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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:48 pm
Posts: 1
This is my first post. I am trying to decide whether to remain in my marriage. Whether I can forgive and move on if I stay in my marriage, whether I could ever trust again. My husband has been heavily involved in pornography for the past several years, though he acknowledges (and I suspect minimizes) porn use for most of his life (he is 59). In the past several years it has had a devastating impact on our marriage. Though we have been together for 13+ years, we have been married for 5. After the first year of our marriage, he stopped touching me at all and we went for nearly 3 years without sex. He blamed this on me for various reasons though he was essentially impotent. I should mention that he has a co-morbid alcohol dependency. Over time I learned the extent of his porn use: downloaded porn filled his Kindle, multiple porn sites on his phone. Disappearing into the bathroom for literally a couple of hours at a time. He became more and more secretive and more and more belligerent/emotionally abusive. When we did (rarely) try to engage in sex, he could only respond to oral sex and it felt like he was completely detached, re-enacting something from a porn video. I discovered a year ago that he had, for an unknown amount of time (he claimed 8 months) been meeting with a prostitute. I kicked him out, I agreed to let him return with the agreement that he would attend therapy for "sexual addiction" and we would go to marital therapy. He took little ownership in the marital therapy and dropped out once he perceived the crisis to have passed. He continued with his 1-1 with a therapist who was supposed to specialize in sexual addiction, yet (according to his report) ended up doing EMDR for panic attacks related to fear of heights. Throughout the course of this process, he readily began to berate me for "not letting go" of his cheating.
After we had reconciled, he agreed to purge downloaded porn and showed that he had. Several months ago he dropped out of therapy, began drinking very heavily again, staying a couple of days a week at a hotel with lame excuses (I learned that the prostitute lives about 2 minutes from the hotel), withdrawing cash from ATMs, and very egregiously watching and downloading porn (as in: I would walk out of my office into the adjacent room and he would be on his laptop watching porn). On his laptop I found multiple downloaded porn videos, as well as Zoom launcher, which leads me to believe he has been engaging in interactive porn.
I ultimately kicked him out again. He swears up and down that he hasn't cheated again but this is simply gaslighting. He has everything to lose with this behavior. He shows absolutely no insight or ownership.

I feel very angry and frustrated with myself that I haven't simply filed for divorce and put this nightmare behind me. I am a successful professional (as was he before he was forced into early retirement), smart and attractive. I am a kind but tough person. I have kept his secret to myself except for my therapist....if I am to be honest, it is not because for others to know would humiliate me, but because there is still a very small part of me that hopes he will change and recover. We have only spoken once since I kicked him out; during that conversation he acknowledged his alcohol use as problematic but states that porn is something he is not willing to give up. I know that in order to protect myself financially and legally I need to take action, but I honestly feel paralyzed.

I’m not 100% sure what I’m looking for right now. Support, yes. Maybe just a good kick in the ass. I actually know that once on my own I’ll be fine, but I can’t seem to take that step.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:49 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 659
slh19 - Welcome to Recovery Nation. I'm sorry you need to be here, but this is a healing place to be. Many partners understand the paralysis you are feeling.

I encourage you to do the partner lessons. I found they were very helpful to me in addressing some of the questions and issues you raise. As well, feel free to post in the partners community forum. It is a safe place with others who understand.

I found I needed to give myself the gift of time to muddle through. The lessons and individual therapy, as well as the community forum have been invaluable for my healing.

With deep compassion,

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