Pink Cross Foundation Australia

Donate Now

Viemo Facebook Twitter Youtube google+

I AM THE PARTNER OF A PORN/SEX ADDICT

   Yacinta's* story

   

 

Today I sit and write my story for those who will listen, in the sincere hope I can make a difference and help to make our world a safer place for all of us.


We face an alarming epidemic in the advent of high-speed internet.  This epidemic threatens our children, our relationships and our sense of self worth. It touches not only people within our day to day lives but has a catastrophic impact on people in far away (and sometimes nearby) places.  I am talking about internet pornography.  How did I get to the place where I can make these statements?  I am the partner of a person addicted to internet pornography.


I will share with you the impact of internet pornography addiction upon myself and my family.  I will lead you along the path I walked leading up to and in the time since I made the discovery.  I will share with you the impact this has had on my health and also my road to recovery.  What I am doing, how and why.  It is my desire that other partners of porn addicts know that they are truly not alone and that there are so many of us suffering often alone. 

A perfect fairytale ending, or so I thought...

I won’t bore you with my life history. However, I have been subject to domestic violence at various stages throughout my life. Five years ago, living as a single parent, I was sure that I would raise my son and enjoy the rest of my years alone, surrounded by a myriad of animals.


I was working in a great career that paid well and was forging a future on my own.  My job involved working with many military personnel who came and went through postings.  Most were absolute gentlemen with impeccable manners.


One man stood out when he was posted in and I was taken by his gentle, unassuming nature.  We were friends for a long time and this friendship blossomed into a wonderful relationship.  We both fell head over heels in love. Everything was a dream.


As our relationship became serious and we decided that we would create a life together, he confessed to me that he had a collection of pornographic DVD’s.  He declared that I was all he ever wanted and he had no need for pornography now.  His collection was now redundant.  I was so very happy - I was the one. 

While I was uncomfortable with porn use, I decided that he had been alone for some years and I understood.We married in a simple, intimate wedding with family and closes friends.

Alarm bells

Throughout our relationship, little things happened to ring my alarm bells.  I chose to either ignore these warnings - create possible scenarios which could explain away what I had observed, or believe the lies I was offered.

I received a text one day from my husband while I was out grocery shopping.  The text clearly was not for me and was confronting.  When I asked him about it he told me he was just fooling around and that he thought I would find it funny. 

This explanation was so lame.  I asked if he had been looking at internet porn.  He told me no.  I accepted his story and put it down to something silly that just happened.  I believed my husband; why wouldn’t I? He adored me as I adored him.

Our sex life diminished. He did not seem interested. Sometimes he suffered from erectile dysfunction.  Our lagging sex life I explained away, because we were both in our late 40s.

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with his lack of interest in me and it became more and more difficult to explain my observations away.

I returned home from work one evening to find him propped up in bed, tv on and reading a book on his mobile phone.

I stood at the foot of the bed and talked about my day. I undressed saying I was going for a shower. When I returned from the shower to the foot of the bed, I stood there naked, drying my hair.  He looked up at me from his mobile and asked me “When are you going to have your shower?”

At this point, I knew that something was horribly wrong.  We had only been married five months and he had no interest in me sexually at all. I asked him whether he watched porn because I could no longer explain things away; something was very wrong.

Discovery

At last, he admitted to watching porn rather than having sex with me. As I tried to absorb what I had just learned, I had been oblivious all this time. 

I asked my husband lots of questions and was met with half truths, lies and avoidance. He had shifted to damage control mode. I needed answers and he went into lockdown. I took over and started to search devices.  I discovered that he seemed very interested in the teen porn genre and was beginning to move away to more taboo stuff as far as I could tell.I found a download on his old phone which he had missed deleting, porn downloaded at work - three days before he married me.

Impact on me personally

Initially, I was upset but felt positive that we would be okay. I looked for help and made an appointment with a counselor for us both.  We attended a few times, but the counselor seemed to be out of her depth. A rage began to build in me.  I tried to make sense of things, turning that rage inwards.  I felt as though I had to turn things around to win him back. 

I booked myself in to see a psychologist, bought nice lingerie, offered to watch porn with him, had spray tans, massive waxing sessions, dressed up and created date nights at home with a beautiful meal and candles. I was so desperate to win back my husband that I was wooing him. 

This did not work and I slipped into a deep depression interrupted by bouts of anxiety attacks.

It seemed to me that the man I loved unconditionally was a stranger.  Of course, he was terribly remorseful and promised to stop.  He saw a psychologist - on my request - for six sessions.  I changed to a different psychologist and was prescribed anti-depressants.  I continued until the psychologist told me something I already knew in my heart. 

I was not the problem. Seeing a psychologist week after week was not going to help me learn to trust him again.  I needed to do something else.  I took it upon myself to look after myself. 

I told him that I thought we needed to see a couples psychologist and passed the number on to him.  This was never arranged.  It was now time for me.

Impact on my family

My family and closest friends watched me withdraw from people into the sanctuary of my emotional isolation. 

They observed my mood swings, my anxiety attacks, my bitter self-loathing, my impatience.  They watched me get angry and leave the room when anything suggestive was presented on the tv.  They watched me throw out magazines and papers when a scantily clad model could be seen pouting on the pages. Whenever I heard someone tell a crude joke they watched my contempt for the person telling the joke rise and saw the uncontrollable rage in my eyes.

My eight year old son was terribly worried about me and just wanted to hold me close all the time. My husband was overcome with guilt and feared that he had lost me.  In a way he did. 

I would never again be the same trusting person.My oldest son, happy in a new career with a partner and a new baby saw my disinterest in everything. He took it personally and has banished me from their lives. My two dearest friends rallied around me.  They were there for me at any time I needed them.  They laughed and cried with me.  These two women and my little son were the only people I could trust. I owe them a great deal.  They actually saved me.

Where do I turn?

I knew that my grief was unsustainable and I feared becoming so ill that I would be put into hospital. 

I read some books, threw my whole being into my own spirituality, did a lot of reading on the net and joined a Yoga class. I very soon discovered that there is almost no Australian literature but a great deal of American literature and research.  The biggest difficulty I found was that much of the content on the net is Christian.  I am so very grateful to the churches who have taken the issue so seriously and want to help people - without them there would be very little help around at all. 

My problem is that I am not Christian and I found myself wading through research and literature and having to skip over the bible references and the advise to listen to God.  The way I worked through this was to mentally translate these references to something meaningful to me.My research also demonstrated to me the suffering of the 'Actors' (I call them victims also).  I came to understand what was required of sex workers, their backgrounds, their suffering in their work and the enormous risks they take.


My choice: Turn things around.  The new me.

Mine is a story of survival.  I sometimes relapse into sadness and/or anger and I just want to lock myself away.

I can now ride through these times and accept them for what they are. They are a part of my life and I actually value this.

I have evolved and I spend much more time now with a select group of people.  I do my own thing whenever I want, while still caring for my family.  I accept who I am and no longer feel the need to try to be someone I am not.  Rarely do I wear makeup now and I will happily go out in public in daggy old house clothes.  I no longer care what people think of me. I can love with amazing passion and feel great empathy for others. Sometimes these emotions are quite overwhelming.

Trust, I look at from a different angle now.  I can truly only trust myself.  I can trust that my husband is his own person with his own choices in life and that I have no control over this. Trust to me now is not about others doing things that I approve of - it is about things happening that are predictable and not a surprise.  

My daily mantra is “I am me, I am here, I am knowing, I am seeing”  This helps me to love and accept myself.  I have no desire to compete.  Those who love and accept me are my world.I do not truly know whether my husband has stopped or just got better at hiding. I do know that I am my own person and the most important thing I can do is protect myself and my little boy. 

My advice

  1. It is not your fault
  2. Research internet addiction
  3. Don’t try to “fix things” yourself.  You are not the one who caused this.
  4. Find peace in your own spirituality.  This is about doing something just for you.  It might be a church, a gym, a hobby.  Be kind to yourself.
  5. Look after your children, they can be vulnerable.  They must be safe.
  6. If you choose to stay with your partner as I did, be supportive in their recovery. He/she is a victim too.  This is their journey.  If they want to become better they have to do it. 
  7. If you choose to stay with your partner put boundaries in place

Protecting our Children

If you are like me you will discover a whole new protective side towards your children.  It is difficult to protect your children from the pornified society we live in.  Internet filters are great, but we cannot completely trust them, nor can we be complacent.  I decided against installing filters after my son accessed images which he deemed inappropriate on the school computers.I searched high and low for information to help protect children from pornography and other inappropriate content.  The best I found was a book Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today's Young Kids.  This book recognises that the best porn filters you can give your children is information.  This book respects the intelligence of children and gives them the facts on addiction, explaining how the brain works.  It equips them with the knowledge and a strategy for if and when they are exposed to internet porn.  Children are more intelligent than we know and given honest education, they can and will protect themselves.

What now?

In conclusion, I am not about to tell anyone what they can and cannot do.  What I can tell you is the reason why I am so strongly opposed to the porn industry.  From my personal experience it damages relationships and has the potential to destroy relationships. 

It creates victims, actors suffer the worst types of abuses and are exposed to infection and disease; users can develop dramatic brain changes which fuels negative interactions with other people; partners of porn addicts have been known to suffer from PTSD as a result of their discovery of their partners secret life; it fuels human trafficking; it exposes the user to the risk of being prosecuted for holding child porn (if they watch porn made in other countries- which is available free on the net- the age of consent can be as low as 15 years old. Porn made legally in Russia for example provides content that contains actors who are under 18 may be deemed to be illegal here).

  1. Talk to someone you can trust.
  2. Set up rigid boundaries that everyone understands (my home is a strictly porn free zone)
  3. Protect children from exposure, educate them; the best porn filter is the child who understands the damage porn can cause. They do not need to know the mechanics, just how to identify and remove themselves from the risks. 


All the best and many blessings to anyone who reads this.

Yacinta*


Helpful reads for partners of Porn Addicts

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids - by Kristen A. Jenson M.A., Debbie Fox, Gail A. Poyner Ph.D.

No More Hippos!: A Memoir of Hope for Wives Whose Husbands Struggle with Pornography or Sexual Addiction - by Kolinda King Duer A truly inspirational book which kept me aloft in my darkest times.  Highly recommended. 


Websites

Partners For Purity , retrieved 3 December 2015

A Christian support community/forum for women whose loved ones struggle with porn or sex addictions.

Your Brain on Porn, retrieved 28 September 2015

Science based.  This site will answer some of the questions burning your mind.  It will explain how the addicts are exploited and how pornography tricks the brain.

Covenant Eyes, retrieved 28 September 2015

Christian based site which provides information and support

 [*Not her real name - Photos do not represent our clients] - photo from pixabay.com