What do I do?

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
Texasgirl
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What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:07 pm

I need to preface this post stating that I have no doubt that my husband loves me and desires me! He makes that very clear on so many levels. After many numerous years of health issues I ended up having my thyroid removed back in 2012 and the results were a complete turn around in me physically and mentally. I felt so much better, started exercising and eating right and the physical change has been tremendous. I've also addressed other hormone issues. Our sex life is wonderful. In fact, it's better than it ever was. I never say "no" to his "moves on me" and I instigate sex quite a lot myself. I wear sexy lingerie, we turn the light on for love making, etc.

So imagine my complete surprise when my husband was fired from his job because of looking at porn. This was almost a year and a half ago, but we are still struggling through the aftershocks. He still struggles with temptation and does give in at times. We talk it thru and he gets better for a while and then bam, it happens again. I should point out too that the only way I know when he falls back into it is by looking at his browser history on his phone. I don't do this very often and usually only when his behavior indicates a red flag (i.e. quiet demeanor or emotionally withdrawn). He will admit it when confronted but in no way will he ever just come to me and tell me on his own. I'm at a crossroads right now and don't know what to do. I really feel like I have been a "safe harbor" for him and have handled this solely depending on Christ to act in and through me. He seems so sincerely sorry, but just the other day, he expressed displeasure at the thought of putting a monitoring app on his new iPhone. He had one on his old one. He says he doesn't like being monitored and wants to feel like he can do this on his own. I want to believe him so much, but my gut was telling me then that he just wants to go back into his old ways. So,I looked at his browser history yesterday morning and found some images he viewed and then when I checked again last night, all the image viewing activity had been deleted from his history. He is very aware that I periodically check his history. Another red flag to me is his sleep pattern changes. He wakes up in the middle of the night. Gets up for a short time, comes back to bed and then starts rubbing my back which always leads to sex. I have not found any evidence of him viewing any porn in the middle of the night, but something is on his mind and preventing him from sleeping and he just may well be deleting the history for those occasions. How would I know?

I just feel so drained and lied to. My heart is hurting and I just don't know what to do. I just don't know how I can trust him again. I want so badly to believe him when he says he wants to stop and knows it is wrong. I'm just now admitting to myself though that his words hardly ever match up to this actions. I think he just tells me what I want to hear. He may have great intentions but there is hardly ever any follow-thru.

I have not confronted him yet regarding the images viewed yesterday morning and subsequent deletion from history. At this point I just feel like we are a broken record and the same cycle keeps repeating. Please give me some advice on what to do next.

doug-h
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Re: What do I do?

Postby doug-h » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:09 pm

TexasGirl,

First thing I would say, is that you should confront him lovingly but honestly, any time you catch him. He obviously feels some shame, as demonstrated by his hiding it and deleting his history. That is not the same as saying he is remorseful, bit it does show that he knows, at the very least, that it would displease you.

For yourself, I would recommend a group. I would also recommend that he attend one, but that may well be a hard sell, so it depends on how hard you are willing to push. It would not be unreasonable for you to request that he attend some sort of treatment, either a group or counseling.

I am telling you all this as a former user. My own history is pretty well documented here on TMB. I will also answer any questions you have to the best of my ability, but understand that my responses may or may not accurately reflect your husbands experience.

I am curious, are you in a local Church, and would it be a safe place for him to seek some help. Having another man holding you accountable is a very positive step, but your husband would have to feel confident that anything he shared would not be used against him in ome manner. That is the very least required to be open and honest about our shortcomings.

Lastly, you seem to be pretty well centered right now, and not taking it personally. That is very positive thing, but the truth is, that while you shouldn't just automatically give in to hurt, that it is perfectly normal to feel it from time to time, no matter how solid your foundation. TMB can be a good sounding board for you in those times, but it is no substitute from sitting across a table from someone who cares, and sharing your hurts. Don't think you should have to bear it in silence.

Lastly, I have been active in Celebrate Recovery for a little more than a year. It has been life changing for me, and it could be a good fit for both of you if you can find one close enough to attend.

Praying for you both.

Pallando
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Pallando » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:25 pm

DW and I are praying for another friend's marriage that has some similarities.

Porn is terrible. But another huge issue you are dealing with is mistrust. If he were porn-free from today on, but you can't trust him to confess to you and not hide his browser history, you are going to continue to have significant intimacy issues.

Make sure he knows that. You need to draw a line: if he comes to you and confesses his sin (24 hour time limit would not be a bad idea) then you will continue to partner with him in fighting his addiction.

But if he is deleting browser history or not coming and confessing to you, he needs to know that this is a serious breech of your trust. Our friends are on the verge of divorce, not because of porn but because she cannot trust him.


A second point: he's not able to fight sin on his own! I don't like being monitored either, but we sin out of pride, not humility. Using a monitoring service is part of repentance: it shows that he cares more about protecting your marriage than his pride.

Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:56 pm

Doug-H....thank you. We moved in February of 2015 and have not found a church home as of yet. However, we are in a weekly bible study with other couples for right now. Am thinking that we really need to work on finding a church home though. I think that celebrate recovery would be a good step as he resists paying a counselor. I know I need to confront him once again, but at the same time I feel horrible for even having to check up on him. He knows I am going to do so, I have been very clear from the beginning about that, but I still feel like it is such an invasion of privacy. But I also know that in marriage there really shouldn't be any secrets or hidden things.

While in my head I have a good handle on things most of the time, my emotions really play havoc on me and as a result my thinking gets out of control. What he doesn't understand is that when this happens, it pulls me in to looking at the images over and over. Not because I'm looking to get excited or anything, but I'm looking to see what they have that I don't. It's crazy thinking and I have to put the brakes on that promptly. Anyway, the whole thing makes me physically ill at times.

Pallando....thank you too! It helps to hear the truth. I think what I clearly read from your post is that if I continue in this non-ending cycle and don't implement real boundaries that require seeking help and counsel then my marriage could very well fail due to lack of trust.

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Re: What do I do?

Postby Cayenne » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:12 pm

The monitoring app and accountability to other men is to relieve you of that responsibility. You should not have to feel you must be checking up on him. It is very reasonable to insist that he put that monitoring app on his new phone under the circumstances.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:48 am

Had another talk with my husband last night. I let him know that I saw the images he had viewed when checking his phone browser history and then later saw that he deleted them from the history. I explained to him that while the porn use is still an issue, it is an issue I understand and am willing to stand by him through as long as he is actively seeking help. I let him know that his actions don't match up to what he says and that I am removing myself from the merry-go-round we've been on, so either he seeks counsel for himself and the both of us or I'm done. I also let him know that even more of an issue than the porn is the fact that he won't be open and honest with me when he gives in to temptation and then takes steps to hide the evidence. I asked him why he was afraid of letting me know when he struggles because I have never let him down in the past and have always loved and accepted him through it all. I told him that the continuation of the deceit and lies results in my further downward spiral of mistrust and that it is slowly destroying me inside.

He was all on board with getting help, but then later in our conversation he made comments that sounded like he thinks he can fix this all on his own. That his convictions are strong enough. I disagreed with him and left the bedroom. I sat in our living room and cried while he went to bed. I then grabbed my keys and left in my car. Took a long drive but really had no where to go. He did try calling me twice but I didn't really want to talk to him and let the calls go to voicemail. After a time of just praying to God, I sent him a text and told him I would be home in a bit.

We talked further after going to bed and he told me that he will do anything to make things better and will contact a counselor. He then revealed things he wouldn't admit to before. He always denied masturbating to porn, but he told me that he does. I then asked the question I really regret asking now. I asked him what goes through his mind when looking at porn or when he sees a hot girl out in public. He just came out and said that there are times when he thinks that he would like to "f" that. He said it's always just a quick thought and that he would never follow through with it even if he had the opportunity. I have to be honest and say that his saying that hit me like a ton of bricks. It shocked me so bad I just started weeping. He didn't react well to that. He didn't understand why it would upset me so bad when I know he would never follow through on it because of the love and intimacy we share. I got quiet for a while and pondered why it hurts so bad and then I told him that the act of sex and intimacy are not separate events in a woman's mind and the idea of him wanting to have sex with someone other then me takes away the intimacy we share. Bottom line? Sex is intimacy to me. I think he understood so much more after I shared that with him.

Anyway, sorry to be so detailed. Right now this is my only avenue for sharing. To be honest, I really just want to go away and be by myself for a while. I won't, but it's so tempting. I don't know how to not be hurt by what he shared. I am grateful though that he at least says he will set up a counseling appointment. Will see if he follows thru on what he says.

doug-h
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Re: What do I do?

Postby doug-h » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:27 am

I am so sorry you are going thru this, but I am so proud of you for having handled it as you did. I know it was really hard, but you were really strong.

Please don't rule out counseling for yourself as well. I am not saying you need it, but it might help you process.

Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:07 am

Than you! Yes, I need counseling and will pursue it whether he does or not. I told him that I think we need couples counseling in addition to individual. I let him know that He needs to find a male someone to be his accountability person as it is not good for me to be that for him. We will be trying out a local church that we know has Celebrate Recovery meetings as well.


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Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:13 pm

He did it! He set up a counseling session with a local Christian counseling ministry for this Monday at 11 for the both of us. Please keep the prayers coming and thank you so much for being a sounding board.


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Re: What do I do?

Postby doug-h » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:40 pm

::clap ::clap ::clap ::clap ::clap ::clap

Praying for both of you.

hifromme67
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Re: What do I do?

Postby hifromme67 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:47 pm

Best of luck Texasgirl! This journey is not an easy one. So glad he took that first step. Please keep us posted.


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Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:03 am

I just wanted to say thank you for all the prayers and support. We had our counseling session on Monday and it went very well. This was after I had a breakdown on Saturday night. Hubby and I went out and I struggled the whole night wondering what he was thinking every time another attractive girl/woman was in our sights. The funny thing? He never gave any indication he was looking. We got home and I just lost it. I tried leaving but he chased after me and I just ended up collapsing on the garage floor crying hysterically. There was really no rhyme or reason as to why I did this other than me just finally letting it all out and not keeping it inside anymore. I had always responded calmly and was more concerned with how he was feeling and dealing with it all then I was for myself. After things calmed down I let him know that it hurts me that he never comes to me to see how I am doing emotionally through it all; that he never seeks emotional intimacy with me. I also told him how much I need for him to take the spiritual lead in our family and that I'm exhausted mentally and emotionally from carrying that burden in addition to the financial burden his actions placed in our lives. I was just brutally honest and I think for the 1st time he really saw how much he has hurt me and how broken things are.

So we go to counseling and openly share everything. It was really good for the both of us to hear truth from the counselor. He really did validate everything I had been sharing. I was reminded of the struggles a man goes through every minute of every day regarding visual stimulation. I let them know that I understand this and that is way I am standing by my husband through it all as long as he is taking action to overcome falling into temptation. The counselor told my husband that he is a very blessed man as it is very rare indeed to have a wife who wants sex as much as hubby does and visually stimulates him in so many ways. Counselor wants to get to the bottom of why hubby is so unwilling to open up and share with me. He said it is necessary for my healing for him to come to me every time he struggles to resist temptation and if/when he falls into temptation. I don't need to know every single temptation of course. That would be crazy! It's not the temptation that is "sin". It's the action of giving in to temptation that is sinful. Counselor believes there are some poor self-esteem issues in hubby stemming from childhood and wants to pursue this. He was very clear though that loving self is really not biblical, but that going down this path can lead to realizing how broken we all are and how much we need Christ to be our identity.

We will be continuing with counseling and a ministry called "Be Broken" was recommended to my husband as they are located within 30 minutes of here. He will be seeking out a support group there. We also went to church on Sunday which was really good and we plan on continuing that. Interestingly enough, there's not a lot of support for women in this. Counselor said my support will come through my husband opening up, sharing with me and verbally praying for us each night.

doug-h
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Re: What do I do?

Postby doug-h » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:58 am

Wow.

While I'm sure that there is a lot to do, a lot for both of you to work thru, that is a very positive update. So happy for both of you that you are doing what you need to for each other, and for yourselves.

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Dale
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Dale » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:31 am

Texasgirl,

I haven't posted on your thread, but have been watching it, so I just wanted to stop in and say congratulations and praise the Lord for the great step forward you both took!!

May God continue the healing in your marriage for His glory!! :D :D

Dale

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Re: What do I do?

Postby InVader » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:52 am

Reading your initial Post I had a major case of Deja Vu.
Let me preface it by saying that I too was tied down by lust, pornography, online chats, etc.
Our sex life was mediocre at best, because of me. My virility and energy was robbed by these things and I had little left for my DW.
The breakthrough also came one and a half years ago. My DW also had most of her Thyroid removed. etc.
What happened to me was that my DW discovered a screenshot of a chat on my desktop, which immediately led to the explosion that revealed everything.
I was stupefied and didn't know how to react at first, but I knew that this was from God for I had prayed for God to free me from these things.
I knew that now was the moment to either reveal everything or ruin my marriage.
My wife left for a couple of days to a good friends house, whose husband came to our apartment to go through my computer with me and delete all secret email accounts, chat accounts, etc.
Since this couple were such good friends of ours, I opened up to him and we finished what we had to do and he went home.
Before she left I called a good friend of mine, who was older and had a happy marriage, to tell him what had happened and if I could come over to him and talk to him. This she required of me before leaving.
Since this couple were such good friends of ours, I opened up to him and we finished what we had to do and he went home.
At that point I was left home alone for some days to reflect, talk to God, read the bible.
When my wife came back we talked, and slowly, painfully, I peeled back layer upon layer and told her all.
I also told her that when I was 12 or 13, I was abused by a girl of about 16 or 17, in class, in front of everyone, she put her hand in my crotch and began to massage, speaking sexually and seductively, which led to wrong attitudes and behaviors concerning my sexuality.
There were a lot of tears, a lot of pain, but it was the first time I felt my burden lift off of my shoulders.

What really helped me, and this is my word to you as a wife, is that my wife forgave me unconditionally. She forgave me everything I had done. I broke down and cried like a baby, and for the first time I got a living example of what my forgiveness in Christ really means. I got a very good view of what I had done to Him my whole life, and yet He still forgave me everything. Only through that forgiveness of my wife I actually began to realize what that means.

It was hard and awkward to get back into having sex, but God was good to us for it was one of the most intense sex session we ever had. (Think bubble bath, lots of candles, and lots of passionate, unrestrained, unburdened, unfettered and loud sex.)

After that I sought out an Elder from our church with whom I talked privately, telling him everything and asking him to pray with me. We met for several months on a weekly basis to pray with each other. We also once had a meeting with him and my DW in which he explained to her what this all means, that I was sincere.
I can only recommend this highly, which you two already seem to have begun doing.

Now another thing that is very important to keep in mind: I did not completely cease from lusting or getting into sin again.
But what was different is that God had restored my conscience and everytime I lusted, or had looked with the wrong intention at an advertisement of a woman in a bikini, I got such horrible pangs of bad conscience that they made me physically sick.
It was almost as if God let me feel what He feels everytime when we sin. Everytime this happened, I absolutely had to confess to my wife and beg her forgiveness, which I always did because I could not bear this bad conscience for a second longer.
This in turn showed her that I was sincere and slowly, but surely, her trust was built back up again.
I also had a smartphone and once while my wife was gone for a week I was tempted to either chat or look at porn and this went on for several days. To my shame I did fall in that case. But I was so wroth and filled with anger at myself that I took my cellphone and shot it about 15 times with a .22 Rifle. Makes for good target practice. (No worries: To conserve the Environment I took out the battery before shooting)
This lifted such a burden off my shoulders, that temptation machine was finally out of my hands!

What I learned when it comes to technology being a temptation: Be quick, brutal, and merciless in the cutting off of that temptation. Either install a full blown filter, or DESTROY it. I could have sold my phone, but destroying it gave me this perception of absolute and final separation from it. Selling it would not have had the same effect. If you sell it, you can just as well buy it again. (Trust me, our flesh is very crafty in how it gets us to do stupid things over and over again)
There needs to be, as I said, an absolute, brutal, and final separation from the temptation. (I say this about the temptations that do lie in our power to control. Does your phone lead you into temptation, DESTROY IT. Does your television lead you into temptation, THROW IT OUT, preferably from a height that assures destruction, Can you put a fool proof filter on it and spare it destruction? Do it! One thing is certain: Something has to change in our behavior with the things that bring temptation to us)
We must be as swift and decisive with our actions regarding temptations, as God was when He did not hesitate to have His son killed for us.
We must be as swift and decisive with our actions regarding temptations, as Jesus was when he immediately replied to Satans temptations with Gods word.
We must be as swift and decisive with our actions regarding temptations, as Paul was when he shook off the snake that had bitten into his hand.
We must be as swift and decisive with our actions regarding temptations, as the Executioner who does not hesitate.
You might think the last one to be a bit extreme, but what we are engaging in is the slaughter, the destruction, the slaying, the exterminating of our sins. This is the cutting off of the hand, the plucking out of the eye that Jesus speaks of. It is not pretty, it is ugly business, but only through killing sin can we be healed. Just like a famous quote: "Be killing sin, or it will be killing you."
A swordman who is in the heat of battle will not hesitate, his hesitation in battle is certain death.
In the same way sin fights against us constantly, if we hesitate in destroying its advances, we will have lost before we even started.

Another beautiful and wonderful thing happened:
With time God showed me through his word (Think Ecclesiastes 9:9, Proverbs 5:18-19, Song of Songs) that it was ok to feel an intense sexual passion and desire for my DW, and not only to feel it, but to cultivate it to such a height through thoughts of sex with her, or thoughts of her naked body, that I had no choice but to seduce my wife to release the tension that was built up through that desire.
I quickly learned that the sexual energy I had wasted on Pornography and chats, was now fully focused on its only path of release: my wife, which led to sex that I could never have imagined before, that no pornography can even try to imitate because of its emotional and spiritual intensity.
Our daily love became not only spiritual and emotional but also intensely physical, sexual. We both built up tension with each other. We began talking about sex so casually as if we were asking what food we'd like to order. We told each other what we like, we tried many different positions, we tried our bed, the dining table, the shower, the bathtub, even the car.
We became like hormone driven teenagers in our desire for one another.
Once I worked in Paris for 3 days and on my way home (800km drive in a car) my wife kept sexting me, which built up tension over 6-7 hours that was finally released when I got home. (Please do not sext with your Spouse while sitting at the wheel of a car and driving :wink:)

God had healed our love life, our sex, our marriage. And he had blessed it immensely!

If I could name two things that contributed the most to my personal path to freedom from all those sins and any sins:
1. The prayer of my wife, and in second place by a long shot my own prayer. I don't know if I could have done it without the prayer of my wife. She fought for me in prayer....
2.The realization of how holy God is and how unworthy we are and the fact that God is loving and merciful and that He wants to bless His children, especially their marriages and their sex.
For God is the Author of marriage and its act, sex.
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.

Texasgirl
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Re: What do I do?

Postby Texasgirl » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:16 am

InVader.....your post made me cry. You have given me such hope. Thank you so much for telling your story! I hope and pray that our journey thru this is as fruitful. What I do notice is that consistency in prayer life and time in the Word are key. And of course talking!


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