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Topic: Husband porn relapse

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Lostforwords21
    Lostforwords21 avatar
    3 posts
    8 July 2021

    Hi all,

    About 3 years ago I found some messages on my husbands phone and it unravelled that he had a porn addiction which had moved to IMing random people. I was devestated and we worked with a counsellor to move through it and he went to see someone regularly to keep on top of his addiction.

    Today I found new messages while using his laptop and confronted him. He told me he relapsed 6months ago and was too ashamed to tell me.

    I'm not sure what to do now. He's called his therapist and rang our counsellor to make a time with her, but last time I said I couldn't do this again.

    Was I being unreasonable thinking he wouldn't relapse?

  2. Katyonthehamsterwheel
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    8 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hi there

    This is a difficult situation and I’m sorry that your partner has broken your trust again. I guess with any addiction, relapse is a possibility that should be considered. What you need to decide now is how to move forward. How do you feel about your partner seeking help? Does that make a difference to how you see things?

    Katy

  3. Summer Rose
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    8 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hi Lostforwords21

    Welcome to the bb forum.

    You have done an amazing job to support your husband through his battles with porn/messaging addiction and keep your relationship in tact. As a married woman, I know this couldn’t have been easy for you.

    I am so sorry that despite your combined best efforts that he has relapsed and you are once again left hurt and let down. This set back must be devastating for you both. It really is very sad.

    I’m no expert but with most addictions, I think there is always the chance of a relapse. I also think a lot of people would find it hard to admit to a loved one that they have relapsed, particularly as in your case he likely knew his marriage was on the line.

    I think if I was in your shoes I’d be asking myself three questions. Do I love him? Can I live with the possibility of future relapse? What’s now best for me?

    You’ve been through a lot. It’s really important to take care of yourself now and really think about what you need and want in the future.

    Kind thoughts to you

  4. geoff
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    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hello Lostforwords, and a warm welcome to the site.

    I'm sorry that he has a porn addiction and also that he has relapsed and why this does happen can have many different reasons but will vary from one relationship to another.

    Looking at another person who he is attracted to, can increase his desire or perhaps cause a relapse, is possible and can cause problems in the existing r/lationship because an addiction needs great strength and determination to be able to stop as well as to break.

    I can't tell you what to do, but suggest that counselling needs to be continued, rather than having sessions until someone is able to stop and then have no more counselling, because a relapse can happen at any time or when a situation prevails.

    As you say ' last time I said I couldn't do this again', then you need to make a decision if this is a concern you're worried about because honesty and trust are vital in any relationship whether you want to marry or remain in a de facto.

    Hope you can get back to us.

    Geoff.

  5. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    276 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hi LFW

    You weren’t being unreasonable... It is hard to know what impulses people will act on...

    I wonder if there are any other problems in your husbands life - anything he’s avoiding or lacking that could be causing him to seek gratification by porn and IMing people?

  6. Lostforwords21
    Lostforwords21 avatar
    3 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Here2Talk

    Thanks for your thoughts and help all. We have been together 14 years and do have a child together.

    When this first surfaced it was linked to his anxiety. When life was stressful this was his way of coping. So we put strategies in place to try and help with that. I guess I'm disappointed that he didn't do our agreed actions when he felt the need to start again.

    I'm also going over the messages I read in my head. That was the hardest part to get over last time.

  7. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    G'day Lostforwords21,

    Thanks for sharing on beyondblue.

    I'm a bit different when it comes to "addictions". Sometimes they are coping strategies and I'm all for coping strategies, whether maladaptive or beneficial. Like we have to cope right?

    What if your and his sexual needs don't match up? I imagine you both love each other. Maybe he needs more sexual fulfillment and feels he can't get that for whatever reason.

    Like if we just think hypothetically without judging him or you; If his sexual needs aredifferent than yours - what can he actually do about that, that wouldn't upset you?

     

  8. Here2Talk
    Here2Talk avatar
    276 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    I understand, that would be very hard... I’m so sorry dear... If it’s not too distressing or private for you to discuss here, what does the messaging involve- just text, images, videos? And is this some service provided online where people message each other?

  9. UltimaMic
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    UltimaMic avatar
    24 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Porn is a very pervasive thing on the internet. Viewing porn can be attractive to many men because men are generally stimulated by visual stimulation - seeing such things causes a natural high we feel form many things from eating chocolate cake to achieving a sporting goal. However porn allows the easy release.

    However obsessive consumption of porn is usually a sign that something is not right. But also sometimes it can be a stress/anxiety release for men where they seek to compensate for a lack of feeling in life with porn.

    I hope you can take a moment to have a serious talk together about the issue and let him know how the porn viewing makes you feel and the consequences it can have on your relationship. A relationship counselor can be good if this one on one communication is difficult to achieve. They can act as a mediator.

    I hope he can recognize his damaging behavior and see your point of view.

  10. Lostforwords21
    Lostforwords21 avatar
    3 posts
    14 July 2021 in reply to UltimaMic

    Hi all,

    So as I said in a previous post, his addiction is linked to his anxiety and he uses it as a coping strategy. Previously when we addressed this we thought of ways that he could manage his anxiety and if he felt the need to go down this road he was meant to get help and talk to me. That obviously didn't happen, he said he felt ashamed.

    So we have made times to see our Relationship counsellor. In the meantime I don't know if I should be asking him to leave or just wait.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Gabs_
    Community Champion
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    Gabs_ avatar
    94 posts
    14 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hi Lostforwords21,

    I'm sorry you are going through this, and I am sure you feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you allow him to stay whilst you are waiting for appointments, how is that going to make you feel? But if you ask him to leave and give you space, is that just going to exacerbate his behaviour? I wish I could help you choose the right thing to do, but essentially, I think you have to be selfish and put your needs first. He has broken your trust and hasn't followed through on the agreed plan you both had. You are obviously hurt and let down, so what do you need to get through this? Is it space? Is it yelling at the top of your lungs (or into a pillow)?

    Only you can know how much you love him, how much hurt the broken trust has caused, and if you want a future together. There is hard work no matter which way you choose. I understand how much it can hurt when someone you love promises you one thing, but then their actions demonstrate another. You're angry, you're sad, you're disappointed, and it just sucks.

    Maybe, as daft as it may sound, you could do a pros and cons list with the scenarios of staying and leaving. Once you have that down, could you rate the level of discomfort you feel about each item and then what a strategy to combat that item would be to move forward. Eg. Con of staying is constantly feeling you need to check his phone or laptop; the rating is a 9 in discomfort because it makes you feel sick and like you are having to parent him; the strategy to move forward is having parent lock on devices that only you have passcode for. You could even use the pros and cons list to help devise strategies together in order to make your relationship work, so you are both committing to the task needed to rectify the issue. And maybe that's where you talk with him if a breach of trust happens again?

    In the meantime, maybe you could speak to a therapist separately to talk through how you are feeling? Relationships Australia have some good resources and you could speak to someone there to talk through how you are feeling.

    Sending you big virtual hugs.

     

  12. Summer Rose
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    1558 posts
    14 July 2021 in reply to Lostforwords21

    Hi Lostforwords

    Thanks for the update. I was going to write you a response very similar to the great one provided by Gabs. However, I’m not going to repeat, so will share a story.

    My husband is a work-a-Holic. Big job, constant pressure and demands. Gone minimum 12 hours a day, six days per week. You get the idea.

    It wasn’t an issue pre-kids, as I was just as busy with my career. But things changed for me with motherhood and he promised to be home more.

    Couples counseling, new time management skills, leadership courses, hiring a deputy, etc. Nothing worked. He broke every promise he made.

    It got to the point that I had to accept this behaviour was not going to change and that I had to decide whether or not I could live with it.

    I’m not suggesting your counseling will be futile—and I hope you get a better outcome than me. I just think you need to put yourself first and think long term.

    Kind thoughts to you

    1 person found this helpful

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