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Old 23rd April 2016, 03:15 AM   #1
AnnSanders
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Husband watches porn

We have been married 28 years. Mostly good years. We have 2 adult kids who are independent college grads. We both work full time. Our house is paid for. Not wealthy but comfortable. Several years ago my husband was caught with porn on his work computer. Very embarrassing for both of us. I work there too. He quit and took a sales job with another company. Swore he'd never view porn again. My self esteem was shattered. It took months of counseling for me to forgive and for us to be close again. Just found out he is at it again. I told him the last time that I couldn't go through that again. Don't know what to do now. Thought we had a great marriage. We go out a lot, have lots of friends, take nice vacations. Sex was good, I thought. But I'm in my 50s. I can't compete with those women on the screen. He swears again that he won't do it any more. Says he's sorry. Says he doesn't know why he's does it. Says it is not about me. I don't know if I could ever trust him again. Don't know what to do.
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Old 23rd April 2016, 08:27 PM   #2
chosen
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Re: Husband watches porn

I am so sorry that must be devastating. Its likely that he has been doing it for ages, the 2 times you found out are not going to be the only times he has looked. His promises to stop may or may not be genuine who knows. Its not something that I would put up with. its so demeaning for the wife as its as if he is having multiple affairs with all these women isnt it.

I would say its the porn or me. If you want to stay then maybe tell him that if he does it again the marriage and that he will have to leave and mean it. It may be that you cant trust him again but only you know that.
Tell him that you want to have access to all his phones and computers with the passwords. That he is only to use them in the public areas of the house when others are there. Of course you cant control what he does when he is at work or in the car, but its better than nothing.
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Old 23rd April 2016, 10:02 PM   #3
AnnSanders
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Re: Husband watches porn

Thanks for your comments. I actually told him the last time this happened that if it happened again the marriage would be over. But now that it has happened I don't know if I can follow through. He acts so remorseful. And what do I tell our kids? I don't want them to know that their dad has this perverted habit, but they won't understand why I'm leaving if I give no explanation. It could really harm my relationship with them. Our daughter just got married and they said they wanted their marriage to be just like ours, like we had the perfect relationship.
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Old 23rd April 2016, 10:22 PM   #4
chosen
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Re: Husband watches porn

I think that you need to have a long talk with him and find out exactly how often he looks and if its become an addiction. I doubt he will tell the truth but its worth a try.
You could maybe have a set time of separation, with him leaving not you, to allow you both time to think and reflect. I dont think that the children knowing is a bad thing, it may help them to see how destructive porn is and make him more likely to stop, and they are adult now.

I remember a lady who came here years ago and said that it was only when she threatened to leave(and meant it) that it finally stopped. How many chances do you want to give him? What if it carries on again which it may well do?
I hate porn, it breaks up so many marriages and is apparently cited on 50% of all divorces now.
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Old 24th April 2016, 02:40 PM   #5
Raymond
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Re: Husband watches porn

If he is really sorry but still does it it could now be an addiction possibly. What that would mean is good counselling and hard work, maybe even prayer if you are a christian. What you have to be careful about is it going undergound in the sense of him carrying on with it but covering his tracks. It is so available these days, even at the touch of a button on a phone, so being delivered of it will take honesty and accountability. I think that once wives become aware of it they will know when the husband has been doing it because of the atmosphere in the bedroom. It does affect the bedroom after a while. Fireproof is quite a good dvd to watch on the subject, although it has a christian background. It does portray the husband's addiction well though and shows his struggle to get free.

It can be overcome but one has to really want it. It is one of those things that you don't know you have been caught until you want to come out of it. Some men have the attitude that all men do it which is not very helpful and far from true, so who he speaks about it to is important.

Personally I think you have to really consider separation as that could drive him further into it not having you around and may not be the right thing if he is already repentant and struggling to beat it. You need to work against it together.

Last edited by Raymond; 24th April 2016 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:29 AM   #6
AnnSanders
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Re: Husband watches porn

Raymond, when you said that about him covering his tracks - that's my fear. He is saying all the right things, but he did last time, too. And i caught him this time totally by accident. He was up late watching TV in the den and I went out on the deck from our bedroom, where I can see the TV through the window. He didn't know I was out there. I'm sure he would have quickly changed the channel back to sports if he had heard me walking through the house towards the den. He says he's only done it a few times since the last time, when it totally wrecked our work lives and our home life. If the kids hadn't been away at college it would have been very hard to keep it from them. He admitted yesterday that he doesn't believe it is as big a deal as I think it is. He says he understands why I feel this way but he kind of thinks I over-react. That bothers me, too.
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Old 25th April 2016, 02:34 AM   #7
chosen
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Re: Husband watches porn

well if he doesnt think its a big deal then its not so likely he will think he needs to stop.
For the wife its a massive thing, its as if he is cheating with multiple women, and makes her feel so unloved and unattractive. One woman I remember said that to her it was worse than a physical affair, as then she would only need to compete with one women, with the porn she was competing with hundreds.
I think you may need to come to some agreements about his computer use in the home. Maybe he can agree to only use it when you are around in the main living area of the house. To never use it on his own in the den, and never after you are in bed. Also to give you all of his passwords. Its not a long term solution, as he needs to make that decision to stop for good.
I think you need to make it clear that you are so upset about it that you are thinking of leaving and let him stew on that for a a few weeks. Surely if he think he will lose his family he will stop?
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Old 25th April 2016, 09:48 AM   #8
Raymond
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Re: Husband watches porn

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnSanders View Post
Raymond, when you said that about him covering his tracks - that's my fear. He is saying all the right things, but he did last time, too. And i caught him this time totally by accident. He was up late watching TV in the den and I went out on the deck from our bedroom, where I can see the TV through the window. He didn't know I was out there. I'm sure he would have quickly changed the channel back to sports if he had heard me walking through the house towards the den. He says he's only done it a few times since the last time, when it totally wrecked our work lives and our home life. If the kids hadn't been away at college it would have been very hard to keep it from them. He admitted yesterday that he doesn't believe it is as big a deal as I think it is. He says he understands why I feel this way but he kind of thinks I over-react. That bothers me, too.
If he doesn't think it is a big deal Ann then that worries me. I always think of it as mental adultery. You are certainly not overreacting. It seems like you had a good marriage until this happened. Until he sees it I don't see how you can have computer rules. If it doesn't come from his heart then it isn't worth much. It is so easy to go underground.

You have done well to confront it. You need to continue to confront it I feel. This doesn't have to be militant or nagging. Just gently mentioning your deep concern would be enough. If he refuses to see it over a long period then I don't see much hope as this affects the most intimate part of your marriage. I read that porn features in over 50% of divorces. I think it may be even higher now.
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Old 27th April 2016, 02:49 PM   #9
TJW
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Re: Husband watches porn

Quote:
Says he's sorry. Says he doesn't know why he's does it. Says it is not about me.
Believe him. When he says all three. It's not a "competition", even though I recognize fully how you see it that way, like he says, it's not about you, and it's not about the girls in the pictures, either.

And, when he says he doesn't understand why, you need to reply that understanding why is the key to stopping.

For many men, porn is pretty much a "drug". It's about a physical process in their bodies which gets stimulated through fantasy easier and faster than through reality.

Quote:
I always think of it as mental adultery.
I agree. Adultery is also a "drug" which is not about the betrayed spouse, and it is not about the affair partner. It's about the stimulation from fantasy.

Quote:
If it doesn't come from his heart then it isn't worth much.
If it doesn't come from his heart, it isn't worth anything, and it won't "work", either. Affairs end when reality takes over. So does porn.

Quote:
We have been married 28 years. Mostly good years.
I don't know if I could ever trust him again.
Dr. Phil made a home-run statement: (paraphrased)

".....I have a dog. I would trust that dog with my life. But not with my sandwich...."

Dr. Phil recognizes that he has a trustworthy dog, except that in areas where the dog's appetite always wins, he can't trust.

Last edited by TJW; 27th April 2016 at 03:07 PM. Reason: added comment
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Old 28th April 2016, 04:34 AM   #10
AnnSanders
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Re: Husband watches porn

So where do I go from here? He is sleeping in another room, at my request. We are going on with daily activities like nothing is wrong. Work, a dinner out with other family members, but when we're at home we are in separate rooms. I asked him for a contract, for him to write out what he plans to do to prove to me that this will not continue to be a part of our lives. (He said he would stop staying up late, blah blah blah, but still hasn't put it in writing.)
TJW, I love some of the lines Dr Phil comes up with, and the dog example you gave is perfect. I think I can trust my husband as long as I'm watching, but as soon as I turn my back he'll eat the sandwich.
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Old 28th April 2016, 09:35 AM   #11
Raymond
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Re: Husband watches porn

If you cannot trust your husband Ann because he is untrustable in this area that is serious. If you couldn't trust him to put the rubbish out for instance then that is no big deal and not a marriage breaker. This is different and will affect a marriage in a big way as sex is part of intimacy and should only be between you and your husband. Looking at pornography goes right against this and is a kind of mental adultery because of the nature of it.

To say it is like a drug is like saying it is addictive but it will only become addictive by reason of use and until that time there is choice. Even if it has reached the addictive state there is still a choice, but it will be much harder to free himself from it and he has to want it for all he is worth.

The biggest problem is that he doesn't seem to see it. Either it has got hold of him and he doesn't want to give it up or he doesn't see that it is being unfaithful. I think you have done the right thing so far. It has to be them or you and without that stark choice is he ever going to be alerted as to what is happening? I just hope and pray that because of your actions he will begin to see what is happening in his marriage because of this stuff and do something to bring healing to his marriage.
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Old 28th April 2016, 11:38 AM   #12
TJW
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Re: Husband watches porn

Quote:
Either it has got hold of him and he doesn't want to give it up or he doesn't see that it is being unfaithful.
Porn is like any other sin in our lives. It has a hold of us, we don't want to give it up, and we justify it in our minds by altering our belief-system to accommodate it.

The law is not powerful enough to make us want to give up our sin. We give it up, however, over time, as we see that the rewards of God's plan are BETTER than the rewards of sin.

Quote:
So where do I go from here? He is sleeping in another room, at my request.
I can understand the driving impetus in not sharing your bed with him. However, it's completely non-productive, and goes against saving your marriage. If you have decided
to end your marriage, this is what you want to continue, "where you go" is to a lawyer.

If you want to save your marriage, I would suggest this basic agreement:

You, the "party of the first part", the INITIATOR of the contract, represent that, for one year from today, you will allow him back into your bedroom and will participate in sex with him as his loving wife.

In return, he will seek help from a professional counselor or group program who/which supports christian marriage as an output goal of the program, and who/which has proven
success at porn rehabilitation, for one year, he will remain faithfully enrolled in the program.
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Old 28th April 2016, 01:40 PM   #13
chosen
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Re: Husband watches porn

if he has got to the point of being actually addicted, then he must have been looking a lot and for a long time. From what you said I dont think he is quite at that point yet, I think that he just likes looking and doesnt really want to stop as he thinks its no big deal.

I would do as has been suggested before, tell him its the porn or me, and sit down and agree where you go from here.
So he doesnt used the internet except in the main room of the house when you are there. Of course you cant see what he does when you are out or when he is at work, and thats why he needs to give you his passwords to his computer and phone.
You can also down load programmes that block porn, maybe you could do that yourself so that he doesnt know the password. In the UK you can also ask the intertnet provider to block all porn to the house. Of course this is all a temporary solution because if he really wants to look he will find a way. He must decide that he wants the marriage more than the porn. its his choice.

TJW, I dont think that most men have any idea what this does to a woman. For her its as if he is cheating with multiple women. Its a terrible betrayal and deception. I can fully understand why she has decided on separate rooms, I would not want sex with a husband who is a porn user, we all know what he will be thinking about when they have sex and that is deeply hurtful. It can also make a man discontent with his wife who doesnt look like these women or do what they do in the porn.
For me personally I would have to think very hard if I wanted to stay with a man who did this, especially as its on going and he doesnt seem sorry or repentant.
For her to carry on as usual isnt holding him accountable and would just make him think that its no big deal and he can carry on.
I have known women who have put up with their husbands porn used for 20 or 30 or more years, one of them was a pastor!!! Madness. I also know 2 women who ended their marriage because of their husbands hidden porn use which came to light. Another who got so sick of it that she said its the porn or me, and guess what, after many years he stopped just like that which shows that its possible to stop if they want to enough.
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Old 28th April 2016, 05:26 PM   #14
Raymond
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Re: Husband watches porn

I agree. Accommodating it is just enabling it. I think you are doing the right thing Ann by sleeping in seperate bedrooms. That will at least make him think about it.

I'm not sure about computer arrangements until he is in a more accommodating frame of mind. That would come into play if he actually wants to stop and would be a helpful thing to do then. I do think you need a period when he is being challenged to stop by you or at least see the light as to what it is doing to your marriage. I don't really think you can just sit by just now as if everything is fine when it is not. The message needs to get through to him in whatever way seems right to you. I think you have the right to say you don't want sex while this is going on. Chosen is right.
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Old 29th April 2016, 04:03 AM   #15
AnnSanders
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Re: Husband watches porn

So much to think about....
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and opinions. This is the first time I've done anything like this and it is so helpful. I don't want to talk about this with friends because they don't need to know this about him, but I feel like you all have become my friends this week.
I need to process your comments and then I'll let you know how it is going.
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