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Messages - stillme

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Women / Re: That's my journey!
« on: July 03, 2016, 06:53:18 AM »
You mentioned something in your first post that was interesting. You stated that even at a very young age - masturbation was sexual for you. You said you could not even remember when it wasn't sexual and there weren't sexual fantasies. Do you have any recollection of sexual abuse? Young children that are sexually abused, especially those that are used for child pornography are often required to do sexual play and fantasy type of activities on camera. Some of theses victims are extremely young - one, two, and three years old even. It might be a good idea to work with a licensed professional to ensure there are not some past traumatic experiences from your very early youth that aren't driving part of this addiction as well.

That would be advice for men, too. If self pleasuring involved sexual fantasy and fetish even before the age of seven - there may be some additional issues as well. Many children repress sexual abuse, especially if the abuser was a loved one like a parent or sibling. Unfortunately, there are a lot of victims of child sexual abuse - with statistics saying as many as 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. If you honestly cannot remember when it became sexual and not simply children exploring their own body, but you know it was sexual at an extremely young age (i.e. five or earlier) - it might be a good idea to have at least one session with a licensed psychologist that works with victims of abuse. I am not expert, that comment just really jumped out to me.

My take is that she didn't truly understand was porn addiction truly was. She probably thought you just really like to watch porn and you are trying to stop. She didn't understand about the brain changes that take place and that porn addiction manifests in a person similar to a drug addiction. When she found you masturbating in your sleep - it was probably only then that she realized just how deep and intensive porn addiction really is. Ask yourself if you would think it was wise for a woman to begin a new relationship with a man that was just a few weeks into recovery from a drug addiction? Would you advice a sister, daughter, niece, etc. to give a relationship a go with a man who is only 87 days from his last use of meth or cocaine? Yes, porn addiction is not where near as dangerous as drugs - but this isn't about what is worse, this is about what has happened to your brain from your use of porn and what it is going to take to get you truly free. The fact that you are even masturbating in your sleep and not even realizing it says there are some really deep connections that need to be severed. You thought you had gone so many days without masturbating - but you hadn't because you were doing it in your sleep - at least two nights, without even knowing it. Again, imagine someone who thought they were clean from alcohol, but were really drinking in their sleep without knowing it. That had to be very, very scary for her, again - because she didn't know what porn addiction really was. You all have just starting dating, she doesn't really know you yet. If I were in a new relationship and a man masturbating at night with no memory in the morning I would be concerned that he might try to force himself on me at night and have no recollection in the morning as well. I am NOT at all saying you would ever do this, I am not accusing you in any way - I am just saying that would be a fear of mine.

Being with a man having trouble getting fully erect as well as "finishing" is very, very hard on a woman. Especially when that man can accomplish those things watching porn (or that is what she might think). Women are taught that one thing a man can do without any effort is have an erection and have sex. We joke about how men can have sex with absolutely anyone as most have seen even the most unattractive, the most angry, the most evil women have sex with men and even get pregnant by them. It is incredibly hard not to take a porn addicts trouble in bed as a personal slight against our own selves - our beauty and attractiveness. Regardless of the commercials, there is no woman standing in the distance on a beach smiling because her husband/boyfriend/etc. has to take a pill just to have sex with her. It is embarrassing and again feels like a rejection. I mean, who really wants a man who can't get himself to work without a pill when your whole life you have been told that just seeing a pretty woman is enough to get a man ready for lift off?

It all just sounds like it is way too much for her to deal with. Most of the partners here are spouses that have been with our husband for a long time - more than a decade for many of us, some being married for over 20 years. It is hard on us. There is no way I would go though this process with a man I was only dating, and one I had only been dating for a few months. I think staying with her will hurt your progress. You will be self conscious and she will continue to act closed off. In reality, she has probably already checked out, but doesn't really know how to tell you.

Let her go and focus on you. You are going to beat porn addiction and then be ready for the relationship of a lifetime! It may be with her or with someone else. Don't do anything to slow down your progress. A wonderful, porn free world filled with intimacy, love, and yes - great sex, is waiting for you at the end of your recovery. Don't slow that down for a risk of a new relationship that it just may not yet be time for it to happen. Another option is to just focus on being her friend - no intimacy. It sounds like the sex won't be good for either of you for a little while yet anyway. Get her excited about you as a person. Being in bed together simply reminds her of your addiction. Stay out the bedroom and let her see all of your good qualities that aren't currently wrapped up in the porn addiction you are overcoming.

Date her without the bedroom scenes for a while. If you like each other even without sex, then you know the relationship can weather storms that might creep up even once the PA has been seemingly kicked. If either of you are not happy being with each other without being able to jump in bed - it isn't a relationship made to be lasting anyway. Hang in there!

I have to say, reading the various stories throughout the website has me feeling absolutely grateful for my husband's attitude and progress. He was in to porn for five years and not really sure "when" he became an addict. However, as soon as we read about PA he saw his symptoms, admitted his issues, and sought help. It all happened so quickly that I felt a bit "rushed" through my own grieving process. I didn't have months or even weeks to be angry and bitter - he sought help for his addiction immediately.

So, what do things look like for us?
1. I originally put together a list of 13 "rules" and my husband agreed to all of them. They included things like if he needed to get on the computer at night, he would use the one in our bedroom and only while I was in there with him.
2. We go to bed together every night. We also sleep naked, which really helps with reconnecting.
3. We are going through a marriage course and it has taught us a lot about how to avoid the conditions that made an "escape" to porn possible in the first place. The course is intense and yet - we are loving it.
4. My husband gets counseling to help him seek out and address any underlying issues that made him vulnerable to a pull to porn in the first place.
5. We talk openly and often about how his recovery is going. I think this was one of the reasons he was able to recover from his first (not sure if there will be others) flatline quickly. We talked about what it was and that is was normal and I prepared myself to not get into my feelings and assume his body was rejecting me when really it was part of the resetting that needed to take place.
6. He is openly and aggressively working to win me "back". I wasn't going anywhere physically, but he understood just how much I was hurt by his turning to porn in the first place and then the systems of the addiction - which pretty much make your partner feel like the scum of the earth. He has taken seriously the fact that part of how my self esteem was torn down was by his actions, he is aggressively pursuing me the way he did when we first met. He is like a teenager trying to win the heart of his first love and it is nice being pursued.
7. The number one thing he has done is demonstrated that he completely understands just how much he hurt me. I think this is one of the things I am most grateful about, because sometimes when I read the forum I see many PA do not realize what they do to their partners. I have been get going with my recover because I am not stuck at "angry". Believe me, I have been angry - very angry. But, I have been able to move on from that and get to reconnecting and rebuilding.
8. The number two thing he has done is worked hard with me to help protect our children from falling into the rabbit hole of porn. We talked with our tween about what porn is and why to avoid it, we put filters on the computers, we are focused on openly showing them a healthy marriage so they don't get caught up.

For those PA that are wondering what they can do for their spouse I would say:
1. Acknowledge just how much your PA affected your spouse. Addiction doesn't just hurt you, it hurts them. On some levels, it can hurt them even more because they got all the bad stuff with none of the shots of dopamine or other "happy" feelings. It is one thing to suffer from an addiction that at least made you feel good part of the time. Your spouse is suffering and never once was able to feel "good" during the process.

2. Be aggressive in your recovery. It isn't just about avoiding porn - if you had a partner/spouse you also engaged in lying, deceit, and other negative traits. Avoiding porn does nothing to deal with deception and lies.

3. Be open about the recovery process. When you are married, this isn't just your recovery - this recovery affects your partner as well. Hiding the recovery process and what goes along with it (the highs and the lows) can look/feel exactly the same as when you were hiding porn. It again goes back to stopping the deception and lies.

4. Be open about what your triggers are/were that led you to porn and actively and openly figure out what to put in place of those things. If frustration is what led you to porn, what are you going to do when you get frustrated now? Tell your partner and if it is something that doesn't sit well with your partner, find something else. For instance, a PA might say, "I used to turn to porn when I got frustrated, but now I am going to go to they gym." Guess what? To your partner, you will still be doing the same thing - going off to a secret place whenever you get frustrated and they are supposed to just trust that you are really at the gym instead of jacking off to porn in a park somewhere? If the trust is not built up yet, a different frustration solution might going for a run with your spouse or working out at home in a room with the door open so your partner can see that you are doing what you said you were.

5. This leads to the next thing - realize that you will need to win back trust. In the early days of recovery (and early might mean different things for different people depending on how long the addiction was) - you don't get the benefit of the doubt. Your lies and deceptions cut very, very deeply. Many people say (me included) the lies hurt worse than the porn. We trusted you and you completely took that trust and threw it away. Be ready to start over in regaining that trust, and trust is only gained by being trustworthy. Being trustworthy only happens when you say you are going to do something and your partner checks and confirms you actually did it. Your word alone is not good enough anymore and that is a consequence that you have to be ready to accept.

6. Support your spouses recovery. I get that recovering from porn addiction is hard. However, I cannot even begin to express just how important my husband supporting my recovery from betrayal has been. Think of it like this, the more support you give your partner in their recovery, the more your partner will be better able to support you in your recovery. I see many people complain about their partner not being very supportive - maybe it is because they can't support you right now. They are so broken and battered there is nothing left with which to help you. Support them and help to build them back up and they will be able to support you more fully. Supporting your spouses recovery includes a lot of things. The first is being open and honest about your recovery. The second is showing them openly what you are doing to avoid going back to porn. Another is building back up their self worth. Give them honest compliments on the little things. Try to re-establish intimacy without sex. Hold them in your arms, cuddle with them, smile at them, blow them kisses, flirt. Them move on to gentle kisses and build from there. Yes, absolutely have sex, but don't forget to talk about the sex afterwards. Your partner will be self conscious about sex as you recover. Let them know what went well, "Wow, I felt so much more sensation than I have before." or "It felt so good to just be with you and sharing this bed and this experience again. I look forward to every time getting better and better as I learn to love you more fully." They want to know that you enjoyed it, because as you are recovering you may still have ED/DE systems and those things can really do a number on your partners head. Show your partner you want to see them satisfied sexually as well. This should just be about "you" enjoying sex again, your partner was deprived of good sex during you addiction too. Do what you can to satisfy them and show them you are dedicated to making sure their needs are met.

7. Apologize. You can't really do this until you truly understand just how deeply you hurt them. You may be apologizing more than once for various things. Apologize for all the years you all missed being intimate and connected while you were using porn. Apologize for making your spouse feel unattractive or unloved. Apologize for leaving them in bed lonely while you looked at the computer. Apologize for making them find out by becoming a detective what was really going on. Apologize for trying to get needs met outside the marriage. There will be dozens and dozens of things you can and should apologize for, but only after you truly realize what those things did to your partner.

8. Actively work to make the relationship better than it was before the addiction. My spouse turned to porn after we were married when we hit a rough patch. We both realize that we needed a better way to deal with the up and downs or relationships. Some people were addicted to porn even before they got married. Whatever your situation, there was something in the relationship (not the partner, the way the relationship worked) that caused porn to have a place. Work to actively fill the relationship with good, healthy, fun aspects so there is no place for porn. Learn about your partner, learn about yourself, see how both of you can be fulfilled and happy by making the relationship fun, interesting, and exciting for both of you.

9. Thank your partner. They could have left you, they might even feel like they should have left you. Thank them for staying by your side instead of leaving. It was a hard choice and you need to show your appreciation.

10. Win them back.

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: "Formal Disclosure"
« on: June 27, 2016, 01:10:38 PM »
In looking at your responses, it seems there is still a bit of denial on your part. My husband and I are going through a marriage course and one thing stated is, "if something makes your partner unhappy - you don't do it. It doesn't matter if what makes them unhappy is simply turning in circles in the middle of the floor - if it hurts them, don't do it." You knew porn would hurt your wife, and yet you did it.

As far as her not wanting to communicate with your father - I can understand. There is a lot of embarrassment when your partner decides they would rather stare at a screen that be with you. You think you still got completely "hard" and there were no issues in the bedroom, I can almost guarantee that isn't the case and your wife picked up on it - even if you didn't. It is embarrassing if anyone else knows who actually knows you in real life. You don't want to walk into a room with someone who knows that you were laying in bed waiting for your husband and he would rather jack off to a computer screen than get in bed with you.

Your responses come off in a way of showing that you still don't quite understand just how deeply you hurt your wife. This is a pain that is so deep and so intense that until it seems like you completely, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt understand - she won't be ready to forgive.

When you looked at porn you took away from your wife one of the most basic fundamental aspects of marriage and life in general - thet want to be wanted and a need to be needed. You say you looked at porn when you were stressed. What you actually did was reached out to other women rather than reaching out to your wife. She wanted to be needed and when you were hurt, vulnerable, not feeling 100% - when it was her turn to be a wife, a partner, a shoulder, a support - you chose other women. Women who didn't make a vow in sickness and in health, women who didn't love you like your wife did.

No woman for one second believes their husband didn't like the way those women in porn videos look. Every second you spent watching porn you took away from your wife her "want to be wanted". Instead of wanting her, instead of wanting to look at her, instead of being mesmerized by her beauty - you looked at other women. To say they weren't attractive or you didn't really care how they looked hurts even worse. It is one thing to "lose" to someone prettier or with a better body, but to hear your husband say he preferred to look at anyone - no matter what they actually looked like, it a horrible insult.

To state that you read that you needed to do this for health reasons and didn't want to tax your wife is in some ways indicating your wife isn't enough - you need "other" to keep you healthy and happy and whole. I get that probably isn't what you are saying, but I am telling you how a wounded wife can interpret what you are saying.

I am not trying to be mean or harsh, just trying to see why your words might continue to be met with anger from your wife.

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: First post - a down day
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:46:00 AM »
Your words resonate with me quite a bit. We are VERY early in our recovery. I found out, confronted him, and he vowed to change. It was a few days later that I happened upon the "Yourbrainonporn" site and we could finally put a name to what he had - porn addiction. After that, he really went full force in trying to recover. He has 1) stopped looking at porn, 2) stopped PMO, 3) sought counseling, 4) purchased a journal to log his feelings. He comes to bed at the same time I do every night. He put very specific plans in place for how to have success when he was home alone for a night. He really is all in with trying to recover.
I, however, am stuck in the "meantime". Figuring out what to do with myself while he works on his recovery. I know I need to work on my own recovery at this point. I believe I will get there, I put a very specific plan in place.
I think the hardest thing is dealing with just how much porn changed my husband. Never, ever in a million years would I or anyone else imagine he to be one that didn't just consume porn, but consumed hardcore porn. It was so vastly different from who he is as a person. It was like having a stranger in my home. It was been hard to wonder that if he was able to keep this such a deep secret for so long, just how much else is he keeping secret? I wonder how he can ever find normal sex satisfying after spending year and year viewing some of the most deplorable things I could imagine. The other thing I struggle with now is believing he loves me. My husband is, aside from the porn addiction, a good guy. He will stay in this marriage because it is the right thing to do. So, I have been fighting off thoughts that maybe he is sticking around as a punishment for his porn use. Kind of like, he doesn't really love me, isn't really attracted to me, doesn't really want to be here - but since he feels so guilty about what he did, he is willing to stay in his own private hell to atone for his hurting me.
The mountain I am dealing with, that feels like it will be hardest to climb - is my want to be wanted. He wanted porn, so he did everything and anything he needed to do for five years to get his fill. He put more into this addiction than I have seen him put in anything because, like you said, he worked so hard to hide it. I kept creating in my head the scenarios I needed to see to believe he truly wanted to be with me, rather feeling obligated to stay with a woman he had no desire for. Of course, because he is an addict in recovery, he has not been able to do anything of those things. Just little things - like stop what he is doing, look at me, and tell me I am the most beautiful woman in the world. I wanted him to call and say, "Don't cook tonight, I am taking you and the kids to dinner, then later tonight I just want to hold you." I wanted him to look at me and say, "You know, I have always loved seeing you in those earring or those jeans or that shirt." But, he can't give me that. Right now, all he can do is try to recover from his addiction.
So, the most I can hope for at this point is that he is as miserable as I am in some ways. I am still in a marriage with no intimacy or attachment, the same as we had when he was using the porn. The only different now is that he isn't using porn. I know in the back of my mind this is temporary. We were doing well the first couple weeks of his recovery. However, he has hit the flatline and there is just nothing. My reaction to the flatline was feeling once again like a failure and unable to turn my husband on. Again, I realize this is a part of the process, but those thoughts just take hold. When I found out the flatline could last for years, oh my gosh my heart broke into a million pieces. You mean I am going to be lying in bed next to a man with absolutely no desire for intimacy for a couple years - ANOTHER couple of years? So, while he is "getting better" I get the exact same relationship that started this whole mess to begin with?
In complete honestly Emerald Blue - I want a prize. I want a big prize. I want a payoff for going through the hurt and the shame and the pain. Right now, it appears that the best I can hope for is a restored marriage. That's it. No restitution, no extra reward for for staying faithful and enduring the pain. I know it sounds selfish and a bit absurd, but I feel cheated. I know on television when a woman finds out her husband cheated and she stays by his side, he feels deeply indebted to her. My reward seems to be that my husband will "try" not to look at porn again.
I am sure this feeling will subside. Honestly, sometimes I feel stupid for behaving relatively calmly when I confronted him. Maybe I would feel better if I punched a wall or left with the kids for a few days or ran out and had an affair of my own. I didn't, I just cried. I did make demands and he agreed to them all, but they were simple and reasonable - no more porn, showing me all bills, not using the computer at night unless it was in our room. No demands for a new and better wedding ring, or maid service, or a trip to the beach. Just a simple, "Please don't hurt me again." It feels cheap, five years and all I asked was, "Please don't hurt me again." I fancied myself to be a tougher cookie than that. I alway thought if my husband violated our marriage I would absolutely make him pay, he would feel my wrath. Nope, just me crying like a toddler, curled in the fetal position, wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I couldn't even compete with a computer screen. I wonder if maybe I have sold myself short, did I devalue myself so much that he will wonder if I am really worth it after all. The is something in the pursuit that men do enjoy and I just caved.
I am trying to focus on my own recovery now. I can see it is going to be a lot harder than I imagined. I can't even think about my marriage at this point because I am such a broken mess. That is the part of this that just seems so unfair. I was sitting there all this time being faithful even when things weren't great, ready to make changes and do things differently and help him get what he needed to find happiness. And here I am, stuck picking up all the little pieces all by myself. And at the end of the day, the biggest "reward" I can hope to gain is a husband that doesn't prefer jacking off to the computer over having an intimate relationship with me. This is going to be a longer recovery process than I imagined.

Women / Re: My journey to restoration
« on: June 17, 2016, 09:36:27 AM »
Thanks for posting your journey toward restoration. It has been helpful to read. I posted my own ten steps toward my recovery as the wife of a porn addict in the other forum, and reading your journey has really helped.

I think the biggest thing I have learned since finding out about my husband's addiction is that "I" need to get selfish. He has absolutely committed to change and I believe that he will eventually beat this, but my concern cannot be whether or not he beats PA. My concern must be on my own recovery and the damage done to me in finding out that my husband has been consuming and addicted to porn for five years of our marriage.

All the hurt, all the anger, all the pain you described is what I felt. Don't get me wrong - he feels guilty. But, the guilt only came after I found out and he saw the absolute way his addicted devastated me to the absolute core of my being. He didn't realize his inability to have sex with me for years was a result of his porn addiction - he thought he just "lost interest". While he was pleasuring himself to porn for five years, he never thought about me laying in bed alone and confused and wondering why my husband didn't want to be in bed with me. His guilt is deep and real. He is committed to changing, including pursuing counseling and therapy. That is all well a good, but that can't be my concern at this time. The absolute only thing I can concern myself with is fixing me. If after I am fixed, after I am whole - he is recovered and ready to be a real husband and treat me the way a wife should be treated, that will be wonderful. If not, that will be okay as well.

I realized I needed to selfishly focus on myself when my husband entered the normal stage of recovery of the flatline. As I read about it I saw this might last days, weeks, months, or even years. Finding out a part of "recovery" is a loss of interest in not only just sex, but also intimacy was devastating. Heck - a lack of intimacy was how I found out about the porn addiction to begin with! What feels like "progress" to him is just me realizing that I don't get the emotional support or intimacy that I craved whether is is actively using porn or actively trying to recover from his addiction. At this point in his life, there is nothing he can give me but a recovery from his addiction. He is fighting this with everything he has, but that means he has absolutely nothing left over to help to restore me. If I don't get completely selfish in regards to my own recovery - I will simply whither on the vine and die, at least emotionally.

I too have noticed on this forum that very few married people concern themselves with how their spouse is doing. They report whether or not they have morning wood, report whether or not the feel horny or have libido, report whether or not they could get fully hard without fantasy. I have yet to see a daily report on whether their spouse appears to have any joy in her eyes. They don't report if she seemed to smile without force. They don't keep a running tab of whether or not she appears sad or depressed or lonely or ashamed. There is a forum of here of literally hundreds of men supporting each other through the journey. Where is a spouse to turn? There only seem to be a handful of us here. We are guarding our husband's secret and keeping it from family and friends - which means our normal channels of support are gone. While there are a host of communities all over the web there for men trying to reboot - even weekly Skype sessions and emergency apps when they feel a relapse coming on. There is no emergency app when I feel disgusting and repulsive because I am lying naked next to my husband and he has absolutely no interest in my. There is no app when I feel lonely and hurt and ashamed that instead of some supermodel taking my husband away and getting his time, attention, and energy - it was just pixels on a computer screen. There is no built in counter to track the number of days I can go without feeling like a fool for not realizing my husband was masturbating to porn in the office while I was wishing desperately that he would come to bed and hold me in his arms.  There is nothing. So, I have to go against my natural tendency - my tendency to want to love him and support him and help him and be there for him and turn all that attention to myself. Because if I don't help myself I will continue to sit here in a broken heap while he has literally hundreds of other men rooting for him and supporting him. Every time I search this forum and others looking for support - apart from the one or two posts from other spouses, I feel like a failure all over again. I feel once again tossed to the side and feel like nothing.

As much as I hate selfishness, it appears that will be the only thing I can do to save myself. The one thing I absolutely hate and despise in my husband I have to dig down deep and find in myself - I have to think only about me. I have to be concerned only with my well being. It was a hard realization to come to, because I started this journey solely seeking how to help my husband. I did, we found the names of what he was dealing with "porn addiction" "porn induced erectile dysfunction", "delayed ejaculation".  I helped him find what addiction was all about and the changes and I helped get him started on his road to recovery. But, I must jump off of his recovery train and find my own recovery train. If not, I will simply be doing to myself what he did to me for five years - ignoring my needs for love, respect, attachment. I have been wallowing on the edges of despair and I find myself dangling on the cliff of depression. What good is it for our marriage if in a few years, he is a recovered porn addict and I am a depressed, angry, confused, bitter, self-loathing shell of a woman? I must focus on my own recovery while he focuses on his recovery. I hope is that our trains meet up again one day, we both get off our our separate trains renewed and ready to dedicate ourselves to having the marriage we always wanted. I understand there is a risk that I will get off my own train fully restored and there will be no train meeting me with my husband. His train may have derailed or it may have gotten to the station earlier and he decided to move on. There is also the possibility that when I get off my train, he will be sitting there waiting on me. His healing may happen faster than my own, and he may actually patiently wait for my train to arrive. I may get off my train and if I hear his train in the distance, I may in deed decide to wait for him - I don't quite know at this moment. The point is, if I don't get on my own train to recovery, there will be nothing left to save - not just for our marriage, but for me.

It is terrifying going into the unknown. But the reality is, the known (his years of porn addiction, PIED, etc.) is so horribly devastating for both of us - our only chance for this marriage to be saved is to shoot for the unknown. My heart is breaking, but I am looking at this as a remodel. Sometimes you have to do some demolition before you can turn something old, tired, dysfunctional and even dangerous - into something new, and beautiful, and valuable. I am scared out of my mind and shaking to the core, but I know it is our only hope. We have children that we have to think about as well - a loveless, emotionless marriage is not what I want my kids to grow up seeing as normal. I would rather they see a healthy marriage or they realize that sometimes people have to go their separate ways, but we will always love them. My husband is doing his part to save himself, now I must do my part to save myself. And yes, reading the stories of the men on this forum has done a lot to influence my decision. Addiction recovery is a very selfish endeavor, recovery from hurt must be as well.

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: First post - a down day
« on: June 16, 2016, 06:36:55 PM »
Thank you so much for your kind words! I have been reading your posts an learning a lot.
It has definitely been a confusing time. My husband has been really trying to overcome things since I found out and confronted him. He honestly didn't see the PMO as an issue until all hell broke lose when I confronted him in a letter. I didn't even know what was going on honestly, I just knew something wasn't right. I thought maybe he was gay, then maybe he was having an affair. I never guessed it was a set of digital affairs with women on a screen. When I confronted him he admitted to PMO for the past five years. Wow - talk about shock and awe, I was floored. I never, ever would have guessed he viewed porn. That he was also M and O to it and even chatting with some of the women, oh my gosh - I felt so absolutely low, like trash on the street. How embarrassing for your husband to rather pleasure himself looking at a computer screen than actually get in the bed with you. I felt like the most rejected person on the planet. It was only through my tears that he realized all those little private viewing parties were like affairs happening right under my nose - daily, weekly, monthly - for years.
He feels like trash and is honestly committed to getting better. He is going to counseling and finding support and doing all the "right" things. I feel bad for not being able to jump all in with enthusiasm and total support. I am honestly trying, hard. I know he is trying. But...... that damn betrayal. Five years of rejecting me for the screen. We have been married for over a decade and he turned to porn when dealing with a stressful time in our marriage rather than focusing and working things out. Now, we have to deal with him overcoming a crazy addiction. I want to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream and yell and have a massive tantrum like a two year old. But, every time I get angry and feel guilty - because he really is trying to "reboot". He really does want this to work, he really does want to save our marriage. I know he is committed to changing. But - I am still hurt and unsure and angry. Even though I have spent time learning about PA and know his loss of desire wasn't really "me", it was the addiction - I still feel like an ugly old hag that lost her husband to a computer screen. I mean really - he actually chose pixels on a screen and his own hand to me. How can that not crush me? I am trying to support him and his efforts, but I have to admit that I am angry that we have to dedicate all this time and energy and effort to dealing with his mistake. I mean heck, I could have been having an affair for the last five years and getting my own emotional and physical needs met! Here I was trying to work, take care of the house, take care of the kids, deny my own desires and needs while he was getting his kicks. And now, we both have to stop and pick up the pieces. It is like he dropped a 10,000 piece puzzle and I have to help him pick up and place back each and every piece. I have to go in with blind faith that once these 10,00 pieces are picked up, there will be something in it for me. That the puzzle, when put back together, will be as fulfilling to me as it is to him. My fear is that we will take weeks, months, years putting this puzzle together and in the end - I still won't have what I need. What if in the end his is made whole and I am still a broken mess?
I want to trust him, but he kept up this charade for five years! I mean, I knew something was wrong, something was amiss. I knew there was something wrong in our marriage. We were having sex maybe once or twice a year - clearly something was wrong. His addiction led to DE, so even when we did have sex he couldn't O - and that made me feel like an even bigger failure. He tried to hide that he didn't have an orgasm, but women know. When I found out he could orgasm just fine - just not when having sex with me - yikes.
The funny thing is - in my heart I know he is going to beat this. I just don't have confidence that "I" can recover from the pain of feeling like I am just not good enough, not attractive enough, not woman enough - to satisfy my own husband. I hate to think I am will forever feel like I can't compare to mere pixels on a screen. This is the absolute toughest thing I have had to deal with thus far in our marriage. 

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / First post - a down day
« on: June 16, 2016, 03:02:14 PM »
I thought I would go ahead and share my first post. It has been helpful reading the stories and experiences of other partners. It helps to know what is normal and what is to be expected in this recovery process as the partner of a PA. Thankfully my husband is currently going through a reboot after our "d-day" I guess it is called. I am still getting used to the emotional ups and downs. I almost feel bipolar during this process of his recovery. Some days I am so excited about the future and what life is going towards I think I can fly. However, the down days - like today, come out of no where and seem to hit me like a ton of bricks. The doubt, the frustration, the not knowing if I can truly trust, the wondering if staying in this for the long haul makes me stupid or dedicated.

I don't know, I guess I just wanted to reach out to others who can understand what I am going through. There really isn't anyone for me to talk to. There seem to be lots of resources for the PA trying to recover, but not a lot is out there for the partner. I can't really reach out to anyone in the real world because I don't want to taint their view of my husband, especially since we have committed to staying together and working things out. But, sometimes I feel like I really need a safe place to vent.

Anyway, thanks for this forum.

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