porn addiction destroying me


#1

I’m married to a man who suffered abuse as a child/teen, and he has a very serious porn addiction. We have been together almost 8 years, and in that time he has lied countless times about it. He finally went to counseling last year, and was doing good until last week. Then it came up again. For the last year I have been dealing with depression over a miscarriage, depression over his lies and addiction, anxiety, low self esteem, etc. I went to counseling myself, and was on medication until I got pregnant. I am now 16 weeks pregnant with our second child. When I found out I was pregnant the doctor told me to quit taking it because it could cause problems with the baby. My questions are, is it possible for him to beat this addiction when he tells me it’s something he can’t control? Am I just sitting myself up for more hurt by staying in this relationship?

Every time this happens I say the last time is the last time, but I can’t bring myself to leave when I see that he is hurting too. I know that at some point I have to put myself and my needs first, but my self esteem is so low, I just don’t know how to do that.

To make things worse, I have no family here, I have no friends. I have been a stay home mom for 5 years. I feel like I’m sitting myself up for more heartbreak by staying, but I don’t know what to do.


#2

I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this, but know that you are not alone. There is a Group on this site called: Women Suffering Because of Unchastity, and I would suggest that you join.

I have been married for 12 years, 2 small children and we have been in counseling for almost 2 years. It’s REALLY hard sometimes. I am currently dealing with yet another slip. It’s devastating and you just don’t know if you can live through another one and another one and another one. I have tried counseling on my own but didn’t click with the therapist. I am searching for someone else now. I’ve hit my deepest point again.

Seek a support group for you. If your husband can also find one that would be fabulous. We go to a LIFE Ministries support group for Sex Addicts at a local church. www.freedomeveryday.org. Find something for you. If your husband doesn’t want help, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to force him. Take care of you first and hopefully he’ll see the changes in you and hopefully want to do the same.

My prayers are with you on your journey.


#3

There are 12-step programs for Sex Addiction/Porn and also Sex Anon for the people who are associated w/ them.

Prayers and good luck to you.


#4

Clearly he is suffering too and it’s good you acknowledge that. The abuse he suffered as a child is manifesting itself in a behavior that’s destroying you too, so while you can understand why he’s doing what he’s doing, it’s still not OK.

Quite frankly I think dealing with the abuse background here is a medical question because there’s probably something more at play than just a guy who is addicted to pornography. Is it possible to beat addiction? Yes. Is it possible to beat addiction when you have another underlying deep-seated wound eating away at you? That’s a real tough one.

May I suggest pleading for him to seek help about dealing with the abuse he suffered? You may find that if he can be repaired there he can then better end his destructive addiction.


#5

Okay, so just to summarize and make sure I have the facts straight:

He went to counselling last year, and it helped. He then stopped counselling (?) and had two relapses. If this is the case, I would say his addiction to porn is not something that he “can’t” control, but something he needs “help” with controlling, as in, he feels he “can’t” control it on his own (at this point without therapy). I am not an expert on addictions, but it sounds like that is exactly what he needs. Is he willing to go back for treatment? Will he work with a addictions therapist/pychologist/psychiatrist to get the help he needs? (Disclaimer: don’t stay if you or the children are being abused).

About you: you were seeking therapy, too, and were on medications for depression and anxiety which you stopped because you became pregnant, and your doctor said to stop, but you stopped seeing the therapist as well? Why did you stop seeing the therapist? Does he require you to take pharmaceuticals as part of the treatment plan, and won’t see you unless you do? Did your doctor just say, “no meds, you’re on your own?” or does he have any suggestions for non-pharmaceutical treatment plans? Ask him for help and suggestions.

It sounds to me like you could BOTH use therapy AND support groups AND marriage counselling AND spiritual direction. And YOU could do with some friends, and a break, and a hug. A good, compassionate spiritual director is a wonderful experience for people who are struggling. It’s not like confession where you just go to talk about your sins, and that’s it. You can talk about your life, your struggles, your marriage, etc. Anything that has to do with living out your vocation (as wife and mother) is fair game for spiritual direction. It sounds like you could use a sounding board.

If this were me, I’d say to myself, “Self, you need to go back to the therapist, and back to the doctor. You need to book an appointment with the most compassionate priest in the area, because you need a caring, confidential, sounding board. It’s not good to be isolated. You can find friends soon, but you can start small”

I would also say: “Self, you need to be gentle on yourself, because you are a mom (and the best darn mom you know how to be!) and you are pregnant (and that is exhausting!), and you went through a huge loss recently. You are brave, and you are strong. God loves you, and you are worthy of love.”


#6

Speaking as a man, I have to tell you that his battle with the temptation will never go away. An alcoholic who stops drinking is still an alcoholic. No matter how long I go without messing up, no matter how much time passes, no matter how many days, weeks, months, or even years I count, I must still actively resist the urge to let my mind wander. I suspect the husband of the OP feels the same way.

This can be frustrating. Yes, as we get older, it does become easier, but that can take so long that we become discouraged to the point of giving up. Disconnect the internet if you have to, but get him an intervention. Please don’t leave him over this. If he knows he has a problem, and he knows that he has to correct it, then you will not lose anything to see him through it. If you walk away, he may fall into despair.

One caveat - no more lies. Help him wherever you can on the condition that he must be honest when he is confronted. I would recommend frequent confession, but I’m guessing that you are not Catholic, but if he is, then send him every week for as long as necessary.


#7

Check out the book "Mental Health Through Will Training" by Dr. Abraham Low. It's helped a lot of people and marriages. The organization is Recovery International and they have groups of people that meet and apply Dr. Low's methods. Dr Low's principles work for any psychological problem or addiction.


#8

Excellent advice, lebe, for the OP. I’m also very sorry to hear you’re still having a rough time with your own situation at home. I pray you’re able to find a real good, caring therapist very soon that works for you.
Please know that all of you women out there who are dealing with a husband or boyfriend’s porn habit are in my prayers for strength and courage to remain close to Our Lord and get through this all-too-common challenge that satan is using to tear apart relationships and families. Fortunately, our merciful God is much stronger than the evil one and can be with us all every step of the way. Peace and His blessings always.


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