I’m not the wife of a porn addict…

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Last month I purchased the book of a fellow blogger and recommended others do the same if they had the means, and the interest.

So, first, I am not the wife of a porn addict. I am the wife of a sex addict, and I’m obviously not new to this. Josh definitely wants readers, people in general, the world, to know that these are two distinctive addictions, sex and porn. I get it. He doesn’t want to be lumped in with all the rest, especially those addicts who actually cheated on their partner. I think this is a desire of all human beings and especially addicts. Our stories and behaviors are unique, and porn addiction is underestimated, under diagnosed, and under treated. Josh has a point.

Blue Eyes, like Josh, did not want to be associated with some of the behaviors he heard and read about in his 12 step meetings that were all associated with the diagnosis of “sex addiction.” In Blue Eyes’ main Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) meetings, there are numerous behaviors exhibited by the addicts to include: massages with happy endings, strip clubs, sexual relations with siblings and other family members, sex with children, obsessive porn viewing at work, hook ups using dating apps, sex with prostitutes, viewing child porn, acting out with the same sex, web cam viewing leading to in-person hook ups, etc… Most of these behaviors Blue Eyes did not partake in and yet, he is a sex addict. The diagnosis led to treatment and recovery. For that diagnosis, I am forever grateful.

When we are speaking about the spouse, however, Josh wants to point out that he believes his porn addiction is less traumatic than if he had actually cheated on his wife. As previously written, I would never minimize the trauma of a porn addict’s wife by making the same assumption. I have read blogs written by wive’s of porn addicts. Their pain is just as real as mine. I know how I suffered and why, and yes it was partly because my husband cheated with other women. But mainly, my trauma came from my husband lying to me and having a secret life. Being lied to is not fun. You think you know someone…

I’m unique too. I can only tell my own story in regards to sex addiction and what has transpired in my own life with my husband. I don’t want people to assume things about me, or my husband, but they do. It’s okay. I continue to tell my story anyway. It’s all I know.

I admit it was difficult for me to read the book and not want to call Josh up (if I had his number) and say, “why did you say this?” “What did you hope to convey with this sentence?” “Where the hell did you get this term, intercourse addiction?” Instead, I just read the book from my own insular experiences. There were just as many times, once I got past the first couple chapters, that I was shaking my head yes, and feeling like Josh was making some very good points. It’s simply not the wife’s fault and the vast majority of an addict’s behavior started way before they met their spouse. One of my favorite quotes of Josh’s is: “If the next time you’re together you bring two blonde 21-year-old cheerleaders into the bedroom for the orgy he’s always wanted, it’s not going to cure his addiction. He’ll just want three cheerleaders next time and continue to blame you for his completely unrelated problem.” Yep. And my input: there is absolutely nothing wrong with YOU if you don’t want 21-year-old cheerleaders in your bed with you and your husband. Some sex addicts would have us believe we’re not adventurous enough… that we have the problem. BIG RED FLAG! Funny thing with us, I am way more adventurous than my husband. Go figure!

Because I have been dealing with betrayal trauma for six years, and have seen both exceptional and not so exceptional to downright horrid therapists in regards to my life with a sex addict, I was less interested in the expert’s viewpoints. Even when I was very early on in my trauma, I was less concerned with what the experts were saying online and in books. I wanted desperately to talk with other women who knew how I felt. I didn’t find any. I also think Mr. Overbay was less focused on the difference between sex addicts and porn addicts and spoke to a more generalized audience, but if I was the wife of a porn addict, I would want to know what that porn addict had to say. As the wife of a sex addict, I, likewise would want to not only talk with the wife (having shared some of the same trauma) but also the sex (or porn) addict himself, because for a long time my husband just wasn’t willing to talk about much. Despite how lots of addicts and therapists suggest we shouldn’t have the whole truth, I am the type of person who needed to know. I’m glad I know all the details. It helped me realize how sick my husband was and eventually how his behaviors really were not about me. I needed the facts.

My difficulties with this book, as the wife of a sex addict, started right away, like in the first 10 pages. Here is an excerpt from pages 6-7:

QUESTION: Is there a difference between pornography addiction and sex addiction?

Tony, the mental health professional

“…Typically, there is a period of time before a pornography addiction becomes a full-blown sex addiction where the individual will begin to explore what it would take to actually find a partner to have sex with. Sex addicts are not looking for a long-term relationship; they just want a quick fix. I’ve had many clients in my office explaining the progression from just viewing pornography, to exploring sites that will allow you to connect virtually with someone online, and then to ultimately finding ways to meet up with a real individual for the sole purpose of a sexual encounter.

Whether it’s only porn or both porn and sex, the outcome for the individual is the same. It’s all about satiating the ever-growing desire and obtaining the requisite dopamine rush that the user needs to feel satisfied. Much like the move from pictures in a magazine to videos or internet pornography, to strip clubs, to massage parlors, to meeting up with an actual partner, the addict is looking for the next rush of dopamine and keeps needing to push the bar higher in order to feel sexually gratified….

Anecdotally speaking, I have never had a sex addict that hadn’t first been addicted to pornography. I have also had clients with severe addictions to pornography that have not acted out sexually.”

What I like about Tony is that he states numerous times that it’s not really about labels, but in fact how the behavior of one partner is affecting the marriage. This definitely validates the spouse. It obviously doesn’t speak to what needs to happen with the addict in order to have a viable marriage, but this is a book for the spouse.

Josh, the former pornography addict (in response to the same question above)

“It’s just my preference, but I don’t like it when the term “sex addiction” is used to describe my pornography addiction. Let’s be honest, when someone says, “That celebrity just admitted to being a sex addict” do you think to yourself that the superstar is dealing with an appetite for pornography or an appetite for intercourse?

I think intercourse, too.

I am not somebody who cheated on his partner, and while I know it will be said elsewhere in this book by both Tony and me, a pornography addiction does not mean that your partner was cheating on you in real life with another person sexually.

I have met plenty of intercourse addicts, and just on the surface, they seem to crave adventure and danger far more than pornography addicts like me, who crave control. I’ve always been the kind of overly-cautious person who almost never seeks adventure and danger. Sitting in a room looking at pornography in the middle of the night, hoping nobody in the house would wake up was about as daring as I could get…”

I actually don’t hear a lot of talk about celebrities admitting they are sex addicts. I see headlines by tabloids making sweeping assumptions about celebrities being sex addicts, but who takes that stuff seriously anyway? How do we know what goes on in the lives of celebrities and frankly, who cares. I also, personally, don’t think this is about an appetite for “intercourse.” That is such an odd way to look at things. Yes, if you are trying to differentiate yourself from someone who had a sexual affair, well then yes, I guess “intercourse” is part of the actual act of a sexual affair, maybe. Not, supposedly, if you are Bill Clinton, but now I guess we are splitting hairs. There are, in fact, guys that go for the hand jobs and blow jobs, so intercourse doesn’t really apply. Get my drift? It’s a weird term especially if you know how sex addiction works. Hits come from all over the place, not just from the act of intercourse.

I also know that Blue Eyes, like Josh, is the opposite of a risk-taker. He does not crave adventure and danger. FAR from it. He is risk averse in every aspect of his life. Blue Eyes likewise craves control. Control over a part of his life that is secret and all his own. As a child he was controlled and manipulated, belittled and emasculated by a narcissistic mother and emotionally vacant father. As a child he found something he alone could control and he used it to soothe his wounds and he became addicted to it. That “something” was porn and masturbation and this is what he used for 25 years. 

I guess my message to the wife of a porn addict (and who this book is being written to) is it’s okay to feel like absolute and utter shit finding out your husband is a porn addict. Just because it’s theoretically “not as bad as intercourse addiction,” it’s okay for you to be traumatized by the lies and the time he spent away from you. It’s okay to be afraid that he will continue to go to his addiction when things are tough. Each person’s situation with finding out our husband has acted out sexually is unique and holds its own level of trauma. Although my husband was never arrested and sent to jail (as Josh was), I am not going to assume that his or his wife’s situation is better or worse than anything anyone else has gone through, including me. I’ve written about it here before, a few times. There is no point comparing. I think it is easy to assume the pain of an actual affair is worse, but I have read a lot of blog posts by wives of porn addicts that would have me believe there is no difference.

So, the book is actually not about the difference between porn and sex addiction. I really know how to distract people, don’t I? Sorry, Josh. The book is informational and although I don’t like the “he’s a porn addict, but it’s not as bad as full blown sex addiction” message, the book does answer a lot of questions a wife or partner might have if she is questioning whether her spouse or boyfriend is in fact addicted to porn. It is written by two men and from an arm’s length perspective in my mind because neither of these men actually know what it’s like to be married to a porn addict. That doesn’t mean they don’t have lots of information to share. Between the two of them they have lots of experience as a therapist and as an addict. It’s difficult for me to put myself in the shoes of a porn addict’s wife and how I would respond when reading this book, especially if my husband had just been taken to jail. I’m hoping that partners of porn addicts find this book before that day.

I was completely blindsided by my husband’s secret life and for months every single day I questioned what I had done wrong and what were the next steps for my life. Reading a calm, reasoned book like this one would not have kept my attention. I was simply, devastated.

I do, however, remember the day I came home early from work when we were 26-year-old newlyweds. We lived in a beautiful Spanish style three bedroom walk up in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. We had been together for six years. It was a sunny autumn afternoon. I remember the light from the window warming the sheets on our bed as I sat with tears streaming down my face as I listened to Blue Eyes. He was in his second year of law school. I was exhausted and not feeling well as it was and I had walked in on him masturbating to porn. I was shocked and heartbroken. He apologized profusely and begged me to understand that his masturbation habits had nothing to do with me. He told me he would get so stressed out during the day with the pressure of law school (it was always something) and that he needed a release. It had nothing to do with his love for me, or our sex life. All guys masturbate. All guys look at porn. I remember thinking… how did he not hear me come in? I remember wondering how often he did it and how he still had so much energy for me. I remember the day I cancelled my Victoria Secret’s catalog from coming to our apartment.

Here are some of the questions answered in Josh’s book He’s a Porn Addict… Now What?:

Is porn addiction even a real thing?

Does counseling or inpatient rehab actually work?

If I stay with him, does it mean I’m in an abusive relationship?

Should I tell other people in his family and see if they can help?

Josh’s story is not everyone’s story. It’s his, but he has insight into what it’s like to be an addict, to have been out of control enough to be convicted of a crime and gone to jail, and he has been to rehab for both alcohol and sex addiction.

20 thoughts on “I’m not the wife of a porn addict…

  1. Who knows why my husband decided to “come clean” when he did? He confessed the hiding of money (stuffed in car & walls – it was bizarre. Then a couple of days later, I could tell something was wrong. On his face. I asked him. He told me about being w other women. Then he called 911 – suicidal (which, apparently, he’d bee that way for a while and I didn’t know). He *should * have known better and sought help. He saw suicidal people in his job daily. After he called 911, though, they whisked him to n ER and I was alone in the house with severe trauma.

    I’d love to meet up and talk some day. Perhaps a warm place would be nice? Hugs, Kat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s astonishing the amount and kinds of lies they were able to keep in the name of protecting their addiction and out of shame. There is some misconception on their part that they can handle it, keep all the balls in the air, until they can’t, and then disaster. I’m so glad you were able to save him from himself, but it must have been so scary to be alone with your trauma. I’m thinking about that warm place right now! xoxo

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  2. Hey Beleeme. Happy 2020! I see good things, ha.

    I think it’s great that Josh wrote the book to try and help others. I’m not his target audience and I’m pretty sure I make that clear. I mean absolutely no disrespect to him or his book and have written both in my post and in comments that I hope the audience he is trying to reach, finds the book and that it answers a lot of their questions. He is unwilling to acknowledge my concern for wives of porn addicts, and that is his prerogative. I’m not going to not speak my piece just because he doesn’t agree, and vice versa. I know he feels disrespected by the comments here, but what he doesn’t appear to acknowledge is that we are all coming from the same perspective… a very viable and legitimate perspective and that comes with its own set of biases and revelations. It’s true that he is writing from his own, I’m just concerned that some of his comments are off-putting, even to the wife of a porn addict. But he is absolutely correct, that all happens at the very beginning of the book and the rest is much less triggering to me.

    To be honest, after I found BE with the porn (etc… ) way back in 1989, I listened to what he said and although my feelings were still hurt, it didn’t seem to affect our sex life. I never thought it was normal behavior and eventually I asked him to discuss it with his therapist, 25 years later (go me, ugh). I had absolutely no idea how often he had been viewing porn once the internet made it so readily available. We have no pornographic movies in our home, never had any. He was never into strip clubs and in fact I drug him to the only strip club he has ever been to… because we were in Las Vegas and friends wanted to go, a novelty. We were together. He will tell you now that it was incredibly uncomfortable and he didn’t want to be there and has never been to another strip club. Again, as you say, each story is different, each addict’s story and each wive’s story. BE has never been to a prostitute (mentioned numerous times on my blog) not because of any reason other than he didn’t want to get caught doing anything illegal. It was beat into his head by his father. I have been absolutely slammed on this and other blogs for saying my husband didn’t see prostitutes. I have been called a fool. People have insinuated he went to prostitutes but he just didn’t disclose it. Seriously, it’s crazy how much we project onto others. BE is super cautious and conservative especially when it comes to his career. I know he didn’t pay money for sex. I actually believe him on that! No judgment obviously. How could I possibly say that was any better or worse than what he did. OMG, it’s all awful!!!

    I do think it’s interesting that many websites etc… would want everyone to believe that rock bottom for all sex addicts is some horrible place where they were arrested and bankrupt us of all our money and got fired, etc… None of that happened to BE. His escalation was over time (40 years time) from porn to a couple short term flings with very willing women and then the Craig’s List ad. His behavior over the five years before discovery was actually de-escalating, not escalating. He was so ready to be out, but just didn’t have the guts to come clean on his own, and then of course, when in the addiction, he would just do it one more time….

    I do think living without their addiction is incredibly difficult and a lot addicts do relapse. They have made promises to themselves and us, so yeah, it’s a betrayal when they don’t stay sober, BUT, it’s just not that easy. There is no on/off switch. The needs are still there. The stressors are still obvious and plenty. That’s why the 12 step mantra “progress not perfection” although ubiquitously annoying, is true. Relapse is not a deal breaker. They’re human, but they need to be working at being a more honest person otherwise, as I like to say, they are not partner material, for anyone!

    We have to meet up one of these days and talk in person! ❤

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  3. It’s honorable that you read this book, Kat, and share info, and to try to help others.

    As you know, everyone has a different story (both for the betrayed person and any addict). I had told my husband when we were dating that I considered porn and strip clubs to be “cheating” as it was taking love and sexual energy away from the relationship. I wonder if people who are into bestiality think they are not cheating on their wives? OY.

    I think there are different types of addictions … substance (drugs/alcohol/smoking, etc.), process addictions (gambling, shopping, sex – including pornography – it’s related to sex, not to losing or winning money), and other addictions? Perhaps adrenaline (extreme sports, racing, etc.) is an addiction for some people?

    I had NO IDEA when we dated that my husband was introduced to in-person sex the 1st time through a prostitute (his “friends” thought they were doing him a favor). Of course that’s why that behavior was intriguing along with strip clubs b/c he found those as a young man too. When he was an adolescent, his older friend showed him porn. In our story, my husband didn’t seem to escalate like a typical addict. Less frequency in the last 3-4 years before he confessed, and nothing different than what he did a few months into our marriage. He stayed away from “in person” encounters (used porn only) for 8-10 years during the middle of our marriage.

    Of course I never knew any of this while we were married except I found porn once, early on, set a strong boundary, he agreed, said he understood why I believe using porn is cheating on the marriage, and that was that. I also found that my husband was using “porn substitutes” (not a Vic Sec catalogue – but Google images and You-Tube) after he said he had quit in 2016. I look at that behavior (2016-2019) as just as much of a betrayal as sex with another person. Lying. On-going. I found out about his lack of sobriety this year, a few days before my birthday, and a week before I found out about my tumor. Talk about compounding trauma (again). I bounced back faster this time, though, b/c of all the work I’ve done, I think.

    Yep – the secret life and lies, and taking away energy from the marital relationship. That is what’s so harmful.

    Take care of yourself, Kat. New Year HUGS to you. 🙂

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  4. Slow down on following blogs for a couple days and suddenly your ears start inexplicably burning 🙂

    I use the term intercourse because there is no disputing what that is. As I’ve mentioned before, I see sex addiction like I see the term drug addiction. There’s a difference between a cocaine addict and a heroin addict. I am specifying my sexual “drug of choice” when I say porn addict. I had a good friend in one of my rehabs who was a former professional athlete in one of the big four sports. While most think his career ended because of an injury, the reality is that he was arrested (again) on indecency charges for masturbating in his car in public. That was his addiction. He didn’t use porn. He didn’t cheat on his wife. It was a form of exhibitionism. I was not like this either and I hope that I wasn’t communicating a value judgment between the differences of sex addictions. I was explaining who I was for the person who didn’t know anything about my story coming into it. I don’t believe it’s sex addiction vs. porn addiction. I believe there is sex addiction as an umbrella term (with simply “addiction” as a tier even higher) with these other specific addictions underneath.

    I’m going to go back and re-read the section you referenced to see if I explained it poorly, but I do not believe the partner’s trauma should be scored or expected to be greater or lower based on the subset of sex addiction. I think trauma is a hugely individual thing and trying to create a correlation of Sex Addiction Type A = X% of trauma while Sex Addiction Type B = Y% of trauma is a useless exercise. I was simply saying — based on my personal experience — that my wife was concerned that I cheated on her physically. I didn’t, and this could mean that a reader’s porn addicted partner did not cheat either. This is a question that was asked of both of us and pops up often in online forums. That’s why it was so close to the front of the book.

    As for the risk takers vs. non-risk takers being intercourse vs. porn addicts, again, this is just my experience. My job for the book was to answer questions based on my experience as an addict and having had me experiences in recovery culture. As I’m sure you noticed, I went a bit light in the spirituality section because I don’t have a lot of that experience. It’s similar with modalities like 12 Steps. I did both AA and SAA for a while, got as much out of that road as a I could, and left. If you believe that only 12 Steps can cure someone, I will never be recovered. I can speak to my experience in those rooms, but my experience is going to be different than the person who found it to be the main source of their recovery speaking about it 10 years into the program. If 12 Steps is the only way, you’ll see me as a failure and a relapse waiting to happen. That’s OK. I think your conclusion is wrong, but it doesn’t cheapen either of our paths assuming we’re both in active recovery. I know that I very often forget people can recover in ways very different than I did, especially when I’m asked advice — but I’ve experienced the reverse of that as well. Because I didn’t follow their path, it somehow lessens my experience. That’s OK, and I knew it was a potential pitfall of writing another book about my personal experience.

    I’ll be honest and say that I think you zero’d in on a message you inferred that was unintentional early in the book and couldn’t let it go because I don’t think the “But I’m a porn addict, not an intercourse addict” is revisited a single time after I explain the details of my addiction in the first pages.

    In your report about my book, you mention “My message to a porn addict’s wife…” and you’re giving the message from the point of view of someone who has been through a similar traumatic situation. I can’t give the message from an addict’s wife to another’s addict wife. Neither can Tony. We have never been the addict’s wife. We briefly talked about including this element to the book, but along with making the book at least 1/3rd longer, it’s a story that has been told before with several books on the market and there are several “Wife of the sex/porn/intercourse addict” message boards and forums online. We set out to create something different and I think it’s fair that you disagree with certain things I said, but I don’t think that makes them wrong. Maybe I play the role of surrogate villain being the addict (recovered or not) who has an opinion that doesn’t line up with the partner, but the point of the book was not for me to interpret the partner’s thoughts. My role within the book was to present the recovering addict’s point of view and recollection of my feelings back to the addict days.

    You, Kat, are rare in that you’ve done the work to understand the pathology of your husband, and it’s one of the reasons I value your input and opinion much more than many partners who have not tried to understand. For this community, I will always be the villain because I did something similar to what their partner did, but they (completely understandably in many situations) left the relationship before learning what was going on in their husband’s head. There is a huge community of partners out there who will never care about a single word I have to say because I’m just the bad guy and the bad guy can’t offer anything of value. They will tell me what I think and what’s really going on in my head. They’ll compare me to some abstract ideas they have and draw conclusions that are entirely off base, but because of who I am, clarification comes off as being defensive. I’ve had to learn to politely as I possibly can (and I’m still working on this) nod, get away from these situations and try to shrug it off. I mean, you can see this happening even if your comments section to your report on the book.

    I appreciate you reading the book and talking about it. Hopefully it didn’t scare anybody off from purchasing it. I’m sorry the intercourse vs. sex thing got the experience gummed up so early on in the book and, as I mentioned, I am going to re-read that section. You write and rewrite and write and edit and rewrite so many times that what you sometimes intended something to mean gets changed, yet you’re still reading the original meaning in your head. The book is geared much more toward a partner who is far earlier in the process than you, but I don’t want them misinterpreting anything either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m scratching my head, Josh. I was with you on the first couple paragraphs although I will never agree on the term intercourse addiction for reasons I’ve already stated. It’s almost silly at this point… I know for my husband intercourse was never his “goal” and of the thousands of hours spent “in his addiction” over 40 years maybe a couple hours were actually spent copulating? Again, I totally understand you wanting to call yourself a porn addict, just not sure why you feel the need to define anyone else’s addiction?

      You say there’s a difference between cocaine addiction and heroine addiction, both drug addictions. It’s like saying not that you are a “porn addict” but that you are addicted to MILF porn, or whatever. What’s the point?

      I do think you are making a value judgment when you say, “And yeah, I still stand by what I say on 7-8. I think that most porn addicts and intercourse addicts are coming from different places pathologically. But I also said that because in many women I’ve talked to, porn is considered far less a betrayal than actual intercourse.” This is quoted from a previous comment of yours. My readers and all the porn addict wives we have spoken to would disagree.

      I understand you answering questions based on your experience, I just don’t understand you comparing and contrasting.

      As far as the 12 steps “curing” someone? I don’t know where this is coming from? Did I say that? I don’t think I have ever said any such thing. As far as my husband, he started with therapy, extensive therapy. He went to an intensive sex addiction workshop, he’s embraced Buddhism/Buddhist meditation as a spiritual component in his life, and he’s completed the steps, always ongoing, always learning. I actually required it in my boundaries because even though I’ve seen 12 step fail for my abusive alcoholic uncle, I could see my husband connecting with men who actually DID understand his behavior and that was really important to him and his ongoing recovery. I’m not convinced an addict can be “cured.” We learn to manage. I never question other’s pathways. I have actually commented and stopped following other bloggers because they say all kinds of untrue things about 12 step because they haven’t chosen it for themselves. I look at it like religion… cool if it works for you, but leave me the fuck out of your religion. It was a place my husband found connection, which he desperately needed when he didn’t “have” his addiction anymore. It’s been hard on me at times, his commitment to 12 step, but worth it.

      I also think what I honed in on was a little more complicated than what you state. My concern is really minimizing the trauma of the porn addict spouse. I realize you cannot speak from the spouse’s point of view. It’s a very sensitive viewpoint, indeed. I’m not sure there are as many good resources for a traumatized wife as you think there are. I’m really astonished my blog is as read as it is, but I think that is one of the reasons. Women relate to my story, as sad and torturous as it has been, and there aren’t a lot of places we can do that. I’m bluntly honest and open and A LOT of wives are living in isolation and silence. Personally I have not been to any of forums/message boards since very early on as they were completely negative and destructive to someone with my personality, so I wouldn’t know about that.

      I don’t think any of this has anything to do with you being put into the role of surrogate addict villain. Not at all. I state exactly where I’m coming from and I realize the book is not targeted to me. Throughout, I was thinking about who the target audience would be. I also mention that I hope the book gets into the hands of that target audience and I tagged my post with tags I never use.

      You are not the villain here and don’t need to be defensive. I even have a post titled something similar a while back (not about you of course). You might find it and the comments interesting. Most followers here on my blog who are wives of porn/sex addicts have done the work to understand our partners’ behaviors, pathologies, wounds etc… just because we disagree doesn’t make anyone a villain. Reverse your comment and see it from the viewpoint of my commenters. Most have done a lot of work on themselves and their partnerships, but also hold similarly strong beliefs to mine. They are merely reacting to what I wrote and these days many of my followers have done so for years. I communicate with a number of them away from blog, some even in person. They know and trust me and my judgment.

      I purposely ended the entry with the story of me catching my husband masturbating to porn and references to your book. What would have happened all those years ago if porn addiction had been accepted as a real issue and we had access to your book? I don’t know, but thankfully times are changing. I hope anyone who might need your book right now and somehow happened upon my blog entry got all the way to the end. Potentially my husband never would have escalated as his connection with an actual person happened more than 10 years later. Who knows?

      Glad your daughter is okay. That’s so scary! Happy 2020!

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      • Out of respect to you, I’m letting you know that I read this, but I think we’re just going to go around and around trying to make the other understand each other’s opinions, so why keep wasting both of our time?

        If you don’t find comments that accuse me of still being an addict or assuming what my thought processes are as hurtful or harmful, that’s fine, but I do.

        I think it’s best for me to walk away from this thread at this point.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your thoughtful and personal review of the book. It really shocks me how little these addicts of any kind know about their partners response. If you are a porn addict, you are stealing and withholding intimate and emotional bonding with your partner on a regular basis. You are lying about how you use your time and withholding information about your person giving your partner little opportunity to make changes in their life to reflect the reality they live. I recall laying in bed one night back in 1980, just waiting for my husband to come to bed because I wanted sex and intimacy. After what seemed like a long time I got up and went out to the living room only to find him jerking off to soft porn. I was so pissed. That was way back in the day when we only had one kid. I should have been more savvy. He felt shamed by my angry response (he told me after D-day shit hit the fan) and I was angry that he chose porn/jerking off over me. They are all the same. Porn addicts who don’t have sex with others outside their relationships are still as screwed up as porn addicts who do. It is the secrecy that matters. If they believe they are doing nothing wrong, why not talk about it with their partners? A recovering person, regardless of what the addiction, is only an expert on them. Nobody else.

    Happy New Year my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Happy New Year, Marie!

      All the behaviors of sex addiction are traumatizing due to the secret and shame filled nature of their addictive lifestyle. I do believe Josh is clear about only speaking for himself in the book and his making the distinction between sex and porn addiction, although concerning to me, is his point of view.

      I think it’s a trap though. Like, “it’s okay honey, at least I didn’t have sex with other women.” I think a wife might want to feel it’s not so bad, but by somehow demonizing other behaviors it might seem like a deflection and an attempt to minimize her trauma. Obviously I am acutely aware of how painful and debilitating the trauma, whereas the authors aren’t. I just pointed out a couple issues that concern me. I am clearly not their target audience.
      xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I appreciate Joshua sharing his story because, as partners, we don’t often hear an addict’s perspective. If we’re lucky we hear “our” addict’s story and their viewpoints, but that is often a long and arduous time coming.

    Like you, the partners of porn addicts I know have been every bit as devastated as I was. I don’t believe that there is any less healing involved from that addiction unless there is some sub-set of porn addicts for whom intimacy avoidance is not an issue? Or who carry out their addiction with the full knowledge of their partner? Otherwise, the deceit and manipulation is no less traumatic.

    This is about the second time in as many weeks that I’ve heard the term “intercourse addiction” to seemingly be applied to anything that isn’t porn addiction. I don’t purport to speak for anyone else, but “intercourse” was most often not something my husband was interested in. On his laundry list of acting out behaviors, only a small percentage could be attributed to intercourse. In fact, he found over time that he didn’t get much of a hit from intercourse, so he turned his attention to other acting out behaviors where the hits were more reliably pleasurable for him. From what I understand of his peers at his main SA meeting, that’s pretty common. Sex addiction isn’t about intercourse. I hope that we – as a collective group of partners and addicts and treatment providers – don’t somehow start to lose sight of that.

    Happy New Year to you!
    xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, BA. This focus on the “what” isn’t helpful with sex addiction. I was reading the book from my perspective and that’s all I could do. I was concerned from the beginning that the focus wasn’t really geared towards a traumatized wife, but more educational. Which is fine if the person reading is merely curious and not flattened by grief like I was. There is an underlying message of “it’s not your fault” and they do answer a number of questions that have been asked of them in therapy and podcasts etc. I would disagree with some of the advise of the expert, but hey, I’m just one wife. The guy has treated hundreds of couples? Personally, I’ve not come in contact with many women who are questioning whether their partner might have a problem with porn. It’s all so much more complicated than that in my world. I hope the book gets to the right people, and helps them in some way.

      Happy New Year! I hope Handsome is healing well! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You give this guy who is really just a blog commenter to you too much of your time and attention. While I am fully aware of the definition of “addiction” I have honestly wondered, because of his prolific comments on your blog and others, if he has added to or replaced one addiction with another. Maybe it has been in the service of promoting his book, or maybe there is something more (like getting attention that satisfies some craving for i’m-not-really-sure-what, and frankly don’t care). I have thought this for awhile now.

    Happy New Year Kat. Hope to see you in it.
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is so much worth commenting on here but I will stick to 3 points:
    1. I have spoken to many women whose husbands were addicted to porn and they were completely devastated. They didn’t appear to suffer less than those who had husbands who acted out – for example, by having an online profile and hooking up with other women.
    2. I also find it hard to differentiate between porn addiction and sex addiction in general. It feels a bit like split hairs to me.
    3. I think you hit the nail on the head when you stated: “my trauma came from my husband lying to me and having a secret life.” I think that is the bottom line. If you don’t know if the person you are trusting with your physical and mental health is trustworthy or not then you can never feel safe and secure. Honesty and trust are foundational in any relationship, and especially in a committed partnership or marriage.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Trauma from all the secrets and lies is what I am really recovering from. It’s such a shattering of reality.

      For me, the hit of choice has become mostly meaningless although I figure with a 40 year addict, that slope is very slippery in that I’m thinking a dip in the dopamine pool will quickly escalate. I’m not so worried about that as the reality that the instinct to lie and hide runs deep. I know he doesn’t want to be a lying, cheater, but he actually has to work very hard to battle those ingrained instincts. To stop and live in reality is a daily challenge for him. Addiction is no joke.

      Liked by 3 people

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