Author Topic: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker  (Read 1042 times)

Supportive wife

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Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« on: August 31, 2020, 03:15:01 PM »
I found this forum by accident and I'm hoping it can help me and my husband.

5 years ago my husband was addicted to porn and spent hours a day searching and looking at women online through every possible forum you can think of.
It nearly ruined us as it got so bad we split up (he spent hours a day trawling through pictures and videos and I was left feeling not got enough and that he didn't want me)

But after time apart and me seeing the grass isn't always greener we talked everything through and gave it another go as a fresh honest start and after a year I asked him to marry me.

We've been such a strong unit since and I've just not had the same worries about him looking at women as I thought it was a thing of the past as it was one of the things he had to overcome if we wanted to give it another go.... Until now

I caught him last night sat next to me scrolling through pictures of women in gym pants and that all too familiar feeling crept in.

This morning we talked, I cried, he said it's an addiction and he's glad that I know about it now as he's struggling and it has crept back in the past few months. (It's not as bad as last time as he doesn't look at porn this time but clothed women, women of Facebook, friend suggestions even women selling clothes on Facebook market place!) He said he can't help it he constantly just Scrolls through pictures of women and I just don't know how to help him.

I'm terrified we will end up back in time all those years ago and I'm not strong enough to go through it again or put up with it as long as I did and I have someone else to think about now as I'm pregnant

I think the biggest part of it for me is the lies, the sneaking, the deception. Honesty is a massive thing for me and was so important when we decided to give it another go.
I'm also very good with technology (probably to my determent) and he's not so I can find anything no matter how 'well hidden' within a few minutes on his phone

Sorry for the massive amount of info I'm just at a loss how to overcome this (I know many will think 'if that's the only problem in your relationship you're lucky' but it's just one I can't cope with)

mousemat1

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 04:50:59 PM »
Hi Supportive.

I would suggest that he opens an account here, or at the very least reads some the stories from porn addicts. If he is an addict, he first needs to acknowledge the fact. Without this, there's very little hope. We have to fully accept we have a porn addiction, and from this starting point we can set about beating it.

Mouse

Fappy

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 07:34:39 PM »
Hello, and congratulations on your pregnancy!
Has your husband always done this? Even when dating I mean.

He should join this forum, he will get a lot of great advice and would feel better about quitting for good.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 08:14:06 PM by Gabe Deem »
Un-fuck your life, quit porn now! Today!

Supportive wife

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2020, 05:50:24 AM »
Hello, and congratulations on your pregnancy!
Has your husband always done this? Even when dating I mean.

He should join this forum, he will get a lot of great advice and would feel better about quitting for good.

Thank you! We are already over half way so Im glad I found out about his problems now as opposed to when the baby is born and as we are having a girl I've leaned towards the 'do you want men to look at her the way you are'

I didn't know about it when we first got together but yes he's had this problem long before he knew me and I didn't find out until I borrowed his phone and the history was full of pages and pages and pages of just porn it was like he didn't even use his phone for anything else. When I first confronted him he denied he had a problem but as time went on things got worse, I'd come home and turn the TV on and babe station would be on the channel. Or I'd pick up my laptop and look at the history and he would have been sat there all day with it. He worked shifts so the majority of the time we had different days off which basically gave him the freedom to do what he wanted all day every day. Due to many arguments and me putting a 18 block on his phone it changed from porn sites to Instagram stalking. It got so bad and I felt so unappreciated and ugly that I stopped eating properly and became obsessed with fitness and eventually when someone else noticed me and gave me their attention we became close which was the end of our relationship.

Obviously he blamed me for the break up and after about 6 months I wrote him a letter explaining why I did what I did and what led me there and I think for the first time it actually sank in and he realised what an effect his obsession had on us. My letter basically said goodbye at the end and that he wouldn't hear from me again and he said that's when he knew what he wanted and what was important to him.

We talked about coping ways for him and he liked the removing temptation completely approach which started with no phone and no laptop. It was hard but it worked. Gradually he had access to an old phone which obviously I checked religiously and he wasn't allowed Instagram or Twitter or any temptation accounts and I still continued to check his phone regularly and never found anything there which is when we realised he had a break through as he didn't feel the need to look or the urge to want to look and shortly after this I asked him to marry me. That was 3 years ago and he's not had any slips since (I still even now do an occasional technology sweep and he still has the 18 block on his phone)

That was until I caught him this weekend sat next to me scrolling through pictures of women in tight gym clothes on Facebook. Obviously he denied it and said he was looking for clothes for me (yeah right I'm not likely to step foot in the gym for 6 months!) I looked through his phone and when presented with what I had found (notifications for woman's clothes, Facebook also asks you if you bought things you've clicked on so that was another clear indication) he told the truth that he had been struggling for a few months and didn't know how to tell me as he is terrified of losing what he's got.

He was honest that he doesn't look at porn or nude women it's now turned to a habit of looking at attractive women in tight clothing and he does want to stop. He said it's not enjoyable, he doesn't get pleasure from it, it's a habit of looking and scrolling through

I know he's worried I will tell him to get out as I've made it quite clear that I will not re-live last time and I'm trying the supportive approach this time as I want him to feel like he can talk to me and I understand it's a problem not just him looking to make me feel rubbish.

ultimately I cannot be in a relationship with lies, for me without honesty there is nothing and I do just feel hurt and betrayed and scared for what is to come when I'm my less attractive post pregnancy self. And if I'm honest this is mainly the reason I've put off having children for so long as I still hold onto my own image anxiety because of what happened last time and always believed once I got fat (pregnant) he would start looking elsewhere again

Fappy

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2020, 09:50:55 PM »
Hmmmmm yeah, hes got a big problem. And if hes not man enough to confront it and fix it for the sake of his new child, then hes really fucked (sorry to say, but its true). Have you ever caught him jacking off to anything of the stuff he looks at? Or refusing your sexy advances in preference for wanking to his screen?
"Attractive women" posing in tight clothing and women with no clothing getting things shoved up them is the same. That might sound weird, but they both produce dopamine to be relased, and I mean MASSIVE amounts of dopamine, thats what hes addicted to - not the filthy whores on the screen. The act of seeking after images is what does the most and lasting damage to theh brain pathways.
Does he have any hobbies? Somethng that he could use his time toward, perhaps decorating the babies room? Making something for her? (He sure sounds good with his hands! ((sorry...)) Anything really, as long as his urges are directed outward at something else that can give him pleasure (non-sexual), so a hobby is great for that.
And no, no one can or should be willing to put themselves in a relationship with lies; escpecially one as rotten as the one hes mixed up in.
Un-fuck your life, quit porn now! Today!

Supportive wife

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2020, 08:08:06 AM »
Hmmmmm yeah, hes got a big problem. And if hes not man enough to confront it and fix it for the sake of his new child, then hes really fucked (sorry to say, but its true). Have you ever caught him jacking off to anything of the stuff he looks at? Or refusing your sexy advances in preference for wanking to his screen?
"Attractive women" posing in tight clothing and women with no clothing getting things shoved up them is the same. That might sound weird, but they both produce dopamine to be relased, and I mean MASSIVE amounts of dopamine, thats what hes addicted to - not the filthy whores on the screen. The act of seeking after images is what does the most and lasting damage to theh brain pathways.
Does he have any hobbies? Somethng that he could use his time toward, perhaps decorating the babies room? Making something for her? (He sure sounds good with his hands! ((sorry...)) Anything really, as long as his urges are directed outward at something else that can give him pleasure (non-sexual), so a hobby is great for that.
And no, no one can or should be willing to put themselves in a relationship with lies; escpecially one as rotten as the one hes mixed up in.


So he's told me he's not sorry he has been caught but he's sorry for looking. He said he's relieved that I know because it loses the thrill of looking if I know about it.
He's explained to me that his relapse is different to the problem before. He said he stands at work when having a break or a cup of tea and will just scroll through attractive women while he's on the shop floor. He said he doesn't do it in the toilet to masterbate it's almost like an adrenaline rush that he knows he shouldn't look and now I know about it there is no thrill or desire to look. I've not caught him wanking over anything and he says he's not done that for a long time. He says it's the thrill of just looking. We have sex about once a week and he doesn't reject my advances but it does seem almost planned some times. Like we both agree to make time for it it's not spontaneous.

I'm glad I found out before it went further as it would be easy to slip from just looking in public to 'shes hot let's wander off and touch myself'. I'm trying to be understanding as I know its a problem and he doesn't do it to hurt me but it does worry me.

He has hobbies, hes always busy, never sat around on the computer. He works out every other day after work for a few hours it's a new routine he has and he goes to sleep before me (I'm a night owl) so he wouldn't even be able to sneak off for a wank at home and at the weekend he loves gardening and of course cleaning his car and we go out and do things together so wouldn't have time to really look then either. So at work is his only real opportunity. (Gone are the days when I worked late and he would be home alone all evening)

Keen to hear your thoughts on one thing....I was thinking that removing Facebook completely is not treating the problem it's stopping it for now but it's not actually dealing with it.
One thing I have done (it took a while) is go through all the notification settings in his Facebook and turned off notifications for 'people you may know' and suggestions for 'womens clothing you may like on market place' my hope is without the constant reminder and constantly being presented by Facebook with attractive women it won't trigger him.
And if he does search for anything I can see that (I'm logged into his Facebook too) and the fact he knows that is a real put off and the anxiety that I would see he's looked takes over the thrill of looking. Hope that makes sense.

Overall I don't really know how to help him and I feel there is no help around. It's not like a drug addiction or alcohol addiction that's so well understood and there are plenty of professionals to help. I really do feel alone and wish someone would just tell me step by step what we need to do to overcome this because he's willing to do anything to keep us together as a family

jixu

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2020, 09:39:58 AM »
Hi SW!  I can't tell for sure (sorry if I overlooked something) but it looks like you are doing all the action and heavy lifting-you won't be able to outrun an addict's brain.  As another individual noted, would he be up for joining this group or at least reading the book Your Brain on Porn?  He has to own it and at least do something concrete.  Try to encourage (and "lovingly" demand) some specific positive steps, even if they aren't huge ones.  If it is really true that he no longer looks at "porn" (leaving some latitude here on the defintion side of things) then that is something you could commend as a positive and encourage him on and use as a good starting point forward.  Best wishes!   

Fappy

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2020, 07:37:07 PM »
Quote
....I was thinking that removing Facebook completely is not treating the problem it's stopping it for now but it's not actually dealing with it.
Id say its dealing with it. Its a little extreme, but it will definately help. However, if hes addicted to these things he will just look at something else. So in that respect HE needs to change first.

Quote
It's not like a drug addiction or alcohol addiction that's so well understood and there are plenty of professionals to help. I really do feel alone and wish someone would just tell me step by step what we need to do to overcome this because he's willing to do anything to keep us together as a family

While he isnt injecting anything or drinking anything, the principals are the same. The only thing to do is for him to rewire his brain, thats it. The only way to do that is to abstain from the artificial stimuli on facebook or instrgram or whatever. Easier said than done, I know. His neural pathways have been fucked over something savage by his addiction to porn and sexy images. I would reccomend reading Yuor Brain on Porn by Gabe Deem, and other excellent material you can find on this site!
Force him to read it too
Un-fuck your life, quit porn now! Today!

Sliced

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2020, 01:44:29 PM »
I’m not sure how useful my input will be as I am earlier in the process than you, but will give my 2cents in case any of it is useful.

I agree with Jixu...it seems that you are doing a lot of the work here. Addiction is really tricky, when people are addicted - they don’t always do it on purpose - but they can create this type of dynamic whereby you end up feeling that it is your problem and yours to solve. It isn’t. It is a way of them avoiding taking responsibility.
Of course you want to solve this for him (as do I with my partner) because you want your relationship, but you really can’t, it has to be him.

In terms of the blockers, I think they are great if he is finding them helpful, but you are right they don’t solve the underlying problem.
Something that might be worth him thinking about is what the addiction actually is, it is an addiction to dopamine. He is meeting a need with P (however that P looks) and needs to find a better way to cope. It sounds that your partner is getting dopamine from his ‘seeking’ behaviours, even if he isn’t actually MO to the activity - my partner did the same with messaging other people.

In terms of him, he needs to do something, in my opinion, both for himself and to show you that he is serious. Some ideas:
- logging onto this forum or similar, reading stories and maybe posting a journal
- having some counselling to address what this is about in a safe confidential space (free from the worry of upsetting us)
- speaking to a friend, maybe finding someone who could act as an accountability partner
- researching porn addiction and talking to you about this research / what he relates to

But overall, it is his job to work that out. He owes that to himself and you.

In terms of healing your relationship, I’ve started reading ‘love you, hate the porn’ my partner was recommended it by someone on this forum and it is about how you both navigate this as a couple. I am finding it useful.

This is all really hard, I think it’s great you are reaching out to get support. It’s really important for partners as this is really difficult.

I don’t know if this is appropriate or will class as derailing the conversation, if so please ignore me - I am struggling a lot with my self esteem following discovering my partners addiction, I see that you found the same in the past - have you found any ways of trying to improve your self esteem in a healthy way? (Like you said in the past, I have started restricting how much I eat and taking steps to change the way I look).


Gracie

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2020, 07:01:37 AM »
Hello Gracie here.  My number one recommendation is go to markchamberlainphd.blogspot.com. This has information on porn addiction for both partner and addict.  It is designed to both give information and help couple get through.  It is called Love You Hate the Porn.  He and Geoff Steurer wrote a book of the same name.  The blog and book were life savers for me and my husband.   

peter1717

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Re: Wife to husband who is an overactive looker
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2020, 02:36:11 PM »
I can say that if he is looking at girls and pics on his phone, it will get worse or its already porn again.
You dont quit hours of daily porn for years just like that.

I dont believe it at all.  I'm pretty sure he has other ways of getting porn.
Internet cafe's are everywhere.

Addicts are addicts and will hide it and lie and be dishonest.

Sorry to be so negative but its realistic.