Question Link –
I am hoping this will be okay to post. I have discussed this with my therapist before but I’m just struggling with it. I know a lot of us have gone out of the way to look up what our partners have looked at, for reasons I don’t quite understand. Lately, I have been a little hyperfixated (I have OCD and GAD so I tend to hyperfixate at times). I have looked up the specific genre of animated porn that he liked a number of times recently. I don’t even like porn (obviously). Animated porn is less horrible to me, but I still just…don’t want it in my life. The only time I have ever looked to myself has bad for the purpose to “expedite the process”, not out of enjoyment or anything of that nature.
I discussed with my therapist that sometimes I feel like I want him to be hurt the way that he hurt me. She conveyed that looking at porn only hurts me because 1. I don’t even like it and it makes me extremely uncomfortable and 2. He used porn so regularly and hid it from me, so he would likely only be angry because I did it but he can’t. She said it is normal when someone hurts you to want them to feel the same way. But I am feeling so bad for having looked at all, and how I feel. Isn’t it crazy? I feel so much guilt for a handful of times, but he looked daily for hours on end and never planned to even tell me?
I struggle a lot with over confessing too. My therapist has advised against me talking to him about this because it is (albeit backwards) a way of coping with what he put me through. I have told him in the past, after the first dday, that I had obsessively looked up the things he had. He wasn’t bothered at that point. I acknowledge it only hurts me to do. I just wish I could break the feelings and the “need” to keep seeing what he did.
I’m truly sorry you’re going through this. The pain and confusion you’re feeling are evident. Let’s unpack a few things based on your words and my role as the lead therapist at Karuna Healing Counselling Services.
- Hyperfixation and OCD: OCD and GAD often involve ruminative thoughts or compulsive behaviors. Your hyperfixation on what he watched might be a manifestation of this. The desire to understand or even control an aspect of a traumatic event or betrayal is a natural, albeit distressing, reaction.
- Retributive Actions: Wanting someone to feel the pain they caused you is a human response. However, you’ve correctly identified that viewing such content, especially when it’s against your inclinations, is self-harming rather than punitive towards him. The discomfort and guilt you’re feeling reinforce this.
- Over-Confessing: The need to confess can be tied to your OCD. Often, those with OCD feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and a compulsion to confess to find some relief from the distressing thoughts. Recognizing this pattern is a crucial first step.
- Comparison with His Actions: It’s natural to compare your actions and feelings to his, especially given the nature of the betrayal. However, each person’s journey, reactions, and coping mechanisms are unique. His past daily use of porn and secrecy does not minimize or invalidate your feelings or experiences.
- Therapist’s Advice: It seems like your therapist is working to help you navigate these complicated feelings. It’s vital to lean on their professional advice, as they know more details of your situation. It’s crucial to recognize when certain actions or behaviors are more harmful than beneficial, even if they provide momentary relief or understanding.
- Moving Forward: Consider focusing on healing practices that are constructive. This may involve further therapy, engaging in activities that elevate your mood, or even attending support groups for partners of addicts. It could be beneficial to establish clear boundaries regarding what you discuss with your partner about this matter, especially if discussing it doesn’t provide relief or a sense of healing.
Remember, healing is a journey, not a destination. Each day presents an opportunity to learn, grow, and move one step closer to a place of peace and understanding. Karuna Healing Counselling Services is here to support you through this process. If you ever feel like delving deeper or need more specialized assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out.