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Unread 05-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Confused My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

My husband and I have been married for 16 years. I have recently realized that he's been addicted to porn, probably for at least 20 years. Before we were married, he convinced me that he didn't feel comfortable having sex before marriage. I initiated our first intimate moment. He rarely initiates sex. After we were married, we had sex about every 3 weeks. Now, I'm lucky if we have it every 2-3 months. I have to ask, and then he'll say "maybe this weekend"; like he's doing me a big favor. I know. It's my fault. I should have caught on before we got married, but I didn't. I love him very much, and he's a fantastic husband in every other way, other than sex. When we do have sex, it's awkward. He does what I do, except he won't do oral. Which is okay. I don't mind. Some guys don't like it. He doesn't like kissing, and has told me so. That hurts my feelings. When he does kiss me, there's no emotion or intimacy. He seems guarded, and doesn't seem to want to do it. He has saved lots of porn to 2 different laptops and hides it under the bed. For a while, he was sleeping in the guest room, and looking at it a lot. He said that I was making noises as I slept, and he couldn't sleep. He masterbates to the porn. After I made a nasty comment about him not sleeping in our room anymore, he came back. He acted all apologetic for a while. He uses Viagra to help him get hard, although doctors have told him there is no medical reason why he should need it. I think it's because he's desensitized because of all the porn. I've noticed he uses the Viagra more on his own than with me. I think that's very strange, and I feel like he's cheating on me. The porn he saved on his computers is locked, so that I can't see the pictures. I'm worried about what they might be. I'm pretty laid back, and he knows naked women wouldn't offend me, so I'm thinking what he now has saved must be pretty bad. He won't talk about it. I've shown him an article about porn addiction, and he said he'd stop. He told me recently that he hasn't looked at it for weeks. Now I found out he looked at it 4 days ago. I don't want a divorce. Any suggestions? Do you think counseling would help, or is that a waste of time?
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Unread 06-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

I know this situation is tough. My ex-husband went to therapy years ago for porn addiction while we were married and then later after we divorced. The divorce was related to the porn use only by the fact that as you correctly mentioned--that this is an intimacy issue. I don't know if he still struggles with it, but he has recently gotten remarried and I think he is putting a lot of positive energy into making sure this one doesn't go the direction our marriage did. There is even religious literature (Every Man's Battle) that is dedicated to this problem. I'm not recommending this approach, but it does emphasize how common the challenge is for men.

My current situation is similar to yours. When my partner and I first began having sex, it always had to involve porn. One night I got close to him on the sofa and kissed him. He said, "I don't know why, but now I have to be stimulated visually." I knew he meant that he needed the porn.

The situation hit a painful but humorous point when once during an argument he handed me the laptop computer and said, "Here...I don't even want to have sex anymore!"

Now his sex drive is affected by the medications he takes, his difficulty with intimacy now that our relationship is "real," and by the fact that he has spent so many years looking at the porn. An expert on this topic once told me that men who rely heavily on porn do so because they cannot have emotionally intimate relationships with women.

I understand also why you feel betrayed. I got so frustrated the other day that I wrote a poem called "Without a kiss" that was my expression of frustration about "the other woman"--all the women of porn lumped together.

I also have to initiate most sex now. And often I get turned down. Yet, when I look on the internet history I see that he spent plenty of time that day with "the other woman"--porn.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way for us is to work on the intimacy part in nonthreatening ways. Recently, we went on vacation and the sex was pretty good--not as great as I know it can be. But the internet wasn't available and we had a lot of good time together away from family and work issues.

I don't know if this helps at all. But I did want to let you know that you are not alone. I think there are many, many more women out there in our spot. Probably more than ever with the easy availability of porn online.

Best wishes to you...and me.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

As a man., I have never been into porn. I don't see the attraction to it, the movies of it demean and degrade women. I think it is sick. I am into physical action. I've been this way all my life, I must be the odd man out because porn disgusts me.
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Unread 06-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

Rather than focus on the porn or the sexual act, how about trying to stimulate his mind? For example, present him with a romantic evening with a "stranger" ... Get dressed up as though you were going on a blind date with someone who you heard was very interesting. Use fake names. Take your own transportation and meet up at a public location. Don't allow yourself to slip up and remember you already know this man. Just keep up the illusion. And DON'T have sex on that first date. Play is coy and allow him to be mentally teased. You may even want to purchase yourself a pay phone that he can use to contact this "other" woman from time to time. And if it helps, you can even play the part of the suspicious wife when he comes home late :-)
And don't let him have sex with you on those nights. "Make" him go to his porn to get his thrill for the evening.

Do this for a while and let the tension build up in a natural way.
Eventually the "other" you and your H can set up a secret night in a hotel.
He needs to make sure he tells the wife you that it is something like a biz trip or a night out of town with the guys.

This is a technique I heard about from a couples therapist for porn addictions and they said it can work wonders for the relationship!
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Unread 06-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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WePow, I agree. I have done this many times with my wife....we've been together 38 years. It works for us.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

I think research has found a link between an abusive childhood and sexual anorexia as an adult. This refers to not wanting sex due to intimacy issues. Often these adults didn't receive emotional intimacy as children by significant other (primarily the mother).
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Unread 09-04-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Worriedoldermom View Post
My husband and I have been married for 16 years. I have recently realized that he's been addicted to porn, probably for at least 20 years. Before we were married, he convinced me that he didn't feel comfortable having sex before marriage. I initiated our first intimate moment. He rarely initiates sex. After we were married, we had sex about every 3 weeks. Now, I'm lucky if we have it every 2-3 months. I have to ask, and then he'll say "maybe this weekend"; like he's doing me a big favor. I know. It's my fault. I should have caught on before we got married, but I didn't. I love him very much, and he's a fantastic husband in every other way, other than sex. When we do have sex, it's awkward. He does what I do, except he won't do oral. Which is okay. I don't mind. Some guys don't like it. He doesn't like kissing, and has told me so. That hurts my feelings. When he does kiss me, there's no emotion or intimacy. He seems guarded, and doesn't seem to want to do it. He has saved lots of porn to 2 different laptops and hides it under the bed. For a while, he was sleeping in the guest room, and looking at it a lot. He said that I was making noises as I slept, and he couldn't sleep. He masterbates to the porn. After I made a nasty comment about him not sleeping in our room anymore, he came back. He acted all apologetic for a while. He uses Viagra to help him get hard, although doctors have told him there is no medical reason why he should need it. I think it's because he's desensitized because of all the porn. I've noticed he uses the Viagra more on his own than with me. I think that's very strange, and I feel like he's cheating on me. The porn he saved on his computers is locked, so that I can't see the pictures. I'm worried about what they might be. I'm pretty laid back, and he knows naked women wouldn't offend me, so I'm thinking what he now has saved must be pretty bad. He won't talk about it. I've shown him an article about porn addiction, and he said he'd stop. He told me recently that he hasn't looked at it for weeks. Now I found out he looked at it 4 days ago. I don't want a divorce. Any suggestions? Do you think counseling would help, or is that a waste of time?

I'm responding as one spouse of a porn addict to another....I just found out about 9 months ago that this has been an issue for my husband for bout 20 years...our whole marriage...and he kept it a secret...but like you I was suspicious of his lack of intimacy ....but I was too much of a codependant person to confront him about it years ago. Now he told me about it himself and he says he hasn't been involved in that behavior in 3 years. I have been going to counseling myself which started for other reasons and has led me to see that the marriage is the cause of most of my emotional pain. I've talked about the effects of the addiction on the marriage with T. and it led me to develop some healthy boundaries for the marriage. I've just told my husband that he has to go to counseling himslef because even though the "porn addiction" may be undercontrol it has not solved the underlying issues for why he did that....and that he is replacing other addicting routine behaviors in order to feel a sense of control of this problem which doesn't just go away... It took a while for me to get to a place where I could live with whatever choice he was going to make but finally said either go for therapy and deal with this issue and all its root causes or get out. He just agreed to go to therapy this morning.

Here is an excerpt of an article I found helpful...it is a faith based article but the core facts are true even if you are not a believer....

1. It’s not your fault.
You could be a 20 year old with the perfect body who gave her husband all the sex he wanted, and it still wouldn’t resolve his struggle with sex addiction. Why? Because sex addiction is his way of dealing with the emptiness, pain and loneliness in his heart. Sex doesn’t resolve a wounded heart, which means anything you may do or not do sexually isn’t the cause for his problem no matter what he says. Some guys try to take advantage of their wife’s false guilt by using “if you were only giving me more sex I wouldn’t be this way” as a smoke screen. If your husband tries to use this line on you, call him on it; never allow him to pin his choice to serve the god of lust on you.

There may be friction in your marriage, but there is conflict in every marriage, and resorting to porn or an affair won’t “fix it.” If your husband is in deep, chances are he’ll be immersed in self absorption and lust, which means he may try to do anything to avoid owning up to his responsibility. 100% of the blame for his decision to worship lust lies on his shoulders, so never allow your husband to put a guilt trip on you. You didn’t cause it, and you can’t fix it.
2. Don’t allow your husband to devalue you.
Women do this when they allow their husbands to continue in sex addiction unchallenged. Before you were married if your groom-to-be had said “I’m going to masturbate to porn once a week… or have sex with prostitutes while we’re married” you wouldn’t have walked down the aisle with him – you’d have forced him to choose between you and sexual sin. Why? Because he would be treating you like trash if he said such a thing! You’re a precious daughter of God, not a trophy for his bookshelf, so don’t allow your husband to treat you like one. This means he needs to choose between you and porn, or affairs, or whatever his chosen way of acting out sexually might be.

You have to draw a line in the sand with him: “it’s me or porn... or we need to talk about separation.” He has to make a commitment to do whatever it takes, now, to break free from lust. His commitment must be shown by persistent, determined action; in this arena, words alone mean nothing. This means all porn must be removed from the house and he will no longer corrupt you or your family. If needed, a porn blocker is installed (and he gives you the password), the computer is removed, and/or all TV service is turned off. It means he goes to a group and/or meets with an accountability partner at least once every week.
Sex addiction is a hard problem to break free from, so if he isn’t going all out then he won’t get better… and if he’s isn’t going all out, chances are that he’s still playing games with lust. Lies, deception and cover up play a big part of sexual addiction, which means you can't trust that he's getting better from words alone. His actions are the clearest indicator of how serious he is about getting help, so look for proof in his deeds, not his words.

Confronting your husband may not be easy. He will be floundering in shame, and will have built a wall of isolation around his heart. Talking about his sexual sin will be a terrifying prospect to him - especially in front of you. Some men will resort to outbursts of anger or accusations to deflect attention from the real issue. If he does this, don't take the bait, and stick with the core issue. It's best that you take a few days and pray before confronting him; even better if you have friends who can pray with you.

My experience has been that women sense when their husbands are messing with sex addiction long before they understand it mentally. You have a 6th sense that we men lack, and you know by instinct when something's wrong. If your heart's telling you that something's wrong with your husband (and it's coming from the right place, meaning it's not insecurity talking) then chances are you're right. Follow your instinct up with prayer and ask the Lord what to do next.

You have every right to demand that your husband chooses between you and lust, and you should. Where women make a mistake and enable their husbands’ addiction is when they do nothing and allow their husband to continue corrupting them and their children unabated.
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Unread 08-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

I just found out two days ago that my husband of 19 years is addicted to porn. I don't know what to do next.
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Unread 09-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Husband is Addicted to Porn /No Intimacy

Shaken,
I'm sorry for the pain you are dealing with, but I do appreciate your post. I had not read the responses after my last post. So I appreciated seeing them.

I am still dealing with my partner's addiction; however, I am more understanding of the pain it causes him also. I see the pattern more now. He wants to have sex with me about once every two weeks, but masterbates with porn at least once a day.
I appreciate the poster above refering to it as "sexual anorexia." I've never thought about it that way, but it's very appropriate. My partner was sexually abused when he was young. Maybe that's also why I am trying to work with him on the issue.

It is very hard not to think that I need to be sexier, or initiate more, or whatever. But if I think about it like anorexia, it's easier to deal with.

A lot of the answers to your question will hinge on what your husband is willing to do at this point. Does he admit that it's a problem? In my case, with my partner's history of a drug addict, he sees the porn as a good substitute--not admitting that instead of killing him like the drugs would, it's killing our intimacy.

I think you also have to approach it like you would to any addiction and realize that he is covering his pain.

Then, of course, you have to ask yourself what do you want to do?

Best wishes and hugs to you.
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Unread 09-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Porn addiction destroys marriages. My STBX husband left me after denying sex addiction for 17 years of marriage. He has had emotional affairs, endless crushes, and flirts with women and gay men. He is sexually anorexic too and his penis is chaffed from frequent masturbation. I think he underlying disorders like BPD / NPD. He is verbally and emotionally abuses and blames me for the craziest things...like him falling for other women, stealing his happiness, etc.

I can't believe he left me although the porn / weird sex has been an issue since we were teens. Sex addiction is a major red flag.

Do not ignore it. It's the tip of the iceburg.
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