Telling your wife/girlfriend

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by mjtx, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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    I think that I made a mistake by telling my wife about my porn addiction.

    Now she feels insecure and threatened, and she says that she wonders what else I am hiding.

    I am torn...on one hand, I think that she should be happy about my positive change, but I am questioning whether I could have handled it better.

    Any advice or opinions?
     
  2. tarv

    tarv Fapstronaut

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    Telling her was a good idea. It's natural for her to feel insecure and threatened and not know whether she can trust you, but she always had reason to feel those things, she just didn't know it. Now that it's out in the open, you both can deal with the issues in your lives.

    I can't speak to how you told her, because some ways are better than others. But I am a strong supporter of honesty in these cases.

    As far as being happy about the positive change, she should feel happy about you making a positive change, but it's a positive change from a vice she didn't know you had. So she feels upset that you have a vice she doesn't know about, which is overpowering any happiness from you wanting to change. That's to be expected when she first finds out. Hopefully you can work to gain back her trust and she can support you through your fight.
     
  3. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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    I hope that I can fix things too. We have some issues in our marriage. For example, we have sex an average of twice a year. I used to use that as justification for my porn habits, but I am tired of that.

    I am giving up porn, and trying to fix the marriage. If it can't be fixed, then perhaps I should move on.
     
  4. e5s

    e5s Fapstronaut

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    It's going to take a lot of patience and work, mjtx.

    If somebody tells you they've been lying and hiding things from you, the natural response is to be upset and mistrustful for a while. Happy is for later, once you have some proof that the problem under control, once it's clear that the person has made a real change.

    Don't give up without a fight, but of course it takes two. If she decides not to work with you on this, then yes, it will be time to move on. But until then, give it your best, and try to see things from her point of view. Going to counseling together is probably a good idea. It sounds like you could use some real help learning how to communicate better.
     
  5. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, I know it will take time, e5s. My wife and I have been working on things for about a year now.

    I'm also a recovering alcoholic, so porn isn't my only addiction. Next month will mark one year of sobriety. I'm definitely not giving up, but sometimes it seems like I want to work at the relationship harder than she does, which is the opposite of what you'd expect in a stereo-typical relationship.

    My point is that I wish I had taken more time before I shared it with her, and perhaps got the advice of some other people first. Honesty is good, but not at the expense of hurting other people.

    For instance, if you've been cheating on your wife for years, and you decide to stop, it's not cool to tell your wife when she's clueless. Telling her would only cause her pain, and wouldn't serve any purpose but to unburden YOUR guilty conscience. In that light, I should NOT have told my wife about my porn addiction, except for perhaps further down the road if it came up at some point.

    I'm trying to get us back into marriage counseling. I completely agree that we need help in communicating better. We're both extremely introverted, her more than I, and sharing feelings doesn't come easy for either of us.
     
  6. ###

    ### Fapstronaut

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    Great thread mjtx. Not being married, I can't give direct experience. What I can give is the stories of dozens of men I've listened to in my recovery groups.

    Almost unanimously those who prematurely did a tell-all confession to the wife regretted it. In some cases, the marriage ended there; in others, the wife was left traumatized. Meanwhile, those who have done disclosure under the guidance of a licensed counselor unanimously state how glad they were that they waited.

    Now, there are some guys on this forum, I think, who believe in telling all right away. If that worked for them, it would be good to hear their experience... I can only speak of what I've heard from others.
     
  7. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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    I am reading a book called, "The Porn Trap," and although I am not finished, I have learned a couple of things.

    First of all, it WAS naive and inconsiderate to tell my wife everything. She didn't need to know, and it has just added stress to our already troubled marriage. The book has a whole section on how spouses/partners respond to the news that their partner is using porn.

    Secondly, I think that I have (had?) a porn habit, not an addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic and very familiar with the twelve steps and addiction in general. The more I read and analyze my porn usage, the more I think it's a bad habit and not a compulsion.

    Perhaps at one point in my life I was more dependent, but I think I used to PMO out of boredom, not out of a compulsive need. Then again, I may be in complete denial! ☺

    Regardless, I agree that I should have waited before telling my wife, and gotten some advice or assistance in doing so. Now she thinks the worst of me, and wonders what else I am hiding.

    My porn use definitely affected me negatively, but I wasn't that deep, at least not yet.
     
  8. abrex

    abrex Fapstronaut

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    I think honesty is the best policy. In regards to your wifes sex drive you have to remember just because you have decided no more PMO doesnt automatically mean she is going to want more romance right away. You have also just made her feel you get more arousal from porn than her. I am dealing with this in my relationship as well. I have had some progress with my wife by giving her more attention in non-sexual ways. a couple weeks ago I was helping her with something that I probably normally would not have done when I was PMO, and she made the move on me. This is probably the first time that has happend in a year. I told my wife about my PMO about 6 month ago, and the first three months were pretty icey. Just be there for her and hopefully things will improve.
     
  9. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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  10. mjtx

    mjtx Fapstronaut

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    Yep, patience is going to be the key. I'm trying to get back into marriage counseling with the wife. I think having an unbiased third party present will help us work through some stuff. We've averaged having sex maybe twice a year for years, so I'm hoping that things get better.
     

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