Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Problem With Porn

Posted by Anonymous.

It started off as "one of those days" and it's turning into "one of those weeks." I'm happily married, or so I thought, I have a beautiful son who is about to turn a year old and a hard working husband. Just last week I found out that he's been watching pornography. I researched and researched and I get the technicality of it. How it has nothing to do with how happy he is with me, that it doesn't mean I'm unattractive to him, and someone compared men and porn to women and fashion. I didn't buy any of these explanations. When I confronted him about it I asked him if he was unhappy with me, or if I wasn't enough anymore. He said, "Men just watch porn. It doesn't mean they're not happy." I told him I considered it cheating and he opposed. The thing that bothers me the most is that a few weeks ago we had been discussing the subject and somehow it came up and he explained to me that when men watch porn they imagine themselves being the man on screen. That just keeps running through my head. How can that NOT be cheating? HOW?! You are imagining yourself with another woman that's not your wife.

This is slowly tearing me up from he inside out. I already feel myself falling away from him. Already know I'm going into a depression. I might be overreacting but I really feel cheated. I feel inadequate. I don't care what the "experts" say. It's not right. I just don't know what to do. I know he's not going to stop, and it hurts me so much to know that. I feel like our marriage is a lie. Sex is intimate, and should be shared with your partner. Not by yourself as you fantasize about some other person. For anyone who might suggest for me to watch it with him I refuse. It makes me nauseous.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

The real issue might be that he's watching it *without you*. I actually don't mind porn, but when I was engaged my fiance would only ever watch it while I was out of town for work. I would find out when the cable bill came in. That really ticked me off. Maybe if you watched it together it would help you understand?

Anonymous said...

I don't think porn is like cheating. If you look it up, most advise columns, sex columns, etc say just ignore it, let it go. I'm a female, and I've watched porn when my husband isn't around, he watches it when I'm not around, and we watch it together. It's the same with dirty magazines. In the beginning, I was all spastic about it, but 10 years in, its not a big deal. Going ans seeing strippers, that's a big deal. Fantasizing, not a big deal. It's not like I don't fantasize sometimes about having sex with someone who isn't my husband, hello (I know I'm strange) Seth Rogan. I'd do him in a heartbeat, and he's in my fantasies, but I'm not cheating on my husband.

Anonymous said...

Not to diminish your feelings in any way, but this seems like a bit of an overreaction. I'm guessing you're young, and fairly newlywed (less than 5 years?).

Everyone has a fantasy life, whether porn is involved or not. If he was imagining Angelina Jolie while he was having sex with you, would that be cheating too?

Unless he's wasting hours a day watching porn, or choosing porn over sex with you (which would indicate an addiction), he's just like every other guy. Meaning if porn is a dealbreaker for you, you're not going to be happy in any relationship.

Anonymous said...

disagree with the other commenters here. Just because it's become 'typical' or 'normal' in our society doesn't make it ok - it's lusting after other women, and - especially if it makes you uncomfortable - it's wrong.

your husband needs to respect your feelings and make a change. If that means that you need to make a change to accomodate his needs, then, obviously, do your part... but don't let other people tell you that you're overreacting.

Anonymous said...

A few things for you to consider.

#1 - Men process things visually more often than women. Have you ever read a "steamy" part of a novel and felt excited? Really, it's exactly the same thing that your husband is doing. He is exciting himself through visual stimulation. Would you feel the same way if you found out he was reading romance novels? Probably not. In fact, you might even laugh. But in reality, the two are very, very similar.

#2 - There is a difference between watching pornography and being addicted to porn. It sounds like he is being frank with you in his watching habits. It doesn't seem to be interfering with work, or even with his relationship with you (since you didn't even notice he was watching it until now). Pornography addiction is serious, just as is any addiction. But in moderation, it's merely a stimulant.

#3 - Fantasizing is not cheating. It's just not. Sometimes I fantasize about having sex with other men, sometimes I fantasize about another man actually doing the laundry for me - HA! BUT, when my husband and I make love...he's the only one in my mind. To me there is a great difference between "sex" and "making love." Sex is dirty and fun and exciting, and making love is sweet and tender.

#4 - Do you masturbate? I admit that I don't do it often, because I don't feel the need. But when I do, I often think of other people. If you don't masturbate, that's okay, but I believe that there is nothing wrong with it for men or for women. My husband says that when he watches porn alone that he tries to keep me in mind, but also the other women on the screen. I don't mind at all - he comes home to me.

Ultimately, to me, porn is a mode of stimulation. Just like some things feel good to some people and not others, porn works for some and not others. I happen to like it, and so does my husband. I think as long as he is coming home to you, that your sex life is good, and his time spent doing it does not interfere with your lives, then it sounds healthy.

NOW, that all being said, feelings are REAL. If you feel betrayed and hurt, you and your husband need to work through it together. Counseling may help this immensely. It doesn't matter if the internet disagrees with you. What matters is how you feel in your relationship. Don't give up on him or it - get some help together so that you can both come to an understanding. Don't let him minimize your feelings, and don't get sucked into depression - you can get past it with some help.

Val said...

May I suggest a review of Robert Jensen's work as a resource:

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/articles_gender.html

I especially appreciated his link to the Stop Porn Culture! website:

http://stoppornculture.org/home/

"Make love not porn"

Anonymous said...

I recently went through something similar, only it was bc I found links to porn on my personal laptop my boyfriend was using. I confronted him about it just bc I didn't want him to get viruses on my computer.

I think everyone has an opinion about porn. To me, I don't think looking at porn every now and again isn't that bad. If you're disgusted by it, then like I said that is your opinion. I think that saying its cheating is going a bit overboard. He's not having sex with those women, he didn't have a baby with them and he's not married to them.

Guys are going to masturbate, no matter how much you have sex with them or not. Women do too and to me its normal and natural.

Maybe try having a sexy night with him, where he can live out a porn fantasy that he likes (that of course you're comfortable with).

Anonymous said...

I'm so weird. I bought my husband a subscription to Playboy (and then I ended up reading it more than he did!).

This isn't at all about what your husband is or isn't looking at - it's about your own insecurity. If you felt secure within your own skin and in your marriage, you wouldn't care if he wants to look at a bunch of airbrushed skin. Seriously.

And it has nothing at all to do with weight. I weighed over 200 pounds when I got my husband (and I) that subscription... But I'm confident in my own body, regardless of size.

So, I think you need to back off on the porn and start worrying about what you can do to feel more confident. There may be things he can do to make you feel more confident (giving more compliments, etc.) but the real work is going to have to come from you.

And maybe you should try watching it with him... It might give you some good ideas on how you can spice things up, which would, in turn, make you feel even more confident.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others -- though I absolutely do not want to minimize your feelings -- just to offer this ... that it can absolutely be very visual and not emotional ... both times I've been pregnant, I was horny all the time and I watched a lot of porn online. Watched it with my husband and without. Almost daily for a while. Now that I am no longer pregnant, it never occurs to me to watch it. Poof. Habit gone. The difference is strictly the hormones. I love my husband. I love the way he looks. We have a good, well rounded relationship. It wasn't about "who" was on the screen. It was about the biochemicals. Gave me some insight into what it's like for guys, I think, that dramatic difference in the drive before and after. It's a lot like other cravings, I guess, only with more baggage ... and like all cravings, it can lead to unhealthy complications if you don't moderate or if you use it as a substitute, a short cut for something lacking in your life; I guess it could become a dance with the devil like other things that can lead to addiction. Some cravings are emotional, but some are purely physical ... like craving food and water and sleep. I think it can help alleviate tension when there is a conflict in appetite or availability ... so on patner isn't penalized for something that isn't a 'fault'. I think some parts of our culture raise us to get a little too hung up/bent up over body functions and sexuality in particular. Of course it deserves to be respected as important and sacred in a committed relationship. But it like all of biology, it also has a pragmatic facet.

If you think there is something wrong with the relationship and this is part of (or all of) why the porn habit bothers you or you think the porn is a symptom of a bigger, underlying problem like an addiction, you should address ~that.~ Or address whatever issue in yourself (insecurity? insecurity about the relationship?) underlies your upset. But do consider that it ~could~ be a purely physical compulsion on his part that you don't understand because your homonal make up is completely different and asking him to turn it off is like asking him to stop getting hungry. It's rather unsympathetic if you care about him.

Personally, my concerns about porn are more for the people who perform ... the exploitation factors. If I feel shame about having watched it myself, it's more to do with supporting a bad karma ?? industry.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I wrote this post myself. I am not married, but I am in a long term, commited relationship. My boyfriend also looks at porn and it disgusts me so much, I don't even go near his computer anymore. It turns me off that he does that when I'm not there. It makes me feel inadequate and self conscious. I'm sure I will get bashed for feeling this way, but I agree that if he is looking at or thinking about another woman naked.. it would be the same thing as if she were sitting right in front of him naked. It's not right, and if you don't like it.. don't stand for it. Don't let today's "standards" sway your either. Hang in there!

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree with what some of the others have said. In my opinion, men are interested in porn because they are stimulated visually, and it helps them "get there." My husband loves and adores me, and tells me so constantly (I know I'm lucky) but he uses porn to supplement our minimal sex life since having twins two years ago. It's something we're working on, and while I'd rather it didn't come to this, on the other hand, if it helps him feel satisfied, I'm okay with it. Emotional cheating would be a different story altogether.

Besides, I have to admit to having crushes on both Mark Wahlberg and the meat guy at my grocery store, and while I would never act on either of those "fantasies", they make my days a little more entertaining. That's how I see porn. It makes it a little more entertaining for my husband.

Addiction or lying is another story altogether.

Bottom line...keep communicating and keep trying to learn what both of you need in your marriage to feel satisfied and happy.

Stacy said...

I have read most of the comments here and am going to disagree. I don't really believe the issue is watching porn. I think it matters more that you don't want him to watch porn and he is doing it anyway. He has dismissed your feelings entirly on this issue and to me that would be a HUGE issue. Sometimes we do things we don't want to because it is important to someone we love. We may not understand why it is important to them but the fact that it is that important is why we don't do it. if it continues to be an issue I would strongly suggest thaat you fidn a marriage counselor. Even if your husband won't go you should. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. Just because somehow society has accepted the practice doesn't mean it's right. Especially since it makes you feel the way you do, it is certainly wrong for him to do it. If it's really not a big deal for him, then he should stop - because he loves you and can't abide the idea of making you feel the way you do when he watches porn.
I don't care how many different ways people try to justify it - your heart and instincts are RIGHT. Porn degrades women and seperates sex from love. Society may think that sex and love should be compartmentalized, but just because you CAN do something (seperate love and sex) doesn't make it right. Especially in a marriage.

Don't let ANYONE make you feel bad for feeling like you deserve better: YOU DO.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what 'experts' might say, or commenters above, if YOU don't like him watching it, if it makes you feel betrayed, cheated on, and upset, then that is a problem, and he needs to respect your feelings.

Anonymous said...

Stacy,

I agree that counseling is a great idea in any case. But if the porn is strictly a tool, an aide ... I think it's selfish to say that his preference for porn MUST be denied simply because porn is not ~your~ style. It's dismissing HIS feelings/needs while at the same time accusing him of dismissing yours.

I understand why porn is controversial (and that's a whole other can of worms and part of why this is so hard to dissect), but it's a bit simplistic and dramatic and maybe controlling (?) to say the whole problem is that he won't give it up for you ... 'I Don't Like IT. Case Closed!'

All healthy relationships require negotiation and MUTUAL respect and MUTUAL concern. What if your partner demanded that you eat a diet composed only of food that he likes, in amounts that he approved and only items that met with his strict approval. Would you resent it? Can you imagine that it might be very hard to comply? Especially if you had very different tastes and needs? NTM ideas about what is healthy?

Does it really have to be a Mexican stand off? Is a little diversity of taste and opinion really incompatible with love and devotion? Or can you tolerate some differences out of respect for the person you loved enough to marry? It seems to me that mature individuals don't need to demand that their partner submit to their every opinion "or else you don't love me."

If the OP were upset about the porn on the grounds that porn is unhealthy mentally, spiritually or politically, I would have more sympathy with the problem because that might mean there is a serious incompatiblity in life views. But I don't believe that using porn and cheating are ~always~ the same thing. Fantasy and action are NOT the same thing. Do you go to jail for momentarily THINKING about hurting someone while you are angry? A bunch of body parts on a screen helping you to satisfy a biological urge are not the same thing as wishing you were married to someone else. Unless she suspects that his porn use ~is~ symptomatic of a problem with the relationship -- and there may be more to her conclusion that the porn use = the 'marriage is a lie' than the details stated here reveal -- I think porn ~can~ be more utilitarian (like a toothbrush or a razor, although I realize that is an imperfect metaphor) than the OP realizes or will allow.

Some people also feel that masturbation = cheating. It does not. JMO That elevates a biological function to a level it doesn't deserve. Ejaculation is essential for prostate health and men who have more sex live longer, healthier lives, have better cardiac health and less stress ... just to name a few of the benefits.

Of course the health benefits do NOT satisfy all concerns about porn from all moral and religious points of view. But it is a practical approach that many people take and you have to be able to consider other, opposing views if your are going to be able to work these things out with your partner when there is a conflict.

I think the issue is that she is not convinced of his affection. And that could be due to something lacking in him. Or it could be something in her. Or it could be both of them. It's not the porn, it's the lack of trust and emotional safety.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's an overreaction. Regardless of what experts say and what the current pop culture belief is, it is you and your husband in your relationship, and boundaries should be set and respected on both sides.

Personally, pornography doesn't disgust me. However, I disagree with the argument of it being "the norm" and therefore being acceptable nonetheless.

And the nonsense about men being visual creatures more so than women is a tired and worn out argument, in my own opinion. This is, in my mind, the same sentiment as "boys will be boys". Yes, men are aroused visually, but that doesn't mean that we should excuse their actions and invalidate what may be our own feelings of betrayal.

Btw, I am not young nor insecure in my relationship, as was suggested of the OP, and I feel the same way as the poster. There was a time when my husband looked at pornography, and it bothered me a lot. It felt like a betrayal, though I never went through the motions of feeling like he wasn't attracted to me because I knew he was. All evidence pointed to the contrary!

Once the pornography became nonexistent in our relationship in any way, things changed in the way we trusted each other, as well as our sexual chemistry. He turned to me for his "fix" instead of relying on the scintillating images of other women to get him there.

I'll also note that we also don't masturbate without the other, which was another question someone posed to the poster as a talking point, and I know of other couples that have similar boundaries and hot sex lives.

So, no, in my opinion you are not overreacting. Your feelings are your feelings, and as your lover, your partner in life, he shouldn't just shrug those feelings off. I can only say what worked for me and that is a mutually agreeable solution.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree that counseling is a great idea in any case. But if the porn is strictly a tool, an aide ... I think it's selfish to say that his preference for porn MUST be denied simply because porn is not ~your~ style. It's dismissing HIS feelings/needs while at the same time accusing him of dismissing yours.

I understand why porn is controversial (and that's a whole other can of worms and part of why this is so hard to dissect), but it's a bit simplistic and dramatic and maybe controlling (?) to say the whole problem is that he won't give it up for you ... 'I Don't Like IT. Case Closed!'

All healthy relationships require negotiation and MUTUAL respect and MUTUAL concern. What if your partner demanded that you eat a diet composed only of food that he likes, in amounts that he approved and only items that met with his strict approval. Would you resent it? Can you imagine that it might be very hard to comply? Especially if you had very different tastes and needs? NTM ideas about what is healthy?

Does it really have to be a Mexican stand off? Is a little diversity of taste and opinion really incompatible with love and devotion? Or can you tolerate some differences out of respect for the person you loved enough to marry? It seems to me that mature individuals don't need to demand that their partner submit to their every opinion "or else you don't love me."

If the OP were upset about the porn on the grounds that porn is unhealthy mentally, spiritually or politically, I would have more sympathy with the problem because that might mean there is a serious incompatiblity in life views. But I don't believe that using porn and cheating are ~always~ the same thing. Fantasy and action are NOT the same thing. Do you go to jail for momentarily THINKING about hurting someone while you are angry? A bunch of body parts on a screen helping you to satisfy a biological urge are not the same thing as wishing you were married to someone else. Unless she suspects that his porn use ~is~ symptomatic of a problem with the relationship -- and there may be more to her conclusion that the porn use = the 'marriage is a lie' than the details stated here reveal -- I think porn ~can~ be more utilitarian (like a toothbrush or a razor, although I realize that is an imperfect metaphor) than the OP realizes or will allow.

Some people also feel that masturbation = cheating. It does not. JMO That elevates a biological function to a level it doesn't deserve. Ejaculation is essential for prostate health and men who have more sex live longer, healthier lives, have better cardiac health and less stress ... just to name a few of the benefits.

Of course the health benefits do NOT satisfy all concerns about porn from all moral and religious points of view. But it is a practical approach that many people take and you have to be able to consider other, opposing views if your are going to be able to work these things out with your partner when there is a conflict.

I think the real issue is that she is not convinced of his affection. And that could be due to something lacking in him. Or it could be something in her. Or it could be both of them. It's

Anonymous said...

I think it does matter what 'experts' say. They've done a lot of work to figure out what this behaviour means... and the answer is that most of the time it doesn't mean anything is wrong with your husband. Personally, I would find that reassuring.

The fact that you feel threatened by this is, of course, a problem--both yours and your husband's. The kind of problem that marriage counsellors see pretty frequently. Counsellors are experts, too--on how people communicate, and on how people show love for each other.

When my husband and I had an issue I found counselling extremely helpful in understanding him, understanding myself, and understanding some of the ways we weren't quite getting each other.

I'm a woman who enjoys porn quite a bit--not the same porn my husband enjoys--we each have a separate fantasy life and we bring that spark to our mutual love life. It doesn't have to be a threat.

PaleMother said...

Considering feelings is a two way street. Why are hers more important because you (subjectively) consider her POV that 'porn is disgusting' to be morally superior? You can say porn is wrong and I might agree with you. The real issue is that she is not convinced of/secure in her mate's affection for her ... the problem is the lack of emotional safety and trust in the relationship. That issue can be resolved, one way or the other. Dueling high horses, dueling egos and ids, not so much.

Badhawaiianmom said...

I am so sorry that you feel this way. It really sucks to feel like you are being cheated on. Not all men are like this, but many are. Whether you choose to put up with it or not is truly your decision, but before you throw away a marriage remember that no one is perfect. I do not beleive it is cheeting. Once upon a time I beleived that I was supposed to be the most beautiful woman ever to my husband. 15 years later I still am his only woman, but sometimes we have to play roles or do stuff he wants... its called give and take. I set my priorities and boundary's and he set his. Together you need to work this out. If he doesn't care about your hurting then mabey he isn't the right guy.

Anonymous said...

"Cheating" is when your partner has sex with someone else. Watching porn isn't having sex with someone else.

And if you're actually willing to risk your relationship over this single issue, you should bear in mind while it's possible, I guess, that there are men who have no interest in porn, I'm betting that they're even rarer than women who hate chocolate.

Lia33 said...

Seriously?! Watching porn/ fantasizing about a person other than your spouse is cheating? Get real. Are you really saying that you never think, "Gee, Brad Pitt is sexy" or "The guy who lives down the street is pretty cute"? Same principle. You can think about them without feeling guilty, because there's a difference between fantasy and reality.

You are completely overreacting! You do not have the right to tell your husband what he can and cannot do in his own mind. In my opinion, people who view pornography as anything more than an aid to a natural human function are repressed and ignorant of their own human sexual needs. There's nothing wrong with masturbating, either, although it would seem that you think it's sinful somehow.

If you're so uptight as to try to control what your husband does with his own body (which, by the way, has nothing to do with you, just as your solo play would have nothing to do with him), I doubt you feel confident in any other aspect of your relationship. If you really trusted him and your marriage, you would be secure in the fact that you love each other. Whether or not your hubby watches bimbo actresses should make no difference to you; you are his wife and they are merely pretty pictures.

If you don't relax about these issues, you will cause a rift in your marriage. Your husband will grow frustrated that he's not allowed to be himself. Would you want to be in a controlling relationship? Didn't think so. If you don't at least open the lines of communication, I predict big trouble for your marriage.

P.S. Sweetie, if you don't have fantasies of your own, or masturbate, do yourself a favour and give these a try. Perhaps after a talk with a counselor who can help you with your hang-ups. I'd also recommend watching porn WITH your husband- there are lots of videos designed for couples that are tasteful and romantic. Use them for inspiration, not 'wishing your partner were somebody else'. (This type of porn shows making love rather than raunchy sex. At least give one a try.)

Anonymous said...

Please don't throw your marriage away over your husband viewing porn!

Trust me, it really has nothing to do with anything except that your husband is a "visual sexual creature" and you are not.

By the sound of your post, he probably doesn't even know how upset you are. Please get some type of counseling for yourself. If you don't open your mind, sweetie, you are going to push your beloved husband away.

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Anonymous said...

From my own personal experience you can't ignore your spouse watching porn. It is NOT a harmless activity. I ignored the problem, then i threatened him to get help or I would leave. I never left and after a while I will admit the fight left me. It was a part of our lives that I just ignored. And you want to know what happened? One night just over a year ago the cops knocked on my door. My husband was arrested for having explicit pictures of teenage girls on his computer. Porn can be an addiction just like alcohol or heroine. And as we all know eventually one drink, looking at one picture is not enough.

The porn is a problem. You are correct that it doesn't have anything to do with you.

Anonymous said...

Saying that all porn is harmful because your husband watched porn and eventually had teenage pictures is like saying that no one can ever drink alcohol because some people are alcoholics.

I think the problem here is that you aren't comfortable with it, and at the same time, your husband doesn't see the big deal. This is the kind of thing that can tear your marriage apart--not because of the porn, but because sex is important and you obviously have different viewpoints on what is okay and what isn't.

I think you guys need to go to counseling.

And seriously, fantasizing is not the same as cheating. It's just not. If you've ever had someone actually cheat on you, you might understand the difference.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's right to say that he should give it up just because it bothers you 'or else he doesn't love you'.

What if the husband and his friends got together and decided your diet wasn't right and that you should eat only what HE thinks you should eat, what HE eats, in amounts approved by him. You might try to comply for the sake of the marriage, but would you resent it? Can you imagine it might be difficult, especially in the long term? Especially if you had different appetites, different food prefences and different ideas about what was healthy? What if you protested and he insisted that you comply to prove your love? Does that make sense?

How is being a dictator going to improve the situation? Seeing the problem as "he should give it up because you say so because that's the only way to respect your feelings" is controlling behavior, not love. And it sets up a lot of counterproductive drama.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the issue isn't that he's watching it - it's that you have an issue with it. i.e If you've asked him not to do it and he is disrespecting your feelings that's the issue....

My first reaction was wow - over reacting...it's not cheating. And I dont' think it is at all...but then I thought - it's not me - its you and your feelings are real to you - so therin lies the issue.

Anonymous said...

If you are Christian, then there is the concept of "whoever looks at a woman to lust at her in their heart has already committed adultery." Men CAN break the porn habit (my boyfriend is one of them.) Men CAN break the masturbation habit (my boyfriend is one of them.) Does it take self control? Does it take self denial? Yes and yes. However if it is not something you are willing to tolerate in your relationship, he needs to respect that. It is truly disrespectful to all women and I don't understand how anyone can say "it's not that bad."

Anonymous said...

Have you really never fantasized about someone while you were having sex with him? Do you really not believe in masturbating?

Men are visual creatures and it helps them to watch something visual when they need that "release."

My Husband watches porn and the only rule that I have is that he not hide it from me. Sometime we watch it together but sometimes the mood strikes him and I'm not ready to do anything about it. Porn is great for that. I consider it to be similar to when I daydream about other guys.

Anonymous said...

I used to feel abosolutely heartbroken and devastated if I found out about my partners porn but now in a strong and beautiful relationship, I really don't care. Which is a complete flip. I take this to indicate confidence levels contributing heavily. So much damage is done by the churches repression of sexuality. It feels horrible but forbidding it seriously can't be an option, can it? Gee I hope not. And I think you are alienating yourself from him because he'll do it in secret anyway.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you and have been in your exact position. Pornography hurts and is extremely damaging to BOTH partners, whether they realize it or not. When I found my husband looking at Pornography, I was very hurt and upset...I went to a friend of advice and she told me all the things that you are hearing here in the comments "it's normal", "men are visual", "join him", "he is going to do it behind your back". The interesting thing in that years later, she caught her own husband looking at porn as well and her tune changed COMPLETELY. She felt betrayed and cheated on just as I had. Probably because IT IS A CHEATING. Even if you he disagrees with you, the loving response is for him to respect your feelings and boundaries and change his behavior. Anything less than this is not love.

Lia said...

Anon 8:36-

If "the loving response is for him to respect your feelings and boundaries and change his behavior", would not his feelings also be worth respecting? Or is this just for the OP, because she happens to have the same close-minded opinion that you do? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, after all. If she expects her husband to alter his behaviour to suit her needs, she should also be willing to do the same for him. So in other words, the argument would end in an impasse, as both opinions are equally worthy of respect.

Just because YOU feel a certain way about pornography and masturbating doesn't mean it's correct, or the only way to view those actions.

If this is truly that big an issue for OP, her marriage is doomed as they are completely different people. There is obviously little communication, and little trust.

If you're going to preach anything, it should be understanding, not intolerance.

Anonymous said...

/for the people above who imply and straight out say the OP is close-minded- that's MEAN! How can you sit there and say that, "There is obviously little communication, and little trust." We only have what the OP has given us to go off of, there were no grounds to say that. This is a safe place for people to share their hurts and issues.

To the OP, it's your marriage. You love your husband, or you wouldn't be with him. You're smart, and you know what works for you, and that's better that a lot of people can say. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it sounds to me like you connected the dots. You listened to him say that some men visualize themselves as the man in the image when they look at porn, in other words, having sex with that somehow better than you woman in the picture. Than you find out he's watching porn.
You had his son, and he didn't communicate with you about it up front from the start. It's just something that men do that hasn't been an issue in your relationship until now? Why is he doing this now?
I totally get that. You're hurt, and you're absolutely right to be. Sending hope your way!!

Anonymous said...

I am the OP and so far the majority of you guys seem to be opossed to what I'm feeling.

I need the counseling because I have a problem with my husband getting off to other women? But he's NORMAL because he masturbates to other people having sex? Really? There is something EXTREMELY wrong with the world today. If you guys are ok with your parteners getting pleasure from images on a screen then that's fine, but don't tell me that I'm WRONG for feeling the way I do.

The porn is getting in between OUR personal life, our intimacy. At least that's how I'm feeling at this point, and it's not my fault. I've chosen to ignore it for now because I don't know what to do. He hasn't stopped and he's not going to either, but I'm not willing to throw away my relationship with him. He is the father of my son, and hopefully we will get past this eventually.

Oh and just as a tip maybe you guys shouldn't be so judgemental. As the person in the comment above me said you don't know the whole story.

Anonymous said...

OP-
This issue is a hot spot for many people and I'm sorry that you feel attacked. The bottom line is that you and he need to come to some sort of an understanding or agreement on this issue, since it's obviously important to you. It doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks or feels, myself included. I do suggest some sort of counseling for the 2 of you -- becasue minimally, this is a communication issue since he doesn't seem to be hearing your concerns. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

A serious question, OP- you say your husband "hasn't stopped and he's not going to either", so you've chosen to ignore the problem for now. Do you see this issue ever resolving itself? If you are firm in your beliefs and he is firm in his, what headway do you expect to make?

Anonymous said...

OP: I'm one of the people who suggested you both get counselling. Not because i think you're "wrong" and he's not. But you've said he's "wrong", and he's not. He's a person with needs different from yours. You're a person with needs different from his.

Counselling is great for getting two people to understand each other's needs.

Anonymous said...

You're not wrong for feeling the way you do, but in the same vein, your husband isn't wrong for feeling the way he does. It just so happens that most of society agrees with your husband's view.

Your feelings, although completely different from mine, are understandable and it's something many women seem conflicted about. However I do take issue with you treating his masturbation and porn watching habits as things that don't matter to him and can/should be given up easily at your behest. Just as one responder said earlier, one of the major factors in masturbation is hormones. The hormonal differences between men and women account for different types of sex drives and desires.

Masturbation and pornography have been embedded in every society on record dating back to primitive times. You say that something is wrong with society today for accepting it...but in all reality the desire to watch porn and masturbate is proven to be intrinsic. The pervasiveness of literature and drawings depicting porn across all cultures and all eras throughout history show that it's part of natural development and instinct. However the hampering of sexuality is much more of a social construct, passed down to modern society through our puritanical ancestors and certainly not shared cross-culturally.

I think the commenter who posted this has it completely right:
I don't think it's right to say that he should give it up just because it bothers you 'or else he doesn't love you'.

What if the husband and his friends got together and decided your diet wasn't right and that you should eat only what HE thinks you should eat, what HE eats, in amounts approved by him. You might try to comply for the sake of the marriage, but would you resent it? Can you imagine it might be difficult, especially in the long term? Especially if you had different appetites, different food preferences and different ideas about what was healthy? What if you protested and he insisted that you comply to prove your love? Does that make sense?

How is being a dictator going to improve the situation? Seeing the problem as "he should give it up because you say so because that's the only way to respect your feelings" is controlling behavior, not love. And it sets up a lot of counterproductive drama.


While I disagree with your viewpoint, I don't believe that is the real problem. I'm not going to begin to assume things about your relationship not mentioned, but two things set off the buzzer in my head saying that this situation isn't being handled correctly. The first being your feeling that since it bothers you he should give it up, no questions asked even though it's important to him (possibly because you're ignoring the fact that while you think it may be something easily discarded that doesn't mean it is for him?). The second being your oh-so-mature response of ignoring the problem and "hopefully we will get past this eventually." That shit doesn't work. If there's a problem in a marriage you work to solve it. You don't just cross your fingers and ask your fairy godmother to make it better.

PS - Porn is likely getting between your personal life because of your problem with it, not the porn itself. I don't know you or your husband or a damn thing about either of you, but I can tell you this...if you think that last week is the first week he's watched porn you're naive as hell. And until you found out about it, had it been getting in between your personal life?

Anonymous said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you. My husband and I had a similar issue early on in our marriage and we ended up with a compromise.

He could watch porn as long as it was the two of us, meaning I had to allow him to film some of our intimate time together. While I was and am very uncomfortable with this, it has worked now for 8 years and I am very confident in him faithfulness to me.

He uses those personal films when I am not present for whatever reason. Best of luck to you.

I was/am absolutely devastated as well by the idea of him viewing others so this has worked for us.

Socrates_Is_Mortal said...

Do you read romance novels or watch romance movies, romcoms, etc? If you do, how is viewing your pornography OK and not cheating on your husband?

By definition Romantic fiction would seem to qualify as pornography (pɔːˈnɒɡrəfɪ)
— n
1. writings, pictures, films, etc, designed to stimulate sexual excitement
from the World English Dictionary

Anonymous said...

OP - I completely agree with you. Not much more to say, except that men are weak.

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