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Thread: Losing a wonderful man to an addiction so powerful...

  1. #1
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    Losing a wonderful man to an addiction so powerful...

    In early December 2001, after having been single for over 6 months, I sat down and made a list of the qualities I wanted in a man. Incredibly on the 17th I met him and we have been together since. I am 32 and have a 10 year old son, he is 45 and has no kids; with or without kids was not an issue for me as my having a son was not an issue for him. My son had never had someone in his life to take the part of a father and because of the relationship (or lack thereof) between he and his dad, had a wall up protecting himself. Relatively early in the relationship, it was evident to me that my son and this man I had fallen in love with had formed a bond. For the first time as a parent, I think it's safe to say all three of us felt a "family circle". Their bond is so 'natural'...he was great with my son, which just intensified the love I had for him. He was great with me, which in turn I feel is a large reason my son was allowing him 'in'. The feeling was one that I certainly had never experienced. More powerful than bliss; extremely surreal.

    As the first year passed, I'd pinch myself to make sure that it was all real. I had loved and been loved before, but never like this. There were typical issues and arguments or disagreements. He had expressed a sincere interest in adopting my son. I remember asking myself where this man came from ... he was wonderful ... I've actually allowed him to share the special place in my heart that for so long only belonged to my son and my late daddy (who was to me the greatest). Unbeknownst to my love, that was an achievement that still bewilders me; as that place in my heart was sacred. I had dealt with some pretty vicious relationships before and the steel wall around my heart was very solid with only room for the two; so I thought. Whoa! This man deserved to be in that special place just as much as my son and daddy. The way he was with my son, the way my son would look at him, the happiness, security and contentment that he gave my son meant the world to me, and still does.

    Approaching the second year, my world was shattered with the telephone ringing. Not necessarily because of the content of the call, but more so because what I learned didn't come from my love. A friend, who knew that in previous relationships I had been hurt deeply and she was afraid to see that happen again. Soon after learning of the news, I confronted him. I asked him what he was doing in an adult bookstore, in a "viewing theatre" where apparently people, often times, not alone, can relax, view a little porn, and masturbate. I remember trembling when I asked him, trying to fight back sudden despair, scared to death, not knowing what to think, feel, or even say. The pain in my heart-wow. His response was very casual and I had already been told that there was no one else in there with him, which was comforting considering the situation. I believe that I inquired more as to what the place was like, etc...in the back of my head and front of my heart, I remember wondering why he was there, what's wrong with me? Our sex life, like our relationship was incredible. Time went on and even though I knew deep down that he was still going to these places, I threw some sort of justification to it. I began to pay more attention to his whereabouts, time frames, moods, sex drive, and this "attitude" that he would have that had developed. I would ask if he had gone again, and each time I asked, which sadly became extremely frequent, an argument would follow. It was becoming clear to me that perhaps there was an addiction to sex, or porn, or something. Our relationship began to change, and often was on unsteady ground. One thing that never changed, was how he treated my son...it amazed me. The power that came to be created by the bond they had was actually able to 'wash' the hurt, anger, despair, sadness, and many other emotions that the adult bookstore situations had created. As the problem intensified, we sought counseling. He swore off going to the bookstores, and seemed committed to our 'therapy'. It's now been three years and four months that we have been together. Somewhere in that time, he gave me a ring and proposed to me, I accepted-without hestiation. Although what he had been doing ripped every part of my being, the love that had grown for him continued to override our problem. I felt myself starting to resent him for what he was doing...I couldn't change the love I had for him. I still can't. I haven't tried. I think that deep inside I was afraid that if i altered that love, it would alter the bond between he and my son, and come hell or high water, that wasn't happening. The visits to his bookstores have consumed him, his time, his interests, and his mind. After confrontations about his having 'gone again', he professes his desire to quit going, that my son and I are more important than his desire to go. Not being able to cope with the emotions that encompass me amidst the confusion of his promises being smeared by him going back, I've threatened to end our relationship. Then I am drawn back to my son's happiness and security. I know that my love does not have control over the addiction that has become my dreaded demon. He has sought help from 12 step programs, but the addiction always wins out. 4 1/2 days ago, after having been gone for nearly 3 1/2 hours, he pulled into the dark garage, where I was sitting in a blanket...crying. Hurt, betrayed, and again, confused. We both went in the house, I confronted again, discussion progressed...I couldn't stop crying--the hurt wouldn't stop, I could actually feel a piece of my heart crumble. He swore that he hadn't gone and though I wanted to believe him and again, was willing to justify his having gone, some how, some way, it wasn't happening. I cried for over an hour. He announced that he needed to run to the 24 hour drug store for an ace bandage as he was nursing an ankle injury.

    I haven't seen him since. I'm still crying. The next day, I received a call from his brother stating that he wasn't coming back as he was done argueing about it. My son and I needed to be moved out of the house we had become a family in by the end of this month. My world has absolutely been turned upside down. I have no idea where he is staying, he hasn't called. My son is devastated. While trying to talk between sobs, he professes that he had plans of asking if he could have my loves last name. Prior to that, I didn't think that it could get any worse. Both my son and I have attempted to contact him. He has not done the same. It's very hard to explain but my love for him is so strong (and my son's) that I'm still willing to, wanting to, work thru it. It surprises me, and I truly cannot explain it all. I know deep down, that this addiction can be broken. What I don't know is how. Reality snuck in earlier and with it came the fear of this being it. I'm by far a desperate person, and if desired, could find happiness or love perhaps by another at some point if this relationship is over. I can be self-sufficient and for all intents and purposes, do not "need" to have this man to continue life. He has become such a part of my son and I, however that my son and I alone, would not be complete. If he were not in our lives, my son, I know will return to his previous persona depicting insecurity, shame, angered, and rigid state, which terrifies me. He has brought my son so far...he has taught me and my son so many things about each one of us, evidenced, and still not surfaced yet, but all positive, which we were no where close to before he entered our lives. I know that addiction isn't healthy, especially one of this nature. I'm no stranger to 12 step programs as I'm the product of a 30 year alcoholic mother. My son is not exposed to any facet of his addiction and there's no doubt in the world that my son is safe in his presense. Please don't judge me for wanting this relationship to work. I have my reasons; an ex-husband whose mission was not only to break me down but to eternally ensure lack of self-confidence and believed that the bruises I wore showed how much he "loved" me. Not to mention attempts to take my and my son's lives were simply just another day's work. On that note, having been given back self-confidence, and the fact that after years of enduring fear from a touch, this man, my love, allowed me and my son to not only know and understand the word safety again, but embraced us with the security of it, which to me rides shot-gun with my and my son's lives; both of which are priceless.

    Now, exactly how do my son and I hold onto the one that gave us our lives back?

    Sorry for the length of this, to me, I felt as though people would misunderstand the problem and ask why I wouldn't want to move on.

  2. #2
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    Addiction is something that takes a lot to remove from ones self. You will get a lot of different perspectives on this, but here is mine. My father was an alcoholic, he struggled with programs as well. He finally was persuaded to go to church. It took him two years, but eventually he stopped drinking. Now, your sir left because he was tired of you talking about it? !? No offense but he needs to grow up. On the other hand, sometimes people feel like they have an uncontrollable addiction and by brining it up you are ointing out their flaws andnobody wants to hear about their flaws. Your best bet is to just tell him if he comes back you wont bring up the subject for awhile. Then after a month or two start talking of ways you can solve the problem. Maybe he has a fetish that they perform at these shows that he is too embarrassed to tell you about. You just need to get him to open up.

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    sob

    i dont even know this guy and im missing him already. not gay though. i feel your pain. your not bad for wanting the relationship to work, actually your a heroine, is my spelling correct, for that.

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    now, don't get me wrong but what is this place again? Adult movie cinema or peep show, or swingers club or what? Is it gay, bi, S&M oriented?

    I personally think that people do have some sexual oddnesses that are really harmless. Like men going to stripclubs (lapdance not included). I don't really see a problem with an otherwise well-adjusted man once in a while going to a stripclub, adult book store, or an adult movie cinema for some private masturbation. Call me lewd, but I really don't (now that I think about it, I would have gone and checked this place out with him ). I would have more of a problem with my man watching porn on his computer 24-7 or playing computer games until wee hours in the morning - now that is an addiction.

    But that is my humble opinion: I don't condone infidelity or addictions to drugs, computers or alcohol, or what have you, but I believe that it is important to keep an open mind sexually, especially if such an otherwise great man is in question

    However, I absolutely don't like the way he and his family are treating you during this breakup, especially with your son involved. That makes me think that perhaps the man is not that great as you think him to be.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member Kyoshiro Ogari's Avatar
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    I'm curious, how did your friend know that your guy was in an adult video store and in the boothes.

    This is so sad, because two hearts are broken. Unfortunately, it looks like you've found either a sex addict or a porn addict. I don't know what line separates the two, except that a sex addict does more than browse pornstores and magazine stores. They have sex with anyone they can find. From what you described concerning the pattern of your sex life, he could have gotten his satisfaction elsewhere. I can understand the fascination with porn, but I cannot understand the addiction to it, which is why now I am wondering if this addiction involves more than pornography.

    Either way, he's addicted to one or both, and if he doesn't get the counseling he needs, you are better off without him, sorry to say. Addictions are so hard to break because no matter how much you want to stop, the urge is too powerful. Whatever happens, I wish you and your son the best of luck in finding happiness.

  7. #6
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    I also don't understand what the big deal is.

    So what he went to see a porno movie?

    I guess what confuses me is why doesn't he watch the porno movies at home with you?

  8. #7
    Member eimono's Avatar
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    azbabyblues,

    I feel for your current problem. I wanted to reply since I feel somewhat on the side of your man as I struggle with the same problem at times.

    While I've had to struggle with this addition, it's far less a problem then for some people that I've know or read about. For me, I could go a while without it, sometimes months. Then some sexy ad on TV, or a steamy sex scene in a movie would make me question things. In the end I'd find myself trying to justify things until I turned to porn again. Then after word, I would feel so horrible for not having the self control to stay away from it. I only viewed soft-core porn, and never kept any of it. I never had a desire to do anything but view it, but I know that is different for everyone. Most of the time I had viewed it was outside a relationship. So I can say that not everyone will go around and have sex with others. Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to say it's okay or harmless. When I was married and my ex-wife cheated on me. So I used it as an excuse went back to viewing it again... Years later now, and I've moved on. Struggling with it on and off. Then a few months ago I met and started dating a wonderful woman. We had both been cheated on in our past marriage. Her ex, however, was cheating and viewing lots of porn. So she was dead set against me viewing it. I can tell you that I've done very well, but sometimes I get too close to the "gray" area. I don't have any porn now, nor do I go out looking for it. But sometimes a movie will have a scene in it and I will keep viewing that. It's been very hard for me because the last thing in the world I want to do is hurt my girlfriend.

    Reading your post I felt your pain and it just makes me cringe to think that could someday happen to her/us. We've talked about it a few times. I wish that I could just change things. There have been a few times where I was "clean" for months in the past. But in the world we live in it's hard to not see suggestive images and go down that road again.

    I can't speak for him or try and guess how he feels. But I know that I love my girlfriend so much right now. I know that I hate my past problems with porn and how it scares her now. If it did happen not only would I feel worse that I couldn't control myself, but that I've hurt her. If it is to be overcome, it will take a desire on his part and help from you. There are a ton of sites on the net that deal with porn addiction. There are even support groups for both sides. That would be a good place to start. He sounds like he is somewhat like me in that he does want to quit. Just we need help to overcome it. And I do agree with another poster that church could help too.

    Good luck, I hope you can find a way to overcome this.

    P.S. After re-reading my post for errors, I can see how I'm really trying to justify my actions and say it was okay for me because... But it's not. It's not about how you feel or how you can justify it to yourself, but that it effects your partner in a negative way.

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    I'm very sorry for your loss. He sounds like a decent man. I'm a guy who's struggled with this but I can see both sides of the issue.

    First of all...I think he should have discussed this with you in the beginning of your relationship. It would have given you a chance to decide if it was something that you can accept about him or not. I personally don't think that looking at that stuff every once in awhile is so bad but it can get out of control and i've been there.

    However in my case i've always made it a point to discuss it with anyone that I've decided to date seriously....BEFORE we got serious. In the beginning of my current relationship my g/f said that she accepted it but as our love for each other grew her feelings changed...we talked about it on and off for a few months and came to an understanding with each other....I pretty much quit...but I did it because I wanted to. It became habit forming and it wasn't something I wanted. Besides I had her in my life. Once in awhile (I mean in a blue moon) I may look at something here and there and she's been able to handle that. I'm honest and open about it and so is she. So far it's worked out fine. The key is that she was given a choice about the issue and was willing to work things out realistically.

    I don't feel like you were given a choice.

    Secondly....you really need to weigh the pros and cons of simply accepting his behavior. If everthing else is fine and he's not bringing it into the house....if he's loving and attentive then maybe giving him a little space is not such a bad thing. But all of this is pointless if you REALLY take issue with it...in that case then it is best for both of you to go your separate ways. It sounds like based on your description that he has been trying to quit based on what YOU want and not necessarily what he wants. There is the big difference. As long as he's simply trying to please you but really doesn't truly feel anything is wrong with it.....you'll spend your whole relationship battling over this one issue.


    Thirdly....no matter what anyone's opinion is about looking at that stuff it's beside the point. He left you and your son like a coward. Loving someone means caring and respecting them. If it had to end then he should have handled it better than that. Going out for a 'bandage' and never returning? I really think you are better off without him

    You sound like a nice caring woman. In the future....i would recommend that you decide on whether the porn issue is a deal breaker in a relationship with a man before hand. If it is then discuss it in the beginning of a relationship with potential partners and break things off quickly if you discover it's a part of his life....before you and your son are too attached.

    I wish you and your son the best of luck.

  10. #9
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    I would ask him back. As addictions go this one is relatively harmless. Here's this great guy with just one flaw and you make him feel ashamed and dirty. I feel very sorry for him. He was so accepting of you and your son and you couldn't accept his weakness. I think the person who told you did you no favours and I would question their motives. I thought the bible and most other religions tell you to forgive and also to hate the sin but love the sinner. I cannot believe you were so hard on him. If It was sex or child pornongraphy I would agree with you but some men enjoy a little porn and it is not a reflection on your relationship. Take him back, apologise for overreacting I beg you. He even went into a programme to please you. Are you so free from sin that you can cast such big rocks?

  11. #10
    Bronze Member RandomAdvisor's Avatar
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    Viewing porn is a common problem in relationships, but as a guy myself, I don't see what the big deal is. Just because a man looks at porn and masturbates does not necessarily mean that he isn't satisfied with his partner. It's just something a lot of us guys do. A lot of girls don't understand this though, and they feel jealous or betrayed when they find out... like there is something wrong with the relationship.

    If it's some weird fetish stuff he's into like bestiality or child porn, or he's looking at porn so much that it's consuming his life - that's one thing. But if he's just looking at regular run of the mill porn occasionally, then the only problem is that it's upsetting you. You need to understand that just because he looks at porn doesn't mean he doesn't love you! It doesn't mean he isn't satisfied by you sexually. It doesn't mean he isn't happy with your relationship. Try to look past this and take him back. Apologize to him. Your relationship with him sounds too good to give up on because he's doing something 9 guys out of 10 are. As I said before though, if he's into deviant porn or it's consuming all his time watching it, that's another story.

    So how did your friend find know he was in this porn shop?

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