow myself to trust and love him unless I forgave. This was my part of the relationship healing and a big part of my personal healing. I have learned so much about myself through the process of forgiveness. It is a process and it never really ends. It is a daily choice that I still have to make each day. Without that choice my relationship and marriage suffer. You can't ask someone to forgive you because you need it. They need to get there on their own and they need to forgive for themselves. For peace for yourself

chuckman23

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Re: letting go
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2018, 08:34:08 PM »
Thank you to the partners who post here.  While my wife is aware of my recovery efforts and totally supports it she is dealing with her own issues (close family death, suicide attempt, the way I treated her).  She is basically numb right now and has no interest in sexual activity right now. I asked her to be the keeper of logs for accountability software but she said she just isn't ready for that.  Knowing more of how this effects partners helps me to see just how hard it was for her to be feeling so lonely while I used porn and then tried to be a superstar at work and other things to hide my feelings.
A 50 Year Old Guy trying to change!

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart 2 Tim 2:22

HumbleRich

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Re: letting go
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2018, 05:08:57 PM »
Broke soul,

In my opinion and that of numerous recovering porn addicts, the porn bubble will burst.  It is only a question of when.  Addictive substances tend to have very short popularity lives compared to healthier options.  Fifty years ago smoking was thought to be healthy.  Remember that alcohol has only been legal in America for less than 100 years (my estimates are likely off, it is too early for math).  More and more people are learning that sugar is a drug.  The media is having a hard time fending off the drives of people reading books about ridding their diets of the drug.  People are becoming more aware.  I give porn maybe 50 years.

Rich