Help

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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Leah
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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:43 pm

That doesn't answer the question of what you and your counselor are talking about.

Just from my experience, the need to know is probably not healthy because it made me responsible for keeping Jake away from everything that was a problem for him. His problems started way before he ever met me. Porn was his way to medicate pain. I can't fix that. Only God can fix that.

My part of the healing process was to take a long hard look at myself from God's point of view and accept the only remedy to be found: turn it it all over to Jesus and let him work on me from the inside out.

There are at least half a dozen excellent women who have offered very similar stories and counsel. We are not naive church ladies who don't have a clue. We have arrived at a point in our lives where we had to get down to the nitty gritty of getting real with God. God is trustworthy. He is.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Help

Postby doug-h » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:59 pm

Hifromme67

I have to ask, simply because I don't understand. You keep saying that you want to talk about his addiction. What is it that you are hoping will be the fruits of those conversations?

There is nothing he can tell you that will change the past, nothing he can say that will undo the damage.

Is it your hope that something he tells you will somehow empower you to prevent future episodes?

I don't think I am being deliberately dense here. I sincerely don't know what it is that you are looking for, and I'm not sure anyone else is understanding either.

You have brought up separate offenses a number of times. Are those the things which you wish to address in couples counseling, or do you want to talk about the pornography? Since your couples counseling was ongoing prior to you learning of the pornography, does it seem that the pornography has forced other issues to the back burner, when they were not yet resolved satisfactorily?

I am really trying to understand your point of view, but the truth is that you are sometimes a little bit cryptic in your responses.

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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:43 pm

Yes Doug. We had been in therapy for almost two years working on broken trust on his end. I believed things were going good. We were spending a lot of time together, doing weekend trips each month, etc. Yet this is when the sex declined and I suspected masturbation not porn. So finally the porn is discovered and I am blindsided. If as he says (and I believe) he had watched porn since a young age, why did it escalate when we were supposed to be doing well? Why am I not allowed to know what was going wrong us when supposedly we were in a good place? Since the discovery, everything got pushed back and we never dealt with things. So yes I feel like things again were swept under the rug and because it is a porn addiction, I am to keep my mouth shut so not to trigger him.

I just feel that because it is porn and not alcohol or substance abuse it is treated differently. Like I explained to them at our last session, if I were having a long-term affair you can [edit] well be sure he would want to know why, where, who and what. He would want to know why he wasn't enough and why I turned to someone else. And you and I both know we would be discussing that in therapy. Just beyond frustrated. I am beginning to just shut down and withdraw because it is easier for me to do that than to fight.

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Re: Help

Postby Medic » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:55 am

hifromme67 wrote: If I were having a long-term affair you can well be sure he would want to know why, where, who and what. He would want to know why he wasn't enough and why I turned to someone else. And you and I both know we would be discussing that in therapy. Just beyond frustrated. I am beginning to just shut down and withdraw because it is easier for me to do that than to fight.


Question: would these things be helpful? It is natural for us to want to know things, but there are things that are not healthy to ask. Going on with the affair example: you are right your husband would probably want to know those details, but they would they help him? Would it help him to know every time he drove past hotel x everyday that you had sex in room 214 with another man? or would he feel angry and resentful every time he passed the hotel? Would it help your husband if you told him the guy was a Brazilian swimsuit model? Now he he knows you enjoyed a body that is unlike his and something he cannot be (I am assuming your husband is not indeed a brazilian swimsuit model :mrgreen: :wink: ). Would it help you husband to know which positions you had done? In the future he could know you enjoyed positions with someone else that he couldn't make you feel good with. This would probably make him not want to do those in bed at the very least, but more likely then not he would know he was not good enough for you at the least.

There are lot of details you would like to know... this does not mean they are inherently beneficial. Your husband sinned and this where we start. I have also sinned in this manner. My wife before my sin was an anxious creature and my sin did not help this. Everyday she worries and this summer out of her curiosity I let her in on some information that was better kept to myself. Has it absolved her worry and built trust? NO! it did not garner trust and it added to her things to "worry about." Just as I need to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) so that I do not give any way to pornography so must my wife take that thought of worry "captive." She worries about things I don't even think about or remember anymore. She worries about many things that I do. Her worry CANNOT FIX my struggle however. This is for the balm of Christ to fix and He is completely sufficient.

Again I echo doug there are stones that are best unturned. More importantly God loves your husband, has compassion for him, and has forgiven him. Pray that God would give/show you love, compassion, and forgiveness for your husband. When we are weak in these things God shows himself as strong. There are times I do not have the compassion, as I should, for my wife and in that moment of weakness I have to pray "God this is your daughter you have let me have for this brief time, for that I am thankful, show me Your compassion for her and show me how You see her." This was a process for me to get there. I would really encourage you to put God first. Don't put the hurt, the emotion, the sin, the problems, or even counseling first. Don't get me wrong counseling is good and often needed, but God knit our hearts and minds.

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Leah
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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:05 am

I'm glad some other people are talking about this. Here's my bottom line on knowing something: Knowledge=Responsibility. Knowing something makes me responsible for it. If it's husband's responsibility to deal with, then I don't need to know.

After a few years of putting up with Jake's porn use, I finally went to the internet history and followed all the links. I thought that if I knew, I could somehow control what Jake was doing. What I found is something that was way beyond my control, and it took me to God and to some IRL support and finally to a healthier place in my life. I was looking for the big apology with lots of tears and violins, and puppies and rainbows. After waiting a long time, it became clear to me that my deepest desire was just a fantasy, and what I really wanted was a real, adult relationship. Jake finally did get some help to deal with issues from his FOO. It really had nothing to do with me. It was a more convenient drug of choice to medicate pain he had way before he met me.

In any case, he is clean, and we are still married, and we are adults who can talk about things and be adult in the resolution. I wouldn't go back to the way we were for anything.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Help

Postby Cayenne » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:56 pm

I have found in the past year that after each critical area is discussed once, there is no value in going over it again. Critical areas do not include details of sins. They encompass more attitudes and beliefs, goals and a few other things specific to us thrown in. Rehashing the past gets me nowhere in the future. A lot less talk and a lot more action.... there's a lot of truth to be found in that. As long as I am going over and over the hurts of the past, I am not going to get better - and when I make him go over and over it, he's not getting better either (change is made by focusing on the new, and pushing away the old). Instead I am reinforcing my hurts- and making them seem even more insurmountable. It isn't effectively punishing him to make him go over everything again, it's actually punishing me and our marriage because after a couple times through, I'm only making him frustrated with my presence and making other places and behaviors look more inviting. I don't want to give him a real reason to be looking to escape from me!

When do you want to move on?


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:14 pm

I have a question for spouses of porn (former) addicts. How long does it take for your sex life to be somewhat normal? For that I mean, no triggers for me during intercourse, and another issue we have is that because DH is no longer masturbating (not that I am complaining) he is havjng a difficult time lasting. We are having more sex obviously but that seems to be our issue...our sex life. Porn seems to have affected it in every possible way beforehand and now after.


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Leah
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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:59 pm

I am the higher interest spouse. It took Jake a long time before he was interested, and for him to relearn what was needed to have sex in the context of marriage. I spent a lot of time jump starting him.
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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:30 pm

He does show interest but probably not like I want. He didn't have that issue before and now because of the porn, every little thing means something to me. I do tell him all the time and we have discussed a thousand times in therapy, I want him to show interest and desire outside of bed, not just once we get going in bed. He claims to have always been that way but it isn't true.

I think what really, really gets me is that he is SO vanilla in bed and boring in general but yet was watching porn. To me that doesn't make sense but my therapist said that most sex/porn addicts are that way. I didn't ask her why. I just feel cheated in the sex department.

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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:24 am

How do you frame the discussion about variety?
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:17 am

We really don't because it's such a difficult topic now...sex. I have told him I want to try different things because sometimes the positions we do (or basically the one position) makes me feel disconnected and makes me feel like that's the only thing that turns him on. I don't want to worry about porn while having sex.

I have told our therapist (when we had joint and individual) that I felt like he stopped maturing in that area as a teen. He is VERY vanilla and very naive in bed.

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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:13 pm

That's not what I was asking. I was asking how you frame the discussion, not how often or whether you have it.

My story is still here in bits and pieces. We were barely a once-a-quarter couple until the porn, then it was over two years of complete refusal. Once I spent a week on jump starting Jake, I took baby steps with him. When he felt like he wanted something, I would let it happen, then I would add a little twist. "Here, let me try something." Now I get whatever I want. I tend to think growth happens slowly. You can force plants to bloom prematurely, but they are kind of one and done when that happens. Generosity goes both ways.
Leah

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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:45 pm

I am not understanding your question about how we "frame" the discussion. We do not really discuss sex in any way shape or form because he tends to shut down and gets embarrassed.

I am not at that place where I can suggest new things because for me, I am still thinking of porn. In my head I am thinking "I can't get too freaky or nasty because it might get him thinking of porn and something he saw, etc". It is endless. That is why some times I think that our sex life will not ever normal and not tainted.

While he was watching porn he didn't completely refuse me. There were more times that he said than he said. When we did have it, he had ED, couldn't finish, etc. Either that or just ridiculous excuses as to why he couldn't or wouldn't. I knew something was going on but didn't suspect porn. I suspected masturbation but not porn. I guess I was very naive. For that I will never forgive myself for being so naive.

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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:17 pm

Well, I think you have answered your own question. If you are not ready to move forward, then table this line of thinking until you are. It does you no good to choose to be frustrated over things you don't want to pursue.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:26 pm

This is exactly why it is extremely important for us to be able to discuss these things in therapy but that doesn't happen. He is clueless when it comes to our sex life and WHY porn has affected it. If I try to explain it to him, I am either making stuff up or he doesn't believe my feelings. This, according to my therapist is something he should be working on with his therapist which of course they don't. It shouldn't be my responsibility to explain these very normal feelings to him.

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Re: Help

Postby doug-h » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:53 pm

Hifromme67,

I am going to just encourage you to work towards small improvements, and celebrate them when they happen.

As I was the one with the porn problem, I had my own insecurities as to how much my wife might be triggered. It didn't happen as often as I imagined, but occasionally I bumped into a trigger. It has a tendency to dampen things till some trust is restored. I never quite knew where I stood, even when things were really good. Over time, it has become less of an issue, to the point that it is almost non-existent. I am not blaming your here, but it might be that your own reactions are lending into his insecurities, and holding him back from being more bold.

it is something that the two of you will have to, and undoubtedly will, work thru together, but it might take time. I don't know what you say to your husband regarding porn, or how often, but you may well be making things worse for the both of you, if your desire is to become more adventurous in the bedroom.

Again, I am not laying the blame on you, as it was your husband that created the problem. I just want you to know that you may be able to take a more active role in healing things.

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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:20 am

hifromme67 wrote:He is clueless when it comes to our sex life and WHY porn has affected it.


Really? And why do you think porn has affected your marriage?

hifromme67 wrote:This, according to my therapist is something he should be working on with his therapist which of course they don't. It shouldn't be my responsibility to explain these very normal feelings to him.


What are *you* and *your* therapist working on?
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Help

Postby hifromme67 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:34 pm

Leah- I'm not sure why every response from you is so condescending and argumentative. You of all people should know what porn does to a marriage so no need to repeat that here.

As for what we are working on, we are working on childhood and triggers.

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Re: Help

Postby Leah » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:22 pm

I asked you a reasonable question. The rest of us have talked about it. What are you working on? Part of the healing process is accountability. I had a team of people to whom I was accountable. The accountability factor made me work twice as hard. I was in counseling for about eight months. Group work the rest of the time. My husband was deeply entrenched for about seven years, and it was a hard experience.
Leah

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis


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Re: Help

Postby seeking perspective » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:27 pm

I am concerned by your continuing focus on your husband's recovery. Obviously, yes, what he did hurt you very deeply. He has much work to do on himself. He needs to walk in repentance and ask for your forgiveness.

One result of his successful recovery work will be that he stops adding new injury to your pain. However, it will not reduce the pain that is already there. That is on you to do. We are each responsible for our own healing. If your husband has the most repentant and grace-filled recovery possible, you will still have your pain unless you choose to pursue a path of healing for yourself. Do you have an idea of what total healing would look like for your marriage? Do you know what healing would look like for you?

Although our issue wasn't porn, there was something my husband did that hurt me in a deep way. It was something that touched on the most fragile areas of my heart. My anger was a wall that kept out any new pain--but it also blocked my ability to truly see my husband's effort and his heart. To take down that wall, I had to set my anger aside (not give it up, just set it aside for a time) and allow myself to be vulnerable again.

You sound so angry at your husband--and I can't help but think that anger is getting in the way of a truly healed heart.

In all of your posts, what I see is a focus on your husband and his understanding of your pain.. Your focus now should be inward and upward--working on your own pain and connecting with God. What are you doing to do understand your pain? What are you doing to pursue healing for yourself?

Your focus on your husband's porn use keeps the porn at the center of your marriage dynamic. Do you want your relationship to stay centered around porn for the rest of your marriage? That sounds like a lot of years of misery to me. What are you willing to do to help move things forward?

You and your husband both have work to do. Your job is to take care of your part and give him a chance to do his.

I am so sorry the hurt is still so present for you.
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