Is our relationship going to survive this? Please help!


Hi all,
120 days without PMO, a whole year without porn, however he still struggles... Well, we both struggle...
My partner and I went through a difficult time, I am sure all of you can relate to...
A lot of fights, insecurities, awkward moments, lack of understanding, and tears... but also a lot of love, support, care.
But is has been such a long time that it is hard not to lose hope and energy to keep trying.
We put all our hope in the 90 days of reboot and were convinced or hoping that it will work.
It was hard for us to not have sex, particularly for me...
I felt undesired, unwanted, unloved...
He has hardly any libido for a long time by now.
And I just don't know how to deal with it, how I should keep waiting for our relationship and sex life to become healthy and fulfilling again.
But I don't want to leave him... but it is tearing me apart.
I struggle with anxiety, sleeping issues, insecurity, intrusive thoughts...
What can we do or try? How did you approach the addiction, the reboot, and recovery with a partner?
How can we survive this?
We both want to fight his addiction and not each other!
But his addiction is also changing me I'm afraid.
The focus went obviously on him and I sometimes feel forgotten, even by myself...
I think it would be great to hear from your experiences to not give up, to get some hope and perspective...


I love your courage

You know it depends on how long he have been addicted
You can start from there
Thank you.
I am aware,... I think quite some time...
I think it's just hard to wait for something when you don't know when it might happen.
If somebody would be able to tell me in another 3 months, 1 year, 2 years everything's good, then I could make a decision.
But as we are also not together for a long time yet, it's just frustrating.
But I figured the experiences of others may help.


Active Member
Hey, for me there are different questions coming up:
1. How old is he?
2. You say you are not together for a long time: Have you ever had a succesful sex life, or succesful sex to begin with?
3. Did he went to a doctor to eliminate the possibility of other, physical problems? (With that, has he ever had succesful sex or always problems with it? Did you try pills?
4. could it also be performance anxiety? Can he talk about his feelings and his problem open or does he struggle with it?
5. Is there a possibility he is still using P without telling you?
6. But this could also be just a normal flatline, so it could help you to read the success storys here to see where he is standig, at which point he might be. There are other indicators of recovery like MW (morning wood).
Also for some people it just takes longer than for others.

As you see, there could be many problems and it's hard to tell what could be going on without some more detail.

I really admire your power to go through this and trying to help him. But at the same time I think you are right that it can't be always about him entirely. You also have to struggle with this and what I read out of your post is, that he's a bit like "Oh, I don't have the libido, we have to try another time" and if that's the case I don't think that would be okay from his side. Srsly, he is really lucky to have someone like you who is willing to go through this with him and I think he has to make an effort, too.
So you can get intimate, even if your not able to get it up and not only that, that's essential for the rewiring process, meaning getting your brain and your arousal connected to a real person, intimacy, the smell, touch etc. instead of a screen. Many people here talk about smth called karrezza, google it =)

I wish you the best!
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The actual truth is that no one can tell you the exact time he is going to get healed😑
Are you sure he is not back to his old habits of viewing p and m to it?


Dear Canguro,

thank you so much for your message!
To answer your question:
1) We are both in our mid-/end-20s
2) We had a very fulfilling sex-life in the beginning of our relationship. He then stopped watching porn completely and struggled with erectile dysfunction.
3) He is very determined of seeking any professional help... I've tried... We are convinced though that is related to porn. He experienced various and severe withdrawal symptoms. I was seeing a counsellor individually in relation to the issue. He said he would not be aware of having had sexual issues before. However, previous to our relationship he was continuously consuming porn and he just became aware of his erectile issues when I mentioned it. We haven't tried any medication and I also think he wouldn't.
4) I think performance anxiety definitely was an issue over time but also in relation to previous erectile dysfunctional issues. He initially had issues to talk to me very openly, however, we achieved a lot of progress in relation to our communication and speak very open and honest about our feelings by now.
5) Well, of course it's hard for me to exclude that. But he is very honest, and I trust him. I don't think he is.
6) Thank you for the advice. I definitely can see some progress. His erections (including) morning wood are "what they should be". He has more energy and motivation, and is in better mood. Triggers or urges are almost completely gone, however, I think that might also be the case because of his low sexual desire/interest.

Thank you, yeah that is very true... I think for me it's hard to not know how long it is still going to take and when we might have a "normal" and healthy sex life again, in which I can feel like myself again as well. For me it is very hard to manage his different "phases". After the reboot, he felt pressured if I would express only the slightest sexual interest. So I did not initiate anything anymore... Now, he told me to be able to have a normal sex life again I have to initiate sexual activity if I feel like it. But I am terrified of getting rejected... and his libido is still so low... I'm just scared and became so insecure and self-aware throughout the whole process.

Thank you for your kind words, this is really helping me. He does try to do an effort, he does try to be there for me.
But in the end I guess until I don't feel that he is sexually attracted to me, until I see him looking at me differently again, ergo until he has his sex drive back, there is only limited things he can do to make me feel as desired, wanted, and loved as I used to...
I also think he just can't really relate... He repeatedly says that it's just about sex for me. And obviously that's not the case, with sexual desire and intimacy, and libido comes way more than that. But on the other hand I am also not ashamed to say that "yes, I would like to have sex", I am in a relationship, my sexual needs never changes, I tried to put them secondary for 120 days for you, but eventually my needs need to be central and fulfilled again as well...".

I just still feel a bit stuck... And when we had fights in the past unsure about what to associate to the addiction and what just with him as a person.


The actual truth is that no one can tell you the exact time he is going to get healed😑
Are you sure he is not back to his old habits of viewing p and m to it?
Dear Austin,

what makes you think he is?
I am actually quite confident that he isn't. But obviously I can never know for sure.


Active Member
Hey, this doesn't sound bad! Seems like my first impression was wrong he really does care! That's great and the foundation for success, because if the addict makes no effort, there is not much a partner can do...

About his libido it's not really possible to make a prediction.

Okay, I just wrote a text and deleted it again =D One thing I have a problem with is this "it's only about the sex". But on the other hand I can relate, that if you have no libido sex is nothing on your mind.

But he did say that he is ready to try if you initiate sexual activity and I think that's the way to go, although I understand it would be awful for you if it fails and he shows no sign of physical attraction towards you. But I think one of the main problems is talking here. You say it's gotten better, but at the same time he says you can initiate sexual activity, but doesn't do it himself. So there seems to be a lot of fear an maybe shame on his side. Then you say you are afraid of doing it, because you don't know how he will react. So maybe the key is to learn to communicate more, so one really knows what the other wants and feels.

But I'm for sure no expert on that one, but as a person who has big trust issues I know how important it is to be able to really open up to one another when it comes to these things that are very shameful to people like PIED.


Thanks again for your reply!

He actually did initiate sex a few times but told me a week later that he was just doing that "to do me a favour", not because he was feeling like it. Even though he said he would have enjoyed it as well once we were going.
But that was like a hard slam in face... So yeah, sometime I'd rather have the feeling he is a bit too honest. On the other hand, better too honest than too little.

I think I never had trust issues before but a lot of things changed over the last year...

May I ask if you are affected by porn yourself or if you are a partner of someone who had to deal with pornography being an issue?


I think one of my issues is that we once were at least active on forums and read a lot about it and tried to be pro-active.
Now, I have the feeling that "it is just what it is". He says the only thing that can help is time.
And I feel a bit helpless with that as this is obviously on the cost of me still struggling a lot with everything.
I would like him to try different things, as the worst outcome is probably that is might not work... I suggested for him to keep a diary, to try mindfulness, to talk to someone in the same situation, or to read about how other partners feel to give him a better understanding for my situation. But he doesn't belief in all that. He says if, he would just do it for me, but he doesn't think any of these things would help.
I feel like he's just tired. Which I get, it must be draining for him obviously. But it is for me as well... I would just like to see that he is actively trying to make us work.
Because it feels impossible to just wait around for things to magically become better by themselves. On the other hand we had a lot fights, so I also understand that we need to relax a bit.


Active Member
I'm a recovering addict myself, so I can only try to help you from this point of view, not the partners.
Also I have to state that I'm only about to reach my third month, so I'm way behind him in my recovery and no expert at all =D
But I try to help and at the same time it's helping me, too.

I feel that it's very hard for you, but I really think it's going pretty good, even if it could go better, but when doesn't it?
From what you say it seems that he really quit for good and is making an effort.
I understand, that it hurts you when he said, that he only initiated sex to do you a favor, but for me the more important point is that he said he did enjoy it afterwards.
It may be hard or even impossible to not take this personally, on an emotional basis, but when it's due to P it has nothing to do with you but with the addiction when he is not interested in sex.
But at the same time it seems important for me that he doesn't just initiate sex for you, but also for himself.
Because maybe that's the only thing you can do instead of waiting for some magic to happen: Strengthening the neurological pathways that connect arousal and pleasure to a real person, to you. Actively conditioning the brain. Or rewiring as people say here =)


Good on you!!! Keep going, it will be worth it!
I really appreciate your help.
Are you doing this by yourself or are you in a relationship?

Actually, I am really happy to get to hear the perspective of somebody else who is addicted to porn.
I am in touch with another partner and that is helping but sometimes I had the feeling what I really need is to be able to understand how it feels for him.
Because as you said it's nothing I should take personal.
And if I talk to him directly, it's obviously hard to keep my emotions aside...
So it feels very helpful and reaffirming to hear it from somebody I am not emotionally invested in. So thank you for that!
I have the feeling to talk and read about other partners' experiences helped me to not feel crazy.
That may sound weird, but I just haven't been myself anymore...
I was never as insecure, as overly-sensitive, as attention-needing, as tearful, as jealous, as paranoid... I didn't recognise myself.
So it helped to know that most partners feel that way.
However, sometimes I couldn't understand or belief what's going on with him.
And even though our communication got way better, obviously it's also not nice to talk about "your problem" all the time and get reminded of something not being alright with you...

Thanks for all the encouraging notes!


Active Member
And even though our communication got way better, obviously it's also not nice to talk about "your problem" all the time and get reminded of something not being alright with you...
Certainly! Talking about these things like PIED is always connected with much shame - even more when you are still affected by it. Having a good sexdrive and being able to perform is what society sees as one of the main aspects of masculinity so failing there is just a plain disaster for us to which most react with avoidance at first. At I can imagine that talking about it won't get easy at any point for most people.

What really helped me to understand the partners point of view - and therefore what I did to former girlfriend - was reading the partners section here in the forum. With that it just became apparent what our neglection of your physical needs does to your self esteem and self-image. That's why I like to read there stories and participate in these threads. I think most of us think they are good guys and society and the media tells us that PMO is just normal etc. and it takes a long time (for many till they experience PIED) until we really think about our actions and their consequences and for the partners and that P makes us become people we never wanted to be.

Maybe it would help him to read those stories to, so he can relate. Or what you wrote here. Because I think it's easier to take an unbiased approach at this, when not cofronted directly face to face which often leads to a defensive position out of the wrong assumption it was about defending against an accusation instead of working out a solution TOGETHER.
Being confronted with these conversations can lead to a lot of stress and therefore the so-called "fight-or-flight"-system will kick in and lead to either fighting of or trying to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
Sometimes life could be much easier without these instinctiv behaviours =D

For the question at the beginning:
I am not in a relationship at the moment and although that's a problem I have to say that I've gotten to the conclusion that this is a good thing as I don't have to put that burden on another person and can work things out myself and hopefully be a better partner in my next relationship than I was in my last.

But it is definetly worth it, mostly because it gives me back a lot of self-respect that goes lost when you PMO and have no control of what you do while your disgusted at yourself.


Thank you SO MUCH for your reply and genuineness.
It really helps me to read this from another man's perspective.

And you are completely right about perception stuck in society. I have to admit for me it was a complete new experience that a guy would say no to sex with me... And I am saying that considering myself open-minded. But with these things, it's hard to get them out of your mind. Obviously it should be just as normal and acceptable as female or male to not be in the mood.
But instead it made me feel ugly and unloved... which is probably already representing some issues in our society as I am not a rare case.

And you are completely right, before I met my partner I never though about porn to much, and to be honest probably thought it's pretty common for men to consume but never put attention to it really. Also because nobody actually talks about it.
And that's the main issue, everybody tell you alcohol, or cigarettes, too much sugar or drugs can be bad for you, nobody talks to you about porn and that it might have negative impact on you...

I will definitely ask him if he would like to read a bit more about other people's experiences. Actually, I would have liked him to have a single male who would be willing to get in touch with him, just to exchange some thoughts. Because obviously between the two of us it's sometimes hard to take things not personal... but I guess you gotta let it out somewhere.
So yeah, I 100% agree with you!

I am sorry to hear that your relationship didn't survive this...
But to be honest, I have the feeling, yes, it's way less of a burden to go through this without a partner bc you don't make somebody else suffer on top of everything but on the other hand I think a lot of people lose motivation to keep going and to remember what they are doing all this for.

I admire your optimism and your energy! Sounds like you're in a good place and know where to go!


Active Member
Lots of great responses here,

not knowing how long recovery will take is the hardest part of porn addiction - the only other similar recovery time frames I’ve read about is methamphetamine - a heavy long term user may take 2/3 years worse case scenario to fully get back to baseline brain functioning reward circuitry etc wise.

I’ve read about a guy taking TWO YEARS of HARDMODE (no sex, no porn, no masturbation or orgasm) to fully recover.

It’s a bitch to put it lightly. I’ve quit cigarettes, weed, Valium - it’s a walk in the park compared to porn…it really is a monster.

you have great empathy to stick with your guy so as the great gabe deem says…keep truckin’.

trust the process and science, given time the brain WILL heal…it’s just time - the most valuable thing we have in life is time and I’ve wasted a lot of it.

All the best.


Thank you so much for message!

Yeah, I actually heard stuff like that as well. It's SO hard to get it out of your system, and so hard to avoid all triggers.
And even though I've never been addicted to something, I see how porn is different...

Obviously I am hoping though, that I won't be in a sexless relationship for two years, haha.

Thank you for your openness and for being so encouraging! It's a process for sure.


Active Member
I am a fellow voyager, trying to recover. This is a beautiful thread with such genuine conversation. I would add one thing, entirely as my opinion subject to rebuttal - the process of detachment is important when you want to support somebody. You have to let go the fear of consequence and end result when you love and support somebody. You have to assess for yourself and continue or discontinue - and the reward or disappointment, naturally, will follow. Rewiring is his journey and your hope of him being rewired is your journey, they are connected but they may not chime at the same time. Keeping that point in mind, you don't owe him a completion to success in this journey, and he need to recover for himself first. Your kindness and help has already helped him tremendously. Secondly, I think, evaluating the origins and what he is escaping will strengthen his will to recover further. I have also read that touch therapy helps people regain the connection with real world that we have lost.


Thank you, I really appreciate it!
I guess you're right but in my situation it feels easily like I am living for the future as a lot of this process is not necessarily enjoyable...
That being said, at the moment, I feel like I have been through the worst and things are getting better.
However, in moments where you get reminded of the addiction, of a lack of attraction or arousal, or by experiencing anxiety, insecurities, weird intrusive thoughts, insomnia... in these moments everything is just extremely painful...