Porn and Refusal

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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SeekingChange
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby SeekingChange » Fri May 01, 2015 6:25 am

AkMike wrote:This may seem cruel, but I have no--zero--sympathy for a long term nonchalant refuser whose spouse turns to porn. Isn't that what you wanted in the first place? After all, he/she isn't bothering you for sex anymore, right? Again, you can't have it both ways. Most men who turn to porn after years and years of rejection absolutely hate the porn. They would much rather have their wives in the marriage bed. Reluctant porn users who are married didn't get married to remain celibate. Either it's important to sex your spouse, or it's not. If not, then the refuser has no right to complain when the refused gets sex somewhere else.

I understand your feelings of where you are coming from. I also saw your two different situations you mentioned above with SP.

A couple of things:

1) Remember the statistic that if a husband and wife would rate their marriage on how good it is, the husband will typically rate it higher. So the husband (the ones usually posting) say their marriage is the latter, good but tmb, while the wife of the same marriage might say it's the former, it's not good at all and there's a reason for the gk/refusal.

2) There are some wives, as SP pointed out in part, who are relieved to some extent the husband's turn to something else. I was like that, and I would even go further to say, there was a time I wished my husband would have an affair so I could get out or "be released" from my marriage. I am sure I am not the only wife out there who's ever felt that way.
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby Leah » Fri May 01, 2015 6:26 am

I agree, poetess. After repeated issues, I finally had the talk to a counselor or talk to an attorney conversation. I laid out the choice of whether Jake wanted to be married to me or continue with the self-love. I was done with being jerked around and given grudging sex once a quarter, at best.

Pornography is the drug of choice for many. It raises dopamine levels in the brain in the same way cocaine does. Video games do too, for that matter. There is a buzz and a clear pattern of behavior that looks just like alcoholism or gambling addictions. When it reaches this level, serious action needs to be taken. It is not a result of refusal. It is a result of deep emotional pain that may come from childhood. This is what we dealt with. It took a full blown recovery effort, including counseling, reading, groups, and a lot of talking.

The porn and refusal cycle are a different kind of thing, and people who want to be married need to be very intentional about maintaining intimacy. If one spouse is violating their part of the relationship, the other spouse does not have a right to repay evil for evil. In some ways I think this is the harder cycle to break. I see many women (usually) who carry a lot of bitterness and insecurity because they have agreed to be sexual but have never forgiven their husbands or owned their part of the problem. This is often still a very troubled marriage.

I have heard at least a hundred stories (in person or online). There are two very different paths this seems to take. Recognizing which one a couple is dealing with is how they figure out how to resolve the problem. Having support and accountability for both spouses is necessary to ensure forgiveness is flowing well.
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby AkMike » Fri May 01, 2015 10:01 am

poetess wrote: forced chastity within marriage is different


Politely, I'd suggest that this is a poor choice of words. "Chastity" is not at issue in this discussion. "Celibacy" is. Chastity, meaning "sexually pure", should be the norm in Christian marriages. You can be chaste in marriage and still have a great sex life. It should be that way.

But again, the issue here is celibacy, meaning "enforced restriction regarding access to marital sex". No refusing husband/wife has any right to place the burden of celibacy on a spouse, even partially, as in gatekeeping. "Giving in", with a grudging heart, to sex once a month still enforces a celibate lifestyle in the time frame when the refused spouse cannot get sex.

Celibacy as a result of sexual refusal is horribly damaging to the refused person's estimation of him/herself. It is a complete rejection of who they are at their deepest level. A spouse who prefers a celibate life should never have married.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby TilWeHaveFaces » Fri May 01, 2015 10:39 am

Being transparent here for the good of the conversation... I can say that there were moments in my own recovery from my emotional affair (now, thank God, more than four years ago) when I wished that I had screwed up via porn rather than temporarily succumbing to the wiles of another person. After all, the EA didn't just hurt my DW and myself, as a porn habit would have... it also hurt the OW, the OW's DH and her three children. Not an insignificant amount of damage to be undone.

Plus, while porn would always have been there, it would not have actively pursued me once I sought to break things off, as the OW did. :(

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby TilWeHaveFaces » Fri May 01, 2015 10:42 am

Leah wrote:I see many women (usually) who carry a lot of bitterness and insecurity because they have agreed to be sexual but have never forgiven their husbands or owned their part of the problem. This is often still a very troubled marriage.


This most definitely describes us. We have "recovered" back to the broken (or, if you're being charitable, suboptimal) state we were in prior to the EA. But the things that made me weak and susceptible then are still present to make me weak and susceptible now... the only difference is that my awareness and defenses are better.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby KyWildcat » Fri May 01, 2015 11:02 am

Leah wrote:I see many women (usually) who carry a lot of bitterness and insecurity because they have agreed to be sexual but have never forgiven their husbands or owned their part of the problem. This is often still a very troubled marriage.

Yes, they've not really changed, they've just decided to go along (with the sex) to preserve the peace.

They are bitter because in giving their husband the sex he wants they feel they are violating their own integrity (because they haven't had a true change of heart toward their husband).

He's probably well aware of how she feels on some level, don't you think?
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby AkMike » Fri May 01, 2015 11:21 am

KyWildcat wrote:He's probably well aware of how she feels on some level, don't you think?


I know this wasn't addressed to me, so please forgive the intrusion, but yes, he knows. No way a husband of twenty or thirty years does not know he's being disrespected, unforgiven, and resented.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby seeking perspective » Fri May 01, 2015 11:23 am

Leah wrote: If one spouse is violating their part of the relationship, the other spouse does not have a right to repay evil for evil. In some ways I think this is the harder cycle to break. I see many women (usually) who carry a lot of bitterness and insecurity because they have agreed to be sexual but have never forgiven their husbands or owned their part of the problem. This is often still a very troubled marriage.


This describes me to a T, although it wasn't porn that I wasn't forgiving my husband for. I was very much repaying his sin with mine, although I wasn't able to see that for what it was at the time.

Reading this thread has reminded me of another consequence of porn. During the depths of my refusal, when my husband was out of work and was home with a computer all day, he was viewing porn every day. Masturbation wasn't always part of the porn viewing, but sometimes it was. When he realized he was getting hooked, he quit. (I found this all out later.)

His sexuality was reshaped through this experience, though. It was around that time that I noticed him trying some things he'd seen in porn (for instance, placing his hand across my throat). And even two years into my changes, when he hit a season of O struggles, he asked to have porn on while we were having sex to help him get over the edge.

Although he no longer views porn or expresses an interest in it, the activities that entered his sexual consciousness through porn continue to present themselves in our marriage bed from time to time. He no longer remembers where he first thought about those activities because now he associates them only with a desire to do them with me--but I remember where they're from.

So my refusal made him ripe for the temptation of porn, and even after he stopped, I've continued to experience the repercussions of it.

Fortunately, my efforts to change sex went deeper than sex and involved my heart and my walk with God. My repentance is real, and my husband and I have forgiven each other for our respective sins against each other. Still, it's hard sometimes when one of those activities shows up unexpectedly during sex and I'm reminded that it is a consequence of my own sin.
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby Leah » Fri May 01, 2015 12:15 pm

Porn caused Jake to withdraw from most relationships to live in his fantasy world. He was very angry and controlling. I am the more adventurous spouse, and he always found a way to belittle and mock what I asked for. Remember, I work in an industry already primed for infidelity. It was very hard to develop the kind of discipline I needed to keep my emotional and physical integrity. I am deeply grateful for God's shelter. I think at some points along the way I would have been dangerous and self-destructive. I have always said God guides me in my ignorance if I will trust him for the next step. He has never failed to provide the right person or resource when I need it.
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby padsnd » Fri May 01, 2015 2:00 pm

SeekingChange wrote:1) Remember the statistic that if a husband and wife would rate their marriage on how good it is, the husband will typically rate it higher. So the husband (the ones usually posting) say their marriage is the latter, good but tmb, while the wife of the same marriage might say it's the former, it's not good at all and there's a reason for the gk/refusal.


Could you cite a source for this statistic? At least with TMBers, it seems the opposite is true. Those who are RFd husbands rate their marriage much lower overall because of the RF, while the RFing DW rates the marriage as moderately well.


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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby SeekingChange » Fri May 01, 2015 3:12 pm

"Statistic" is probably the wrong word, but I have heard that concept from multiple marriage counselors/sources...books, blogs, Family Life, Focus on the Family, etc.. In this article a source is mentioned that says this:

They cite studies pointing out that:

    •Women are less happy in their marriages than men
    •Women are more likely than men to see problems in their marriages
    •Women are more likely to initiate divorce (women ask for divorce two-thirds of the time), and are more than three times as likely as their former husbands to have strongly desired the divorce
    •Once-married men are more likely to say that they want to marry again than are once-married women (and some women are just done with men, period)

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby suffolk sinner » Fri May 01, 2015 3:41 pm

I think it quite likely that these ^^^ 'findings' apply to those marriages in the general population, those without refusal and gatekeeping. In light of the threads I've read where refused spouses say that they wouldn't marry it they had it to do over, I can't see refused husbands rating their marriages as good.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby InHisEmbrace » Fri May 01, 2015 4:48 pm

AkMike wrote:If long term refusal comes before porn use, then to me, the evidence seems to point to cause and effect. In that case, it just doesn't make any sense to condemn the porn user for resorting to porn if his needs have been a long time ridiculed/minimized/disregarded. No man can go indefinitely in an emasculated state and remain unscathed. In that case, the refuser has some reaping going on from the sowing he/she has actively pursued for years.

This may seem cruel, but I have no--zero--sympathy for a long term nonchalant refuser whose spouse turns to porn. Isn't that what you wanted in the first place? After all, he/she isn't bothering you for sex anymore, right? Again, you can't have it both ways. Most men who turn to porn after years and years of rejection absolutely hate the porn. They would much rather have their wives in the marriage bed. Reluctant porn users who are married didn't get married to remain celibate. Either it's important to sex your spouse, or it's not. If not, then the refuser has no right to complain when the refused gets sex somewhere else.


I've been a refused spouse and I have several issues with your way of thinking. I also realize that some (not all) of my husband's refusal had to do with my disrespect or the emotional void he had because of the fact that I was only available for "wifely duties" and sex. That being said, the turning to porn or other things is still completely wrong. Look at the women on these boards who have been married for YEARS but have never experienced an orgasm with their husbands. Look at the women (or men) on these boards who have been denied emotional intimacy, emotional stability, and the security of being able to trust their husbands (or wives). Think about your words differently...

I understand your frustrations, I really do! I honestly think you need to rethink what you've said. As far as the reaping and sowing that you talked about- Praises to our Father that He doesn't see it the same way you do! If He DID see it like that, the Church would still be lost. After all, we are His IMPERFECT bride... The same imperfect bride is the body that He laid down His life and conquered death to save. The sowing and reaping that our Father describes has to do with consequences, not punishment or vengeance. I think we will all have more joy if we start striving to be more like Christ, especially in our marriages.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby Leah » Fri May 01, 2015 6:15 pm

A lot of ignored and neglected spouses do not turn to refusal. My username is Leah for a reason. My husband is known as Jake. I was the unloved and rejected wife of a man who wanted to live in a fantasy world where the women expected no relationship.

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby padsnd » Fri May 01, 2015 6:21 pm

suffolk sinner wrote:I think it quite likely that these ^^^ 'findings' apply to those marriages in the general population, those without refusal and gatekeeping. In light of the threads I've read where refused spouses say that they wouldn't marry it they had it to do over, I can't see refused husbands rating their marriages as good.


I agree with this. I've said before that at the height of refusal, we were asked the same question. Her answer was 8 (scale of 1 to 10, low to high). My answer completely floored her when I said 2.


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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby InHisEmbrace » Fri May 01, 2015 6:41 pm

Leah wrote:A lot of ignored and neglected spouses do not turn to refusal.


Similarly, a lot of refused spouses do not turn to porn. The Biblical truths we are told tell us to stop placing the blame of our sin on anyone and look to Christ as the only example of perfection. We have to each individually seek perfection regardless of others' behavior or actions, just like the Word says.
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If His bride (the Church) was imperfect and He lived a perfectly blameless life then died to defeat sin and death with no other purpose than to save His bride, what does that mean for us in Christian marriage? If we all seek to make our sin okay because of our spouse's sin, would we not be doing the exact opposite of what Christ did for us and what we are commanded to do? I think to say that a wife or husband who refuses their spouse should not be surprised when that spouse turns to porn is ridiculous. That's a worldly view and as Christians our eyes are to be fixed on Christ.
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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby Leah » Fri May 01, 2015 7:57 pm

My story has been out on these boards since 2006. I have always been about managing my own stuff. It was a very tough several years and a lot of hard work. Jake bears his part and I bear mine. I was not a refuser. I am the more interested and adventurous spouse in our marriage. Life is better because we have been honest about our own issues.

I think we both bear scars from our families of origin, but we both recognize that we are accountable for how we live out our lives before God. I have never been someone who makes a lot of excuses. God does not accept them.
Leah

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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby suffolk sinner » Fri May 01, 2015 8:24 pm

padsnd wrote:
suffolk sinner wrote:I think it quite likely that these ^^^ 'findings' apply to those marriages in the general population, those without refusal and gatekeeping. In light of the threads I've read where refused spouses say that they wouldn't marry it they had it to do over, I can't see refused husbands rating their marriages as good.


I agree with this. I've said before that at the height of refusal, we were asked the same question. Her answer was 8 (scale of 1 to 10, low to high). My answer completely floored her when I said 2.


Was that the wake-up call, or the start of Round One?

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Porn and Refusal

Postby padsnd » Sat May 02, 2015 3:01 am

suffolk sinner wrote:Was that the wake-up call, or the start of Round One?

Round One.

The actual changes started much later.

At that time, she saw my comment as an indication of not loving her. I had explained to her that everything else she did for me without sex was received as an alternative that allowed her to feel good while denying me what she knew I really wanted. If the sexual relationship were present those things would have been a blessing. Because of some really bad teaching that is quite popular, she took this to mean I was selfish and didn't really love her.


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Re: Porn and Refusal

Postby AkMike » Mon May 04, 2015 12:24 am

InHisEmbrace wrote:I understand your frustrations, I really do! I honestly think you need to rethink what you've said.


With all due respect, I've already given this a great deal of thought, plus spoken with men whose wives have refused them for many years. It's one thing for a wife to refuse due to long-term emotional neglect. I can understand that, although it still does not make refusal right, scripturally. It is another thing entirely for a wife to refuse when her husband is doing everything possible to make her feel loved, helps around the house, is great with the kids, etc., etc. When the refusing wife is getting all her needs met, but still refuses, this is what I term the "nonchalant refuser". She has no excuse--zero--for not fulfilling her husband sexually. Same thing with a nonchalant refusing husband.

These are the kinds of refusing spouses I have no sympathy for, husband or wife. If a spouse does everything "right", yet still gets refused, and turns to porn after maybe decades of refusal, then they (the refused) have taken the refusing spouse at their word. So many, many refused husbands and wives right here on TMB have said repeatedly that they do everything humanly possible to get their refusing spouse interested in sex, and are thwarted at every turn. I can see no "self protection" going on with this kind of refusing spouse. To me, they are demonstrating that they are simply selfish, and want to control the marriage bed.

I'll say it again--I don't know why people get married who don't want to have sex with their spouse. They are violating the most basic premise of marriage--one flesh.


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