Has Anyone Else Gone Through a Similar Thing? He is a Porn Addict

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.

Responses

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  1. I’m currently in the thick of it with my husband. He hid a pornography addiction and voyeurism from me for 14 years. It was devastating to find out the truth. There have been email accounts, secured USB drives, photos taken of women on our personal camera, etc, etc, etc. Years and years of lies, deceit, manipulation, gaslighting, emotional abuse… the list goes on. I was ready to leave him and file for full custody of our daughter when he disclosed childhood abuse that he had also kept secret from me. D-day was almost 6 months ago and today he is in therapy and has been diagnosed with clinical depression, among other things. He’s taking an antidepressant. Our relationship has changed so much and I am trying to be supportive, but I went through months of emotional torture feeling completely weighted down and drowned with the sheer amount of all the lies and manipulation. I often mourn the days I spent in blissful ignorance, but knowing my daughter deserves a safe home and two loving, whole parents keeps me going. If I left, he would most likely fall apart, dive right back into where he left off, and would not be fit to parent in any way. So I’m sticking with this life for her, as long as I’m able. She’s too young to understand any of this and old enough to be devastated by the consequences of his actions if all of this doesn’t work out in the end. I am taking every precaution possible to shield her from any consequences of her father’s addictions. All electronics are completely locked down in our home. He checks his cell phone at the door when he comes home and it remains with me. Likewise, when we are out together, he doesn’t have his phone or any device with camera or internet access. They spend very little time together alone, and only in public spaces. He no longer helps her bathe or use the washroom and she dresses alone or with me.

    This isn’t exactly the life I had imagined. Far from it actually. But it’s the life I have at the moment and my preference is to keep our family whole and intact with as little damage as possible. This is the best way I know how. Do what works best for your family and if you don’t have friends to help you figure out the little things necessary for living, talk to your therapist about it. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist for advice because chances are, there’s no one else you will feel comfortable disclosing every detail to.

  2. I have been married for over 20 years to a sex addict (porn…) as far as I know…
    I am reading through this site to help me feel justified in leaving him which is planned in the next couple of weeks.
    He is a sexual anorexic. We have not been able to have “intercourse” with orgasm for him for our entire married life. With literally a few exceptions. We had a lot of stresses when we first met but fell in love right from the start. We moved in together almost immediately and then bought our first house together where we still live 23 years later.
    I had children from a previous marriage and he took us all on. I finally fèlt settled. He was tough on the kids but he came from a home with a very strict father (I think abusive) and I grew up with no father at home and a father who sexually molested me when I was 12.. My hisband and I had a child together which I now look back and remember telling him then we would have to have sex if he wanted a child together.
    I knew he liked silky underwear before we married. I thought it was strange but harmless. Well turned out he prefered to be the she and have sex alone. Using porn and cross dressing.
    Things were so hectic back then and he told me that it was an occaisional thing. I found his “trunk” of clothing, movies and accessories. Told him to get rid of it all! He did. But the magazines kept coming into the house, the bills for the porn purchased through the tv and we were going a year or so with no intimacy between us. He has always been a big snuggler and very easy to talk to about anything…almost.. Always blamed not being interested in sex on stress. Which there was alot of. My friends and family did not like the way he spoke to me in a demeaning way and they didnt like how tough he was on my kids. He actually was worse when peiple were around. Alone he would bother with the remàrks.
    In 2005 i found a locked case and managed to open it. I found many videos that he took of himself dressed up and enjoying his sex life “alone”! I finally told him he had to leave which only lasted for a month as he begged me to go to councilling and said he didnt think he had really been hurting me but now he saw the terrible pain he had caused. I dont know how many times i told him i was not his mother or sister when he would cry and tell me how much he loved me!
    So we started back to life with the agreed rule that he was not allowed to have any porn and no more dressing up.
    Well weve had several more years of no intimacy. He thinks asking me to fix him up is being intimate. Its a make work project for me. He has to do it himself in the end because nothing but his death grip works. And again usually he just takes care of things himself and I dont know about it.
    So last year his new cell phone was way over in the data. I asked him why and he said could it be from watching sports clips?? He is not computer savy at all. I asked him for his phone to investigate. I found all kinds of porn sites. He again cried and begged me for forgiveness. He went to a sex specialist and said he thought he finally understood all of this and promised to never do it again.
    A couple weeks ago, Christmas day. Im just about to serve dinner to a house full of guests. I run up to our bedroom for something out of my underwear drawer and i see 2 pairs of lace panties i forgot i even owned. They were crushed.. like they just came out of a very small comtainer or hiding place. They had fold marks on them as if they had been crushed into a hole for a long time. I was shocked again and totally disapointed. I felt sick. My stomach was in instant knot and still is today. I took 2 days to really think about it before i said anything. I needed to convince myself that I was not crazy! When i confronted him he screamed so loud my ears were ringing. He told me he hadnt touched anything and that i should “get a lawyer”. That was really all that was said. Literally. I am really hurt ri?ht now. So disappointed. So stupid.
    I have spent the last 20+ years booby trapping my underwear drawer. Smelling my clothes for any signs of him and always snooping for hiding places for porn in my own house!
    There is so much more but thats enough to get the general facts out.
    I will find a lawyer. Its in the process and i have a nice place to move to with the help of great friends who have been watching me suffer through trying to believe in him. He is a very emotional guy but at first impression a manly man. He tried early on on in our marriage to get me accepting him dressed up in girlie things in order for him to be turned on.
    I tried but i was not at all comfortable with it and finally refused. That was the end of the little bit of interest he had in sex. (S)He was a better partner.
    I feel the mood in our silent house has chaned in the last week from him being pissed at me for accusing him to him getting ready to beg for forgiveness again.
    Anyone who knows me would say I am a strong minded woman not afraid of hard work and always ready to help friends and family. I cant believe how hard this is for me to stick to leaving him. I logically have to think about what hes done and what hes stolen from me. I know it but its unbelievably hard to put one foot in front of the other to get it done. Tjats why im here reading about others. I feel responsible for him somehow instead of feeling justified to kick him to the curb. He in so many ways has been a rock for me and i do love him and always have.
    The best thing for me that ive read over the last week was that you are actually hurting a sex addict by staying with them. If they dont suffer real consequences for their actions they for sure will never get better. I know he wishes he wasnt this way but he has never choosen to continue refraining from this fantasy sex life. I really wish him well but i will not sacrifice anymore of my life for him. I feel terrible guilt. It seems crazy. I have to talk to myself in the mirror to stay on track with leaving!

  3. I’m a partner of one. Sorry to say this will continue to happen and break your heart unless he wants to face it and fix it. I’ve been dealing with it for 19 years. Still married but it eventually led to an affair and has torn our immediate family apart for 2 years. I lost 16 pounds in 7 weeks, loss of sleep for a year and many, many panic attacks. He needs to want help and get it prior to your marriage. Trust is integral to any relationship and a must for a marriage. It’s an addiction and like anything it’s a daily challenge that he will need to battle.

  4. I was a partner of one also. I am just recently breaking free from him. For 17 years and I can tell you that it will take you years to recover if you don’t get out now. There is a very high rate of narcissism-related sexual addiction and my husband is a very sophisticated high level narcissist. Having been trained as a clinical counselor, it was very difficult to make and accept this diagnosis as it is a very serious condition for the partner to live with. The ramifications are immense and even 9 years after discovery of the addiction, it was very difficult to believe what I have been conned into. You are so young and you should not waste another moment of your time with one of these monsters. My s/o narcissist is a psychologist who even works part time with sex offenders and nobody would ever know. Only me. Going into the details is far to painful for me to relate right now, but one thing I would say is that if you still have a healthy sense of your sexuality, get out now and preserve what you have left. Give yourself time to understand all of the ways that you have been controlled and affected and/or changed before you get into another situation with a man, otherwise, you might find yourself in a similar but more complicated version of the one you are presently involved in. Check out the you tube channel, “knowing the narcissist” and you will be amazed at what you will learn and how sexual addiction is only one symptom of a host of other terribly sophisticated methods of controlling you and using you. If you stay with him, the suffering you will encounter will be beyond words and the damage to your self esteem and sexual identity possibly changed forever.

    1. Thank you for your message.
      I am amazed at the similarities of our partners.
      How do you ever regain trust of another male relationship ?
      Are there decent men out there?
      I am glad to have this venue to read other sad but real stories.It is helpful for processing this whole strange unfortunate sequence of events, as Lemony Snickers would say ?

    2. Hi Catherine

      I found this really useful. I too am feeling like a partner of a narcissist and it’s so hard to break free. He manages to make me believe I’m the problem and question myself. He says he’s stopped the porn, and the affairs, I do believe that but it’s his behaviours that started this in the first place that haven’t changed. I have mentally made the decision to leave and told him but he’s done what he did when I first discovered and crying and telling me he doesn’t want to lose me. Yet everytime we argue , he tells me I’m the problem.

  5. I am very sorry to hear of your circumstance. From my own experience the signs were there I just was like you. he was a really nice attentive person that it was hard to believe that he was into pornography to that degree and I didn’t feel anyone would believe me because he was so good in the community. Willing to help anybody in need. Ultimately it was a roller coaster than Merry-Go-Round ride and I just went around and around up and down. Destroying my self-esteem it was it was just horrible .as much as you feel you’re in love with this person which no doubt you are. as hard it is to put off your marriage I would highly recommend it. just because I chose to marry and stay with this person for 21 years and we went through many programs. We went to many counselors. But all said and done he’s still still wanting to look at pornography and even using me as an object. Just as sad at it is. The heartache over and over is worse.
    You sosouls like you are in tune with your intuitiin. Don’t doubt it. Very tricky situation. The best to you.

  6. Sorry you are going through this. Ask your fiance when his first experience with porn was. How old was he and under what circumstances. It sounds like he has been into this way before he ever met you and he won’t be able to begin fixing it until he can be honest with himself and with you about how far back his use of porn porgoes and what pornography has meant to him in his life. Ask him this question and see if it sheds light on his behavior.

  7. I was married to a sex addict for ten years. I couldn’t take the repeat offenses, the eroding of my self-esteem, the total absence of genuine hope, and shattered trust. I moved out yet we continued to stay in contact as I was naïve enough to believe that ‘some day’ he would face the problem and do everything necessary to resolve it. Initially we continued to be intimate, but later, I became fearful of STDs & refused to have sex with him. He maintained contact with me in the hopes that I would eventually come around. A couple years later, he fell ill. Deep inside, I still loved him so had compassion; I took care of him like a baby while he recovered. I suppose, inside, I was trying to demonstrate that I would stand by him and that I AM worth his effort. His illness lasted nearly a year. During that year, he made many promises to me. He spoke words I had hungered to hear. As soon as his doctor told him he had recovered, he ran right back to his addiction at record speed. One year later, he fell ill, again. This time he did not recover. He died April 2011. Later, I learned he had contracted a STD that evolved into a form of cancer. His addiction killed him. I have gratitude that I did, eventually, cease having sex with him.

    It took me four years to make sense out of that insanity. At the four year point, I decided to leave my past in the past and move forward. Two years ago, I met and fell in love with a man who appeared to be opposite of everything my husband had been. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought finally, the sex addiction nightmare was behind me.

    But our sex life began to wane to the point that I knew, deep inside, something was wrong. Last night I learned that he was addicted to porn and had been since he was a teenager. He watches porn on his phone and masturbates nearly every day, before coming home from work. I no longer initiate sex because he artificially drains his sex drive to the point he can seldom get or maintain an erection, when I instigate foreplay. Two or three times a month, he initiates sex otherwise, he uses porn to satisfy himself.

    Before I learned these things about him, we accumulated a sizable debt in my name. I plan to keep him around until the debt is paid and then hurl him out of my life. Please do not judge nor criticize me for that decision. I would be financially devastated if I act rashly and end it now. I am alone in this world and can easily make a comfortable living, with my own resources, once this debt is paid. Since he appears to have no genuine interest in doing anything about his problem, I have no interest in a life with him. We are busy people, so spending minimal time with him is very achievable. I plan to expand my support network and be honest with them about what I am going through.

    Please, listen to these women. I have been through porn addiction & sex addiction. If you have false hope, I pray you have the ability to be honest with yourself before HIS problem destroys YOU. I have an exit plan. I am no longer hurt (instead, I am determined to map my way out).

    Good luck & hugs…I know it hurts. Pain can destroy us or pain can be the motivation we need to detach and move forward.

    1. Lee i am so sorry for what you have been through. I can identify with the illness and making vows to change. What is so terrifying is how you somehow managed to get involved with another one but i have heard this down the years. How does it happen ???? My prayers are with you and i hope you are managing to find peace in your life.
      I’m sending a hug and healing thoughts to you. XXX

  8. Get out as quickly as you can, for yourself and your son. People like this do not change. You are condemning your son to watch his mother be abused psychologically. The chance that he will repeat this pattern in his relationships is very high. You are young with your whole life ahead of you, go live it.

  9. I’m dealing with this too hun. I am in the dreading confronting him about it stage…
    You are NOT alone.

  10. I really hate to say to give up your marrige. But give it up. He will never stop. What I don’t understand is if our husband’s love us so much and want to live in the house with their children why can’t they stop. My husband wasn’t allowed back to our home back in July 2015 and we have been separated since. We have tried to work it out a couple times. But he can’t stop talking to women online, he doesn’t care if they are married. He knows that this mess destroyed me and says he loves me so much, but still on every website even other websites from other countries. It’s been about 3 months now and I plan on staying away this time because it doesn’t effect him with how bad it hurts my feelings.

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