I came here a few months ago to get some advice about my boyfriend's serious long affair with porn addiction.
>We've been together for 2 years
>He's had a serious addiction to porn, phone sex and the sort for 10 years
>He's blown tons of money on porn/teases/phone sex
>Was affecting us in very serious ways
>Became jaded as a result of this and our fights about this
I got some really good advice from the thread.
1) That he needs to see a professional
2) For him to make an effort to have more sex with me
3) Make a solid effort to avoid porn
4) Be nicer to one another instead of just being disgusted by him, which I managed. I was falling in love with him again when he had (temporarily) stopped watching porn.
5) Ultimatum if all else fails
I spoke to him and told him I need these things from him in order to continue the relationship. He agreed to fix it and didn't want to break up.
Well, all else failed.
He still hasn't seen a professional, we went from sex once every month or so, to once a week, sometimes twice a week if he hasn't had porn that day. He went without porn for a week, but I found out he relapsed in a moment of boredom. I laid down the ultimatum; that he stops porn entirely... until we fix our sex, or I will have to leave. He agreed but has already relapsed again.
I am sick of feeling like shit with him. I feel bad about actually breaking up over something he can't help.
Do I just leave anyway?
I mean, yes?
Sounds like you've been more than reasonable with him, and his shortcomings. It sounds like this is who he is now, as sad as it may sound.
You could take control over his internet, lock him out of sites that he frequents, but, honestly, you can't live together in that way. You're his partner, not his parent, you're not supposed to act like that, nor is he. Children lack self-control on this scale. He's a grown adult (Or not).
Relationships are supposed to be a reciprocal partnership, where you cherish your moments with your significant other. They're supposed to make you feel good about yourself, and each other, not highlight every flaw and fight constantly over... well, this.
That's not to say relationships don't have frequent issues, they do and that's healthy, but this doesn't sound like a typical problem. It's clear you've been over this more than twice.
At the end of the day, you made him an ultimatum. Now you need to honor it, or you lose all credibility. Maybe it's what he needs, before he can accept the need for change. Take some time apart, focus on you and your needs and wants. Don't fret over relationships for a while, you need to feel grounded for a bit first.
Either he'll come around, or you'll move on and find someone who has better control over themselves.
You're not his therapist. You're not responsible of his happiness. You tried your very best to help him, but he doesn't value enough to sort his own shit and make your relationship work.
You're responsible of your own happiness and he's CLEARLY making you extremely unhappy. Leave and give yourself a chance to do better.
Thank you for the reply. Everything you said makes sense. However, I want to find someone to share my life with. I'm not going to stay single and hope he'll change. I do love him but I am not his fall back plan when he realizes that he had it good with me. I've been as supportive and patient as I can be but I want a solid man in my life. He'll always be a friend to me if we do break up but I just can't go on with this vicious cycle.
Thanks. I'm very embarrassed to talk to anyone else about this. You're right. I just feel like I'm betraying my role as his girlfriend if I leave him over this. I feel so guilty.
He betrayed his role as your boyfriend for long.
Really, I do agree that you shouldn't leave someone you love without trying your best to solve problems, but at this point he is not willing to do shit.
You are not the problem. He is. If he doesn't want to find a solution, your only option is leaving
I read your stuff and I really have to shake my head.
You listened to the beta hive mind and then implemented it? Are you autistic?
Listen. The problem here is that your partner doesn't fulfill your needs. That is the only problem that your partner has. For this, you need to communicate your needs to him and work together with him to find ways to fill them. Why is he not trying to meet your needs? Why is sex not something he wants to share with you more regularly? Relationships don't just work long term because you want them to--they take work.
His porn "addiction" has, likely, nothing to do with it. You don't know if that is the reason he isn't meeting your needs. Find out what it is. This needs many conversations where ultimatums aren't bandied about, and a conclusion has already been met (porn addiction! Horror of horrors!).
If you aren't willing to do that, please, leave the relationship. If your relationship is worth working through, then don't. Only you can decide that.
Again, if your needs not being filled is the issue (not enough sex)--find out why, and stop making something else a bogeyman. He "relapsed" with porn and now you need to leave him? What happened to your needs? That line just screams insecurity, and it makes everything else you say seem disingenuous. What's the real issue?
As an aside, as a middle aged man in a good marriage, surrounded by other middle aged men; every single one of them watches porn from time to time. Some are good husbands, some are divorced, and some are bad husbands. Your next partner will watch porn, also, from time to time. He may lie to you about it because of your insecurity over this particular bogeyman.
Porn isn't the issue.
>every single one of them watches porn from time to time
Watching porn from time to time isn't being addicted to porn.
Spending most of your free time watching porn, ditching your friends/family to watch porn, not doing your job because you want to watch porn is being addicted to porn.
I would have absolutely zero problems with my boyfriend watching it, but if he got to that stage, I'd dump him without thinking twice.
What a persons' insecure partner sees as being addicted to porn isn't addiction to porn.
Regarding what you said, there are a myriad of other things it could be.
>Spending most of your free time watching porn
It depends on how much free time you have and how often you get horny. Not indicative of an addiction necessarily.
>Ditching to watch porn
Chances are, this is stress. Not spending time with the people you are close to is a red flag of something. It isn't necessarily "porn addiction." The fact he spends some time watching porn, and has spent money on it, certainly does not make him addicted.
>Not doing your job...
To watch porn? Now you're just being histrionic. Porn is a symptom of something--porn isn't the problem. Porn does not control his life; he is doing what he is for a reason wholly separate from his choice to stroke his dick and cum into a box instead of into his partners cunt.
If your partner gets to that stage, porn isn't the problem.
>I am sick of feeling like shit with him. I feel bad about actually breaking up over something he can't help.
>Do I just leave anyway?
Do you still have feelings for him? Do you believe he can still be saved? Will you leaving him serve as a kick in the but and shake him out of it or push him even deeper? Can he break the habit? I'll say yes. I quit drinking and smoking, had a few minor relapses but I've been fine for 5+ years now. Your question is not that simple so the answer can't be simple. Take a piece of paper, write down pros and cons of you two staying together and do the same for splitting up. Take some time to think about it, make a choice and stick with it.
I am not OP, and my boyfriend doesn't even watch porn (he has a pretty low sex drive and I satisfy it fully).
I never said that porn is a problem, addiction is a problem. I am fine with porn, I am not fine with being with an addicted person.
Spending a lot of money on porn and phone sex, and the fact that he is letting it ruin his relationship because he can't stop, is a sign of addiction.
Probably his addiction is a sign of some deeper problem, I do agree, but it is not her responsibility to fix his life. She can help, she should do it, but people who don't want to be saved can't be saved.
If he cares about himself, or about his relationship, he will man up and get over his problems, asking for help or whatever. Not doing anything to solve them when they're making his girlfriend suffer is disrespectful and means that he doesn't value his relationship with her enough.
If a person can't deal with his shit and doesn't do anything to solve his problems (she suggested therapy, they talked about it, etc), I won't stay unhappy just because I love a little bitch.
First off, lol. Your boyfriend watches porn. He just isn't telling you. Normally, that is a ridiculous statement, but the chances of your boyfriend being the one guy that actually doesn't watch porn is low.
Fine, maybe you have the one non-religious -fundamental boyfriend that doesn't watch porn. Congratulations!
Nobody knows if he's addicted. Having an outlet is not an addiction. Liking to watch porn, like, a lot is not an addiction.
Not necessarily at least. A partner, with a problem with porn, is certainly not the person to judge whether there is an addiction. A partner, with a problem with porn and who isn't getting their sexual needs met, is especially not the person to judge whether or not their is an addiction.
To the next point, the porn isn't ruining the relationship--needs not being met is. You're using porn as the bogeyman in the same way OP is. Congratulations, you're an enabler, and you have no idea whether or not OP is right or wrong about the partner's "porn addiction," or more importantly, why he doesn't want to meet her needs.
Lots of congratulations in this post.
>he will man up and get over his problems
Sorry, that isn't how that actually works. Manning up doesn't actually solve anything. If you care about someone, which generally someone in a relationship does, then helping someone solve a problem is the priority more so than covering up the problem for your benefit.
I could go on, but.
Jeez I wish my ex had an ounce of your patience, I don't have a porn addiction or anything but every little fucking thing was cause for a fight. Toilet seat up? Massive shitfest. Didn't wash my dishes the instant I stopped using them? Bitch fit. Didn't hear her mumbling clearly and had to ask her to repeat it? I'm a fucking douchebag that doesn't listen to her. Didn't answer the phone the moment it started ringing? I was cheating on her with a floozie.
Unless you're not telling us something like for example for you sex = pegging him with a dragon dildo, you've done more than enough. Time to move on.
You said a lot and a lot was untrue.
My boyfriend does have an addiction to porn.
The follow up thread was not to decide whether or not he has a problem, because he does. I did not diagnose him.
Again, see above.
>Do you still have feelings for him? Will you leaving him serve as a kick in the but and shake him out of it or push him even deeper?
I have feelings for him but not as strongly anymore. I enjoy his company more as a friend.
>Do you believe he can still be saved?
I don't know. I think porn has become a big part of how he copes with everything really. It's hard to see how without big efforts from him.
>Will you leaving him serve as a kick in the but and shake him out of it or push him even deeper?
I don't know.
I'm none of those things. I am fed up with the porn issue though, which causes arguments. He has anger issues too. I agree though, I feel like it's time to move on. Thanks.
Well I don't know how solid all of that advice really is (for example, ultimatums do. not. work.)
>He still hasn't seen a professional, we went from sex once every month or so, to once a week, sometimes twice a week if he hasn't had porn that day. He went without porn for a week, but I found out he relapsed in a moment of boredom. I laid down the ultimatum; that he stops porn entirely... until we fix our sex, or I will have to leave. He agreed but has already relapsed again.
But okay- you tried some stuff. Good! Talking about the problem and attempting a solution is a good thing. Here's my advice:
1. It's never going to happen "quickly". Porn addition is a pathways addiction, and you can't restructure someone's brain in a short period of time. "Cold turkey" doesn't work for addictions, and relapses are always going to happen.
2. He needs to see a therapist. This was the best advice, and still is. Even if you break up, get him into therapy as a parting gift.
3. That being said, it's utterly possible to co-exist with porn USE (compared to "addiction"). Masturbation is exceedingly normal; it's the addiction element that's a problem. The issue is where to draw the line so that it results in minimal conflict for the relationship. I would suggest coming up with a list of reasons WHY his porn use bothers you; (e.g. "we don't have enough sex") and figure out a way to fix that (e.g. no porn until he fucks you). This would help you manage the issue by minimizing problems as much as possible. If one of the problems is "he spends too much money on porn" then agree to his use of porn more readily when it's free. Think outside of the box here a little bit. Destigmatize the use of porn. Communicate openly and honestly about it - you actually have an opportunity to make your relationship much stronger here if you play it right (and I think you've seen that already, even though he "relapsed")
tl;dr is I guess that this relapse was inevitable and part of the process, not an end.
>The issue is where to draw the line so that it results in minimal conflict for the relationship.
to add; minimal conflict for the relationship *WHILE the addiction is being worked on in therapy.*
I assume you've come to terms with non-addiction-level porn use (say, prior bfs)?
He does, huh?
Says what? Your insecurity? The fact he loathes you to such a large degree he doesn't want to touch your vagina?
The more you type, the more you sound like a small person. There are problems here, but "porn addiction" isn't one.
Of course. I watch porn occasionally and believe that masturbation is very healthy.. I wanted to incorporate it in our sex life with my current boyfriend but he doesn't want to.
The issue is not the act itself or porn itself... the issue has a huge psychological, physical and emotional impact on him. After a binge, he is a different person until the guilt wears off. It's hard to watch and it's hard to ignore. Instead of trying to talk to him about it now (which used to result in complete defensiveness from him, shutting me out and anger) I now distance myself to avoid being so hurt by him. Again, I'm not hurt because he went to porn but because of his behaviors after it. And yes, he has completely shut me out of that part of him, no communication or open discussion. I have encouraged him to be honest and told him if he let me in more, I can understand more, but he can't.
I feel like I have no place in his sexual life. I feel like porn is his mistress and she comes first, always.
Of course you are.
Realize that, when he talks to his friends, none of them are supporting what you're shoveling. Beyond that, ultimatums are the ultimate manipulation when the person is not willing to go through with them. You created one because of your insecurity. You're being called a psycho by his entire circle of friends.
Unless your a fundamentalist, you will never find a guy that isn't into porn to varying degrees. You need to work on your blatant insecurity or you will never be happy in a relationship in the future.
Talk to your psychologist about this. You have serious work to do.
He doesn't have a circle of friends but nice effort.
The friends he has (3) are in relationships and have tried to help him too. They told him he was out of line a few times, especially when he blew half his pay on strippers. They are too busy with their family and jobs to worry about his problems now.
I gathered he was a troll...
This is not true. I've had a lot of dating experience and only one guy watched porn. Pretty sure he's addicted too but there's a lot of guys who don't care. They have healthy sex lives and actual hobbies and interests that don't involve touching themselves in front of a pc in a dark room every night. How unattractive.
Actually with NoFap being a thing and Terry Crews coming clean with his dirty little secret I don't think it's all that uncommon to find a guy whose doing his best to abstain from pornography and masturbation.