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What to do now? Help me understand

Old 03-27-2007, 05:38 AM
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Unhappy What to do now? Help me understand

I need some help. I am an addict, but need a supporters perspective. Briefly I am 14 months clean from all mind altering substances, go to meetings twice a week, work the 12 step programme, and am realy committed to changing my addict thinking. I have been reconciled with my wife, and have 2 small girls.

Since going into recovery, I have started to comprehend the damage I have done to our relationshjip. I am clear that if the relationship fails it is my faunlt. I account for my time, my money and whatever else is asked of me. I understand I have broken trust. I am really trying to continually do the next right thing.

The incident

Yesterday my wife caught me in my office looking at a porn site.(blushing now) When I was using my DOC cocaine, I was surfing and watching porn compulsively. Yesterday, I was just having a look, and I am, by no means watching porn compulsively.

She has indicated to me in the past she realy finds it offensive.

We have a healthy sex life again, and I tell my wife often how beautiful I find her, how sexy etc. She is hot! I have never cheated on her.

But she is pissed off. Like seriously. She says I have broken trust again. She is saying things like she should have known I could never be trusted, She should never have invested with me and the relationship emotionally, she should have left me etc. _

I tried to defend myself initially - addict thinking - but realise she is right to fear my behaviours. She says I am probably addicted to porn now. I am honestly not, but have also decided to clean up my act, and cleaned my computer out this morning.

I feel so sad today. She has said I must sleep in the spareroom, is cold as ice, basically ignoring me. We go on holiday on Saturday, and its going to be tough.

In some ways I feel like I should have the right to look at what I want to privately, but also understand her fears about my compulsive behaviour.
She also says that I have broken trust, because I never told her I was looking at porn again.

She has very valid points. As usual this addict is wrong! Damn I am getting tired of that.!!!

What I realy want to know is how can I fix this. God knows I have put her through a lot. But in fairness, there has been progress. I am changed a lot from my active days. Progress, not perfection. But currently things are way bad again. I am realy feeling sad, depressed, and hurt. I probably have no right to!

I think what realy gets me is that if I was walking closer to God, I would never have been looking at porn! I really struggler with HP in my recovery, and thius is probably indicative of that.

Enough from this here junkie. Any advise would be appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:54 AM
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sorry you are going though all of this, maybe i can understand what your wife is feeling cause i have to same issue with porn, but i don't know. my rah had the same desire about porn while using and i hated it. it made me feel so much less attractive for some reason, it made me feel as if i wasn't enough of a woman, for some reason. it felt like cheating, for some reason. to me it was ole addict behavior and a sign of a relapse waiting to happen, but that was just for me. it had a lot to do with me distancing myself for my rah that has lasted even though he's clean and working somewhat of a program, i think.

first, i suggest that you check your motives for doing this knowing that it has caused your wife to not trust you. you are right, i think that you do have a right to look at what you want, but are you concerned about how it is affecting your wife? i think that since you've explained things to her, your actions will speak out to her in time. porn maybe a trigger for her and she may not be sure that this is not a trigger for you, are you? keeping you in my prayers.

ps. congratulations on your sobriety, keep going and going and going.

Last edited by teke; 03-27-2007 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:01 AM
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For some cocaine addicts, porn can be a trigger to use again. Maybe that is what she is afraid of. Any behaviors that you had during your using days is going to be a trigger for her. A trigger to feel the old fears. Trust is so fragile and once you break it, it takes a really long time to get it back. I personally hate porn, my husband is not an addict but he partakes once in a while on the TV. Porn is very degrading to the women who are involved in it and that is why it sickens me. Maybe your wife feels the same. You see it from a very different perspective than she does. Her feelings are valid. Why not open a discussion with her and really listen to what she has to say. If you validate her feelings, you may find the reason behind them. And congratulations on your clean time. Marle
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:01 AM
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Hi Calabash! I am sorry you are having a difficult time right now. My thought is this: Your wife caught you checking out porn, and since you used to use porn a lot when you were using coke, she automatically connected the two. She probably thought you were coked up, or were getting ready to use again. If porn is a "trigger" for you, I would say it is best to stay away from it for now. I have read from others here that there is a connection between coke & porn, so you probably need to be careful. If you had never had an addiction problem with the porn intertwined, maybe your wife wouldn't be quite so upset. I don't know what's going on in her mind though; some women really object to porn, some don't. If you can't talk to her, maybe write her a letter.
I sincerely hope that you can work it out, I can tell you've relaly been workign on your sobriety.
Sandy
PS We have a good friend here who is from S. Africa!! And this is a fairly small E. Texas town....go figure?!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:07 AM
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Also I don't think you have a right to look at porn if it is destroying your relationship. Your first responsiblity is to the relationship. And your first responsibility should be to protect that relationship whatever the cost. When you love someone you have to take into account their feelings too. I know that addicts tend to be very selfish people (not saying this to hurt your feelings, just have experienced it first hand, addict daughter 20.) But when you are in a relationship it is no longer about I, it is about we. Marle
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:23 AM
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First, congratulations on your recovery actions and for making an effort to heal old wounds and rebuild this relationship. That alone, would bring hope to most of us on this side of the fence, who also have our own wounds to heal and our own recovery to work on.

I have heard the porn issue debated before, with some validity on both sides. My thoughts are that anyone working on rebuilding a relationship would give serious thought as to why porn is even an issue...if it is harmful to a relationship and the relationship is important and in the process of rebuilding, then I cannot imagine why you put any importance on the "need" to view it. Would you feel undisturbed if your wife was secretly looking at naked men on a regular basis...especially if this had been a red flag for trouble in the past?

Recovery on both sides requires new, healthy behaviour and a real effort to communicate honestly, openly and willingly with each other. The relationship will either become stronger because of this or fail because the old wounds just cannot be repaired. It's up to you which way you want to see it go and how willing you are to make it work.

I wish only the best for you and your wife, regardless of how your relationship works out.

Hugs
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:47 AM
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Calabash -

at least you care! That's a good sign. Recovery is tough and it is tough as a couple. We have our triggers too - catching your mate looking at porn is one of them. It's not the porn so much as it is your doing a "secretive" action. **WARNING** This is a long reply but I'm taking the time because you seen like a truly nice person that is committed to recovery. You and your wife are in the same situation as my RAH and myself. He now has 20 months of recovery from a crack addiction. Remember, there are going to be bumps along the way. A misstep does temporarily set you back but by being proactive you can minimize the damage. One of the best things to do is to address what happened and have a plan for how to keep something from happening again in the future. Stay in the solution, not the problem.

One of the first things to do is to recognize her feelings. Instead of explaining what you've done, how about looking at it through her eyes? This has scared her a lot. All of the pain from the past has come flooding back into her being. It sucks. She's loved you enough to stay with you and work this out but it has come at a great cost. When she sees you doing something behind her back - anything - it means that all of her hard work has been in vain. That is what I need my RAH to get when something like this happens. I've been there, done this - same situation.

How do you keep this from happening again?......I'd take a look at some of the information that Sex Addicts Annonymous have. The pleasure center for cocaine is right in the same place for porn. So, you feed the same addict when you look at porn. It is a relapse behavior. That doesn't mean that you have used your DOC but that at every moment we are either heading towards or away from a relapse. When you chose to play with fire (looking at porn) you are turning towards relapse. It is the addict that tells you that it is okay and no big deal. Not your real self.

Many crack addicts (addicts in general as well) has a concurrent sexual addiction. Unless the sexual aspect is addressed as an underlying cause your risk of relapse is increased. By looking at porn you were setting yourself up for this situation. That is actually triggering yourself. My RAH (DOC = crack/sex) and I have developed a plan suggested by SAA. You have an inner, middle, and outer circle of behaviors. Inner circle behaviors are ones that are completely off limits. Middle circle behaviors are ones that are possibly triggers but are deemed "safer". Outer circle behaviors are related to "healthy" activities - intimacy, marital relations, etc. Just because something is in one circle does not mean that it will always stay there - it's just that any changes to the circles must be discussed with one another before any changes are made.

I know that I might not be making much sense but for instance, in our circles are the following:

Inner: (completely off limits) being alone with a member of the opposite sex, flirting w/others, internet adult sites, solo porn, any solo sexual activities, contact w/any past lovers, sexual conversations with other people

Middle: (observe to see how it affects your pull to the inner circle behaviors) porn together, fantasies

Outer: (completely ok) intimacy, normal marital relations, recovery

I know that my RAH has committed to honoring our agreement. A lot of trust is doing what you'll say that you do. So, clarify what you will do or not and stick to your word. My RAH knows that my staying with him is dependent upon his willingness to live (for the length of our relationship) in a transparent house. It's a tall order for him but it's a tall order for me to stick around. I would understand if he wasn't willing to do that but that is his decision and he's chosen to do that. If any of that changes, he knows the consequences.

One last thought, I'd get a blocking program that keeps you out of adult sites. Then I'd give her the information and let her be the administrator with the password. We don't have that in effect at this point but we would if I found out that RAH had been on a porn site.

If you show her that you "get it" that you have breached your relationship's trust then healing can possibly begin to occur. It has to be sincere though and you truly do have to "get it". Don't even try to talk to her until you do though. The more that you try and minimze and explain what you've done the more that you will inflame her.

Like I said - sorry for the length of this post. Take what you want and leave the rest. CONGRATS on your recovery! It's awesome what you've accomplished. Remember, this can be just a bump in the road. In fact, it will help you both in your recovery to know that you can endure this type of problem without returning to using! Remember, these are only feelings that ya'll are having - not facts. Let me (us) know how this turns out for you.

Glad that you shared, it helps us to see recovering addicts that care - Donna
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:49 AM
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MMMM yes thanks for all your responses. I really don't have a leg to stand on do I. And yes, if peeking at naked women is a threat to my relationship it realy must go. Truth is, I did not see the gravity of the situation. I never thought she would find out about it, and i felt it was private. But she has, and now its public and on a friggin bulletin Board!

It is not a trigger for me. But how the hell must she know that. I am just so frustrated/sad about this. I seem incapable of actually understanding the implications of my behaviour. Drugs will do that to you.

I guess the whole thing just rteminds me of what an addict I am, and how far I still have to go to recover. And now, I must put in a lot of work to try and heal this newly inflicted wedge betweeen us. What an idiot!

Like I said, I know full well I am wrong. But it does help to share. Thanks for responding to me.

My final thought is thank God I am clean and able to engage on this relationship matter with at least a level of sanity. Before it would probably have been her fault!!
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:54 AM
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Calabash -

Excellent insight! Your recovery is showing all over the world!!!!!!! We appreciate your sharing your struggle with us.

Take care, Donna
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:56 AM
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your recovery sounds so encouraging to me, thanks for sharing yourself with us.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:59 AM
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Smile Thank you 1000 times

Donna thanks for your post it REALY helped.

1st, I must accept this is relapse behaviour. Kind of know that, but been avoiding that truth. Secondly, I really do get it now. This morning I said to her - I was/am wrong. I felt that - deeply. But I think after reading your post I will be able to verbalise it.

I have heard other addicts talk about porn and sex issues in recovery. But not me - oh no I am not like them! AAHhhhhh.... as so often is my realisation I am just like them. Just another addict making his way in recovery.

And yes absolutely I musat appreciate how hiding something is just a big red flag. And yes, I must bew transparent.

And yes, again I wrong!! It seems humility is slow in comming to me, as important as it is.

And thanks for the very useful, pracxtical suggestions

I am moved by all your kindness.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:05 AM
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Or like Dr. Phil says, "If you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing." At least you are willing to look at yourself and your behaviors. Give yourself a big pat on the back for that. And remember it is not only addicts that have relationship problems. Marle
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:31 AM
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Calabash....I'm not going to even mess with your insight with any input from me as you seem to have this handled now. I just want to congratulate you on your clean and recovery time. Just keep doing the next right thing and don't look for immediate rewards...just know that they will come eventually.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:57 AM
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Wow what your going through could be my story, except for the porn LOL! I have 14 months and am also going through relationship difficulties. They stem from all of the damage I have done to the relationship. My husband has trust issues. Even though I am doing so much better he is like a hawk waiting for me to do something wrong. Even though the drugs are gone the addictive thinking is still there. I am working on myself but remind him this does not happen overnight. One of the things that has helped is I am honest with him BUT when I am wrong I promptyl admit it. And a lot of times when I think I am absolutely right I try to look at it from his perspective (as someone pointed out my thinking is what is screwed up) and realize I am not as right as I thougt I was. I wanted to be able to fix things asap. I have finally accepted that is not going to happen. The best advice I received was I can't talk my way out of this one. ACTIONS speak louder than words. What really helped me was all of the advice I received from the Friend & Family forum. They made me see what it is like from my husband's perspective. I don't know, to try to see their perspective was a real wake up call for me. I hope you too will find that thing that really helps you out. Best of luck with everything.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:11 AM
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blessings, calabash. patience...k
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:18 AM
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Smile

cabash
itsgood wayto recovery that you trytowork things out!!
i know itsnot easyforu..but youre doing so good!!and keep lookingfor any red flags and takethem out ofurlife.
seems like u know the problem and u startting to take care of the problem..
which is greta!!
maybe try totalk to ur wife,,adn admit whatever youahve doneand say youre sorry ,, .honesty is the best medecine!!
and maybe show her that u care,shes awoman ,, she wants ahug,, maybe flowres?/ something tomake her feel speciall!!
her man to tell her shes gorgeous!! and some kind words. espeically when
u hurt her . especially that she amother and us moms sometiems need to feel good about ourselfs,, some encouragment,.
i hope things will be better for u and ur beutiful family!!
youre doing good!! thing will get better !!
im praying for ur and ur wife.and ur family!
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:23 AM
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Update:
You all made my day. After receiving your posts I was able to articulate more clearly last night how i understood what I had done. You gave me the insight I wanted/needed. I appreciate completely how my secret action is a massive RED FLAG. I also learnt that porn hits the same brainspot as the coke. See, I never looked at it to get aroused, and wondered why I like to look at it. Thanks Donna.

While all is not sorted at home, my wonderful wife was far more receptive to me when I explained how I understood what happened. And that I appreciated her response, and understood it.

She is a truly wonderful woman. who has been trhrough hell because of me, and yet she remains loving. I can learn about what love means from her! Lucky hey.

So I will ACT in a way that reflects my sincere appreciation. I will definately be avoiding the porn sites, as I now understand it as relapse behaviour. I will share about this at my homegroup meeting on Friday, and I will come here again in the future for advice.

Thanks to all of you that helped me. I remain in love with my recovery - the best thing I ever did for myself was quit using, and started to work a 12 step programme.

With gratitude

calabash
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:07 AM
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Calabash,
I am happy for you and your clean time. Keep working on it. I am happy to see what upset your wife, and are willing to work on that too. Remember you have to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. Be honest with yourself and your wife, if you dont' get it wait a little before you speak to your wife and talk it out.
You love your wife and she loves you, marriage is hard to work on to begin with. If you wife does something that upsets you talk it out.
But keep working on you, the rest will come in time.
Please keep coming back here, we can give you the other side, and you can give us the other side.
Congrats again,
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:16 AM
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Calabash...

Did you ask your sponsor about this? What was his response?

This really seems to be an issue that another addict WOULD understand, probably better than we codies. So I have to wonder if you came in here looking for the best words to get your wife to "understand".

I hear a lot of "minimizing" of what you did 'just peeking', showing embarrassment for getting caught '(blushing now)'... when the actuality is that you had full information about this being a deal breaker for your wife.

Yet you sat right down for "just a peek". If you lose your wife over this, I would not be surprised.

So what is the next right thing to do? I don't know, but I bet your sponsor could give you some tips.

As harsh as these words are... I do wish you the best.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:37 AM
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As usual it is the harsh words that are the ones this addict needs to hear. I guess I came here because I did not quite understand the implications of my actions. Bizzarre as it may seem. Initially I had this boundary of privacy issue. Must a man tell his wife if he looks at porn? Well if he is an addict I know definately yes!

The responses I got did help me to see things a bit better - and sort my feelings out around this.

I also think I was in denial about this being relapse behaviour.
As for the next step -yes definately my sponsor, and my home group which is all men.
And to continue on this process of learning to be accountable in my relationships. Donna used the word transparent.

I won't loose my wife over this - but I also know that it is another self inflicted wedge in our relationship that will take time.

If it was not for wise harsh words I would still be using.
Thanks for your response
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