More threads by ED50


Hello all,

I am a bit of a wreck. I cheated on my wife about 6 months ago with a prostitute. I used protection and have been told that I have essentially no risk of infection. I have been checked for common STDs including HIV, and the tests have come back negative. Still, I worry all the time about whether I am healthy.

In addition, I am actively fighting an addiction to pornography. I have been doing this for a few years, but only recently have been trying very hard to stop. That has been more difficult than I could have imagined. I think I made a breakthrough yesterday when I finally came to realize that the pictures weren't the problem, it was my addiction to them. At least for today, I am less eager to go look at those sites. I hope I can build on that. But I worry that I'm going to get caught at work and lose my job, and eventually lose my marriage. I have been doing well recently with not visiting any bad sites, but what if I do?

On top of all of this, my wife is pregnant with our first child, we just moved to a new town and both took new jobs, we have a brand new house that isn't fully finished and I feel pressured to do it all myself, and my Dad has a terminal prognosis from cancer and likely won't be here a month from now. I drive 11 hours every Saturday to see him. When he tells me how proud he is of me, it hurts because I worry that he'll see the other side of me after he passes on.

I love my wife very much, and I want to be a better person for her and my child. I'm trying to do this on my own, and there are days where I feel like I'm losing the battle. I don't want to go to a psychiatrist because I'm afraid of how my wife will react. Everyone looks to me as a strong person, but I feel so awful a bad person. I am looking for someone to reach out to, which is what took me to this web site.

Do any of you have recommendations for where I can get help, or how I can talk to someone about this? I would love some dialogue from time to time.

Thank you all.


First of all, ED50, welcome to Psychlinks. We're glad you're here.

It sounds like you've got a lot of stress in your life right now. That could be increasing the difficulty you're encountering in your efforts to stay away from activities that could negatively impact your life. Viewing porn at work is a real danger. It certainly can result in the loss of your job, along with loss of the respect of your collegues. That's something nobody wants.

Some people are able to break addictions like yours on their own. Others aren't. With all you have at risk, I don't know that I'd take the chance to find out whether I was one of the first group, or the second. I'd opt for getting some help and getting it quickly. I have a feeling that, if you explained to your wife that you're really having trouble coping with the high degree of stress brought on by all the changes in your life, including your father's terminal illness, she'd understand your need to see a professional for advice, and possibly medication. We tend to worry about what the people we love will think of us if we need to ask for help. Usually, all they think is that they want what's best for the one they love!

Talk to your family doctor for a recommendation of someone who's competent to deal with the issues you're facing. Doctors will keep your information confidential, and he/she will be glad to help hook you up with someone who can guide you through the problems you're trying to deal with.

Please keep us posted. We're here to help wherever, and whenever we can.


Daniel E.
I don't want to go to a psychiatrist because I'm afraid of how my wife will react.

Well, as ThatLady says, most spouses are supportive. (Anyway, the alternative isn't pretty: Keeping up a stoic image of strength in the hopes of pleasing others is just a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.)

If you live in a town with a large hospital, they may have a reputable outpatient mental health clinic with therapists and psychiatrists working together.


Thank you for your input. I know that seeing a pro is the right thing to do. When my anxiety first started after my encounter outside of my marriage, I talked to my Mom. It was a huge burden that I put on her that I wish I hadn't done, but at the time I was desperate and on the edge of losing everything. I feel awful for having to tell her what I did, but I did and it saved me. I'm looking for someone else to talk to. I don't want to go back to her, as I've burdened her enough. I'm worried about going to a pro. I'm worried about the reaction and worry that it causes my wife. I'm worried about having what I say go into a permanent medical record. What if I'm at the doctor's office and my wife is with me and the doc carelessly lays out my medical record and she sees what I said?

Daniel E.
What if I'm at the doctor's office and my wife is with me and the doc carelessly lays out my medical record and she sees what I said?

You sue him and get lots of money :) Seriously, I don't think you have anything to worry about. In the US, for example, the HIPAA privacy rules are big deal. In a healthcare setting, you can't go anywhere without seeing them posted or being given a printout. Doctors and therapists don't discuss a patient's mental health issues to anyone -- including one's spouse -- without explicit consent.
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