Boyfriend can't change. I feel broken inside. I'll never be good enough.

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by trying33, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Hi, I'm new here. Also I'm in a really really bad place. I appreciate anyone reading...it's going to be a stupidly long backstory.

    Been with my boyfriend for 4 years. Told him at the beginning of our relationship that my last long-term relationship had ended due to a porn addiction, and that because of this I was really uncomfortable with my partner watching porn. I said if he felt he needed it I respected that and did not judge him for it, but would then rather just be friends. He of course swore to the high heavens that he didn't need it, and I think he actually believed this was true. He knew that this betrayal by my partner had sent me into depressive tailspins in the past and promised that he would never do that to me. He said that he loved me and respected me and didn't need anyone else, that I was enough. Our sex life was really healthy, both of us genuinely enjoying the sex during and after. I stay fit, try to look good, do everything to be an excellent sexual partner. I made him promise that this was enough for him.

    Maybe my first mistake was asking too much of him and giving him that ultimatum. I have begun to believe that all men need porn and can never change, and that to ask that of them is an "unreasonable expectation" and will always lead to lying. Real women just aren't good enough for them. Over the course of our relationship I have found pornography on his computer multiple times. I ask him if there's anything he would like to talk about or be honest with me about, that he doesn't have to be afraid to share that, and I am there to support him. I try really hard to come from a place and non-judgement with the hope that he will at at least be honest with me. Instead of taking this opportunity to open and up and talk about how he has indeed watched porn despite knowing its effects on me, he lies to my face and swear's on his mother's life that he didn't use porn. I then confront him with the fact that I know the truth and after hours of my questioning him he finally admits to the full extent of things. I cried, he promised he would never do it again, that he loved me, that I was enough for him, etc. Months go by. I then find that he has watched porn AND gone to a strip club the first day (45 minutes away--some real effort put in here) after I was out of town for the week visiting a friend. Same cycle. I ask, he denies. Claims he only thought about going there. I press further. Claims he only drove there. More questions. Admits to going into the club for a drink but claims he didn't "really watch." At that point I just gave up asking. He promised he would never do it again. Promised that even if we weren't together, he would never go back. Promised he loved me.

    The thing is that every time I have forgiven him. We live together. For some reason I love him. For some reason I can never leave him, because I want to believe so badly that he can change and that our relationship can be what I so badly want it to be. He promises to do better, he says it's not just for me but for himself, he wants to be a better person. He thanks me for forgiving him and is otherwise wonderful, is nice to me, does things for me, all the marks of a good partner. But I can never stop thinking about the lying. Every sex scene we see on TV, every attractive woman who walks by, every time I'm not there looking over his shoulder I feel anxious and paranoid that he's betraying me and lying to me. Eventually after weeks of him being super devoted I begin to forgive and trust him again: maybe this time he really has changed, I mean, he sees how deeply it hurts me so that must be motivation enough. Maybe I'm being crazy and paranoid and I need to stop assuming that everything he does is a lie. Maybe this time it's really different.

    I recently had to move out of his place because I got into medical school in a different state. In the week leading up I confessed many times that I was anxious about a long-distance relationship. I told him that I knew it would be difficult not having me around, and told him honestly that if he felt he needed an outlet such as porn that I would be open to that, as long as he is honest with me. He says over and over again "no, I don't want that, I don't need that". "I don't need porn, I haven't watched it, and I won't lie to you." And I of course believe him. On May 19 I left.


    Three weeks go by and we are both looking forward to when I come back to his place to visit him on June 12 (3 days ago). Since May we had been having nice daily phone talks, nothing sexual but him saying he missed me and loved me, etc. Before leaving for the airport to visit him I called and had one more plea for honesty. I told him that I loved and supported him, that I was going to come visit him, but that if there was anything in the past month that happened that I should know about, it would be fair to tell me before I got on the plane. He admitted that he had thought about porn a few times, but had resisted these compulsions. Though it made me sad to think he had thought about doing it, I was not upset because I was relieved he felt he could be honest with me about that. I was so happy that we were finally communicating with eachother and told him that I was not upset because he had been open with me.

    Or so I thought, right... hahaha

    I get to his place and the first night is great. I feel so happy and loved. The next day while he's at work I use his computer to look up a dinner recipe and notice he had watched a ton of episodes of a certain TV show. When I look it up I see that it is an Ecchi Anime show--basically just a ton of big-boobed short-skirt japanese school girls in compromising positions, nudity, etc.
    Through the computer's file history I see that he binge-watched 15 episodes of this show the day after I left. The same day he called to tell me how sad he was that I was gone and how much he loved and missed me. He was watching this show.

    (But wait, it gets better!)

    When he gets home from work I confront him about the show, and he admits to watching it. Of course I have the same upset reaction and ask him why he lied to me about it on the phone when I was so willing to listen. He says he doesn't know, that he didn't want to hurt my feelings, that he felt guilty about it. BUT after more and more pressing it turns out not only did he watch this slutty anime, it made him feel so aroused that after multiple episodes he then went to an actual porn website, and jacked off. All I can do at this point is cry and ask why he would lie to me, why he would do this, why I wasn't good enough. All he ever says is "I don't know", "I love you", "you are good enough", "I want to change". But how can I possibly believe him. How many times am I going to fall for this?

    The betrayal I feel is so immense. Not only did he watch porn, he LIED about it TO MY FACE on MULTIPLE REPEATED occasions. He couldn't even last in our long-distance relationship for ONE DAY without wanting to see other naked women. All of the devotion and memories of my pain COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED the moment he got a f*cking boner.

    I know that it's not supposed to be my fault. That it's his problem and not mine. But I can't help but feel that it IS my fault. If I were prettier, if my boobs were bigger, if I dressed sluttier, maybe he wouldn't have done this. Before moving out I offered to have phone sex with him or send him pictures or that if he felt horny he should call me and we could talk...and he still would rather go to some girl on the internet. How can that mean anything other than the fact that I am not enough, that I will never be enough for anyone? How can I possibly compete with perfect porn stars or pornographic DRAWINGS. How many times to you have to forgive someone until they start treating you right, or telling you the truth? This is now the second long-term relationship where this has happened and I just don't know what I keep doing wrong. Maybe this is just how men are and I need to learn how to accept it. Maybe the whole "NoFap" community is just delusional and unrealistic. The first step is a "reboot" which my boyfriend has already promised to do so many times, and always fails. Maybe he cannot change, this is just who he is. I genuinely don't know anymore. I feel like I have loved a complete stranger for the past 4 years and I just don't know how I'm supposed to move on from this. Everything feels like a lie and I feel like an idiot. I'm angry, depressed, anxious, and hopeless. He says he knows he has a problem and that he wants to talk to someone about it and do something. But how can I trust him this time?
     
    Ambrose Grant and Brittsyboos like this.
  2. dawghoused

    dawghoused Fapstronaut

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    Hey! this is not your fault. If someone is addicted to anything, it is very difficult to leave that thing. You are properly making your efforts but he is not understanding it. So, It would be better to end your relationship. You will find better than him.
     
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  3. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    Your story hit home with me... we have some similarities.

    As to trust.

    Here is what i did...

    He has to get into therapy
    put accountability software on all devices (maybe for you even have something as simple as location tracking in case ur worried about strip clubs
    100% honesty (if a relapse or slip happens he has 24 hrs to tell me or there will be a consequence)

    Idk how long this relationship is to be long distance but for me the consequences have veen

    -no sex or emotional intimacy from me
    -sleep on couch
    -ill kick him out to his dads
    -divorce

    those are 4 consequencss that i have laid out for bad behavior. You will have to figure out your own boundaries and consequences though. Is he on NoFap? Check out my signature threads i think theyd really help you. I wish you good luck, and feel free to PM me if you want
     
  4. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    Hey, I'm @AnonymousAnnaXOXO's Husband. This is oh so eerily familiar to our situation. She found out about more and more on eight separate D-Days (Discovery Days) over the course of a year before I actually stopped. Even though I have stopped, I've only been abstaining from PMO and I have not really been in recovery and it's been 2 years since DDAY as of June 6-8th. I feel that I have quite literally just started my actual recovery about a week ago. So as I am pretty deep into all this, I'm still at the beginning.

    So let me say as a PA, for one none of this is your fault whatsoever. And none of it has to do with how he feels about you. I lied the exact same way but he's a bit better because at least he told you after more questioning. I was worse because I would lie and deny until she stopped asking. You are so not alone in this. Unfortunately, this is the case with so many of us PAs. I can give you some insight as to what actually might be the problem. You should talk to him (if he'll actually be open about it) about some possible deep seeded emotional problems. Also, the onset of his addiction mostly likely predates your relationship. For me, my mom was 100% emotionally absent and most of the time physically absent and just very neglectful. I treated her this whole time as if she was a great mother as if to ignore all the pain she caused. I'm only just now facing this issue by writing out my feelings and I'm going to confront her about it so I can heal. Our son has been here for almost seven months. Although she witnessed the actual birth, she hasn't seen him since and I have hardly heard from her. She didn't care enough about me or my brother and sister and she doesn't care enough about her grandchild. This is the real issue for me. I'm telling you my problems because I hope they can help you look into your partner's life and find out what is really eating away at him cause it sure as hell isn't at all because of you. You are completely valid for feeling that way. My wife does a lot still. It's completely normal to feel like it's all about you and that you're not good enough.

    I would highly recommend that he joins this forum. We can help him but only if he's willing to help himself. I know that will probably be hard but he needs it for himself. A therapist also can help him figure out what is inside that is causing all of this behavior. I guarantee that it's something from his past that he hasn't faced or that he knows of but won't admit the extent to which it's affecting him. Just like me, I refused to believe my parents' divorce affected me at all but in reality, it had an extremely negative effect. I hope he can accept the problem as it is and that he can work things out for you two to be ok.
     
  5. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks so much for your response.
    I want to try these things, get him into therapy and have him be 100% etc. but it's so difficult. How do you know your husband is being 100% honest, and that he's not just telling you what you want to hear because he is afraid of said consequences?
     
    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 likes this.
  6. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for reading and responding, I really appreciate it. It helps to hear from someone who is having the same problem as him. It is still so difficult for me to accept that it's "not about me" or that it "isn't my fault" even though that's what people keep telling me. If it isn't about sex or my appearance then why porn and not some other activity to cope like video games, gambling, etc. Why porn, something that degrades women? And when you choose watching porn over respecting the feelings of your wife, how is that not a direct competition between the porn and her? What other conclusion is she supposed to draw. Why did your wife have to find out so many times before you really started telling the truth and changing? What was different about the 8th time that made you really stop? My boyfriend keeps saying that "it's different this time, I'm really going to change" but he said the exact same thing last time. I just don't know how many more "d-days" I have to endure before my he finally decides to change. When does it end? And when you say you've been abstaining but not in recovery what does that mean? You've abstained for 2 years now but is relapse always inevitable, like are you just holding out until there's another d-day and the cycle repeats? I'm sorry I'm asking so many questions my intention is really not to accuse/interrogate I'm just trying to make sense of all this.
     
  7. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    It's difficult, and well, it's taken a long time, but there is a way he says it... it's in his tone that I know it's bullshit. Dealing with this for two years you learn body language and tone quickly when you don't know what to trust. For me, I can see a complete change in his demenor when he is genuinely honest and in touch with his emotions and our reality.... I see it... it's there... and then it's gone just as fast.... it can be heart breaking to watch it happen, because we are so close, then then that closeness is gone. He can't always stay in reality because of the pain (that is something he is working on)

    But in the beginning the only way I knew what was true was through accountability. He had blockers/filters on his computer and phone and would tell me when he would get to work and leave work so I knew the history lined up.

    After one year of him doing that, I didn't worry as much about him ever using at work (he worked for my parents so that was just another level of betrayal for him to use at my parents office... I can't really go there much without anxiety).

    Trust takes lots of time, and lots of consistency. I trust my husband at work because of the consistency. I don't trust my husband with a lot of other things because of the lack of consistency.

    For my husband it was porn and video games he was addicted to (he would switch between PMO and games and repeat). Depends on when the person gets addicted. For my husband porn was on a computer, easy access, same with computers, as a kid those are easy things to get addicted to. A 12 year old would struggle to get addicted to hard drugs or gambling becuase they don't have access. And a 12 year old doesn't have the level of intelligence and awareness as an adult has. so a 12 year old might not comprehend that the people they see on a screen are real, or really consider the emotions of the person on the screen. An adult should obviously make that connection, but a child might not because of the way a childs mind develops. There are different stages of development, and addiction, if it happens as a child interupts emotional development and can stunt their growth. I hope that helps.

    @Jak3 I am going to take a shot at this, but please chime in, I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well!

    He was in denial. I remember when we first dated and he told me he wanted to quit porn in the past but struggled with it, I joked a bit about whether he was addicted or not and he said he wasn't and porn wouldn't be a problem in our relationship. I jokingly said addiction because I never actually thought a person could be addicted to porn, but I am a psych person and know lots about addiction (signs of addiction being escape, inability to stop, and harm to your life). My husband truly thought he could stop for me, but he couldn't because he was addicted. Had he not suffered from addiction and continued to use, I would have dumped him in a heartbeat, but given he is dealing with an illness, I stayed.

    The difference that made him stop was I found EVERYTHING. All the prior times I found 1 incident. He was able to tell me "that's it, nothing else, I promise" when in reality there was a lot being hidden. It's the fact that I didn't know all of it that he was able to continue using. Once it was all out he told me it was like a weight being lifted, that he felt free from the secrecy, like it didn't have power over him because it was all out. It was the secrecy and shame that kept him in the cycle of using.

    My husband has not had a PMO urge since about two months after he quit to my knowledge. The thing is, at the three month mark, his PMO addiction switched to Cars (yes strange, but it happened). So he hasn't been in recovery (which is a total lifestyle change and mindset change). He has been abstaining from PMO aka not using porn but not addressing the root cause (hence the transfer of addiction). He has been using cars to escape what he has done, the pain he has caused, and the root issue of his mom being neglectful and hurting him.

    Recovery would mean that he addressed his parents divorce, meaning confronting his mom. It would mean him starting to make life changes (eating healthier, not being laxy, being considerate, etc.). It would mean him doing anything/everything it takes to "win me back" so to speak. It would mean him being SELF-AWARE (aka mindfulness, aka a connection between his outer world and inner world).

    The thing is the addiction use, relapse, lie cycle has happened 5 times in the past two years back in january 2018 just with cars. He does something car/addicty related and lies, waits for me to find out, I'm betrayed and hurt, and we make no progress.

    For Jak, he needs to stop using anything as a crutch to avoid the reality of what he has done in his life and what has been done to him (by his mother). Once he is able to stay in reality and work on it, that is when he is truly in recovery in my opinion.

    I speak about addiction and recovery because I've struggled with my own addictions/mental illness (anorexia, PTSD, Self-harm, and some alc dependancy)
     
  8. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Can't thank you enough for your response. Thank you for making the time. You're right in that trust takes time and I think I get so frustrated because I just want to go back to feeling safe and loved (and ignorant), instead of having to deal with this. But that is something that can't be rushed. It gives me hope at least to see how you and your husband have dealt with this situation and that honesty is possible. I also really admire how you have personally coped with everything. I am struggling so much with my anger and sadness about how I now feel "damaged" as a result of his addiction... even if our relationship were to end and I were to be with someone else these feelings of insecurity and doubt in my self-worth are going to follow me and that makes me feel broken in a sense. I've started to see men as a whole as lying and weak which I know isn't healthy. I guess this too is something that can heal with time?
    As of a few weeks ago my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. I mentioned in my first post that I am currently visiting him..I leave tomorrow. Not sure when I will see him again after that since I start school in July. He seems really serious about things right now but I'm so scared and anxious about what will happen when I leave...last time he went back to PMO a day after I was gone. I don't know how to deal with this constant anxiety and paranoia. He will agree to install porn blocking software and all that but I will not physically be here to see when he comes home, see what he is doing/long periods of time he is alone, physically confront him about things, , keep him accountable, etc. I just have to have complete faith that he will tell me about a relapse, and why would he tell me given how much it hurts me? He will see lying as "protecting me". Long distance relationships are hard enough and now this is added on top. I also don't know if having phone sex with him/sending him pictures of myself is a good idea. Will it help him resist urges to watch porn? Is it healthy for him to act out his urges with me, a real person? Or is it not real enough because it's still on a computer screen? Will it just inevitably lead to him relapsing and watching porn again? I have been reading forums all morning on this topic and people seem to agree that it is a slippery slope, that it will lead him back to porn use. With that said, how do I sustain this relationship and heal and regain intimacy? Do I just tell him he has to completely abstain from PMO until we are physically together? And when we do see eachother again, is it safe to have sex with him or will that just send him into another D-Day when I leave? Sorry this is getting really rambly and you may not be able to address any of these questions, I'm just freaking out. But thank you again so much for the advice you already have given. I do agree that the PMO addiction has a deeper cause and it helps to be reminded of that.
     
    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 likes this.
  9. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    Yes, me too! Even 2 years later that is all I want, to feel safe, secure, and loved.

    I also feel damaged, and if my husband and I were to not make it, I don't think I would ever find another guy because they would be PMO addicts, or they would see me as so damaged and worthless and leave.

    Now... that is the keyword for me as well.

    There are ways to see if he is serious.


    You don't have to have complete faith, I'll explain in a minute.


    That is just an addict rationalization to protect himself, not you. It's bullshit, just so you know.


    I answered that on the thread you made.





    To the whole long distance, trust, and proof. Here is how I would handle it.


    All devices have filters/blockers and accountability software. Get Ever accountable, and you are the accountability parter. You then see ALL his history, even if he tries to delete or use incognito. Then he knows you will see everything he does, then he has no opportunity to lie (well he does, but you WILL 100% know).

    In our house the rules are no TV unless I am there and we vet every show. No shows with nudity at all. Shows with underwear in them, he looks away. (this might not be able to apply to you given the long distance, though you could request that he watches any and all tv on a monitored device so you know what shows he is watching- shows like game of throwns is just glorified porn)

    We have samsung galaxy phones. We use Mobile Fence, Ever Accountable and some other tool to help monitor. Jak also wanted a location thing in his phone so I would know his routes. We use life360 for location tracking, it goes both ways. I can see his routes, he can see mine.

    Computers... he used to use my laptop supervised, now he has his own desktop but does not have the login password because he has proved to me he cannot use the computer without car relapses. So until he can do that, computer has to be used in supervision. (again not sure if you can do much about that, aside from using Ever Accountable to see his computer activity)


    If your guy is 100% serious, he needs to enter therapy. One way to know he is in therapy is to know the therapists name, the time he goes to therapy, and given it's long distance, tell him to take a photo of the therapy bill he gets (whether weekly or monthly) so you know he actually is going.

    Also, I would say he is required to be on NoFap at the very least and post a minimum of 3x/week. That is not hard and not too much to ask. If he can't even do that, that says all you need to know.

    So again to recap ways to prove he is serious:

    -Filters/blockers on all devices
    -Get Ever acountable on all devices, you being the accountability parter so you know whether he is lying or not (it's a way to build trust)

    -Get location tracking if that is an issue in your relationship

    -Therapy (with bills to prove attendance)

    -NoFap

    He he cannot meet that, then I would be quite hesitant to commit to a long distance relationship.
     
  10. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Okay, I think those are very good guidelines, thank you for that! I will talk to him before I leave and try to make these things clear. I will admit that I'm terrified about the accountability software. I am starting at a new school so there's already a lot of other anxiety in my life right now, and I'm so worried that when I find out about a relapse I will go into a depressive tail spin and not focus on academics. Also with this software, how do you resist the urge to constantly be checking it and thinking about it? I'm worried I will obsess over it.
     
  11. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    If that happens, you need to take care of you, and maybe end the relationship for your own sanity. Remember you have a choice as to whether you stay or leave.

    And with the software... originally I checked it all the time, but that was the betrayal trauma. Now I check it weekly, and often I forget to check, but that comes with time and some trust built.
     
  12. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Feeling tempted to install the software secretly and see if he still lies to me. I'm worried if I tell him about installing the software he will be on board initially but will just find ways to get around it.
     
  13. Rehab101

    Rehab101 Fapstronaut

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    I Like complete honesty. I tell my gf every time I failed. I hate keeping secret.
     

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