My addiction used to hurt just me.. Now it hurts her too.

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by Threb, Dec 5, 2022.

  1. Threb

    Threb New Member

    Hey everyone,

    For most of my childhood, I was undiagnosed Asperger's. I had trouble identifying important social cues and connecting with people. As I grew older and puberty began to enter the picture, I struggled with this new feeling and my inability to connect with girls and explore love. Couple with that with the bullying I would receive due to my awkwardness and I grew to learn to "take care of myself" and not let anyone in.

    Then comes the porn. Because of my Christian upbringing, I tended to never seek out full on nudity, just bikini/Lingerie stuff. That eventually evolved into an fetish for thongs and G strings. It wasnt until 2015 when I eventually began masturbating and the rest is (unfortunately) history.

    Up until 2021, I masturbated commonly to Reddit forums, Twitter images/videos, and whatever google provided. Relationships came and went but the porn never left. I've grown to know how to "mask" my Asperger's and appear normal but the damage Porn did to my life was FAR beyond what I could have expected.

    I've become an unmotivated, lazy, emotionally unstable and generally unhappy person. I have insecurities, anxieties and it wasnt until proposing to my fiancée when the problems came to the forefront.

    Early in our relationship, she caught me looking at images on Twitter but we managed to get through it, I promised I wouldnt do it again and I wish that was the end of it...

    .. She would send me pictures of herself in thongs to masturbate to and I used that basically as a substitute but we began to experience difficulties in our lives when she suffered an ectopic pregnancy. It was the hardest thing we had to go through and all I could think about was myself.. How stressed I was.. Before I would use porn as I way to escape and retreat from stressful life situations rather than face them and fully experience pain.

    I cant begin to list the things in my life I used porn as an escape from.. Things that could have made me a stronger person if I just FACED the pain..

    ..Well, When she was going through treatment for her ectopic (It was a long, painful 2 months for her by this point) I went back to what I always did and used porn to escape... and she caught me.

    In order to save our relationship, we moved in together and I speed-read a book about cheating and then basically forced myself to not look at porn without seriously thinking about WHY I did it or what power it had over my life. We struggled, fought and had our ups and downs but eventually things began looking bright. My personality began adjusting because I stopped masturbating completely and I felt proud of who I was turning into.. Until I began slipping again.

    It started with quick google searches of celebrities, characters with thongs in Anime/media.. and eventually even scrolling through reviews of thongs and seeing images online started to stimulate the part of my brain I thought I conquered. (In reality, I put no effort into my recovery, I simply suppressed the problem, not treat it) I didnt masturbate to it but is that really a victory? I was clearly sliding back into old habits and I am sure it would have been a matter of time until I did again.

    She discovered my searches and its been a hard 3 or so weeks. Lots of tears, feelings of betrayal and more and more pain as we began to really realize that it wasnt just a porn problem.. I was truly addicted. Porn has ruined my life and it threatens to ruin my relationship with the woman I love.

    She is worried about dressing in ways I like because she feels like a "cheap imitation" and that I can get what she's offering online and at a higher quality. Obviously I dont feel this way, I love her and wish I was able to describe to her WHY she means more than any online image/video but Im not in a position to say anything.

    Her self esteem and self confidence is in the gutter, her anxiety shoots up when she reads forums and sees how long guys struggle for and often relapse. She is scared that I will never be able to be truly faithful.. She used to love wearing thongs and dressing sexy for me and now she's terrified of the thought.

    I hate what Porn has done to my brain, the ways it dulled my emotions but what makes me hurt more is how now MY problem has harmed her. I'm sharing this story with as many details as possible so that I can get this off my chest and begin my road to recovery. I'd appreciate any advice you guys have. If there are discord support groups, weekly chats of some kind.. groups I can be a part of I would love recommendations. I've been reading and listening to Matt Dobschuetz and he suggested reaching out because the opposite of addiction is connection.

    I can beat this and I'm ready to fight for not just my life but the woman I love.

    I have some questions

    -What support groups are there for spouses of those who are beginning their road to recovery? My addiction hurt her and I want to find the resources for her to heal from this as well. We've tried subreddits such as Love after Porn but it depresses her and makes her feel like there's no hope.

    -What should I do about my fetish? Her fear is that dressing in ways I enjoy during sex will just enable and trigger a desire for porn.

    -Should we even have sex right now? Or should we take a break and sort of "starve my brain" of sexual stimulation for a bit.. Reboot?

    -I am scared of my brain and scared that it is going to get desperate and seek stimulation from any source it can find (I mean, christ.. ads? really?) Are there topics/threads/resources for deprogramming porn addictions driven by a fetish?
     
  2. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Hi Threb,

    I hope I can offer some advise...

    I am struggling with the addiction too but keep working on it. There is something that immediately stands out for me in your thread: the asperger's part. Are you sure that you have the condition? I am a counsellor by profession and have learned to tell pretty quickly when a client with asperger's comes my way. Typically they will struggle to express their feelings and the very question 'how do you feel?' makes little or no sense to them. You described your feelings and those of others very well, something my clients with asperger's would never be able to do. I am therefore a bit puzzled by the fact you describe yourself that way and wonder how you came to that conclusion? Or have you been 'masking' the condition here too?

    Really sorry about what you and your fiancee had to go through with the pregnancy. That sounds indeed very scary and stressful! How can you blame yourself for feeling urges at such a time? Some people smoke cigarettes when life is intense and stressful, some do excessive shopping, some drink, some take drugs and others may feel the need for sexual gratification. I think it is part of our human nature to feel tempted in one or more of those ways.

    Of course, you want to be able to be in control of it but I encourage you to take it easy and to not blame yourself so much for it. I am Christian too and it is easy to end up blaming ourselves, feel like sinners, etc. Though Jesus said to the adulterous woman 'I too don't condemn you, go and sin no more'.

    The important thing is we work on it, which is precisely what you want to do. Well done.

    In terms of your questions... I will offer my own suggestion, based on my own experience. My suggestion will hopefully encompass all your 4 questions.

    I personally feel you and your fiancee are placing the focus/attention in the wrong place. Together you have made a huge big thing out of your sexual desires/needs/addiction (not sure what you prefer to call it). You seem to describe yourself as some sort of incurable monster and that even she appears to be affected by your 'horrible' failings. I don't think that's a healthy way for both of you to look at it. Furthermore it sounds like she is being made aware of every little step you take in the realm of sexual interests you may have. Is that really necessary? I mean... being honest to each other is important and generally a healthy thing in a relationship. But in your case this kind of honesty seems to cause more hurt and problems.

    My encouragement is to take it easy (one step at a time), don't blame yourself and try not to involve her with your personal sexual needs, unless it is for mutually agreed sex/intimacy.

    I told my wife about my addiction years ago... because I wanted to be honest and because I thought it would help. It caused shock and hurt. She helped but with time I've learned that it would have taken me time to tackle this issue and that therefore it would have been very unhelpful for our marriage (and would have been unfair on her) to keep making a big thing out of it. I therefore at some point chose to use a white lie and say I wasn't doing it anymore, while carrying on working on it. She discovered me a few more times, at which point I said that sadly I had fallen into it due to stress but that I was doing my best to keep the problem under control.

    You want your fiancee to keep positive and calm right? Especially after her traumatic experience. I think the last thing she needs now is to overly worry about the fact that you like to watch women in lingerie. Do you think you can spare her from having to get involved by having to send you those pictures? I don't think that's a healthy way around your problem just because you are watching her pictures rather than those of other women. Indeed it seems to cause upsetting feelings for her, so much so that you are thinking of helping groups for her. Rather than helping groups, perhaps she needs a break from your 'problem?'

    You have come to the right place to work on your challenge - perhaps you can leave your fiancee out of it so she can focus on her recovering from her traumatic experience?

    I encourage you to start a thread in the category of your age group (on this forum) as it may be easier to get people replying to you. Perhaps you can copy and paste your first message over there since you have described your story already (not sure how many people are active on this part of the forum - I would assume not many).

    I hope my response didn't sound judgemental to you! You sound like a very well intentioned person who is very honest and wants the best for you and your fiancee.

    As I said, with our type of problem it is perhaps better to be honest here with us, since we know the issue very well - and to focus on more positive things with your fiancee! ;-)

    Good luck with the fight.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2022
  3. Threb

    Threb New Member


    I appreciate the response. I was diagnosed when I was 13/14. Im higher functioning than my little brother but I do often have trouble expressing my emotions or understanding how other people feel. This thread was made after probably weeks of being able to "figure out how I am feeling" and a common stressor right now are the rough days where she is hurting and I cant understand why/what's wrong.

    And I agree about how including her in this journey so closely may harm her. A few days after my initial thread, she broke down and said how this is hurting her and her self esteem. We locked ourselves in a soundproof room (Part of my job) and spent the day coming up with a monthly goal for each other and I agreed I would try to take the reigns on my own recovery.

    Its been 2 weeks and I am feeling okay.. Not perfect but okay. I honestly have felt anxious the last few days but rather than sit with my anxiety, I want to listen to the Porn Free Radio Podcast and hopefully begin the outlines for a Recovery Plan for myself.
     
  4. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Great to see you back Threb!

    Ok, so clearly I've taken the feelings you have expressed as a sign of non aspergers but you are saying that it took you a long time to figure out what you were feeling + that you have a diagnosis.

    How about things like empathy? Do you feel you are able to empathize with the struggles of another person (especially those of your fiancee)? Or is that problematic? My clients with aspergers do not feel the degree of empathy that other people may feel.

    Great to hear that you are about to plan out your recovery! I encourage you to take things one day at a time and to acknowledge that difficulties can and will pop up. I've never heard of that podcast, sounds interesting!
     

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