The love & the struggle


New Member
Hi all,

I am a new member to the community, and came here because I feel the need to share my story, and hope to get some responses from people who really get what I am going through.

I am a 32 y/o woman, living in Europe.
My boyfriend and I are currently dating for a little over a year and a half. Before that, we were already close friends for about 4-5 years, and I was in love with him from the beginning, and I couldn't think of anyone else being a better fit for me as a life partner. He wasn't in love with me at first (and told me that after I shared my feelings for him), and I even dated someone else for a while. But after that ended, he did start falling for me, and at some point we started dating.

After we were dating for 6 weeks or so, he told me that he was struggling for years with a porn addiction. It didn't really shook me, cause I always knew there was 'something' up with him (I could really tell he was carrying a burden). It wasn't holding me back, i actually thougth to myself that I didn't want him to fight this on his own anymore, I wanted to help him and support him in that.
Especially after coming to know that most girlfriends/spouses are being lied to for years about this, I highly appreciate that he told me, before he ever asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. He wanted me to be able to walk away from it, if i'd want to. But, since I already knew him so well, and really loved him already for years, it didn't even cross my mind leaving him over that.

Although I still stand by that, I can now say I really underestimated what I got myself in to. I don't love him any less today, but boy, some days are tough. I do consider myself lucky for never having to wonder if he is looking porn behind my back, but hearing every time about him looking at other women (on screen, but also not able to contain himself looking at sexy women in public, and having sexual thoughts about them), that can be so hurtful.
Him closing off from me emotionally, in the days leading up to relapse (and already seeing what's coming from miles away) is so frustrating and leaves me feeling sad and lonely..

But the most challenging thing for me is seeing the steps forward, which at first makes me so happy and hopeful.. But then followed by relapse which makes me feel like my future is going up in smoke before my eyes. His addiction (in combination with some form of fear of commitment) makes it hard for him to commit to me. And he doesn't wan't to get porn into our marriage. Which I admire, but it sometimes feels like that doesn't make him work harder to become free, but just delayes the moment we can 'start our future'. I do know that it's not true that he is not working harder for us, he works harder for it than ever before, he is seeing a therapist, which he before never wanted to do. We have all kinds of filters and accountability software in place to keep him from slipping.. But I'm ready for our future, and this delaying us (and giving me fear that we will never get there) is hard.

On top of that, he still has the thought of some girl he met a couple of years ago at a conference (although he never really spoke to her) of which he thought God was saying that she was the wife He had for him (we are Christians). That also makes him withholding from taking steps towards our future, because he is afraid to choose wrong. The reason he never got with her, is that he never felt the opportunity to talk to her, and at a certain moment she had a boyfriend. He really thought he had moved past that when we started dating, but when we wanted to take some steps (looking at wedding rings and all, about a year ago we had some pretty serious plans about getting married within a year), the fears withheld him from doing that.
As if right now, it seems we are moving in the right direction with that, I've said I wanted him to figure that out, and talk about it together regularly. He talked about it with his parents, who got up with some scripture texts about what to do in situations of uncertainty, which helped him a lot. So I hope we now can slowly but surely move past that.

This evening were in a bit of a fight. This will probably be resolved by the end of the evening, as it usually does. But the thing is, that with all of this going on (plus him having easily tingly -so not just sexual- feelings for women, although not major, and not acting upon it) I get to feel super insecure at times. And at moments I just want to get a little reasurance that he will tell me about the situations when that happens, so he will keep up with not acting upon such feelings, but remains honest with me about it. Especially since he only really told me about the girl (of which he thought God had as a wife for him) after months of struggling with that thougths and feelings. And also in other cases where some minor 'butterflies'  were involved, he didn't tell me untill I asked him for it.
It really causes anxiety with me, and I do understand that it can be overwhelming to him, when I'm acting out of emotion. But even when I'm calm, and like tonight just ask him to always be honest about contact with other women, he can act like I'm the one hurting our relationship with 'my problems', 'my anxiety', and ' not trusting him'.

Sometimes I don't know if I can still make it through all of this. But on the other hand, I love this guy more than I ever loved anyone. Without this specific trouble, we're absolutely perfect together. He goes great lenghts to make me laugh, and entertain me, he truly is my love and best friend, and snuggling up with him is the best feeling in the world.

If it weren't for all those other women he doesn't seem to be able to let go of...  :-\


Staff member
First of all, know you are worthy.  You are worthy of love.  You are worthy of having someone care for and about you.  You have the ability to set boundaries.  Boundaries that help you feel loved, that help you feel secure.  Have the two of you discussed how you want your relationship to be?  Discussed steps for him that will show he is recovering?  It is tough to hang in while an addict changes.  But it can be done.  My husband and I are post recovery for a number of years.  You have come to the right place.  Keep posting and I will watch for you.

Peace and love


New Member
Thanks so much, Gracie.

I'm particularly struggling with setting boundaries in this. I'm mostly  either getting too caught up in it, or setting the wrong or too strict boundaries. Which makes him feel like he has to fight it on his own. I actually have no idea what healthy boundaries, and consequences(?) should look like in this type of situation, can you give some examples that have worked for you?

It's a good thing you ask if we discussed what we think the relationship should look like, and what shows his recovery, cause we discussed neither. But those are definitely topics to think about together.


Staff member
A good starting point for boundary making is choosing a situation that if changed would make you feel more secure.  One that I set was that we went to bed at the same time and remained in bed together all night.  He would stay up and say he wasn?t tired so he could view porn.  So  that was one I needed.  Another boundary we agreed on was we slept naked.  So the first one, in bed all night, I chose.  The second we agreed together.  I chose we kiss goodnight, good morning, and goodbye.  Real kisses not pecks.  I needed to figure a way for me to re-connect.  I sometimes did not want to be around him.  So some boundaries were my own so I did not with draw.  Start with this see how it works.  Talking to each other is so important.  If it is hard, set a timer for 5 minutes.  And just talk.  Timer goes off, stop.  Little by little things change.  Good luck and peace!  Also when you talk and you are nervous, remember to breathe!


New Member

I am in a similar situation as well. My boyfriend was relapsing before I even knew about the PIED. He would sometimes blow me off for sex and i would take it personally until he sat me down and told me about what was going on. I understand your insecurity and you're not alone. I'm there too. I get angry and frustrated too. 


New Member
I am trying to understand why my husband is having commitment issues. He won't commit even tho we are
married - he often looks for other women on sites like pinalove or ukraine dream girls ..
so now I have to deal with the porn and the infidelity...

does he do porn because of ED or has the porn caused him to only climax when M


Respected Member
Sorry this is happening to you  To me it sounds like a couple of different issues  the ed could be anything from a health issue to porn  related.  As for  searching for gals online  its time to ask him outright if this is acceptable behavior in a marriage.  Many of us "porn addicts"  were simply addicted to the dopamine rush  similar to other  addictions (meth cocaine etc.)  But searching for online girls  to date or meet  weather online or in person  speaks of a totally different issue.  I would ask him why he feels the need to do it  and tell him  that it might be a deal breaker.

    Post often it helps me it helps you