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#394249 - 04/20/12 02:42 PM Survivor? * Possible Triggers*
LouLou Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 35
Hi I'm new here and don't know where to begin.

My husband and i have been together 9 years, married for 5. I've always felt he has been emotionally disconnected from me. He has always been reluctant to talk about feelings or anything 'deep'. This has lead to me asking him many questions...
After we were married, i discovered he was addicted to porn. There was denial, lies etc but eventually i found out he would spend hours sometimes on a daily basis to view it. He would even skip meals! This lead to more questions and more lies.
To cut a long story short, I found out last year that he had a problem with compulsive masturbation. It could happen multiple times a day where ever he was. The habit got so bad, he did it at work while risking getting caught. He's masturbated whilst driving home from work on several occasions. Of course these admissions were horrifying to me because of the risks he was taking.

The final admissions from my husband have come out only in the last few months. In 'fantasy mode', he has sexually thought of his sister, his aunts, my little sister, my mother, all of my friends. On a day to day basis he says that he views ALL women as sex objects. Those at work, those when we go out ANYWHERE in public. When not in public, and when masturbating, he says that he thinks of ANYONE that comes to mind. This is devastating to me as he has never been able to initiate sex with me. When it happens, my husband seems very cold and 'mechanical' and tries to get it over with as quickly as possible. And i'm really not a bad-looking girl!! Of course i understand this is not because of me, but there are SERIOUS issues here. It may sound strange, but if i didn't want to hear the honest truth then i would not have asked so many questions! He has sought help for sex addiction but no one has been able to help tackle this yet.

I have recently started to wonder whether he could have been abused. He says he doesn't remember any abuse but also doesn't remember large chunks of his childhood.

I just think this sexually-based mental degradation of ALL women doesn't just come from nowhere. Is he trying to bring women down in his mind as a control thing? To feel more powerful somehow?

Thank God i found this site. I just wonder if any of you could give me some advise as to what you think?

Kind regards to you all.

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#394272 - 04/20/12 07:47 PM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Welcome to MS, LouLou-

Wow. Pretty much everything you've described in your husband describes mine. That's sad new for you and me, but the good news is that we have plenty of company! wink

Many, I daresay MOST, survivors develop dysfunction surrounding sexuality. The ways the dysfunction manifests are multiple and varied, but like with all addictions, they demonstrate a pattern of progression. I'm no therapist, but a porn addiction that escalates into a masturbation addiction that morphs into an increasing fixation on sexualizing all women- even those in roles that would make them sexually taboo, indicate a progression of the addiction.

I would actually be surprised if your husband does not have CSA in his past. Furthermore, I would not be surprised to learn that he has either blocked out the abuse, or can not bring himself to disclose it.

Many of the good survivors here can suggest methods for uncovering the abuse, but your beloved would, of course, have to be 100% on board with the process. I hope those good men will jump in with suggestions and advice because I think it might be almost futile to treat a sexual addiction without getting to whatever triggered/triggers the compulsions.

Godspeed, sweet soul! I wish you peace and wisdom!

herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#394315 - 04/21/12 02:42 AM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
LouLou Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 35
Thanks herowannabe for your reply,

I forgot to mention that my husband has been a compulsive masturbator since he was a young teen. He said he would sometimes do it on the top deck of busses if no one else was up there at around age 13.

Also i noticed, that the only female he said he has not thought of in a sexual manner, is his mother...I found that thought-provoking, but maybe i'm reading too much into that one.


Thanks again for your support. It's great to talk with people who share my experiences!

LL

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#394318 - 04/21/12 03:15 AM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Wow LOULOU

There are so many questions here.
Firstly welcome to the site, and sorry that you need to be here.
My first advice to the new ladies is to Work on the things that you can control, in other words YOU. Work on building yourself up, and make sure that you are not in a Co-Dependant relationship. From the sounds of things you Probably are. There is a Book that you need to get yourself and that is "Co-Dependant" no more, Im sure that the ladies here are able to give you more reading material.

Now as for the Husband. It sounds like he possibly may have had S.A (Sexual abuse" in his past, but it is not a guarantee. One thing that I can recommend for him at this stage is Mike Lews Book LEAPING OF MOUNTAINS.
Mikes book is a collection of survivors stories, perhaps it will help to juggle some memories loose in your H. Just remember that sexual compulsions are not always the product of sexual abuse, but the probabilities are high that they are, but you need to keep and open mind.

If you are Christian and your husband is a Christian then the book By Ted Roberts Called PURE DESIRE is a good one, hell even if he is not a Christian it is a good book and may give him some insight into his behaviour. BTW it is thought that 42% of the pastors in the States are porn addicts so this is a huge problem. Teds book deal specifically with Porn addictions and Masturbation.

There are so many things that you can do to help your Husband but it is the start of a long painful process if he does begin healing, and this is where you need to be a strong person You must make sure that you are able to dissociate yourself from the healing and not take things personally. It sounds impossible, but we need to strengthen you.

Lou Lou. I hope that I was able to give you some helpful insight and information, if you need to contact me you are most welcome to PM me any time.

Look after yourself.
Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#394407 - 04/22/12 02:21 AM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
LouLou Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 35
Thanks for the advise Martin,

There are many other issues which i have not mentioned such as childhood memories that my husband does have. There were scenarios between he and his mother or sister that i just found strange to say the least.
I don't know whether he's blocking anything out or not. That's for the psychiatrist to work out...
Thanks for the book suggestions. I'll be sure to do some reading for myself.
Take care
LL

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#395038 - 04/26/12 08:24 AM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
LouLou Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 35
This is all just so frustrating!!!!
My husband refuses to believe that anyone could have done anything (because he doesn't remember) and almost infers that all blokes behave like he does! My husband is a pilot for a British airline...is it commonplace for pilots to masturbate occasionally at the controls of an airborne aircraft with 200 passengers behind you, while the other pilot has to visit the bathroom??????

This is EXTREME risky behaviour.

Anyone have any similar stories of risk-taking in order to feed compulsive masturbation???

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#395185 - 04/27/12 11:13 AM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
My husband refuses to believe that anyone could have done anything (because he doesn't remember) and almost infers that all blokes behave like he does! My husband is a pilot for a British airline...is it commonplace for pilots to masturbate occasionally at the controls of an airborne aircraft with 200 passengers behind you, while the other pilot has to visit the bathroom??????

This is EXTREME risky behaviour.

Anyone have any similar stories of risk-taking in order to feed compulsive masturbation???


Oh, yeah...! The shear insanity of the act is a hallmark of sexually addictive/compulsive behavior! Actually, the utter madness of my husband's secret behaviors and actions are what convinced me that he was very sick and needed help instead of writing him off as a philanderer!

Your husband's denial and attempts to minimize and rationalize his actions is yet another hallmark of addiction. Perhaps he would prove his rationale to you by allowing you to discuss his in-flight behavior with his boss??? Yeah...I didn't think so.

You may be in a position that will demand you take extreme action to get him the professional help he needs. Will an ultimatum to leave him unless he agrees to see a counselor (trained in sexual addictive disorders) do the trick or will you have to take an even more aggressive approach? Only you, with the direction of a competent counselor, will know. But action must be taken right away IMO.

www.sexhelp.com may help you find a qualified counselor for him AND for you, too. Additionally, I found much education and support at www.recoverynation.com.

I wish you wisdom and the courage to do whatever wisdom whispers to you!

herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#395196 - 04/27/12 12:25 PM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6401
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
LouLou,

Without more evidence, I (personally) cannot confirm or eliminate any possibilities of CSA. All I know is that sexual dysfunction of this magnitude can come from many sources.

However, I personally know some 'compulsives' from childhood that grew into this type of behavior from early-adolescent use of pornography. Their sexual dysfunction in live-human relationships sound very much the same as what you describe.

I have also read in places that it is a somewhat treatable condition.
_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#395212 - 04/27/12 04:18 PM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1344
Hi LouLou,

Welcome to MS. I am happy you have found this place of healing.

The fact that your husband cannot "remember" a lot of his childhood coupled with his compulsive behaviors and his objectfication of women, strongly suggests that there was sexual abuse in his life.

You commented that he doens't initiate sex with you. In his mind, you are "pure, unblemished" and he wants to keep you that way. He objectifies those with whom he doesn't have a close emotional connection (if any) and, therefore, when he fantasizes about them, the fact that they are equated with the "dirtiness" of sex doesn't bother him.

But his love for you keeps him from wanting you to be touched by that "dirtiness." In his own way, he is protecting you from the abuse he endured, and from the terrible way he feels about himself.

The compulsive masturbation and watching of pornography are to numb himself from the pain he feels. In some ways, he might even be re-creating the abuse he endured without realizing it.

If you are not yet in therapy you need to do so. Your husband also needs his own therapist. A therapist trained in trauma and/ or sexual abuse will best suit your needs. You might find the Consumers Guide to Therapist Shopping useful. It gives you a list of questions to ask of a potential therapist. Not all of the questions might apply to your situation, but it is a good guide. It helps take some of the anxiety and fear out of the first phone contact with a therapist so you don't forget what it is you wanted to ask.

Whether or not your husband goes to therapy, you need to go. You need to heal from his past and his behavior, as much as he needs to heal from the abuse he endured. You have every right to heal.

As much as you love your husband, you cannot do this for him. No one can do this work for him. He has to decide that he no longer wants to live with the pain and that he wants to find a way of feeling better, in a healthy sense, not by numbing himself with pornography and sexual fantasy.

There are many books that you might find helpful. Some are written for the significant others of those who have been abused, and some are written for the person who has been abused. I am certain that those who post in this forum will be more than happy to share the titles of the books they found helpful. You can find the link to the bookstore on the homepage here.

To put it bluntly, you need to set limits with your husband about the behavior you consider to be unacceptable, ie. his risk taking behavior while driving or piloting. There are consequences for unacceptable behavior. These are not punishments, nor are they forms of blackmail. It is unacceptable for him to jeopardize his job, his life, or the lives of others. But only set limits and consequences if you are prepared to follow through with them.

Loving him means setting limits which, hopefully, will get him to see that therapy is the way to deal with his pain. If he chooses not to deal with this in a healthy manner, he will be suffering alone. This is not an act of cruelty or selfishness, it is an act of love.

You may want to leave information about this site for him. Sometimes it takes people a long time before they join the site. Some will read without ever joining, and some find what is here to be too triggering.

Whether or not your husband chooses to take positive steps toward healing from his experiences, you need to heal from them, and from him. Hopefully he will choose to grow with you, rather than apart from you. But it has to be his choice.

Dealing with this stuff is not easy, not for the survivor, and certainly not for the person who loves him. But it can and does get better. A lot of energy and committment is required to achieve the desired results.

Your husband is using pornography to keep from feeling. That is very common. None of us wants to feel the pain from the memories.

The truth is, he survived the worst part of this. And while the memories and feelings may be painful and unpleasant, they are just that -- memories and feelings, and they cannot harm him.

This is not to say they do not hurt, they most certainly do. But numbing himself and trying to suppress everything isn't working. The only way to get the pain to stop is to do the work in therapy.

It will be a rough road for each of you, but the rewards are immeasurable.

One of the things you need to do is self care. . You need to eat well, exercise and do things that are not trauma related. You need to have a support system that does not focus on the issues. You also need to have activities that you can do independent of your partner.

You have all of us here. If you have not found it yet, there is also a chat room (aka: the lounge) which includes a room just for friends and family.

The best way to support him is to get yourself help and to be healthy.




Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#398320 - 05/24/12 04:41 PM Re: Survivor? * Possible Triggers* [Re: LouLou]
LouLou Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 35
Thanks everyone for your responses.

My husband has been seeing a Psychiatrist for about five weeks now and just yesterday, the doctor said that while he cannot say whether or not there was sexual abuse, he did state that my husband exhibits signs of PTSD from some kind of childhood trauma. He still says he doesn't remember anything but refuses to accept that some of the family behaviour that went on during his growing up, was unhealthy. I have suggested this forum to him but he is not interested as he feels he has "nothing in common" with anyone here. I have read enough to believe he has an awful lot in common! I think he just doesn't want to face this right now and is desperate for a Therapist to tell him that his current behaviours are completely normal and acceptable. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, right?
I wanted to thank all of you for your advice and support. All of you on here are very brave and ought to be very proud of yourselves.

God Bless.

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