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Trying2bBetter posted 7/13/2020 08:16 AM

It has been a long while since I've posted on here. I wasn't planning on posting but I have just betrayed my wife again with more lies and manipulation. For most of my life I have used porn to self soothe or escape from reality, the reality that I couldn't even talk about sex in a real vulnerable authentic way, not even to my wife. This use has left my wife feeling lonely and sad for most our life together and she has even asked me several times what the issue is but I was too cowardly to talk about it. Eventually this all came out along with a whole lot of other stuff, (flirting, sexting, going to a strip club, giving other women attention I should have given my wife), and after discovery I slowly over time moved away from porn to sites like the chive then when I got caught for that I moved to looking at women on beaches through google maps, pretty bad, I know. At that point I had decided that was as low as I could go and for the last 18 months or so I was "clean", then I got an ad when I was shopping for running shoes and I started looking at fitness models through instagram, not to jerk off to them, just to look and I justified it because things have been really strained at home and I kept thinking if only my wife would stop hating me, if only we could just be together and stop fighting. I know I was a total ass for thinking that way, she's hurt because I hurt her and I have no right to think, "if only she" for anything. So last week she found out I was doing that and is severely hurt, not because she's opposed to sex or even sexual images but because I again deceived her and because I had hurt her with this kind of behavior I should have never been back here. I am so sorry I did this to her, she believes that I can't change but I know I can, if I don't believe it then I have no hope for any kind of future. I have been seeing a sex counselor for a few months and I'm going to tell him I've been lying to him too and stop this shit for good. I was talking to my wife this morning and she asked why don't I go on here and post what I did and I hadn't thought of that but I think it's a good idea. I'm not trying to trigger people, which is what my wife was afraid I might do to others by posting this but I need some help. I have no friends (which is my fault, that's what happens when you are a fake in front of everyone) and no family except my beautiful wife and two kids and I need to just talk, not with a counselor but with people who are not trying to make any of this okay or excuse it. I want help, I am committed to change and I felt like this before but here I am, here is my wife again in the same position. I can tell you I will change and make this stick, I hate what I've done to my wife and kids I really do. I'm not suicidal but I feel like dying, I've screwed up the most wonderful person I have ever met and I know she feels worse than I do, I can hear it in her voice and see it on her face every time she looks at me and all I want is to make her feel better, loved, cared for. I want a life with her and I keep throwing it away. I miss seeing her smile.
I know this is all rambling and jumbled, I'm sorry, I just feel like a giant mess and my wife is feeling worse than me.

MrCleanSlate posted 7/13/2020 08:46 AM

I'm sure you'll get some support from those members here who have or are dealing with SA.

One of the hardest things is learning how to be honest and truthful.

It sounds to me like you have a saint for a BW who is willing to help you work on your issues.

Maybe it is time to take that giant leap of faith and just come clean on everything to your BW and IC. It was really freeing and invigorating for me when I just decided to blurt everything out. I was finally able to start dealing with my real issues. My BW was immensely hurt by the revelations, but she chose to offer me R.

landclark posted 7/13/2020 09:05 AM

have been seeing a sex counselor for a few months and I'm going to tell him I've been lying to him too and stop this shit for good.

This seems like a really good first step. Can you send him an email or text immediately before you change your mind?

gmc94 posted 7/13/2020 09:14 AM

find a 12-step group in your area for sex addiction. You can find a sponsor to whom you can be truly accountable - someone who has walked in your shoes.

If you won't be honest with your IC, what's the point of IC?

Trying2bBetter posted 7/13/2020 10:56 AM

My wife has absolutely been a saint through all this, more than that, she has been my best friend even when I haven't been hers. I called my counselor's office this morning but the best they can do is tomorrow evening but I will not back out of telling him. "If I'm lying to my IC then what's the point" could not be more dead on.
I have told her everything, unfortunately it's been 5 years of one horrible thing after another, followed up by lies like hiding this so it's not so easy for anyone to believe me when I say that's all. I don't flirt with women or talk like an ass when I'm around men, I don't go to bars or anywhere near a strip club. Looking at these images and lying about it is exactly what I did and it's no better or smaller than any of the other things I've done or lies I've told.
Even after years of counselling and figuring out all sorts of things about my family history and what made me the person I am today, I still sit sometimes and say to myself how in the hell did I become this. I mean I know how I became this but I feel like such a piece of shit for choosing to do it again, weak and pathetic. My wife deserved so much better than me and she said to me that if loved her I would never hurt her like this and I don't even know how to respond. I know how I feel about her, I am crazy about her and love her yet she is always the one I hurt and expect her to forgive me, whereas I have historically bent over backwards to avoid insulting or even confronting the biggest of assholes because I would be afraid that they wouldn't like me, I wouldn't confront women my wife asked me to, I would have rather just ran away and never saw them again then stand in front of them and call them out but somehow I have made it okay to treat my wife this way. I know maybe this doesn't make sense but I dream of being with her in a place where I never did any of this to her. I just never grew up which has been horrible for her both before she knew about all the lies and after. Sorry, I keep ranting, I do need to find a group or a friend.

MrCleanSlate posted 7/13/2020 11:31 AM


Your BW will not believe much of anything. She is likely constantly worried about the next bomb admission going off. You can't make her feel better. You can't fix her.

What she may respond to however is your actions.

You start by demonstrating daily that you are working on yourself, on fixing your problems, on being a more honest and open person - then there is a chance.

You have a lot of work to do on your why's and your SA issues. One thing you can start to do is to start to communicate with your BW. I mean really communicate. It sounds so simple but take time and go for a walk each night together, or sit on your couch, and just talk. you both need to try to not be defensive, or judgmental. try to be open and constructive. It may go a long way to helping you both heal as time goes on.

MrCleanSlate posted 7/13/2020 11:36 AM

One more thing.

I think you already have a friend - your wife.

From what you wrote she is wanting to help you. Let her in.

All of us here at SI - we are anonymous people willing to help and offer advice, etc. We don't know you. We can only help as much as you share and are willing to listen.

I joined after years of lurking, it helped me. I read more than I post. I'm still learning. That is all we can do is try to improve.

gmc94 posted 7/13/2020 12:25 PM

I'm no therapist, but your posts certainly ring like SA - there are online tests you can take, but the compulsion to look at porn or women, the creativity (and rationalizations) to find ways around the "porn" label, and continuing to act on that compulsion despite the harm you know it's causing all sound pretty classic SA tendencies.

Is your IC a CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist)? If you are able to find one in your area, I would highly recommend that. One of the 1st things a CSAT (or IC skilled in SA and relational betrayal trauma) will do is work with you to do a complete written timeline of your indiscretions. Then it can be provided to your BW (usually in a joint session with a therapist - or two) followed by a polygraph. That is kind of the standard protocol for SA. If you are completely honest and pass the poly, it can go a long way toward rebuilding trust with your BW.

My WH's CSAT recommended a book called Help.Her.Heal by Carol J. Sheets. It's a workbook about building empathy after the fallout from a dday. I read it and it looked reasonably helpful to me.

Delving into shame and finding some tools to cope with shame may also be helpful. It's a giant barrier for most WS, and esp for SA. Learn about the differences between healthy guilt and paralyzing (and narcissistic) shame. I'm a big fan of Brene Brown, and she has a great audio of a series of speeches called "the Power of Vulnerability" that kind of condenses her first few books (I got it through my library's online books/Hoopla). But frankly, I think just starting with reading anything by Brene Brown can shed some light into shame and what a harmful barrier it is to real connection.

And as you feel stronger, you can learn about relational betrayal trauma - to help you truly "get" and understand just how devastating it can be for your BW.

Attachment theory also plays an important part in being a WS and esp SA. There are also online tests you can take to try and learn about your attachment style and can help form a foundation from which you can work toward earning a more secure attachment and strategies to address the knee-jerk reactions you may have to things like vulnerability and honesty.

"not because she's opposed to sex or even sexual images but because I again deceived her and because I had hurt her with this kind of behavior"
One thing to contemplate is what it is you enjoy about the secrecy - about the lies involved in acting out (IOW, if your wife is OK with this, what do you get out of lying to her about it?)

And I really would look into finding a group geared toward SA. I believe they are now all online/phone bc of covid, so there should not be an issue finding a meeting time that works for you, given it doesn't have to be in your home town. It may take a bit to navigate getting the login/call in info (it's all volunteer and they work hard to maintain their anonymity), but once you are able to start, you can search for a sponsor who can help you become accountable to yourself (and your BW) and navigate the journey through SA.


[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:28 PM, July 13th, 2020 (Monday)]

WheresMyBlanket posted 7/13/2020 13:38 PM

This is why these companies, porn, dating sites, or just images, are making tons of money. They do not need to have stores, less employees, and they are within your reach through your phone all the time. So this is the challenge for us. Counseling helps but the counselor is still outside your body. Everything starts in you and you are the only one who can stop it. It is good to have advice and direction, but if you simply donít do these, nothing will happen. Why donít you try getting the book, ďEvery Manís Battle,Ē by Stephen Arterburn. It might help you a lot as it helped me and many of my friends.

Trying2bBetter posted 7/16/2020 16:19 PM

gmc94 Ė Yes my IC is a CSAT and Iíve been seeing him for a few months, both he and a regular IC that I had seen before had labelled me as attachment avoidant, which makes sense when they explained to me what that meant and how I got there. I will pick up that book, there were actually two books mentioned by you and WMB that sound good. Iíve read a lot of Brene Brown and I like a lot of her stuff, including her talks online, but Iíll open those back up for another read as well. Thereís a lot of shame and this air of entitlement that I keep spewing out but never dealing with and even though I read these books, it seems that it didnít quite sink in since here I am still doing the same stuff. Iíll look into some of those support groups to, I have always questioned if they would work but thatís probably because I would have lied to them as much as I lied to my wife, but Iím rethinking that now. Itís a good question, what do I get out of lying and really I canít think of anything I get out of it, I just rationalize to myself that it should be okay and at the same time make excuses why I should not tell her.
My wife said something to me, she feels like ďI donít think sheís worth changing forĒ and I didnít feel in that moment like it was about how I feel. She is worth it and I just need to stop making excuses about why any of this is normal or ďwhat guys doĒ, or feeling sorry for myself because my wife is upset with me. She is worth it and our kids are worth it.
WheresMyBlanket Ė I 100% agree that the change has to come within, I need to stop talking about change and start being that change.
I met with my counselor and I obviously have more work to do, I told him I lied to my wife and to him and what I had really been doing. He did suggest outside of the books and finding an SA group a book called ďPure DesireĒ by Ted Roberts and some podcasts called ďPorn Free RadioĒ that I should be listening to everyday, he said it has to be a part of my daily practice to change my current thought process. I canít just say Iíll be different, I need to start doing things that are a change in actions and mindset in the right direction.

TheFallen posted 7/16/2020 17:51 PM

Your story is nearly identical to mine. Iím a sex addict. Iím not going to take your inventory, but I definitely think you should join a call and listen in until Covid is done. Then go to an in-person meeting ASAP if you can. Your brain has been hijacked. Those images are like heroine to your mind. 90 days of complete abstinence from porn, porn substitutes (ads, google images, social media, etc), masturbation, and possibly even sex with your spouse will all lead to brain rebooting. Thatís not to say it will fix it. But it will help to stop reinforcing the high you get. Delete all forms of social media. Itís all just softcore porn these days. There is no reason for social media. My life has changed dramatically since itís been out of my life. Put porn blockers on all of your devices. Think about using an accountability software, like Covenant Eyes. Keep reading and posting on places like this.
Most importantly, do these things without telling your wife for brownie points or without her having to bring it up to you.
Do you have a smart phone? Get rid of it. Thereís no reason for one. Iím a young enough guy. Just turned 30. Smartphones have brought me nothing but problems. Go to Target, get a consumer cellular phone. $25 a month, unlimited talk and text. Thatís all you need.
These are things I wish I did before my wife had to say anything. I love to think about those fantasies where none of this ever happened to my wife, but the fact is, it did. Do things NOW to prevent your future self from regretting it.

Another good book: Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes. You can do this. You can still turn your life around. Show your wife you care. Donít let yourself lose such a wonderful woman.

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