This article was first published on Fight the New Drug Webstie in 2016 and republished in 2018. It was sent to them annonymously by my oldest daughter. Back then she was interested in protecting the guilty, and the innocent in the hope that he father would get his act together and come back to us. Since that time life has change for all of us, drastically, as this blog has thoroughly discussed. Being annoymous isn’t as important anymore. Most of our friends and family know what happened to us.
What the article doesn’t say is there was more too this than was written. Not only did my Ex come into town to celebrate our youngest’s birthday, he came into town to “celebrate” our anniversary only 2 months after d-day. Understandably, I wasn’t ready to spend time with him whispering sweet nothings in his ear. So this is what he chose to do instead…
Today, January 23rd, would have been our 40th Wedding Anniversay. And these events were really the beginning of the end. This is the point when he showed us all that he had no intention of fixing his problem, repairing our family, or making everything up to us. How sad that he allowed his addiction to destroy a long term marriage and family!
Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.
We recently received a story that shows that the harmful effects of porn don’t always revolve around romantic partners like boyfriends/girlfriends or husbands/wives. Some stories, like this one, show how porn can isolate, consume, and eventually even destroy families.
My dad doesn’t have a porn addiction. He can stop any time he wants.
At least that’s what he likes to tell my mom. Frequently.
Almost eight years ago, my dad was compelled to look at a website when someone confessed to him that a particular website was a problem for them. He didn’t tell any of us because the confession been shared with him in confidence. But it was only a matter of months until my brother caught my dad in a compromising situation, video chatting with a woman that was not our mother.
Related: Is Porn Addiction Even A Real Thing?
Soon it came out that he had created a profile on that website and was befriending other regular porn consumers. He had also started up an inappropriate texting and video chatting relationship with that other woman. My mom moved out for a few weeks because of this but eventually they worked things out and seemed to grow closer than before. Until about a year ago.
My mom received a text from a random woman claiming to have been in a texting relationship with my dad for over a year. She had the texts and pictures to prove it. She had been blackmailing my dad for a while, threatening to tell my mom unless he sent her money every month.
He can stop any time he wants.
The Secret Relationship
Eventually he got tired of paying her off, and even gave her my mom’s phone number, daring her to go through with it. That’s when she first texted my mom. Even after she had blown his cover she still thought she could get money out of him. When he refused to pay her any more money, she started a blog devoted to his infidelities. She posted screen shots of their texts. She posted details about my brother, sister, and myself. She knew things she should not have known about all of us. And then she emailed the link of this blog to my brother, my uncles, and my grandpa.
Mom decided to separate, still wanting to give him a chance to get help and get better. My siblings and I supported her in that decision. She got her own apartment, which she shares with my sister. Dad got a new job in a different state with the plans of visiting to work on his relationship with us.
Related: Why Isn’t Pornography Addiction An Official Diagnosis?
The first time he came back to visit was to celebrate my sister’s birthday. But my sister wasn’t sure she was ready to see him. So I offered to spend time with him instead. He came over in the morning to drop off a birthday card for my sister, but as soon as he walked in the door he was making excuses for why he needed to leave. He said he needed to pick up a prescription he hadn’t yet transferred to his local pharmacy, he was planning to take an old friend to lunch, and he wanted to stop at the outlet mall to look for some new pants. We were surprised that he didn’t want to spend time with us but we weren’t going to force him to hang out. We didn’t hear from him for the rest of the day, despite reaching out to him. Later that evening I asked my mom if she had heard from him at all, and she hadn’t.
Something Was Up
I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going on. So I got in my car to just drop in on him at his hotel. My mom was worried that maybe he’d had a heart attack and didn’t want me to go alone. I told her I was fairly certain he hadn’t had a heart attack but that I had other suspicions. But she met me there anyway.
I didn’t know what room he was in and since hotels don’t give out that information for security reasons, they called his room for me. No answer. Mom called his cell phone. Twice. No answer. The hotel staff called his room again and he finally answered. They told him we were there. It took him a really long time to come down to the hotel lobby and when he did he acted very strange.
Related: How Porn Can Become Addictive
After talking to him for a while I suspected he had someone in his hotel room. He swore that he didn’t. I told him to prove it. He jumped up out of his chair and said that he would do just that.
Halfway down the hall he turned and said he wasn’t going to take us up to his room, that he did have someone up there, that nothing was going on, and that she didn’t deserve to be confronted like that.
He can stop any time he wants.
His Secrets Revealed
He pleaded with us to leave and promised he would drive her home. I wasn’t about to let that happen. I suggested he call her a cab. He wouldn’t. I begged him to let me call one, I’d even pay for it. He didn’t. I insisted he take me to his room. He refused. He protected this woman at every turn.
Eventually I convinced him to take me up to the room. I’m not exactly sure what I was trying to accomplish. Maybe I thought she’d be reasonable and let me call her a cab. Instead, I was forced to stand in the hall while she and my dad whispered to corroborate their story. Once I was finally allowed in the the room I knew that there was definitely something going on there. The woman hid in the bathroom the entire time, but the bed wasn’t made and her clothes were folded on the couch. I picked up her phone and my dad lost it. He begged me to put it down. When I wouldn’t, he tried to physically pry it from fingers, blocking my every move. I was scared by that behavior, my dad had never before been physically confrontational with me in my life.
He can stop any time he wants.
I thought that I could wait there in that room until one of them came to their senses and let me call a cab. But she told me, through the door, that my dad is a grown man and I should let him make his own decisions. And he threatened to call the cops on me if I didn’t leave.
Related: When Porn Wasn’t Enough For My Partner, He Turned To Prostitutes
I left that hotel that night with a broken heart. My dad should have been protecting my mom and myself in such a crazy situation. Really he never should have put himself, let alone us, in a situation like that in the first place. But the love he has felt for his family has been replaced by something else. Something cheap and fleeting.
Can he really stop any time he wants?
If he really could stop…
I refuse to believe that this is not an addiction and that he can stop whenever he wants. I refuse to believe that this shell of a man is the father I have known and loved my entire life. I refuse to believe that the dad I know and love is a figment of my imagination and that this is the real him. I refuse to believe that instead of choosing to stop, he would consciously choose to continue this behavior that is only hurting him and those that he supposedly loves most.
If he could really stop any time he wants, I wish he would have stopped a long time ago.
What YOU Can Do
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