Learning to forgive. Advice?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by wifeofanaddict, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. wifeofanaddict

    wifeofanaddict New Fapstronaut

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    Edit: I'm new here. This is my first post! Open to tips/advice/questions!

    My boyfriend is a PA for 8-9 years. He lied to me about it for the 2 years we have been together. He finally came clean one night after I had (one of many) breakdowns feeling like he didn't want me. He would reject me constantly when I tried to pursue him for sex and never tried to pursue me. I always assumed it was because I didn't measure up to girls from his past that he liked to keep in contact with (different problem altogether.) I don't have a sexual history myself other than with him. He let me lie next to him in bed and cry myself to sleep night after night knowing that he was the reason I was feeling so unloved. I don't know where to begin forgiving him for making me feel this way. Now, not only do I have the jealousy from his past, but from these girls online that he was choosing to get off to over me - the woman he claimed he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. How do you move past the jealousy and the hurt? I truly do want to spend the rest of my life with this man, but for a long time now the heartache has been almost more than the love I feel. Where do I even begin?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    Citadelle likes this.
  2. He must stop PMO. This is the answer. You must speak with him about the addiction.
     
  3. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    As someone who has been through this your story hits home. I remember lying in bed crying on a regular basis after being rejected, or him being able to perform in bed. I thought it was me, I was unattractive, I was bad in bed. But unlike you I do have a sexual history, and I did at that time, so I knew this had never happened with another other partner before, so it likely was not me, but I still felt like it was. Forgiveness and staying are two different things. In order to stay you will need to forgive and probably 80% of whether you can forgive is going to be based on his actions. The 20% accounts for you to at least be willing to forgive, and actually open to trying. This won’t even be able to begin, until he stops the PMO completely and ACTS SORRY. There are a lot of men on here that have succeeded in repairing their relationships and to me that is one thing that rings through acting sorry. He needs to show you that he can rebuild that trust that he has broken down. If he is not willing to do that, then your choices are stay and deal with what you are staying with or leave and find someone else who is not like this. You are not married, you do not have kids, and if you do end up married to a PMO addict it is a very long and difficult road, which does not stop once the addict has been clean for awhile. There are lies and relapses and often issues underlying the reason for the addiction that may make him unable or unwilling to give you the type of relationship you seek and deserve. Only you can make the choice to stay or leave, I left and that was primarily becasue my ex was not sorry, did not act sorry and never cared to try to rebuild the trust. He just was like yea I stopped PMO now let’s forget about it and never discuss it again. The secondary reason was I wanted a normal sex life, with a man who could perform in bed normally,and made me feel attractive. Finally I knew that there were plenty of men out there that were not like this and I felt like I was settling and wasting time with a man who would never change. If an addict of any type wants to change, and is making a concerted effort to do so, then I would give him a chance. But if they are not or they constantly slip up I would be less inclined.
     
    Citadelle, Penelope, Jagliana and 2 others like this.
  4. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

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    Time, and work on his part. I've felt like you do now, but it's taken us 15 years to finally start to change and heal. It also took me nearly leaving to bring that change on. I do not forgive and I'm not sure if I ever will. But for me I can still love and help him recover without forgiveness. For a long time I thought that I had to forgive him. But I don't, I'm not bitter about our past, not really angry. Ok, a little angry. But for me it is mostly hurt, pain and confusion. Forgiveness may come in time, maybe many many years. Is he working on his PA? Do you see positive changes? You need to decide what it is that you can and can't take or live with. Sadly sometimes love isn't enough and you need to do what is best for YOU.
     
  5. Hi and welcome! The feedback you get from partner support should help you feel less alone - I hope you find comfort here.
    My PA has been 2 months no PMO now. We are making love again (after impotency for the whole relationship due to his porn and masturbation addiction), he comes very quickly unlike the past 3 years. So I do believe him when he says he's not relapsed. However, I am still in the process of forgiving and it is difficult. You are certainly not alone.
    Forgiveness, for me, relies on one major element. It's about being genuinely sorry. That doesn't just mean saying it a few times, it means actually being sorry. It means understanding, or empathising it from my end. How much his actions and choices affected and damaged me. It meant me asking him how much of what you've done can I do and you'll stay. Is masturbating over naked pics of other men okay with him? The hypocrisy is astounding. He has to show he's sorry by choosing not to PMO. And yes, it's a choice not a need like oxygen, food etc.
    If he hadn't have showed he was sorry - with actions - I would've left him. I've been sex starved for 3 years, believed it was me who was unattractive/not "enough" and I tolerated it because I thought it was due to a previous abusive relationship. I felt sorry for him and went sexually frustrated myself (I am faithful) because I loved him and thought it wasn't his fault. When I found out 2 months ago he'd been addicted to porn all the way through, I moved into the spare bedroom, called off the engagement and gave the ring back to him. Things are looking up now because he knows I'm serious. He's put the effort into understanding the partner's point of view/damage it causes her. He's doing this independently. He's putting the right actions in that I need to heal. He's not making excuses but he also know I wouldn't buy them anyway.
    If I had any advice to give you, it'd be to ask him how much he knows about the mechanics of this addiction. The biological aspects (dopamine rush), the social aspects (porn is widely accepted in this culture) and, most importantly, does he know the extent you are hurting due to his addiction.
    It's a really difficult time and the damage doesn't reverse just because he stopped PMO. There's still body image problems, issues with trust and other emotional rollercoasters that need to be worked on. The question is: Is he on your side?
    Sending love n hugs X
     
    wifeofanaddict, GG2002 and Numb like this.
  6. Werka

    Werka Fapstronaut

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    I honestly think forgiveness should be at the very end of your to do list at the moment, as there is such a long way to walk for both of you before you even know if you are going to make it through.
    My husband did the same thing to me but for 10 years (I feel like such an epic moron every time I think about it) and he didn’t confess until caught and confronted. So you have something to be grateful for, as not many SO’s on here were blessed with a spontaneous confession.
    Now that you both know what you are dealing with, a lot depends on what he does about it and how serious he gets with recovery.
    I’d like to think that somewhere down the road forgiveness is possible. Our DDay was at the end of October, but tome it still feels like early days due to the lack of communication about the issue. It’s baby steps for us, with both doing individual therapy and him changing into a complete antithesis of his former, addicted self. I’m just confused and not even thinking about forgiveness, but I guess that may be the difference between us due to circumstances. You are wondering about your future together, whereas I already had a big chunk of our ‘future together’. Which was just a one big fuck up. However, I think that if we manage to work through all our issues that accumulated over the years, I may be able to forgive the porn part of it. What I will struggle with is the fact that he witnessed what it did to me and at no point did it occur to him to come clean and change things. Your bf did that, which makes him my personal hero. I wish my husband had the guts to do the same thing many years ago.
     
  7. Jagliana

    Jagliana Fapstronaut

    This is so profound. I've been struggling with the concept of forgiveness, for some time now. I never once considered, you can continue to love, without forgiveness. Thank you for this food for thought.

    Yep, I wish I didn't constantly have to relive 'discovery days', it was like a knife in the chest - each time.
     
  8. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    My ex was hyper focused on being forgiven. Even a week after Dday he could not understand why I had not yet forgiven him. That in part was why I left. When a person lies or hurts another part of the forgiveness process is to live with the pain they have caused. Since being an addict is all about avoiding pain he would push and push and get angry that I could not forgive him. But what he actually wanted was for me to forget not forgive. Because even if I forgave him that would still mean we would speak about it, and that’s what he wanted to avoid.

    Whether am SO can forgive imo is strongly dependent on how the addict behaves. If the addict shows the SO how sorry he is and changes his behavior that can more easily lead to forgiveness. But that’s not what most of us encounter. We get anger, defensiveness, lack of understanding, pressure to move on, cries for pity, relapse after relapse, lying, hiding things, selfishness etc. with these things going on One can’t forgive. And addicts need to see that forgive is not forget.
     
  9. Nailed it. Bravo, GG! X
     
    GG2002 likes this.

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