Advice for impure husband in sexless marriage - WARNING LONG POST!


#1

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???


#2

There is a lot going on here and we can only hear one side of it. Here are a couple thoughts regarding your post.

  1. Although it might not do you any good to point it out(in fact I would not recommend pointing it out), your wife's refusal is a part of your problem. Under ordinary circumstances she is obliged to fulfill the marriage debt. In other words she has to have a good reason to refuse relations. Read 1 Corinth 7. St. Paul is very clear about the consequences of refusing the marriage debt --> impurity sins. Now that being said - your wife may or may not have a good reason.

  2. As mentioned above your wife might have a good reason. The change in attitude pre to post marriage, her refusal to continue counseling, her latching on to your porn problem as the cause of all problems, is consistent with somebody who may have suffer past abuse. Just something to be cautious about.

  3. Regardless of what your wife does you need to free yourself (with the grace of God) of your impurity issues. I understand your feelings that - if we only we had regular relations everything would be fine - but it won't. It has gone on too long. You have some work to do before it will be fine. Your focus right now is about "taking care of your needs" etc. She can't take care of your needs and help you out of this, she appears to have her own issues to deal with.

  4. One of the unfortunate side effects of porn addiction is it changes the way you behave around women. They can pick up on this. Your wife could be picking up on this. It goes away gradually once you clean up and she will notice the difference.

  5. You can get beyond this, and you will be a better person because of it. You have to want to do it for yourself. It really isn't about not getting what you need from your wife, but preferring your own gratification before everything else, namely before God. Now go back and re-read 1 Corth 7 and focus how it is better to be like Paul (celibate). Become celibate for God's sake first, then try to reconcile the situation with your wife. You will then be in a good position to help her with her problems.

Prayers for the spiritual battle you are going through.


#3

From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry for your suffering and sacrifice. It appears to me, based only upon the information you share in your post, that your wife is using the previous use of porn and her knowledge of your past instances of unchastity as a weapon against you to bolster her reasons for denying you sexual relations. It does not appear to me that porn/masturbation are the real problem here. I cannot possibly understand why she would not want to be intimate with you, unless she has some sexual abuse in her past that she has not revealed to you? Those traumatic memories can resurface years later and prevent a person from having a healthy sexual relationship in the present. Or perhaps her own past use of porn and masturbation have made her feel ashamed to the point where she is unable to even be receptive now?

Whatever her reasons are, I think she is trying to shift the blame for lack of relations from herself to you. I have no advice to offer, because I have never experienced such a thing in my own marriage. But you do have my deepest sympathies. I hope your wife is able to come to a point where she can understand how husbands feel loved by the sexual relations they share with their wives. It is wrong to deprive our spouses of that love, unless there is a serious reason why sexual relations cannot happen (i.e. serious health problems, a need to delay/prevent pregnancy). In such instances, the spouses who are unable to engage in intercourse should always seek other ways to demonstrate their deep love and affection for each other. Maybe you could ask your wife to consider other possible ways she might show her love for you, so that you are still secure in your relationship?


#4

[quote="mommamaree, post:3, topic:216550"]
It appears to me, based only upon the information you share in your post, that your wife is using the previous use of porn and her knowledge of your past instances of unchastity as a weapon against you to bolster her reasons for denying you sexual relations.

[/quote]

I tend to disagree. Pornography changes how men relate to women, and women can sense when they are being *used *as sexual objects.

Mschark, have you ever read any books by Christopher West? Good News about Sex and Marriage is a great book to help understand what a sexual relationship between husband and wife is MEANT to be. Do you think your wife would agree to read it together?


#5

The thing I am most sorry about in your situation is the fact that your wife is refusing to address her own issues or even really tell you what is going on in her mind. But even so, you need to stop using porn, period. You’ve been really honest about your past, and all the sex you’ve had prior to marriage. My belief is that holy, sacred sexual relationships remain healthy, while any other type is like a 2-legged stool or a house built on sand. You’re like a lot of other people in this society - doing whatever feels good and not thinking about the possible ramifications, because everyone else says it’s just fine (except the Church of course!).

No matter what your reason for turning back to porn, it is as if you are constantly cheating on your wife and justifying it because she doesn’t want to be intimate, but she doesn’t want to be intimate BECAUSE you are cheating on her! So it goes around and around.

She could be depressed, her hormones might be messed up, or both. Or, she could feel a lot of guilt and shame about what sex has meant to both of you. Guilt and shame do not lead to good sex! It would be good if she’d help you by sharing what she’s going through.

You both need to talk to someone about this, and I’m not sure if you have to do it separately or at the same time. If she will not cooperate, I’m afraid you will have to take it upon yourself to work on your end of things. You say you quit for a few months, but then what happened? Because she wouldn’t cooperate, you started back up again? That is an attitude of “I need you to satisfy my physical needs and if you don’t, I’ll go back to porn/masturbation.” From a female POV, that is a huge turn-off. It sounds as if what you want is just the physical release of sex, not the true intimacy of joining your bodies and spirits together in union. Not saying that is your whole entire motivation, just that it may seem that way to her.

If you know this to be a sin, and you said that you do, then it is up to you to stop it. Whether or not she ever changes (I suspect she would soften to you after a while, if she saw a long-term, CONDITIONLESS change) is really irrelevant to your own problem. Solve that problem with the help of counseling, approach her differently when your heart is different (that means NO PORN), and she might just open up to you again.


#6

As a woman who has struggled in giving herself to her husband, I’ll give you my two cents. I however do not know if it’ll be of any benefit as her attitudes before marriage don’t seem to add up to mine.

My husband and I were unable to consumate our marriage for the first two months of our marriage. This time was very difficult for us. The first few days of our marriage, he was very supportive, but when we started to stop making attempts during my fertile time and he realized I was relieved about it, his own feelings of rejection began coming out and I completely misunderstood.

My biggest issue was that I couldn’t see the desire for sex beyond the lustful way the culture portrays it. To me, it seemed primarily about the man’s self gratification. I knew I had an obligation to have sex with my husband, but I had trouble being convinced that men didn’t just want one thing. My husband’s total willingness to be patient with me in the beginning expressed to me a feeling of being safe. I was more important than the sex. Someday I’d be able to do it, but he’d be supportive of me through it till eventually I could do it.

When my husband began to express hurt feelings, I simply could not understand it. I felt like I had woken up to one of my childhood nightmares about men caring more for sex than for me. Moreover, as I wife, it seemed like my moral duty to have sex with him was just to give him a moral out for self gratification since he couldn’t legimately do anything independant of being with me.

The only thing that got me to become sympothetic to him was a phone call from a married friend of mine who seemed to understand that I needed to get over the attitude of “men wanting only one thing” and realizing that husbands primarily experience love through sex, and that other loving behaviors by themselves in a marriage simply would not be enough.

I somehow got really hooked on the idea that my husband felt loved deprived and not “sex deprived.” Eventually (and through treatment) we were able to consumate our marriage and I became pregnant rather quickly. I did not start experiencing any enjoyment from it for another month. I’m not even sure when in our experience I finally started realizing that what he was longing for was not just to get off, but a deeper level of intimacy that eventually we started experiencing together. I did finally apoligise to him for not understanding and I know it meant a lot to him and how happy he was that there was no part of me still seeing him as the bad guy.

If she’s being honest about her seeing you as a complete sex addict, as obsessed with sex and hurt by the pornography, than maybe something deeper is going on. I have no idea. She would probably need someone other than you giving her a reality check so that she doesn’t feel like she’s just being manipulated by you to get sex out of her.

However, if that’s not the case, than I have no clue.


#7

What do you get out of pornography that you could not get from your wife?

Fake images, with fake situations, and fake people having fake sex

versus

the REAL FLESH AND BLOOD woman you supposedly love and real sex?

Answer that question.

Reality. Trumps. Pornography.


#8

Sorry Mschark,

I read your post. I’m not a man…can only give one, solitary, female point of view (my own); but it seems to me you’ve done A LOT of work to try and make things ok. I understand you watched porn…a lot of men do…I’m not condoning it, but it’s hardly “abnormal” behavior. It is a sin however. That said, you felt bad about it, and consulted a therapist, locked up the comps., and even quit for 6 months. Abstaining for 6 months would say to me, that you’re not addicted as you’ve demonstrated the ability to quit…therefore, you have control…which is great! But your wife…hmmm…your wife, from the sounds of it, sounds like she is using the porn issue as an excuse to avoid having sexual relations with you - no scratch that - not sounds…she is. Period. Why? Well, there could be a myriad of reasons why. Psychological, Emotional, Physical.

Men and women are quite different when it comes to sex. Often men can have sex with their wives EVEN THOUGH they may have fought earlier in the day…EVEN THOUGH things haven’t been going too smoothly around the house…and often, after sex, men think everything is :thumbsup:. However for women, oftentimes, they have a harder or more difficult time separating the mental from the physical…I shouldn’t say separating because this is where we get into problems…where the divergent philosophies come into play…men aren’t necessarily separating their minds from their bodies when having sex…like a someone above mentioned, they often communicate their love through it - but they have the CAPACITY to separate sex from love…and I believe, they can do this more easily, than women. Ok. I’m blabbing. My point is, my point is is that it’s quite possible, that your wife’s issue with you…has absolutely nothing to do with sex, but her withholding of it, is related to another aspect of your marriage.

It is also quite possible that she has lost any desire for it…as women’s hormone levels flucuate greatly compared to mens’.

But one little facet of your post is needling me…and it’s this:

That she suggested she get you a hooker. Hmmmm…:hmmm:

I imagine this hurt your feelings, yes? It’s rather a belittling thing to suggest. Either she’s completely unaware of your feelings…or she said that to hurt you. And the only reason she’d say that to hurt you is because she’s angry with you. Now what is she mad about? Perhaps she cannot forgive you for the former use of porn? Perhaps it’s something else? Is the sex topic something that comes up frequently between you two or have you just “given up” so to speak and figured - “why bother?”

I feel bad for both of you. I think perhaps…if you two can figure out what the core issue is, than the intimacy you both crave (as I DO NOT believe she’s immune to it at this point) will come. But it takes two to tango as they say…you can’t do it alone. And your wife needs to realize that this LACK is seriously HURTING you. Men and women ARE different…and men DO need physical intimacy in a relationship…and not because men are “dogs” or “sex addicts” as some people seem to think…but because like someone else mentioned, they often express their caring for their wives this way. And it’s natural…and that’s a good thing.

Good luck to you!!! :slight_smile:


#9

This is certainly a most unfortunate situation.

Your wife is not living up to her marital obligations.

Serious discussion and negotiation are needed to attempt resolution of the problem.

If all else fails, you must decide if you can tolerate the status quo. If not, then the marriage is over.


#10

Mschark, so are you still abstaining from porn and masurbation?

i'm sorry to be amongst the dissenters here, and i dont wish to seem uncompassionate, but i disagree with posters telling you waht your wife should do. you're the only guy you can fix. YOU were the first one to fall out on the marriage vows:

first by your precana use of porn
next by your precana use of your wife. you werent married and you had sex with her. that's use.
finally by your use of porn even in the midst of a sexual relationship with your wife.

you say you wouldnt use porn if you could be with her but she has no evidence of that. neither do you.

that your wife has eventually responded coldly, apathetically and self-protectively is no surprise. that she hasnt forgiven you yet is going to take a complet conversion on your part-- and an excruciating amount of patience and HOPE in God's healing power and love.

this may be your invitation to purgatory on earth. this may be your opportunity to tackle the purging and reparative suffering that may be called for in order to bring about restoration of your marriage. if you really set your soul to daily abstinece with the specific intent of purging of addiction and reparation for your sexual sins and healing for you and your wife, coupled with all the heaps of prayer and sacramental graces that will be necessary for redemption, then you really might see a miracle.

but it won't likely take a few weeks or months. and maintaining cheer and charity will be a struggle.

your vocation as husband, is to help your wife obtain heaven. that's the BEST thing you can do for your kids-- help their mom get to heaven. like Christ sacrificed his life for us, here's your turn for your wife.

and stick with the therapist who doesnt give you excuses to use porn. the therapist who views porn use as a destruction to human dignity. that's the guy who'll help you best.


#11

I have to agree with BlueSprite, Mschark.

I think at times women do have a harder time switching gears and getting into the mood compared to men. I know that when my husband and I have not been getting along and we are both angry he is ready for love anyways but I want and need to talk it out and solve the problem first. If he doesn't want to talk and makeup I cannot just turn off the hurt and get into the mood. It really helps to hear loving and kind words from him and then it doesn't feel like he might just be using me as an object. I don't know if your wife is angry but if she is I think that this could be part of the problem. I will pray for you and your wife also. God bless!


#12

I really have no experience with marriage and such but I would strongly recommend that both of you make an appointment with your priest and see what he has to say. He may very well have some very valuable insight for you two.


#13

Sorry, I just had to say this:

Watching porn is abnormal behaviour. A lot of men do it, our culture has tried to normalize it, but it is abnormal. It’s a sin precisely because it is abnormal.

Don’t mean to nit pick but we need to be honest about these kind of things especially in this situation.

I agree with this.

I think its a little too easy on forums to get sympathy for your point of view (I do it all the time!).

What is obvious in your post is this (a negative and positive, I guess):

You don’t have the correct understanding of sexuality, sex, and sex and love in marriage - but you want to understand it.

So, for what its worth, here’s my advice:

Stop watching porn. Stop masturbating. Start praying the Rosary daily (with your wife if possible). Be chaste. Have absolutely no focus on sex for now. Focus on God and your wife. Confess. If you fall, get up again, and confess again and be chaste. Speak to your wife. Be honest. Cry, open up, whatever, as long as you are honest. Encourage her. Apologize. Be the man God created you to be.

And most importantly: focus on yourself. Not in a selfish way. I mean, rather than saying “my wife this my wife that”. Make sure YOU are a man who reflects Jesus Christ. And within your marriage, do that. I can almost guarantee that things will start to change. It’s almost silly to say, but change without really does start from within.

Stay confident man - the Lord is on your side, and God Bless you for trying and being honest. Open up to the Lord, I promise he never disappoints. Keep praying hard and ask him to make His will to be done.


#14

News and Monica have great viewpoints. I will only add that lust is a capital vice. As a capital vice it has many daughters. This sin IS related to many of the problems in your marriage and your life in general.

The fact that you were able to stop using porn for six months does not mean that you have control over it. The fact that you returned to the practice speaks to the opposite of control.

As much as you want to think that it is, lack of marital contact is not justification for masturbation. Lust and masturbation are grave matters. We all have challenges and tests. Saying that pornography is justified is akin to saying "I didn't have what I wanted so I had to steal it." Or, "I was going to get into trouble so I had to tell a lie."

A person cannot control or change his spouse. She will feel the way that she feels and act the way that she acts until something changes. All that you can do is worry about your side of the street. In general, the best way to improve a marriage is to increase your own virtue.


#15

Dear Mschark,

it seems to me there are other issues which determine your wife's refusal of marital relations rather than porn. It is not the case of a "dark secret" coming out and causing her to distrust you. You even abstained by removing the computer; there are other problems here, it is not a purely religious problem but also a psychological one. Granted that the use of porn is a grave sin, and you should stop, from your story it is obvious that this is not the reason she is denying you marital relations. Ask her to tell you what the real issue is. By the way, how does she even know you still masturbate? Is she simply making assumptions? In this case there is no solution is there? If my wife would behave in this way I would ask her if she is seeing someone else, since she doesn't want to be intimate with me maybe she is doing so with someone else..

There must be some underlying dissatisfaction in your marriage for your wife, and she uses porn as an escape route to vent it out. Group therapy would be ideal as she has some issue that needs to come out.

on a sidenote:

Monicatholic, I cannot agree with this statement:

"next by your precana use of your wife. you weren't married and you had sex with her. that's use."

The mistake in this case was for both, it's use by both parties, she's just as guilty as him.

Regarding her closure at his use of porn, since she knew before they were married (and even used it together, and apparently made use of porn herself: "We even watched a couple of x-rated movies that she had in her own possession"

How can she now blame him exclusively, without confronting him, without accepting he is doing something about it (not using a pc for 6 months is a pretty big commitment). She knew about his porn usage before she married him, why is she confronting him as if she never knew? The truth is she probably doesn't care. Else why would she not check the accountability software to see if he is abstaining? Why not help him get rid of the addiction?

It's a sad situation, especially as he is trying to overcome the addiction. I will pray for you both.

Fred


#16

Mschark,

I just wanted to say that from your post, you seem to be striving very hard to be chaste. All you can do is continue to strive. I think it is entirely unfair for people to lecture you on how you need to stop sinning a certain way and how its abnormal behavior. The argument that sin is abnormal behavior is silly. There were only two sinless people and that was Mary and Jesus. Everyone else is a sinner and all we can do is strive for greater conversion, go to confession regularly and depend on His grace.

I say this as a woman who has never found this area of sin very tempting and used to be very condemning of people who viewed porn, etc. I mean right now it seems like you’re being condemned for having a diet of only junk food even though you’ve been locked in the basement with no meals except that there is a freezer full of old icecream. Sure its not the same as real food, but it doesn’t sound like she’s offering you the real thing very often.

Obviously you can’t change your wife. However I think what you were looking for was insight into your wife’s mind so that you could better understand where she is coming from. However, like I said, I can only tell you where I’ve come from and looking at what you wrote, I can’t fathom what her issue is. I DO NOT think her only issue is your viewing of pornography. I would think that might be the case if you were making no effort to overcome it and showing no sign of repentance, but I think people are asking the impossible of you to just stop.

Ok, people, so everyone with marital problems, I guarentee that all your marital problems if you just do one thing: STOP SINNING.


#17

I guess I'll put my own 2 cents in.

My husband complains if he doesn't get it more than 3 times a week!! AGH hahah so I can imagine your EXTREME frustration.

First off I commend you on your desire to amend your life and become a better Catholic and quit the porn. That is VERY hard and it shows how dedicated you are that you have tried so hard. Porn is EXTREMELY addictive. It starts a chemical process in your brain that is related to your limbic system and can reroute the way you view things. Almost like a drug addiction can physically change your brain.

That being said, it isn't an excuse to use porn.

I am a wife and my willingness to take part in marital relations has a LOT to do with my mood. If my husband insults me or criticizes me I close up. A lot of times he tries to paw at me and that makes me feel like a piece of meat and I literally want to vomit. I tried to explain that to him and he doesn't understand. Probably b/c that is what culture tells you to do during sex.

Your wife has probably got a LOT of emotional/mental hang ups. She feels dirty and like a piece of meat and can't bring herself to be intimate.

I'm truly sorry this is going on. The only way out is through a counselor, preferably Catholic. There is Retrovaille (sp?) a marital retreat program that helps get down to the nitty gritty of the issues.

Please don't give up hope. I think you can bring your wife around since it seems you are honestly trying to please her. Keep praying for her and yourself.


#18

Not to speak for Monicatholic. But I must disagree here with you.

Sex before marriage is use. As Catholics we understand that there is a reason we wait. Not so? Don’t mistake use for abuse. We know the sin of pre-marital sex is sinful for precise reasons.

As for the mistake and the guilt I think you are off there. There is no ‘shared’ guilt - as in a 50/50 split. They are both 100% culpable. But that has nothing to do with it. He is the one online asking for help, not so? So he must understand his own sin - plank in the eye as such.

Regarding her closure at his use of porn, since she knew before they were married (and even used it together, and apparently made use of porn herself: “We even watched a couple of x-rated movies that she had in her own possession” How can she now blame him exclusively, without confronting him, without accepting he is doing something about it (not using a pc for 6 months is a pretty big commitment). She knew about his porn usage before she married him, why is she confronting him as if she never knew? The truth is she probably doesn’t care. Else why would she not check the accountability software to see if he is abstaining? Why not help him get rid of the addiction?

Again, I don’t see your point. Just because she knew before they were married doesn’t make it any less wrong? Just because she had porn herself, doesn’t diminish his sin and his need to take action. We are dealing, for now, with him.

You seem to be trying to defend this guy by attacking his wife and making her out to be nonchalant and just as sinful. I’m sorry, but that just isn’t the way to go about it. He must fix his sin. That’s just about all we can tell him online. Asking rhetorical questions of that kind doesn’t help anybody, especially since we actually don’t know the situation’s precise details.

[quote=twoangels]The argument that sin is abnormal behavior is silly. There were only two sinless people and that was Mary and Jesus. Everyone else is a sinner and all we can do is strive for greater conversion, go to confession regularly and depend on His grace
[/quote]

No, it isn’t silly. Sin is abnormal behaviour. That is what he understand it to be. Especially sexual sin - it is so utterly abnormal that it detracts and destroys and mocks God’s plan for sex. I agree that we must go to confession and let in His grace - but that is definitely not all we can do. We can work hard to not sin. And we should. We are all called to be Saints.

I mean right now it seems like you’re being condemned for having a diet of only junk food even though you’ve been locked in the basement with no meals except that there is a freezer full of old icecream. Sure its not the same as real food, but it doesn’t sound like she’s offering you the real thing very often.

That analogy is poor and cannot fit in here. Without food we die. Without sex, we do not die. Nobody absolutely has to resort to porn because they aren’t getting sex. Look, I understand that sex is a massive part of marriage. But there is absolutely no reason to, or excuse for, resorting to sin. This is exactly what is meant by “taking up your cross”. If you are starved of sex, you stay chaste, and figure it out.

Resorting to porn and masturbation is not some kind of ‘cure’ or an ‘in-the-meantime’ activity - like some kind of second rate sex. These things do not cure or help what needs to be cured or help. We have witnessed this in this thread! If porn helped him cope it is only an an extremely superficial way - because as we have seen in reality it has put a massive divide between OP and his Wife.

I don’t mean to come off as scathing or harsh but the reality is that the sexual combat is the biggest area of war for catholics and we need to talk a strong stance on it.

And by the sounds of it OP is a good man trying his hardest, which I applaud him for but he needs to understand that his actions have made a division between him and God and him and his wife. How can the other areas be fixed if this area has yet to be fixed? They cannot. So if there are possible psychological things then its even more important to start doing the right thing.

He is the head of the house, he is the Man and he must take his role seriously so that he can do what is necessary to bring his marriage to where it needs to be. I think he must rely on Christ on this time but also he must take things into his own hands and beg the Lord to let His divine will be done.


#19

This is right on point. Porn and masturbation scream to the wife “YOU aren’t really that important, it is MY needs that matter, and if YOU don’t take care of me, I MUST HAVE SATISFACTION and I will do anything to obtain that.” The next step beyond that is adultery. Many, many people have convinced themselves that their infidelity is justifed because “my wife/husband doesn’t understand me.”

Porn is merely virtual adultery.

If my husband were to get involved in porn, I would probably separate from him. I believe that people who use porn are on a continuum of adultery. It’s a shame this wife isn’t at least telling him what’s wrong, whether she is ashamed, guilty, wants a new form of intimacy between them, etc. I can tell you that for women, if we don’t have the intimacy with our spouse, you can forget the sex. If he doesn’t want to share her WHOLE self, her life, etc then sex becomes an act, only, which is why she could even think to suggest buying him a prostitute. She obviously doesn’t feel any sense of true intimacy and is angry to speak such words. If she hasn’t apologized then she is deeply angry.

Not making any excuses for her, but HE has to solve his problems as though he has no wife at this point. The porn has to stop, the masturbation has to stop, and he has to stay clean, not making ANY assumptions that this will fix the relationship, just that it will take HIM out of a position of knowing sin against God.


#20

Mschark:

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.

So she was fine with masturbation/porn thing prior to your marriage...and in fact participated in it. Now after the first child, the use of porn repulses her so that she has no desire for you at all? Even after you have made tremendous effort to combat that part of your life?

How did she get from there to here? It seems like pretty big disconnect....or maybe I didn't catch something in the original post.


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