What is he thinking?

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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Vanna
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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Vanna » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:56 pm

Your marriage isn't a big lie, you just married a sinner who has baggage- we all do on some level. Sin is by it's very nature selfish and deceptive and leaves a trail of destruction in its wake.

Your husband was blind to all the damage he was doing to himself, to you, and your marriage. That's how the enemy likes to operate. Now he's slowly waking up, stepping out of his selfish bubble, and seeing the destruction he caused and it's probably surprising to him.

Hang in there, it will get better. Keep praying for his eyes to be opened and his mind renewed.
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby OldBear » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:59 pm

Dandelion_lawn wrote:Now that he sees my hurt, he's struggled to understand why I feel the way I do . . .


Why is he struggling?

Perhaps he still hasn't come to grips with the fact that lusting after a photo of another woman is no different than lusting after another woman. The impact on you and him is the same - harm for him and hurt for you. If he is struggling to understand the way you feel - hurt, etc. - he may still be thinking it's ok to lust after a photo/video of a woman. Perhaps that's a reason why you haven't been able to tie up loose ends.

Dandelion_lawn wrote:My questions are An attempt to tie up loose ends about things that I can't understand about his past thinking/justifying/motivations that he's tried unsuccessfully to explain to me.


Does his explanation not make sense or do you struggle to accept his explanation? Either way, it comes back to him truly realizing that his thinking has been wrong.

To your OP question, 'What is he thinking?' - often men think that an image (photo) of a woman is an abstraction. The fact is it is not an abstraction. It is a real person and by lusting after it/her he is sinning against God, his wife, and hurting himself (creating or feeding an addiction) and hurting her. If your DH thinks that lusting after an image of a woman is an abstraction, he selectively compartmentalizes it apart from how he sees you his DW. That may be how your DH is thinking. The problem is he may think they have nothing to do with each - they are in different compartments - when they have everything to do with each other.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby ledgemoor » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:58 am

Hi Dandelion:

I want to pass on something that might help you understand that your husband's looking at porn is in no way because of you and your appearance.

I am hesitant to post this because I didn't want anyone to think that I was defending your husband's porn use. I'm not. He isn't merely exhibiting a natural appreciation of feminine beauty. He spent hours looking at this stuff -- obviously a problem. And masturbating to them. As I already said, this is clearly a sin.

It's pretty well accepted in Christian circles that men are created to enjoy looking at women. Shaunti Feldhahn discusses this in her book For Women Only and elsewhere.

So why do men who are fully committed to their wives and are attracted to them beyond all others still like to look at other women? I can best explain it from my own experience.

I have a real knockout of a wife. She is the most beautiful woman on the planet. I'm not exaggerating. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I get to make that determination for me :-). But really, she is a knockout. Anyone would agree.

So why do I still feel drawn to look at other women?

The reason I am attracted to my wife is her uniqueness -- her personality, mind, character, and yes, her unique appearance too.

For example, I love her breasts. I was drawn to her bustline the first time we met. Now, my wife is of the Asian persuasion, and has small breasts. Which I LOVE. Small-breasted women are in no way shortchanged by God! They are just as sexy as large ones -- sexier in my mind, since that's what my wife has. Plus, they look about the same now as they did when she was 21 :-). Better, actually. Yes, some guys actually prefer small. In my ten years reading posts here on TMB, guys are overwhelmingly enamored with their wives breasts, be they small, medium, large, perky, or graceful. Occasionally there will be a husband who wants his wife to get a boob job, but they are fairly rare fortunately.

Here's the crux of the matter: My wife's breasts, as beautiful as they are, wouldn't be as sexy if everyone had breasts like hers. She would would not be so beautiful if God did not also make beautiful full-figured gals, and vice versa. If everyone had identical breasts, or I had never seen anyone else's bustline, I wouldn't recognize my wife's uniqueness and wouldn't be as attracted to her.

I used breasts as an example, but it isn't just breasts of course. The same goes for any part of a woman, especially her hair and face, for me anyway. Anyone can appreciate the fact that women have different faces. The rest of her body is no different.

Rest assured that men are capable of enjoying the feminine beauty of other women without it detracting from their attraction to their wives. It wouldn't matter if you had large breasts or were a supermodel -- your husband would still want to look at other women. In the first sentence of your original post, you acknowledge that in spite of it all, your husband is into you. Trust that observation. His problem isn't because of you, OK?

Job29Man wrote:Question: Why do little boys (2-5 years old) seem fascinated by their penis...
Uh, we're supposed to OUTGROW it??? :lol:
Everything you ever wanted in life is just outside your comfort zone (Jamie Lee Curtis)

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Dandelion_lawn » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:57 am

I can certainly get why he'd enjoy looking at other women, and I understand that most men are naturally visually wired much more strongly than most women. I can even believe that he'd still find me attractive despite constantly searching out younger, more attractive bodies to view, although research suggests that he finds me much less attractive than he would if he wasn't filling his eyes with them.
I'm just trying to believe that he actually loves me. I believe that he thinks that he loves me, but I'm not sure that he really does.
I wouldn't blame a man for losing his brain for a bit when attractive body parts come into his view, but eventually, if he truly loved his wife, I'd expect him to give his head a shake and drag his eyes away, however reluctantly.
For my husband to continually seek out these images, at the very best point in our marriage, finding ways to justify it the whole time, even as it grew more frequent. It's hard to believe that he understands what it is to love.
But, that's from my woman's brain. Maybe to a man, his excuses make perfect sense. They're just pictures. He wouldn't have minded me looking at pictures of men. He thought I was just worrying that he was comparing me to them and had low self esteem.
I really hope that he loves me.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Vanna » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:29 am

Learning to REALLY love is a lifelong process that forces us all to overcome things inside us- some put there through life experiences we are exposed to, and some put there by our own minds and choices.

Truth is, none of us are fully loving in the selfless, agape, Christ way. We are all a bit stunted, all a bit selfish, all a little blind.

We love others to the point we have developed love in us, and hopefully we continue developing our ability to love deeper, fuller, more honestly, more selflessly. Those on the journey with us go through the fires and trials with us, whether they want to or not.

Their trials change us too though. For the better, when we let them. God will strengthen you in this battle, He will love you where your husband in his humanity fails, He will give you wisdom, endurance, and hope. He will even send peace in the storm.
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Texasgirl » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:54 am

Wow! Dandelion, I feel like this is me right now! I could have written your post. Here's my story that I just posted in the Pornography forum.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Dandelion_lawn » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:00 pm

I hope things are getting easier for you, Texasgirl.
I'm surprised, four months into this, how sad I still am. There is constant progress, but it's slow. I'm still grieving the marriage that I thought I had, and the man that I thought my husband was. I find it hard to believe that he loves me much. I think of all the times that I cautioned him about Facebook, and asked him to please not look at those kinds of pictures, how important it was to me that he had eyes only for me. I trusted him, and was so grateful, and felt so heard and understood when he assured me that he didnt look at pictures of other women. Now, to be aware of how many times he actually searched these pictures out to lust over, while our marriage seemed so close, the whole time while reassuring me that he wasn't doing what he was doing. How could he love me much, yet respect and care about me so little? I get that desire for sin blinds us and makes us selfish when we don't want to give it up, but it seems like he ignored so much about who I am. It feels like he chose cheap lust and youth, and surface beauty over the deeper beauty of the soul and love that I was offering him.
The irony is that I am grieving something that I never even had, it was an illusion, I didn't actually lose anything. He's the one who has lost something real. He's lost my trust, adoration, respect, and gratitude. But because the sex is still good, and I smile and speak kindly and do nice things for him, he doesn't even know that he's missing anything.

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What is he thinking?

Postby Cayenne » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:32 pm

I am only going to address your first comment about 4 months and still being sad. I think 4 months is pretty early in the process. I'm on month 14, and while things are significantly improved since the 4 month point, I managed to have a complete meltdown last weekend. Give yourself plenty of time. I think this is a years process, not weeks or months.


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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Texasgirl » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:38 pm

It's like looking into my own soul! Yes, I agree with Cayenne! 4 months is still so new. I'm at the 18 month mark and still have really hard days. Hubby is really working hard at overcoming his porn compulsion. He's going to a weekly men's accountability group thru the Be Broken ministry. He just signed up to go to their Gateway to Freedom workshop in early December. I think the most important thing I've noticed is that he wants to be free from porn for himself not just for me. All I can say is pray, be patient and pray some more. Focus on your own healing and realize and know that God sees you as His beautiful bride and your meaning and purpose in life comes from Him.


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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby Dandelion_lawn » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:47 pm

This just keeps growing...Quick summary... We married young because we were pregnant. He was always off partying and ignoring me and I wrongly responded by being unfaithful to him. We broke up after three years of this. After a year apart, we got back together, moved to a new community. I had become a Christian during this time and became a very good and loving wife.
I just found out that he was also unfaithful during the first three years. On one hand, not a big deal, I wasn't faithful and the whole relationship was terrible in every way. The hard part for me now is that he's always claimed that he was faithful during this time and I've carried all the guilt and weight of unfaithfulness alone. Even last month, he told me that he had always justified his porn use because I'd had an affair with no admission of his own behaviour.
I also found out that he was at bars and parties and making out with girls for at least another five years into the new, good marriage. So that likely ended thirteen years ago, so it's long past, but it still feels like a knife in the gut. Our early marriage was so bad, but once we got back together, things seemed so good. I never suspected anything like that.
If that was when it ended and he'd always been a good and loving husband, it would be easier to leave the past, but of course, he continued watching porn through our entire marriage until I caught him six months ago. I feel so hurt and angry. Here I am, 43 years old and I've never had my husband all to myself, always just him, in one way or another searching for other women.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby SeekingChange » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:08 pm

I can imagine the sucker punch this was, and I am sorry. I doubt this is much consolation at this point, but the fact he's finally confessing the truth will allow for healing in him and your marriage that wouldn't have been possible without it.

I am praying that you are fully aware of Jesus' presence, His comfort, His peace, His grace and mercy, and His love.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby doug-h » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:15 pm

DL,

I am going to say this, and I hope you hear me.

You are talking about the past. Further, you are talking about a past that admittedly carried failures on both of your parts. I am sure that the recent revelation of additional sins by him were both painful, and probably somewhat shocking. Still, they are in the past. They do not have to, nor should they define your present or your future. It doesn't matter who's failures were bigger, or whose failures were most recent. They are still in the past.There isn't a score card to tally them all up to see who was worse. You failed each other. He partied, and you were unfaithful. That is what keeping score got you. You are remarking that he was unfaithful during the same time that you were. In the past I would likely have made some pretty callous remarks on that, but I am not the same person I was then. In the same way, neither you nor your husband are the same people who did the things you mentioned. I don't say that to dismiss what you are feeling, but to just give you a little different perspective.

You state that he "justified" his porn usage because of your past unfaithfulness. I tend to believe that. That doesn't make it a good excuse, but it is something a man might latch onto when he is doing something that his conscience is telling him is wrong. There is always a justification. His is no better or worse than any other, tho I suspect it adds somewhat to your sense of betrayal. Compare that to your responding to his partying. You know that neither of you were justified in your sins, but each of you told yourselves you were. That is all justification is. The lies you tell yourself to silence your conscience.

I don't know what led to your husband confessing his past unfaithfulness, but I know what it feels like to have my conscience push me to do the exact same thing, knowing I had nothing to gain, and everything to lose. If that was a spontaneous confession on his part, then thank him for his honesty, and forgive it. It might also be a good idea for you to ask formally for his forgiveness for your unfaithfulness, because it would seem that he still carries that with him.

I know what it feels like to carry a hurt from long ago. There is a difference between acknowledging it and trying to move beyond it, and nurturing it and wallowing in regret. It is a battle I fight every single day. You owe it to yourself first, and then to your husband and marriage, to do everything in your power to overcome.

I said a lot here, and some of it might even seem accusatory, but it isn't. It is a path I walk daily, and I know most of the stumbling blocks on it. I would see you walk around them if at all possible.

Honestly, this all seems like a very positive step. Honesty isn't always easy, but it is always best. It does give you a solid foundation to build on. It is never to late to build a good marriage.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby SeekingChange » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:40 pm

His actions he confessed were from the past, but his lying or deception is very much a present thing, which for me, was more "earth-shattering" then what was being confessed. But I know from experience, when all is out and there are no more secrets, healing can start happening and trust can start being rebuilt...but there will be things to work through first.

In many ways, because he wasn't completely honest these past few months, he has made it harder for him to be trusted. I am guessing she was trying to trust again, and now she realizes it was on a faulty foundation. It's going to be harder to take that step again, because now she will wonder if there's more he hasn't told her, and the whole relationship is questioned and we ask "did I ever know him", only by the grace of God she can and will keep moving forward. I admit I am speaking out of my own experience and could be completely wrong here.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby doug-h » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:55 pm

SeekingChange wrote:It's going to be harder to take that step again, because now she will wonder if there's more he hasn't told her.

I can't debate that, but to a degree it is faulty logic.

I don't know, there may be more revelations and there may not. Trust is totally paradoxical, because it lives totally in the heart of the person granting it. Some might say that it can be earned, but as someone who has serious trust issues, I know that isn't true. It is a real struggle that I have to be deliberate about. At the same time, I know people who blindly trust, despite every indication that their trust isn't warranted.

The only thing that is altered is the amount that DL,or you for that matter, is aware of. None of us are ever aware of what we don't know.

It might be unfair at this stage to lay all of that in DL's lap, but her choice to trust is hers alone, and it always has been. It has been based on assumption in the past, and even with this new revelation, whether or not she chooses to trust is still based on assumption.

I am being very careful to be sensitive of, and to try not to hurt DL's feelings, but I find it somewhat disingenuous to claim harm from something done in the past, and in the same post not allow that maybe her husband has some doubts of his own, and that he might have been carrying a lot of hurt all this time. She might be totally changed, and I do believe that to be the case. Maybe her husband has chosen to trust, and maybe his comments reflect that he is holding onto an old offense despite that. The truth is, tho, that he has every bit as much reason to believe, or disbelieve as she does. They both have to choose, and in the end, that is what we all have to do, because we are never going to "know".

This is honestly a mess, and there is a lot of work to be done on both parts. I know that either one of them could do serious damage beyond what is already done, and I know that one of them alone, could do a lot by themselves to start healing things. I know that both of them choosing to trust, and working together to build on a new foundation can result in a miraculous restoration.

Both DL and her husband need to work thru this, together, and I pray that they do so. Forgiveness needs to be asked for, and granted, by both.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby sunny-dee » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:41 pm

I think you're missing a couple of things here, doug. She isn't that upset about his cheating during their rough first marriage, when she too was cheating. It was the cheating after they reconciled, after she had (presumably?) repented and had been beaten up for her infidelity, and after he had denied for years that he had ever cheated. That is a fresh betrayal. It is "in the past" for him -- it isn't for her. He just confessed, and she doesn't need to brush off her emotions just because he wants to treat it like old news.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby doug-h » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:02 pm

SD, why do you say it was in the past for him?

I don't know if you have ever been betrayed, or really hurt, but there is no such thing as "in the past" unless you deliberately put it there every time it enters your head. Time heals absolutely nothing.

Iam completely on DL's side here, but I am also on her husbands side. They have to work this together.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby doug-h » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:57 am

I know I probably came across as a horses rear, but that is not my intent.

There is so much damage on both sides, that a total reset is in order. It does no good to look backwards at this point. I understand that new revelations seemingly change things, but I also know that it doesnt really.

The counsel I offer, is specifically for DL. As is so often the case around here, my counsel to her husband would be somewhat different.

DL, I am truly sorry that you have to walk this path. I know how it feels to hurt. It's ok to feel that way. I pray that you don't interpret my directness as a lack of caring on my part, because nothing could be further from the truth. While my wife's betrayal was not infidelity, it was every bit as damaging, and maybe moreso. To the his day, it has not been acknowledged, and may never be. I'm not going to say that I am totally OK with that, but I believe that I would be wrong to sacrifice growth in my marriage because of it. It is a choice I have to make every single day. I do so because I Love my wife.

My own failures were identical to your husbands, and I handled it the same way. Even the his he sequence was not significantly different. I admitted to the pornography well before I confessed the infidelity.

I see so much in common in our stories, and I know how mine is turning out, so I know what can be in store for the two of you if you actively pursue it. I also know that it isn't an easy thing, and often when my own understanding is challenged, it is others who encourage me, and help me see things thru my wife's eyes. I am in a unique position to possibly see things thru your husbands eyes. None of that is to say that what he did is right, or justifiable. It might be more understandable if you can look at him as equally wounded tho, and it might give him a heart for him that is out of reach right now.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:24 am

Doug, I really agree with what you have said, and what I didn't, I mentioned. Their marriage isn't doomed and there is a lot of hope and the fact he finally confessed is really promising. I just know the pain is real right now, and choosing to walk towards healing is not an easy thing, but Dandilion_lawn, it's worth the fight.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby sunny-dee » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:55 am

@doug-h, I was probably reading your comments too late at night with too little caffeine. :) I saw your using the phrase "in the past" and took it to mean that it was old news and she should just get over it.

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Re: What is he thinking?

Postby doug-h » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:12 am

Thanks for the clarification. I, maybe better than most, know that you don't just get over a deep hurt, but you can choose to walk in forgiveness. Trust is also something that we choose, and I am the first to admit that isn't always easy either. Both often require being deliberate.


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