Thanks for the links. I'll watch it all and get back to you and tell you what resonates with me.
These myths... yes, I've come across them online on other forums and even read posts levelling such accusations at partners of PAs in general, and a few at me personally. You also come across a predictable set of assumptions in the writings of porn addicts.
One example was when I was quite new to RN and there was a PA from the 40+ section posting on the partner's section for some reason, I don't know why he was there but anyway, he posted a few times and then one day said all this stuff about how we were all religious, we were all virgins when we got married and only ever have had sex with one man. WTF? I don't think any partner of a PA has ever described that scenario on RN! What a joke!
I remember reading on another forum about a guy justifying his porn use because his wife wore her cosy PJs to bed instead of "sexy" lingerie. Yeah, like it's all HER fault!
But seriously, I have a relative who is a sex addict (as in real world sexual encounters with countless other people) and it's awful how it impacts on the family, especially when there's kids. So, I'll definitely watch this.
I've had the chance to watch all four videos now. All I can say is that it must be utterly horrendous to find yourself a partner of a full blown sex addict and to have sought therapy that ended up with the partner feeling worse — blamed, judged, labelled co-dependent, etc — it must be a living nightmare. I can only be grateful that I've had to deal with "only" porn addiction although there's no "only" about it, it still hurts a relationship.
1. Blame shifting and "choosing" to be with an addict Did we "choose" an addict as a partner? It's an easy behaviour to keep hidden, especially if you feel there's no evidence to find because you don't even suspect anything in the first place. Most discoveries are by chance. Even if you do make a discovery, you won't necessarily know you're dealing with an addict. My relationship goes back to before people had computers at home and were connected to the internet, and that was the change in my relationship. Nobody could have predicted the global availability of hardcore porn at no cost. That's what creates the addiction. Accessible, affordable and anonymous.
2. Anger Angry? Well, sometimes I am. And so what? It's a perfectly normal reaction to being lied to and deceived. Anger can be channeled into positive activity. It can be harnessed as a force for change. Like all feelings and moods, it passes. Suppressed anger can be very damaging so it needs a worthwhile outlet that goes towards making a positive change, whether personal or political.
In response to the video on anger, society is more comfortable with the pornography and sexual exploitation industries, and alcohol and junk food consumption rather than addressing problems of depression, alienation and isolation.
3. Victim-blaming. Since d day I have been pro-active in my own recovery, the recovery of my relationship AND supportive of my partner's recovery although he still struggles greatly with regret and shame, which concerns me, but those feelings are his and I can't change them. If anyone dare suggests that I'm "stuck" or not recovering "properly", that's just another form of victim-blaming. Who is anyone to say what someone else's recovery should look like? Just as every individual is different, every relationship is unique. Recovery isn't easy, but I can at least say that I have been pro-active in my own recovery. It's not been an easy journey but it's been worthwhile.
4. Making negative judgements about the partner's sexuality. We all know what the cliches are, that we're all frigid/frumpy/prudish. I admit that I felt rejected and in response I internalised a lot of those negative clichés, much to the cost of my emotional health. But here's the thing. I was never sexually unavailable to my partner. I was not 'frigid' in the least. I had a healthy drive. I was orgasmic during sex. I had a good figure. Etc etc etc. It wasn't because of me that my partner became a porn addict. There were many reasons and it's probably fair to say he was predisposed to porn addiction by the time the internet made it freely available. He's a complex character who grew up in an emotionally unstable environment. But his addiction did not happen because I wasn't sexually available or because I wasn't sexually desirable or because I wasn't sexually adventurous. In recovery he has told me that he always found me very desirable throughout his addiction. Like many porn addicts he developed PIED and that was disastrous because it ended our physical relationship.
So it was a very informative series. Unfortunately I find their website subscription too expensive but I am glad to see they have some free videos that anyone can watch. They seem to be very sincere ladies and they talk from their own experiences. I honestly can't imagine what it must have felt like to discover that they were married to a sex addict. As I said above, I have a relative who is a sex addict and I would never have guessed as this is someone who has no glamour or even much of a personality, yet sex addiction was a secret that existed in that marriage before they had kids, and carried on right up until the youngest left home to go to college. That's when the divorce happened and eventually the truth came out. I honestly had no idea. I would never have guessed. My initial reaction was that I found it preposterous. I believed it, yes, but it was almost unreal.