My wife has labeled me as a sex addict. In the earlier part of my life, I experienced what I thought was pretty typical of most guys: - peeking at my brother's playboy magazines - experiencing a x rated movie with some college friends (this was in the days when there was no internet, cable, or suggestive shows on television), this was a 1 time event in my life, never went again -when we went to NYC, we checked out Times Square once (pretty raunchy back then) -for the next 10 years, other than a sporadic strip club with friends (1 or 2 times a year), nothing else There was never any magazine subscriptions, movies, or per-occupation with pornography or sex. Once the internet arrived, access to pornography was right at my fingertips and free. Like a lot of people, curiosity led me their. Over a 20 year period, at it's least, it was an occasional PMO. This was often a way of relieving stress. At it's very worst, a few hours on a given day. There were no paid sites, saved pictures/movies, web cams, or anything beyond watching an occasional movie clip at that time. During the last several years, my interest in this waned. Often when watching, I would ask myself - why am I looking at this stuff? Many times, I would not be aroused and I felt bored at times. During this period of time - there was a tremendous amount of stress at work and home (unhappy wife because I was not home a-lot, intimacy issues throughout the marriage, the stress of dealing with aging pets, and trying to develop some type of plans for down the road. My wife was struggling with depression and several physical problems. Our conflicts persisted and the divorce word became easier to say and consider over the years. During the last 5 or 6 year, I engaged in person encounters with women in I contacted (information on line). They advertised under the "body rub," category. I did this 6 times, and used a burner phone. I had 3 of them, because I discarded them afterwards, expecting never to do it again. I realized it was wrong and did not expect to do it again. Eventually, I disclosed to my wife. This came in the setting of a 1st time depression that got as serious as depression can get. By that time, I hadn't had any "rub" encounter for 8 months. I was still looking at porn, but significant less than I had in the past. I was filled with guilt and shame. Since then, I have received treatment and have been porn free. I am better than what I was, but not back to where I need to be. This behavior was unfair to my wife and wrong. It damaged our marriage forever. Everyone has their faults. There is nothing she ever did that was deserving of this. She provided me with love, support, and companionship throughout or marriage. She is here for me today and is paying a big emotional price for it. To date, I have not looked at any pornography for close to 8 months and have not had any of those personal encounters > 1.5 years. I have no desire to do so. I am still being treated for depression, although better. The doctors think I had untreated depression for many years. I do believe that because over a period of years I had lost interest in things I enjoyed, stopped caring about things, and took risks with out regard to the potential repercussions on myself or others. In retrospect what do I think might contributed to this series of events: - a difficult early life complicated by limited family support, a serious illness in early adulthood, and shyness ( very limited social life - prior to my wife I had only slept with 1 woman and had no serious relationships ) - high job stress ( long hours, legal threats, unrealistic expectations -PMO relived stress) - periods of high stress during the marriage - moving, infertility, death of my parents (expected), and a career that became more and more difficult and damanding as time went on. Pornography became an escape from reality. The cost was the toll on our marriage and on both of us. I have asked doctors and therapist about addiction and here were some of their thoughts: - addiction means you can't stop in the face of bad consequences - looking at pornography in common, in both men and women - 50% of the internet traffic is porn - men are wired differently from women - this was how I coped with my insecurity and stress - why do you think all of these places and websites exist? I am not condoning pornography. It became problematic for me. Thoughts?