I received this e-mail from a woman who is involved with a porn addict. She wonders if anyone else has had a similar experience. Please offer her your support and advice. ~ JoAnn

porn addictMy story:

I am 29 and I met the love of my life on the 17th July 2014. We fell madly in love. Everything was so natural, so easy. 6 months later we moved in together and shortly after that I fell pregnant. We got engaged and I gave birth to our son. During that time, we did go through several deaths in our families. But these life challenges made our relationship grow even stronger. He was the only man I could imagine myself growing old with. We both had failed relationships in the past with wrong people, so we knew that this is it, we are meant for each other. We had a healthy sex life and for the first time in my life I felt confident.

But after having our son, I developed post-natal depression. I was always tired since he didn’t sleep more than a few hours at a time and I was recovering from an emergency caesarean. So, it’s only understandable that our intimacy suffered too. But he was being so understanding, loving and supportive.

One night when I wanted to send pictures from his phone to mine, a website popped up, which he hadn’t bothered to close. It seemed to be a porn site, at first I thought that his just looking for naughty pictures to send to his friends group on Whatsapp (they are lads after all).

But then I started reading. It was a mailbox with emails sent and received from escorts. Pages and pages of letters going back several years. He had been describing what he wants them to do to him and vise versa, placing enquiries for prices and arranging to meet up. I felt sick to my stomach. My whole world collapsed. I woke him up and demanded an explanation, trying not to scream as our 2-month- old baby was asleep.

He was so calm, saying that it’s just a fantasy that he never met up with them, he only pays 5 pounds to look at their pictures and writes to them.

He has always been very nice to me, giving thoughtful presents, listening to me, remembering every little detail that I say, being the most attentive kindest person I’ve ever met, not a day went past when he didn’t tell me how much he loved me. But in those emails the way he talked to them, it was like he was a completely different person. After that I developed serious trust issues, my self-esteem and sex drive was very low. I felt guilty for not wanting to be intimate, and afraid that if I won’t get him off he will find someone who would. I have always taken care of myself, keeping a steady UK size 10, losing the baby weight within a month. He tells me how attractive he finds me and how proud he is to have a beautiful fiancée. But my self-worth was destroyed. We had one session of couples counseling which helped us to open up to each other. Unfortunately, the therapy was too expensive so we couldn’t continue.

But we talked and I told him that I am fine with him watching free porn, but the escort thing is a no no for me. I could see that he was hurting too, he never wanted to cause me pain, so we moved on. Or at least I tried to move on, convincing myself that it will never happen again.

6 months passed. While I was visiting my family in the summer, the pain returned. I started obsessing, I was afraid that he is going to cheat on me, and I realised that I’m still having difficulty trusting him. When I returned, we had a talk, but he made me feel guilty that I still can’t get over the past. I really tried to trust him more, and told him that the healing process takes time, but it will happen.

The following week I opened a bank statement that came to our address. I had a feeling that I need to check it. And my gut was right. There were several transactions to awork, all for just 5 pounds, but I knew what it was for. I confronted him and demanded to see the emails and I found some that were sent just over a month after the first incident. He then gave his phone to me at night to eliminate temptation. One night he came back from meeting up with his friends. While he passed out on the sofa, I went through his phone and he had been on that site looking for escorts specifically 1 mile from our area. In the morning, he said he was so drunk, that it was just a habitual thing and he didn’t even wank. But then he admitted that he does have a problem and started seeing a therapist. After 4 sessions he stopped, saying he didn’t get anything out of it and felt guilty for spending our savings. But he had made some big changes. We talked more and he even set a parental control on his phone, as he stated that a recovering porn addict must keep a way of all content that is pornographic. My mind was at ease and we were happy again. I gave him love, support and understanding and he responded with the same.

Today over 3 months have passed. Our son turned one. We are planning our wedding. He got a new job and we are in the process of moving house. Finally, everything seems to be going right for us. But I still can’t shake off the fear. I asked him to promise me that he would never go back to that site, and he did. But 3 days ago I checked his phone (I have been doing that regularly as he said that he wants me to keep him in check). So, I did. And what do I find.

Last Thursday he had forgotten to delete the history on his phone. There it was, that website again, with emails sent to escorts. Once again, I confronted him and he admitted to doing it couple of times (so there were more). And apparently, the parental control on his phone doesn’t work with our home Wi-Fi. He made me feel like a complete fool.

But we love each other and I will not give up on him, that is not an option. Or am I just overreacting…

I don’t know what to do anymore so I’m reaching out to anyone who has gone through a similar thing, either as a porn addict or a partner of one.

Thank you for reading the story of two and a half years of my life.