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Jaxie 02-21-2012 04:57 PM

Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
My husband and I have been married for 6.5 years, together for 2 before. We always had the plan that he would be the breadwinner and I would work for supplemental income if possible. However, that is not what has happened.

After dropping out of community college and then getting dropped from his online college, and THEN not applying by the deadline for ANOTHER community college,my husband still has no education and a very low paying job. However, in the time we have been together, I went back to school and got a Masters degree and work in a profession and make most of the money. I am very unhappy in my job, I commute far and worth with a population I do not enjoy. I have been "forced" to do this because if I do not, we wont have money to pay the bills.

After many years of asking and not getting real answers, I finally broke down and asked why our deal is still not happening and why he is doing this to me. He responded by telling me that he has been addicted to porn for our entire relationship and hid it from me. He said he would spend hours sleeping then waking up on his days off and watching porn for hours and then quickly try to get stuff done so it looks like he was doing something all day.

I was extremely shocked to hear this. However, it explained a lot. I finally felt like I had an answer to why he has been stagnant for years. He claims he hasn't looked at it since, and is trying to get his stuff together. But I don't know if it is really the addiction that has caused this, or if he just had a motivation problem. He wants me to wait around and see if he gets better. But I feel angry that he has wasted 8 years of my life while I built a future for us and he was looking at porn the whole time. I feel like I shouldnt have to sit by and wait for him to go through college now and support us. We want kids and were trying to get pregnant before he revealed this to me.

I just don't know what to do. I want my marriage to work out but I haven't been happy in many years and I am only 28 and we have no kids. I don't want to give up and regret it though either. Do you think it is really his addiction that has kept him back this whole time or his personality? He is an artist and also has ADD problems. Any help or insight to this problem would be great. I am really lost. :confused:

Hope1964 02-21-2012 05:33 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
I'm not sure if you should be worried about whether he has an actual addiction or not, but rather concentrate on what he is doing to stop the behaviours that have led to these problems.

There are websites that can help, books (google Patrick Carnes), 12 step groups, specialized counselors, and lots of other help available. If he is serious about stopping, he won't be just using 'addiction' as an excuse, but he will be actively and transparently trying to stop looking at porn.

My husband is a sex addict and attends a 12 step group so I do know a little bit about this. I also have a 20 year old son with ADHD (diagnosed at age 3 and well under control now) and I know that people with untreated ADD/ADHD tend to self medicate. Perhaps that is what he was using porn for, I don't know. But my strong recommendation would be that he seek some kind of therapy and learn how to deal with his issues.

Mavash. 02-21-2012 05:40 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
I agree it makes no difference what you call it what matters is how is he addressing it.

Kurosity 02-21-2012 05:52 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Addiction of any form takes over and the affects of these behaviors do bleed out into the rest of ones life.
Pay attention to what he is doing to over come this and it will not happen over night either.
I would suggest he get in IC, together you go to MC, and you do a alanon group or IC. If you want your marriage to work then be proactive about it now.

It was most likely a very hard thing for him to admitt to you.
Best Wishes :)

LostWifeCrushed 02-21-2012 05:58 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
WHAT??

I wouldn't put up with this IF HE WAS the breadwinner!

I am going through that now after almost 8 years of marriage. My husband has been doing this and he is the breadwinner! Be very careful, his online use may have easily slipped into live cam sites where others can hook up and meet for sex! (My husband did this---but said he was only looking---no hookups--YEAH RIGHT then why not just watch a video?)

This is way over the line! And he may have also crossed this line after years of hiding it from you. Sounds like he just pulled the car in the garage and parked in front of the computer while you have been doing all the work!

He has betrayed his vows to you if he has been searching for/having cyber with other girls.

You deserve better.

You have been working and have no kids yet?? Lucky and smart.

Don't make excuses for him, you hold all the cards.

What do you want? Take time and decide, that's what I am doing....deciding if I even want to try and fix anything.

Take care of yourself.

Jaxie 02-21-2012 11:53 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Thank you so much for your advice. I guess I was just wondering if he can beat the porn addiction, would that be what he needed to get motivated? Or would he still be the same as before. I know no one here can tell me for sure, just wondering what others had to say.

LOSTWIFECRUSHED- That is the hard part. What do I want? I was young when we were married and came from a broken home so this is how I know how to live. I wouldn't even know how to go about finding a roommate, moving out, etc. I also fear how lonely life would be with out him.

He did admit his addiction to me, I never caught him and it seems he is really trying. But we have been through this before, except he never opened up about the addiction. And he goes back to his same old self in a week or two. I guess time will tell if he is serious this time and if he isn't, I guess I will have to summon the courage to leave for good.

LostWifeCrushed 02-22-2012 12:19 AM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaxie (Post 599083)
Thank you so much for your advice. I guess I was just wondering if he can beat the porn addiction, would that be what he needed to get motivated? Or would he still be the same as before. I know no one here can tell me for sure, just wondering what others had to say.

LOSTWIFECRUSHED- That is the hard part. What do I want? I was young when we were married and came from a broken home so this is how I know how to live. I wouldn't even know how to go about finding a roommate, moving out, etc. I also fear how lonely life would be with out him.

He did admit his addiction to me, I never caught him and it seems he is really trying. But we have been through this before, except he never opened up about the addiction. And he goes back to his same old self in a week or two. I guess time will tell if he is serious this time and if he isn't, I guess I will have to summon the courage to leave for good.

Look, what do you want for your life? You have no kids and you have money. Your plan may have been to have a family and be a SAHM with him working, but how long are you willing to wait?

He may have an addiction, who knows, he might also just be selfish and happy to let you be miserable while he checks out. FOR YEARS. Stop worrying about what he needs to be motivated! who cares? He doesn't seem to.

And what about you? He knows he can stay as long as he tells you what you want to hear. But what is he doing? Do you really want to be a sex cop now---on top of everything else? He needs to deal with his problem and start pulling his share.

The ball is in your court.

Don't let him get away with it.

EleGirl 02-22-2012 12:33 AM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
His addiction is a symptom of a much larger problem. From my experience he will not change until he has to. As long as you are supporting him he does not have to.

I'm going through something similar with my husband except add PC gaming and no job for 10 years.

He's not going to change. What you see is what you get.

You are young, young enough to start over with a man who will love you and work with you, not use you.

Jaxie 02-22-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
You are all right. It seems though that he is doing it for real this time. He is actually getting help for his addiction and seems to be more motivated. But I still don't know if I want to sit around and wait for him to prove himself to me. It will take him at least another 4 years to get his BA and even be able to come close to supporting us. I just hate the idea of leaving him and getting a divorce. I guess I just need to sit down and really think about what it is I really want and if I am willing to risk one thing for another.

fearful55 02-22-2012 01:26 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Jaxie,

So far, no responses from an addict point of view. I've been a sex and love addict probably from my teens. (58 now) Didn't know it till a year and a half ago. In 1988, when I got sober from addition to alcohol and drugs, I thought my life would be free from the grip of addiction if I remained vigilant. I can't quickly explain for you right now how my mind reconciled my secret sexual persona vs. trying to "do the next right thing" as a recovering person. It would make my brain explode. Still working on it...

My "acting out behaviors" as a sex addict included but were not limited to everything mentioned so far...porn, online social networking sex sites including web cams, etc.

Suffice as to say, I qualify to comment in this thread...

Is your husband an addict? ...probably

Is what he has told you the tip of an iceberg? ...likely

Can you and he solve this on your own? ...Not in my opinion

Is there a future for you together? ...if you both commit to the effort it will require, long term. He will need to commit to a lifetime of sobriety which is accomplished one day at a time. There is SA, SAA, SLAA (I'm involved with SLAA: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) You should seek counseling specific to being the spouse of a sex addict. To use the word trauma to describe what you are going through IS NOT overstating.

Addicts need to "hit bottom". They need to become "sick and tired of being sick and tired". This comes as the result of consequences. You need to set a zero tolerance boundary. You also must insist he get help. A therapist with a focus on sex addiction will likely encourage a 12 step fellowship. (see my list) He has already had consequences that have cause him pain (I know you are in pain too, but regarding his "bottom"...). He knows that this has caused him his education which has caused all of the things you describe and many more within him emotionally. He has revealed (I hate saying admitted) to you something that is an enormous source of shame. Inside he is a mess and he doesn't even realize how bad it is.

Addiction isn't an excuse, but rather an explanation. An addiction takes over. It tells you what to do, where to go, what to think, how to feel, and tells you that the rules no longer matter. The process is gradual thus the addict doesn't see it happening in real time.

Step one of the 12 steps is the beginning of hope: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.

It's been so long since I first heard these words that I can't remember my initial reaction. Admitting powerlessness goes against the ego of a healthy person. It's even worse for the addict. (An addict is an egomaniac with an inferiority complex) But to break free from the grip of addiction, this surrender is non-negotiable.

I'm not responsible for my addiction. But I AM responsible for my recovery. If I fail to work my program of recovery and wind up losing the internal struggle to my addiction(s), I most definitely AM responsible.

There are a million things that could be said. This is a start. Hope it helps...

Jaxie 02-22-2012 05:19 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Thank you fearful. It was good to hear it from another addict's perspective.

He and I definitely need MC and we both need it individually as well. I am just trying to figure out if that will be enough to actually beat this and if there will be brighter days ahead. Even so, sometimes I feel like it may already be too late for him to make up for what he has caused us both to lose.

sensei 02-24-2012 05:30 AM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Hi Jaxie, I guess it all boils down to how much you love him? Hope springs eternal and people can change. I've posted my story in the ladies room. This is day three of my wake up call if your man is anything like me he'll need a lot of support. Having read several posts now by Fearless I'm really looking at my life and what I want to do with it in the future. I know I don't want to lose my wife - I pray she has the strength you seem to have.

Jaxie 02-26-2012 01:05 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Thanks Sensei. I do love him, but not enough to keep living like this. I guess I have to wait and see if he means business. This is his last chance.

IvanDrago 03-01-2012 10:51 AM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
My two cents as a man and a recovering addict/alcoholic is that you have a couple of issues. Primarily that from what he's told you he defiantly qualifies as an porn addict. The fact that he loses time watching porn, thus not getting anything else done, is a big indicator that there is a serious issue. That's a good thing because at least you know it's a real problem with him. Unlike most of the women on this forum who are fragile and overbearing at the same time, freaked out about their husbands watching occasional porn (yes 2-3 times per week is occasional). Think of it like drinking or drugs; some people can have a beer or recreationally use drugs. Others (like me) get a taste and wake up 2 days later in a poncho with a clown nose up their ass. He can get help if he wants it, but you can't want it for him. Just like any other addiction.
The second issue IMO is that even without the addiction, he's a deadbeat. It's not a breadwinner man/woman issue people of either gender can be deadbeats. The condition is characterized by a lack of followthrough, grand plans that always change, and generally some sort of permissive deadbeat job description like artist or writer. If you're not paying the rent (or part of it) by selling art... You are not an artist! You simply have a hobby.
Even if he gets a handle on his porn issue, he'll still have the deadbeat issue. Expecting him to change both is unrealistic, especially with a non-intoxicant addiction. If you're an alcoholic you may think differently when you let your brain clear. With gambling, porn, or codependency the feelings/rush does not preclude normal behavior in the same way. It still steals the day but won't lead to brain damage.
Your 28, educated, and don't have any kids. You sound like a catch, for you the grass may indeed be greener. Though you'll have to have the courage to lose the anchor and jump the fence.

Jaxie 03-01-2012 01:40 PM

Re: Addiction Problem or Motivation Problem?
 
Thanks for your input Ivan.

This is exactly what I am afraid of. I KNOW he has an addiction probably already, as he came right out and told me. I am just afraid that even if he gets help with the addiction, he will still be a "deadbeat". I can not have that. How much time should I give him? When is enough enough? I want my marriage to work, but I also don't want to be taken advantage of. If he will truly change I'd like to stay. But if not, I need to leave. How much do you think is enough time?


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