Author Topic: What Partners "know"  (Read 4324 times)

stillme

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What Partners "know"
« on: October 31, 2016, 06:39:51 AM »
I know we often have conversations on this forum from PAs who feel like partners don't know or understand their side of porn addiction. I thought it would be good to have a conversation about what partners actually do know when it comes to what porn addiction:

1. Most porn addicts want to quit. They realize their porn use is out of control and don't like the feeling of being at the mercy of something like porn.

2. Most porn addicts are embarrassed about their addiction. Porn is seen as 'normal' and 'all guys do it', but they know they would be mocked and ridiculed to have to admit that because they used porn so much, they often have difficulty having sex in the real world. They are embarrassed to admit they can no longer even have an erection without porn.

3. Most porn addicts didn't know they had an addiction until they tried to quit. It wasn't until trying to stop porn that it was discovered they couldn't just walk away. It is unsettling to not have control of your own body and mind.

4. Relapse is hard mentally, emotionally, and physically. When relapse happens, one of the hardest things to do is to come back and reset the counter. Most have tried 100 times to say no and resisted 100 times before they actually go through with a relapse. As soon as they O, they feel shame, remorse, and many fall right back into PIED. Depression is common and even having the courage to get out of bed and start again is a victory.

5. Most porn addicts find their addiction started well before they were old enough and mature enough to have a choice. When your first look a porn was under the age of twelve, you had little control over the way things would play out when it came to porn. Most porn addicts didn't so much 'choose' porn as much as the tentacles of porn addiction started to wrap around their mind before they had the capacity to effectively resist. This wasn't their choice and they wish it never happened.

6. Most porn addicts think they have messed up so bad they will never have a chance of real love and real happiness. They come to the partners section and see the conversation and get frustrated because it seems like even if they kick the porn habit, they still might not have shot at the ending they envisioned - where quitting porn means they get the promised 'super powers' and attract the real life woman that will make them never even think about porn again. That fantasy is something that motivated them and when that fantasy gets ripped away they wonder if this is all worth it. They have to actively fight the feelings that maybe the only time they ever orgasm is to porn and if they stop porn, they stop being any type of man - even a porn addicted man.

7. Most porn addicts are tired, lonely because they don't have anyone they can tell they are struggling with porn, and really wish they could be honest about their struggles outside of an anonymous online forum, but they can't. They know being honest will cost them too much in their life, so part of fighting porn is lying about who you are in your real world life and that makes it so much harder - because you feel like a fraud.

8. Most porn addicts are mourning something their addiction has made them lose. For some it is a girlfriend or wife, for others a job or career, and for others - just hobbies and interests and doing something with their time other than jacking off to porn. Porn costs them something big and they struggle with wondering if they will ever get back even a little bit of what porn has already taken.

9. Porn addiction is scary. Sometimes when you go back through your mind at some of the things you watched to get that orgasm it is frightening. You question who you are and if you are 'sick in the head' and you don't feel like you can ever tell anyone on the planet - because you can't even say out loud, let alone admit, some of the things you watched to get hard and some of the stuff you finished to. It still scares you that those are the images you needed to orgasm and you wonder if normal sex will ever be enough for you.

10. You are more than just a porn addict. You are a complete person who is more than just this addiction. You get tired of coming on the partner forum and seeing posts that appear to limit you to this small area when you do a lot of good in the world. You have a job or are going to school, some people volunteer, others go to church, some are active fathers, others supportive friends. For some, if we knew who you were in real life we might be shocked because in every other area of your life - you are admired. For others, your friends and family would never believe you were addicted to porn because you are the nicest, sweetest guy - very respectful of women, funny, kind, etc. This is just a piece of you.

See, we get it. We know. But this forum here - it isn't where we come to discuss our significant other's contributions to society. This isn't where we discuss how good of a father they are or how they volunteered last night feeding the poor, or how they made beds for the local homeless shelter. This isn't where we discuss our compassion for their struggle or how much it breaks our heart to see our significant other struggle. This isn't where we talk about how proud we are of the hard work and dedication it takes to break porn addiction. This isn't where we talk about how brave we think it is to take on addiction - often times all alone, and fight with everything you have in you to win back what you have lost. This isn't where we come to discuss the good qualities that we KNOW are there. We get all of that - every partner here gets all of that.

This forum is where we discuss "our" struggle as partners. A BIG part of that struggle is the emotional impact of finding out that your overall 'good guy' had a really dark secret and that secret impacted you in a big way. We allow each other to vent and we know that sometimes people say things in their emotional distress that they don't mean - it is just the only thing that would come out. We understand that this is the space to say the ugly things you would never actually say to your significant other or any porn addict - but it is eating at your mind and you want someone, anyone to know just how much anger and pain and anguish you are dealing with. We as partners know that sometimes just venting is enough for the mind to clear and things to come into perspective.

So really, we get it. We really do get it. I think the agreement can be that if we don't come on to the other forums and hurl accusations and mock and threaten, then nothing at all said here in this forum should be taken personal by a porn addict. If we were directing something negative towards a PA we would go to your forum and say it. Look, I admit to right now being an absolute emotional mess! One day I am happy, the next day anger, the next day depressed, the next day hopeful. Heck, sometimes all those emotions happen within an hour. I come here and vent because it is the only 'safe' place I have. This isn't personal to you all, so stop taking it personal.

Look, I don't even go to the other forums anymore. I saw a LOT of things I was taking personal. I would read those boards and end up absolutely depressed and disgusted. So, I totally get what it is like to read something in a forum that 'feels' like it is directed specifically towards you. My solution was to stop going on those forums, because I know many of the guys there were posting out of their own frustrations, not understanding their emotions, trying to find a safe way to talk about just how fucking hard porn addiction is to conquer. So - I left because I knew I had nothing constructive to contribute and I would probably do more harm than good trying to interject from my own hurt.

If you have a partner, it might be helpful to watch the forum and see what the recovery is like on our end, but don't take it personal. If we have questions- please feel free to answer. But, don't take a vent from personal distress as an attack on you. Everyone heals differently and this space is not the place for your healing, it is the space for partners' healing.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:43:56 AM by stillme »

Emerald Blue

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 09:08:10 AM »
Yes, we do get it! And it does get wearying when some guy shows up and starts giving us the Dopamine For Dummies routine. We don't need Porn Addiction 101 class on here because it's usually us who found the information and gave it to our porn addicted partners to read in the first place.

We also get fed up with having to accept all the cliches about men and porn, and then being told we're wrong when we call out those assumptions as bullshit. We're told we're wrong to feel as we do. I remember reading one post about how female partners should be more "sympathetic" whilst everything we feel was dismissed under they guise of "it's not personal". We  don't come here to wet nurse struggling porn addicts. Being in a relationship with a porn addict is plenty to be getting on with. I don't recall any men ever asking about the female partner's recovery process – not HIS recovery, not their relationship's recovery, but specifically their partners individual recovery.

1. Partners don't want to be in a relationship with a man who chooses to masturbate secretly to a computer screen whilst they are left alone in the bedroom waiting for nothing to happen.
2. Partners are feel ashamed because their own husband/boyfriend/life partner doesn't want to have sex with them any more and feel that they cannot tell anyone for fear of ridicule
3. Most parters did not even know that porn and sex addiction actually existed and what they feel is entirely normal in that situation
4. Most partners don't even realise they've been lied to and gaslighted for years and can't trust their own judgement any more
5. Most partners have cripplingly low self esteem and poor body image as a result of years of neglect
6. Most partners feel very alone
7. Most partners are mourning the loss of the relationship they believed they once had
8. Most partners wonder if they can ever trust their partner again
9. Most partners eventually realise that they have two choices, either to commit to a relationship with a recovering porn/sex addict and accept that it may be a lifelong problem, or to end the relationship. A porn addict in recovery is still a porn addict.
10. We need to realise that we are more than just the partner of a porn addict. In fact, our recovery means rebuilding those parts of our lives which we neglected during the years when our porn addicted spouse's needs took priority over ours.

That's just a list I've made up on the spur of the moment in response to the one above.

This partner's section is separate from the porn addict sections for a reason. Because we have separate issues and we have a recovery process which bears no relation to a porn addict's recovery process. Yet how many times do male porn addicts take issue with us, whether it's the 9-day wonders telling us what we already know but obviously just not getting what we are going through, or telling us how men are discriminated against because it's easier for a woman to go to a bar and "get laid" than it is for man, and how there's all these men languishing in jail because some malicious woman has made false allegations of rape. Yeah, well, you wonder what the effects of porn are on the brains of these guys when they come up with some of these attitudes and when you see some of the posts on the men's sections it becomes glaringly obvious that they have zero empathy and no ability to relate to a woman as a human being, just as a potential conquest to try out their brand new 90-Day Hard Mode super virile penis.

When guys come here because they actually want to reconnect with their partners or can share their concerns, it has actually been very valuable for us too. So it's not that we don't want to communicate with recovering porn addicts. We want to share information and have our feelings respected.

His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

BuddhaAwake

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 12:28:21 PM »
I know this forum is for partners of porn addicts but I thank you two for sharing your ideas and experiences. My wife and I are basically housemates at this point, and I do want to live the life and love we used to live. I don't know how much of the deterioration is from my porn addiction, but I know it plays a big part.

I hope my wife will be as understanding when I tell her, but if she isn't I'll have nobody to blame but myself.

stillme

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 01:01:42 PM »
I know this forum is for partners of porn addicts but I thank you two for sharing your ideas and experiences. My wife and I are basically housemates at this point, and I do want to live the life and love we used to live. I don't know how much of the deterioration is from my porn addiction, but I know it plays a big part.

I hope my wife will be as understanding when I tell her, but if she isn't I'll have nobody to blame but myself.

She may not be understanding at first. In fact, she may feel like she has been torn in half. Lots of crying, lots of tears, lots of vacillating between wanting to punch you in the face and wanting to know why you don't think she is beautiful enough. A confusing whirlwind of emotion - the worst feeling in the world. But, chances are even with the flurry of emotion - she will still be there. One minute loving you, one minute hating you, another minute hating herself, then back to loving you and hating you all at the same time. But, chances are - she will still be there.

Through all the tears, the pain, the agony, the emotions - see that she is going through all of that because she loves you. Loving in the good times is easy, but - love is proven in the fire. Your wife has already shown she is willing to go through the fire. It burns, no doubt about it. It hurts, if feels like it is too much - but - still love can win out in the end.

Be on guard. Be ready and willing to help her. The hardest thing for most porn addicts going through recovery to do is be selfless, to think about someone before themselves. Your instinct is going to tell you to run and hide, don't. Show her that you love her and that you will take whatever she has to dish out because you love her just as much as her emotions are showing that she loves you. Don't run. Don't hide. Stay and love, even if she runs and hides.

BuddhaAwake

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 01:14:04 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I don't expect her to be understanding at first. I imagine it took you a while to reach this level of understanding. I doubt it's automatic for anyone.

 I know she will feel betrayed, angry, hurt, and a host of other emotions when I tell her.

The thing that hurts most of all is knowing that no matter what I say she will blame herself. She even apologized to me and felt guilty that my bipolar and anxiety conditions have worsened over the past year!

But it's a hurt I can't avoid, for me or for her.

Hablablos

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 01:22:13 PM »
It's a really great post stillme and I am affraid that many of the PA's don't fully realize some of your points. But I have to interfere in one thing:
Quote
I don't recall any men ever asking about the female partner's recovery process – not HIS recovery, not their relationship's recovery, but specifically their partners individual recovery.
With all respect I do recall one man interested in partner's recovery, because it was me. I asked you Emerald Blue through PM if you would be willing to put together what partners are going through and I would make it more readable for others. You are well respected amongs partners as well as addicts for your opinions.

When I was putting together everything I know about recovery to make it easier for other rebooters I wanted to add a chapter that would be helpful to partners. Althrough there are some aspects of recovery similar for partners, there are too many differences between them. Necessary information about porn addiction is out there written several times over to the point that good information are lost thanks to same silly questions over and over again. But there are little to none information about partners recovery. I hoped that it could change with your help. You declined my proposition and I respected that. Soon after that I had to deal with some personal stuff and couldn't ask another partner for this.

I try to comment as little as possible to partners section, because I have absolutely no idea what partners are going through. I wasn't in any relationship and my knowledge comes from books and my presumtions. It's ever harder because I am trying not to offend any of you, because one badly expressed line can shatter your progress to pieces. I've learned that during my first tries to help a partner.

When I have a relationship I want to share my struggle with my partner. But it's quite possible that she will shut herself and I won't know what to do. In these cases I would like to ask partner section for help, because I have no lady friend that could explain what my partner could be going through. I learned so much for this section and I hope that I can prevent some disasters in my own relationship.

Even in my article I pointed on several occasions how our behavious might affect partners so other rebooters realize that this addiction is not just about their penises. But it's a very slow process because most people will learn these thing AFTER something fall apart, not before. I don't want to start another warfare, because there were several of them not so long ago, but I had to say something on this one.
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Ytrewq

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2016, 01:44:00 PM »
That was absolutely beautiful Stillme, when porn addicts wander in here, it is so easy for them to get lost in the negativity, so easy to feel less than human when reading some of the content here.
It is much the same for a partner wandering through the porn addicts section as you say.

This post should be stickied immediately at the top of the partners section, and it would be great to have a similar post stickied at the top of the porn addiction section for partners to read and not feel like they are under attack

I do agree that some pa's do post their unfiltered thoughts in the partners section without considering the emotional vulnerability of partners here, and they are not always aware when to concede that their advice isn't always helpful, and so unnecessary arguments occur.

However this does occasionally happen in reverse, just recently Emerald Blue shared her thoughts in the porn addiction section and was welcomed more openly than porn addicts generally are in the partner's section, so there is clearly some confusion as to why it is okay for partners to post there but not okay for porn addicts to post here without fear of attack.

As a partner of a porn addict, I think this is inherently unfair to them. The rules specifically state that porn addicts shouldn't be "at all assertive" with partners, while there is no such rule to protect recovering porn addicts, who are just as vulnerable in their recovery.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6.0

We are all recovering here, and we all deserve respect. If we want to curb the potential for disrespect and arguing in the partners thread, it is only fair to do this in the porn addiction thread as well. If the partners thread is to be a safe space then the porn addiction space should be a safe space as well.

The problem here is just as much in the ambiguous wording of the rules and the names of the sections here. The "partners" section is obviously exclusionary by name alone, suggesting a place where only the opinions of us partners have merit. The "porn addiction" section is not exclusionary, suggesting a place where porn addiction can be openly discussed by porn addicts and partners alike.

I think it should be clear to whomever designed this forum, that there is an unbalance in the naming scheme and the rulebook, which has lead to frustration and arguments.
I completely agree with Stillme and she has shown incredible empathy that does seem to be in short supply on both sides, though perhaps more so in some porn addicts. I understand where the frustration is coming from on both sides.

I have personally found a forum that seems to have struck a balance, but I hope this community will evolve over time, best wishes to you all :)   
 
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:50:43 PM by Ytrewq »

AnonymousAnnaXO

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2016, 02:47:02 PM »
Stillme and Emerald great posts and points! It's true that people don't understand that we have done our research and have tried to empathize with our partners and try to understand their experience of it.
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cuppatea

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2016, 03:25:53 PM »
I've read so much on porn addiction or sometimes sex addiction. I really do get it, I could probably get a masters degree in it. I do come here to vent my side of things though and get support for what it's like to be a partner. There is a lack of resources for the partner perspective. I've shared as much as I could find with my hubby but he still struggles to get it, and part of that seems to be that his skills of empathy have eroded over the years, so whereas I can put myself in his shoes and understand it he can't do the same for me. It's super frustrating.

Emerald Blue

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 05:35:17 PM »
Without taking anything away from stillme's excellent article, and making it clear that I have no intention of derailing this important thread, I feel the need to address some of these points directed st me personally.

Quote
However this does occasionally happen in reverse, just recently Emerald Blue shared her thoughts in the porn addiction section and was welcomed more openly than porn addicts generally are in the partner's section, so there is clearly some confusion as to why it is okay for partners to post there but not okay for porn addicts to post here without fear of attack.

I have never had any issue with porn addicts posting in the partner's section. I have taken issue with the ones who have come here and been deliberately confrontational, talking of their "ethical rape porn" and others who have come on here to tell us we're uptight religious types who were still virgins when we married, and crap like that. Mostly I would ignore those guys but I reached a point where I could not let these people go unchallenged. The other type of post is the Dopamine For Dummies sort, and we know all that stuff. We're not here to learn about porn addiction. We've read the books cover to cover, watched the videos, listened to the podcasts, etc. No one has sought to understand porn addiction more than many of the partners here.

I have learned a lot from communicating with recovering addicts and their contributions to the partner's section has taught me a lot. I like to think that they have been helped to understand their partners a bit better from reading our experiences and insights. I have never had an issue with recovering addicts posting in the partner's section. I've said that many times. Although I have taken issue with some of the PAs that have posted here, these tend to be guys who are not in relationships at all and sometimes I am unclear about why they are posting at all. Like I said, I know the Dopamine 101 stuff. Also, my partner is at a later stage in his recovery so the issues that are coming up now aren't about the reboot process but more about the underlying personal and relationship issues, and the longer term after effects of the addiction. So it's a far more complex situation compared to a younger single guy who has recently decided to quit. Their issues are equally serious and equally valid, but markedly different.

It has nothing to do with whether a recovering addict posts in the partner's section or whether I have posted in the porn addict sections, or who is "allowed". I have actually invited recovering addicts to post in this section where they have posted about issues in their relationships so any implication that I have ever expressed the idea that recovering addicts should not post in the partner's section is a nonsense.

Hablablos, the reason why I declined your request was because you asked that I wrote an article and explained that I did not have the time nor the energy for the additional workload. To write about all the ways a relationship is affected by porn addiction, and the effects on the intimate partner, would involve many hours of work. Besides when one is going through the process of personal recovery as well as reconnecting with one's partner, and supporting that partner through his own issues — it gets a bit much and taking on something else on top of everything else was too much. Besides, I am in the midst of my own recovery process and I am by no means any kind of expert on recovery because I'm still going through that very difficult process.

It's of great importance that thr partners section remains a safe space where partners can express their feelings and reach out to one another. Sometimes recovering addicts have enormous insights to share and can support us too. We have in recent months have had porn users coming on here with the intention of deliberately goading people. Those guys are definitely NOT welcome but we now have a moderator we can report these people to.

You also have to bear in mind that partners do go through significant trauma particularly in the early months and it's probably the case that we defend ourselves from being re-traumatised all over again. I'm not the only one who has said she finds some of the posts in the various addicts' sections quite upsetting. And no, I have not commented on any of those posts. But I wasn't the first one to say I found them depressing and worrying and I won't be the last.
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Ytrewq

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2016, 06:25:07 PM »

I have never had any issue with porn addicts posting in the partner's section. I have taken issue with the ones who have come here and been deliberately confrontational, talking of their "ethical rape porn" and others who have come on here to tell us we're uptight religious types who were still virgins when we married, and crap like that. Mostly I would ignore those guys but I reached a point where I could not let these people go unchallenged. The other type of post is the Dopamine For Dummies sort, and we know all that stuff. We're not here to learn about porn addiction. We've read the books cover to cover, watched the videos, listened to the podcasts, etc. No one has sought to understand porn addiction more than many of the partners here.

It has nothing to do with whether a recovering addict posts in the partner's section or whether I have posted in the porn addict sections, or who is "allowed". I have actually invited recovering addicts to post in this section where they have posted about issues in their relationships so any implication that I have ever expressed the idea that recovering addicts should not post in the partner's section is a nonsense.

It's of great importance that thr partners section remains a safe space where partners can express their feelings and reach out to one another. Sometimes recovering addicts have enormous insights to share and can support us too. We have in recent months have had porn users coming on here with the intention of deliberately goading people. Those guys are definitely NOT welcome but we now have a moderator we can report these people to.

You also have to bear in mind that partners do go through significant trauma particularly in the early months and it's probably the case that we defend ourselves from being re-traumatised all over again. I'm not the only one who has said she finds some of the posts in the various addicts' sections quite upsetting. And no, I have not commented on any of those posts. But I wasn't the first one to say I found them depressing and worrying and I won't be the last.

"Ethical rape porn"? Wow that is pretty messed up!
I was more referring to this discussion though, I've done a bit of lurking before signing up: http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11123.0
Don'tgiveup seemed to be quite reasonable in this discussion, but someone got offended, it was suggested that he should leave the partners section.

I think people have a right to take offence to anything that bothers them, and they have a right to speak up about it and challenge it, but it isn't very fair when we as partners can run to the rulebook when we feel challenged.

It's almost like discussion is sometimes encouraged among addicts and partners on a topic that was started on the partners thread, and because it is on the partners thread we don't really need to listen to what they say if they disagree with us. I'm not saying it's wrong, and I think it's wonderful that you want porn addicts to contribute, I'm simply saying that the rules and the name of the section itself can send a very mixed message, and I'm not surprised when addicts get frustrated with this. 

Keeping the partners section safe is a great idea, I just would like to see the same fairness extended to recovering porn addicts as well. You might not get into arguments with addicts in the porn addiction section but it seems like other partners sometimes do, and the way the rules are worded porn addicts are powerless to defend their views/be assertive regardless of where the discussion takes place.

I think it would be a fairly easy fix to change the wording to "don't be assertive in the partners section" rather than "don't be assertive with partners", and the same courtesy should be afforded to those in the porn addiction section as well. 

I agree with you on your last point, but we just have to remember that the forum was created mainly for recovering porn addicts, and it wouldn't be right for us to try and gain control over other sections of the site.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:33:13 PM by Ytrewq »

Hablablos

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 02:01:30 AM »
Quote
Hablablos, the reason why I declined your request was because you asked that I wrote an article and explained that I did not have the time nor the energy for the additional workload. To write about all the ways a relationship is affected by porn addiction, and the effects on the intimate partner, would involve many hours of work. Besides when one is going through the process of personal recovery as well as reconnecting with one's partner, and supporting that partner through his own issues — it gets a bit much and taking on something else on top of everything else was too much. Besides, I am in the midst of my own recovery process and I am by no means any kind of expert on recovery because I'm still going through that very difficult process.

As I said, I respected your reasons why you declined. But I had to say something about that none of PA was interested in recovery process of partners, which wasn't true. That's all.
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Emerald Blue

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 01:58:16 PM »
Ytrewq, I don't think it's helpful to rake over the coals regarding what was said on another thread. If you want to contribute to that discussion then by all means do it there. I feel that if we continue in this vein of "you said this" and "he said that" and "she said the other" then it will be to the detriment of the community as a whole. As in life, we often reach a point where we have to agree to disagree and move on. This is one of them.

Hablablos, perhaps I was not clear in my meaning. I was referring to addicts in relationships, not a theoretical overview. As partners we are often concerned with our SO's stage of recovery but not often the case with the addicts, and I suspect that it has more to do with the very different recovery processes that each half of the couple goes through. Quite often, on this forum, the addict has not told his partner, some are apprehensive about admitting to the addiction but feel they should, others want to beat their addiction and hope to reconnect with their partners without acknowledging their porn addiction at all. It's pretty rare to come across a recover addict who actually understands the partner's very different recover process and it's usually after having quit for some time and after  being in some kind of therapy. As partner's, we learn firstly about what porn/sex addiction is and more often than not, we get caught up in our SO's recover before realising we have to deal with our own recovery. So by the time we have reached the realisation that our recovery is something distinct and separate, we're probably fairly clued up about the porn addiction recovery process. I hope this clarifies things for you.
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stillme

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 02:26:06 PM »
I find it telling that every attempt to emphasize the fact that this needs to be a SAFE space for partners to recover - understanding that recovery means different things to different people and takes different paths and is sometimes messy, emotional, ugly, etc. - it never fails that before long it becomes obvious why a safe space is needed and how hard it is for that to be afforded to partners.

A safe space does not involve dragging someone out into the limelight and trying to pummel them for the world to see.
A safe space does not involve again, lecturing partners on what we have and have not done 'wrong' when it comes to interacting with those in other forums.
A safe space does not involve rehashing all the perceived previous 'sins' of someone and letting them know that way back yesterday that person was WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG.

I sometimes wonder if people respect that actual trauma that partners go through or if they perceive that we are simply whining nags wallowing in self pity (and I use those words because they have been thrown at me). When someone has gone through trauma, and believe me - being the partner of a porn and/or sex addict does involve trauma - the recovery process is NOT without mess. The fact that every time an olive branch or a request for gentleness is thrown out, someone is ready to drag one partner or another (sometimes me, sometimes others) into the arena to be pummeled by clubs or mauled by lions (i.e. old posts dragged up or private messages discussed in the open) just goes to show that a safe space is simply not to be had.

My gosh, partners admit to be depressed, lonely, hurt, confused, etc. and the best folks can do is try to get one more 'punch' in. I know I have said some things perceived by others as snarky, unsupportive, and probably violating of board rules. I took my lumps in private - the way that Gabe chose to dish them out, and vowed to do better (thus me not going on the other forums to ensure I stay in my lane). If people decided to drag everything they felt I wrote that wasn't supportive to derail any conversation or to prove that partners are, I guess, unworthy of a little bit of gentleness, and kindness, and patience, it would do nothing for my personal recovery. I have no desire to stand back and watch it happen to someone else - whether or not they have the ability to hold their own.

Recovery is messy at times and any one actually 'in' recovery knows that. Emotions run high and sometimes people vent in an anonymous forum because this is the safest place to express their anger, frustration, and despair. Watching these things take place just let me know there just isn't a safe place. No where to be imperfect, a little messy in recovery, no place to find my way. I start a thread asking for gentleness and it turns into a bash session of another partner.

No fucking thanks.

Ytrewq

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 04:22:30 PM »
I find it telling that every attempt to emphasize the fact that this needs to be a SAFE space for partners to recover - understanding that recovery means different things to different people and takes different paths and is sometimes messy, emotional, ugly, etc. - it never fails that before long it becomes obvious why a safe space is needed and how hard it is for that to be afforded to partners.

A safe space does not involve dragging someone out into the limelight and trying to pummel them for the world to see.
A safe space does not involve again, lecturing partners on what we have and have not done 'wrong' when it comes to interacting with those in other forums.
A safe space does not involve rehashing all the perceived previous 'sins' of someone and letting them know that way back yesterday that person was WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG.

I sometimes wonder if people respect that actual trauma that partners go through or if they perceive that we are simply whining nags wallowing in self pity (and I use those words because they have been thrown at me). When someone has gone through trauma, and believe me - being the partner of a porn and/or sex addict does involve trauma - the recovery process is NOT without mess. The fact that every time an olive branch or a request for gentleness is thrown out, someone is ready to drag one partner or another (sometimes me, sometimes others) into the arena to be pummeled by clubs or mauled by lions (i.e. old posts dragged up or private messages discussed in the open) just goes to show that a safe space is simply not to be had.

My gosh, partners admit to be depressed, lonely, hurt, confused, etc. and the best folks can do is try to get one more 'punch' in. I know I have said some things perceived by others as snarky, unsupportive, and probably violating of board rules. I took my lumps in private - the way that Gabe chose to dish them out, and vowed to do better (thus me not going on the other forums to ensure I stay in my lane). If people decided to drag everything they felt I wrote that wasn't supportive to derail any conversation or to prove that partners are, I guess, unworthy of a little bit of gentleness, and kindness, and patience, it would do nothing for my personal recovery. I have no desire to stand back and watch it happen to someone else - whether or not they have the ability to hold their own.

Recovery is messy at times and any one actually 'in' recovery knows that. Emotions run high and sometimes people vent in an anonymous forum because this is the safest place to express their anger, frustration, and despair. Watching these things take place just let me know there just isn't a safe place. No where to be imperfect, a little messy in recovery, no place to find my way. I start a thread asking for gentleness and it turns into a bash session of another partner.

No fucking thanks.

Yes this should be a safe space for partners, it should be obvious from the description of this section that it was not intended for discussions between addicts and partners: "If you have a partner, family member, or friend who is addicted to porn or trying to reboot, ask or share anything here!".
The rulebook also states no assertiveness with partners, which should be changed to "no assertiveness with partners in the partners section. The forum creator needs to realize that there is a difference between assertiveness and disrespect.

I think bashing is a little dramatic, no one here is bashing anyone. Partners and porn addicts alike have thanked you for your beautiful words Stillme but they are also pointing out quite reasonably that they have received mixed signals in the past when trying to fully understand the partners struggle. We can solve this by sharing our thoughts on what it means to be a partner in a thread, and stickying it at the top of the partners section.

I have pointed out that EB and others generally receive a warm welcome in the porn addiction thread, she isn't doing anything wrong in posting there, nor did she do anything wrong by declining an offer to educate porn addicts about the partner's struggles. I do however understand why porn addicts are lacking in this education and might seek it on the partners thread, and I understand that some people might learn best by challenging ideas, which is fine when it is done respectfully.

Something needs to change here though: "If you have a partner, family member, or friend who is addicted to porn or trying to reboot, ask or share anything here!"
The above is not open to interpretation, it can only be taken as a denial of entry for porn addicts on this forum, unless the rules are changed we can't pretend to welcome discussion from porn addicts who are often respectful (although perhaps assertive), and then turn to the rules when it suits us.

The rules can be changed, the partners section can be closed off from porn addicts, whatever it takes. Let's stop pretending that is is just a problem because of a few bad eggs, the system needs to change to make a safe space for partners and a safe space should be afforded to addicts as well, even if addicts are not needlessly attacked near as often.

Kimba

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Re: What Partners "know"
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 10:47:02 PM »
I get what you are saying Stillme and Emerald Blue, each story is different but the same... No point arguing or trying to be a right fighter, it is what it is, a sad fact of life that living in this world of connectivity there are plenty of down sides to that.  The Evil that lives in this world undermines relationships and good people, Porn is not all that my partner is, but it had such a profound impact on our relationship and still does to some degree...

Its seems a cycle of denial then getting caught again, promising to give it up, me, trusting that he will do as he says then finding more information, of course the trust is gone,  as thats the  only reason I find out is because I play detective, but if my relationship was all that I thought it was would I go snooping, if he made me feel connected, sexy, valued would I search his history etc... When we go out, I dont want to see him scanning the room for the scantily clad girl or knee high boots, I want him connecting with me, making me feel valued.

I wonder if he told me whats been going on for the last 9 years, would that be easier or harder to handle. I only know the tip of the iceberg and I have to live with that, he has said that he has given it up, doesnt like talking about it, actually said the other day, that I need to work out what I want to do, as in move on from it all, I think the question I would like to ask is, can he live without it, forever and a day, as that is my end game, NO MORE PORN... Can HE live with that ::)
Three things that cannot be long hidden
The Sun
The Moon
The Truth