Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Addiction, wrong expectations, habitual masturbation ...
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Paul B
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Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Paul B » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:19 am

Let's make this a place for the ladies to express how their husband's porn use makes them feel. To make that feel safe, please don't argue or tell them they are wrong or bring in other issues.
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Re: How Does Hubbie's Porn use make you feel?

Postby Leah » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:46 pm

I went through the "not good enough" phase. Jake's disapproval was a very powerful manipulation to me. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to jump through enough hoops to please him. Finally, I just said, "You know what, this is just too hard. Everything I do just ticks you off, so I'm done with trying to make you happy. If you have a gripe, spit it out, but do not huff and puff and give me attitude." That brought that phase to an end.

Jake has been clean and sober for many years now, and I'm very thankful. He does speak up when I have missed something in my side of the equation. I listen and take his words to heart. I rely on his counsel. He also listens to me and gives consideration to what I say.
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: How Does Hubbie's Porn use make you feel?

Postby Paul B » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:40 pm

Leah wrote:That brought that phase to an end.

Let me say, well done!

I think a lot of couples have a twisted co-dependent cycle going over porn. Either of them can bring it to an end by changing their part of it.
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Re: Women - how does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Dandelion_lawn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:02 pm

Confused,unloved, and betrayed.

Confused because the past few years of our marriage have been so close and loving with better sex and communication and closeness than ever before. The children are finally all past toddlerhood and we have more energy and can get much more romantic time. I've lost my baby weight and I'm looking and feeling pretty good. Yet during this time, his porn use has increased. We have sex almost every day, with creativity, variety, and fun. I feel like this is me at my best, yet I'm clearly not good enough. It makes me feel hopeless because I'm just going to get older. I don't know how I can improve as a wife.

Unloved because I think if a husband truly loves his wife, he'll do his best not to indulge his fantasy life with others.

Betrayed because I made it clear 15 years ago that I wasn't okay with porn in the marriage. I trusted him.

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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby OldMarriedLady » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:39 pm

It's been many years, but I can still remember feeling a lot of different things.

Angry
Betrayed
Disrespected
Disgusted
Disappointed
Unattractive
Undesirable
Heartbroken
Depressed (a couple of times borderline suicidally)

I have grown quite a bit (I believe, anyway) since coming to TMB, and if I were to discover he had gone back to using porn, I think I could deal with it in a much more rational way than I did when I was younger. That's not to say that it wouldn't be a gut punch.

ETA: One thing I never did feel somehow is unloved - despite my husband being unromantic, stoic, pragmatic, verbally clumsy, and emotionally repressed, I have ALWAYS felt his love for me.
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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby seeking perspective » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:14 am

This hasn't been an issue for a long while in our marriage, and even then, it was an unusual thing and my husband was always filled with genuine remorse. I wasn't going to say anything in this thread because I have not experienced a husband's persistent porn use, or his lack of repentance. I decided to speak up, though, because I imagine there are men reading this thread and thinking that since their porn use hasn't been severe, none of this applies to their own wives.

The times I was aware of my husband using porn, I felt inadequate. What was so unappealing or unlovable about me that I wasn't worth the wait until I got home, or that I wasn't worth his effort to help me get in the mood? When he would complain about unsatisfying sex life (due to infrequency and my lack of engagement), he would say that it wasn't just about sex--but the fact that he had chosen solo sex over me made it impossible for me to believe him.

Over time, I've come to understand that my husband's porn use was far more about him than it was about me or about our relationship--just as my reaction to it reflected my own issues more than it did his porn use.
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Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Cayenne » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:03 am

I think how we feel when we discover our husbands porn use has some relation to how we viewed our husbands prior to knowing. In my case, my husband was always one of those super honorable, NEVER caught him noticing other women, never worried once that he was anything but ultra-faithful. He was involved in getting rid of porn in his workplace and stopping a couple men who found a way to use the church internet for porn. By his own words he hated porn and was disgusted when men used it. By all the evidence - when faced with the common temptations to men, he rejected them.

Somehow he got himself involved in Internet porn more recently, just over 4 yrs ago now, with the last 18 months clean.

A friend who knew him well, who happens to be a Christian sexual addictions counselor, agreed that using porn is not his personality. She called his character "gold", and his porn use is certainly the result of the 7 yr trauma that we had discussed with her over the years. She saw a very good chance for full recovery. This assessment made opening the door for forgiveness a lot easier. I did consider ALL my options, including divorce, but in addition to the fact that I do love him, keen awareness of my own guilt of other things made it clear to me that to God I am equally in need of a Savior, so an attempt at reconciliation was only fair. I also know that since this is an area of temptation to all men, my chances with anyone else would be no better. So, I made it clear to my husband within 24 hours that while I had chosen to forgive him, I choose not live in the same house as porn. He must rid himself and our home of it immediately, and permanently, or I would go. (It absolutely terrified me to lay down this ultimatum, I honestly did not know what he would say.) He did what I asked without hesitation, and hasn't looked back.

Any reasonable assessment of our situation would call my husband a mild case. But the pain for me was still tremendous.

My instant feelings on discovery were absolute shock. My limbs went numb. I felt like a heap of rocks was piled on my head and chest. I couldn't breathe without pain for weeks. It took months for my heart to stop feeling heavy. By far the worst emotion was the complete betrayal of trust. I had trusted him implicitly, and he broke it not just a couple times, but for 3 years!

Second worst would probably be the fact that when we married, I believed he was vowing to keep himself completely to me.... his mind, eyes, sexual activity were for me alone- and I was reciprocating that vow. He just as surely violated that vow as if he had had a physical affair. Matthew 5:28 - "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." I felt he had brought other people into our bed. It was beyond revolting to me. I felt a lot of nausea in the early weeks. (Note: Temptation and intrusive thoughts that are rejected as soon as possible I do not count as lustful intent.)

While I have had the "I'm so fat" feelings like most women do, I had always figured he picked me, seemed to like what he saw, and so I never worried too much about it. I always wished I looked better for him (I think he's very handsome), but never thought he preferred other women because of it. To suddenly have little thoughts intrude about how I could never match up with the women I saw in his browser history, or other beautiful women we see, was/is difficult at times.

Suddenly I felt like maybe the whole time I'd completely trusted him to be faithful, other people were mocking my naivety behind my back because I had been too blind to see what they could. (Emphasis on the blindness, as opposed to the mocking.)

I never worried about the magazines in the grocery store or what he was doing on his phone before, and I felt like I was living in a surreal zone where suddenly these thoughts of fear would hit me, leaving me with horror of what he had done and what it is making me into. I had never viewed him with suspicion before and I don't like that I feel it now. He has pretty much never used his iPad or laptop since discovery, and I might still feel a bit odd if he started getting them out. I have insisted I have passwords to everything, although after the first couple weeks I have not checked them.

His actions isolated me almost completely. I lost supposed friends partly because of the self imposed seclusion during that first couple weeks. They chose to interpret my change as rejection of them rather than maybe I needed help. I am better off without this kind of people in my life, except I'm a lot more lonely.

My family could not know anything because of my mothers obsessive characteristics. I could not allow the church to know because of a group of problematic people (who have since left.) Even some of my closest friends couldn't be supportive because of their own painful past experiences involving husbands and porn. Because of where we live, counseling or support groups are not an option at this time.

I have looked at my husbands face hundreds of times since discovery and see that kind, gentle face that looks like he would never ever betray me and I feel just overwhelmed with a wave of shock, pain and the incongruity of what has happened. I love him as fiercely as before, but the joyful innocence is gone.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Paul B » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:45 pm

Cayenne,

Thank you for taking the time to share.

I don't think most men have a clue how their porn use makes their wife feel. In part they deny it because they didn't mean most of what she thinks their porn use means. What men need to understand is how it makes her feel is real and valid even if it's not what he meant.
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Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Cayenne » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:04 pm

If we are expected to understand men and why they use porn, and accept that it isn't about us, it is only fair that they understand why we DO have a tendency to feel that it IS about us, and the other feelings we have as a result. I think this reciprocation is only fair in other areas of difference as well, regardless of whether we are of the male or female viewpoint.

I am blessed in that my husband has never done anything to minimize my feelings as I've gone through this. It is his personality to accept that how a person feels is their reality and he doesn't argue with them or invalidate it. (Of course, the man simply doesn't argue or fight.... in 21 yrs I can count the discussions that elevated to anything resembling an argument on one hand.) As a result it makes it easier for me to accept his feelings and intent in return.
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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Nvr2Late » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:37 am

Similar to others, I felt:

Betrayed (he wanted "someone" or something more than me)
Ugly, fat, unworthy (my default reaction to perceived rejection or replacement)
Confused (we had a pretty steamy sex life)
Angry (mostly at the secret 2nd life, the deception & lies)

Unlike other's responses, I also felt curious. What on EARTH could he possibly want with porn? I was available always - health permitting - , and our MB seemed pretty satisfactory to me most of our marriage. That was the one place I felt we connected pretty consistently. HE was far more often the one to be the gatekeeper, not me. Many times I initiated or asked for sex. I never understood his GK behavior until I understood the hold porn had on him. I made the mistake of "if you can't beat 'em join 'em) for a while. I regret that of course.

This was all in my previous marriage.

I am now remarried to a man who would rather gouge out his eyes than to view porn. We've had many talks about the topic. He was a typically randy Navy guy and single until mid 50's so he knows exactly what he is rejecting. He isn't comfortable watching a lot of R rated stuff on regular TV or NetFlix. He knows the danger to himself and to our marriage and he honors me, us, and my woundedness from before to even consider it.
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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby Paul B » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:33 pm

Cayenne wrote:If we are expected to understand men and why they use porn, and accept that it isn't about us, it is only fair that they understand why we DO have a tendency to feel that it IS about us, and the other feelings we have as a result.

Absolutely!

On May 15th I am doing a post about this on The Generous Husband, and the same day a post on The XY Code about why he really uses porn. If husband and wife could both "get" the other, it would make dealing with the sin and the resulting pain so much easier.
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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby akb14 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:54 am

It makes me feel worthless, unattractive, unloved, hopeless. It has hurt me so much that I got a bleeding ulcer. I basically feel like a piece of [edit]. I have never refused him sexually and always try to show all my enthusiasm for him. I found swinger porn on his phone and It has destroyed me. I have so many thoughts running through my head right now. I don't know what to do.

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Re: Women - how did/does your husband's porn use make you feel?

Postby sunny-dee » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:03 am

It made me feel betrayed, isolated, rejected. I also felt strangely calm. My husband has been gatekeeping our entire marriage -- he actually cut off physical intimacy (kissing, cuddling, hugging) a few months after we started dating. (I thought it was because he was struggling with boundaries since he had a promiscuous past.) And that would have been less painful if it weren't also for the emotional intimacy -- he frequently acted frustrated or angry when I was talking, he would refuse to do things with me (like walk the dog), he frequently didn't even want me in the same room or would exclude me from things he did with his friends.

I went through long periods our first two years of marriage, first thinking that maybe all of his love was just buried and I could Be Better and bring it back. And then I started wondering if he had ever loved me or had just married me for other reasons (he was staring at 40 and ready to settle down, I was the good-girl Christian opposite of his previous partying bottle-blonde girlfriends, etc). When I found out about the porn, painful as it was, it actually answered those questions. I believe he cares for me deeply and relies on me, but I don't believe he loves me romantically. The only point of relief in that is that there is no point in struggling or fighting any more. It would be one thing if he loved me; there'd be a fight I could lose. But if he never loved me? There's no way to win and so there's nothing to tear myself up over.


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