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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:40 am
Posts: 4
The discovery of my partner's addiction was more of a slow revelation. When we first started dating I remember writing in a journal I had at the time about how he was really pleasure focused. Of course, I was goo goo eyed for him and kinda pushed it to the side On one of our first dates we were eating some where and he said to me "you're really attractive, but so is that girl over there". I also didn't think much of this because I notice attractive people all the time, but little did I know how much he obsessed about them and fantasized about them in his head.

As we made it to the end of the puppy dog stage of our relationship, he started voicing how he was unfulfilled when it came to sex. We talked about trying x, y, name it. But nothing really changed. It felt like everything in our relationship centered around sex. We thought lets try couples therapy. So we sought a therapist through a local university. That was a disaster because after intake she thought our problem was around him not being able to finish. We never went back to see her. We then sought a sex therapist. But this was also a disaster. In our first intake he said how I didn't have his fantasy body. This was incredibly hurtful as I have struggled with self image and self esteem my whole life. Of course I came to the conclusion it was my fault. If only I had x or y or z on my body then he would be satisfied. We went back a few times but both of us usually left feeling worse than before we went.

We had had discussions about how he could possibly be a sex addict. But of course, we were both in denial. He did go to a few SAA meetings and I just remember looking up on the internet about sex addiction and porn addiction and being like "nah, thats not him". He stopped going but the same problem kept resurfacing. He also tried SLAA meetings. I am not sure how I stumbled upon it, but I stumbled upon Rob Weiss' podcast called sex love and addiction 101. I started listening to the podcasts and that is when everything clicked. So of course I started to do all this research about sex addiction. I was able to find that what we needed was help from a CSAT therapist. I was able to find a CSAT therapist for him and a therapist for me who is specialized in sex and love addiction. This really opened the door for us. After about 5 months in specialized therapy we are both starting to see some slow slow slow progress. It's a lot like 1 step forward and 3 steps back.

I am a part of a few partners groups which has also helped me. But I have never posted on anything before. Here is my first post. I think it will help my healing to tell people my story, people who truly understand what I have been through and am going through.

My partner's addiction manifests primarily in fantasy, scanning, and porn. When he has uncomfortable emotions and wants to escape, I can feel him emotionally eave the relationship and turn toward his addiction. I know a lot of his triggers and being in public is one of them. For me it has been particularly hard because I feel like I can't go out into public with him without thinking about who he is scanning and who he is finding attractive. I detach from him and just kinda do my own thing and focus on my task at hand, like groceries if we are grocery shopping. Even when I am on my own in public my mind can't help but thinking "well he's all by himself so hes probably had sex with every female he saw". I have good days and bad days when it comes to how his scanning affects me. It's also hard because our friends and family don't know the extent to which he has a problem with his sexuality. So they only see the friendly, compassionate, outgoing man. They don't know of the darker side. And i feel like I can't reach out to them for fear of being shamed. Even my own friends don't quite understand it when I talk to them about it. I also get very frustrated with the rate progress has been happening. Ironically like the addict, I just want a quick fix, though that's not how it works. My partner's triggers are also emotional. He has only recently developed the vocabulary for naming emotions. He doesn't know how to cope with them. I have shown him this website in hopes he will look and do the workshop lessons. I have a hard time surrendering control that if he wants to do them he will do them. He relapsed with porn and what pissed me off is I caught him in a lie about it. I would say i have a fairly good understanding of addiction. And he lied to me because he didn't want to hurt me. What is clear from this experience is I need to set boundaries.

Here is what I have learned so far.
- Porn is what he is addicted to. Porn addiction is only the symptom . He has an intimacy disorder. Its not about porn, it's about escape.
- I didn't cause the addiction. I can't cure it. I can't control it.
-It is not my responsibility to work on his recovery for him and I have to surrender my need for control when it comes to this. I have the hardest time with it.
- I have my own unconscious things I do when we get stuck in this dance and I am working on bringing those to light so I can stop contributing to the cycle. For example I subconsciously derived self worth from my relationship. I am working to develop myself now.
-i need to set boundaries.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:26 pm 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 671
Healing Within - Welcome to Recovery Nation. I am sorry you have to be here, but this is a healing place to be.

I encourage you to do the partner lessons. I found them to be very helpful in explaining to me what I was confronting, and what to do to start my path of healing.

Know you are not alone and that other partners here understand. Feel free to read and post in the partners community forum.

From your post, it sounds like you have a good understanding that NONE of your partner's addiction is your fault. It is our responsibility to heal from the trauma of discovery. I found that I was also helped by finding an IC that specialized in treating trauma. You mention that you need to establish boundaries. The lessons helped me with that as well.

I found my husband's scanning to be very resistant to change. Detachment helped me cope as well as creating a boundary that I would leave a situation where I found my husband scanning or staring. I also no longer go to certain places with my husband (grocery stores, the beach, R rated movies) that my husband could not handle in a mature way. These boundaries are not negotiable. It took me several years to get comfortable with learning how to create boundaries.

With deep compassion,

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:40 am
Posts: 4
Lesson 2

I see my self creating and utilizing boundaries established to protect me.
I see myself meditating at least 3 times a week.
I see myself going to specialized therapy at least once a month.
I see myself self-reflecting at the end of each day to process my own emotions and have better emotional literacy.
I see myself investing in myself physically by working out 3x/week.
I see myself learning new recipes to cook and bake and how to garden, crochet, and knit.
I see myself having dinner with or calling a friend at least 1x/week.
I see myself telling my partner the truth about how something makes me feel.
I see myself learning to develop emotional intimacy with my partner.
I see myself learning surrender my need for control over his addictions when afraid.
I see myself stopping “care taking” mode when he says he had a bad day.
I see myself becoming my best friend.
I see myself showing self-affirmation instead of looking for validation from my partner or others.
I see myself being patient and having realistic expectations about personal growth.

 Post subject: Lesson 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:40 am
Posts: 4
Recovery nation
Ohgosh gut feelings. So crazy how our bodies know before our brain can make sense of it all!
A gut feelings w/ or w/o proof
I was going through his phone and he knew I was I accidentally found screenshots of one of his cousin’s best friend on his phone in a bikini and I confronted him about it
When we were at a restaurant with some friends and he leaned over to a friend and whispered to him something and I literally got up and left the restaurant. I was triggered and this was before I even knew that sex and porn addiction were real.
When he came over to pot luck party with friends and brought up how he was trying to be porn free and had been for 8 days. Afterwards everyone was kinda like oh.
I remember using his phone for something and then when I was searching for something it popped up that he had searched for porn. I asked him about it, and he denied it. I then was like no, my internal alarm bells are going off and I was right and confronted him.
Any time he emotionally withdraws from the relationship
When I leave him for extended periods of to go see family, he will reach communicate with me less than normal and then he will all sudden get very needy
When he is in addict mode with video games, facebook, or books
When after an AA meeting one day, he said he might to out to get ice cream with friends. When he called to tell me about it, he seemed avoidant to tell me who. Then I asked him if his friend was a girl. He said yeah and that he didn’t want to tell me because he was afraid I would get mad.
When he sent me that he was 7 days porn free and I put 2 and 2 together that it meant he relapsed a week ago.
I remember thinking wow he is very consumed by pleasure but brushed it off by saying that this is just the puppy dog portion of the relationship. This is normal.
I used to work at a busy museum. He came to visit me at work with some friends. I came home after work and crawled in bed and the first thing he did is ask if he we could have sex because he was really turned on from being in public
He came over to my place and when he saw me he said when I walked by that pool I really wanted to stand there and masturbate to everyone
I remember thinking on a 3rd date while eating at a restaurant how weird it was for him to say you’re hot but so are other women
When we were at a restaurant we were talking about the waitress or something and he brought up about bringing her home with us
For all of the above situations I ignored and justified by saying oh it’s normal to find other people attractive.
The last time he slipped I remember walking into a room and thinking something is not right. He wasn’t even in the room when it happened. I didn’t want to confront him because I though oh he is really giving recovery a chance and I don’t want to make him think I don’t trust him.
He met someone at work and they made plans to go out to lunch. It came up through conversation and he said how he didn’t think it was important to tell me about it since this woman was the age of his mom. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be labeled the jealous girlfriend
When my partner says he’s trying hard and I want to believe him but the objective evidence isn’t there. he is no longer going to meetings. he is no longer going to see a therapist anymore. He doesn’t listen to podcasts to educate himself. Doesn’t have a sponsor in AA or SA or that. No longer meditates. He is not consistent with anything having to do with recovery.
When he says he wants to stop watching porn I don’t believe him. He said his first no porn day was august 30th 20109. But then sometime in October or he confessed that he had watched porn. Then in November he confessed again. In December I caught him in a lie. And in January I caught him again. I understand that he has been watching it his whole life and its hard to give up, but it doesn’t seem like he really wants to. I came to the realization that he probably watched porn the whole time.
When he wants to have sex and there is no emotional connection I will say yes. Part of it is cause I use sex as a means of meeting my self esteem. And without it, I don’t feel worthy. Also because I have a belief that if I have sex with him, then he wont use porn. Its out of fear and control.

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