Betrayed by porn......the demise of intimacy, a partners tale!

This is a cautionary tale of the reality of being in love with a Porn Addict, my account is long and detailed, but I want you to feel the true impact of what this addiction does to partners, relationships, and intimacy. I have inserted a little humour, this is by no means to minimise the seriousness of the subject, but to lighten the heaviness of my experience.

As a young woman I’d never been anti porn, I had indulged in the odd dabble, had always been into erotica and boy could this girl sext……that was up until it began to wreak havoc in my personal life.

I meet my man 2 ½ years ago, he said the moment I got out of the car it was love at first sight, and it quickly became apparent that I felt the same. The chemistry between us was amazing and I thought this was going to be the relationship I had craved for so long, full of fun, adventure, sex, and intimacy. Looking back I feel we rushed into sex & intimacy and at the time I dismissed the awkwardness down to the fact that we hadn’t yet built a solid emotional connection, but even so after that first evening, my gut told me something was off, it was very mechanical, he struggled to maintain an erection, which was something I had never experienced in my life, my Sex Therapist later told me that I must have been living in a magical wonderland all these years to get to my age and not come across the odd limp noodle….LOL! Then during that first experience, when I thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre he just STOPPED mid stroke, I was totally puzzled, I later asked him why he didn’t want to try to orgasm, he then told me that he struggled to orgasm with a woman……also the first time I had experienced that……looking back I think why did you not just run at that point…..but hell I’m not a shallow cow and I really liked the guy….LOL.

Over the next few days, he opened up about only being able to orgasm on his own, and touched on the fact that he watched porn, at that point I never really had a problem with the porn, I just thought if he was honest about it then it would be OK, but nothing prepared me for the impact it would have on my life or our intimate relationship. Our first few sexual experiences are some of the strangest of my life, he kept telling me how sexy and beautiful I was yet he struggled to be aroused by me, it was incredible frustrating and confusing. At one point we had a very weird encounter were he just STOPPED me mid passion to tell me he couldn’t enjoy the pleasure of receiving oral sex, I had no response as my mouth was full…..LOL……definitely should have run after that. I remember feeling so angry, I sat up and said WTF, no man has ever told me that in my life……and then I kicked him out of my bed. In hindsight I probably didn’t handle that the best, but I felt at my wits end, and could not understand what the hell was going on. The following day he told me that he didn’t think he could give me what I wanted, and said he couldn’t see me anymore, I said OK if that’s how you feel, I can’t change that…..but then the next day he text me upset saying he’d made a mistake and could he come and see me……seriously the man is a nightmare of emotions! We talked things through, and I said I needed him to be honest with me, but also that he needed to respect what I wanted from a relationship, and so we climbed back onto the merry go round, or what his best mate would later refer to as a rollercoaster!

I had been seeing a Counsellor & Sex Therapist (that’s a whole other story….LOL) regularly who had helped me heal from walking away from a 17 year relationship from someone who had neglected me sexually for years. I confided in my Counsellor about what was going on in this new relationship, and she suggested that we hold off on the sex and work more on the intimacy and sensual stuff, so we did and it worked. Over the next few months, we worked through our different connection styles, me having a higher sex drive than him, his negative self-talk that constantly made him want to run away from me! We were happy, he was happy, he’d given up smoking, had stopped consuming porn, was living a healthy lifestyle and we were experiencing deep emotional connection and great sex & intimacy, boy what I would give to go back to those days.

Then leading up to the 6-month mark everything changed, he made a random comment about how normally he would be thinking about breaking up about now, I was thinking WTF why would you be thinking about that when we are happy, you have a wonderful, loving partner, why would those thoughts even enter into your head.

He decided to spend the night of our 6-month anniversary with his best mate, which was disappointing, but I didn’t make a big song and dance about it. The next week when he arrive at my place for the weekend he was visible upset, he said something happened the other night that had shaken him up, he proceeded to tell me about how when his mate was at his place he was trying to show him porn on his phone of people in sex chat rooms, people predominantly men were masturbating and my man didn’t feel comfortable and told him to turn that shit off. I said to him, that I wasn’t OK with his mate doing that and that I felt he was cheating on his wife by engaging in that behaviour. He was pretty upset, and I took it as a positive that it gave me the opportunity to enforce a boundary around what I felt was and wasn’t OK with watching porn.

But sadly, after that night, nothing was ever the same, he started lying to me and keeping secrets, started smoking again, watching porn, avoiding intimacy, saying he had no mojo and coming to town for work and not telling me. This became the start of an on again off again cycle in our relationship where I couldn’t tolerate the lying and him being emotionally distant and him chasing after me once he’d had enough space to miss me and realise what he was giving up, promising me he would change, promising me he would stop watching porn, stop smoking, stop being a generally shitty human.
 
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Fast forward to December last year and after a 3 month break, he begged me to come back, he told me I was the love of his life, the only one for him, the only one in his heart, that he’d never loved anyone the way he loved me, that I was the best sex he’d ever had, was the most attractive…….blah blah blah…….big time love bombing! And guess who fell for it hook line and sinker……yip me!

The next few weeks were both wonderful and difficult, I loved the closeness and the connection, but was in a constant battle in my head about whether I could trust him and get over all the hurt he had caused me over the last 2 years. We started Couples Counselling and I put all my hopes that she was somehow going to save us…..a lot of pressure on one woman’s shoulders…LOL!

Just as I started to feel more secure, he went away to his family for Christmas and the man that left me that day, was not the same man that would return to me a week later. Something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it, I blamed myself for feeling needy and wanting constant reassurance from him that he really wanted me, the relationship felt strained again.

We decided to go away on a Campervan trip, have a fresh start, reset. The night before we left we had great sex, felt really connected and anticipated a magical time enjoying each other and being free spirits. The first day was great, he was affectionate and close, but that night he became distant, we sat and watched a beautiful sunset at the beach, but he just wasn’t present. In the following days he became distant and cold, unreachable emotionally and not interested in being intimate with me. He would touch me, which would become a pattern for us, but he didn’t want me to touch him. When we got home from the trip, I was really upset, I cried myself to sleep that night, I have never felt so alone in a relationship in my life. The next morning, I asked him what was going on and in that moment, he said something that completely blindsided me, he said ‘sometimes I’m just not attracted to you, sometimes you look really sexy and other times I’m just not into you at all’…….my world came crashing down, I had never ever had a man say anything so hurtful to me in my life. My whole life men had told me how attractive I was, they would use words like ‘stunning’, ‘beautiful’, ‘breath-taking’ and suddenly the man I was in love with was crushing my self-worth in that one statement.

I stayed and fought for the relationship (fool), I don’t know why, maybe I was just so emotionally beaten down I couldn’t see any other way. Over the next few months everything started to erode, he would struggle to be aroused by me, struggle to be intimate, sometimes when we were having sex, he looked like he was thinking about going and making a ham sandwich…. that actually became a standard joke with our Couples Counsellor, he just wasn’t present, not in the moment, not appreciating the sexual goddess in front of him.

Things got worse and worse, he chucked in the Couples Counselling and became increasingly distant, it was like all the joy had been sucked out of him. He’s loving texts stopped and all the endearing names he called me like sweetness, baby & beautiful were never used again….. that hurt the most out of everything, and the withholding love, I felt like I was being punished for something.

I knew something was dreadfully wrong, but I couldn’t fully understand what was happening, he swore black and blue that he wasn’t interacting with other woman, but my gut told me something wasn’t right, what had happened to the man I fell in love with.

So I decided to break his trust and look on his laptop one morning after he’d gone to work. I was shocked, he had a paid membership to an explicit website which I knew nothing about, he’d been watching countless videos of young woman, often only viewing for a few minutes at a time and then clicking to the next, and viewing at times when it felt like he was doing it the minute my back was turned, I was devastated. I confronted him and he finally admitted that he was addicted to porn, smoking and weed! I started to research the harmful affects of porn and what it can do to the brain and the negative affect it can have on your life and intimate relationships. I started seeing a Betrayal Trauma therapist, who has been wonderful and my Guardian Angel in all this, she helped set boundaries and reassure me it wasn’t me. So, I set the boundaries, I told him I didn’t want porn in my life, he told me he wanted to stop, but he continued to cross the boundaries, I reaffirmed the boundaries again he said he wanted to stop, until I couldn’t take anymore. The final straw came on what would be our final night together, he told me that he didn’t want any intimate touch from me, I instantly saw this as a red flag, I knew he was lying to me about consuming porn and not disclosing it to me, I confronted him and he had admitted that he had, I had only been away from him for one night, he couldn’t stop himself from acting out for one night. It is the worst feeling to know that someone you loved and desired would choose a fantasy over a beautiful, kind, loving partner…..who’s also pretty damn sexy!

I had to walk away, I no longer felt safe in the relationship, so I chose to save myself. Now I am left feel scared about how I will ever get over this, be able to trust another man again after everything I’ve been through. I also feel like I let this happen to me, but I know that’s probably the trauma talking and the unhealthy attachment bond I have formed.

I just want to be cherished and desired by a man and for him to wake up every morning and think ‘how lucky am I’! Am I asking too much, I feel like I’m too much and not enough at the same time.

Thanks for reading😊
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Hi @Beautiful1973 .

Thanks for all that. Phew. A tough read. I am not sure where to start except I think coming here is very wise. You and I have already corresponded albeit not about your situation.

First thing I want to say up front is this is NOT your fault. That bit came right at the end of your story and I was surprised you wrote it I think. But the emotional damage is massive (I know because I understand my wife’s, or I think I do) and obviously it screws with your mind. But, to repeat, this is not about you….this is about him. Crikey. He needs help.

I found I was identifying with his behaviour at the start of your story about 30% of the time. It got less as you went on, so I can’t really quite be him and tell you what he has to do to shake it off. The stopping midway through sex thing and giving some revelation I just don’t really get. A therapist will obviously be needed. I do like ham sandwiches, though….LOL.

Thank you for saying your lot. That takes huge courage (and time!). You chose the over 40s section which is good if you want a lot of readers, but we’re mainly the addicts of course. Not saying you should switch to the partners’ section, just that’s where it will obviously be read by other partners. But we addicts need to read your type of story and we can help on the recovery of your man.

He’s got to see the initial light. I saw it when my wife said she would leave. Because it sounds like he hasn’t seen the light yet doesn’t necessarily mean he loves you less than I love my wife. He is just probably in deeper than I Was. But I have been to many SAA meetings and there are people who were in way deeper than your man and they came out Of it. He can do it but he needs to man up.

He faces a tough journey but it’s not like giving up cigarettes where you miss it all the time. This is different and your brain changes and you feel released. So for him the promised land lies ahead. For you, and I truly empathise because I do so for my wife, you are amazing and you’ll need to be strong and work it through WITH him. Read the books together. Hold his hand, set boundaries, talk, talk, talk.

I would metaphorically put my arm round your shoulder but my wife would kill me. LOL.

Keep writing. You honesty inspires me.
 
Thank you @GBS…… who doesn’t love a ham sandwich….. just not in the bedroom🤣🤣🤣
Really appreciate your compassionate reply. I wanted to post in here, a) because it’s my age bracket & b) I wanted guys to see how this can escalate if you don’t get a handle on it, not saying everyone’s consumption and behaviour will escalate! I might cut & paste to the Partners thread!

My man and I are currently separated, so there won’t be any hand holding anytime soon. I do listen to a lot of audiobooks though and love Sue Johnson’s Hold me tight.
I emailed him what I wrote so he could see the extent of my hurt. He replied
‘I'm so 😞 sorry..why would I do these things to you..I'm such a fool’……
I have no idea how to respond to that?!?!?
 
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GBS

Well-Known Member
Not sure what to say about his reply. Errrr…..

I think you need to meet up, but honestly I am guessing here. I don’t know you or him at all. He sounds as though he needs me to shake him and say “get a grip. Do you love her or don’t you?”

it is as simple as that but that’s a tough one for you. It won’t necessarily mean he doesn’t adore you if he doesn’t shape up. It just means he’s in too deep. He has to be given some kick, or motivation, or ultimatum. I just changed because I realised I would lose everything and after that I worked out I was an addict. Then I changed and the light came on. Easy, huh? No. 🤷
 

Nico

Member
Thanks for sharing your story, yes it is a tough read but helps me stay motivated. We are all here for healing, and you have been very helpful to me so thank you for that. I can only echo what GBS said, that is isn't a reflection of your attractiveness and desirability, or relationship skills - it sounds like you were very kind and understanding even when it hurt you as it did. I also can see it took a lot of strength and self-care to walk away. I really hope it is a stepping stone on your journey to find someone who does appreciate you and meet your needs. I really appreciate you getting involved on here and wish you healing x
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
@Beautiful1973 thank you so much for sharing.

An addict is quite frankly, lost.
He doesn't know what he has
He doesn't know what he wants
He doesn't know where to go
He doesn't know how to get there

For many years he only knows one solution.
Because that solution over the years replaced and destroyed all other avenues and forms for happiness and relief.
It clouds judgement.
At times it is like air to him.
Its effect lasts weeks.
And it always returns with craving and desperation.
He knows no other forms of comfort. He doesn't even know himself, or what's good, or necessary, for him.

Recovery is possible, but is a long slow process of resistance and rediscovery.

The recovery process is like peeling an onion.
This addiction is only the surface.
As we peel deeper, we get to understand his reasons for seeking relief. What's hurting him, and what he's running away from.

He has to understand that PMO cannot help him, cannot solve his problems, and only makes things worse.

He has to make the effort to
1. Refuse using PMO as a form of comfort and relief
2. dig deep into rediscovering what really matters to him, how to get there, and how to feel good about himself while getting there.

He is lucky to have you.
I once told my issue to a girl I loved completely. I trusted her enough to open up my deepest pain. She immediately dropped me, citing unwillingness to be with someone with such issues. It destroyed me and brought me to depression and the very edge. It took a really long time for me to get to where I am today, to be somewhat free of this dependency, to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Why I seek PMO as a form of relief I may never know. But I'd say the life without PMO is immensely better. Though I really have to relearn self love.

It is not he doesn't love you.
It is he not quite knowing how to love himself, or for that matter, what is love?
Maybe you can teach him by showing him how you love yourself, how you take care of yourself, and how you recognize yourself.
Help him understand that whatever he does for himself is every little step toward self recognition and self appreciation. And it often has nothing to do with sex.
And hope that one day he'd realize he really doesn't need porn to help him feel good about himself.
That he is fine, perfect and acceptable just the way he is.

Is this a journey you'd want to undertake with him, only you can answer. I hope you do. I still think he is very very lucky to have you, because you have taken that incredible first step of sharing and trying to understand. Thank you for showing that there are still people out there who can love us, even while we sometimes can't. Thank you.

Take care and please do ask if anything should bother or confuse you. The guys here are all good people working on improving themselves.
 
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TryingHarder

Active Member
Am I asking too much, I feel like I’m too much and not enough at the same time.
Wow, what a great post @Beautiful1973. Thanks for sharing your story. No, you are not asking too much!

My two cents... Your partner has to face his addiction(s) and choose to end them once and for all. As TakeActionNow points out, he doesn't know where to go and how to get there. But it sounds like he's been pointed in the right direction more than once. So if he's telling you that he loves you, can't do without you, I'm such a fool, etc, he has to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

Recovering porn addicts need help, hopefully from an understanding partner (easier said than done). But the bottom line is that HE has to change, not you. No more lies, no more porn. Don't accept anything less!
 
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SimonM

Active Member
Thank you for sharing your story. You are a beautiful woman and you deserve to be treated as such by a loving partner!

First and foremost you need to look out for your own wellbeing. You owe him nothing. There are many wonderful men out there and this one may have taken you for granted one too many times... If he does want to win you back, it's HIM who needs to do the work. Don't make it easy on him again! He has to walk the walk indeed. Truly face his demons and be honest not just with you but with himself.

I can tell you one thing - I think we cannot quit porn because we want to do it for someone else. Yes, being discovered can give us that jolt we needed to finally gave the truth. But ultimately we have to want to quit for ourselves. Like, if she left me, I would *still* quit.

Don't wait around for him, because you are too good for that. If he truly wants you he better do all the walking on his own as fast as he can. That's up to him. So far it seems he walked away rather than doing what it takes. If you look at those of us here who still have partners at our side I think you'll find that we all faced our shit and worked damn hard to keep our wonderful women around.

That's my take on it. From an addict who lost one partner, and promised over and over to change. I could only do it when I did it for myself...
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Hey @Beautiful1973 - I saw you sent that Sue Johnson interview to your man and he said he understood how you felt more. Has that made a difference? Will he try?

I listened to the SJ thing a while back and thought she was amazing.

Good luck.
 
Hey @GBS - I'm not sure if it will make a difference, I've sent him lots of articles and podcasts over the last few months, but I'm not sure if any of it has a real impact. I sent him the podcast @Gabe Deem did on Fight the New Drug, and he said that it hit home pretty hard, but whether he can actually action those feelings into a real recovery plan, who knows. I feel like I've turned a bit of a corner in the last few days, and have pulled back quite a bit, even after the break up I still had the compulsion to want to reach out, check how he's doing, but I really can't be bothered at the moment. I always feel crap after I've had contact with him and it just makes me feel more frustrated.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
@Beautiful1973 - we are not psychoanalysts on here. Our advice is all shooting from the hip and based on our personal situation, so I would be nervous to comment, but to me it sounds like you could do with some therapy to work out whether moving on is right or not. It’s entirely possible that a therapist will ask if he’s getting therapy. My own therapy helped me work out why I watched and was addicted to porn (plus all my other flaws) and so as I understand a great deal about where mine comes from AND I get rid of the addiction, my own recovery has some foundations that I am proud of. I think your man would probably need to do something similar. It’s what made my wife stick by me, and it could be what would make you try again as well.

That said, if you’re nearly done with it and your man isn’t telling you how he’s addressing it, maybe you’ll be happier apart. There are plenty of wonderful men out there. Keep going gal, I have your back.
 
I have been seeing a Betrayal Trauma Therapist for a few months, but after the break up I told her I needed a little break to get my head together on my own. I contacted her this week, about coming back to see her, as I want to explore how I move forward now. She also does Therapy for people struggling with their Porn Consumption and I had recommended her to my man, and he did tell me he saw her last week. When I asked him how it went, he said 'OK', I get a lot of that from him, everything is just 'OK' or "I don't know', this is what causes me a lot of frustration. Whether he sticks with or not who knows. What my gut says, is some time will pass and then he will just replace me and the cycle will start all over again......
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
I give my wife an exhaustive (and actually possibly boring) debrief after my therapy sessions missing out the totally confidential bits that wouldn’t help. She says she likes this. It brought us closer albeit there were slanging matches and doors slammed. It made me communicate. A lot of other partners have commented that my spotting the crucial communication element was refreshing and positive. That may not help you if he just doesn’t. And I am so sorry if that’s the case. I want to take your man out for a drink and kindly explain to him some of the facts of life. I am shaking my head here.

Got your back, gal.
 
I’ve really struggled to regulate my emotions over the weekend, not sure if it’s because I’ve been Nursing really ill patients this week or if it’s coming to terms with everything, I’ve been through in my personal life over the last few months. I was doing OK for a few days and thought I was turning a corner, but then suddenly I got hit by a wave of sadness and loss.

I’m ashamed to say this but I’m experiencing feelings of jealously, I look at all the gorgeous men on here putting an amazing effort into their recovery and I feel overwhelmed that my man couldn’t do that for our relationship. It’s hard to deal with, none of you know me, but I have some beautiful qualities, I’m a bit of a babe really, and I feel so hurt that I’m going through this.

My thoughts at the moment are consumed with how I move on with my life, and what lies ahead.
 

Nico

Member
This is moving, and I get why you would be feeling these feelings. Please don't be ashamed of it, the questioning or the grieving, and I hope sharing it is healing for you. I am sure most of us on here caused hurt like this before we became ready to change, and your posts make me more determined not to do it again so thank you. You deserve so much better and I hope you get what you are looking for
 
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