I recently caught my husband through an email, setting up an appointment for erotic massages.
He said he started viewing porn about 4 years ago. I noticed he wasn't that interested in me anymore at the time, but just assumed he was getting older and loosing sex drive. Naive me.
He said when he was working out of town, in one town in particular, a friend suggested he go to an erotic massage for hand held happy endings. Full on nude, both him and the woman.
He said he started thinking about this a couple of months before he went. She has a website, so he was obviously leering, getting off on that, before actually going in person.
The next time he was in the town, he went to her for his sicko fantasy. Then he went again two months later when he was there again.
Since he's been caught, he goes to counselling, says he's off the porn and doesn't want to go back on.
His sexual interest in me has resumed, but it seems strained (like trying too hard, things don't always function).
He doesn't think he has a problem, but you never know with him because he is so quiet and introverted you never know what's going on with him.
He says he's also visited strip clubs with coworkers when out of town.
He's never going to that town again as of now.
Anyway, I guess, what I am asking is - Porn for 4 years, no sex with wife, strip clubs leading to erotic massages. Is this addiction or compulsion? He says he has no interest anymore because of how bad it's been for his work life and home life.
I just wonder if he thinks about all this stuff still at this time, or if he's lying to me.
Its possible he is a sex addict, however I think that term gets thrown around way to often these days, when really it boils down to someone making poor choices and not being held accountable for their actions. I do believe there are real sex addicts though.
The only thing you can do at this point, is to try and believe him. If he says he has stopped then all you can do is go on his word unless he proves otherwise. I do understand your guard being up and it should be, he broke your trust and marriage vows. He needs to understand your concern and that you will be on guard and on the look out for any kind of suspicious behavior. If he isn't doing any of that right now, then he should have no problem with you checking up for your on sanity.
First off, if he is a 'sex addict', which is debatable, then 100% of what he tells you is bull**** and lies. 100%. I knew someone once who claimed to be a recreational crack and heroin user. It's.....bull****.
But which of all these things are you trying to fix? Your sex life, his compulsions, his indifference to your feelings, your lack of emotional intimacy? All of that, some of that?
runslikeadog - We are trying to fix all of those things.
I'll put on my Dr. B.F. Skinner hat and suggest that with all due respect you need to list and prioritize those things. Otherwise it's overwhelming. And you have to, in your mind, privately, consider what you think the success criteria for each one is. And you have to be able to separate them from one another and consider that improvement in one thing and a step back in another is entirely normal.
From your description in your original post, I would say that your husband probably does have a sexual addiction. This is a broad term that can be used to encompass an addiction to pornography, masturbation, strip clubs, etc. Generally, when the unwanted sexual behavior interferes with work, relationships, etc., an addiction exists.
Your husband is probably telling the truth that he wants to change his behavior, but willpower is not always enough in and of itself. If an individual has a true sexual addiction, there is a lot of change that has occurred within their brain chemistry that can make it difficult to give up. That does not mean your husband does not want to give up the addiction. It also does not mean that he won't be able to stay "clean" for extended periods of time. More than willpower is needed to rewire that brain chemistry though.
You can do research online into sexual addictions and it can explain a lot of what is going on. One site that my husband (who is recovering from his own pornography/masturbation addiction) found to be particularly helpful is Candeo (you can do a google search). It is a site that provides a lot of training, information, insight, etc. into sexual addictions and how to overcome them. It also provides training for the partner or spouse who has been effected. I found the spouse training to be incredibly helpful to me, as you also have to go through your own recovery, due to issues of trust, betrayal, and insecurities that often occur.
There is no quick or easy solution, but with open communication and dedication to change, things can get better and your relationship can be stronger for it.
Its possible he is a sex addict, however I think that term gets thrown around way to often these days
I agree and am seeing this more and more in this section. Seems like it is easier for some to process if they can blame the addiction and not the person. I also think this is why the problem rarely gets resolved - lack of responsibility on the cheater. Sorry, but that is what they are, cheaters, not addicts.
Your advise is really helpful. I did go to the Candeo website and read a lot and will continue to read more. It is very interesting and shows insight into the porn, sex problem.
I sent the link to my husbands email, so he can read about it too. It might be something he can reference when he needs it. It might also help him realize if or how much of a problem he has and get help with it if need be.
This kind of information shows me how weak some males (and a few women) can be. We all could go in different addictive directions with alcohol, sex, etc. and we all have stresses but most of us have the strength to stay away from destructive behaviour that hurts us and our families for life. We're just not that selfish.