SOs feelings and thoughts through their partners Addiction/Recovery

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Warfman, May 8, 2023.

  1. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I know a lot of this is out there but I think it's an extremely important one to discuss. To me it's an absolute requirement when a P addict is "Rebooting in a Relationship" to fully understand our partners through this process.
    KevinesKay likes this.
  2. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I want to Pull @hope4healing's post from a different forum here to comment on.

    "I wanted to give another perspective on this. For SO's, there might be some shame in the fact that our partner is a P addict...perhaps somewhat of a reflection of our choices. However, I think more often that shame falls directly on feels like a reflection of us as a person, as a wife/partner. It seems like a common (mis)conception that, if someone becomes a PA, it's probably because his wife isn't doing enough to satisfy him sexually. Churches, society, and even some addicts themselves promote the idea that the addiction would mostly be remedied if the wife would just (fill in the blank). Even though this is completely wrong, there's been enough blame thrown our way that it's difficult to not feel like it's at least partially our fault that our partner chooses to go outside of our relationship for sex. Unlike any other addiction our partners could have, this one feels personal because it involves our partner giving away a part of themselves that's never supposed to be shared with anyone but us...they aren't content with what we offer. How could that not make us feel a sense of shame?

    So, it's possible that, as an SO, we don't want everyone knowing that our partner is a P addict, not because we're ashamed that something is wrong with you but because we're ashamed that everyone will think there's something wrong with us."

    I really appreciate your input here. And there's been other good comments on the other forum commenting on this. I hope I articulate this properly, It's pretty deep and hard to express perfectly.

    I can totally see how a SO would feel this way as well. It makes sense. I can just imagine the SO who gets blindsided by the confession that their husband is addicted to PMO. I suspect many lay there and say do I really even know this man at all?

    It is not your fault. No way, now how. I also agree that for me even if my wife did the things I'm asking her to do (be intimate more often, kind, understanding, Empathetic Etc.) it most definitely wouldn't fix my addiction. I'm willing to admit that I most likely destroyed many of these qualities my wife may have shared early on because of my distorted mind.

    It started way before I even knew her and before I was old enough to process what was actually happening. I think as a man I can express that I do desire more sex in my marriage. And that I have resorted to PMO to fill that need because I have a hard time dealing with the rejection I get when trying to initiate with my wife. This was not the case earlier in our relationship but as life becomes more complicated and busy often the relationship and intimacy take a back seat to other things.

    I think this often gets misconstrued as a PA saying well if you were just having more sex with me I wouldn't PMO. I think a better way of saying that is setting the addiction aside for a minute. I have needs too. I deal with shame too. I think the initial reactions for the SO are natural and justified. And in a way it can actually be worse off for the addict because it dumps more shame, blame, guilt onto them which makes the addiction worse. I think the blame of the addiction hits the 12 year old boy had no idea what the consequences were of getting hooked and wakes up a 34 year old man married with kids and asks how did I end up here? For me I think I just had a hard time actually seeing what my addiction was doing this whole time and how it affected my wife. For me at least I was in survival mode through much of my addiction. Just get through the day..

    It's no doubt complicated. I think the most important part is attempting to understand one another. To extend grace and show love to one another as no one of us is perfect.

    I'm also here wondering how to I express this to my wife. That I know it isn't her fault and at the same time express my needs without dumping my shame right back on her and making her feel like my addiction is her fault.

    I hope more SOs can comment here because I would love to hear their feelings on how their partners addictions affected them so that maybe an addict trying to understand their SO's actions/reactions can get some clarity and understanding as well. So often I am extremely frustrated with my wife's reactions to me and know often we both just don't take the time to understand one another.
  3. Yes, I agree that it's an important part of the recovery process to develop an understanding of the SO's betrayal trauma and to learn empathy as well. Unfortunately, addiction is very selfish and it prevents one from considering how their actions affect others, and therefore, this is usually one of the last things that addicts are able to accomplish in their recovery. However, I have noticed that the sooner the addict is able to do this, the more successful their recovery seems to be. It's the ones who aren't able to break out of the self-centeredness that continue to struggle. I realize it's not easy because so many things must be overcome to do that...complete honesty with themselves and others, acknowledging their faults, humility, no longer being controlled by shame, sitting with their SO's pain, and many other things, none of which they want to do. But, for the relationship to truly heal, it has to happen at some point.

    This is exactly how many of us feel. To find out that your partner has an entirely separate part of themselves that you didn't know existed is really difficult to accept. The person who you thought you knew so well has all this that you knew nothing do think you don't really know them at all. Many SO's (including me) describe it as feeling like their partner has died.

    Then, you start thinking back through all the time you've been together and realize how you believed your life was a certain way, but now you know it wasn't actually that way at all. That really sucks, too, because it feels like your life has been a lie all along.

    I think this is a significant that many might never realize. But, it's such a massive truth for me, and the fact that my husband does not acknowledge this is very painful for me. Besides feeling like he died when I learned about the unknown 'other side' of him, I also feel like parts of me died as well. There are some parts of me that will never recover...things that will never be the same, and I miss my undamaged self. I feel like my boys are being cheated out of having the mom I would've been if I wasn't consumed by betrayal trauma.

    Perhaps it's sometimes misconstrued, but oftentimes that's exactly what the addict is saying because they are still unable to take on the responsibility for their own choices, and it seems like sex with their partner can make it a lot better. Of course, you have needs. Everyone does, but someone in active addiction doesn't have clarity to even know what their own needs are because everything is about the addiction. Someone who is really in recovery no longer thinks that sex with their SO is necessary for them to stay in recovery. That doesn't mean they don't want it or they don't think it's important. But, they understand that it's separate from their recovery.

    The addiction doesn't allow you to see how it affects your wife. It actually prevents that. So, to say you were in survival mode is exactly order for the addiction to survive, you were not able to acknowledge how it affected her.
  4. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I know you are definitely right. And I definitely think I felt that way during my marriage before I realized that p was a problem. But, I think it's a place where two things can be true at the same time if that makes sense.

    I'm not making the excuse that because of a lack of sex I PMOed more and that it's ok because it that. But I most definitely PMOed more because of the lack of sex. When I have expressed that emotion i think is can get lost in translation due to my wife.

    For me at least I've honestly felt that way the majority of the time.

    This may not be true for all. But I am freaking turned on physically by my wife so much. No makeup, sweatpants holy t shirt, the whole deal. She hates she is getting grey hair. I love them. I can totally see how I look like a hypocrite watching P and saying that but it's how I truly feel.

    I agree that true recovery requires there to be no stipulation of sex from their partner to stay in recovery. But even in recovery I am going to want sex. And don't think I'm unreasonable in making it an important aspect of the relationship. Navigating this is somewhat difficult especially for me who naturally suppresses their needs and feelings.

    I'd love to hear SOs thoughts on this. Especially when it pertains to your feeling of betrayal and interest having sex, what experiences SOs have had during reboot interest me because my wife and I are living it currently. What success stories as well are out there? We see the addicts success stories but I haven't seen a lot from the SOs, I'm very interested in that.

    This also makes me think of a topic I hate thinking about. But I know I need to...

    What happens when my wife is physically unable to have sex anymore. For whatever reason health or otherwise. What will it look like.

    I battle with this notion a lot. I think I'll post about this tonight.
  5. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    You nailed it. I feel like my husband destroyed the best parts of me. The part that trusted people. The part that loved sex and thought it was sacred. The part that believed he loved me and would be there for me. The part that thought if you loved someone they would return that love. The happy, carefree, confident girl, who thought she could conquer the world. Who thought she could do anything she set her mind to. We are left trying to salvage a relationship where there is no trust, very little hope, no real desire on my part to “ work” at it anymore. Fighting not to let bitterness and resentment drown out the blessings I have experienced. Trying to believe that the happy moments were not all lies.
  6. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I get too that the addition is selfish. And this is going to come off as insensitive...

    Something I as the addict struggle with is that the SOs response is also selfish. It's like "how could you (the addict)do this to me?!". I say this not to diminish the betrayal at all or the feelings if the SO. I'm the one to blame for the issue as with many things ignorance is not an excuse.

    I struggle expressing to my wife that I didn't mean for this to happen. I didn't know what I was doing. And it's a hard process to correct.

    Theres times where I just wish I could say that "I didn't become a P addict to hurt you.". I know it's not a great alibi but it's how my heart feels.

    It's a 2 victim addiction in many cases. The 12 year old boy in my case and the 28 year old woman I married as well.

    I hate that it had to happen.
    Last edited: May 8, 2023
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  7. I don't think any SO believes their partner became a PA just to hurt them. I think most of the time, they were addicted prior to even meeting them.

    Yeah, that is insensitive, actually. I don't think it's selfish at all to want your partner to not lie to you, deceive you, and make you believe your reality is something other than what it really is...and do all that to protect an addiction that is damaging both the SO and the marriage at the same time it's making the addict into someone other than the person they pretended to be. When the person you love most and who says they love you the same does that to you, you are not selfish for being hurt by it. Even if your intent was 100% selfish and 0% intended to hurt your SO, it doesn't negate the fact that you still chose to do it. Becoming an addict is not an accident. I'm sure no one set out with the intention of becoming an addict, but it still happened...and it continued for however long...because of the choices you made. And, after you were married, those choices continued to be made knowing that they would hurt your SO if they found out.

    I think that's agreed upon by everyone involved.
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  8. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    With the deepest amount of respect to you. I think there is a misunderstanding here from what I truly mean. I'm not saying it's selfish at all to be hurt by it, I don't think it at all is selfish to expect a significant other to not lie to you. I'm saying it is selfish to assume that we intended to inflict that hurt, that we on purpose did the things you mention above. If there can be a certain acknowledgement by the SO that there was not intent to harm maybe that can be the start of the healing process. To me that's where the SO can start showing Grace to their partner. The "how dare you do that to me" mindset is on it's own a self centered emotion. And with that natural and justified feeling we addicts feel the toxic shame that drove our addiction in the first place. For me I did not become a P addict to hurt anyone, at the same time I can 100 percent understand how it has affected SOs and most importantly for me, my wife.

    I adamantly disagree that becoming an addict is not an accident in many (and maybe most) cases especially for a P addict. Yes there is accountability needed here from the fully grown adult addict that it is not ok. What is the average age a young boy is exposed to P? I've heard in the 10 to 11 age group and I've heard that number is dropping fast! I think I heard John Delony say once that some study said age 6 even. Just as a young child can't give consent to have sex at this age and we have laws to protect them, a young boy can't understand what they are seeing. I didn't know how these things would affect me I was hooked before I even was old enough to consent to what I was watching. I was addicted before I had the ability to understand what was going on and have spent most of my life trying to hide the fact that I am addicted.

    I applaud the state of Utah for what they recently did to try and make the access to P to underage kids harder. We need to support the state in it's battle against Pornhub as I heard they are removing all access to everyone in the state. I hope that doesn't affect any decisions made by lawmakers.

    I also want to strongly urge parents of young boys to not make them feel shame for their sexual desires and urges. I was shamed as a kid, I thought that feeling any sexual desire meant I was bad. I secretly hid that sexual desire and urge because of it in a very unhealthy way.

    I don't want to digress into this too much, I truly want to hear how SOs feel and I'm not trying to dump any blame onto anyone here. I just hope it gives some food for thought for how SOs understand their partners, so often I think we feel the brunt of that Shame that our SOs feel as well like @hope4healing expressed in the original post I quoted. It's not the duty of the SO to coddle the shame of the addict I just think it's an important aspect of the conversation.

    I'm so very sorry for all the hurt that SOs feel from men like me due to the things we have done unintentionally and intentionally.

    "Grace is the face that Love wears when it meets imperfection"
    Last edited: May 8, 2023
  9. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

  10. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I can agree with this. I don't think I am resting on any virtue here. I'm simply expressing some important points.

    Edit: I would even say that I often don't feel truly understood by my wife in this way that I described above. Typically I would let a post like this trigger my toxic shame. I am not "the worst kind of man" it's taken me a long time to realize that. This is exactly what triggers P addicts back into the addiction. It has taken a lot of work for me to realize I'm not a bad person. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad person. A P addict/Man with "Nice Guy Syndrome" really struggles with this as we don't know the difference.
    Last edited: May 8, 2023
  11. Daruvil

    Daruvil Fapstronaut

    This post makes me sad
    Nothing wrong with it but how true it is

    One cannot fully give himself (love) to his so if he is addicted to porn and mastrubation

    I consider this statement very much true

    My partner was devastated when they got to know about this and every relapse made her feel worse

    I have been relapsing lately a lot of which I'm not telling her
    1 reason is because I m guilty of confessing
    And another I dont want her to feel the same again and again

    But that doesn't mean I have given up

    Porn and mastrubation addiction is much more than just abstaining from them
    It is to eliminate or overcome the reason which makes us to look towards these things and many times all our focus is on going so and so days without porn or mastrubation but when the trigger comes in we fall back to number zero
    Triggers need not be social media, it can also be anxiety which arises out of not completing work and u need to feel better and escape from reality etc
    And many times we just keep trying forever without even knowing the reason that why are we looking towards the porn or mastrubation and since we focus more on not to do porn or mastrubation and not on the real issue at the hand we keep relapsing and then feel guilty of doing it

    So it isn't ur fault that u relapse even after being accountable so first just calm down take a deep breathe and analyze
    When do u do ?
    Why do u do?
    What induces u to look into this sinister trap?
    How can u improve urself?

    Now reminding u initially u may not have proper answers but it's fine
    Start seeing the pattern
    Or even if the answers change over time it's fine
    Because this has happened with me

    My example
    : I was addict to lots of things naming gaming, youtube, other social media, anime , series and p and m
    First I thought other social media was a trigger so I stopped using social media but still p &M didnt start

    Then I thought it was because of triggering content on series
    I stopped watching series
    Still p & M didnt stop

    Then I thought and thought about it
    I realised it's because I'm afraid to face the reality
    Afraid to accept that I have been procrastinating from studies and haven't completed my syllabus at 3 years I have made myself week and as a result my attention span is less than 30 mins

    So I needed to reduce the number of distractions and increase the studies

    So for now I feel this is one of the reasons for not being successful at eliminating p & M
    There are more reasons like no social life etc but the focus now is to complete the studies and get a job and then work on making a social life

    The days I dont procrastinate
    If I have urges
    I'll still dont feel like watching porn or mastrubation

    So Identify the reason

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  12. Daruvil

    Daruvil Fapstronaut

    Now now
    I feel there is little connection between porn and sex
    By this I mean
    Overcoming porn and mastrubation will surely improve ur sex life
    But it is not always possible to get sex
    In such situations u shouldnt go back to sex

    Here I firmly believe one should abstain from sex for few days while they are doing nofap
    Why ??

    See now whenever u have urges or u r horny u tend to porn
    So if at all u believe sex will help in overcoming nofap then it wont
    It happened with me where in I was abstaining from porn but whenever the urge hits I used to sext my gf
    But when she wasn't available I fell back into the trap
    So u see u may get tricked by ur brain and may substitute pron with sex and so abstain for a while

    Now 2nd reason why to abstain from sex is
    When we masturbated using porn
    Our goal is only to ejaculate (orgasm)
    So if this goal has been build over years of addiction
    When u will have sex
    Ur main goal would be achieving orgasm because u want to experience the pleasure which u used to get from porn and mastrubation
    So a ur focus would be to fuck and orgasm

    But sex is much more than this
    It just isn't about sex
    It's about the intimacy the hugs the kisses

    Here is what happened with me
    While I was being intimate i was about to orgasm many times in just 5 minutes of being intimate ( because I have premature ejaculatiom and also erectile dysfunction) even though I wasn't that hard
    And while being intimate all I thought many times was orgasm
    Though we are abstaining from sex till marriage but orgasm through other means
    But every time I was near ejaculation
    I stopped my so and just preferred hugs and kisses
    Though back of the mind there was the need to orgasm
    But i was loving the hugs and kisses that i didnt want to orgasm and I pushed myself every single time to not have orgasm yet and because of this we were intimate for a large amount of time but at the end due to my addiction over powering me i cummed very fast

    That's when I realised that it is necessary to have sex but it is more important to be intimate

    Another reason for this is
    Ur partner will start feeling that u just dont want to get close to them because u want the hole
    It's because u love them and u love being intimate with them
  13. Daruvil

    Daruvil Fapstronaut

    Have u ever wondered how good other things can be with your wife instead of sex and orgasm

    How about try hugging with ur eyes closed and just feel their presence

    How about just hold hands and go for a wall in the nature

    How about cooking together even though u may or may not be a good cook
    These small gestures of ours do matter them a lot ( from personal experience)

    Speak openly
    Speaking to ur wife openly and knowing their choices showing interest in their talks play an important role

    U see these many things matters a lot to them
    So sex is not the only way to show love and affection but it doesn't mean no sex because it is important

    So for now I would suggest try being intimate and just start enjoying doing different things instead of sex being the only focus

    Because come on u r life partners and u would want to cherish ur life together creating lots of memories

    That's all brother
    I hope this was of any help

    One last thing
    Instead of just working on nofap amd sex
    Just focus on
    Self improvement
    Making ur life happier successful
    Making ur relation happier

    One cannot truly love ur so if they are addicted to porn and mastrubation

    Okay I dont know if I should be telling or not
    And its upto u if u wanna do it or not
    Here is a dare for u
    Try hugging ur wife for as long as u feel
    Close ur eyes think nothing
    If she pushes u just tell please let this be like that

    Just one suggestion to make u feel there are things other than porn, mastrubation and orgasm that can make u satisfied too
    Its upto u if u wanna do it or not
    I can just tel u to try
    If u do then do share was it helpful or not so that other people may believe it or not

    I believe it will be amazing

    And the final last thing
    U dont need to follow or believe everything others tell Including me
    So take my words with a pinch of salt

    That's all
    Have a wonderful day
    Last edited: May 8, 2023
  14. 100% this.
    I genuinely used to believe that I deserved to be loved and cherished. I left my first marriage with a PA/SA because I believed I would find someone who did. I will literally never have that ever. It's hard not to resent my children if I'm totally honest. Would I have gotten breast cancer without the pregnancy hormones? Would both of my husbands have cheated on me if I hadn't had the body changes from having children?
    I know now that for the rest of my life, I am not going to be in a marriage where I am the thing/person my husband wants. Any husband. I cannot try again with three kids, one a baby, and I love my husband too much to consider it. But it's very much over for me. I will make a happy life, but it will never match the happy I once thought I was good enough to have.
  15. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    100% this. Except my qualifier is “ I will never have the relationship l thought I could have with my husband”
    I never once resented or even came close to resenting my children, they are the only thing that made my marriage worth anything( totally different circumstances than you, so zero judgement, I got pregnant on the pill and didn’t want kids!). But I know many betrayed partners who feel the way you say about their children because it kept them trapped. My anger and resentment has always been towards my husband and God. Both I’ve had to work at and through and continue to. My relationship with him will never be what it could have. Trust destroyed cannot be earned back to the same level. Time cannot be earned back. Death by a thousand paper cuts. Still leaves scars, even if stopped before death.
    It truly is a huge loss for everyone involved.
  16. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I'm sorry you experienced that. I can relate to some of that as I have had health issues that I have often wondered if I would have had if certain things were different.

    Maybe I'm in a minority here. I don't think I am. But I genuinely am attracted to my wife physically much different than I have any other person. Her body changes haven't affected my attraction to her. I do know I've been absolutely terrible at expressing and showing that to be truth with my actions. She's not perfect of course in many ways but I don't feel a non attraction to her in that way.

    I have often wondered if my wife has felt similar for what she feels for our daughter and baby that's on the way. She didn't ask to have kids with someone who lied to her about a very important part of a marriage.

    I've thought it was mostly a sort of postpartum depression issue. And I've blamed it on that. I think maybe I've ignored a pretty damning truth here that there's a strong possibility that she resents her children in a similar way. I feel terrible if that's true.

    Do you think it might be similar to marrying someone who didn't disclose that they committed a felony or that maybe they had HIV? Like we hid that from you and passed it to you and now your stuck because we conned you into thinking we were someone else than we actually were?
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  17. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    FYI-I wasn’t saying you “ were the worst kind of man” the first sentence was really the part that struck me. In no way do I think my husband is a bad person, he is not. In fact he’s amazing in his own unique way, he has several life saving awards where he risked his own life to save another, he is brave, he is kind, so kind, he has a heart like my father. Addiction gradually stole that. Recovery is finding it again.
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  18. 100% it IS marrying someone who hid something and passed it to us and now we're stuck because you conned us.

    And no offense (sincerely no offense, I have no horse in your race) but you can say all you want how attracted you are to her, but I do not believe you. If you were capable of fantasizing about having sex with hundreds of other people, you just don't feel that strongly about her. My husband says the same, says he can't get enough of me, is incredibly attracted to me, blah blah blah.
    Nope. That's not a thing. I was attracted to my husband. Because of that love and attraction, I was simply never even interested in other people enough to get to the point that I was attracted to them or aroused by them. Ever. That's what happens when you really love and are attracted to your person. You're not capable of fantasizing about others to that extent.
  19. I did acknowledge that fact in the first sentence of my last post. I do not assume my husband's PA is something he did to intentionally hurt me, and I think most other SO's would agree that they don't think that either. I’ve never thought for one second that's what he meant to do. I know that his addiction has never been about anything but himself, and it started long before I even knew him. I’ve known this since my first D-day so there has never been a time when I was "selfishly assuming" that he tried to, wanted to, intended to, or purposefully hurt me with his PA.

    After establishing that I have never believed there was any intent to harm me with his PA, I could still reasonably ask this question. It's actually a simply-worded, straight-forward question that doesn't require adding a bunch of hidden meanings to it, and it doesn't imply any particular level of culpability. If you feel that it does imply that, I think it's because of the toxic shame you talked about, not because it's asked under the notion that you had malice aforethought.

    I'll agree that, as a young boy, there's no awareness at all of the harm being done by P consumption. I said before that I'm sure no one set out with the intention of becoming an addict, regardless of the age it all started. However, there comes a time when you are know that what you're doing is wrong and that it is hurting people, including yourself, and from that point I believe it is no longer about what happened that you had no control over. Instead, it is about what you do to make things right, and the longer you choose to do nothing but continue in the addiction because you "didn't mean for it to happen," the more it becomes a product of your choices.
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  20. Warfman

    Warfman Fapstronaut

    I can understand that for sure.

    I'm finding that it's a huge part of the addiction cycle to
    I don't know if I'm able to express this very well. Maybe it's something that needs to be lived to be truly understood. My reality is very much different maybe your husband's is too.

    I haven't put value on the looks of the p star or ever compared my wife to them. I've never craved the physical appearance of that instead of my wife. I suppose maybe in a way I used P as an intimacy substitute. I did it to feel a certain way not because I don't think my wife is sexy as hell. I'm not sure I'm certain I'm expressing my feelings right but I feel like a lot of it for me is the same reason I ran to junk food since college sports. For comfort. To hide from the fact that I can't be a college athlete with all the accolades forever. That I needed to love myself and be comfortable with myself without the approval of others. I had a huge ego. I resorted to an addiction that I discovered as a kid that subconsciously always worked in the past. I didn't realize I was walking around a fully grown man who invisibly was carrying his blankey and sucking his thumb to feel safe. I can totally get how you feel though and others that do as well.

    We are still relatively young but I look back at pictures and realize wow we both have really changed physically and I see that difference. But day to day I really don't. I look over and see my wifes physical attributes and just think dang she's so good looking and instantly desire to be intimate with her.
    Last edited: May 9, 2023
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