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How long does it take to get some control over an addiction?
February 8, 2005
11:42 am
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sc13
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My fiance has a type of sexual addiction, like to the internet and porn, and things like that, not to the actual act of having sex. He is going to therapy and has gone to 2 meetings for sex addicts, but I recently found some text messages in his phone to and from another girl. I'm going crazy, and he says that I can't expect results right away, that it takes time to overcome this problem. I kind of think he is just telling me what I want to hear. He has been in therapy for almost 2 months, he got rid of all his porn, got rid of the computer, and now I find this. I've been being very strong and trying to be supportive to him, but have I crossed the line into just being stupid and gullible now? Please help, I'm desperate. Thank you!

February 8, 2005
12:46 pm
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jastypes
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Yeah. Saying that it takes time to overcome an addiction doesn't sound sincere to me. When addicts are recovering, and they want to be recovering, they often do have slips. These generally make them feel horrible and remorseful. Sometimes they get right back into their program, and sometimes the addiction takes hold again. But if you are not married to this person, I would not waste my time waiting for the time it takes to overcome and gain control over his addiction, especially since in this case there is a potential danger to your health.

jill

February 8, 2005
1:25 pm
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LthrNlace
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Addictions of any kind never go away completely. They can go into a remission, but you live with an adiction all your life. Relapses are not uncommon, even can happen 7 years down the road after being in treatment. He seems to be taking the right steps and making some progress, but typically it takes about 6 months, give or take, depending on the person and the type of addiction, to begin to really recover. It is a long process with a lot of stress, struggles, and emotions, for both the addict and their loved ones.

There will be a lot of ups and downs throughout the process. You have to decide if and how willing you are to be supportive and work with him. Its not easy, I give you a lot of credit for being so supportive thus far. Good luck to both of you, my thoughts are with you.

February 8, 2005
1:31 pm
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sc13
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Thank you both for replying. It's so easy to say "I should leave him" but I've tried to twice and was right back the next day because I feel like I literally can't be without him. It would be so easy if he was a total jerk but he is a good person with a serious problem. I appreciate any and all input, as long it's not judgmental. Support would be very helpful right now.
Thanks again.

February 8, 2005
2:00 pm
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jastypes
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When someone says that they literally can't be without someone, it makes me cringe inside. Maybe I'm just an unfeeling, uncaring b****, or maybe I've just never been that in love. I've been co-dependent though on an addict. Still am, but I'm working on it. You might want to check out Al-Anon if Sex addicts don't have an equivalent. I've chosen to stay with my addict (who now thankfully is in recovery after 20 years). It isn't an easy road.

jill

February 8, 2005
2:10 pm
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sc13
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Yes I know it's bad to feel that I can't be without him. I know that I could survive without him, it's just that I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of him, you know what I mean? I'm not sure if it would be a mistake to stay or a mistake to leave. Right now he is the biggest part of my life so it's hard to imagine building a whole new life in place of where he was. I've had depression for years and have experienced true happiness for the first time with him. That is why it's so hard for me to imagine being without him.

I've been looking into Al-Anon and I'm thinking of going to a meeting this week if I can get myself to do it.

February 8, 2005
2:14 pm
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Cici
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I'm a recovering addict who fell off the wagon recently, with substance abuse and alcohol abuse rather than sex (although I think that's part of my addictions).

All I can say is, when you're actively using you can't be in a relationship, period. And usually for me I've been able to get clean when I was clean when I met the person I'm involved with. IF I was actively using I would seek out purposefully codependent relationships.

February 8, 2005
3:12 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Is there ever control over an addiction? I know my hubby can be in control and then WHAM! it's gone. It's like a vicious cycle that never stops. Just has different lengths of time between falls.

February 8, 2005
3:14 pm
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sc13
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Mamacinnamon,
Do you mind me asking--have you ever thought of leaving him? What is he addicted to? Is your marriage a good one (is that possible with an addiction?)
You don't have to answer, I'm just looking for answers from people who have been in this place before.

February 8, 2005
3:31 pm
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Cici
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I struggle daily with my addiction issues. I was talking to a guy who is drug and alcohol-free recently and I explained to him that I am facing a life long struggle to not do drugs, and I don't think it's fair to expose him to that when he was never weak enough to choose the path I chose.

He was amazed at the passionate and articulate way I explained my disease process. And it was enough after I explained myself that he said it would be better if he took a step back even though he would love to date me, because I was so ademant about the fact that I don't want to inflict my personal issues on him.

I am a rather responsible addict in that way. I am clear about my issues and what I face, and I refuse to allow my problem to hurt someone new.

That's better, I think. I would rather be alone with my struggle than hurt someone else.

February 8, 2005
3:36 pm
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CAMER
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hi SC...why not tell your bf to get rid of the text messaging on his phone, and yes, he is new to recovery, 2 mos isn't long, but this is not an excuse for what he is doing (text'g with other girls)...make sure
he works his program, and you too maybe try out AA for sex addicts to help yourself get thru this.

February 8, 2005
7:53 pm
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GullyFoyle
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sc13

All the comments are true. You are never "cured". It is there for the rest of your life. The minute you think that you are cured, that you are like other people, It comes back with a vengeace. Sometimes you just give up and give in to the addiction, sometimes you justify when you are doing it, but the truth is, you are an addict and will always be an addict and for you to continue with the addictions means that you will destroy and lose everything that you hold dear. And the problem is, that you can know all of this and still do it, even after years of non-active addiction.

There is hope, though. AA, religion, whatever it takes to stay sane and sober. But the hardest thing for an addict is for things to go good, to be recovering, and then slip. It doesn't just destroy your life. It destroys your spirit.

Gully

February 8, 2005
9:25 pm
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mamacinnamon
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sc13,

Yes, I have left him before when he decided he was gonna do the drugs and he didn't care what I thought. His addiction is pot smoking. We went thru marriage counseling and individual counseling and he got straight before I went back. Hindsight tells me I went back to soon tho.

We have been married for over 12 years now. The main reason I am still with him is because when he falls, he gets back up and gets back on that wagon. If he didn't make the effort then I'd be gone. There are other reasons for not leaving him, but after the last time he was given the final straw. One more time and I'm gone.

Other than the addiction, which is always in the back of your mind when the next fall will be, he is a good man. He's a hard worker, he's never raised a hand to me or the kids, he's kind but not terribly attentive. If fact when he's really kind and loving is usually when he's fallen off the wagon again.

I think we have a good marriage. We do have our problems. For me, the thought of when the next fall will be is always in the back of my mind. There will always be a trust issue, that I have tried to get past, but cannot; and it's only really a problem when he wants to go to his bro's coz that's where he did his pot smokin.

I don't mind talking about it if you have questions.

February 8, 2005
11:02 pm
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CAMER
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((thanks mama))) i myself, needed to hear this insight again, as I am strugglin with the same addiction with my bf now.....Bless you & thanks for sharing!

February 8, 2005
11:12 pm
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Anonymous
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Just my 2 cents:

It takes 21 days to make a habit and 21 to break it. And once an addict, always a lifelong struggle. Ask AA..One has to have the necessary tools to move forward and stay with the program.

Best to you,

Sunny

February 9, 2005
7:19 am
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mamacinnamon
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CiCi:

Bless you for being a responsible addict. To know there are addicts that have the morals you do. Means alot to me and I am sure to others as well. It takes alot to have the nerve to be so upfront and think of the other person before yourself.

This means alot to me because my hubby and I had discussed I think everything up front before we married since this was both our second marriages. He knew I said I would not have another relationship w/ an addict coz the first was hell. He elected to not tell me he was an addict. It took him 12 years to admit to me that he did lie before we were married, but that he didn't tell me coz he truly thought he could kick the habit and he loved me, but he couldn't. He has fallen 5-6, i think, times in our 12 years. I think the last time was a real slap in the face coz he couldn't provide for his family and he's always done that.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you are truly a remarkable lady to think of the other first.

SC13:

Had I known, there would not have been a marriage. Yes, I said above that I think we have a good marriage and I still stand on that. But the rollercoaster ride is a high price to pay. I understand you're not wanting to fall back into a depression. Not a fun way to live, but .... what you are dealing w/ now is what you will deal w/ over and over throughout your marriage. Some addicts do make it past. I think it is very few tho. Just wanted to add this to what I said yesterday. We are on the up side now. Ask me on the down side and my answer may be the total opposite.

February 9, 2005
11:20 am
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Cici
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thanks mamaC. It's easy for me to just hang out with other addicts. I know they know what they're in for. But to a truely good person who was stronger than I was in the face of temptation. I wouldn't wish this demon on anyone, especially an innocent.

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