No struggle at all?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Butterfly1988, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Butterfly1988

    Butterfly1988 Fapstronaut

    Hi friends,

    I am in a relationship with a PA and I am feeling very alone.

    Our communication comes and goes, but a lot of it feels like me “bullying” my partner for information and him giving me as little information as possible.

    Early on in our relationship, I noticed trouble with my partner and his ability to O with me. I did some reading and suggested he cut back on PMO. He got super defensive and argued with me
    about it, but finally agreed. In later conversations, he promised he hadn’t done it since he promised not to. But after a heated argument, he revealed he had looked twice (maybe more?). I also found out he signed up for a cougar dating app that was inspired y P and used photos and videos of his exes to MO. We then took the steps to block his phone, but he ended up fulfilling his need with soft-core videos of women covered in paint, twerking, in see-through dresses, etc.

    We blocked that site and he swears that since that moment it’s been “out of site, out of mind”. I have since not caught anything on his history (his phone is blocked, he cannot go in private or delete his history) and his work computer stays at work (he is a teacher and we work together) and he will only work in the room with other co-workers present.

    In addition, he is seeing a therapist with a focus on men’s issues and in a Sex Addict Anonymous Group. He has not missed a meeting and is at 100 days.

    Twice, I have caught him oogling other women in real life (walking and subway). He later admitted that this has happened maybe 4-6 times more because he was angry at me for not trusting him and immaturely took out these emotions in that way. He also says that when he gets sad/I don’t believe him, he can imagine a scene from P in great detail in his head but does not use it to fantasize, just once in a while thinks, “why am I trying if she doesn’t believe me”.

    But, I don’t believe him because of the lack of independent disclosure / lying that has come along with this.

    Is it possible he is being honest or is he in denial or is he still lying?
  2. Honestly I am wondering the same thing. I read so many of the men’s journals here and while it’s very difficult to read I am also wondering why my man doesn’t talk to me about it. When I ask he says he’s not having Trouble and it hasn’t been difficult. As difficult as it would be to know what’s actually going on in his head I would much rather know.
    Butterfly1988 likes this.
  3. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    A few things:
    Whilst I am not defending him in any way shape or form and I am only speaking from my own perspective here, but Porn + culturally acceptable sexualisation shapes how the effected perceives women in an unhealthy way. I found, for myself, that after some time clean, I would have more sexual thoughts about random women and check women out more than I did before. I believe, that that aspect of my brain was being sustained through watching porn and then I stopped, it re-emerged. Hopefully will go away after the reboot is complete and is just a withdrawal symptom, but it could take therapy to undo. Just saying that it can become more pronounced. Although not excusing it nor the fact that he admitted that he did it for immature reasons.

    This is a tough one. I never went this route and disclosed to my SO voluntarily but I can imagine it though. My addiction was the thing I hated most about myself. That I PMOed, that I was addicted and that I couldn't stop it. It's the darkest place that I hoped that would never venture into daylight. I can imagine what would happen if that were to become known to the one person I kept it hidden from the most, not on my terms but because I was caught. Not saying that you shouldn't have done what you did and confront him, I can just imagine the reaction; greatest fear has been realised.

    Being a PA already causes the afflicted to cut oneself off from the relationship. It has become a coping mechanism for dealing with difficult situations.

    The truth is that all of those options could be true. He could be being honest with you and that the unwillingness to share is due to the aforementioned and also to the lack of faith. He could also be in denial about his situation and not dealing with it properly or giving you reasons to trust me more. Those two aren't mutually exclusive. And yes, he could still be lying.

    I would check out @AnonymousAnnaXOXO . She is a wellspring of insight and has a lot of resources and experience dealing with this kind of thing.

    I would also recommend being less explicitly suspicious. Doesn't mean you have to trust him. But I know that my wife's support propels me forward, makes me want to stay clean and share with her. You don't have to trust him, but i would minimise any overt hostility. He may get clean regardless, but he won't be motivated to share with you, make you a part of his recovery, or whatever else you want. Although if you are old enough he might.
  4. Reverent

    Reverent Fapstronaut

    First let me say to both of you I am truly sorry you are dealing with this. It is such a terrible reality to not be able to trust someone you love so much. It is the ultimate betrayal, then mix in sexual deviance and the shame and self-consciousness that accompies it, it is truly remarkable that you are even able to endure it. It is NOT your fault.
    do you bully? If so stop, that's not nice. Justified? Yeah probably. But it hard to disclose anything if we feel unpleasant feelings, that's what got us into this mess anyway. We are immature at dealing with negative feelings and act out to numb the pain.
    You are very entitled to have information about him and you, and the relationship you're in. He shouldn't be neglecting this need you are feeling. Good communication is always a partof healthy relationship. Be patient, and kind. Even though the hurt exists.

    This is classic PA. Straight out of the porn addict encyclopedia. The brain wants what it wants. It will fight to preserve it. Gaslighting, deflecting, denial, "crazy-making" are all attempts to remain in the addiction.
    and this also comes directly out of the PA playbook. It's justification and rationalization. These are the attempts the starved brain uses to still gleen drips of dopemine and prolong the addiction. If I justify it as not "technically" porn, I still get aroused and my compulsions continue. These are PSubs, they act the same as porn for the user, by never fully turning off the spigot.
    But I must say good for him that it isn't the hardcore humiliating binge porn as before.
    Now he should work on these, but honestly it is progress though to you it may not feel like it.

    I bet it has been. I am curious though if he isn't selectively revealing partial truth here. No those images have never crossed his mind but does he now have a secret source he hasn't disclosed? Also what is he willing to do to assure you there is no other hidden drips? It is important you feel safe, not merely that he is honest.

    That's incredible! Did you tell him how much it means to you he is demonstrating active recovery since his words don't mean shit right now. Everytime I'd tell my wife I'm 100 days free or whatever, she would respond "thats great! It will be interesting to see how you behave the next 100 days" and so my recovery continues on.

    if he is sad, (which may be an entirely new feeling he is letting himself have for the first time) validate him. If you want to help him explore and express his sadness let him feel it and healthily go through it. Like many of us, He probably isn't used to these intense feelings nor how to cope with them.
    What he knows is the amount of recovery and the barrage of good choices he's made so far. It is far more difficult than you may realize. He would love for you to accept his efforts and trust him again.

    What he doesn't know is betrayal like this doesn't heal so easily. Trust isn't a "one and done" proposition. It is built day by day through kind constistancies. If he were to begin to understand your torn heart then healing can begin.
    PAs can be so selfish sometimes.

    One thing I know, no matter how many disclosures I've put my spouse through over the years, it never is pleasant, And I never want to do it. I want it done, but don't ever have the balls to own up and admit my transgressions. It is just so difficult. It can be extruciating to hurt someone you love so deeply. I have heard for years "I'd rather you just tell me and I'd know, than for me to have to find out. As much as the porn degrades, insults, repulses and offends me, it is the lying that hurts the most."
    Yet, evening knowing this, I lie to protect the addiction. It is not easy, I promise.

    I hope my experience has helped a bit. Feel free to ask more questions.

    Again it is a difficult path you women tread. We men can be so blinded. Thanks for caring. You are brave souls.
  5. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

    He might be sober from P, but he isn't in true recovery. He's still giving himself excuses to act out, albeit in less obvious ways, by blaming you.

    He isn't ogling or fantasizing because you're mean or untrusting. He's doing it because he wants to do it (or at least his addict brain wants to do it). He's just hoping you'll be OK with it if he can convince you that it is your fault. It is not your fault!

    Do you have any boundaries/consequences set for ogling? If I were you, I'd also set Bs and Cs for when he is blaming you for his addiction. That is gaslighting, and it is abusive.
  6. kaow84141718

    kaow84141718 Fapstronaut

    Good evening!

    I'll say from personal experience, it seems like he is lying and not wanting to fully commit to STOP 'PMO'. I have disclosed my addiction to my wife and she has not discouraged me one bit as she knows the struggle that men go through in this day and age. However, I know she feels like some part of this is her fault and it's not. I congratulate you for sticking your ground and wanting what is best and what is right for your relationship.

    I'll say this: some time ago, my wife knew I had an issue and I let her know about it, but I left a piece out thinking I was saving her from the misery, but I was really holding a piece back for myself. I would 'MO' while she was asleep next to me because I felt I needed a 'release' or because I had a difficult day. I let her know everything recently and again, she has been very encouraging. I told her about NoFap and she is pleased that I am finally seeking the help that I need in order to leave a positive, lasting legacy with my children.

    I'll ask this: does he truly want to quit? If not, then what's it gonna take? More therapy? A broken relationship? No relationship? Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom in order for change to take place. I applaud you for what you are doing because I know it hurts. I know you would trust him more and not bring this up as often if he would just open up to you about it. I get it. But us guys are stupid and thick headed!!! I've learned only recently by not 'PMO'ing that I can be a broken mess in front of my wife and children and it not be a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It was eye opening!!! I had several major breakdowns after starting this process because of bad associations I had built up over the years and my wife loves me even more for it. So I know what you want and what you are after. I can tell the passion you have for this man and want to see him win this battle or else you wouldn't still be here. Does he really know how this makes you feel emotionally? I'm not saying start a fight with him, but maybe sit him down and talk to him from the perspective of love and how this addiction (not him) hurts you.

    Just my thoughts on this. Again, I love how you are fighting for him. Now let's figure out a way to get him to fight for YOU and kick this 'PMO' out the door!!!
    0111zerozero11 and Trappist like this.
  7. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

    All the blocking in the world will not stop someone who wants to PMO. He has to want it, you can not force it on him. He could be clean but he is not in recovery. The defensiveness is a huge red flag to me. Do you have boundaries in place? You should and stick to them, they are meaningless if you don't. Talk with him calmly but firmly.
  8. Butterfly1988

    Butterfly1988 Fapstronaut

    Thank you. What kind of boundaries do you suggest?
  9. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

    Everyone has their own list of things they will or will not live with. My boundaries are fairly simple. No p, p-subs, m or lying. That last one has been the hardest. Like so many other people here my BF is struggling with more than just the PA but we are working through it. There are other things I need from him but I don't think of them as boundaries. Things like opening up, doing the work, reading about PA and other issues he has, taking care of himself, putting the things he has learned into practice, healing himself and healing us.
    0111zerozero11 likes this.
  10. Butterfly1988

    Butterfly1988 Fapstronaut

    I don’t know how he could access any other P or PSub sources...

    His phone is blocked from all adult websites and we added in Worldstar, which he was using as a PSub in the three weeks after initially quitting P. He also deleted all social media (Facebook, snap chat, and instagram) and I did too (in solidarity). He cannot go “in private” on his phone or delete his history. He also cannot download any apps that are 14+. If he downloads an app, he also cannot delete it. His work computer stays at work and he only uses his work computer in public areas (I work with him and he has accountability partners at work).

    He has expressed that he always has wanted to quit and that I am not the reason he is quitting now but I am the reason he is successful.

    He said it was a slow learning process to understand that P goes beyond just the hardcore stuff, but also the PSubs (IG, worldstar) and the way he looks at women.

    We had a problem with the way he was looking at a co-worker recently, but he was honest with me about it and we put boundaries in place.

    He literally told me that he would go blind for me, if it would save us from all this pain.

    I am going to try to shift towards continuing to create a safe environment for him to share his struggles and to push his thinking when those struggles happen.

    He is not perfect, but I do feel he is trying (for himself and for our relationship) and I appreciate that.
  11. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

    P-subs are everywhere and easy to get to if someone wanted to. Hell, I look up innocent things on google often and pictures will be mixed in that are p-subs or outright p IMO, because of the tags on the photos. Don't think that because it is blocked they can not get it if wanted, or even stumble across it by accident. And it isn't just online, it is in real life too. It is just unavoidable. I'm not saying he is looking for them, or lying to you. I tried blocking and got nowhere. Now we use accountability software, everything is logged and can not be deleted. He could uninstall it but I would see that. This keeps him accountable and seems to be helping us.
    Lovable king likes this.
  12. Katrina Rose

    Katrina Rose Fapstronaut

    Ever accountable is the only thing keeping my relationship hanging on right now.

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