The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
hifromme67
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Pornography without Masturbation (and my story - its long)

Postby hifromme67 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:07 pm

Why have you left it up to him as far as counseling, filter, accountability?

I told hubby, you can watch porn if you want, but it won't be in this marriage with me. In my marriage I won't tolerate it and it won't be allowed. Counseling wasn't an option. Obviously there is a problem so why leave it up to him to decide if there is or isn't. We had been in counseling prior to discovery so now it took on a different turn in addition to his own treatment for porn addiction.

I said in order to stay in THIS marriage, my conditions must be met. If you don't feel you can do that, I appreciate your honesty but I won't compromise on porn. Simple. How long has it been since discovery?

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Cayenne
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Individual responsibility re: porn

Postby Cayenne » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:01 pm

hifromme67 wrote:Why have you left it up to him as far as counseling, filter, accountability?

Forced compliance to my wishes is not genuine. He must make the choice to recover for himself. I am not his boss. What he thinks and does is NOT within my control. Demands are rarely effective in the way desired. I want heart change, not surface behavior change. I cannot know if there's been heart change if I force behavior change, because I would have just caused him to take my biggest clue to his heart and hide it. Secrecy is our enemy. I want to be able to read his behavior like a book, now that I'm learning how to do it better.

I said "no porn in the same house as me", because that is within MY control. I can choose what environment I live in, this is not a choice he gets to make. That means if he wants to keep porn, he moves out (it is my house too). If he refused to leave, I would move out. I told him in the beginning that he must make the necessary recovery choices for him and his individual temptations. Then the burden passed to him to take the initiative to find what recovery options fit him and accomplish the goal. Its not a one size fits all thing! And since I didn't bring this problem into our marriage, why should I have to do the work to get rid of it? That's HIS problem. I've made some suggestions, but ultimately he'll choose what to act on. Now, reality is, the situation does give me additional problems to deal with. I have to work through my own issues, and work on improving the core marriage. But the porn? HIS problem. I will support any positive step he takes with enthusiasm.

My question is bigger than the issue of where I put my foot down. That's a given, I am completely inflexible on this point. No Porn= Me. Porn=No Me.

Where we are at in the process is that he is currently 6+ months clean from using porn, and he says he's not been tempted in that time frame. At the time of discovery, instant changes were made in our lives that lead me to believe him. In the isolated issue of porn use itself, I'm satisfied with the current state of zero... What I'm hoping to see at this point is that he's acquired the necessary strategies to effectively battle the temptation, should it arise again.... And the issues that I'm facing in my perspective on life after porn discovery have to be worked through. Also, I am wanting to assist him, if I can, in going back and dealing with the issues that preceded porn use, and left him in a weakened state when temptation came along.

He chose to quit porn to keep me.
I chose to forgive him.
I promised to stay with him, provided porn stayed gone.
He has chosen to support me without complaint as I cope with the trauma he has caused me.
We have chosen to work on fixing the broken parts of our marriage
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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Cayenne
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Re: The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Postby Cayenne » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:23 am

Its been three months since my last post regarding my own story.

My name, Cayenne, doesn't fit me very well in reality. For a lot of reasons. I'm not very "spicy", really I'm kind of boring. I'm not stylish, fancy, or cultured. I'm individualistic, simple, and down to earth- and blunt to a fault. I've been accused of being a 'mover and a shaker', but I don't have it all together, I just reject living by the norms for the sake of it. Plus I live in a really, really small pond. Something like, 'Lost Little Girl' feels more accurate sometimes. From the outside, maybe it's more like 'Pretense of Control'.

Shortly after my last post, I came to realize a few things. It's why its taken me so long to come back to this thread.

My husband stopped porn just like that. Flipped switch, its past. He claims to have zero temptations to go back, no exposure since. He might be lying, I acknowledge that, but I honestly don't know when he would find time... Opportunities are slim to none. We changed our family schedule, eliminating the time he used for porn before. What became clear to me was that he has, simply put, addictive patterns. Anything to fill time and not think about life. What was porn before, he's now filled with moral things. The core addiction remains unchanged, just the outlet is different. The addictive personality issues need to be dealt with, but at least the current outlet isn't demeaning to me, or immoral, so it cuts the urgency.

What good are all traditional porn recovery strategies in a man who doesn't fit the traditional mold? I dropped all my insistence for accountability, treatment, etc. What is he going to say, "yeah, I saw a cute girl, averted my eyes, end of story. Never thought about porn once this week, except right this instant when I had to tell you, not even tempted." Besides, it wasn't working anyway. He's going to do what he's going to do... (flip side of that coin.... So will I.) if 1. It runs against his personality, and 2. He sees zero benefit for him, he's just not gonna do it. He's a stubborn man. I get that. I'm a stubborn woman. All it left me with was frusteration... And I'm just not into beating my head against the wall for the rest of my life. So I let it go.

That felt nice for awhile. A lot of relief. I decided I wasn't going to worry about recurrance anymore, I'll just deal with it if it happens. No promises what that will look like, either. I can be calm, cool, and collected, or I can spit fire. I don't even know which it would be. Of course, calm for everything is my lifetime goal. :|

Since the day I metaphorically set the issue down, I've been having to face myself. Honestly, 90% of my problems are caused by.... Me. And I made up that percentage, too. It might just as easily be 99%, but 90% just makes me feel better for some reason. There's plenty of unresolved personal issues to keep me more than occupied.

A couple weeks ago, I began to think about updating this thread. It started out with the objective of showing you all how great I was doing, how my approach had given me so much peace about the porn issue. Sure, my issues are a mess, but porn... That's over with, right? Not so fast. I was discussing some aspects of this with one of my two closest friends (whose unconditional support has gotten me this far without requiring antipsychotic medications- although whether I need them could be argued), when it all crumbled.

As far as porn itself... I don't think there's anything that could make porn anything but degrading, repulsive, and offensive to me. At the same time, I just don't dwell on that aspect of it in regard to my husband. It's done. It happened, it stopped, we've moved on. My body image issues predated his porn use, so I just mentally disconnect the two.

There's just one thing that I can't get over. My husband wasn't an immature little boy when he got into porn, like so many have been. He wasn't in some delusion that it's a victimless pasttime. He wasn't under any illusions that it was anything but immoral. He was a 42 yr old mature father. He'd spent years catching porn users on his employers computer system, and bringing them to accountability. His very own sister had to deal with her husband watching porn, and he was livid - he called it cheating. My husband knew he would lose his church positions over porn, if caught, because he was involved in another active user losing positions. Over the years of him installing filters on work and church computer systems, we'd had discussions about porn. He knew how I felt about a boyfriend I had who was watching porn. He KNEW.

And my husband of twenty years, who has a reputation for being squeaky clean.... Did it anyway. I look at him every so often, and am just overwhelmed with this sense of the surreal. How is this possible? HIM? really?

I'm not totally naive. I know he's faced with all the same temptations that are common to man. I just never had any reason to question that he was taking anything but the Godly response.

He didn't hide the evidence very well. He says he hoped I'd catch him for a long time, even though he feared what I would do. With good reason, too. I can be pretty hard core... When I draw a line, I have a zero tolerance policy. He's known for twenty years I have a zero tolerance policy in regards to porn. Because I trusted him implicitly, and why not after the history he'd (not) had with porn, I ignored the signs. Yes, I saw many of them. I just disregarded them for three years. I do blame myself for my own blindness.... Because I was being willfully blind. I knew it.

Its just irreconcilable in my head. Logically, I know my husband looked at porn because of his own trauma. I can, and do forgive him for his failings. Emotionally, it just doesn't fly for me... There's repercussions for me. The fact he knew... There is no excuse for him whatsoever. He has admitted he didn't know the extent of the pain it would cause me, but he wasn't under any illusions that it was entirely wrong, or that it was a violation of his marriage vow. He knew.

And he did it anyway.

That is what hurts.

It isn't my fault, it's his. 100%, completely. But when do I get to stop hurting? I deserve a great many things, but this is not one of them. I don't have any idea how to get past this in my own head. I don't lecture him about it, I'm not looking sideways at him in the grocery aisle to see what he's looking at, I'm not checking up on him, I don't even bring up the topic anymore. (Although I think it's about time for a random check in.) I don't want to. He's apologized, he's stopped (and been clean for 9 months), he loves me, I don't know what else I can expect of him. This.... This hurt, is my problem. I'm just so very tired.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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Dandelion_lawn
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Re: The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Postby Dandelion_lawn » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:29 am

Yeah. I'm wondering what will make the pain leave too. There's nothing else dh can do. He's sorry, he says he won't do it again...what else can he do. I'd actually hate to be in his position even more than I hate being in mine. I would hate to have made him suffer so badly and be incapable of doing anything to fix it.
I just think, really? This is happening to us now, in our comfortable 40's when I was finally feeling so secure about myself and my looks and our marriage and everything? So now I just get to work through not feeling attractive to him, or enough for him, or truly loved by him as I get older and older and all the women in the images stay the same. I'm just so very disappointed that dh, and our life aren't what I thought. How does a person really get over that? He can't change being someone different than I thought he was.

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Cayenne
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Re: The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Postby Cayenne » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:53 pm

"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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Cayenne
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Re: The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Postby Cayenne » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:10 pm

Bringing this here from a different discussion for the sake of continuity.
Cayenne wrote:Sometimes I feel so frustrated that I have to be the one to make everything ok again, I'm the one who has to pretend like everything is ok in deference to his feelings.... when he's the one that did this. He's the one that should be trying to figure out how to make everything ok. I'm the one that had to swallow my feelings and keep intimacy going (it was my choice. I knew if I did not, I might build up too many walls and might not be able to down the road). In my case, it's so hard just to get him to truly communicate with me. Why do I have to go through so much making sure he feels wanted, when he should be pursuing me?

Last week this issue came to a head for me. We were on a family vacation, and he was being as emotionally distant, and frequently as physically distant, as he could. I had this sense that he was upset with me for not making him feel wanted, and was intentionally withdrawing. It had been escalating over a couple weeks, but got really noticeable last week. One afternoon, after I moved my chair closer, he moved away, I moved closer, he moved away.... I lost my composure. This occurred in only a small window of time when others weren't nearby, so I just blurted out my thoughts- I am aware it wasn't well done. I could feel him bristle at first... I said, as best I can remember, "what do you want? Me to just shrivel up and die? (He said no) I feel so very alone. Everything is on me, I'm supposed to not make you feel too bad, I'm supposed to make sure you feel wanted, but you are the one who broke me... But you don't do anything to help me heal. You don't seem to think that you need to make me feel wanted, you act like you don't want to be near me most of the time, you don't want to touch me, you don't want to hold my hand, you don't want to say 'I love you', and I end up just feeling all alone."

I don't remember what happened next, I think one of the kids came up. I don't recall a response from him. But his behavior took an about face. The rest of the vacation was certainly better. He behaved much more intentionally, and I sensed less emotional reactiveness, if that makes any sense to anyone other than me.

I think he's taking a reactionary role to our relationship, rather than a proactive one. I think we both have a tendency to back off when we suppose we aren't wanted, and wait to see what the other person will do. I think the last few years we've both backed off at the same time.... It doesn't take much imagination to see the potential problem with that.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

hifromme67
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Re: The Story of Cayenne: The Porn Chapter

Postby hifromme67 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:58 am

Are you two in any type of therapy?


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