Recently broke up with porn addict partner

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by mellowbluebird, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. DemonSemen

    DemonSemen Fapstronaut

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    A lot of good points. I will add from the PA side that addicts can be manipulative, corrosive, cheat and lie. We’re hard to trust and you have every right to take as much time as you want. I agree with @Once2Many s therapist: minimum one year sobriety before you both even start talking about it. You should set boundaries as well. You don’t want him calling/texting you every day.

    The year isn’t just for your partner—it’s for you too. You need time to process, heal, explore your options.
     
    Torn likes this.
  2. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    My 22 year old son is a mild “aspie” and I want to quote him because I think he’s adorable....

    I asked him why he didn’t get into porn. His reply “Girls smell nice, are so soft and love their hair touched, those are some of the things- and you get to fall asleep next to them- you do not get that from porn. Porn measures up incredibly poorly.”

    I’m an SO about 2.5 months out from DDay. I’ve been reading Betrayal Bonding that was suggested by some people on nofap. It’s a good book so far to dive deep into healing for an SO. I’m taking it slow because it’s painfully hard work, recovering unpleasant memories... but I think that before you get into any relationship with him or any one else I think there needs to be more time and more healing.
     
  3. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Hello. I left my ex who was a pmo addict. We were together for two years almost and it’s been a little over 6 months since it ended and I don’t regret ending it for one second. I did early on or maybe not regret but questioned. He lied then stopped then lied some more. He was angry at me. I felt ugly, fat, unwanted. I dreaded having sex with him it made me feel disgusted. There are a lot of SOs on here with marriages and kids that are working hard to save their marriages and there are addicts that are working just as hard. But they will tell you life with a pmo addict is hell, even if they do recover. See you and I we had/have none of that. I was engaged and I posted a question to the married SOs if they could marry their pmo addict partner again knowing what they know now wouid they? Most honestly answered no they would not. You have that knowledge and so did I. And when I read what they went through I decided that was not the life I wanted.

    I really like the advice given about waiting a year. And I am going to wager a bet that by then heck even at 6 months you are going to want nothing to do with this guy in recovery or not. When you are an SO you live in a sort of fog. And if you continue contact with him the fogs still there. When it lifts you are going to have a whole new realization of how much pain you were in in that relationship. You can’t see it now and you won’t as much if you allow him into your life at all.

    You are young. I am not sure if you have had other relationships. I was older and had quite my share of relationships with non pmo addicts. So I think I have less of a fear of every relationship being like the pmo addict one. I knew they were not. I know what’s out there and it’s far better than this.

    It’s okay to put yourself first. And if you were my best friend I’d tell you to run now and don’t look back. Life is far too short to be unhappy!
     
  4. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    GG- I’m happy for you- the decision has been made- and you feel at peace. I hope to be able to be as sure with what I decide- I have kids and step kids- if I didn’t have step kids- it would be an easier decision... the choices I make effect everyone—- something my PA failed to see.
     
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  5. So many great thoughts...

    AMEN!

    I understand this..and it just sucks.

    YES..I 1,000% agree with this (in my experience a least).

    This is such an insightful statement for me...especially that middle sentence that I bolded => continued contact with the PA .. an SO's fog remains. I'm still digesting all of the implications of that...but it resonates with me so much.
     
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  6. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    That is the sweetest/best thing I've read all day!
     
  7. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    As a recovering addict in a relationship, this part was particularly difficult for me to digest. It almost sounds like you're suggesting that someone who struggles with PMO is incapable of having a healthy relationship. Speaking from personal experience, I just don't think that's the case. My partner and I have a very open line of communication when it comes to my addiction, and I have never gotten the sense that my addiction was making her life hell. I have always been honest with her about my addiction. I came forward to her about it, rather than having her discover it on her own. I didn't know what to expect when I first told her I had this problem, but to my surprise she was very understanding and relieved that I trusted her enough to confide in her about such a sensitive matter. I have kept communication open about my recovery as well, and she's been proud of me every step of the way. I don't think she regrets getting involved in this relationship. I think it's been wonderful for both of us. We both have our own individual strengths and weaknesses, and we've faced many different challenges as a couple, but I don't think any of them have crossed the line into territory of things we can't deal with as individuals (I know those boundaries exist, though), even my addiction. My girlfriend and I already shared a deep bond with one another before I came forward about my addiction, and I don't think my telling her about it has destroyed that bond, but has actually built a stronger trust between the two of us and has brought us closer together. I feel better every day I spend without porn, and my girlfriend is happy to see me go through such personal growth.

    I think everyone has different personal boundaries when it comes to addiction and relationships. For some couples, porn addiction is something that they can tolerate, and maybe even something they can work through together. For others, it's a deal-breaker. I'm not saying either one of those situations is better than the other. I think both are valid and that both are just a reflection of how diverse we can be as people. If porn addiction is a deal-breaker for you or for anyone else, I think that's fine, but I don't think it's fair to assume that sort of boundary applies to relationships generally.
     
  8. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Do I think an addict in recovery can be in a healthy relationship? Absolutely with time and work and a sustained period of sobriety. But I have to disagree with you that an addict who is active in his or her addiction can have a healthy relationship and most experts in the field would agree. Can they have a relationship? Sure. Is it healthy? No. Can an addict be in an active addiction and not cause any pain to those around him because of it? That is highly unlikely.

    Unhealthy people cannot engage in healthy relationships. Addiction is not just about lying, that’s only part of it. The addiction causes the addict to lie but lying does not cause an addiction. Something else most often a failure of adequate coping mechanisms is the root of the problem and that makes relationships extremely difficult. I suspect you have never personally been on the other end of the addiction so you may not understand. Addiction is an intimacy disorder so it’s just not possible to have successful healthy relationships if you are in active addiction. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2018/04/addiction-is-an-intimacy-disorder/#.Wt-cvjXPK34.email I thinks few things explain your thought process. First denial to avoid pain. This is common with addicts. If you sat down and considered the true gravity of what you did to your spouse or the ones you love due then your addiction it would hurt far too much for you to handle. Second lack of experience in healthy relationships. To you what you may be experiencing may be to you healthy because you know no different. Sort of like the child with adhd or anxiety who thinks everyone’s mind works like theirs after all it’s all they have know.

    I suggest you speak to your partner and ask her specifically what ways that your addiction or addictive behavior has hurt her. Has it hurt your sex life? Have you chosen the addiction over her? Has she felt you being distant? Does she feel unattractive? And really listen to what is being said. And ask her if she had the choice to not have dealt with the addiction if she would have chosen that and why?

    Often times we as SOs just give up. Meaning we become literally numb to how much your addiction is causing us pain. So it appears to you that we are happy, don’t care and are healthy but deep down we are dying from pain inside. This is seen more commonly in long term relationships with addicts. After awhile you just give up and stuff your feelings inside or you may decide that you don’t deserve any better than life with the addict so you no longer complain and resign yourself to a life of pain. Many seek out intimate relationships outside of the relationship the fill the void being left by the addiction on the part of the SO. See and that’s what happens to an So in a relationship with an addict that too become unhealthy and I think most of the SOs on here cab tell you that. YBut I can’t think of a single human on the planet who would not be hurt by their SOs addiction unless of course they just don’t care, don’t love you, are suffering from theIr own addiction or mental health issues or have a relationship on the side. Ever see the meme that says “don’t be concerned when I argue and fight with you, it means I care. Be concerned when I am silent as I no longer care.”

    The last step of recovery at least in my opinion is fully recognizing and accepting the pain that you have caused the ones you love. No attempts to minimize or explain things away. No attempts to make yourself believe your relationship was healthy and happy with no pain or issues caused by your addiction. In reading your comment I don’t see that you are there yet and this last step is what holds many addicts back from recovery. Why? Well for two reasons one you are continuing to practice avoidance of feelings avoidance a hallmark of addiction. “No it was not really that bad. She was happy. It could have been worse I could have lied.” Instead of using Pmo to cope you are choosing to ignore negative feelings and second because it allows you to allow yourself to more easily slip back into your addiction. If being with you while in active addiction was not that bad in your mind for your partner then it will be okay if you slip up a few times right?
     
    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 likes this.
  9. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

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    I think this may be why you have a healthy relationship. Or part of the reason. For many of us our PA SO didn't come forward and tell us. We had to find out on our own and were lied to time after time. I know my relationship would be much different if he was honest with me about it. But it has been hell, and even though we are finally getting better it still can be sometimes. I like to think that we will get better in time, but something will always be gone from me and our relationship. Something died in me with all the lies.
     
  10. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    I see what you're saying. I think we had a misunderstanding there. Your original comment suggested that being in a relationship with an addict was hell even after a successful recovery, and I think that was my main point of disagreement. I don't think my current relationship would be sustainable if I do not actively stay committed to my recovery.

    I agree with you here, too. I think that my addiction was not only unhealthy for my relationship, but for me as an individual. Every day I spend in recovery, I feel myself getting healthier, and I feel my relationship healing as well.

    I did not claim that I thought a porn addiction was only about lying, so again no disagreement from me.

    That's an awful lot to assume about someone you've never met. Actually, I've been surrounded by addiction my whole life. Both of my parents are extremely addicted to alcohol. My mom drinks every day. My dad doesn't drink every day, but when he does he will drink enough to make himself pass out and he sometimes makes very poor decisions, like driving a car. My parents divorced when I was eleven and my mom remarried another alcoholic. They're still married and all three of the parental figures in my life still drink. One of my best friends was suffering a heroin addiction for two years (he ended up moving out of the country to a place with much stricter drug laws and was able to overcome his addiction). Another one of my very close friends was addicted to [banned word on this forum. It's an anti-anxiety medication that is commonly abused], but I didn't know that until I heard that he died from suffocating on his own vomit due to mixing alcohol and [anti-anxiety drug]. He kept his addiction to himself, and I think that ultimately lead to his death. My current girlfriend is a recovering alcoholic. She has been sober for about as long as I have been off porn, and I have done my absolute best to support her through her recovery, and I'm so proud of her for the progress she's made. If none of that has convinced you that I know what it feels like to be on the supporting side of an addiction, I don't know what will.

    I think a large part of my recovery has been confronting and accepting the pain that I've caused others. I am not denying that I have caused my loved ones pain through my addiction. All I'm saying is that I don't think my girlfriend is going through hell right now or that she regrets ever being in a committed relationship with me. I'm not saying that because I'm assuming what she's thinking about or because I don't have the courage to face what I've done to her with my addiction. I'm saying that because she and I have talked about my addiction and we've talked about the effects it has had on her life. I won't deny that those wounds are there, but I also think they're starting to heal, and every step in my recovery is a step towards repairing that damage. I've had to ask forgiveness of her, and I've had to find the courage to take responsibility for my own actions and to forgive myself for what I've done.

    I am familiar with this concept as well, and that's why I always do my best to communicate openly with people I'm close to. I always try to learn more about relationships and try to expand my horizons in terms of empathy and understanding. I wouldn't say that my relationship with my girlfriend is ideal, or that it's perfectly healthy, but I think we care enough about one another (and about ourselves as individuals) to make the changes towards living healthier lives, and I think that our relationship is getting healthier through this whole process.

    As I've explained, we have talked about this before. I would go a step further than that and say that it's really become an ongoing conversation. There's a mutual understanding between us that we can talk to one another about that sort of stuff and that I will listen to what she has to say intently and honestly.

    Sure. I don't think there's a porn addict on the planet that hasn't had their sex life impacted by their behavior.
    Never. She has been my primary sexual interest since the moment I met her.
    Sometimes, but I know my addiction isn't entirely to blame for this. She struggled with self-esteem issues before meeting me. However, this is something we've also discussed, and whenever the subject comes up I can only reassure her that she's exactly what I want and that I think she's beautiful and amazing, which is easy to do because it's true.
    I think anyone would say "no" given that question, but I don't think that necessarily means she would rather have never committed to a relationship with me. The way I see it, everyone has their own imperfections. Everyone has their own struggles, and there's always going to be something about a person you know on that level that isn't exactly what you want. I don't think healthy relationships are about people who don't have issues (I've never met anyone who doesn't have issues), but rather about overcoming those issues, growing as a person, and supporting one another through the changes that life throws your way.

    My point is that care doesn't always take the form of an argument or fight. My girlfriend and I don't fight about my addiction, but it's not because she's numb to the pain it's caused her. It's because she forgives me for my actions, and because I am doing whatever I can to help her heal those wounds. Even though we don't fight about my addiction, we still talk about it, but it's a therapeutic conversation, and it always brings us closer together when we do that.

    Again, I think that's an awful lot to assume about someone you've never met.
    I think that sort of step is an ongoing process, and I'm not sure it's something anyone can ever fully grasp. I learn more and more about myself and how my actions have affected my loved ones every day of my recovery. I have no delusions about the pain I may have caused my loved ones through my addiction, and I am learning more and more of this every day by listening to them when I talk with them about addiction, and by empathizing with them when they respond. If that isn't taking responsibility for my actions and accepting the pain I've caused others, I don't know what is.
     
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  11. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I think what th SO’s would say, is that it was hell in the struggle of recovery. And like I said I do think those in recovery can have very healthy relationships. a while back i asked a question of SOs that were married to PMO addicts, that if they had it to do over again knowing what they know now, and what they would go through would they? The response was overwhelmingly no they would not. There were a few that said yes, and that may be the case of your partner. My point is just that this is not what women would chose for themselves and the reason is because it does effect them. I think this whole thing makes more sense when you say that your girlfriend is an alcoholic. Were you with her during her active addiction, or only in recovery? It is possible that she understands more than someone who has never suffered from an addiction. It is also possible that she herself is not truly healthy yet, and so Her concept of what a relationship is is also healthy. again like you said I do not know you so maybe not. I think you are on a great path, but despite what you say from what I read you are still trying to downplay the pain y ou caused. I am not speaking of what you are currently doing, I mean of your past behavior. And you are also defensive when I bring this up, you are “offended.” IMO an addict in recovery needs to stop the defensiveness. You must move your focus from focusing on your own pain and feelings (defensiveness) on to hers. Defensiveness is not truly owning the behavior. What you did really sucked for your SO. It may not have sucked as much as what other PMO addicts have done or what you could have done, but it still sucks a lot.
     
  12. MarinoBigFan1984

    MarinoBigFan1984 Fapstronaut

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    I’d work on yourself and give it a year before you decide to what to do about your partner
     
  13. Torn

    Torn Fapstronaut

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    I agree here about PA's in recovery in general. (I don't know @Ridley ,only what he posted here.) It is hell in the struggle of recovery. I do believe there is hope for those in recovery (not in the addictive cycle) to have healthy relationships.

    My partner is over >200 days into this, and while there has been progress, this defensiveness and focus on his own pain and feelings are still very evident. It's hard.

    To the OP, my take on it is to let your ex spend more time in recovery before you make any decisions. A year is a commonly agreed time in these circumstances. You sound like you're on a good path, and so is your ex. GREAT! :) Hopefully things will continue to improve for both of you as you each become more of who you are.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  14. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I was with her during her active addiction. I have felt the distance that an addiction can cause. I have felt the lack of intimacy, the dishonesty, and the pain that an addiction can cause for the ones on the supporting side.

    Please consider this carefully: I feel like you are assuming that, because I'm an addict, I don't have empathy for people who are on the supporting side of addictions (emphasis added to ensure that I'm not accusing you of assuming that. I'm merely talking about my own feelings here). At first, you assumed that I had no idea what it's like to be on the supporting side of an addiction. When you found out that was false, you now seem to be assuming that I only know what it feels like to support someone who is recovering from an addiction, and not someone who is active in their addiction. Please consider where these assumptions are coming from.

    What, in particular, did I say that suggests to you that I'm trying to downplay the pain I've caused? I've said things such as:

    "I won't deny that those wounds are there, but I also think they're starting to heal, and every step in my recovery is a step towards repairing that damage. I've had to ask forgiveness of her, and I've had to find the courage to take responsibility for my own actions and to forgive myself for what I've done."

    I clearly stated that there are wounds there, meaning that I accept the reality of the situation. I also clearly stated that I had to ask forgiveness of my girlfriend. Why would I need to ask for her forgiveness unless I acknowledged the pain I caused her?

    If I'm offended by anything you've said to me so far, it was the assumption that I don't know what it feels like to be on the supporting side of an addiction. However, even in that case I don't really take it personally. I think the fact that you assumed that about me says more about you than it does about me.

    I am being defensive because you are accusing me of not understanding how my addiction has affected my loved ones, and you are accusing me of downplaying the effects of my addiction. However, I don't think I've given any evidence to suggest that I don't understand the ramifications of my addiction, so I am defending myself and stating that I do understand how my addiction has affected my loved ones. I am not defending my actions. I am not defending or downplaying the pain I may have caused my loved ones because of my addiction. I am not defending my addiction. I feel like I've been given a 'guilty until proven innocent' approach when it comes to understanding the pain my addiction has caused others.

    I'll leave you with one more quote from my previous comment:

    "I have no delusions about the pain I may have caused my loved ones through my addiction, and I am learning more and more of this every day by listening to them when I talk with them about addiction, and by empathizing with them when they respond."

    You'll notice that I explicitly stated I have no delusions about the pain I may have caused my loved ones. This means that I understand and accept that I have caused them pain. You'll also note that I said I am learning more of this pain every day by listening to my loved ones when we talk. Not only do I accept that I've caused my loved ones pain, but I keep the conversation going so that I can gain a better understanding of the extent of my actions. What more could I say to demonstrate that I understand the ramifications of my addiction?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018

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