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SC,

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Thing is... I don't even feel angry or hurt. I haven't cried about it at all -- and I'm a big-time crier. But I don't think my lack of emotion here is necessarily a good thing. It's almost like I don't care. The ol' wall is back up. I guess I sort of expected it, but still.

I think you lack of emotions is found on something other than your wall. I think it is because you aren't surprised that he failed, or had a relapse. Further, you KNOW he loves you and finds you attractive, so you aren't as threatened by the porn.

Having said that, I also want to say that you have handled this perfectly in my estimation. I think you should talk to him. First, he needs to agree to see a counselor and address this. But, I also think you need to demystify this whole porn thing abit. Talk to him about it, ask him what he finds attractive, is there something he wants to act on?

Next ask him if this is about relaxation and escape or fantasy. As you get him to talk about this, I think some interesting things will happen. One you two have talked about some very very hard subjects in the past and probably will again. So the door is NOW open to talking. Second, you did catch him and I would bet good money he is humiliated that you did, but he is shocked at your response. You were NOT mad.

This means he may feel safe to talk with you. I will offer you some advice when you ask him a question about this. ASK ONE QUESTION, and then sit there until he answers it. It may take minutes before he can formulate the answer. There are two reasons for this. First, men don't normally talk about feelings, so they have not created the phrasing and descriptions necessary to adequately convey their feelings. Second reason is that I am betting your H does NOT really know what he gets out of porn. So it will take him some considerable thought to try and get out what it is he is getting from it.

It may be fantasy that he NEVER really wants to see come to be real. It may be him remembering his youth, it may be just plain escape, not from you, or the kids, but just from life. One thing studies have found that men seem to have more of a need to dream than women. I am not sure that is right given how many women love romance novels, and TV soaps. IN some ways these things are the female equivalent of porn, with regard to the escapism aspects.

My main point is open a dialogue, not so much to solve this problem (the counselor should be able to do that with your H), but so that you understand him better, so that HE understands himself better, and so that it becomes something he can be more honest about. I am betting he is really really embarrassed about this weakness of his.

SC, this may sound strange to you, but oddly this may be a good thing for your marriage. Your H is still dealing with your A, but has been very good about not accusing you AND HE has changed alot even by your own admission. What now needs to take place is more open and deeper conversations about his need for porn AND about YOUR thoughts and feelings toward him and your A.

I don't think it is a threat to your marriage or his love for you directly. It may be a threat to how you see yourself in his life. I think you handling like you have so far and hopefully when you talk tonight will help shine more light into some dark places and further open your heart and his heart.

SC, this is an OPPORTUNITY as far as I can tell. Use it and I think you will be more deeply rewarded. You are going to learn more and more about your H and some of it may not be pretty, and yet despite his failings he has accomplished more than many. Just remember that as well.

None of us are perfect save "thee and me and I wonder about thee". <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Right??? <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

You are doing well and all in all so is your H. Have that talk and don't be discouraged.

God Bless,

JL

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kyellow -- Why did you delete your post? I thought the stuff you wrote was right on target -- about changing behaviors not being enough, and needing to dig a little deeper. And not feeling safe until he does. Like you said, when you have an affair, it's not enough to just stop it. You have to do your homework to figure out why you did it in the first place, and then put safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't happen again. Why should a porn habbit/addiction/whatever you want to call it be any different?

Mr W -- Thanks for your optimism. It probably has some merit. But it's not like he opened-up willingly. Just a couple of weeks ago, I asked him if he was having any trouble with urges that he might need some help with. He told me no, absolutely not, he didn't even crave it, and he knew that if he did indulge, it would reduce his desire for me, which he didn't want to happen.

FL & ntt -- thanks for the hugs. <sigh> I just don't know. I am closing down. Can't seem to help it.

I guess I'll just wait to see what he has to say tonight. All that stuff about using it as a diversion, to dull his own pain... blah, blah, blah... seems more like a convenient excuse than a real reason now. That may be a big part of the reason why it escalated, but it's obviously not the root of the problem. Why didn't I see it before? Actually, I think I did but it was just easier to look the other way and take him at his word.

It makes me realize that I really have no control over the situation. I mean, I can maybe take away some of the temptation by meeting his needs. But I've been busting my tail to do that lately and it didn't stop him. In fact, it appears the better job I did, the less vigilant he became about holding-up his end of the bargain. He's the one who has to figure out 'why', and 'how' to stop it. The only thing I know for sure is that another proclamation that "I get it now" is not going to be enough this time. Been there. Done that.

You know what ntt -- I don't necessarily think this will be comforting, but it doesn't seem to matter whether they act sorry or not when it comes to this issue. My H was soooo sorry... real tears... a life-changing moment... a wake-up call... an understanding about how destructive it was... blah, blah, blah. So what?

--SC


"I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain." (guess who)
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Has IC helped you much. I've been thinking about it. Also starting to wonder if it has become an OCD thing for me. Little things trigger such deep feelings. H was talking to his friend about how much he missed his younger years and all I could think of was that he missed the freedom of doing/going were ever he wanted (going out, going to strip clubs while I was away at college-being faithful to a tee, I only went to one party in my two years there!), although it seems that that actually never changed.

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Hi SC -

I agree with the others. You handled the situation very well.

From everything you've written that I've read, I believe your husband does want to change. A person can't make the scope of changes - and maintain those changes - without being genuine.

On the other hand, as JL (I think) pointed out, old habits die hard. Without knowing your husband, I'm willing to bet that he feels somewhat trapped. He wants to stop, but just doesn't have the internal strength to kick it, no matter how badly he wants to.

The fact that he's willing to talk to you, and that you approached it in such a loving yet firm way, probably goes a long way to strengthening his resolve.

Sex addiction and porn use is, unfortunately, very prevalent among men, especially with the rise of the internet. I work as a web application developer, and the running joke in the industry is that almost all of the technologies we take for granted now (streaming video, credit card verification, etc) were pioneered by the porn industry. There's more truth than fiction in that.

I can tell you from personal experience that it's insidious, and can creep in when you least expect it. As I mentioned on my old thread, I had a voyeuristic streak. Despite MP wanting a monogamous relationship with only me, I persisted in this not so little fantasy of mine, and she eventually started using it to get me going. In the process, I stripped her of almost all (if not all) of her intimate feelings for me. In counseling, when it was brought up to our counselor, he labeled it a sex addiction.

I would humbly suggest a couple of things, based on my own experience. First, try and get Mr Cookie to open up about it with you, and see if he can understand what it does to him. I realized, once my eyes were opened in the midst of our crisis, that not only had I robbed my wife of intimate feelings for me, but I had also robbed myself of intimate feelings for her. I relegated her in many ways to the role of a sex object, all the while telling myself that it was a harmless little fantasy and no one would get hurt. I was, for the longest time, even fine with the idea of her actually acting out this fantasy of mine, as long as she came back to me. (One aside for clarification - I did not want her to do anything with the OM, and I told her that. But the damage was already done...if I valued her so little, or gave the appearance of valuing her so little, and was not meeting her needs and making her feel unloved, why should she hold herself to my wishes).

Second, ask him if he's willing to be totally accountable to you (and/or someone else - perhaps a strong male friend)? I have told my wife that I no longer have that desire, that I do not want to share her, and I do not allow those thoughts to take hold in my mind. I have told her that she is free to check the history of my browser and or the files on my computer anytime she wants. I have nothing to hide, and as part of my own personal housecleaning I have dumped everything that I ever had on my system that even remotely related to that, and have not gone to any of those websites in over 2 months. I also realize that I have to be on guard against this, probably for the rest of my life. As I shared with MP and our counselor, the whole thing scares me now, because I can feel it lurking in the back of my mind, just waiting for me to let down my guard and pounce on me.

Porn is a terrible thing, and it's not innocent. I think a lot of people (not necessarily you) tend to overlook the effect it has on the users. It's like any other drug - you need more and more to get the same high you got the day before, and the day before that.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the issue. I think you and Mr. Cookie have something very important in your corner - a desire to make your marriage all it should be, and the ability to honestly communicate. Hang in there.


Formerly known as brokenbird

BH (Me) - 38
WW (Magpie) - 31
Married 2001 (Together 8 years)
DS - 13
DD - 5
EA/PA - 9/05-12/05
D-Day - 11/05

Second separation. Working on me.

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.
John 15:7 (NIV)
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SC,

Ask him to back up his new promises tonight with some actions. For example, he must install a keylogger program on his computer which is password protected and running at all times. They can be set up to activate automatically at upon start up. Only you would know the password. Viewing porn is a violation and turning off the keylogger is an equal transgression. You become his accountability partner. His problem becomes your (him and you) problem and you will help him.

This will also allow you to sleep soundly and not fret everytime he gets out of bed to go teetee.

Just an idea.

Mr. Wondering


FBH(me)-51 FWW-49 (MrsWondering)
DD19 DS 22 Dday-2005-Recovered

"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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JL,

You always have so many little golden nuggets in your post that I have to read them about 20 times to make sure I get them all. As ususal, I think you're pretty much on target.

Part of the reason that I'm not all bent out of shape IS, as you say, that I'm not surprised and not as threatened as I used to be. But there's also some apathy which is what I've been trying to so hard to overcome these last several weeks and months. And I'm not so sure this isn't a direct threat. I mean, I've already seen in the past how easily he can replace me with this stuff.

And remember, it had become a nightly thing. "Sometimes I'd do it even when I didn't really want to." I'm no expert. But that would indicate to me that it goes beyond escape or fantasy. I believe that's what they call a "compulsion."

But the bottom line is, we do need to talk about it. And I need to be curious not furious, and really LISTEN. I can do that. And yes, I am keeping it in perspective.

Thanks,
--SC


"I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain." (guess who)
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ntt -- I think IC is helping. It's not easy. In fact, I usually come out of the sessons feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. But I also realize that's part of the process.

Bird -- Thank you so much for your insights. I know how prevalent this stuff is on the internet. I was doing a search for something once when I was pregnant and ended up on this porn site featuring pregnant women (nice, huh?) and COULDN'T GET OUT OF IT. The more I clicked on the X's, the more junk popped up. Freaked me right out! lol. Unfortunately, he knows a lot more about computers than I do, and he knows a way to delete sites out of the history. Maybe the key logger thing Mr Wondering mentioned would work. I've seen that mentioned before. I hate the idea of being "his mom". But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. I also think you're right about how hard it is to break a habit like this. Bottom line, I don't think it's possible unless you really dig into the underlying issues/reasons. I guess I'll find out tonight if he's ready to take that step.

--SC


"I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain." (guess who)
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Change of perspective.

You are not to be his mom....he must voluntarily ask you to be his accountiblity PARTNER. In the interests of being (not becoming) "ONE" with him, his problems are necessarily yours as well. Help him ONLY if he truly wants your help.

If he is good with computers you may need to be diligent to discover if he finds a way to bypass your keylogger program. There may be signs to look for in the logs to discover this. Get a good program and have him teach you how to use it and even discuss anyway he can think of today to get around it...if he wants help he should be forthright with you to you both can close the doors to opportunity completely.

Much like any addicition, no contact needs to be observed and maintained to insure any independent and/or marital counseling on the subject is actually fruitful.

Good luck,

Mr. Wondering


FBH(me)-51 FWW-49 (MrsWondering)
DD19 DS 22 Dday-2005-Recovered

"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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Thanks Mr. Wondering. I think I get it... though I reserve the right to ask more questions later!


"I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain." (guess who)
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SC -
xxxchurch.com is a progressive anti-porn org. They have accountability software that can be downloaded that allows him to be accountable to another person automatically should he so desire. Challenge him to check them out. On the surface they seem a bit over the edge but then again, so was Paul when he went out into the world with his ministry. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

It may prove to be a helpful resource for him.


Me (BS) 36 FWW 35 Married 5/25/91 DS-7 DD - Born 11/8/05 !!! PA #1 12/1996 PA #2 4/01 to 1/04 NC 1/04 There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. - Mahatma Gandhi Don't think exposure is a good idea? Go here... From Harley Himself
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Hi SM,

I dont know if you want my input (even though you asked <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> ) ... after all the talk and agreements, catching him that last time, I would have had him pack a bag and got to a motel for the night. I'm very serious. You've gone the 'nice' route, gloves come off, now. He's obviously OK with lying to you about it, he obviously isnt afraid he's going to loose his marriage over it. I think a night in a lonely hotel room would have done him some good.

As others have said, accountability is crucial - I'd have a key logger on the computer tonight. Of course he can get it anywhere, but keeping it out of the house is important (like keeping alcohol out of the house with a newly sober alcoholic).

I think you BOTH need to read the SA books. Patrick Carnes has a few, AM suggested another. After this last incident, he should be agreeable to these readings.

See what he has to say and go from there. Again, I'm now super hard-nosed about all of this. Either it's a problem and he needs to get help, or it wasnt, in which case he would have stopped by now. I'd insist on him getting professional help since he's proved over and over that he cannot deal with this on his own. Then I'd let him deal with it.

I tell you, after so many dozens of these conversations with my H I finally said 'We have different ideas on what marriage should be... I made a mistake, we need to D'. And that was it. Everything changed. But it wasnt going to change as long as I put up with it.

(for those who dont know my story, I thought porn was neat and fun... H took it to a whole other level. I'm not a prude, but H ruined porn for us both).

Good luck tonight - Dru

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SC:

Sorry I missed this post until now. I will add my little tidbits of info from my own sitch for whatever they are worth. I am a recovering pornaholic. Although I had urges and instances of misuse of porn prior to the advent of the internet, things got out of control when it became all too readily available on the internet about ten years ago...remember what was going on in my life ten years ago??

I have not viewed any porn in more than a year, I kicked this habit prior to D-day and without professional help (except as noted from the real professional.) However, since D-Day, I have discussed this use and abuse in my history in depth with both my FWW and my IC as well as numerous conversations with our priest over the last three years. My IC says that the ability of anyone to basically kick the habit cold turkey without professional help is extremely rare especially if it is cojoined with a SA tendency.

I would like to say that my initial abuse of porn was an individual decision that I took on my own and was not related to what was going on in my M at the time. Although I own my porn abuse 100% just as my FWW owns her A, it would be nonsensical to think that the environment that allowed the affair didn't also allow the porn use.

As to how that I stopped, it was in my belief a devine intervention...but an intervention that I started because my porn use although more progressive over time was less fulfilling over time. I may have thought that I was filling a need at first that my wife wasn't meeting. I wish that was the case, but if I am honest with myself, the use of porn for me was probably very similar in many ways to my FWW's A...the secrecy, the rush of adreniline, etc. Problem was that as this abuse ran it's course, I needed more (both time and graphic) but it was never quite enough. At one point, when I was at my office late, by myself and had wasted an entire evening when I could have been at home with my wife and kids or at least getting some work done that needed to be done. I hit a low point in my life and something had to change. Although I have had occassional relapses and for sure the urge when I am bored, I have been able to beat this addiction.

That is not to say that my urge is any less strong than an alcoholic who will most likely struggle the rest of their life with the thought of what would just one drink hurt, I know that the reality is all or none...there is no in between.

Since D-day and our openess in our marriage, the urge has been less for several reasons. First, without question my needs are being met better and so this is less of an alternative. Secondly, with radical honesty, I would feel obliged to tell my wife if I had slipped even if she didn't find out, therefore, RH has imposed a kind of accountability that is important in beating any type of addiction. Lastly, I just don't have time. To keep the committment to spending 15 hrs/week of UA with my FWW, being a better and more active husband and father and focusing on running my business without trying to have the procrastionation escape of the porn, I just had to make time management choices and that was one that was easy to leave behind. However, I still have to pray for strength to keep my on track at least several times a week if not daily. I crossed the line and I cannot go back there, no matter how tempting. To me this boundary is no less than an alcoholic being totally sober or a FWS having no opposite sex friends without others present.

I cannot tell you if Mr. Cookie Monster can beat this without professional help or not, but I can tell you that even with a cold turkey approach, it is likely that relapses will occur. They did for me, but the relapses became more distant and spread out over time until at some point, the urge was just less prevalent than the consequences.

Encourage Mr. Cookie Monster to share those urges with you. When he has a relapse (very often followed closely after very good SF for some reason) don't be too quick to assume that this is indicative of how he feels about you or that you did not fulfill him. It is almost the opposite, when SF is really good or better than ever, for some reason the urge comes back looking to add icing on the cake.

If Mr. Cookie Monster is truly committed to your relationship and to kicking this habit, with your help and God's guidance, over time it can be controlled...maybe not cured but controlled.

However, I do have to agree with Dorry reminding you that his actions in this regard to not justify or equate to what you did by having the A. Often, when the recovery rollercoaster is on a downhill swing for us, my FWW wants to equate my emotional detachment after her A and my betrayal by use of porn with her betrayal with another man. Kind of a tit for tat rationalization. This is dangerous and unhealthy for the marriage building process. His use of porn no more justifies your actions, than your action justify his use of porn. Two different issues with shared blame to go around for the environment that allowed it but still a personal choice that personal responsibility must be taken.

NT


O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other... Rienhold Niebuhr
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NT - that was such a great post...


Dorry (aka Deeplysorry)
me FWW - EA/PA fall of 2004
FWH EA/PA late spring 2005
Got our acts together July 2005 and started recovery.

The Recovery Guide for WW's (Wayward Wives)
Dorry's Story

[color:"blue"]Excuses are easy...change is hard....[/color]
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NT - that was such a great post...

Dorry, I have been inspired by you and other so much that I can hardly take any credit for anything I say other than to say that those of you who have perservered are an example for all on this board.

NT


O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, courage to change what should be changed, and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other... Rienhold Niebuhr
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Anyone have any insight?

Believe it or not he is quite normal. MOST MEN MASTURBATE.
98% of men do and the other 2% lie about it <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />... Many other women on here who think that their man is not doing it have just not caught him in the act yet.

It is a proven fact again and again...

Most men ON THIS SITE do also and if they don't they probably struggle with trying not to do it or have struggled with it in the past.


So, please don't feel like this is your fault or that your man is some weirdo sexual animal. He just happens to have been caught. I have talked to quite a few men (Christians and otherwise) who have this very struggle.


It is NOT easily overcome and easy to change. He will most likely get smarter about gettting caught. He can do it in the shower, his car, at the computer, out in the woods, when you leave for 10 minutes to go to the store.. yada, yada, yada......

I don't know your answer in getting him to change WITH OR WITHOUT help. It has to come from him and it has to be a one day at a time one moment at a time commitment. It only takes a brief moment in time to fall down once again.

Hang in there.

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Quote
Quote
Anyone have any insight?

Believe it or not he is quite normal. MOST MEN MASTURBATE.
98% of men do and the other 2% lie about it <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />... Many other women on here who think that their man is not doing it have just not caught him in the act yet.

It is a proven fact again and again...

Most men ON THIS SITE do also and if they don't they probably struggle with trying not to do it or have struggled with it in the past.


So, please don't feel like this is your fault or that your man is some weirdo sexual animal. He just happens to have been caught. I have talked to quite a few men (Christians and otherwise) who have this very struggle.


It is NOT easily overcome and easy to change. He will most likely get smarter about gettting caught. He can do it in the shower, his car, at the computer, out in the woods, when you leave for 10 minutes to go to the store.. yada, yada, yada......

I don't know your answer in getting him to change WITH OR WITHOUT help. It has to come from him and it has to be a one day at a time one moment at a time commitment. It only takes a brief moment in time to fall down once again.

Hang in there.

most women masturbate too.
you are really missing the point.
good luck to you.

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I didn't think this was about masterbation.

I thought this was about porn use....


Dorry (aka Deeplysorry)
me FWW - EA/PA fall of 2004
FWH EA/PA late spring 2005
Got our acts together July 2005 and started recovery.

The Recovery Guide for WW's (Wayward Wives)
Dorry's Story

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SC,

I think it is the compulsion thing you need to talk to him about. You are NOT his mom, but you are his W and his partner. Like any addiction it takes often months of no contact before the compulsions die down, and like alcohol they never completely go away.

Men do like to see the female form. It is part of our chemistry and psychology, but that does not justify porn use to the detriment of the marriage. I think also you might find if you question him deeply, that he is depressed.

Most depressed people can and often do self-medicate with something. It can be porn because it is "not self-destructive" like drug or alcohol. But, the reality is as has been pointed out, that it is destructive to the sure and love ones. It is just hard to see it, especially if one is depressed.

So my recommendation is that he does consider counseling, that he have someone (perhaps you to be accountable to), and that he consider addressing IF he is depressed or anxious. Anxiety can also lead to self-medication and is NOT depression, although a few of the new drugs can address both anxiety and depression.

I think you will need more than one night of talking to your H to get this worked out. Finally, there is one last thing to consider. SEX for men is a sedative. The male body secretes a hormone to drop the heart rate after climax and that hormone is a sedative. If your H is up late after going to bed with you, it is clear he is NOT sleeping properly and perhaps subliminally he is using the porn to drive the need to get his "sedative fix."

Many things to consider. Talk to him. One thing is certain the man loves you or he would NOT be around. I just think he has a few issues that he is self-medicating with porn. It could be drugs or alcohol, but porn seemed safer and it does satisfy our male interests as well.

God Bless,

JL

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Thanks gang,

Mr. Cookie and I talked last night.

Bottom line(s):
--He won't go to counseling because it's "too humiliating".
--He seems to think it's a matter of willpower, not of uncovering the underlying motivations/problems.
--He has agreed to "research" it on his own and share with me what he finds/discovers.
--He has agreed to install a key logger on the computer.

The conversation started out with me telling him that I understand he's embarrassed, and that he doesn't need to be, at least not around me. That we should try to put aside the stigma of porn use, because I really don't see it any differently than I see any of my destructive behaviors -- over spending, affair, etc.

He then proceeded to give me the speech I feared he would. Basically, that he's disgusted with himself... that he finally, truly understands how damaging this is... that his entire day was a living he11 which he never wants to repeat (thinking about all this while trying to get through the workday)... and that he now has the motivation to stop. Basically, the same exact thing he said two months ago.

My heart aches for him. It really does. I can see that he's in pain, and it's hard to see someone in such deep distress. I believe that he's speaking from the heart. But I also believe that he JUST DOESN'T GET IT!

I asked him why he did it, and his answer was: "Because it's pleasurable. Things had been better between us and I figured I could have both." When coaxed to dig a little deeper, his answer became: "I've been under a tremendous amount of pressure lately. The relapse coincided with finding out about your credit card debt." So I asked him how that explained Sunday night -- after a relatively relaxing weekend full of SF. No answer for that one.

That's okay. I don't expect him to have all the answers right now. But I did want some indication that he realizes he needs to *DIG FOR* AND *FIND* the answers in order to tackle this.

So... I asked him if he would get counseling. And he said he's not willing to do that because it's too humiliating for him, and he just can't handle that right now "with everything else that's going on."

He said he just wants another chance to prove that he can do this on his own. He asked me to forgive him, and trust him, and support him. I told him I would have to think about it and that I didn't know if I could be 100% on board unless he agreed to counseling.

He was stunned. He literally sat there with his mouth open, blinking his eyes in disbelief. Though he didn't use these words, his reaction was basically, "after all I've done for you?" He said he was trusting me and giving me a second chance with the credit cards. I told him that I'm not him, and don't necessarily react to things the same way he does. I pointed out that my credit card trouble doesn't date back more than 25 years, with at least 5 major confrontations about it between us.

He wanted to know how I got the number five. This is a man with a memory like an elephant. He can remember what each of us ordered at a restaurant we went to 10 years ago, and whether or not we liked it. But he didn't remember that we'd ever had serious issues with this before (???????). So I ran down the list. That just made him come full circle, and he repeated that "Now, he really gets it. This time will be different."

I asked him what he's going to do if he starts to get urges again. He said come talk to me. I asked him if he really thinks he can do that, and he said 'yes'. Okay, so what if he slips-up again? He says he'll tell me. I know he is being sincere -- at this moment. But in my heart of hearts, I just don't know. I asked him how he would feel about putting some sort of safeguard on the computer and he said he thought it would be a good idea.

I was also honest with him about the effect this is having on me. As we sat there talking, the part of me that's just a regular human being felt empathy for him -- as I would any other person who was so obviously suffering. But I could feel the "wife" part of me detatching. That darn 'wall' again. At least now I recognize that reaction. Just a couple of months ago, I didn't even know I had walls. But I still feel powerless to overcome it.

One other thing he mentioned is that he'd had quite a bit to drink on Sunday afternoon, and that he'd been thinking about the possible connection. But he didn't say what, if anything, he concluded or plans to do about it. I told him that I had noticed he was drinking a fair amount... and that he had planted himself in front of the TV to watch sports for much of the afternoon, ignoring the kids. (For those of you more familiar with my story, sound familiar?) He asked if I thought then that he might use porn later that night. And I said 'no', which is true, just that my "don't wanna slip back into the same old patterns" sensor had blinked. But I didn't want to nitpick at him. The man is entitled to relax now and then, afterall.

Thing is, it's not the relapse that bothers me. It's the refusal to do the pschological/emotional digging needed to tackle this. Knowing his family, it doesn't really surprise me. Their mantra could be "Don't question anything. Just go with the flow". he says things like, "It's fine to spread this chemical all over the lawn and then let the kids play on it. If it weren't safe, they couldn't sell it." I'm serious.

So where does that leave us? I think what I'm going to tell him is that I understand how hard this habit must be to break and that I expect him to be tempted again, and won't think any less of him if he tells me. But I will be very suspicious if he tries to act as though he never has another urge. Also... another relapse won't be a "deal breaker" for me -- IF he's honest with me about it. But if he lies again, I will ask him to leave. (I wanted to say, he'll have to get counseling. But that would be an ultimatum not a boundary (thanks BB and all who responded to that post!)).

Just one more thing. I've read the one caveat Dr. Harley gives about MB and alcohol addiction.... and how MB principles can actually make the problem worse, not better. And I think that applies to our situation, too. This is an addiction. If I had any doubts before, I don't anymore. And I need to start looking into ways to protect myself and my kids, and support him in a way that will be helpful IF he decides to REALLY deal with the addiction.

Maybe he CAN do it without formal counseling. Since he has indicated that he's willing to look into this on his own, I'm going to give him a list of books and websites that you all have recommended. It's not for me to decide how he goes about this. But it is for me to decide how much more I will tolerate. And I've made that decision.

I have not lost sight of the wrongs I have committed. And I will not stop working to understand myself and become a better person. But I will not do all that work to become healthy, only to stay in a relationship with someone who's not willing to do the same. Some of you may think that's wrong. But that's where I stand. That's my boundary.

--SC


"I require more from my spouse than behaving well in order to avoid pain." (guess who)
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Hello, Im sorry you are going through this. I just wanted to let you know that my H overcame his addiction and quit internet porn use cold turkey without any professional help. It has been 5 1/2 years and as far as I know there has been no relapses. I think one important part of his success was quitting masturbation. Now quitting masturabation was not a request of mine, that in itself does not bother me. Its the porn that offends me. So I had asked him why he doesn't masturbate anymore and he said that it was half the problem. He felt that the only way he could overcome the porn use was to overcome the impulse to masturbate and become the master of own domaine. I guess it worked.

From my own experience and from what I've learned porn addiction really is a way to escape. So it seems if these men could find an alternative escape and more appropriate ways of dealing with stress, they could replace the porn with those.

I still have trust issues and I still wonder if its really over for good. But he knows my boundary when it comes to secret porn use and knows I will uphold it. I commend you for setting your boundaries and upholding them.

So good luck, there is hope.

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