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Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by lowland, Jan 24, 2020.
I agree lowland...I’m terrified for my kids. We sat down and talked with my son about how porn can spiral into a big problem. As for telling her details I’m with you on not going into too much. Just telling her your struggling with watching it is enough. Good luck !
I'm a newbie to this forum but certainly not a newbie to this issue. I've been married for 20+ years. I've never told my wife about my PMO, and I know based on discussions with her regarding other marriages which have fallen apart due to sexual addictions that she'd be unforgiving. It's a black and white issue for her. I simply can't tell her without suffering severe consequences for my marriage and my kids, which I would dread. We've also had a mostly sexless marriage, but I feel stuck in it nevertheless. If I can overcome my addiction it would obviously help, but I've been doing it for so long it's hard to imagine. I joined this community to hopefully give me the support I need. Any guidance would be most appreciated.
I hear what you’re saying and I’m assuming you love your wife or you wouldn’t be here. You mention a sexless marriage and that is very definitely difficult but the flip side might be it’s a consequence of your PMO. Your energy and attention is not focused on your spouse it’s focused on you as is the norm with addiction. You’re in a tough spot because your wife has expressed her boundary with porn and yet you’ve kept it hidden for all these years. You have taken away her choice to make an educated decision on what she wants in her life, effectively given her no chance to be loved the way she needs to be. However many people say they wouldn’t accept infidelity until it happens to them and they realize it’s not so black and white. The big question is do you trust your wife enough to tell her. Do you have faith that your relationship can pass through this ? At this point your wife loves the man you’ve led her to believe you are. For sure she will be angry, hurt, sad and questioning what in your relationship is true but unless you’re honest with her your chances of quitting porn and changing your life are not high. You have no accountability at the moment because only you know your secret, once it comes out you can then move forward with a plan. I didn’t leave my husband because I knew for years something was wrong. It was a wake up call for him when I told him I was out unless he trusted me enough to support him. The second a-ha moment for him was when I asked him if he ever wonders if people can truly love someone they don’t know and how scary that must be for him. If you have any questions I’m here. FYI this is a totally non judgemental response on my part. As mentioned in an above comment I am a recovering alcoholic. I understand being an addict.
I think everyone’s circumstances are unique. There is no black and white answer. My SO is seemingly happy with our relationship as is, despite its imperfections and my failings. Perhaps in another universe I would have come clean with her many years ago, and whether we got through it or not we would have been somehow better off. But for me to come clean now would completely shatter both of our worlds. Is that fair to her? I can see an argument on both sides and I don’t think there’s a clear right or wrong. Either way, I think the first step has to be working on myself, understanding why I’ve been a PMO addict, and hoping to overcome it. Then I can decide whether to share that side of me with her and hope she understands, knowing there’s great risk in doing so.
The first part of this sounds very me towards my partner. Thank you for sharing as helping me understand myself a little better
I agree @Thelasttime1092 with figuring out why you do it. You’re not doing it because you’re an over sexed pervert. There’s always some deep issue that needs to be addressed. It took me a year of counseling to really see clearly what my under lying issues were. In the last few years of my addiction I felt like a complete fraud. Like if anyone knew the real me they wouldn’t think I was so great. It was hard to really look at myself and some of the things I’d done. Now that I’m on the other side of finding out who the real me is I’m more confident and feel much stronger. FYI I’m a firm believer that if someone is going to judge me on my past actions then they shouldn’t be surprised when I leave them there. Look to the future my friend and screw anyone who doesn’t join you for the ride !
I don’t agree with any of the advice advice John__ has given. I am in intensive therapy and am a member of a 12 step group because of my issues with addiction. I have 15 years of pornography addiction under my belt, something I am far from proud of. What I have learnt from therapy is that sex/porn addictions thrive in secrecy. The shame and guilt is something you need to deal with and confront or you will never beat the addiction. Whether that’s telling your wife, going to a 12 step group or finding a sex addiction therapist, you need to tell somebody you can trust.
You also need to ask yourself what your values and beliefs are, and if your pornography habit supports or contradicts these. If honesty is a value you admire, stop being dishonest and tell the truth. If faithfulness is a value you admire, stop masturbating over, fantasising and sexualising women who aren’t your girlfriend. If you want to be happy you need to align your actions, beliefs and values.