Helping a partner with an addiction is not how I would have expected it to be. I think that's mostly down to the fact that, before all of this happened, I had never heard of sex addiction or knew that anyone could become addicted to porn and masturbation. I've posted an introduction to my story here, and I want to use this journalling space so I don't feel that I'm going through this on my own anymore. Firstly, I want to start on a positive note. My husband is a lovely man, and is willing to do whatever it takes to beat this addiction. Of course, like every partner, I had my doubts to begin with, and we do have the complicating factor that his mum has Narcassistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and, unfortunately, we know that he similar learnt behaviours that he is working on too. Victims of narcissistic abuse are often at a very high risk of developing addictions, and in his case he learned to self-sooth in the absence of a loving parent through porn and masturbation. The NPD behaviour taught him to be a fantastic liar, and the two combined to help his addiction spiral out of control whilst keeping it hidden from everyone. I knew he'd lied to me. I knew so many stories of women staying in abusive or dysfunction situations that were damaging them, and didn't want to be one of those women. But slowly, I did see signs that he really wanted to change. Although I was getting unhappy with our romance and general communication, I never suspected anything was amiss, and so the first I knew of the addiction was when he suddenly broke down in tears and told me everything. I think it took three days to get through the sheer amount of lies and transgressions, and each time he thought he'd said everything he'd suddenly remember a new event. It was heartbreaking to watch, never mind how it felt to hear it all. He deleted every social media app, he gave me control of his schedule, he committed to counselling and a PMO reboot, and kept daily journals, including messages to himself to keep him on track. He checked in every two hours, came home when he said he would, and stopped allowing himself to be alone or in triggering situations. We are over a year later now, and as much as he'd truly like to forget the addiction he recently relapsed while I was out of the country, and seeing how much it crushed him to relapse is so sad. But I'm here for him, every step of the way, and how he talked about his addiction last night really highlighted how he feels about it. He said that addiction feels like having another voice in your head, that sounds like your own and tells you 'yes, this is a good idea'. Only after you edge or relapse do you realise that it wasn't your voice, it was the addiction, and you were tricked again. He said it feels like watching a film where you are rooting for the main protagonist, and then halfway through the film you realise that he is actually the bad guy. Something I had to learn early on is that the addiction is not the person. He really feels like he has a monster living inside, and he hates not being able to trust his own judgement or have a good foundation to make choices. I am grateful for his openness and honesty, and I am grateful that he trusts me to be his guidance. But it is also a lonely job. When you can't be held by your partner when you are upset without them asking you if giving you a kiss is ok or not, of course it can feel frustrating to always be reminded that you are responsible for boundaries. There are many things I can't change, but at least one that I can change is feeling alone in this journey. Thank you to every shared story that helps me feel that I'm not alone. That gives me basis for comparison on behaviour. That helps me ground myself. You're all rockstars.