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Hi, my boyfriend and I are both 31, and we've been dating for 6 months...we're in the processing of meeting each other's families, and we're in love, so this is very serious. I've been cheated on in a past relationship, so I have trust issues and he knows this. He has several female friends whom he says are just friends.
I have looked at his cell phone and text messages because I am so afraid of being hurt and cheated on. For the most part they are innocent, until one time recently I discovered that he has been begging a close female friend for pictures of her breasts. Needless to say I am devasted.
I confronted him and he was honest with me, and was so ashamed of himself, not only for hurting me, but for treating his friend as an object. He apologized to me profusely, and said he would apologize to her as well and stop asking her. He told me he has a problem (addiction) with lust and pornography. He said he loves me very much and it has nothing to do with me, that he doesn't compare me to other women, etc, etc....but he just likes visuals of nude women. He said it doesn't mean he wants to be with them, he just likes seeing breasts....but to ask a FRIEND ? I told him I don't mind as much if it's internet or movie porn, because that is not realistic, but it hurts to know he's asking this of a FRIEND, someone who is REAL to him. He cried and said he wouldn't hurt me like that again.
My problem is that I'm having so much trouble believing and trusting him. I have been praying to God for support and that I will get through these feelings. My first thought was to leave him, but I really do love him and hope our relationship is strong enough to tackle this.
I need advice on how to stop looking/snooping into his's almost like it's become MY addiction, to look for something that's going to hurt me. I'm ashamed of violating his privacy and don't want to, but can't seem to stop.

Thoughts ?
Hi there,

I have been with my OH now for almost 2 years. I used to be addicted to looking through his mobile phone. I started looking at his mobile phone about 6 months into our relationship. I didn't always liked what I found.

One time he caught me red handed looking at a text message. He was disappointed in me. I confronted him about what I found. He was in touch with an ex girlfriend before me. The texts were not flirtatious but she is a bunny boiler and can not let go of him, he was encouraging her to keep in touch with him. Some texts he sent her was friendly and some were more rude. I felt that by him even responding to her, he was encouraging her.

It did not stop at his mobile phone.

I then went through his computer and even through his wallet and draws. He still kept pictures of her. I just deleted them without telling him.

I felt that suspicion drove me to look through his things in the first place. We never argued about me doing this, we came to the agreement that he would change his mobile number and that nothing is private from each other. We can look through each others mobiles at any time and we have each others password to email addresses.

I feel that if he has nothing to hide then he should have no problem with me looking through his phone at any time.
I'm right there with you on the trust issues, as are most people on this board. Usually, its our own scarred brains that make situations more than what they really are.

I never thought I'd fully trust anyone again after some of the things that have happened in my life, but I do now. It wasn't an easy road, and sometimes I still find clouds of doubt rolling through (funny, only when I'm PMSing!). But I do trust my boyfriend 100%. It just took time.

Yeah, your b/f asking to see another woman's breasts is horribly inappropriate and of course you're hurt by it. Naturally it will leave suspicion for the future. He really needs to prove to you that he deserves trust. He crossed a line by asking a friend for naked pictures, there's no getting around that. I wouldn't declare him a cheater just yet though. Maybe I'm a naive, hopeful, love-sick pup..but I think he desreves a chance to prove his devotion to you.

Men will always look at women. It's like a woman walking through a mall.. you may not buy the shoes, but you're sure as h*** gonna look!! Him looking does not make him care for you any less.

I'm definitely not excusing his behavior when asking for pictures of his friend, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't keep your guard up for a bit. Just that people do make mistakes, and some are capable of learning from them. Give him a two strike rule. If you catch him again, then walk.

It takes effort to trust someone. It starts with having the strength to say no to snooping. Sneaking through his personal things is no way to gain his trust.. and how can you expect to trust him, if he can't trust you?
If he really feels he has an addiction, and is serious about wanting to end it, he can seek counseling.. either through a professional or through support groups.. yes they have sex addict support groups!

If he doesn't want outside help, but does want to put a stop to it.. then he needs discipline. He will probably need your help with that. It's like any other addiction.. remove yourself from temptation. If that means putting his computer away for a few weeks or months.. then so be it. When he feels "bored and/or lonely" he should seek other fufillments... hobbies or going out with friends or family. If he feels an urge to search for porn he should call someone to distract him, whether thats you or a friend. Hey-- he could even come here for some advice on over-coming sex addiction!

I think it's great that you're sharing and practicing your faith together. I believe that that will help strengthen your relationship.

Good luck to the both of you
Ok, I'm chiming in very very late on this one, but I just had to toss in my little 2 cents....

I'm a bit confused. He has admitted to an "addiction" to porn and lust and dirty pictures, he demeaned and insulted a female friend by asking her to take her top off, take pictures of her naked breasts and send them to him, then he says he would have lost respect for her if she had actually done it, but he didn't lose any respect for himself for asking her in the first place, and YOU'RE the one seeing a shrink? OF course you have trust issues with this guy. He proved himself UNTRUSTWORTHY. He has broken your trust. and it takes time to rebuild it once it's broken. Even is he is being totally transparent and open with you and isn't hiding anything at all from you, which is good, he still broke your trust and that's not going to heal overnight, any more than a broken bone heals overnight. It takes time AND all the other stuff.

If he's a porn junkie, and wants to stop, why isn't HE in therapy? If I were in your shoes, that would go much further to making me feel better. Insecurity of course is never a good thing in a relationship, but when the relationship is PART of what is making you insecure, you can talk to shrinks till the cows come home, you won't feel any more secure or trusting. He needs to get therapy for his addiction and follow through and not just make sweet promises, but actually DO something to get rid of his addiction. Until and unless he gets help for it, it's only a matter of time before he asks another female friend, co-worker, neighbor, etc. for naked pictures of her breasts or worse. An you will drive yourself nuts waiting for it to happen, and no shrink in the world will be able to help you be ok with that ax over your head.

Your problem is not an addiction to snooping on his cell phone. Your problem is that you've chosen to be with someone who has broken your trust and who is addicted to behavior that you consider dishonest and cheating, and he hasn't taken enough action toward correcting it. That's your problem. I think if the therapist you see this week is worth their salt at all, they'll tell you the same thing. Oh, and by the way, that business about him "needing you at night" so that he won't look at porn, and that he doesn't do it when you're around and that if you were there all the time, then his addiction would go away, NO!!!!! That's stinkin' thinkin'. That's not curing his addiction, that's just swapping cocain for heroin. He would only be using you as a new addiction, and it would only be a matter of time before he got bored with just you if you were to move in anyway. He's not healthy, and he needs to get healthy before he can be a good partner for you. You can seek treatment for your insecurity if you like, in fact, that can be a good idea, but if only one person in a relationship is healthy and the other person is sick, then the relationship will be sick. YOU CANNOT be healthy enough for the both of you.

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