I can't get over my husband's porn addiction
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Relationships and Addiction » I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

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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Old 04-01-2013, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Hi, I'm new here and guess I'm just looking for some support really as i have no idea where to turn and no answers.
I've been with my husband for 12 years and we have 3 young children. I discovered his huge collection of porn after we'd been together a couple of years and I was disgusted, almost leaving the relationship there and then, but it was too late as i was already in love.
To cut a long story short, over the years i was promised hundreds of times that it would stop, and every time I trusted and believed it had, but it never did. I'd find porn DVD's hidden in CD cases, hundreds of pornsites saved in files on the computer, filthy stuff coming up in the web browser, I just couldn't escape from it! We had counselling but my husband would have one session alone with the therapist and tell me he was cured... and it would continue.
I haven't seen anything for about a year but our marriage is now breaking down and we separated 6 months ago. I was never allowed to discuss the issue, if i ever tried he would either just dismiss it, change the subject or get angry. In the end the resentment within me built up so much that i was just angry all the time about everything. He never showed any remorse for the pain and lies he caused me and would just tell me that it was impossible for him to prove to me that he wasn't still doing anything, but i don't agree, i think if someone wants to prove something they will find a way.
All those people (mainly men) who say it's just a bit of porn, what harm can it do, clearly come from a place of ignorance and inexperience. It is extremely harmful when the porn addict expects his wife/partner to act out these vile perversions!!
When you have been bare faced lied to hundreds of times, it's no longer just about porn (which is vile enough for some of us as it is), it becomes a question of trust on a much deeper level...You feel like you're not good enough in bed for him, if you act out what he's seeing in porn, he'll be happy. If you just looked a little better, he'd give up his porn. He doesn't really love you, if he did, he wouldn't be lying to you. He'll never get free. Your marriage is finished! Leave now while you still can! You'll never be able to trust him again.
I've been through all those emotions for the last 10 years... I've tried talking to my husband about it since we've separated but he's unresponsive and emotionless. He just wants everything to go back to the way it was without dealing with the porn issue and he doesn't seem to get that it's this issue that has got us to where we currently are, but i just can't get over it, i don't believe the porn is finished and i don't trust him.
I do want to work at the marriage but he refuses to engage in any discussion about the porn, so how can we ever resolve it?? & yet he still expects everything to go back to normal, which just makes me even angrier because its as if my feelings mean nothing and I'm expected to live a life constantly torturing myself about what he's doing behind my back and all those awful negative emotions that go with it, chipping away at your soul, while he lives a happy life continuing to do what he wants.
I feel as if i'm in limbo, unable to move forward with my life as I just don't know what to do
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

The only reason you're in limbo is because you're not taking control of the situation and doing what you know you need to do. You KNOW you can't change him, and you know the situation is intolerable to you. You're already separated. So finish what you've started, and start taking steps towards controlling your future. Yes, I know you want to have him fix himself and get your old life back, but that's not under your control.

Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

You're right, thank you for taking the time to read and reply.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Sorry your here rose111. Are you looking into therapy for yourself?
Your husband obviously is not going to change.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Chances are, your husband had these problems long before you were married and he brought them to the relationship. As for therapy for him, he should plan on six months worth of weekly sessions with a therapist that specialised in addiction recovery, at minimum. after that he should stay involved in mens recovery group, maybe for several years.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

It isn't something for you to get over. He has been addicted, but not simply to "porn". He's addicted to the chemical rush associated with porn, which is a drug addiction. Adrenaline and endorphins are powerful drugs (some of the most potent and powerful drugs in the world) and they are released into his brain when he is engaged in watching and/or fantasizing about pornography or various sexual activity. This is why he couldn't simply choose to stop. Women actually somehow think that men just could choose to stop as if wanted to.

When you are addicted to anything, you can't simply just choose to stop one day. There is a process that a person needs to take to be free from addictions, and it certainly isn't simply "doing better next time". Will power on its own isn't going to do. Most addicts have justified their addictions because they have honestly tried so many times to stop (after making vows to themselves, other people, and possibly even God.) That is what women don't understand. They personalize it, thinking that somehow their partner/husband is doing this because he finds you somehow sexually inadequate, unattractive, etc. But it isn't about you at all.

I'm writing this from experience. Like all addictions, they start small and then grow more and more into a monster that seems impossible to slay. The monster then takes full control and when someone finds out about it, it doesn't change that fact. The reason why your husband can't discuss the issue is that he knows you don't agree with the monster. You aren't willing to live it it. You aren't willing to have the monster in the bedroom any more. Men compartmentalize things easily (more easily than women do). He both loves and hates the monster and wants to keep the monster in its cage. Men are very good at keeping porn monsters caged for years -- out of sight and not letting it touch other aspects of their lives. But eventually the monster will begin to want to get out -- and the easiest and most logical place is in the bedroom with his wife.

Every guy addicted to porn has a story, and often they are sad stories. They usually start with either abuse, and/or with an innocent teen or young adult making "a discovery" that changes their world. The man who is addicted to pornography has emotional roots that bind him to it. I had a lot of fears (parents divorcing, father terminally ill, abuse) and for me it was a way to drown those fears and feel comfort. So it isn't just a chemical addiction (which is already very powerful on its own), but a deep emotional one, too.

Addicts want two things that they rarely ever get. One is for someone to understand them. To understand why they struggle so blasted badly and how big the monster they fight actually is. The other is for someone to be able to love them and walk with them through the process of being free from the monster that they both love and hate. Judging an addict and making them feel inferior, stupid, unloving, selfish, etc. does nothing but push them deeper into their monster's arms.

The advice that a lot of women hear is to "Get out while you can because he's not going to change." It is true he certainly will not change without a lot of love, work, support and help. But the question needs to be asked whether your relationship is worth fighting for -- and if you have made him AND his monster your enemy, then there isn't really anything more he can do and your relationship is over.

Just some thoughts from a recovering addict who is happily married to a beautiful woman and has two lovely daughters

Last edited by eyuop; 04-07-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

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Originally Posted by rose111 View Post
I've been with my husband for 12 years and we have 3 young children. I discovered his huge collection of porn after we'd been together a couple of years and I was disgusted, almost leaving the relationship there and then, but it was too late as i was already in love.
To cut a long story short, over the years i was promised hundreds of times that it would stop, and every time I trusted and believed it had, but it never did. I'd find porn DVD's hidden in CD cases, hundreds of pornsites saved in files on the computer, filthy stuff coming up in the web browser, I just couldn't escape from it! We had counselling but my husband would have one session alone with the therapist and tell me he was cured... and it would continue.
I haven't seen anything for about a year but our marriage is now breaking down and we separated 6 months ago. I was never allowed to discuss the issue, if i ever tried he would either just dismiss it, change the subject or get angry. In the end the resentment within me built up so much that i was just angry all the time about everything. He never showed any remorse for the pain and lies he caused me and would just tell me that it was impossible for him to prove to me that he wasn't still doing anything, but i don't agree, i think if someone wants to prove something they will find a way.
All those people (mainly men) who say it's just a bit of porn, what harm can it do, clearly come from a place of ignorance and inexperience. It is extremely harmful when the porn addict expects his wife/partner to act out these vile perversions!!
(
Your hatred of porn itself is obvious. Filthy, vile, disgusting are the terms you use. In another post you implied that porn caused men to rape. We understand you hate it. Why dress it up as an 'addiction'? Why not just say you hate porn? It is not an addiction just because you think it is 'filthy, vile and disgusting'.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Lying about anything in a relationship is wrong.

I don't like porn either and it would have been a deal breaker. No reason to look at porn when I am willing to do anything and everything at the drop of a hat

OP, file for divorce and just realize you cannot control him. He values his porn too much to let it go to save your marriage.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Rose111. We all have boundaries but we don't all stand by our boundaries. So often we adjust our boundaries when someone hurts us and that results in continuous pain and eventually leads to detachment. When someone crosses your boundaries you can either readjust your boundaries and take on the pain or stand up to it. Sometimes when we stand up to it we see change in the person who is crossing our boundaries. Sometimes we don't. And sometimes, if you wait too long to take a stand, it's too late and we're already detached. So, the sooner a person takes a stand the more likely the marriage can be saved if the OP is willing to make changes. And just so you know, taking a stand has to involve being willing to lose everything. Sometimes the only thing that will get his or her attention is to leave. So, are you ready to take a stand? Only you can decide what your boundaries are and if you are willing to take a stand. Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

I've never heard of a husband leaving his wife over her porn addiction. I wonder why? There are married women out there who are addicted to porn, too.

Just something I realized while re-reading this thread again.

Anyway, the most important thing is for a couple to be communicating with each other in an adult way (not as a parent to a child or a child to a parent). Most things can be worked out if this happens. But if your husband will not communicate about this in such a way, then seek counseling for yourself first and get the healing and support you need to make the best decision to move on with your future.


Best wishes!
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

eyuop thanks for your post. It helped me to better understand as I'm kind of in the same situation and having a hard time. My husband does want to change, but I not so accepting of it and it may be too late for us. I struggle with this everyday.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Are you sure your husband is *addicted* to porn? Does he consume it compulsively for hours at a sitting? Does he eschew sex with you in favor of it? Has he lost a job because of it? Perhaps this is not addiction in the clinical sense.

I co-sign the suggestion of your own individual counseling. Maybe some introspection on why pornography and its "vile perversions" troubles you so much would be helpful.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

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Are you sure your husband is *addicted* to porn? Does he consume it compulsively for hours at a sitting? Does he eschew sex with you in favor of it? Has he lost a job because of it? Perhaps this is not addiction in the clinical sense.

I co-sign the suggestion of your own individual counseling. Maybe some introspection on why pornography and its "vile perversions" troubles you so much would be helpful.
According to your definition, I would not be considered addicted to porn. I've used porn sort of like a supplement -- getting off when my wife is already sexually satisfied and I am not (her libido is quite a bit lower than mine). It is like she only needs to eat once a day and I need three times a day. I don't want to try to force her to eat three times a day because I'm hungry (this is just a picture... not to be taken literally). However, over the years I've noticed that my use began to increase -- not so much in frequency, but in what was exciting to me. It was like taking the same dose of a drug and then having it not work very well any more and so I find myself wanting to get a "higher dose", which was more risky, kinky porn. The thrill of exploring different kinds of porn was all part of the experience to get me jazzed.

Then I felt a pull toward exploring the real world. I browsed through an escort service website a couple of times and read sex stories of guys sneaking out and having mind-blowing group sex, etc. This began to fuel desire in me and take it away from the fantasy realm. It didn't have anything to do with my wife not being sexy enough, etc. It had more to do with me seeking the "rush". I never actually did anything (never contacted anyone or never chatted or did anything with real people online). But I could see the easy slide into all of this because of the felt need to "up the ante". It is like a person who needs a little more alcohol to relax and then eventually moving to hard alcohol to get the same results -- and then suddenly realizing that they are moving into alcoholism.

I don't want to be a porn addict, nor a sex addict. I want to be a married man who adores his wife and finds fulfillment in all areas of life with her, including sexual. It is possible that our libidos never will match and I'll always feel a temptation to look at porn. But I would rather fight this fight than give in and slide into sexual addiction that leads to infidelity.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozymandias View Post
Are you sure your husband is *addicted* to porn? Does he consume it compulsively for hours at a sitting? Does he eschew sex with you in favor of it? Has he lost a job because of it? Perhaps this is not addiction in the clinical sense.

I co-sign the suggestion of your own individual counseling. Maybe some introspection on why pornography and its "vile perversions" troubles you so much would be helpful.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: I can't get over my husband's porn addiction

Thank you eyuop, your insights have really helped me :-) almost 2 years to the day of our separation, my husband told me that he is finally seeking help...
And to those who question whether he has an addiction, he was 'diagnosed' by 2 separate professionals when we tried couples counselling and the reason I hate pornography is because it destroyed our marriage and our family, I think I had every right to be angry and bitter at the time!
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