Devastated...can this be saved?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Trying4love, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    So I am really struggling here. My partner acknowledged his porn addiction about 4-6 months ago and I have tried to be supportive. We have been going to therapy off and on during this time as well. My partner tried to do a hard reset initially and made it 27 days before relapsing (read more about that here: https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/did-i-do-the-right-thing.52615/#post-378533). Since that time we tried having sex more often and while initially successful, ultimately resorted back to being infrequent, unfulfilling, and often ending (or not) with ED.

    Around the 1st of the year my partner was becoming more active and going to the gym and eating healthier, which I assumed was part of his coping with testosterone build up and PMO urges. He told me he was MO-ing occasionally during this time and while I had my reservations about it, I supported it because I thought it was better than PMO and I hadn’t had much sex drive either (due to a number of factors I think).

    Fast forward to this past week… My partner disclosed that what I thought was MO had actually been PMO for several days at a time, 1-2x a week. I was pretty hurt and upset. He swore that he thought I know porn was involved but I never suspected. After much discussion, we decided that we would install more secure porn blockers on his phone and computer that I would control and monitor with a password, rather than the ones he had been using that allowed him to turn it off whenever he had urges. Seems great right? Except neither of us realized the extent of monitoring the new software employed. This program didn’t just block porn- it monitored text messages and calls apparently.

    Playing around with the porn blocker user interface 2 nights ago I saw some odd text message to a number that wasn’t stored in his phone (I knew that because stored #'s come up as names, this came up as the number). The messages were suspicious enough that I resorted to googling the number. Much to my shock the results were all references to escort ads. I confronted my partner about this and after lying to me several times, eventually he admitted that he had attempted to hire an escort but she had failed to show. I have every reason to believe if she had shown that he would have followed through in cheating on me. He swears this is the first time this has happened, but I don’t know how I can honestly believe that. I am having a hard time believing this is anything but the first time he got caught.

    Sadly, it gets worse...When I asked him “why he did this” he revealed that he isn’t sexually attracted to me…and apparently never has been even once in our relationship. Supposedly he loves me and wants to marry me, but physically he was always just in love with my “potential” and not what my body actually looked like. Understandably, I’m devastated. I’ve struggled with body image for my whole life and this has rocked me to my core. The man I love has morphed into what feels like my biggest bully.

    I’m at a loss for how we can possibly move forward from this. I truly love him and I want to keep moving forward with our plans to build a life together but I don’t know how... I have no trust. I have so much anger. I feel betrayed. I feel unlovable and worthless. I feel like our whole relationship has been a lie. I feel like no matter what I do I will never be good enough for him. He keeps talking to me about how he has confidence that I can change and be the woman he envisions me to be, but I don’t know how I will ever forget this feeling and truly feel good enough in his eyes.I don't know how I am supposed to feel comfortable enough with my body in front of him to be intimate in the future.

    I feel so broken and hollow by all this. Looking for any and all suggestions of how to possibly pick up the shattered pieces of what I am now questioning was ever a happy relationship…
     
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  2. DireMerl

    DireMerl Fapstronaut

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    So sorry to hear you're going through this. Its very similar to my situation with my husband. Porn warps their thinking into being disatisfied with real women. This is not a reflection on you. Don't even think about changing yourself to please him. You're right. It will never be enough, because his brain has been conditioned through porn to only be turned on by porn stars.

    If he loves you and wants to be with you, then he should be supporting you. Not running you down and making you feel bad about yourself. As for the escort, you'll never know if he's being honest about it.

    You need to decide where to go from here. If you want to stick with him, he needs to commit to giving up pmo. If he isn't willing to do that, tough choices may lie ahead for you.

    Just know that you're not alone. There are many of us partners on here, who are all ready to support you. Have a look at some of our journals if you want some insight. Xx
     
  3. Mj1064

    Mj1064 Fapstronaut

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    Wow........that's a rough ride you're on. I know those feelings so well.... It really has nothing to do with you personally. I wanted to punch my hubby when he first told me that but I get it now! I really hope that your other half decides he wants to stop. Have you shown him this website? It truly is what saved my marriage as it made my husband face the fact that he was addicted. Our stories are in my signature at the bottom.
    Until he faces his addiction head on and decides to stop, there's not a lot you can do but if he's got that far, he has to mean it and work flippin hard to rebuild that trust as best he can. If he can't do that, then you have to decide if you want to feel like this for the foreseeable future.
     
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  4. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Actually- he is the one who told me about this site! I think he has sorta accepted that he has an addiction but I don't honestly think he's fully come to terms with what that means and the hold addiction has on him. He is a proud, stubborn man and the idea that he is powerless to porn isn't something that sits well with him. I know he SAYS he wants to do everything he can to save our relationship and that his life would be ruined if I left him...but I don't always feel like I see that commitment through actions. I'm not unreasonable...I know he will struggle and even stumble...but I can't honestly say that I feel like he is truly trying to beat this thing the way I could when he was going "hard mode". Does that even make any sense?

    I think right now it is easy for him to try and blame me...or try and share the blame between us. I just wish I was strong enough to not take any of it on if it isn't, in fact, deserved. But maybe it is.... maybe he genuinely isn't attracted to me with or without an addiction...I can't really blame him for that...but does that mean I have to try and "convince" him to be attracted to me by "getting hotter"?!?!?

    Ugh this would be so much easier I think if it didn't hit right smack on the head of one of my biggest personal struggles and insecurities!
     
  5. Rav70

    Rav70 Fapstronaut

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    My bf is recovering and he has never blamed me only himself.
    He never was attracted to you? He wants you to change? F HIM IMO.
     
  6. Mj1064

    Mj1064 Fapstronaut

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    A couple of times my hubby, kind of jokingly said 'I think I might even have a problem' but that's as far as that went. I 'found out' on three separate occasions and each time, I thought he had stopped emailing women from the time before and each time I found out, I felt worse - your description fits us all. My hubby visited an escort twice, only months after we were married. I only found that little nugget out coz I managed to log in to one of his porn sites and I found messages. I cannot describe how that made me feel. When I tried to explain how it made me feel with him emailing the women, he used to get angry with me, tell me to stop 'going on' and they're only 'friends' he's chatting to. When I showed him this website, I've said in other threads, it took a few days of me keep talking about it but then, after storming off, he had what I call his 'frying pan round the head' moment. From then on, it's been totally different and he's now 95 days clean. I got my son to block hubby's favourite sites directly through the router (I guess I'm lucky in that he didn't go randomly looking for porn; he went on the webcam sites, so it was easy to block specifics) and then he also agreed to having Accountable2You on our devices, which he said has helped immensely.
    I hope some of the others on here can give you more helpful advice. You can only put up with so much until you see real effort being put in to fix this.
     
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  7. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Honestly Rav70- a part of me feels that way too. But because of my history and the intense shame surrounding my body/food, it is far easier for me to agree with him than to say "f**k off! I'm beautiful the way I am! I'll go find someone else who does think I'm sexy as f**k and can't wait to screw me!"

    Kinda sucks that his sh*t has to align so closely with my own...
     
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  8. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    MJ- yea...the accountability thing is a person. He likes that I am monitoring it- acting like a police/mother- but I hate it. It has made me suspicious and obsessive. We asked a friend to take over the duties and while they agreed, the more I thought about it the more uncomfortable I got with that idea. Seemed so intimate and like a big burden to ask of her. So back to the drawing board... I suggested his brother but they don't have the best relationship so I'm not sure if that will pan out. Too bad the apps/sites don't come with neutral 3rd parties to monitor them!
     
  9. Mj1064

    Mj1064 Fapstronaut

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    See, for us, it's worked the opposite! Hubby had already been blocked by our router but I was still feeling really uneasy every time I heard him typing away - wondering who he was chatting to. I mentioned the A2Y and he agreed - as by then he wasn't doing anything anyway but just to give me peace of mind. I love it. I don't really feel the need to monitor his activity. If he does go on anything dodgy (we've tested with Ann Summers and even this website, depending on which thread he looks at), I get a text or email to let me know. Every morning when I wake up, there is the 24 hr report too, which always has zero on it. It makes me feel so much more relaxed.
    Hubby also told his son and daughter about his problem, so they now ask how he's doing too.
    I guess if you don't like the accountability, you'll have to go with blockers. I can't remember if Covenant Eyes is a blocker or not but that's another one that's mentioned on here.
     
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  10. Ikindaknew

    Ikindaknew Fapstronaut

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    OMG.

    You girl will need to think about taking care of yourself. No boyfriend/husband, lover, etc CAN tell the lady that she is not attractive to him. This is cruel. He's not worth your love.
    I know, easier said than done. My wife was like a wounded animal when I started dating her...she was brought down like that by previous dick husband. Lots of damage. I always loved her and her body. Ok I've been a PMO addict myself..so I'm not all rosy..but the goal in the relationship is to take care of your SO...

    Take care. Take a deep breath, but don't let anyone on this planet bringing you down. Not only its not cool, its also freakin brutal. He's NOT marriage material...
     
  11. Veritech

    Veritech Fapstronaut

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    A porn addiction is one thing. I for one was lonely before I met my wife. I turned to porn as a band aid temporary solution. Problem was I could not stop viewing even after meeting my wife and having real sex. Although my wife has no idea, I believe that I am still a good person. I am going to stop using porn once and for all for me and my family.

    But I am attracted to my wife. I have never cheated on her. Your partner tried to pay somebody to have sex with him. He prefers to pay a prostitute rather than to have sex with you and he actually told you that. This is a horrible insult to you.

    You cannot marry this person. Marriage is forever. You deserve to be loved and you deserve to enjoy sexual intimacy with a nice guy. Your man should make you feel sexy, kiss you, hold you and make feel like a sexy woman. This guy fails on all cylinders. Do you really want to raise a family with this selfish clod? What will your children think of you and how will they gain a sense of self confidence when they watch their mother in a relationship totally lacking in any sense of intimacy?

    There is somebody out there who is going to treat you as you deserve to be treated, both emotionally and physically. If you keep waiting around with this guy, somebody else will find your ideal man before you find him.

    I wish you well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  12. newman_unleashed

    newman_unleashed Fapstronaut

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    I have to agree with @Veritech

    It is hard for me to believe that this man really cares about you. If he does somehow deep inside care for you, he has some major fear of intimacy/trust issues that are causing him to hurt you. He will not change as long as you let him do this to you. I think you need to move on for yourself and for him.
    All the best.
     
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  13. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Ikinda, Veritech, Newman, ISO- first off thank you for your support. Just taking the time to share your thoughts offers me some comfort in what can be a really lonely situation. I won’t lie- reading your words is hard. Hearing that you should leave the man you love is never easy. I want to reassure anyone who is wondering that there aren’t any children here to be concerned about (and no kids are planned in our future), so that isn’t a concern in this case. To be honest- I’ve thought the same thoughts. I’ve wondered if this really is something that can be changed, if I’m crazy for considering sticking it out, if this isn’t my cue from the universe to “cut and run.” Maybe it’s the fact the our therapist seems convinced we can get through this. Maybe it’s my own feelings of worthlessness and unloveability that make my not have as strong reactions as you all seem to….or maybe I’m just not really ready to hear advice about leaving. For better or for worse, I can’t bring myself to throw in the towel just yet. Forgive me for not being strong enough to walk away now.
     
  14. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    UPDATE (warning, it's long):

    Last night was kinda rough. My partner (let’s call him Snazzy since that’s his handle on here) is coming to terms with the magnitude of what he has done. For the first time in the past few days he seemed genuinely remorseful and self-reflective. He expressed concern for my well-being. Most importantly…we talked…

    Snazzy seems to be still VERY much in denial about his addiction (or at least the true scope of its power over him). He is also having a very strong rebellious reaction to this whole thing. He made an interesting observation last night that stood out to me. About 10 years ago when he was first dealing with serious mental health issues, he fought tooth and nail against medication. Once he realized he needed it and resistance was futile, he has taken it without fail or complaint every day for 10 years. Now, 10 years later, he has learned how his medication helps him live the life he envisioned and allows him to be his better self. Somehow…that helps make the resistance make sense. I don’t know that I can wait until he has his “ah-ha” moment with this addiction thing…but I can at least comprehend his resistance more.

    Snazzy also is stubbornly struggling with the idea of change. Wondering why it is always him and never anyone else that has to change. For now…I’m letting him sit with that thought more.

    I think our biggest breakthrough moment last night was when I shared with Snazzy that I was “settling” for him. I shared with him how he was not the dream man I had imagined all my life, but how I realized that was okay. I was willing to let that dream go in favor of the imperfect (yet still wonderful) reality that was him. It was in that moment that Snazzy broke down. I had never seen raw emotion like that from him before. It was painful and satisfying at the same time. In that moment he had to come to terms with the idea that he too, may not get everything he wants from life. I wanted to be angry- to say “you’re a grown ass man! How did you not know that already?!?!” but I wasn’t. Not really. Instead, I felt sympathy. Snazzy looked like a child who for the first time realized just how cruel the world can really be. And I know that feeling. I know that pain. So more than anything, my heart broke for him.

    I can’t help but think that he does, somewhere inside he’s detached from now, find me attractive. When he was doing hard mode for a month I feel like that desire and attraction for me started to leak to the surface. Snazzy may not see it that way, but I know what it was like with him. Our intimacy, our passion, our sex, his arousal…it was all so different. And frankly – it felt too real for me to believe he was forcing or faking it. Maybe that is me just wanting to believe in something that I need to feel better about myself and not feel like this relationship has been a waste of my time. But I truly feel like if he could get his addiction under control, he WOULD be attracted to me. Or at least attracted enough. Sure- I still need to work on myself (and I want to…for me) but is it crazy to think that this is all about his addiction?

    Ultimately, I gave Snazzy a sort of ultimatum. Me or porn. I made it clear that I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t at least actively, and with all the vigor and energy he could muster, working to fight his addiction. Acknowledging it isn’t enough. If he wants me, he needs to take true and significant steps towards recovery. But I can’t force him to do that. He has to understand and choose this as a priority for himself. Until he decides one way or the other on that….I don’t think we can make progress/decisions about putting together/letting go any of the rest of the broken pieces that have been created here…

    Maybe it is foolish…but I feel more at peace this morning. Shitty and still hurt and upset for sure…but calmer. Like a step forward towards…something…happened last night. Could I be fooling myself? Maybe. Are we just delaying the inevitable? Not sure. Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections….as hard as it may be for me to read them J
     
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  15. Rav70

    Rav70 Fapstronaut

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    Anything is possible girl. If he commits to stop and stays clean he could totally change.
    My boyfriend and I are doing amazing and our sex life now is freaking awesome.
    Dec 7th 2015 I found pictures of him cross dressed, a video of him with a dildo, countless messages of him talking to men about hooking up, pictures of girls sending him texts... It was fucking nuts and if you told me before everything I found out about PMO if I would have stayed with him I'd say SHIT NO WAY.
    But love is strong. He has changed. But he hit rock bottom and hated himself and only knew he loved me more than anyone he had ever been with.
    So, who knows what can happen. He has to commit.
     
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  16. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Rav- that really hits home for me. That is exactly what Snazzy says about where we are at...thank you for a ray of hope during this dark time.
     
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  17. Rav70

    Rav70 Fapstronaut

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    You're welcome. It is hard and you feel like you're losing your mind. We're here if you need us.
     
  18. newman_unleashed

    newman_unleashed Fapstronaut

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    @Trying4love
    Good for you. I think what I was really trying to convey is that you are not "stuck" in this relationship. The fact that you have accepted that you can move on if needed and have let him know that you will if things do not change will only help you both.
    I think you both have to be honest about needs, wants, and feelings for it to work, even if it is hard to share.

    All the best.
     
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  19. Veritech

    Veritech Fapstronaut

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    I read your long post. Although you feel bad for Snazzy, what about your needs and desires?

    I don't buy your medication analogy. Medication is just opening your mouth and swallowing. Recovering from addiction is hard work and effort.

    I also don't understand why you are settling for Snazzy. You also use the phrase that you hope that Snazzy will be attracted to you or attracted enough. You want a guy who is proud to have you on his arm, not somebody who alleges that you are mediocre at best.

    Based on your earlier post, I also don't buy that the crying was sincere. Crying is likely a ploy to guilt you. I don't want to imply anything, but the worst domestic abusers are crying men. After they have punched their girlfriend, they feel guilty, cry, say it won't happen again and buy flowers. After being forgiven, the guy punches his girlfriend again. He cries again until forgiven. He abuses again.

    "He was so sincere after he grabbed my hair and threw my face into the wall".
    "He was so nice to me after berating me in front of my friends".

    I don't think you should "settle" for any guy. You deserve a guy who is attracted to you without preconditions. I don't think that Snazzy loves or values you the same way you love and value him.

    Again, if it was just a porn addiction that would be one thing.

    You deserve love. You deserve intimacy. Snazzy has his own issues he needs to deal with. His problems should not cost you your own health and well-being.

    If you do choose to stay with Snazzy for the time being:
    1) You both need intensive couples counselling; and
    2) Do not intermingle any money - no joint credit cards, bank accounts and never loan him any money.
     
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  20. i_wanna_get_better1

    i_wanna_get_better1 Fapstronaut

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    There certainly has been some very strong opinions on the subject. While Snazzy has shown himself to be a (fill-in-the-blank)... were any of us any less of a (fill-in-the-blank) when we started our recovery? Far be it for any of us to make a decision for you. But some of the most horrible things he's done is recent and also involves potential infidelity. That's scary.

    Snazzy needs to commit himself to the recovery process 100%. He can't do this halfway. Often we have to hit rock-bottom in order to change. Has he hit rock bottom? Are you protecting him from hitting rock bottom? If he knows you are committed to staying no matter what then he will take the inch you give him and turn it into a mile. Perhaps a middle ground is to put him in a 'probation period.' If he feels that you might walk out the door if he relapses then he can use that as one of his many motivators to get well. And it will give you a safer emotional space to be. You cannot stay with him long term and expect happiness if he refuses to change. And he may not come out of this process the kind of person you imagine him to be. Place conditions and tell him your expectations.

    This process he has to go through will change many fundamental parts of himself. It's much more than abstaining from porn. It's learning how to act, think, interact, cope, and live like a human being. It's a long journey. Part of that process must involve making amends for hurting those around them. He must make this up to you. I'm not sure if he can because he said some very hurtful things that you may never get out of your head. But it is HIS responsibility to try. It's his responsibility to be trustworthy. It's his responsibility to WANT to get better. It's his responsibility to make you feel loved and appreciated.

    Putting him into a probationary state will also give you back some of the power in the relationship. Right now, he controls what he does and how you feel. You have become a subordinate in this relationship. You are receiving the emotional crumbs. You are chained to the good qualities that he possesses, but you cannot ignore all the bad stuff he's doing. It amounts to emotional abuse and if you let it continue then you are allowing it to happen. Take back some of the power and make him afraid that you might leave.

    If you believe there's a chance for him to get better and you're willing to risk giving him another chance then we can support you. You can pour out your frustrations here. Even when an addict is doing well the SO can still have emotionally bad days. But don't be naive and allow him to take advantage of your forgiveness. Don't allow him to deceive you. Addicts become very good at manipulating people around them.

    One last thing... don't let him connect his recovery to you working on yourself. He must get better because it's the right thing to do. It's not a negotiation. He may justify his behavior and blame you for not making progress on your issues.

    There are success stories, but only those who commit their whole self to the process actually get better. Don't let him destroy your life if he can't get his life in order.
     
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