He's in denial

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Portocala, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    Hello, this is my first post so please let me know if I'm doing something wrong.
    I have a question: how do you get him to actually work on his PM addiction?
    When he told me about his addiction, (which he thought I've found out myself, but I didn't) I minimazed it because I didn't know what it actually meant and also because he was very vulnerable and hurt. I've tried my best to reassure him that we will find a solution, focusing on his point of view, never looking at mine. The problem is that now that I know, it put in my mind very sad thoughts about what I thought our perfect relationship was and got him a lot less depressed, which is good, in a way, but also bad because now he just covers the problem and almost says that it is normal and we can go on just like this. I know it is my fault because I've tried my best not to make him feel judged or bad for what happened probably to a point in which he thought it was acually normal, but I know it is not. I've tried to tell him about this website, books, blogs, videos on youtube but he gets very defensive and I feel more sad each day. Now that I'm reading some of the blogs here and actually have a better idea of how hurtful dynamics are going to be, I just want to scream to him to do something before we get in a very bad place because I don't know if I'll still be as supportive if I keep understanding and noticing things... I really don't want to hurt him or tell him things in a way he feels wrong, judged, bad, not loved... because I know that these feelings got him to PM addiction in the first place. Does anyone has any advice? He actually goes to a psycologist, but he has not told her about this addiction because he doesn't feel comfortable. Which I understand, but at the same time I wonder how and when we will start working on this...
    Thank you very much for the help!
     
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  2. Mrmark

    Mrmark Fapstronaut

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    #1, none of it is your fault. PM is selfish and it will destroy your relationship. Him telling you is actually pretty good, but he does need to tell the therapist--remind him they've heard it all. Porn is easy, it requires no performance anxiety and you don't need to do the things you think you need to do for your partner. Maybe some things he feels and is part of communication. My wife gave me zero feedback and made sex a guessing game and very stressful as you never knew what was good or bad. As a couple there can be a host of variables that together you may need to address in therapy if you can't through this on your own.
     
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  3. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Does he want to reboot, I'm confused by some of this..

    And welcome to the forum.
    It's going to be a roller-coaster.
    Both of you will go through many emotions.
    How long has he been in therapy?
    Is this a recent thing?
     
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  4. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    Thank you very much for replying and welcoming me!
    To be honest I don't know about what he wants... The night he told me about the PM addiction came after a huge fight in which I told him a was ending things because he betrayed me with one of his female friends (not actual sex but everything else). He was very vulnerable, ashamed, scared and opened up about what happened, explained everything to me, from where it started to how it got there. I, of course, was very hurt and I didn't really wanted to throw everything away because this has been the first time something like this happened between us, so when he finally found the courage to tell me about the PM thing, I felt all this kind of emotions like compassion, love, wanting to help him, be by his side, connection, gratitude, trust... So, because I was so scared of the real woman, I reassured him that P wasn't so bad since he can't build any relationship with the women in the computer. Day passed by and I started reading about what PM addiction was so I started talking to him about it, video, blogs, this website... any soft way I could think of, but he is unfocused, changes subject. The other night I was very sad so since he asked, I tried to talk to him and told him that I don't really feel safe, even if things are going better between us because he promised to stop talking to women in ways that might hurt me. That's not much of a warranty for me because the problem is still there, while I see that he enjoys the fact that our moods are better lately and doesn't really want to go back to see the monsters. And I don't know how to make him understand that this is not going anywhere if he's just happier around the house but still hides everything, I want to solve it now before getting to the crisis like the last time.

    He has been in therapy for 2 months now, and he had PM addiction for something like 15 years now (we are 25), so pretty much since he descovered his sexuality...
     
  5. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    First: You're doing a great job for being on here and fighting this battle, keep going!!!
    Thank you very much for your advice! I'll try again to tell him that his therapist is more than fine with hearing about PM addiction, maybe reassuring him will help. And thank you for sharing part of your experience: I thought about what you have said, but he always told me that our sex life was very satisfying and I know I am very open about what I like and what he likes... He says that PM addiction has nothing to do with us, it came from loneliness (we moved in a month ago, he used to live by himself in a city far from home, with no friends and a job he doesn't like) and depression, just as a stress relief, till it became uncontrolled. Which I believe to be true, but I want to see improvements now that we can be together in this.
    About therapy you're right, I'll start going myself next week, some things are just too complicated for just one human being!
     
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  6. Here are some of the resources you and your partner might like.
    Thankfully, there is a lot of free resources online nowadays. There are numerous websites and books you can read and get great benefit from them. Some online help costs, but very little.
    - I use https://bloomforwomen.com/ a lot for my betrayal trauma (costs $10 a month to become a member). They have a huge video blog library on their forum and many useful courses for partners of SA/PAs.
    - They also have a program for PAs on https://addorecovery.com/, but I'm not part of it.
    - This site has excellent blog too http://vickitidwellpalmer.com/
    - This YT playlist has good info too https://www.youtube.com/playlist...
    - Another site with some good info and free resources http://www.themindfulhabit.com/
    - The "classic" https://yourbrainonporn.com/
    - A great site FOR YOU to feel better right away :) http://uncustomary.org/ I love this woman!!!
    - My goodreads list (not complete and not only on PA/SA stuff, but some good books on the topic) https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/24960995
    - - THIS IS PRICELESS
    - - This is a second part of the above PRICELESS video

    More on betrayal trauma and addiction recovery:
    -
    -
    -
    - https://youtu.be/UWJCKQwCXR4

    And @AnonymousAnnaXOXO's list of resources too:
    http://theinstituteforsexualhealth....rtners-and-spouses-...
    http://rebootblueprint.com/porn-induced-partner-trauma/
    https://medium.com/.../10-things-i-wish-i-d-known-about...
    https://markchamberlainphd.blogspot.com
    http://rebootblueprint.com/overcome-porn-addiction-advice/ (FOR ADDICTS)
    http://www.covenanteyes.com/.../common-questions-wives.../ (FOR PARTNERS)
    https://www.amazon.com/Man-Interrup...id=1487272605&sr=8... (Good read for PA's to understand themselves, and what addictions can do)
    https://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge (This is the TED talk to go with the above book, great TED talk!)
    https://www.amazon.com/Hold-Me-Tight.../dp/1491513810 (AMAZING LIFE SAVING BOOK FOR COUPLES! This book really help both sides understand each other and what the other person's behavior means)
    https://soundcloud.com/.../the-science-of-human... (This is the podcast to listen to before reading the book above. If you only click on one link, this would be the link to click on)
    http://www.growthclimate.com/.../addiction_and_intimacy.pdf (This packet is by David Skinner [who is in the podcast above] and the packet is a great resource for couples. Another life saver)
    http://www.selfgrowth.com/.../understanding_why...
    http://partnersofpas.boards.net/thread/10/love?page=1... (Questions in the book Love you, Hate the porn that are great for a couple to go through and answer)
    how to help your spouse heal from your affair (This is another great packet, life saver, for the relationship. Click on the link with Linda Macdonald on it)
    http://nationalpsychologist.com/201...tims.../102810.html...
    https://vimeo.com/128255126
    https://youtu.be/S1Wz2NhMijg
    https://youtu.be/bA8cAhrnKGo
    https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Hate-Porn.../dp/1606419366 (Book for PA and SO to read together)
    https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Addiction.../dp/1138776521 (Another great book for partners)
    THESE ARTICLES ARE IMPORTANT FOR ADDICTS TO READ WHEN WIFE SAYS THEY ARE CHEATING (Everyone has a different definition of cheating. Most think of cheating as black and white, specifically cheating is physical in the minds of many. I, as well as others, adopt this definition of cheating. "If I have to hide my activity/information/location/etc. then I am cheating my spouse/partner in one way or another [whether it be financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, etc.]. If my spouse was with me, would I do it? If not, then it is hurting my relationship)
    https://www.adhdmarriage.com/content/9-reasons-porn-hurts
    http://www.covenanteyes.com/.../19/using-porn-is-cheating/
    http://fightthenewdrug.org/is-watching-porn-cheating-on.../
    http://themattwalshblog.com/.../married-men-your-porn.../
    http://www.abattleplan.com/.../emotional-affair-cheating.../
    For Partners specifically (though reading these, addicts, would maybe show you the pain and process we go through). These are some posts from women on reboot who have been invaluable to my recovery. They have helped inspire me, helped me understand what I was going through when I didn't have words to understand this. So hopefully these posts can either inspire, or can be relatable and helpful in recovery.
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... (Post: What I wish I knew day one after D-Day by Stillme [who has so many insightful posts])
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... (second post in this thread by stillme is great for addicts to read as well as partners)
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... ( Post by Stillme called, What Partners Know)
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... (Post called Learning What I Need by Aquarius [a partner])
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... (Post by Stillme called, The Ups and Downs Of Recovery - What I am Learning)
    http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php... (Post by Stillme called Things I miss)
    The posts above are really amazing insights, and honestly, any post by Stillme, Emerald Blue, or Aquarius has personally helped me with figuring out my own emotions, boundaries, and self-love, so I hope those posts/threads are as helpful to you.

    Other articles that are fun or more light-hearted but still helpful
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../marriage-advice_n...
    http://www.marriagebuilders.com/gra.../mbi4500_resource.html
    https://mishkawifeofsexaddict.blogspot.com

    I think this is from @Kenzi, but can't remember anymore...
    https://www.jordangrayconsulting.com/2015/12/i-believe-in-loving-like-you-give-a-shit/ (to remind him how to be a good partner)
     
  7. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

  8. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

  9. I've been doing my homework ;-)
     
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  10. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    I likes it :)
     
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  11. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    Wow, THANK YOU so much for all of this!!!
     
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  12. LizzyBlanca

    LizzyBlanca Fapstronaut

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    The harsh reality is that no one can make anyone work on anything, and this is especially true for addicts b/c denial and avoidance (and shame) are tremendous.

    What we do have power over, though, is ourselves. We can set healthy boundaries.

    I didn't do well with boundaries at first. I had to learn a great deal. The one book that helped me with boundaries is Vicki Tidwell Palmer's book _Moving Beyond Betrayal_. There's a big difference between requests, demands (demands don't work - they only foster resentment and denial), negotiable boundaries and non-negotiable boundaries. Boundaries can help bring your sanity back, b/c being the partner of a sex/porn addict can be very "crazy-making" and the best thing we can do for ourselves is work toward being more grounded.
     
  13. WantsToBelieve

    WantsToBelieve Fapstronaut

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    Wait... what? So he legitimately cheated on you (that's how I see it, anyway). That goes way beyond just a PM addiction. He needs to talk to his counselor about it. All of it. If he really wants to fix this, repair your relationship, it's the only way. Pushing it down and letting it fester is only going to make it worse. He needs to work through his depression without allowing your (legitimate) feelings of betrayal to get him down. You have a right to feel the way you do and he should be using the fact that he's hurt you to get better. To be a better man.

    I can definitely relate to the struggle of getting him to actually do the research and the work on his own. My fiancee won't either. I am so sorry you've been through all of this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
     
  14. LizzyBlanca

    LizzyBlanca Fapstronaut

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    Porn use often escalates into more. Just like a drug addict, they need more to get their fix. It can be the type of porn, it can be on-line chats or cams, strip clubs, prostitutes or hook-ups with people they know or don't know.

    I see all of it as "cheating" b/c sex (and sexual gratification) is occurring outside a marriage or committed relationship.

    Having an addiction or habit for over half of his life is serious. It didn't start overnight and it won't be resolved overnight. Adding to this issue is he was using porn at a critical time of his development as a young male (10 years to 25 years old). This will take a great deal of time and effort on his part to "re-wire" is brain.

    The shame for these guys is tremendous. Hence, avoidance, deflecting, minimizing. If a couple chooses to work on it together, it takes years of recovery. Most importantly, the addict has to engage in recovery on his own and out in the open (for example - in a group setting - therapeutic or sex addiction/12-step).

    Hang in there. Hoping for clarity for you.
     
  15. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    This is what I am desperately trying to make him understand... he really needs to process where the PM addiction came from and why because if he keeps picturing himself as the victim in this -first victim of the addiction, now victim of me that wants him to quit- he will just keep feeling powerless and eaten up by things in his life. It is so hard to make him understand that he can actually choose, he has the power, he is not the victim anymore, he is an adult :(

    Thank you for your support... I really hope your fiancee will realize soon how amazing you are and starts taking good care of you, just like you did for him.
     
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  16. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    Thank you very much, I am definitely going to buy the book!
     
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  17. Portocala

    Portocala Fapstronaut

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    I've just read your whole journal and even thou I'm so grateful for all the information you are sharing it makes me very sad to see that all the good insight your are giving me comes from having been there before :(
    Unfortunally we live in a country where there are no groups like 12 step. My SO started individual therapy in July, which is a huge first step, but he hasn't told his therapist about his addiction yet, and this makes me very impatient at times. I know he has to get there by himself, it has to be him to choose to change, to open up... But the waiting and the hurt are so frustrating... What am I supposed to do in the meanwhile? Just watch him destroy us :/ I really don't know...
     
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  18. LizzyBlanca

    LizzyBlanca Fapstronaut

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    Self-care. Lots of self-care. I don't have the time right now for a long reply (sorry) --- but there are many resources on the Internet and there are groups for wives/partners on the Internet too.

    It's hard for us.

    It helps if we can be around other women who "get it.'
     
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