he was doing great until some stress overwhelmed himm and even though we are in great R he slipped up and looked at porno on cell phone. He did 't tell me and this went on off and one for several months looking just a bit on cell phone but deleting the history and then breaking his promise and did NOT tell me that he was stressed and did this.
I hate it that he looked at porno but even more that he did not tell me....I discovered it...just as I did the affairs. He wwas hiding it thinking he could stop on his own, that he didn't want to upset me and blah blah.
It is the breaking the promise to telll me. It is knowingliy searching, looking and breaking the
promise to tell me. He knowingly did this knowing that it would hurt me to some extent...that is hard to take. He said he didn't think it would get me like the affairs...of course not...but he KNOWINGLY did look, knowing that it would hurt me and knowingly that he was breaking his promise not to keep it a secret when he looked. In addition it is so bad that I had to find out by chance...he forgot to delete...sounds so similar to affair secrets...he doesn't seem to at this point see this...I do not think he will have affairs but I am struggling with this.
I would like some takes on porno and R. Please know I want to love him and have a good R. BUT I am struggling to see this as his problem with handling stress...an ongoing problem with that an anxiety...that was affairs case as well....he is realizing that he may need third party help more...only did it a bit and thought it was enough.
The porn thing is tough.
1. As you say, he is likely using it as a coping mechanism, and hiding it b/c he doesn't want you to get mad. He needs IC to figure out why he can't/won't control his behavior in this regard. How he can make other choices, and be respectful to your wishes. It could be anything from a habit to a compulsive behavior, so he needs help with that. If he is religious at all, I have heard that "Every Man's Battle" is a good book.
2. Likely he needs to hear very clearly from you how you feel about the porn use -- how it makes you feel. I don't know if it was ok with you pre-A, and not now. . .but he needs to hear fully how him looking at it makes you feel, and how the lying about it makes you feel.
If your WH isn't in IC, he needs to be. It took FWHs IC almost 2 years to help him enough to get enough understanding about his compulsions, his acting out, and his stressors to get a grip on his pornography compulsion. We both work on it each day me being his sounding board and listening so he can come home and dump stress without feeling judged or like I'm going to try to solve his problems. And being utterly honest when either of us is feeling stressed, talking about it, doing what we can to mitigate it, and being present for each other. Without IC, I don't think that we would be married today. And, if it meant me being blindsided OR feeling like I had to always be on guard, I would not want to be married to him today. (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
For my WH porn had nothing to do with his A so I don't see any point in demanding that he stop, unless it is having some impact on our sex life a relationship in general. I myself enjoy porn occasionally and don't see it as detrimental, more of a novelty. Think of porn as a ham and cheese sandwhich and sex with your partner as a decadent all you can eat buffet. I will chose the buffet 9/10 times as it is hands down WAY better but sometimes I just want a ham and cheese sandwich... quick and easy.
That being said, porn can be a problem for some people so I get why it is a no-no for so many couples in R.
I would have a difficult time with the lying, that would crush me. Is there any room for compromise? or is it a dealbreaker? Only you can decide what you are comfortable with, just make sure you state your expectations clearly (just as you described above).
Hugs to you xo
Two things...both strong.
My wife has chosen similarly as your husband. She has chosen to not abandon her old coping mechs. Learned 2 days ago of her secret actions that are known to be what she reaches for when she feels isolated. Choose to take the attitude she could handle it and didn't tell me about it. I discovered it too. For me, it was a DD because it directly involves FB and the OM....not some new false intimacy reached for, the same identical one that is one click away from infidelity.
So....I get how you are feeling.
Porn. Destructive. At best it is intimacy-limiting. at worst it is as destructive a form of infidelity as is an EA. Particularly destructive when it is hidden....and is specifically destructive in your case as it ties into his past history.
Even if both partners willingly engage in it (as my wife and I did) it stands a GREAT chance of leaving one feeling used and/or inadequate. We felt both as we break free from it. Over time, feelings towards porn can and often do change....but if you engage in it willingingly before, it makes it that much harder to say "no".....afterall, you engaged in it too.
Big ticket item here?
A spouses ability to re-choose to engage in the thought pattern of "I can just peek" at my old coping mechs....I can just sniff that destructive force that I use to cope with life and can control it.
This is what I believe EVERY wayward does at some point in their journey to infidelity and beyond. Falsely believe what they are doing is totally in their control.
Thats why false-intimacy is so attractive....you CAN control it far easier than RL relationship. So few factors to manage (click on, click off....whether it is porn or IM on FB or 2 hours in a motel).
Healthy RL relationships are noticeably DEVOID of controlling another person. They are interdependently doing life.
I know...I WAS that guy. I was so blind for so long.
But you can change.
Your husband being aware he reaches for false intimacy when he feels stress (the big one for one of my accountability partners) is a great first step.
So know he needs to ask himself....why didn't I do "Plan A" when I started this cycle? Why didn't I chose to do something healthy when I felt stressed and before I thought about porn? Why did I not do something healthy when I thought about porn? Why did I not confess to my wife when I used porn?
He is aware of the start of the cycle....therefore he has 3 opportunities to stay out of that rut.
Express his feelings.
Express his thoughts.
Express his actions.
3 distinct steps to this.
Dang....I am intimately familiar with this advice. It is the advice given in the Every Mans Battle program to break out of the rut that is porn use.
Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out of them. I am glad to be out of that grave.
One of my best, most trusted SI members uses porn and his opinion differs than mine on porn. I respect that.
Please keep in mind my choices have resulted in my consequences....all of which are painfilled and I am sorry for what they did to myself and my wife. I am grateful I have broken that cycle in time to help shepard our girls in ways I was not going to be able to had I not got up out of that rut.
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:53 PM, June 5th (Thursday)]
Not a lot to add - this is something he needs to address. If it is an addiction for him and a deal breaker for you, then he'd better get help to deal with it.
My WH thought I was "prudish" about porn before DDay. He grew up with it lying around the house and thought it was "normal". I had a problem with it because I could see that HE had a problem with it (although he didn't see that) - and this was initially 20 years ago. He didn't really think it affected me. He didn't think it affected him. But it did. He doesn't blame the A on it, but it was a part of the desensitization that led him to think he "deserved" a little bit more than he was getting in our marriage.
AFter DDay, as WH started waking up to what he had been doing, he acknowledged the impact porn had on him and our relationship. Another fan of "Every Man's Battle" here - it literally changed his perspective on the whole thing. He's currently reading through the one for teens - he is planning on having our teenaged sons read the book soon.
It was not instant - before he read "Every Man's Battle" he had tried to skirt the edges - not looking at porn, but "just" sexy girls on Tumblr - he tried to hide it, but of course that didn't work out for him. It was not a deal breaker for me at that point, primarily because he acknowledged what he'd done, what it meant to him ( not much because he viewed it as just something normal guys do) and what it meant to me (another hit to my self-esteem and trust in him), and then he acted upon the knowledge that it hurt me. He really had not understood how it affected me, and I hadn't put it out there as a condition of our R - but I made it crystal clear at that point and he has been doing all he can ever since to make sure he does not inflict that pain on me again.
Your WH knows it is hurtful to you. He knows it tears down the trust he is trying to rebuild. He is making a choice to do something he knows is wrong (not talking about the moral sense here, but the fact that it is wrong IN THIS RELATIONSHIP) - something that he KNOWS is destructive to your marriage. He is still breaking promises to you and lying to you.
You have to decide what you will accept from him. If he wants you to ever have any degree of trust in him again, he needs to be completely honest with you, and that isn't happening now. He needs to get help to deal with this and find some other coping mechanisms.
Another fan of "Every Man's Battle" here - it literally changed his perspective on the whole thing. He's currently reading through the one for teens - he is planning on having our teenaged sons read the book soon.
Wonderful news!!!! Cycles can be broken.
I have two nephews. I bought and gave their parents Every Young Mans Battle.....openly admitted to them my use of it and offered to share more. Unfortunately the Christian angle turned them off (don't believe in God) so it sets on a book shelf.
What I would have given to have any adult man talk to me about the relational side of sex and what porn does to a developing mind when I started using it. FYI.....therapy uncovered CSA in my past and my parents giving me my first book with nude girls in it. Ugh.....sooooo don't want others to walk this familiar path.
He can break free....but not on his own.
FYI.....GR got me Steve Arterburns Every Mans Devitional. This is my second year using it. Simply fantastic. It is one of the healthy things I backfilled with as I kicked porn out of my life.
Isolation was my trigger point. Stress is a common one too. Being aware of his trigger point already is a great sign....will help him avoid being blind sided.
In my marriage, porn is not a big deal. WH uses porn and I know it, but if I asked him to tell me when, I think he would be embarrassed to do so and might try to hide it from me.
I am just over 4 years out, so my view may reflect that.
Husband saw the IC yesterday and I think has a better idea what porno does to me him and this relationship between us. We will go again next week together.
This would not be a "line in the sand" kind of thing for me; that being said, it is not acceptable either to knowingly do something that would hurt your partner in life however "small" you might think it is. Certainly he struggles with stress and anxiety tried to cope that way. I can understand the desire to "distract and forget" when you are in that state. BUT, I guess I thought that his understanding of the hurt it would cause me, first by looking at it, then by keeping it secret, the idea of the hurt to me would be MORE POWERFUL than the urge or impulse to look and conceal it. It wasn't and that is what we are dealing with now.
Yes, chose his anxiety reducing rituals over this marriage...that is how I felt, too. I know the intention was not to hurt me, but in fact, it did. And his choice sucked.
It is a very very hard bump for me in our Reconciliation and developing relationship. But a good one in the sense that he and I had not, just after the affairs, very clearly discussed, with great understanding and agreement, the porn use and what and why. Now we have and do understand better what is going on so that enables both of us to take action so that it is less likely to ever, ever, happen again....though I admit I am now primed to think that "never happen again" is a phrase I cannot at this time say....that is soooo hard thing to think. So hard. But it came out so at least we can greatly reduce that chance with positive actions in that regard.
As for me, it is a pretty BIG BLOW to my "warm and fuzzy" feelings towards him that were just starting to return in a more natural way. This time, though, I think the recovery of those feelings may return a bit sooner than they did after the devastation of the affairs since we have strengthen our relationship quite a bit...
However, that being said, it still hurts a lot and I am now wondering "what is next?". I hope nothing else with this kind of intensity. I sincerely hope I will not have to go through this, or similar hurt again... the affairs were enough...the porn was enough challenge in that regard...
But I will never say that it will never will happen again...I feel I cannot say that because I didn't think it would happen this time...but it did...just as the affairs happened...stuff happens and I get hurt...sure is hard developing this "toughness' to get through all this heartbreak.
I hope this or something similar doesn't happen again... I pray it doesn't...getting stronger in this way is sure tough. thanks again, guys!
[This message edited by morethantrying at 5:47 AM, June 10th (Tuesday)]