Author Topic: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?  (Read 6091 times)

raven song

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This F***ing sucks.  Discovery again last night.   This time I walked in on him and he quickly minimized a screen. I asked him what it was. He said nothing – there is nothing there.  I checked in with my gut multiple times – pretty sure I saw something. I looked like some sort of flesh colored image. I asked him to show me all of the minimized screens “no nothing” he insisted.  Finally, after I sat down and looked for myself – he admitted he was looking at twitter and he hid it from me and has been hiding it from me for many months. 

I looked for a history or anything that would indicate what he was looking at.   I don’t know twitter well.   Do you have any experience with Twitter.  This feels like a porn substitute for me.  Do any of you know how PA s use twitter as a porn substitute?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:40:02 AM by raven song »
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aquarius25

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 09:19:23 AM »
I don't have experience with twitter but I do know that all of the social media site can be porn subs. Personally, my view is, if he is hiding it then it's not ok. I told my husband once that I don't care if he is hiding the fact that he was feeding the homeless, if he is not willing to walk in integrity and authenticity regarding this action then it's not ok. I told him we are married and we are supposed to be transparent with each other. The secrecy is the hardest and most hurtful part. I asked him if he knew that these secrets hurt me then why does he feel compelled to continue them? (I do understand addiction but I was wanting him to dig into his root cause) Having those real root causes conversations and tell him truly how it made me feel when he did those actions, that is when I noticed a real shift in his recovery. I also said that I needed to be enough of a priority for those conversations to occur in order for this to work.

I will be praying that your husband wakes up to realize how these substitutes can be just as destructive and cause just as much pain as porn itself. I pray that he can see you and really take in your feelings in this matter. And that there be an opportunity for real healing conversations to take place for both of you. Sending you lots of love!

raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 11:43:13 AM »
Thanks for your response Aquarius. 
Quote
I don't have experience with twitter but I do know that all of the social media site can be porn subs. Personally, my view is, if he is hiding it then it's not ok. I told my husband once that I don't care if he is hiding the fact that he was feeding the homeless, if he is not willing to walk in integrity and authenticity regarding this action then it's not ok. I
  LOL, yes!  exactly!  I told him something similar. I told him that if he was hiding the fact that he loves paperclips and is obsessed with them  - then THAT is NOT okay!  anything hidden is a lie.  Only enemies lie to one another - not friends or lovers. 

So I have been feeling nauseous off and on for the past two days.  I feel lost and alone and I’m grieving he loss of the partner I thought he was.  I lost a best friend and found out he is really a lying scheming enemy.   

I am so done with this roller coaster.  This discovery feels worse that some of the others. I think it is because I had hope and I was seeing progress. He seemed more open about his emotions in general. More present.  But then I find out that for the last 4-6 months he has been looking at twitter at work.  THIS is what my gut was picking up on. THIS is what he was acting so suspicious and freaked out about when I asked to use his work laptop.  I KNEW something was going on.  And he didn’t tell me. 

A few months ago – we watched the Geoff Steuer video about double messages (lying) and how much they hurt partners.   My husband said he got it – he really got it and that he was not going to lie to me again.  One of the quotes that stood out to him and that he would bring up every so often is a Russian proverb “It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.”  Well, AS HE WAS SAYING this.  He was STILL LYING about using Twitter.  I cant believe it.  I’m in shock. I truly believed him when he declared no more double messages.   I’m frustrated and I feel bamboozled.   I told him that as he proclaimed this – he was kissing me with a lie. 

So we had an agreement that he and I both created in June/July. He wrote down and stated that he needs to tell me within 24hours if he uses porn. If he doesn’t then he needs to move out.  So he was prepared to do that.  I threw him a lifeline. I told him that the CSAT therapist I am seeing and the therapist he just started to see do a Gottman protocol for betrayal.  Atonement, Attunement and Attachment.  The Atonement phase involves him telling his therapist EVERYTHING about his porn use.  Then it involves a polygraph to verify he is telling the truth. It’s a tool to help him be focused and accountable to himself.  It’s also a tool to help me have trust that his porn use history is truly accurate and I can know the full extent of the betrayal.  After the polygraph and the complete disclosure to the therapist – then there is a therapeutic disclosure for me.  I get the support of my therapist during this process.  The attunement and attachment phase involves relationship repair and rebuild with an EFT therapist.

So I told him that unfortunately he would indeed need to go to a hotel this weekend – or, he has the option to agree to do this Atonement, Attunement, Attachment process with a polygraph. And then this would be his last chance to demonstrate he truly is committed to changing this behavior. Otherwise, we should just separate.  It’s really hard for me – the idea of separation.  I really find the physical connection that we share to be comforting and soothing – especially at night.  To sleep by myself makes me feel confused, lost and alone.   But I have to be an adult and my best friend and my best advocate and stand firm in following through with the consequences of his boundary violation. I feel like one of those mom’s in “Super Nanny” who have a hard time using time out to discipline their children.  But  I HAVE TO DO THIS FOR MYSELF! 

I also asked him to set up an appointment ASAP with his therapist. It is this Monday.  I’m seeing mine on Tuesday.   Meanwhile I’m riding the waves of all of these mixed up emotions.  It’s a rough and stormy sea for me emotionally right now.  I had been looking forward to this weekend – a rare sunny one. I wanted to work in the yard with him and work on Christmas lights.  I don’t know what I want right now.  I think mostly I just need to put one foot in front of the other and make conscious decisions for self care.  Maybe enjoy the sunshine and the vitamin D.     

I’m telling myself that this will not happen again. That if it does, we are definitely separating – probably for good? I don’t know.  My therapist said that they help couples with therapeutic separation. I’m not sure exactly what that is – I guess it is time to find out.  I‘m guessing it’s a well thought out separation with specific expectations and agreements on continuing with recovery work.  I never thought I would be one of those women who take their husband back over and over again despite the abuse.  I’m still in shock.  It’s like he is two different people and I don’t know who he is at all.  I feel like I am two different people as well.  A confident woman who believes she deserves and healthy and loving relationship – and a woman who is putting up with emotional abuse and crap from her husband. 

He did agree to the polygraph and disclosure. It was hard for him. I don’t blame him, I completely understand – I would feel the same way.  He said it makes him feel like a criminal. I totally get that.  But he can choose to look at it as a self-accountability tool.  As I think about it now – it seems like an appropriate tool and not a punishing one.  He has lied to me for 20+ years in our relationship. I have tried to work this out with him for over 10 years.  He’s had so many chances to understand and heal this lying behavior.  But he never really took those opportunities.  This is the only option right now for our relationship to move forward.   He has been choosing to lie to me over an over.  He has chosen to not be transparent and my friend. He has chosen to behave like he’s my enemy.  Right now, he feels like my enemy. I don’t feel warm or close to him emotionally. I am withdrawn and distrustful.  When enemies want to be your friends – it seems completely reasonable and appropriate to ask for evidence that they truly intend to be caring, loving, and trustworthy.  The only way back to friendship and a loving, sexual relationship is with a polygraph and therapeutic disclosure. 




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malando

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 01:11:52 PM »
Hi Raven, so sorry to hear this news. I know how hopeful you've been about how things were changing and improving. I think you're doing the right thing by standing by the boundaries you set. He needs to know that there are no free passes. I don't really understand what Twitter is all about, I've never used it and I don't even know how it works or why people use it. I don't know how much potential it has for being used as a P substitute, but the mere fact that he has been hiding it is cause for alarm - even if it wasn't used in an explicit way. When trust has been an issue, any sort of secrecy is caustic to a relationship. So, I hope you are able to stay strong through this, and give yourself plenty of love and care. I hope your partner realises the gravity of this and can learn and grow from it.

Best wishes,
M.

raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 10:12:28 AM »
Thanks Malando for your support.
Quote
I know how hopeful you've been about how things were changing and improving. I think you're doing the right thing by standing by the boundaries you set. He needs to know that there are no free passes.
yes, no free passes.  The free passes just prolong the pain and agony. 

Quote
I don't know how much potential it has for being used as a P substitute, but the mere fact that he has been hiding it is cause for alarm - even if it wasn't used in an explicit way. When trust has been an issue, any sort of secrecy is caustic to a relationship.
thank you for saying this simply.  That is the truth.  you and Aquarius are helping me to focus on the real issue. It's not Twitter its the hiding and lying and secrecy.  There is no room for secrets anymore at all in our relationship. Even if he has a secret hobby of collecting paperclips - it's not okay!  Secrets divide us.  And they destroy trust and intimacy.

I really appreciate you and Aquarius's support. I very nearly went down the rabbit hole of researching twitter and going through it trying to find how this can be used as a porn substitute.  But that behavior would just leave me feeling sick to my stomach. It would launch the investigator/prosecutor/interrogator game for me and that never feels good for me.  it just creates more stress and anxiety because I'm trying to catch him in his lies - like he's a criminal. I hate it.  So the alternative is to recognize this a secret he's been hiding and that is plain a simply not okay. 
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Emerald Blue

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 12:43:11 PM »
raven song,

I’m sorry to hear about this Twitter crap. I don’t know much about Twitter or even how PAs use Facebook because I use it for my family and good friends only, and TBH I don’t want to know how it’s used by PAs because it would taint my experience of using it for positive reasons. I know that PAs find ways to use it to find sexualised imagery and that’s enough information. I’m sure Twitter is used for similar purposes. The fact is, he’s trying to push the limits of what is “not porn” and/or he’s actually having trouble quitting, in the addiction sense of his brain craving it. The more he feeds his brain with this sort of thing, the more his brain will crave.

My husband fell into this one very early on. OK, he made mistakes and sometimes it’s better to learn from one’s mistakes if recovery is going to be successful in the longer term as opposed to focusing on abstinence and white knuckling it. IF it’s used as a positive learning experience in recovery, that is. Sometimes it’s not seen as an opportunity to learn from, but “how much can I get away with?” Sometimes it takes a long time for an addict to learn that porn substitutes have plenty of potential to be just as damaging. From my own experience, my husband was watching porn substitutes as well as porn throughout his addiction. He may not have always used porn substitutes for PMO purposes, but sometimes he did. No matter, he was still feeding his addict brain.

In my experience as a partner, porn substitutes were every bit as damaging. It’s not the explicitness of the imagery, it’s their purpose of sexual stimulation and providing a masturbatory fantasy. It’s energy and attention that has been diverted away from the relationship. It’s even more distressing because sexualised imagery is everywhere and easy to access. The problem is the behaviour, not the images.

I understand how much it must hurt to have say through those videos and for your husband to create the impression of commitment to recovery, to talk the talk, and carry on finding ways to access it. It’s a common enough experience, though. I think all partners experience it to some extent, whether it’s a one-off mistake of clicking on a link to see a girl in a bikini or whatever, or purposely seeking out sexualised imagery on a regular basis but still creating the pretence of recovery because the images aren’t from a porn site.

You are absolutely right to set your boundaries and to uphold them but at the same time I can see how difficult it is to enforce them. You are in a position of strength, knowing what you know. Not that you want to be in this situation at all. My attitude to boundaries is that it depends on how the discovery was made. If he had disclosed his behaviour you could afford to be flexible but concealing the truth over a longer time frame is more serious and you probably need to stick to your guns to show him that there ARE consequences to his behaviour.

Non disclosure and secrecy isn’t acceptable but in my own situation my hunch is that my husband has occasionally clicked on clickbait images, he’s viewed the shopping channel when they’ve been promoting exercise and fitness gear (no surprises there are plenty of toned young fitness models) and stuff like that. However, I think he has at least known to back out of that behaviour. He’s realistic about addiction being for life and he knows he’s vulnerable to falling into it again.

I really hope this works out somehow for you both. Bear in mind that he fell into all that “No More Mr Nice Guy” cult that seemed so counterproductive towards a healthy recovery from porn addiction. It’s not easy because he’s been pulled in opposite directions in his own attempts to make life better for himself. Even so, your boundaries must be respected. You were clear about your boundaries but as I mentioned elsewhere, it’s the grey areas that throw us because we have often been unaware of them.

Stay strong and keep checking in. XO
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raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 11:09:51 AM »
Thanks for your response Emerald Blue,  All of what you say is incredibly validating and helps me to stay true to myself and not second guess my gut.   I'm realizing that Twitter (and whatever else there might be) is EXACLTY what my gut was picking up on when he wouldn't let me use his work laptop.   It was his reaction to my simple request to use the laptop that felt so completely off and was so CRAZY making.  My body was picking up the incongruence and the secrecy and it made me feel so incredibly stressed out.  And the whole time he told me there was nothing there.  And then he sees his new SA therapist and says that he hasn't looked at porn in months.  Meanwhile he's hiding his Twitter use from me and everyone else.  So since August, my GUT HAS BEEN RIGHT!  4 months, if not more, of a consistent acting out and lying betrayal.

Quote
The fact is, he’s trying to push the limits of what is “not porn” and/or he’s actually having trouble quitting, in the addiction sense of his brain craving it. The more he feeds his brain with this sort of thing, the more his brain will crave.
  This is a very good point.  Even if it is not porn, it is another addictive behavior that can make it easy to slide back into using porn. 

Quote
From my own experience, my husband was watching porn substitutes as well as porn throughout his addiction. He may not have always used porn substitutes for PMO purposes, but sometimes he did. No matter, he was still feeding his addict brain.
  This makes sense. I asked him about PMO and he said no.  But then why the secrecy?  I'm pretty sure that there must be PMO involved and it isn't just the "innocent looking." I like what you are saying, it doesn't matter where this fits on the spectrum of "really bad porn use," or  "just looking at pictures" - it is all still harmful and makes it harder to quit porn for good. 

I'm remembering reading somewhere that there are certain behaviors that make it easy to relapse for PAs.  Like for me with alcohol. If I'm hanging out with friends who drink all the time. I'm around the alcohol and if i'm having a bad day, it would be easy to say "oh, what the hell" and then join them. 

Quote
"In my experience as a partner, porn substitutes were every bit as damaging. It’s not the explicitness of the imagery, it’s their purpose of sexual stimulation and providing a masturbatory fantasy. It’s energy and attention that has been diverted away from the relationship. It’s even more distressing because sexualised imagery is everywhere and easy to access. The problem is the behaviour, not the images."
  Yes, thank you for understanding.  For the past few days, I've been triggered by EVERYTHING.  I had trouble watching Wheel of Fortune because of a young attractive woman playing.  My brain kept saying "that's what he likes, younger, more attractive women on Twitter.  He's not attracted to me at my age with 50 pounds to lose.  Made me feel like total crap.  I had trouble watching benign shows like "Great British Baking" too. It's crazy.  Young women have been a trigger now.  Crazy.  I guess my limbic system is perceiving nearly any woman as a threat now.  On twitter - it could be any woman - even with clothes on that gives him that dopamine hit.   

Quote
"I think all partners experience it to some extent, whether it’s a one-off mistake of clicking on a link to see a girl in a bikini or whatever, or purposely seeking out sexualised imagery on a regular basis but still creating the pretence of recovery because the images aren’t from a porn site. "
  okay, this is what my gut is telling me. seems I am not far off the mark since this is a common experience. 
Quote
"My attitude to boundaries is that it depends on how the discovery was made. If he had disclosed his behaviour you could afford to be flexible but concealing the truth over a longer time frame is more serious and you probably need to stick to your guns to show him that there ARE consequences to his behaviour."
Good point about the boundaries.  He told me he was afraid to tell me because he crossed the "hard line" he created for himself and knew that meant he had to move out.  To me, this feels like another twisted justification to keep using twitter and not telling me.  I get how hard it is to disclose (give my own struggle with alcohol) but I don't have an patience for it at all.  He knows how committed I am to him and how much I can empathize given that I have been through this myself.

Quote
"Even so, your boundaries must be respected. You were clear about your boundaries but as I mentioned elsewhere, it’s the grey areas that throw us because we have often been unaware of them."
FANTASTIC POINT!!!  The grey areas throw us because we are often unaware of them.  Yes, exactly!   This is what is frustrating.  The rule is simple - no secrecy at all.  There is no room for secrecy because he has violated my trust and that must be repaired.  Finding loopholes and looking for exceptions to "rules" means he is working AGAINST the relationship and not WITH it. 

So here's my revised boundary. He meets with his therapist today to address this and get the "full therapeutic disclosure" process started. He continues to see his therapist every week. He joins me in couples therapy. He joins a men's support group when his therapist thinks the time is right.  Meanwhile I'm going to see my therapist tomorrow and tell her what happened. I want to get her feedback on setting effective boundaries.  I'm going to tell her I want full disclosure with polygraph.  oh, and of course, no secrecy at all.  if there is another discovery of a secret - even a secret paperclip - then he moves out.  and we set up a therapeutic separation.  Done. 



« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:28:09 AM by raven song »
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raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 11:39:32 AM »
Update re: his reaction to Therapeutic Disclosure plus polygraph:

Wow. Just Wow! 

My husband and I have been talking a lot these past several days ever since I discovered him hiding Twitter from me.  It's been several days of shock, mixed emotions and lots and lots of talking.

Saturday, I am so surprised and blown away. He is excited to do the full therapeutic disclosure including polygraph!  He's telling me that this is crystallizing everything for him. He's been struggling with being authentic and truthful. He's been struggling with being connected with his needs and feelings and expressing them. He said that he thinks this is a pivotal moment for him and he is grateful for this boundary I have set with him. He keeps THANKING ME!!!!  He says that 2018 is the year in which we figure this out together and heal and have an amazing life together, or we separate because he is unable to get his act together.  And with separation, he would still be working on this and we might still be able to work this out.  Worse case, it doesn't work out between us, but he is still working on his recovery for his own benefit, and I am free to live the life I want rather than be stuck in a constant limbo of living with a man who is unable to figure himself out. 

This is all so strange and so incredibly pleasant.  I'm soaking it up for now to help me recover from the shock and stress of discovery.  I'm choosing to be hopeful. I'm baffled that the full therapeutic disclosure with polygraph seems to be a positive accountability tool for my partner.  The word "polygraph" has so many negative associations. I was worried he would feel like a criminal or like I'm punishing him when I brought it up.  And he did feel like that at first. (I don't blame him, it seems so harsh) But after a day of reflecting on it - my partner is grateful and excited about how this leaves him no room to make excuses, create stories, find wiggle room, etc. There is NO WIGGGLE ROOM with the polygraph.   I am so incredibly flabbergasted at his enthusiasm right now.  We talked about how this is really more like a biofeedback tool. Lying causing stress in the body and the polygraph measures that stress response by measuring heart rate, blood pressure, etc.   We talked about how they should change the name of the instrument from polygraph to something like “biofeedback therapy to develop authenticity and integrity.”  Not a good name, I know, it needs somework.. 

I’ve been struggling for about 6 weeks about when to tell him about the therapeutic disclosure with polygraph and why I’m requesting it.   I was afraid that if I told him right off the bat – then he would not schedule an appointment to try out a CSAT therapist.  I’m glad I waited. He’s had three appointments with this therapist who is trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and who is a  Specialist in Problematic Sexual Behaviors (S-PSB) from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).  He likes this therapist and I do too because the therapist pushes him and supports him at the same time.  I need the pushing and accountability to come from a therapist – its not my job and its not healthy for me to be in that role in my relationship. 

So, on Sunday and this morning, he is still committed to doing this.  I'm glad, I've been worried he would chicken out.  I'm expecting he might but i'm still holding firm to the boundary.  If he doesn't do this - he needs to move out and honor the hard line he created for himself this summer of no secrecy.  Yesterday and today I  am seeing behaviors that make sense.  He’s irritable and restless and cranky. Didn’t sleep well, etc. This all indicates to me he has firmly stopped twitter and whatever other porn substitute.  I know he might backslide. I understand that. I’m not going to worry about it.  I’m focused on the bigger process – full disclosure and polygraph. Any mistakes and lapses I expect.  What’s most important to me is that he has a agreed to this accountability process from which he cannot hide and lie.  I’m in a space of "trust the process."  I’m grateful I found a clinic that offers therapeutic disclosure, polygraph, support for betrayal trauma, EFT, support groups, and support for me. 

I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow. She told me that she is a strong advocate for partners and can be a fierce mama bear.  I know she will help me revise and perfect my boundaries while at the same time holding me accountable in enforcing them.   

Meanwhile - I'm glad that he is off to work today. I need some space to myself and regroup at home alone.  Be disciplined about self care and living my own life.  I'm focused on knowing that I have done ALL I CAN to help him and our relationship. If he messes up by hiding any lapses/relapses or porn subs, time for him to move out. 

I know I'm writing and sharing tons here on the forum. It's helping me a lot to get my emotions written down. I appreciate all of your support.  Thank you!!
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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 05:34:14 PM »
Twitter is full of porn. Pics, gifs, and short vids. Sorry to hear about your situation. :(

Hi, gals. It's been a while. Hope you are all doing well. Happy holidays to all. Life has taken a bizarre turn for me. I ended up reconnecting with my ex-fiance from 20 yrs ago! Pleasant and weird at the same time lol.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities --- Voltaire

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 02:49:17 AM »
I feel for you Raven, being a porn addict myself I have seen how lying and hiding things from your loved one really hurts them. Multiple times I had my wife curled up in a ball in the bathroom or shower, or raging in utter fury because of what I have done. I never want her to go through those feelings again, and I definitely don't want to be the cause of them anymore. It took me far too long to come to my senses and admittedly there are temptations everywhere in this world, the whole world is sexualised. I thought Twitter was just a lot of short posts, I have never been on there it never appealed to me, I don't want to know someone's every thought. It brings to light for me another website to avoid, although it is already blocked by our filter software anyway. i enjoy reading your posts, and I hope everything goes well and he really gets it this time.

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 02:14:39 PM »
Thank you, Mayer, for your compassion and for sharing with me your experience.  It really means a lot and helps me to see men like you who are in active recovery. That is my hope for my partner as well. I think he is finally getting it now.  It's hard that I have to take such a hard line for change to happen.  As a person who has struggled with an addiction to alcohol, I have so much compassion for anyone who struggles with porn, including my husband. It's just that he has been in denial about it and thus the compassion is useless.

Thank you for sharing your experience with twitter.  I'm glad to know that this was not an issue for you. I'm glad this is helpful for your recovery to be wary of twitter.  I'm choosing right now to believe him when he says he has not been following celebrities and using this for PMO.   I'm not convinced, but right now if I believe my worst fears, I will be a nervous wreck until Therapeutic Disclosure Day. I'm going to believe him right now and wait until Disclosure Day to find out what has been really going on.  I'll be guaranteed the whole truth then.  Believing in him will help me get through until that day. And then I will be ready for whatever I find out. 

I told him that I am here for him. I am an emotionally strong person.  I can take hearing the truth and then process it. It will hurt, and it will suck.  I don't want to have to feel any pain from the truth, but there is no other way through this if we are to have any hope of a repairing and rebuilding a  genuinely loving and healthy relationship.  But I don't want to go through this unless he intends to go all the way with this. 

I hope he follows through and does this.  I've learned now that for the 25 years of our relationship, he has put on this act of being this strong confident man who is emotionally stable and nothing phases him.  Now, I'm starting to see who he really is. A man who was severely wounded as a child and who developed a survival strategy that helped him get through childhood. But that same strategy has kept him from being fully intimate in this relationship. Add porn to the mix and then we have a perfect storm and negative feedback loop.  If he is truly willing to heal his wounds, recovery from this addiction, and build an intimate, loving, healthy relationship, then I am all in. 

Mayer, congratulations to you for getting it and for understanding how hard it has been on your wife. I wish you continued success in your recovery.  I wish you and your wife a transformed and beautiful relationship.  My recovery from alcohol was brutal and life changing.  I'm actually very grateful for that journey. The recovery process got me to really understand myself and how to be really truly happy in life instead of numbing out. The lessons that I learned through recovery are helping me now as I deal with my partner's betrayal.  I'm amazed at how emotionally strong I've become.  I'm using all those muscles I developed in my own recovery.  :-)
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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 02:43:53 PM »
Part of d-day for me was seeing my husband's Twitter account. He was following a couple webcam girls (I didn't realize who they were at the time). Most posts seemed like normal posts from folks that really like attention, but a few clicks and there was full on porn. So yes, Twitter can be used not only as a porn substitute, but as a way to view porn. The same with instagram and especially snapchat.

A boundary I set up was no social media beyond LinkedIn (because it used for professional networking). Honestly, I had zero idea of how extensive my husband's social networking was going until I went into his phone and saw apps like Snapchat. I didn't know he had a Twitter account until d-day. One reason was because he had a secret email account and had his sketchy social media interactions all tied to that account.

The big thing is, if he is unwilling to stop anything that makes you uncomfortable, that is a message.

Emerald Blue

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 06:57:18 PM »
Raven song, it seems that you have found a very good therapist who specialises in porn/sex addiction in the way we understand it and experience it, so I’m really hoping it’s going to make a significant contribution to your own recovery as well as healing your relationship.

My husband and I are in couples therapy and it’s like going back to school as far as learning to communicate, to listen, to understand each other. It’s incredible the damage that porn addiction can do in this regard, because the secrecy and the double life becomes the way the addict relates to their partner. It might start off by hiding the porn use but eventually more and more is kept separate from the partner. My husband would share almost anything with me before porn addiction. By d day he only shared the crappy bits and the complaints. I don’t think addicts understand the damage created by lying by omission. In the end it’s like the relationship becomes the compartmentalised fragment in the addict’s life, and not the addiction. We are currently in couples therapy in it’s like we’ve had to go back to school to learn how to communicate all over again. Our therapist says our communication seems pretty good, at least on safer subjects, but we have realised that my husband is not very good at saying “I feel… I need… I want…” but will express his opinions on all manner of side issues. I think it’s partly his upbringing but it’s also part of an addict’s advanced skillset where they introduce distractions and diversions to put a distance between the partner and their addict self. But I’m digressing here somewhat.

I have gradually accepted the reality of grey areas. They are tricky to negotiate in our sexualised culture. It’s not just the porn substitutes, it’s also the fashions, popular culture, advertising, etc. It’s not just imagery, it’s also on the street too. And I totally get that trigger button when an attractive young woman appears on the TV screen or walks into a coffee shop. There’s the grey area between the “normal” noticing of a good-looking person of the opposite sex and falling into the trance of sexualising/objectifying/fantasising about that person. The addict can hide behind what’s “normal” or at least gives the appearance of it, whilst actively feeding the addict brain pathways — albeit unwittingly, and therein lies the problem — the addict doesn’t realise it.

Yeh, I’m not surprised that rather innocent and safe shows like Great British Baking can be triggering. Watching the news can be triggering! Sometimes I’ve just got to sit there, feeling ill at ease, and hoping he’s mature enough to realise that cute-as-a-button 22 year old with the bodycon dress on the TV screen is way too young and inappropriate for man over 3 decades older. But then, that’s typically the age of women in porn. He wasn’t getting all Pavlov’s Dog over young women of that age that age until his porn addiction had progressed to the point that he only wanted porn and wasn’t interested in sex with a willing partner any more. So any woman made of pixels and appearing on a screen, or a total stranger he might see but never actually meet or know, they can all be triggering for me. And it’s horrible having to live with this. Part of my healing is learning to tolerate my own feelings and triggers, hence the reason why I will only watch some movies or TV shows alone. Am I still triggered when I do? Perhaps, but not to the same degree of intensity. Ive sometimes thought “if he was watching this with me it would feel intolerable to know he’d be reacting to this person/scene in the movie”.

But it means I CAN enjoy my own life AND can use any iffy scenes as a learning opportunity in coping with my own triggers. Because I know I can’t run away from the real world and triggers have the potential to exist anywhere. Sadly this is a partner’s reality. I guess there has to be a healthy emotional separation in order for our own healing process to take place. Gradually I am tolerating these situations better and we are slowly and cautiously doing these potentially triggering things together, which is also good in that he might get to realise that this objectifying fantasy stuff isn’t appropriate or healthy in a relationship and my presence MIGHT help him to see that. It’s a work in progress, for sure.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 08:33:45 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Hypatia156

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 11:58:35 PM »
Wow. I haven't been around for a week or so as we've been traveling, but I'm SO sorry to hear! I resonate so strongly with your gut knowing that something was up. When you are that intimate and close with someone, and you know... but they say its ok and then later you feel it isn't, it can be so painful and aggravating. You knew. Remember that always. You knew. You do know, you likely always do.

Your concern about twitter is totally valid. Twitter can be innocent in itself, but even if he was staying away from the edgy accounts, it is a action that will SO easily lead to other things.

Stay strong and take care of yourself and don't let this invalidate your feelings. You are amazing and strong for handling this. Your new boundaries are wise.

Hugs...


raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 01:46:10 AM »
Thanks for your compassion, Hypatia. 

Quote
When you are that intimate and close with someone, and you know... but they say its ok and then later you feel it isn't, it can be so painful and aggravating. You knew. Remember that always. You knew. You do know, you likely always do.
Yes, you are right. We know. At some level we know. If nothing else, I am developing a strong relationship with my gut.   I'm learning that my BS detector can smell it coming miles away.  And you are right, I am stronger and getting stronger every day. :-)

Ultimately though, I want to be able to believe my husband.  He's still adamant about doing full disclosure with poly.  This helps me immensely right now. 

Thank you for your kind words.  Hope you have had some really nice travels! 
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

stillme

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 11:02:46 AM »
Raven song,

I am a big fan of full disclosure with a poly. I will also warn you that it will be tough for your husband. My husband was absolutely on board and volunteered freely to do the polygraph - then failed it. He eventually did another one and passed. He initially passed the parts that mattered to me the most, but seeing how ingrained lying had become for him that even when hooked up to a machine and being questioned by a professional, he still couldn't speak the full truth.

You will be asked to generate questions and I would say definitely ask everything you want to know. You don't get to ask follow-up questions afterward, so think about what you need to know to move forward. I did eventually find out there were questions that I didn't ask because I thought I knew or I thought were a part of larger questions, and I didn't have truth. The test was definitely worth it and I learned a lot, as did my husband. I learned a lot more about him as a person that I did about his porn habits.

It was hard finding out that my husband was indeed a liar. I don't say that in a mean way, but in an honest way. When given a choice between truth and a lie, his default is to lie. I didn't realize that until the polygraph (and it has been confirmed more). I honestly, truly used to see him as one of the most honest people that I knew. Even though he had told some lies (big ones) early in our relationship, I had put those up to 'slips', but they weren't.

Now, I interact with him in a way that makes lying as default more difficult for him. He has to deal with real consequences for each and every lie he gets caught in. In some ways it feels like dealing with a child, but - when you practice lying for a large part of your adult life, it is a very hard habit to break.

My husband freely volunteered for the polygraph, he was on the surface excited to take it. At the results meeting - my counselor and his counselor were there and they were both just as shocked as I was that we would actually still lie during a polygraph test, knowing he would be caught. He failed two questions, one being "is there anything else you should tell that your wife doesn't already know." And yes, there was more. But, I was glad for the question, because it helped him to see that I was no longer going to tolerate living without truth.

I guess what I am saying is, be prepared if lying has become his default. I think that is a much harder habit to break than even porn addiction.


raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 12:09:25 PM »
Stillme,

Quote
I am a big fan of full disclosure with a poly. I will also warn you that it will be tough for your husband. My husband was absolutely on board and volunteered freely to do the polygraph - then failed it. He eventually did another one and passed. He initially passed the parts that mattered to me the most, but seeing how ingrained lying had become for him that even when hooked up to a machine and being questioned by a professional, he still couldn't speak the full truth.

Wow!  thank you so much for sharing so frankly.  Thank you for giving me a heads up about what might happen. I appreciate it because it helps me to be prepared for the worse case scenario. For my own self care right now until then, I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.  So knowing that he might fail is good to prepare for.  I really want this to be an accountability tool that helps him. My therapist said that full disclosure helps him as much as it helps me. It helps him to become aware of all of the little behaviors he has done that he was unaware of. 

Quote
My husband freely volunteered for the polygraph, he was on the surface excited to take it. At the results meeting - my counselor and his counselor were there and they were both just as shocked as I was that we would actually still lie during a polygraph test, knowing he would be caught.
  okay, good to know he was excited to do this and it was still a really big challenge for him. Especially since lying became such a habit.  My gut tells me this might indeed be the case for my husband too. He has lied about little things.  And his dad has lied to his wife right in front of me.  So I think it is a behavior he observed and learned as a child.  Thanks for the heads up that this issue might surface as bigger than I thought. 

All in all, was the process worth it for you both?  did he find it beneficial for himself?  Is he glad he did this?  Did it help you and your relationship?  I'm hoping it is a way to dismantle the old relationship and the start all  over building a new relationship on a foundation of complete honesty. 

It's also good to know that I should really think through my questions.  Would you be willing to share any of yours if you still have them?  You can PM them to me if that feels safer.   I understand if this is too much of an ask on my part...please don't feel obligated to share.

Quote
He failed two questions, one being "is there anything else you should tell that your wife doesn't already know." And yes, there was more. But, I was glad for the question, because it helped him to see that I was no longer going to tolerate living without truth.
That sounds like a really good all around question that gets to the heart of the matter. because ultimately there shouldn't be anything hidden at all. It also sounds like a really good question that helped him to become even more aware of how deep the behavior of automatically lying is. 
 
This week, my partner is still completely onboard 100% for the disclosure with poly.   I feel his presence a whole lot more.  My therapist said "Oh, you are feeling intimacy" and I had to think about it..."OH! THATS what intimacy feels like!" and it feel really really good. But then he has also been cranky like I have never seen him before.  he's pushing himself really hard and this process makes him feel vulnerable and raw. That is hard for me to watch. But i'm holding myself back from coddling him. It's hard to know what is empathy and what is coddling.  Especially because i'm also standing by my requirement that he do this in order for us to remain living together.   



 
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 12:15:44 PM by raven song »
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

Kimba

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 06:30:48 PM »
Im a bit late for a response but its pretty shit all those social media sites, what amazes me is there is no boundaries on them, Ive seen some pretty graphic stuff, my partner was mainly Facebook but i blocked all those sites and set restrictions on his phone, its more about making me feel better about it all, as if they really want to they will find a way to get around blocking.

I was watching just a short bit of this trashy show called Ununify me, its about dividing the assets in a marriage some stupid show, but this couple who were splitting because of his behaviour, apparently he was setting up a mag call peeping tom or something low like that, does my head in all this lowlife shit on mainstream TV, anyway his wife went through his camera and found all nude pics of young girls posing for him...

Yep you guessed it, she was not happy and Im guessing, but the marriage went down hill from there.

His response was -
Three things that cannot be long hidden
The Sun
The Moon
The Truth

Kimba

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2017, 06:34:08 PM »
OOPS Pressed enter....

Anyway his response was

WHY DID YOU LOOK !!

Im not sure if that resonates with anyone but that is one of the first thing my partner said...  What I should of said in response was

WHY WERE YOU LOOKING... so why were you looking at all those P sites, why were you looking and hiding this ...

I am pro lie detector test, haven't done it yet, but would be top of my list if anything else rears its ugly head... what is the cost of it??

Three things that cannot be long hidden
The Sun
The Moon
The Truth

raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2017, 09:07:12 PM »
Around $125-200 US - Something like that.  It's expensive, but so is web monitoring software.   I figure that this is a much better tool than webmonitor/blocking.  Also, less expensive than living in two separate homes. :-)
And it can be an option for maintenance too ongoing. I'm hoping he chooses this for himself. I'm not going to force it on him.  But if he were to choose to not do it, it would make it harder for me to have enough trust to stay in this marriage, too. I'm not saying that as a threat - it's just I really need to take care of myself. 
The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon

stillme

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2017, 05:17:57 AM »
Ravensong - great question about asking if the process was worth it for the both of us.

I would say yes, but in a different sort of way for each of us. My husband was faced with the reality of just how bad his lying and addiction were. The thing with people that lie often is, they also lie to themselves. He saw himself as a much more honest person that only lied occasionally. When he had to write this disclosure letter, he had to admit that he hand't just lied to me once or twice, but had had woven lies throughout our entire relationship that fundamentally changed the way I saw him as a person. What is crazy is that most of those lies were completely unnecessary and the truth would have been more beneficial to our relationship and the way I saw him as a person. He also was faced with seeing that his porn addiction started much earlier than he wanted to believe. It was hard, but for the first time he was seeing himself as he was and he felt quite vulnerable.

For me, well - I had to finally come to terms with the reality that the person I fell in love with wasn't really who my husband was. For instance, as crazy as it sounds - I saw my husband as a really honest guy. I had caught him in a couple of lies early in our relationship and confronted him on them. I made it clear that lying was not acceptable. I really thought that was the end of it and that blow up where I was clear how I felt about lying and he committed to full honesty was done. I went forward with the relationship and really trusted him fully. The reason his porn addiction went on for so long was because I trusted him fully.

After disclosure and the two polygraphs (at $500 each mind you), I finally had to accept the truth, my husband is a liar. Being a liar opens you up to getting caught up in things like porn. So, I had to come to terms with seeing that porn addiction didn't make my husband a liar, being a liar made my husband susceptible to porn addiction. I say this because liars already live in a fantasy world, porn just became another part of the fantasy.

I don't want to discourage you, but I do want to give you my truth and here it is - my 'marriage' had changed in a fundamental way in which I can never say that I truly love my husband. The reason why I can say I don't truly love him is because I can't fully give myself to him. I cannot make myself truly vulnerable in a way that is needed for true love because I don't trust him. I still catch my husband in lies, and the vast majority of those lies are completely unnecessary. Some are lies of omission. Some are things he doesn't consider lying, but I do. For instance, he will say, "This weekend I am going to update our budget and go over it with you." He will had made no plans for giving over the budget, he will have set aside no time to go over the budget. Sunday will come around and I will say, "So, when are we going over the budget?" He will then admit that he didn't update the files from the latest receipts . In my mind, if you say you are going to do something that you truly have no intention of following through with - you are lying. He will argue that because he 'wanted' to do it or knew it had to be done, he thought that saying he would do it would help him get around to it. This isn't just for the budget, this can be for literally anything. However, sometimes he does actually follow-through with the things he commits to doing. So, I never really know when he is going to be a man of his word and when he isn't. I had the option of being constantly on edge as to whether or not he was actually going to do what he said, or just assume everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. For my own sanity, I just don't trust what he says. That choice means of course that there really isn't true intimacy in the relationship, because true intimacy requires vulnerability.

As a result, we have settled into this 'marriage' that is more of a business partnership with sex benefits. In his mind, he is going to win back my true love by showing he is a stand up guy. That isn't to say we don't have good times together. We talk, we go on vacation, we enjoy our life and raising our kids. But, if I was given a time machine with the choice of marrying my husband or not, I would not marry him. My heart doesn't flutter when I see him. I won't say this doesn't hurt, it does. It rips me in two when he says things like, "You are so beautiful" and even his daily, "I love you.", because I honestly cannot know if he actually means those things or not. Especially when I found out he had an undisclosed relapse over a year after d-day. I felt it and questioned him at the time and he denied it with every fiber of his being. The only way I got disclosure was to tell him that I had already found the proof (lie) and then he admitted it. So yeah, not really a marriage of roses and rainbows.

raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2017, 04:34:19 PM »
Stillme, thank you for sharing so frankly your experience of the polygraph.  It's good to know it helped your husband to see how habitually he has lied.  I'm sorry that your heart isn't into the relationship as deeply as you would like. I hope your husband heals this part of himself for your benefit and his own.

Wow, $500. So I'm not exactly sure how much this will be for us yet. I'm not going to investigate it because I don't want that to become some sort of deal breaker.

Thank you for giving me the truth of your process.  It's good to have a heads up as to how this process might work out.  I don't feel discouraged, just well informed. :-) 

Today my husband said something along the lines of "I'm scared to show up and share with you who I truly am and want I truly want and need because then you might leave me. But our relationship sucks already, so it cant get any worse than this. Might as well risk it all and put it all out there and have a chance at a truly rewarding relationship."  YES!!!  saying it sucks sounds harsh but in reality - hearing him say this felt so true and authentic and good.  Because it is the truth.  Now, let's burn this down and rebuild! 

I love the expression "Barn's burnt down, now I can see the moon." 
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aquarius25

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2017, 10:50:21 AM »
Raven, I am going to say this not to upset you but for you to be aware. My husband would say things like that too. I am referring to the comment about how he is scared to show you who he really is because he is afraid you will leave. Here is the conundrum with statements like that (and the real trick issue with partners and PA in relationships) its a tightrope. My husband would say those statements out of honesty and sincerity, he would mean them and quite frankly they are the truth but here is the issue, they are also manipulative. What that statement tells partners is that they can't be honest because then you will leave, so, therefore, if you do leave then you have created more hurt for them and that everything is your fault. It is a statement that makes them the victim and not taking accountability for their situation. I am pretty blunt when communicating and I finally had to tell my husband that I appreciated his honesty but that us such manipulative bull crap that I am not going to listen to it. It's not ok. He needs to treat you with the respect (as well as respect himself) enough to be a man of integrity on his own. Sure it can be scary but so what. Lots of things in life are hard. Yes, he could be honest and you could leave. That should not have any barring on whether he lives his life honestly or not. You can't stay with someone who is only being honest with you in order to keep you in their life. You will never be able to trust that and frankly, you shouldn't. You don't want to spend your life with that. You want to be with someone who works on being honest because that is who they want to be, for themselves! If that isn't what he is working towards then you will never be able to fully heal the relationship and anytime it hits rocky waters he will continue to use manipulative language to convince you and himself that he is the victim. It's not ok, don't tolerate that language and don't celebrate it. Over time that language falls under the term gaslighting.

Again, and am sorry if this offends, that is not my intention. Also, this is just my perspective, take it or leave it. I will say one thing I have noticed since bringing this to my husband's attention is that there was a shift for him. He didn't fully realize how much of his recovery he was doing for me and not for himself. This kind of hard talks brought to the surface the awareness of who he is, who he wants to be and how to get there. Not for me but for him, as a husband, father, and a man. He wants to be a person with integrity, he really wants that. Realising that he was using me as an excuse for him to be a victim was holding him back from taking real ownership. Life happens, yes I could have left, but I also could be run over by a truck tomorrow. You don't know what tomorrow brings. Be present today. Do the things today that make you the person you want to be, not because of someone else because they may not be here tomorrow, but for yourself. By doing that, by watching him really own his recovery, that has made me love him more. It isn't the same way as before D-day. It feels different. Not better or worse just different. I am glad to be here with this man who I really am beginning to trust. There is still a lot of work to do but at least I know that we are present and doing the work.

raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2017, 12:55:30 PM »
Hey there Aquarius, This is a bad morning, so I really appreciate your input! thankyou!  He is stressed this morning because of work and he looked completely off. There is this anxious look on his face that he gets when he is hiding something.  My gut says he is acting out somehow - what is he looking at now?  Is he PMOing with another porn sub?  I don't know.  But I do know something is completely off right now

I'm realizing now that full disclosure with polygraph is not a perfect solution either.  For example, do I right up a question "On December 18th, did you hide or lie about anything?"  Do I write questions for every single time this happens?

Ultimately, I don't think his heart is into creating a healthy loving connected relationship.  All weekend he talked about his work and healing himself but not once did he mention the role of porn in all of this.  His actions and what he talks about and his energy tell me that he is investing in things staying the same - which means more manipulation.    It's like he wants me as some sort of comfort/security blanket. He wants a wife, but not ME.  Any wife would do. He just wants a motherfigure/wife figure.  He doesn't want to be in love, connected, and real.  he doesn't want to be his honest real human self.  He wants to play house and be the traditional loveless married couple.  my parents did that, so did his.  I WONT DO IT!   The conclusion based on the observable behavior is that I want a healthy intimate relationship a WHOLE lot more than he does.

I'm currently working on a list of boundaries with my therapist - and this feels good sometimes. but other times, like today when things feel off, it doesn't work at all.  I basically "know" he is acting out somehow and his refusal to tell me is NOT OK.  With my personality, I don't know how to live with a person who is incongruent. I FEEL that energy all around me.   So I need to tweak my boundaries. I need some sort of insurance that if I am choosing to live with him for this next year and he does not uphold his end of the deal, then I have the financial resources I need to move on with my career, education, etc. 

My husband told me last summer that if our relationship ends, he will help me financially for a couple of years so I can get back on my feet health wise and go back to school. I asked him to write it down on paper and sign it to make it more official (we are a no fault divorce state - everything is split 50/50). But I don't think that is enough for me to honestly believe his intentions around this area.   I'm seriously thinking about seeing a lawyer to see what kind of legal binding contract can be created along these lines so that I know that I can count on having the financial resources to move forward if this doesn't work out.  I owe this to myself.  This is me being a pragmatic and smart woman. 

okay - that was a useful rant.  but now responding to your feedback which I really appreciate.
 
Quote
My husband would say things like that too. I am referring to the comment about how he is scared to show you who he really is because he is afraid you will leave. Here is the conundrum with statements like that (and the real trick issue with partners and PA in relationships) its a tightrope. My husband would say those statements out of honesty and sincerity, he would mean them and quite frankly they are the truth but here is the issue, they are also manipulative. What that statement tells partners is that they can't be honest because then you will leave, so, therefore, if you do leave then you have created more hurt for them and that everything is your fault. It is a statement that makes them the victim and not taking accountability for their situation.[/

I really appreciate it you explaining how this is victim language. It makes sense.  It's another way of not stepping up and taking ownership of his life and this relationship. It's passive.  And I have told him many times that I would not leave.  However, now, I am very close to leaving because the energy is gone and this relationship is withering on the vine.  I've been doing everything - rescue breathing, CPR, etc for our relationship and he is doing very little.  He only complies with my requests. He's not offering possible solutions, he's not motivated like me looking for any and all options to rescue this relationship.   

 
Quote
Realising that he was using me as an excuse for him to be a victim was holding him back from taking real ownership.
  I'm so glad you being very clear helped him to gain insight into himself.  I'm taking to hard what you have shared and I'm going to implement it in my own way.  right now, my gut is informing me that I really need to take care of myself right now.

This is just the natural consequence to having discovered him lying yet again just 10 days ago.  I'm not feeling safe. I don't feel trust. I don't know what I can count on. Wow...this latest discovery has made things much worse between us. Much much worse. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 08:10:26 AM by raven song »
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raven song

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Re: I think my husband is using twitter as a porn substitute - advice?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2018, 08:11:58 AM »
Well come to find out - yes Twitter has porn on it. And today I just learned that Spotify does too. I think he is using Spotify right now. 

The barn's burnt down
Now
I can see the moon