HonestWife
We are rebuilding after many years of affairs , and porn. He swears he wants to be with me. But I still catch him deleting his history and hiding things. He agrees to almost anything I ask but then doesn't follow through. But I tell you, he swears he wants to be with me and he loves me and he's sorry. I know I don't trust promises but actions. But it's hard.
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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TimT
Can chronic liars change?

Yes, but just like any "chronic" bad behavior, it will probably only happen after some kine of significant intervention: a deep personal crisis, focussed therapy, vulnerable accountability. Most people aren't willing to do that work.

Your husband probably really does want to change, at some level. But there is a pay-off for his lying that will likely keep him going back to it. Learning to trust habitual liars is quite a challenge!

When I've seen a real shift in this area, partners are no longer confused. The change is pretty obvious.
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EAM
Sometimes addiction (to porn!) creates a shortcut to the pleasure centre in the brain, and compulsive behaviour takes over. Ask him if he'll take a sex addiction self-test with you, and if the results look like they hint at addiction, there are support groups , and potentially that group becomes a condition for staying married.
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HonestWife

Thank you Tim. I'm waiting and hoping and prayingb.

TimT wrote:
Can chronic liars change?

Yes, but just like any "chronic" bad behavior, it will probably only happen after some kine of significant intervention: a deep personal crisis, focussed therapy, vulnerable accountability. Most people aren't willing to do that work.

Your husband probably really does want to change, at some level. But there is a pay-off for his lying that will likely keep him going back to it. Learning to trust habitual liars is quite a challenge!

When I've seen a real shift in this area, partners are no longer confused. The change is pretty obvious.
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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HonestWife
Thanks eam. He has admitted he is a sex addict and goes to 12 step w some regularity. I think he has a high level addiction but he thinks he's not that Bad. There are things I see other guys in 12step do but so far he is not interested or willing.

12 step groups and other groups can be great but if you don't di what they recommend, you are in the same position you started. It's like tiger woods. Do you think his treatment program told him it was ok to resume his old life?? I doubt it.

EAM wrote:
Sometimes addiction (to porn!) creates a shortcut to the pleasure centre in the brain, and compulsive behaviour takes over. Ask him if he'll take a sex addiction self-test with you, and if the results look like they hint at addiction, there are support groups , and potentially that group becomes a condition for staying married.
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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Lpat4
For me the lies are one of the hardest things to overcome. I never thought my husband of 12 years could find it so easy to lie to me. He says it was to protect me as he never wanted to hurt me as he loved me. I struggle with it.
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TimT
Lpat4 wrote:
For me the lies are one of the hardest things to overcome. I never thought my husband of 12 years could find it so easy to lie to me. He says it was to protect me as he never wanted to hurt me as he loved me. I struggle with it.

If he didn't have a pattern of lying before, then he will return to honest, trustworthy behavior if/when he does the work of affair recovery. Having an affair doesn't turn mean that a person's character turns permanently upside-down (although it certainly seems that way from the betrayed partner's perspective!) 

But if lying has always been a part of his character, then he MUST be willing to do the work required to understand this and change. I've seen clients with lying patterns. Those who commit to changing on the other side of infidelity will begin to understand that honesty and integrity cannot be limited to just one area of life ("I promise I'll never cheat again"), but begins to affect every area. 

This kind of change is much harder, but I've seen it happen.
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Intuition77
Lpat4 wrote:
For me the lies are one of the hardest things to overcome. I never thought my husband of 12 years could find it so easy to lie to me. He says it was to protect me as he never wanted to hurt me as he loved me. I struggle with it.


Yes the lies are the worse. I remember being actually dumbstruck that he would/could just lie about going to work. Like it never occurred to me so done would actually do that. That prob sounds dumb but it was like the ease that he did it was just shocking.

As for the porn addiction post I def believe there's a connection with the fantasy of porn and affairs. I read it ups the brains desire for risky behavior and more and more newness.

And as any wife can prob attest to porn problems kill your sex life to at least some degree eventually. Once their obsessed with porn sex with reality (the wife) isn't exciting enough they retreat more and more to fantasy intimacy suffers, the wife's self esteem suffers, her desire suffers because of his lack of interest or feeling like he's not "there" during sex, sex plummets. Then they have a fresh excuse of we didn't have a good sex life anymore to cheat. My husband was also hiding a porn addiction (he won't admit that of course) and I think any addiction creates lies. You have to lie to yourself just to continue an addiction so I really believe their brains function differently. Like the lies are so ingrained it's their normal.
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Kalmarjan
I can shed a little light on the porn fantasy part.

I remember watching a documentary called "Wrestling with Shadows" and in it, one of my childhood idols "Jake the Snake" Roberts talked about sex addiction and how it affected his home life.
First it was sex with a hooker, then with two at the same time. Then it was with another person watching, then with more and more kinkiness involved.
Then he had to go home and be with his wife.

I too suffered from this. Porn created excitement that was missing, and my wife cannot live up to. When I was with the AP it was exciting at first. The newness, the danger. Doing it in cars and hotel rooms, the risk of wing caught was intoxicating. But, as things settled down I found I had problems being excited with even the AP.

Back in the day porn was a big deal to get a hold of. You had to either rent a video or buy a dirty mag. That was what you had on hand. Today, you an consume porn in any fashion as long as you have some form of Internet connection. Most for free.

Also, this is where the AP looks so good on a pedestal after the affair ends, because it's the "porno" that you are reminiscing about, not the situation or the pressures that the affair put on uou.

Let me tell you, intoxicating.

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Lpat4
My husband has never lied to me before ( i know this may seem hard to imagine seeing he lied about the whole affair!). Thank you for your response team, positive reinforcements help immensely as i know our marriage can survive and i can see all the changes he has made and his open and honest responses - it is however a difficult and at times heartbreaking road to recovery.
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Lpat4
opps sorry that was meant to be Tim - not team, though in saying that the recovery process has been a whole team effort!
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Intuition77
Kalmarjan wrote:
I can shed a little light on the porn fantasy part.

I remember watching a documentary called "Wrestling with Shadows" and in it, one of my childhood idols "Jake the Snake" Roberts talked about sex addiction and how it affected his home life.
First it was sex with a hooker, then with two at the same time. Then it was with another person watching, then with more and more kinkiness involved.
Then he had to go home and be with his wife.

I too suffered from this. Porn created excitement that was missing, and my wife cannot live up to. When I was with the AP it was exciting at first. The newness, the danger. Doing it in cars and hotel rooms, the risk of wing caught was intoxicating. But, as things settled down I found I had problems being excited with even the AP.

Back in the day porn was a big deal to get a hold of. You had to either rent a video or buy a dirty mag. That was what you had on hand. Today, you an consume porn in any fashion as long as you have some form of Internet connection. Most for free.

Also, this is where the AP looks so good on a pedestal after the affair ends, because it's the "porno" that you are reminiscing about, not the situation or the pressures that the affair put on uou.

Let me tell you, intoxicating.




Once again thank you. Since my spouse has had no interest in insight I struggle with trying to make sense alone. And at one point I said it was like the affair was just porn fantasy come to life. Your insight helps me makes sense of what I need to in order to move past.
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HonestWife
Interesting Tim. I never thought about overall character before the affairs in that way. My wh was not a liar or porn addict when we married. Perhaps bc we married before internet exploded. But he has lied for 10 years and it is so hard for him to tell the truth now. He said he is like a teenager who likes to get one over on his parents. I caught him in one trivial lie once (during affairs but not related to the affairs) and I told him he was a terrible liar and he smugly thought "if I'm such a bad liar, how do you not know about all my affairs??"


[Q]
If he didn't have a pattern of lying before, then he will return to honest, trustworthy behavior if/when he does the work of affair recovery. Having an affair doesn't turn mean that a person's character turns permanently upside-down (although it certainly seems that way from the betrayed partner's perspective!) 
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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