Partner Still Responds With Anger Everytime We Discuss His Addiction

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by GG2002, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I'm a SO and I've written before but I am at my wits end with my partners behavior and wonder if any SAs or addicts can offer advice. My partner is more than 90 days P free and he alleges MO free. He still can't O from intercourse but has had improvements. He can O from my hand and mouth and could not before. The issue is I can't bring up the subject at all without him getting angry with me and gaslighting. From the beginning he felt like he said he was sorry and would not do it again and that should be enough. He wanted me to be over it in two weeks and never bring it up again. He could not understand why I just would not take his word for it even though he lied to me from so long. This type of attitude actually prolonged my progress because I did not feel like he was sorry or felt bad and I could never express how I felt. So the emotions just kept being prolonged. I think he felt that by behaving in that manner he would thwart any discussions. But now since he still can't perform in bed and I'm not happy with that I've started bringing up the topic again. Not in an angry or accusatory way but very calmly. I asked if he continued to MO and if that was holding up our progress. He immediately got angry said that he was tired of not being believed and that I needed to get over this. I told him that I had every right to ask the question and he had no right to be angry. He compared me asking him to this creepy thing he does to me. When we come in from being out he tells me to wash my hands. He wants me to change my clothes before I sit on furniture and has told me to brush my teeth and shower. I told him I'm an adult who does not need to be told to do these things. In case it matters I do them on my own and am a clean person. He said me demanding that he conform no MO was the same that he was an adult and I had no right to ask. I pointed out that yet again he was trying to gaslight and be defensive. He got angry and it caused a huge fight. I need to talk about this issue with him and I need him to listen and change but he won't and I don't know what to do. To me my behavior is perfectly understandable and his is not but am I missing something? Is this my fault? Do I just need to move on? Do I need to accept that he will never perform in bed or move on? Thanks.
     
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  2. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    Hey @GG2002, I was very much like that not too long ago with my partner @AnonymousAnnaXOXO. For me, I believe it had a lot to do with the fact that it was hard for me to come to terms with what I did. I had accepted it, but I was still not ready to face it. I also would get upset that she wouldn't take my word for it.

    Just know, that it is not your fault, you should not move on or get over it. Your feelings are completely valid and you have every right to feel the way you do.

    I have been much better in accepting that we need to talk about what I did. I still don't bring it up myself like I should, but I have been able to actually discuss it. This, however, took emotionally focused therapy with a therapist we love, for me to be able to talk about it without getting defensive. The fact that he is acting like this, as I understand recovery, is completely normal and even a stage of recovery. I think it means that he is only halfway through accepting the pain that he has caused but is still extremely uncomfortable talking about it. To be completely honest, I'm not entirely sure what to do to get around that. I know Anna can help you more than I can. I'll ask her to read this too.

    I think one good thing may be to say, whenever you bring it up, something like "I know you are uncomfortable talking about the pain you caused in the past, but if you want me to get through it(there is no getting over this, one has to work through it and accept that it is part of your lives and that it will always be in the past) like you seem to want, then we have to talk about it so I can process it. No matter how uncomfortable, it is the best way for me to get through it". Something along those lines I would say because that may get him to realize he is trying to deflect the question in an effort to avoid the pain. Again, that was my experience, I'm not completely sure what will work. That is my experienced opinion on the matter but everyone is different. I hope it helps and good luck.

    Just remember that it is never your fault and you shouldn't just forget it and move on. He is avoiding feelings and the best way for him and you to heal is to process them together.
     
  3. kattskagg

    kattskagg Fapstronaut

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    Could there be a chance he's telling the truth now? And the main reason he gets frustrated is that he becomes sad and ashamed when you don't think he's good enough in bed? Isn't he improving at all?


    Kattskägg
     
  4. JakeWoods

    JakeWoods Fapstronaut

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    It may actually be the case that he is telling the truth and that he hasn't been watching Porn or MO'ing. Just because he's been doing it for more than 90 days it doesn't mean he would have fully recovered. I've read stories on here where it has taken more than six months, some even more than that.

    If he is in fact telling the truth and you keep doubting him and asking him then it's only fair that he may get annoyed. I'm not very good on relationship advice and even if I was, it's your relationship and up to you two to sort it out. All I can say is this, going on the 90day thing isn't reliable, some men take way longer than that. However what I will say is this. If he isn't improving more and more each month, or he's getting worse, you can be sure that he is probably still using porn. Give it more time perhaps?
     
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  5. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, it's probably true that some people take a lot longer. I'm sure plenty of people can take a while. However, the anger he is reciprocating and the fact that he is gaslighting and telling you to get over it is not what someone who is being truthful with themselves sounds like. He may be lying, he may very well be telling the truth. Even if he is of PM and O, it doesn't mean he is ok with talking about the addiction.

    I acted the exact same way for a while. I wasn't using but I was still getting frustrated by the questions. I shouldn't have, it is what the SO needs for proper healing. I eventually learned to feel out the hard emotions and work through them by discussing how the questions made me feel which also helped her a lot. I think he is feeling a lot that he needs to express healthfully. He may be taking it as an attack and an assumption that he is lying. By all means, you have the right to ask and he has no right to get mad at the question. He lied for a while I assume so it's entirely rational for you to have doubts about his honesty. My wife(as of two days ago and couldn't be happier about :D) Still doesn't trust me with certain things but I have gained back so much trust in other places. Trust takes so long to build back up. Especially with people who have been hurt so many times by others like Anna and I'm sure you've had your share of bad experiences. Both partners need to realize that what they do with lying can have such serious consequences even if it is a small lie. Small lies over time can even cause worse trust issues if it's consistent.

    My point is that I personally believe from my own experience, that he needs to realize what it will take and how long it will take to truly rebuild trust. He needs to know that hostile responses will elicit less trust even if it is the truth. It will appear as if it is difficult, to tell the truth, which doesn't exactly make it feel good to ask. It sounds like he makes you feel bad for asking with the way he answers. I believe he needs to relax and breathe before he answers so he can be calm. He should know that calm answers and consistency is the best medicine for broken trust. It will take a lot more than 90 days for trust to be strong.
     
  6. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    @GG2002 I can say what @Jak3 said is correct in our situation. It does sound like to me he isn't ready to face the pain he caused or doesn't want to. It took ages for Jak to learn that the best way to get through the healing process was to talk about it. For me, I asked because I didn't trust him and needed constant confirmation due to the extreme lies and gaslighting. Trust is earned, not given, especially after trust is broken. Trust for us has taken a long time. My husband is now over a year off PMO.

    The things I tried to do to reach my now husband during the healing process, was actually to copy and paste some of my favorite posts on reboot nation or on here, that spoke tremendous amounts of knowledge and understanding and sent them to my husband through emails. That way, he could see posts that he may relate to, or see posts where addicts are in healing and are working recovery. I guess I attempted to show him other males felt the same way he had felt so he felt validated, but also showed posts where the addicts talked about the importance of honesty and communication in working through this healing process.

    You say he is 90 days clean. Can I ask how long have you known? How long have you guys been together? How long has he been in this healing process? Also have you stated boundaries with him? My husband and I have a "contract" thing where we listed boundaries and consequences and both signed it to keep us accountable knowing that there are certain behaviors not accepted and some behaviors expected of us. Like we both have to be honest, we have to try to communicate through a disagreement rather than fight. Things like that.

    And with you asking about PMO you have every right. You have EVERY right to say no MO for him because he is an addict. My husband, when I found out, agreed to no porn and no masturbation. I had severe ptsd symptoms in the beginning becuase he used to get off in the shower, at my parents house, which was my childhood safe space and he knew that. So after D-day I couldn't sleep in the morning and would have panic attacks if he was in the shower. So in the mornings I got up with him or we would vid chat so I knew he was being trust worthy. I still have anxiety about the shower, but the amount of trust we built has made the mornings a lot easier. I don't have panic attacks, and there are times where I do feel ok with him showering and have the most minimal amount of anxiety.

    If you are addicted to porn, there are a lot of cases where the person is addicted to masturbation. Usually masturbation comes before porn exposure, so porn adds fuel to the fire already burning so to speak. It's perfectly understandable for you to ask for no masturbation.

    My best advice is to say that he needs to get a therapist. The one requirement besides honesty and no porn that I needed to stay in the relationship was for my now husband to be in therapy. If he wasn't in therapy I had every right to leave. So my now husband got into therapy, and it took time to find the right therapist that clicked, but he did find one. The point was he was trying. I saw that. His actions speak louder than words.

    EFT therapy is amazing, not only for couples but for individuals, so maybe a therapist who is certified in that would be helpful. I know the couples EFT therapy my husband and I are in has practically saved our relationship. Also for individual therapy, a therapist well versed in addiction and trauma is good. Usually addicts have suffered some kind of trauma in their life and use to fill the void. Also female therapists seem to be better, in my and my husbands experience.

    I really do hope that you guys can communicate better, and if you ever need to talk, feel free to message me!
     
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  7. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    You hit the nail on the head when you said his reaction makes me think he is lying even if he may not be. And I don't accuse him of lying. I asked him if he was still moing or using porn on occasion. I said it in the context of the fact that our sex life was still not improving. The problem is he just refuses to see my pain. He immediately jumps to defending himself and gaslighting. I feel as if I have tried every approach. I will try what you suggested but I'm not hopeful it will work. Yes he lied a lot to my face so sure I have a hard time trusting him but this behavior is making it worse. I mean how long is this going to go on for?
     
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  8. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I don't know if he's telling the truth but what I do know is that reacting with anger and defensiveness does not lead one to believe you are being honest. And he's always acted like this from day 1 of discovery. I never said he's not good enough in bed. If one party is not satisfied with their sex life it needs to be discussed. He is fully aware that I want to be with a man who can O from intercourse. If you think I'm wrong to seek that that's your opinion but most women want the same thing which is why men with DE have such low success rates with relationships.
     
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  9. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    That is pretty much word for word what my wife said when I was doing that.

    Honestly, I cannot say how long it will happen for. I think the key is getting him to see what he is doing when he reacts. He needs to take a few minutes right after he reacts to thoughtfully analyze what he just said and what it means to you. I really don't know what will work, everyone is different. It took a pretty long time, the better part of our second year together for me to get that through my head. Part of Emotionally Focused Therapy is stopping in the middle of a thought, feeling or conversation and really think about why you are saying/feeling/thinking what you just thought, felt, or said. I think to get him to do that whatever way you can would be best. It took me a while, but as long as he can think about the way he is reacting will help. Maybe say something like "let's pause for a minute and I want you to really think about why you are frustrated". He may say things like he is frustrated that you don't trust him. That's what I said. But you're absolutely right about his reaction not making it very believable that he is telling the truth. You should note that someone with that frustration is not someone who is really in recovery, but only abstaining from PMO. Make sure he knows that there is a huge difference between abstaining and recovering.
     
  10. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    Yes! You hit the nail on the head, that is very true. The times I trust my husband are the times he is not defensive when we talk. If I ask, "Hey just curious how have you been doing in recovery?" If he responds with, "Oh, I've been doing well, though I didn't journal the other day and I know that is something that helps, but I am going to make sure I journal tomorrow" That is when I believe him. If he responds with, "Why are you asking? Like don't you trust me? Come on, we don't need to talk about it, it's my responsibility stay out of it." That is when I think he is lying or feel like he is pushing me away. My husband learned slowly that I needed the first response to feel like I could trust him, so I could feel close to him, like he actually wanted me to be around, and talk to me, and want me as a support or someone to encourage him on his successes.
     
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  11. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    Oh, also, it may help to let him know that reactions like this not only build trust but when talking about the addiction, truly thoughtful and calm responses also can very well bring you two much closer emotionally. It can even lead straight to sexual emotional intimacy. It helps build trust and the relationship with, most of the time, instant results. Telling him that may help since he wants you to "get over it" which again won't happen but it can and eventually will become something that doesn't hurt anymore.
     
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  12. kattskagg

    kattskagg Fapstronaut

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    Yeah I agree he shouldn't be so defensive even from the start, that is a little suspective.

    If he feels pressure on him that he must ejaculate it could make it harder for him to finish off. It's all in the head.

    I would gladly see that data, I thought premature ejaculation was a far bigger problem for most men and women.


    Kattskägg
     
  13. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    @kattskagg how exactly can I express my desire to have a normal sex life without as you say putting pressure on him to O. I have put up with this for over a year now, most of which he was causing the problem by lying and still PMOing. I thought we were working on it together and I was patient with him and understanding. But I want a normal sex life and he seems perfectly okay with the status quo.
    I can't find a study on the effect of DE on partners. I suspect that since only about 3% of the population reports it and 1/3 report PE the studies are not as expansive. All I can do is point you to this thread where partners discuss the impact. I can also point you to the threads of partners on here and you don't see women writing in hurt about their partner has PE but you do see toms writing in about De. http://www.psychforums.com/sexual-dysfunctions/topic27326.html
    I did find a study on PE and partner satisfaction here http://www.issm.info/news/research-...tion-of-premature-ejaculation-and-its-impact/. What it notes is that the problems PE causes in relationships more often is a result of the man's distress about his perceived inability to perform not the woman's issues with it.

    I've been with both PE and DE. I had a PE partner that would O immediately after penetration but he had a very short refractory period so he would go again. And since he knew that he had it he would make sure he satisfied me first then finish. In a situation where a man cannot penetrate at all I can see that would cause extreme distress. Men with PE are still getting sexual satisfaction from sex with their partners. Men with DE can't and so what ends up happening is that men with DE resort to solo sexual behavior further separating the couple. Women in long term relationships with men with DE don't want to have sex as often normally because the idea of taking four hours a day of her time to have sex and knowing she will end up in pain is not fun. And DE makes both parties feel like failures. The woman thinks she's not sexy enough or her technique is poor and the man feels frustrated he can't function normally. No woman blames themselves for PE. PE says you are very attractive to me and my technique is good. So in PE men are stressed and feels like failures post sex but women not so much. Many men also think they have PE but women are fine with the time it takes. The average time from penetration to O is 8 minutes but men that O that quickly think they have PE. They perceive that woman want to have sex for hours but that just not true.

    DE also causes problems when a couple is trying to conceive. PE so long as a man can penetrate does not. DE hits hard at a woman's self esteem PE does not.
     
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  14. AT91

    AT91 Fapstronaut

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    I think it probably has a lot to do with the way he feels about his inability to orgasm from intercourse. I struggled with ED years ago with an ex of mine. At the time I did still watch porn since it was a long distance relationship, she knew I watched porn and so did she, neither of us saw an issue with it and at the time I had no idea that it was linked to ED. From that experience though I can understand how it affects the woman (wondering if the guy is attracted to her, whether it's "her fault" or if there's something wrong with her, wondering why he can get off to women in porn but not with her) - in fact eventually it led to a huge argument and our break-up.

    The trouble is that many women also fail to understand the effect of this on the man. For a man to not have the ability to have normal sex can be very depressing, it can make him feel like "less of a man". Sometimes it can affect a guy so badly that he can feel suicidal, which on my worst days it did for me. Perhaps that's why he feels very defensive on the subject of his performance in bed, he maybe feels like it's an attack on his manhood and you can bet that he's already beating himself up about it or worse, but at the same time because he doesn't want to seem pathetic or for you to see him as "less of a man" he doesn't want to admit it to you. Does he become even more defensive when you mention this? Perhaps he acts in anger and tries to thwart discussion because he doesn't want to seem like he's upset?
     
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  15. Beamer_Dreamer

    Beamer_Dreamer Fapstronaut

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    I'm sure he feels bad about having DE. It could be a large part of why he gets defensive. Either way, he needs to come to terms with it instead of just deflecting all the time. I'm sure you would help him to heal from DE if he would let you.

    Whatever the issue for his anger might be, you should try to find out. I'm not sure how you could do this. Maybe ask if it's about DE, ask if it's about feeling bad about the addiction etc. and see which one he reacts to the most? If he can tell you what bothers him when you bring up the addiction maybe you two can start talking about it.

    Either way, he is keeping his feelings inside and they are coming out in anger and frustration. He needs to talk to someone about it and let it out in a healthy way. Once he realizes what he is trying to not feel, it will be easier for him to talk about it and for you two to work through it. Therapy is always a good idea if he can afford it.
     
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  16. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    It's not just about the DE that he gets defensive. It's about anything that he perceives as a criticism or a negative comment even if it's not, Problem being that any issues or concerns I have never get addressed. Example a few weeks ago he ignored my texts for hours when he was out with his friends. I did not flip out but I asked him why he had done that and told him that it hurt me and made me anxious. Now he knows this we have had this discussion many times before and all he would have had to say was I am sorry I got distracted and I would have been fine. Instead he immediately said "I did nothing wrong I am not apologizing. You are being unreasonable. I did not intend to hurt you so I don't need to apologize." When I would not just say okay he began screaming at me "you are wrong I am not wrong." Over and over. I tried to be heard but to him now I feel like our relationship is a battle. He wants to not be wrong. He was never like this before I caught the pmo not even close.
     
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  17. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    This is very helpful and spot on. Honestly I don't know what he is angry about and I have asked and he says he does not know. I honestly think he may not know. But whatever it is I'm pretty sure he brought it into the relationship. I think he may have been self medicating that pain and anger with the pmo and once it stopped all of the anger came back up for things that have nothing to do with me. We did try counseling and it was a disaster three different ones. All of them said they did not think he was a pmo addict and that I was the problem. Some suggestions were for me to allow him to watch porn during sex, us attempting different positions, him meditating, him alternating his pmo schedule so he could perform with me, me dressing up or flirting more. We tried all of these but did not work. I'm hesitant because all they did was give him fuel to say he's not an addict and that I was the problem.
     
  18. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks, I want to help but I can't do this for a year! We are only engaged and I would call it off before a year more. We have been together almost two years. I found out in March of this year and he started down this road of being clean. I require that he checks in with me daily and is honest. I require no porn no psubs and no MO. Also no ogling. He had a huge problem with that early on reboot. He of course denied that and got angry until my mom called him out on it. He never ogled before. Three months in he agreed to stop pmo but he never did and lied repeatedly . We have never had a normal sex life. Please see below for our issues with counselors.
     
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  19. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I think he thinks if he makes me feel bad when I ask questions I will stop asking. Nope. I do think he just wants to avoid the subject and move on but that's not how it works.
     
  20. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks! I am willing to give it more time and I do realize it can take a lot longer than 90 days. The issue is he won't talk about it at all. Any attempts to discuss it he perceives as an attack. But I am not attacking him at all. I have tried coming at him from every angle and no matter what I say or how I say it he gets defensive. I never said you are lying I don't believe you. I said you are still not able to O from sex why do you think that is? What do you think is causing it? The response I got was I am not lying you are calling me a liar I told you I have stopped why do you keep bringing this up? He explodes on me everytime then he tries to gaslight finally he refuses to talk at all. He sits there and nods and says whatever you say yes are you happy now? He is shutting down all conversation about it.
     
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