Porn addiction without ED? - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Porn addiction without ED?

I think my husband may have a porn addiction. We have been together 12 yrs and he has always looked at porn and masturbated to it. I didn't ever have an issue as I thought it was pretty normal for guys to do. I would even watch it with him occasionally. I didn't think that (up until a year ago) that it might be a problem.
I told him about a year ago that I thought he might have a problem as he started to spend ALOT of time in the bathroom and he stopped initiating sex, but he has never had an issues with ED.

Because I raised the issue, he has over the last year quit looking at it a couple of times, even for as long as 2 months, but he always starts looking again.

I think he looks at it every day now again and I am anxious that it will take over and destroy our marriage. Either by him looking at too much or me making a big deal about what may not even be a real problem. I am not even really sure what my biggest issue is with the porn. It makes it very difficult to try to talk to him and tell him that it bothers me when I don't even know what it is that BOTHERS me about it.

He does look at VERY hardcore porn, I don't know if the type of porn matters.
He says he only masturbates about 50% of the time and I believe him because he is spending the most time looking while on work coffee breaks and while at home when I am here. He doesn't have really any alone time, except driving to and from work.

Every time(since bringing up my issues) I find out that he is looking again and I try to talk to him about it he is embarrassed. He tells me that it MIGHT have been a problem befor (looking too much, looking at it to avoid dealing with problems, and just being bored and killing time)... but its different now and he says if its becoming too frequent or he can't go a couple of days without looking, that he will scale back.

We have a pretty good sex life, we are both fairly high drive but when he is tired from work (some days he works 12-16 hour shifts) he says he too tired to have sex so he either just goes into the bathroom to look at porn or masturbates. This really bothers me, not so much the masturbating part...I don't even know, I just feel left out!

What is a normal amount of porn for a guy to look at and how does one know if its becoming a problem? And how do I figure out why the porn makes me so anxious? Maybe "I" am the one with the porn problem.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 04:19 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

If it bothers you its a problem. If its a addiction....only he can truly answer that.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 06:10 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

It sounds to me like you have every right to be concerned. It's becoming a third wheel in your relationship. I can guarantee you he's not just looking and not masturbating. It makes no sense. Are there really people who watch porn as a leisurely past time?

I would be ticked if my H passed me over to masturbate to porn. You need that intimacy from him. It's one thing to use it when you're not getting any but quite another when you are replacing sex with your W with porn.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

After reading Jen53's post about putting parental controls on the computer I realize that I may be in a similar situation. I think he DOES have a problem with porn and MY problem is that I am codependant and trying to control it. I will be ordering "Codendancy for Dummies" anyone else have any book suggestions to help me work on me?
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 05:40 PM
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 07:25 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

[QUOTE=dragonfli;3543137]I thought he might have a problem as he started to spend ALOT of time in the bathroom and he stopped initiating sex, but he has never had any issues with ED.

I am not even really sure what my biggest issue is with the porn. It makes it very difficult to try to talk to him and tell him that it bothers me when I don't even know what it is that BOTHERS me about it.

I just feel left out!

And how do I figure out why the porn makes me so anxious?[quote]





It doesn't take much reading to see why you are upset with your man's use of porn and to also see that he does have a problem.

Understand this... the ED will come. Right now he is young but as time goes on it will come...and who is to say that not initiating is not a form of ED...?

Codependency... you are in a relationship with someone... If your partner wakes up with a headache it is going to affect you that day in some way. Codependents choose people who need fixing. If that is you then you need to seek help. But if you chose someone you thought was good for you and their subsequent choices and failures are affecting you then I don't think that codependency is really the issue for you.

[QUOTE=dragonfli;3543137]
"He does look at VERY hardcore porn, I don't know if the type of porn matters.

he is spending the most time looking while on work coffee breaks.

Every time(since bringing up my issues) I find out that he is looking again and I try to talk to him about it he is embarrassed. He tells me that it MIGHT have been a problem befor (looking too much, looking at it to avoid dealing with problems, and just being bored and killing time)... but its different now and he says if its becoming too frequent or he can't go a couple of days without looking, that he will scale back."[quote]


I think if he is looking at coffee breaks then he is on the edge - if not in the grips - of a real problem.

He says it's different... I have heard that one a lot...

Yes - what he looks at does matter. It will affect how he looks at you and how he behaves...

[QUOTE=dragonfli;3543137]
"What is a normal amount of porn for a guy to look at and how does one know if its becoming a problem?"[quote]


This is a diversion from the issue really. The normal amount is actually - not that much. That is what is normal. Don't measure by what has occurred with men in the last few years. This phase of porn availability is not "normal."



[QUOTE=dragonfli;3543137]
Maybe "I" am the one with the porn problem. [quote]


Women really need to stop saying this. You are doing yourselves all a very big disservice...
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 10:28 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

I could have written you original post almost word for word. A couple of books I found helpful:

For you:

Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addiction, by Stefanie Carnes, PhD

For him:

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, by Patrick Carnes, PhD

The inside covers of both will give suggestions for further reading. The back of the books will give resources for recovery for you both.

Sexual addiction is best addressed as soon as possible, as it is a progressive disease. It usually is only a matter of time until what is on the screen will not be enough, and one will progress to chat rooms and massage parlors and then prostitutes, if it is in fact addiction, which it sounds like it very well could be.

It is very important to educate yourself. Read everything you can get your hands on. You have an advantage since you already have open lines of communication on the topic.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 11:59 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

Open communication is the key. Since he knows you know about it, have a chat with him about what you love about him (and your sex life with him) and also how it could improve (for both of you). You don't need to approach porn as "his problem".

I know another poster said that it matters what kind of porn. I would agree if it is violent, illegal or very abusive type porn -- or he only watches gay porn (might be an indicator...). But hardcore -- well, lets just say there is a zillion kinds and I don't think it really matters.

I've viewed porn for almost 30 years. No ED (not even close!). I'm in the process of recovering from viewing it (I don't want it to be a part of my life), and have made very good progress.

I would suggest marriage counseling, specifically counseling for sexual addictions. Counselors are all about getting couples to talk things through and move toward a healthier relationship.

Porn is a drug for a guy (and some women, too). It is addicting. Just watching (and not masturbating) ups the adrenaline, endorphin and testosterone levels (temporarily).

Anyway, I hope he can see how it affects your sex life with him. My wife is LD (in comparison to me), and my porn viewing never affected our sex life. She always got more sex than she wanted, even though I was supplementing my drive heavily with porn viewing and masturbation. Now that I'm recovering from that model, I'm trying to decrease my drive (by not feeding it with porn) and increase hers (through communication and being more "alpha"). Hers has increased some, and mine has decreased some as a result. I still find myself "binging" sometimes (I'll be super high drive for a whole day or maybe three days) and either viewing porn (rare) or basically initiating more sex than usual (like 2 or 3 times in one day).

My wife seems to think having sex more than once a day is ridiculous, but sometimes she humors me if I make it easy for her .
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

You know it has become a problem when he begins to prefer masturbating to porn to having sex with you. This is fairly common for married men in long term relationships who find the arousal and orgasms attained using porn to be stronger and more exciting than sex with a long time partner.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 12:15 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

I read the OP's post and thought that I might have written it myself and forgot.

I agree with everything everyone else has said....

YES, ED will probably follow eventually. There was a time in my marriage that when my husband and I had intercourse (once every two months or so) he would look at porn for about an hour to get an erection, which he'd lose quickly unless he started to look at porn again.

It's good that you're talking, and if he's responding to your discussions in a positive way, that's a good first step. I'd say don't trust any sort of "I'll work on it." If it's come up multiple times, and multiple times he's failed to keep it from interfering with your relationship together, he can not do it alone. Whether you go to counseling or work together through books and talks is up to you and how you feel about the situation, but just leaving him to his own devices is the wrong choice, as his boundaries he set for himself will slowly expand, I believe. It's what I experienced multiple times, at least.

When you talk about it, make sure you put emphasis on the fact that you're not trying to shame him. For example, not "What you look at disgusts me, you're sick" but "I know that some people are interested in it, but I'm feeling really uncomfortable about it." UNLESS it is something illegal, because he can ruin his life, and he needs help to stop immediately. Don't act like it's your fault, but make sure you don't make him feel horrible about it, he might wall up and it will make the situation worse.

One more thing. And this is probably the most important thing I want to share; Do not, in anyway, let this affect how you feel about yourself. It has the ability to eat away at every part of you, and hurt your relationship in ways you never thought would happen. Remind yourself of all your positive traits, and remember your partner is showing interest and concern, which means he cares and wants things to be better, take heart in that. Believe things can and will be better one way or another, but don't try to brush it aside and ignore. A positive but realistic view is important. And if you have told him that you see it hurting your relationship, and it still happens, YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. Caps lock because this is important. No matter what started it, an inability to respect the other partners feelings and boundaries is in no way your fault, and I have a feeling that might be what the bigger problem is now.

I wish you lots of luck, keep being strong, and stay positive.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 11:09 AM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfli View Post
What is a normal amount of porn for a guy to look at and how does one know if its becoming a problem? And how do I figure out why the porn makes me so anxious? Maybe "I" am the one with the porn problem.
Your problem is in the acceptance of his viewing porn, by embracing an activity that was once considered something one didn't discuss and did in private, you've removed the 'governor' (a device put on machines to limit its function) from his pursuit of porn. In other words, you as a woman, believe it or not, would have balanced him in a positive way simply by standing firm on something you inherently find destructive to the marriage. Would he still masturbate to porn? Of course. But it would be a limited, private activity, governed by the non acceptance of it as something you do openly, like someone passing gas, we all do it, but we prefer it be something someone keeps too themselves or does it in private.

T
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 04:36 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

The issue of porn use is about coping unhealthily with emotions. His embarrassment around it is a sure tell that shame is a factor and he needs help. He should seek counseling for this. Remember that your level/frequency of sexual intimacy is NOT a factor in pornography use. More or less sex with you will not curb his acting out sexually. You will simply become his pornography.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 07:00 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

More than likely ED will come eventually. If he would rather masterbate then have sex with you, his wife, That right there is a problem.

My husband looked at porn very rarely in the beginning, it didn't like it, but it didn't really bother me much, because we were still having sex and our relationship was great. I should have known better, but I never thought it would ever come between us.

It will eat away at you a little more each and everyday. It will rock the very foundation your marriage stands on, TRUST. It will also cause major issues.. I know it has with my marriage. It has caused major issues in my marriage and I am not sure if the damage that has been done can ever be repaired, and it isn't because he looks at it it is because he chooses it over me and we go months on end. I need sex to feel close to him, who else do you share an intimate moment with other than the man/woman you vowed to spend the rest of your life with and them viewing porn on this level is not upholding the vows they took with you!

I don't care what anyone says, it will affect your self esteem, self worth, it will also make you feel lonely. It is hard not to feel that way.

Porn makes you anxious because you are competing with it, in a way. If it bothers you you shouldn't have to accept it.

But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart ~christina perri~

Last edited by ladybird; 08-19-2013 at 07:05 PM.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 12:20 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

The volume and accessibility of porn has obviously exploded in recent years as has its acceptance, particularly amongst the younger generation. Therefore answering your original question...

"What is a normal amount of porn for a guy to look at and how does one know if its becoming a problem? ..."

I genuinely believe that most men view porn daily. Casually filling dead moments with visual sexual chewing gum. Certainly all the ones I talk to do. Society is still getting itself into gear about this.

Is it a problem? Almost certainly yes, if you aren't actively sharing the 'pastime' that is. That said my partner watched crap on the TV daily for years. Addicted... Probably... A problem? For me, hell yes it was, I did have the option to join her but passed.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 01:24 PM
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Re: Porn addiction without ED?

If he doesnt think he has a problem you might want to talk to him kindly and VERY supportively letting him know how you feel. DO NOT PUSH HIM! It will not help to give him ultimatums at this time. He needs to realize things on his own. I realized my problem when I separated from my wife. I realize the issues that were going now on my own.
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