Hurting my Relationship

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Therin13, Jun 27, 2023.

  1. Therin13

    Therin13 Fapstronaut

    Hello! I am new to NoFap and Im trying to start off right by diving into fixing myself with journaling and support.

    I have been in my current relationship for 5 years now, we started "dateing" after highschool. I was bestfriends with her boyfriend and witnessed him treating her like crap. So i "stole" her and we were on and off for a few years.

    Fastforward to five years ago, we finally lived together and wanted to start our life, however I had my secret, any free time i had to myself was spend watching porn or playing porn games or looking for new porn i was into.
  2. Therin13

    Therin13 Fapstronaut

    Living in arizona was already a strain on our relationship, she lived away from her family and mine took every oppertunity to belittle her. Meanwhile i was absent most of the time, exploring my darker fetishes and not sharing at all with her.

    By the time we moved out of arizona we were at each others throats, things came to a head about a year later when she found out i had a secret reddit account. I was using it to solicit sex from anyone in the area (male, female, and trans).

    From there she took my phone and found accounts on adultfriendfinder and kik. I thought the relationship was over, ready to pack up all my crap.

    She suprised me by explaining that if i had just been honest with her about my desires that she would have helped me achive them. She explained that she was hurt and dissapointed, but she was in our relationship for the long haul and was willing to continue if i would seek help.

    I started therapy and got the family link on my phone so she could see what i was doing. Yet i still managed to find loopholes to get what i wanted, still looked at porn or even just lewd images to masterbate to. Everytime i did she knew. I thought i was slick with hiding it.

    Now a year later im taking a new step, i realize i need support and a way to keep mysepf accountable. So here i am.
  3. ANewFocus

    ANewFocus Fapstronaut

    Given the extent of your behaviors (being more than just porn usage or masturbation), you will definitely want a therapist and really want to find a sex addiction therapist.

    I advise you to read up on books from Patrick Carnes as he founded most of the modern research and recovery from sex addiction.

    Start a journal here, post daily and share honestly about your behaviors, your ongoing struggles and listen to the feedback from others. Share about why you’re doing this and what’s not working and what is working.

    Find accountability partners and when they fail, find another accountability partner.

    This is a long hard journey, but it will lead you to a more rewarding life. You have to choose that you want that life every day.

    Happy to share more and help you with your recovery more directly over PM. Note: While my sobriety from pornography and masturbation is only a few weeks, I have been sober from behaviors that my wife does not support and would have ended my marriage for more than a decade. I have also had periods of abstinence from porn and masturbation for 11 months, six months and more.
    hope4healing and Warfman like this.
  4. It is very common for the SO to be much more hurt by the lies and deceit than by the addictive behaviors, and although a lot of addict partners believe their SO will walk away the instant they find out the truth, very often the opposite is true. Some of us have stayed much longer than we ever believed we could in an effort to be supportive, hoping to repair the damaged relationship.

    Yes, the SO almost always knows something isn't right, even if they're unaware of the addiction specifically. Too often, addicts tell themselves they’re not hurting anyone..."what they don't know won't hurt them"...but that's only one of the many inaccuracies they believe because the truth is, it does hurt the SO and the relationship whether they know about the addiction or not. You might be good at hiding certain things, but, unfortunately, the addiction changes people in ways the addict doesn't realize themselves, and therefore, it's extremely difficult if not impossible to hide that.

    It's good that you're taking more steps this time, but you can do all the right things...the things everyone else who's successful in their recovery does...and still be a long ways from recovery. I noticed something significant you said in your post that I wanted to mention because it's actually just as important as all the steps you take, or probably even more important...
    The reason I'm bringing attention to this is because i know sometimes when someone starts doing recovery work, especially when they've been discovered by their SO and didn't 'choose' recovery on their own, they convince themselves they actually want recovery, and they hope their SO believes they want it, too. But, deep down, they really don't want to give up their addiction. They know their SO is hurting terribly, and they don't want that, but it isn't enough to want to give up what they feel is really more important to them...the addiction.

    So, what I'm wondering is, when you started therapy and got the monitor on your phone, did you think in your mind that you truly wanted to rid your life of the addiction? Or, were you consciously aware that you were not yet ready to make that 'sacrifice,' yet you also knew that your SO had to see certain things to seem like that's what you wanted in order to save the relationship?

    Ask yourself if this time is any different than the last. Do you honestly want to put your addictive behaviors in the past and no longer have it in your life because you know that's what is best for yourself? Or, do you feel like that's what you should do because your relationship is hanging by a thread and you're desperate to save it? I think the outcome of recovery efforts can very often be determined by the honest answer to this question.
  5. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    Hey man, it's great that You've decided to be here. It's hard, trying to understand how we feel, and why we do certain things. I found through my last 8 months here that I've had to challenge myself constantly. Stretching myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It's pretty intense honestly, it is so easy when we get uncomfortable to run right back to these addictions to feel better. It's a cycle of shame, pain and hurt that we don't realize we are even dealing with.

    I battled for years trying to just stop without any real deep self improvement. It never was effective. Until I started doing a few things.

    My first step was to start identifying my triggers. What exactly lured me to act out. It's surprising how we may not even realize what we are using PMO and other behaviors to cope from. Understanding what we struggle with helps us understand our addictive habits and cycles.

    Listing these triggers out is a good thing.

    Once I did that I started observing my addictive behaviors, when I would act out I would try and ask myself why? What exactly was I feeling? What were the circumstances that led to me desiring PMO? This was a pretty long process of trial and error for me. I didn't know what my issues were. I just knew I had a PMO addiction. Unraveling this takes time. And I think the only way to truly deal with is to start being honest with yourself in these areas. Eventually I saw patterns, and saw that 75 percent of my addiction was probably simple things like anxiety and stress.

    Once I understood the behaviors and my cycles I was then able to start abstaining for much longer than I ever had before, I could actually feel the urge happening in conjunction with the trigger. I was able to tell myself that PMO wasn't worth it. I had to do this repeatedly over and over all day long. But eventually my urges became less and less.

    Also for me to truly deal with this I had to actually face my problems. Unpeel the layers of things I had clamed up inside me my entire life. It wasn't fun, openly expressing this and feeling as though nobody understood my pain. But for me it was a crucial part of what got me to where I am now.

    Even with this though I still struggle, it's not easy, but I hope this brings you some motivation and somewhere to start.

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