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Forums / Relationship and family issues / How to deal with my boyfriends porn addiction which is now involving one on one communication with them

Topic: How to deal with my boyfriends porn addiction which is now involving one on one communication with them

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. RebeccaS
    RebeccaS avatar
    5 posts
    3 September 2021

    My boyfriend has a life long porn addiction which came about because of child sexual abuse he suffered, he's now in his 40s. I knew he watched it but was only aware it was an addiction when he told me 4 years into our 8 year relationship and he later had some therapy sessions which didn't seem to change much. I haven't been too concerned about it I think now it was because I don't think I understood just HOW addicted he really is.

    My major problem right now is that I have found out that he pays for a subscription where he is chatting, swapping photos and videos and Im fairly sure he is accepting video calls from the girls too. THIS is a problem for me. He is cheating on me by doing this. I am very understanding as to why he has this addiction but this cheating is not something I can support but I also don't want to make him anymore ashamed of the addiction he has. I knew all of this (he didn't know I knew yet) and I had given him the opportunity to tell me is it a subscription and chatting too or just watching porn and he lied. I told him my boundaries that I can support him through the porn watching addiction but the cheating I cant support and told him to unsubscribe and stop the chat stuff and he hasn't done it.

    I want to support him through this awful addiction he has from an awful childhood trauma but I'll never be ok with him cheating with these porn star girls with the communications he has with them. I'm afraid he's now become addicted to contacting them. I'm so upset I can barley eat or sleep. I love him but how can I ever work this out?

  2. ChrisCou
    ChrisCou avatar
    3 posts
    3 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    RebbeccaS

    You have reason to be concerned. 'Looking' is one thing, but becoming 'active' starts to risk crossing that line into the grey 'illegal' area. Has he tried counselling (does he want to?). Most counsellors are trained in addiction treatment (whatever it is). This has the potential to destroy lives, especially with the one you love. Please don't accept this as 'normal', because its not. While the 'children trauma' can be a trigger, it is treatable, and should not just be accepted. Hope you have a good outcome from contacting BB.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. RebeccaS
    RebeccaS avatar
    5 posts
    3 September 2021 in reply to ChrisCou

    Thanks for your reply.

    He has had counselling sessions once before for the first time a couple of years back when he told me he knew he had an addiction and again recently when I realised it was still a problem and that there was communication involved.

    He wants to change he hates how he sees he's hurt me and having the sessions proves this but I just need it to mean that things will actually change. He says the communication part has been happening only the last month (can't know this for sure but I'm confident that it's pretty recent at least) I guess he will have to continue the counselling until it's resolved even if it's a very long time. I think I may need it too just to understand it all better

  4. Sophia16
    Community Champion
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    Sophia16 avatar
    122 posts
    4 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    Hey Rebecca,

    I am sorry that you have to go through that. I hope you are doing well. It must be hard.

    Firstly, I am glad that you spoke to your husband about how you felt and that he wants to change. That is the first step.

    Getting over an addiction takes time. There are many types of therapy that can help with that including CBT. There are many psychologists who are trained in that area.

    If you love him and still want to be with him then be patient. Make sure that you are getting the support you need.

    Always here to chat :)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5756 posts
    4 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    hi and thanks for providing that extra information. And I am also saddened to hear about your experience in the initial post. As Sophia16 said... it will take a little patience. And for him to undo the behaviours learned over time. There will probably be relapses of sorts and I have a story about that which may be helpful.

    Perhaps education and talking about it with him. Some things are easier to say with a stranger (even a counselor or psychologist) than to say to a loved one. Part of that is feeling bad, shame, guilt etc.

    But this is about you and it sounds like you are doing the right things.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. RebeccaS
    RebeccaS avatar
    5 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to Sophia16

    Thank you for responding, I havent told anyone about my situation so you all help a lot.

    He has deactivated the account he had (I checked not that he knows this) and is trying very hard to change his routine to get out of the habit/routine of times he is usually drawn to watch/engage in it. He has made the best effort I could ask for and after a very open conversation as to why he chooses to watch it we had a few break throughs.

    I still haven't forgiven him for the communication hes had with them, not sure if ill be able to yet but we will see how things go.

    Thanks so much for the reply I appreciate it.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. RebeccaS
    RebeccaS avatar
    5 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi thank you for getting in touch.

    What is the story you have?

    Yes I fully anticipate he will go backwards now and again and I have told him that that's ok as long as he keeps trying his best. I think knowing how much its hurt me (I had a panic attack in front of him when I found the messages) he is really trying to get a hold of the situation. As I said in the last message I don't know if I can forgive him for the messaging side of it, I mean this could be the start of it turning into him wanting to start meeting up with them next I just don't know how far the "fantasy" of the porn addiction goes. I'm HOPEING meeting them would be ruining the fantasy? This is what I don't understand, how far could it continue to go?

  8. Sophia16
    Community Champion
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    122 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    No worries.

    That is completely understandable. It is going to take time.

    Stay safe and hope you are doing okay.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5756 posts
    9 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    This is the story ...

    A windy track is what the sheep uses to get to the other side of the paddock and out the gate. One day the sheep tried a faster route -more direct. Problem was the sheep had to create this route which was overgrown, long grass, rocky, fallen branches. It didn't work. Feeling beaten, the sheep went back to the old path. The next day tried the new route again.The same problem occurred. Again went back to the old path.This pattern repeated but over time the new path became more defined and the old path was getting overgrown and started using newer path more often. Until one day... the new path became the normal was of getting to the gate and not the old path.

    For you the old path is the where your partner engages in porn. And the new path is where there is no porn. Habits can hard to change.

    Meeting them ruining the fantasy ... Perhaps! By analogy... You play games with a person online. By how you and they relate in that game you can build a picture of that person. Of course, what we imagine in our mind will probably be different to reality. Then you meet that person IRL and you go... that is soo not what I was thinking. Or, what you see on screen can be edited, air-brushed or whatever creating a image that is not quite true to reality. Things can always look greener on the other side.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. JreneeJ
    JreneeJ avatar
    1 posts
    9 September 2021

    Hi Rebecca,

    I hope this finds you well, despite the challenges you are dealing with. Before I say anymore I want to preface it by saying I am far from perfect and sometimes we all need a bit of support to get through our toughest times...however I do not believe it should come at the expense of violating our personal boundaries.

    A few years back I dated a man who too was addicted to porn, caused by childhood trauma. I didn't realise it until a little bit later into the relationship as well, and when I did I tried to help, empathise, and support. Eventually I couldn't keep on top of my feelings of inadequacy that his obsession brought on and it led me to a hole of depression and anorexia. I had no boundaries at that time so all I did was meet his needs, so it definitely wasn't all his fault. But I allowed his trauma to cause trauma to myself I am still trying to recover from.

    I think it is an amazing and beautiful thing you are striving to support him through his challenges, but I think it is important to keep in mind you are not the professional and you are not responsible for his trauma's.

    And that in your life you should be the most important one you look after, I know that is a lot easier said than done especially when love is involved. I also hope you seek counselling as needed.
    Sending you light and warm wishes 🌻

    2 people found this helpful
  11. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    15298 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    Hello RebeccaS, any addiction is not easy for the person who is the partner and/or spouse because how can you believe what they have to say is right, wrong or pretending and at what point can you possibly believe what they're saying.

    It may not be noticeable on their phone or computer, indicating they've stopped, but it doesn't mean they haven't made a new email, under another name with a different password so they can access the porn site, unbeknown to their partner/spouse or they have a friend who also accesses the site, who they continually visit or another phone hidden away from prying eyes.

    You can love someone with this addiction and encourage them to stop, but when you're both out together and they're talking with another person, it doesn't stop you from wondering what they're thinking and unless this can be stopped, the problem still exists.

    Trust comes with love and included in these are honesty, respect and loyalty.

    I am really sorry for you.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. LCS
    LCS avatar
    6 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    Hi,

    I am glad to read that he appears to be changing and I hope this continues.

    I can speak from my own experience that for some (probably most) porn and addiction to it is not good to even start with, let alone when it starts progressing to chats and so on. I also suffered childhood sexual abuse that has never been reported and now people probably won't believe me anyway.

    If he is a caring person with morals (assuming he is or you wouldn't be together) I think its important to understand that even the "legal porn" is often a last resort, it's nowhere near reality which can lead to false expectations and disappointment in real relationships. Some of these people have been abused when they were younger or duped/trapped into this lifestyle where it is made to appear that this is the path they have willingly chosen.

    Due to my own relationship issues and not feeling like I could have honest/open discussions about it I turned t porn "thinking I was doing the right thing in a way" by leaving my wife alone as she told me that she didn't enjoy intimacy and she had no feeling after having children. I then discovered she had been using sex toys and getting lots of enjoyment but when I asked she denied this and claimed it was about a business which were lies. This caused me even more anxiety and stress and I then turned to chatting online which eventually led to a short path down an illegal avenue which I am disgusted and appalled by and even though there was nothing physical it doesn't make it any better. Its a slippery slope to fall down into on in an online world and nothing is every anonymous and real people do get hurt. I spent time in jail on remand for this and its not a place the average person wants to be. The repercussions are still happening years down the track affecting my work and relationships and mental health.

    I am certainly not suggesting your partner is on this trajectory, just that any addiction is not good and that putting the time and effort into your relationship and even a hobby instead of investing it into porn would pay dividends. Talking with trained professionals is also helpful and it would have prevented me reaching the point I did by not dealing with lots of things going on in my life including deaths in the family, work and home stresses, relationship falling apart, transgender daughter and more that I "kept bottled up" and "thought I was coping with".

    Relationships, like gardens need care and nurturing to prevent "weeds" taking over

    2 people found this helpful
  13. PhoebeWings
    PhoebeWings avatar
    150 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to RebeccaS

    Hi Rebecca,

    If you read here again, I replied to your question on the PTSD board.
    P.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. w1nn1e
    w1nn1e  avatar
    16 posts
    21 September 2021

    Hi Rebecca,

    As someone else mentioned, as much as you love your partner, you are not responsible for their trauma. You sound like a very kind and caring person who wants to help him. I have been a similar situation to you and when it got to direct communication with the s e x worker, thats where I drew the line and I believe there is no excuse for that (Im sorry if that sounds harsh, that was just my experience). I hope that you can get to a place where you can fully trust him but he will need to make a real effort and you may want to ask yourself if you can deal with any more of his slip ups that may happen. I hope you take care of yourself and the partner gets the correct help that he needs and is willing to gain your trust back.

    1 person found this helpful

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