As a husband who is searching for answers to very serious marital problems, I found this forum very interesting and would love to hear some advice or recommendations from the wives out there (and husbands too!).
I have been married for 8 years - without much intimacy with my wife. Our dating relationship was satisfying and I could not have asked for more. I was thrilled with this woman who knew how to please me and who was the object of my desire.
Shortly before we were married intimacy started to taper off. I always thought it was the stress of marriage planning, etc. causing the lack of sexual encounters. Our wedding night was blissful and I was looking forward to continued intimacy for a long time to come. 2 weeks later we found out we were expecting. Suddenly…the intimacy came to an abrupt halt. She had many issues related to the pregnancy so I thought this is why we had very infrequent encounters…they were a very rare occurrence. After birth, we had a 3-4 encounters over a 15 month span that resulted in our second child…which also meant sex stopped again.
Porn has been a part of my life since I was a tween. It was not as accessible 25-30 years ago as it is today (thank God!!). In high school and college I was not a chronic masturbator although I did do it just like every other guy I knew. We were actually taught that masturbation is very healthy and good. I had many sexual partners before I met my wife. In my late 20s and early 30s I always had porn on hand and discovered the internet had a lot of it to offer. I typically did not use porn when I was in a relationship…I was usually satisfied being with my partners. Porn was never a substitute for real contact.
When we were dating, my wife knew I had a history of viewing porn. She would joke about masturbating and “check” to see if she could tell if I did it recently. She would also masturbate and tell me. We even watched a couple of x-rated movies that she had in her own possession. Porn never seemed to be a problem for her prior to our marriage.
Our spiritual background: We both were born Catholic. I stopped practicing in college. She was a devoted Catholic who even taught Catholic Sunday school when we met. I wanted to get back to the Church and when we decided to marry, I felt she would help me get back into it.
Fast forward to now — It has been 27 MONTHS since we have had any form of sexual encounter. The last time being when our third child was conceived. In eight years I think we have has sex no more the 9 or 10 times. We have been through 4 martial counselors who have tried to deal directly with the porn issue. I initialed sessions with a sex-addiction counselor and, at the same time, we were also seeing a Catholic counselor who focused on porn/mastb addictions.
I realize that my past porn use makes me predisposed to have an addiction to it, however, both of my recent counselors say they don’t see it as an addiction but rather a compulsive behavior to deal with the broken marriage and the lack of sexual satisfaction
I have learned from the counselors that our broken marriage is keeping the addictive cycle in place. It is my frustration/anger with her and my constant loneliness that keep me from breaking free.
The true test would be to have sex with my wife on a regular basis (whatever that is???). If I still return to porn, I guess I would then be considered the sex addict she makes me out to be. I WOULD LOVE TO PUT IT TO THE TEST!!!
I have never rejected her or refused to have sex with her. I would never, ever consider masturbating to porn over being intimate with her. God knows I have been rejected way too many times to count. I gave up asking for sex years ago.
Our Archdiocese made a big push a few years ago to bring porn addiction into the limelight. My wife then decided to hang her hat on this issue and make it the primary reason for everything wrong in our marriage. So I swallowed my pride and did everything she asked me to do. I unplugged the home computers and stored them for several months. During another time period, I gave up masturbation and porn for 6+ months using my counselor as an accountability partner. I installed accountability software…but she never checked the results. I could write 100 more pages on the steps I have taken to “fix” my problem make this marriage work…but the bottom line is I do not know what else to do and I cannot do it without her participation.
And YES, through all of this, I have constantly prayed for our marriage to work but I guess I am too “lukewarm” to be heard. I know what I do is a serious sin and have recently gone to confession (after 20+ years). One of the most bothersome things to me is that I feel that our marriage is a total SIN without the intimacy God intends a marriage couple have together (ie: Theology of the Body). I would like to show my children an example of this.
My wife’s take is that I’m an addict and I have not shown her I will ever get better. She has completely shut down any hope of sex with her. She has refused to go to counseling b/c she feels this is ONLY my problem and when they want her to meet and talk of it being “our” problem and how to fix it ………she refuses to take it further. I have begged her to make appointments. Still nothing.
Our last blow up 2 weeks ago, she asked if she should buy me a hooker to take care of my sexual needs. I told her…”No, that would be the easy way out, I want you to take care of OUR needs.”
With all of this said…I would love more than anything to have the intimacy with my wife that God intends. She is still the ONLY object of my desire. For me …porn is a substitution for not being with her. I constantly fantasize about our previous encounters…even while viewing porn. I truly believe if I could have her every night, I would never have a desire to do anything else.
Any advice for this situation???