Advice on how to talk to SO

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by For me my wife and kids, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Hi.

    My SO and I are working through a porn addiction. I am working through a porn addiction. We are solid on that. My main problem comes from the fact that i can't, can not, make myself tell my wife when i have had a setback. Why? I love my wife, i trust my wife, i even believe now that my wife would be more supportive and less hurt if i told her and she didn't have to find out that i had lied. So why can't i tell her if i had a setback? That is an actual question because i have thought and researched and introspected but come up with nothing that is true so maybe i am just to close to this. So tldr version: why do i lie to my wife about setbacks even though it only causes us both more pain?
     
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  2. Sinbad

    Sinbad Fapstronaut

    We've been hiding this stuff for so long that it became our natural reaction to lie about it, I think. At first it's easier than telling the truth. It's only after a talk that the guilt from lying comes. When I notice I lied about something, I try to make a point of it, to tell the truth first thing, the next time we meet. Same as with everything, it takes practice telling the truth. Every time it goes a little better. I notice with each talk, consistent effort, the truth comes a bit more natural.
     
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  3. TheMightyQuinn

    TheMightyQuinn Fapstronaut

    Why not sit down with your wife and discuss how this should be handled together? There will be rules for you: like you tell her within X amount of time. There will be rules for her: she gets to have her feelings openly but doesn't get to beat you up (ie call you a failure, assault your character, accuse of you of not loving her enough as the problem, etc). Also discuss specifics about what level of detail will be shared, and within what time frame of disclosure. Work those details out ahead of time. Don't go on autopilot and wait until you crash. If you both are in this together than you should both be able to respect each other's needs in the process.

    Peace,
    -Quinn
     
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  4. Mrs_KS

    Mrs_KS Fapstronaut

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    Speaking from the SO side of things please find a way to tell her. The lying is much more damaging and harder to swallow when trying build or maintain trust then the setback. But I completely agree with ThemightyQuinn... You both need to be on the same page for acceptable time frames and boundaries. Even if you can't speak the words and send an email or write her note... Otherwise ask if it's a good time to talk and just tell her you want to be honest and have her support and you had a weak moment. Good luck with this and finding peace in the future.
     
  5. odie

    odie Fapstronaut

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    If you haven't already - try watching the Terry Crews videos about porn addiction on YouTube. He talks about how a porn addiction thrives and feeds on shame and I feel that is a large part of the reason most PA's have a hard time telling the truth to their SO. If I had any advice or would be to accept and forgive yourself and do your best to move forward.

    Personally, my SO would always lie because of two things: he didn't want to make me angry, and he wanted to seem like the person he thought I deserved. Wanted to be the "perfect boyfriend". Truthfully, since he started being honest with everything it made our relationship so much stronger.
     
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  6. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    I'll add that I think I saw a post where the PA would move a item in the house to indicate a failure.....like turning down a wedding photo to(that sounds like not such a good idea, but easier to explain).

    It might help if you can't find the words.

    Another suggestion is to find an accountability partner and you tell them instead. They then tell your wife what happened. I would not stay with that system but it might be a place to start.

    Honesty is the better way, but the lying habit is hard to break.
     
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  7. Damnation

    Damnation Fapstronaut

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    Maybe I'm lucky, but the wife rarely asks me what's going on and how I'm doing, and I don't offer info.
     
  8. dannyboy91

    dannyboy91 Fapstronaut

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    Also really struggling with this. The thing I've realised though is that if I relapse once and don't say anything, I then justify it and end up doing a lot worse than I would have if I nipped it in the bud. Trying to work up the courage to talk about my last relapse but it is so hard. I like the idea of setting boundaries which I will put in place once we have spoken. Anyway just wanted to say that I feel your pain bro!
     
  9. MisterDirection

    MisterDirection Fapstronaut

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    I dont remember where or what I read...it nau have been the podcast about the betrayed the addicted and the expert.

    There are 4 things that have to be in a recovery program or relationship.

    One of those is rigorous honesty.

    She is traumatized by lies and omissions, why would continuing to do that be a way towards honesty.

    I think the best policy is to disclose within 24 hours. Tell her upfront, hey I had an issue or I relapsed I did this and I will sir down with you tomorrow night at the same time and we will discuss it. This give her time to work through her emotions and gather her thoughts. And you time to do the same and to have ideas about this not happening again in the same way.

    Remember progress not perfection
     
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  10. djdcgc4

    djdcgc4 Fapstronaut

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    After reading through this thread I wanted offer some thoughts from an SO perspective that might be considered unconventional.

    For me I’m not significantly bothered by my partner watching porn. I’m bothered at the fact it replaces me. I’m bothered by the things it causes a good man to do that I know wouldn’t happen if porn wasn’t an issue. Specifically the oogling. I have no problem with a man/my man stating “ wow did you see that beautiful woman” I can appreciate a woman’s beautify as much as any man and feel there is nothing wrong with complimenting a stranger who shows confidence, takes care of herself and is well dressed. What angers me is knowing there are sexual thoughts that go with it, that it’s not a pure acknowledgment of the beauty that a strong woman encompasses, and the attempt a PA makes to hide the oogling and or deny it sends me through the roof.

    My struggle is simply having the idea porn replaced me in my face all the time.

    I can tell you honestly, I don’t want to know if my PA relapses. For me it’s another reminder that porn replaces me, decreases my self worth, and hurts me. This isn’t the case for everyone and I respect that but I would suggest asking your partner if they want to know and discussing how hurtful and damaging it could be to know. I like the idea of moving something subtle for those who want to know. The elephant in the room theory so to speak.

    For me overcoming this as a couple and building each other up is important. Relapses hurt both sides and are a constant reminder of the pain. Once you let pain control your emotions it rarely creates a positive outcome.

    For example if relapse occurs there are many outside contributing factors that can result in how that information will be handled or perceived. A terrible day at work could push an understandable partner over the edge after hearing there has been relapse causing a negative response, internalization, and push you back further.

    I have no interest in going backwards. What’s worked for us is # 1 is committing to “ intimacy night” once a week. With an expectation on both parts that sexual activity will occur.

    He suffers from pied so I’ll know if he is relapsing. Each week things improve. In my opinion if he is thinking about relapsing on Friday but knows he needs to perform on Sunday or I’ll know it holds him accountable. If he relapses on a Monday I might not know when Sunday rolls around but what a great way to keep relapses to a minimum? His shame and guilt are enough for me. When I don’t know he’s relapses and he comes home and is showered with love , respect, and the I am so proud of how hard you are trying statements there must be enough guilt for him to say “ gosh she loves loves me and believes in me so much I have to try harder”

    If I knew about his relapses it would be difficult for me to shower him with the love he needs to heal.

    Our decision to handle things this way as I said may not work for everyone. This option is neither lying or hiding its acceptance that neither of us are perfect, we are going to make mistakes, but we’re committed on both sides to do better and to love each other. Being caught in a tit for tat will not rebuild love in a relationship.


    I hope my words are not misinterpreted but offer a different perspective in this difficult fight we’re all attempting to commit to.
     
  11. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    The real question is why do you even have setbacks if it is destroying your marriage? We protect what we love. You relapsing and lying is protecting your addiction.
     
  12. Damnation

    Damnation Fapstronaut

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    Feels like maybe you don't understand addiction processes, that's a fairly cruel thing to say, on your part.
     
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  13. jolee80

    jolee80 Fapstronaut

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    The lying is mostly why I have one foot out the door. Please tell her. I do not take pleasure in your remorse, but it’s refreshing to see that you have it. That is huge in how your wife processes her pain. When a wife sees no remorse, she sees no hope for change. Best wishes ❤️
     
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  14. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    Nope-I have spent over 2 years researching all about porn addiction. at this point, the OP knows about the effects of this on his marriage yet he continues to use P. There are many ways to combat this addiction-men who relapse often make it "normal" and ok to relapse and look forward to it. Anyone who really wants to stop will put safeguards in place and not make excuses. Again, the addiction is being protected here, not the marriage or his wife.
     
  15. Damnation

    Damnation Fapstronaut

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    Ya I still don't think you really grasp the whole concept. Let's equate it to an over weight woman with a food addiction, since 40% of American women are obese and ever more are overweight. If she has trouble controlling her eating due to emotional factors, would you speak to her like you would a porn addict? I doubt it.
     
  16. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    i don't think you understand. Porn addiction wrecks how a man looks at his wife, destroys his perception of her desirability, results in him being overly critical of her, and destroys trust in a marriage. A man who continuously relapses has not set himself up to succeed and often because he wants to continue with his addiction. Continuous relapse is a sign that safeguards are not being set up-often due to white knuckling and not true recovery.
     
  17. Damnation

    Damnation Fapstronaut

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    No one WANTS an addiction, it's a burden. That statement alone tells me you really don't get it.

    Secondly all those things you listed in the first half of your post can result if a woman has a food addiction, would you judge an overweight woman who's husband doesn't want intimacy with her because she is unattractive? Nope, you'd probably blame the man.

    Maybe the men who wrestle with this addiction would fare better with a little less misandry in their face?
     
  18. MisterDirection

    MisterDirection Fapstronaut

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    Comparing this to food doesnt hit me in the right way.

    Keep in mind my wife didnt asked to have all the consequences of my actions thrust on her.

    There is a NOT so subtle difference

    Trust coming back from this addiction is hard fought and ground slowly taken. If an addict doesnt get 200 percent in the action and committed column, it's not going to work, there is no middle or halfway effort
     
  19. MisterDirection

    MisterDirection Fapstronaut

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    And I would judge the man with the overweight wife.

    And guess what God will too it's in the vows
     
  20. Damnation

    Damnation Fapstronaut

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    You would judge a man who was no longer attracted to his wife because she doesn't care for herself?

    And who are you to use God in an argument? You can't prove he even exists, but you've got him on speed dial, hitting him up for back up on a debate?
     

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