Feeling betrayed by my DH


#1

I’ve been with DH for almost 8 years, married for 2 and a half. I have a 10 year old that has considered him as “dad for almost 7 years” and we have an almost 5 year old and a five month old.

I always thought I could trust my husband completely. Always considered myself lucky that he wasn’t one of those guys that would look at, seek out, or use porn. Never ever thought he would.

Although he is baptized Catholic and went to Catholic schools and I am in the long process of converting, I practice the faith while he is a bit clueless about it. That’s another story, the point is I go to church and he doesn’t. So yesterday when I get home from Church (of all places!) with all the kids, I sit down at the computer and find two browsers open (but minimized) to different porn sites. I was devastated to say the least. He admitted he had been looking at it, apologized, said he loves me, would never cheat on me, lots of hugs, etc etc. It really bothered me, still does. I cried myself to sleep last night. Today I told him I felt like I had caught him cheating with a cyber w***e, and he said something along the lines of it was silly to feel that way, that he looked at porn, and life goes on. I’m not sure I trust him not to do it again and just be more careful not to get caught. My ex-husband has a really bad addiction to porn and it’s a big part in what ended our very short marriage. (and DH knows that!). Now I don’t want DH to touch me or see me naked. I don’t look like those girls and never will, nor do I want to! His excuse was that he has needs, and he wants to be with me, but he’s afraid of having another child. I love him with all my heart but feel so betrayed and angry. He has time to do that, but no ‘energy’ after work all week to help out around the house…I can’t leave him, I do love him with all my heart and it would devastate our kids. So how do I get over this???


#2

I am probably not the best person to give you advice, but I did want to sort of pat you on the back, so to speak. I don’t think this is something you just “get over” and I don’t think that this is your problem, but rather his.

Again, I hope someone else with more experience and better advice will chime in, but I just wanted to let you know someone was praying for you.


#3

This is a pretty common problem. I don’t know that I understand how to solve it, but Bishop Finn’s pastoral letter on pornography gives a good summary of the problem:
diocese-kcsj.org/_docs/Pastoral-02-07.pdf


#4

Unfortunately, I do not have any advice either. However, I do want you to know that if I was in the same situations I would be crushed as well. It would hurt me terribly.

As a teenager I caught my brother looking at immodestly dressed woman on the computer (more archaic technology back then). And I told him it hurt me and he said ‘Just dots on a screen nothing wrong’. Goes to show how some people can come up with any riduculous excuse to not act responsibly.

I hope knowing you are in my prayers helps a bit

CM


#5

I am probably going to be very unpopular with this advice, but you need to forgive your husband- even if he does not actually ask for it. Yes, what he did/is doing is wrong and you have every right to feel betrayed, but I think of St. Monica who prayed so hard for her cheating husband and her reprobate son that they both converted to the Faith. I would ask for St. Monica to intercede on your behalf to keep your husband from this problem. Also, I would speak clearly to him, tell him how you are feeling, tell him that the church is anti-porn and ask him to please stop. Hope any of this helps! You are in my thoughts and prayers.


#6

My husband and I used to look at the Perfect 10 magazine (before I was Christian). After I converted and understood why it was wrong, I felt horrible. He didn’t understand, “it’s just pictures”.
I explained that is was each of our jobs to try and get the other one to heaven, and if he’s looking at these images I can’t help him get there and he is in no position to help me get there. I also asked him how he would feel if our (then infant) daughter or son found them, how do you think they would view women. Is this the way to help them get to heaven?
It’s been about 5 years, so I don’t remember the whole conversation. But he did end up throwing them out and we haven’t had an issue since. (I use his computer a lot, and he used mine so there is nothing hiding on either)


#7

I know it can be hard to talk to him about these things - heck, I get embarassed when one of those gets through my spam blocker and pops up on my screen. But you need to tell him what you said on here - let him know it scares you especially because of what you had to deal with with your ex. And if you guys are worried about having another child, are you doing anything about it? Are you using NFP or trying some classes. This is your opportune time to get him to go with you, SPECIFICALLY because of what he said about wanting to be with you but having fear of getting you pregnant again. I’m sorry, but that’s way too easy of a cop out on his part (IMHO). Tell him that you love him and you love to be with him but it makes it hard for you to be with him when you think about what he’s seen with the other women on the porn site. Let him know how awful it makes you feel wondering if when he looks at that kind of stuff if he’s wanting that kind of woman - let him know it makes you wonder if he still wants you. If after hearing how much this kind of thing can hurt you and he sees it in your eyes and how you cry about it then I might be very upset in an angry way instead of upset in a sad way. What you would do in the unlikely event that he didn’t respond with remorse, I don’t know but let him know. Regardless of what the Church says (because if you make it just about what the Church says, it can easily be blown off - but the way it effects you is something he needs to consider and with you telling him, I can’t imagine him not getting the message loud and clear.
God Bless and I’ll say a prayer for you-
Rye


#8

Dear TamM,

I think the best way to get DH away from the porn is to get him back to church and more involved with his faith. You going to church and practicing to be a Catholic all by yourself is just not right. Have the most heart felt conversation you can have with DH and tell him you want him beside you at Mass. If he can start having a relationship with Jesus all of the other bad things will go away. Also pray, and when you think you have prayed enough, pray again. I didn’t have a DW to help me back to the church but when I came back all of those bad things went away. Praying for you,

MEMORARE,
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen


#9

objectively: viewing porn is a sin. can your husband challenge Jesus’ warning when HE said “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery in his heart”?

(that’s why you feel like he cheated. according to the Lord’s standard – the only one that counts-- your husband did cheat.)

subjectively: it is an insult to you and your painful past.

so your husband has needs that he feels are thwarted by potential pregnancy? perhaps ask your husband if his need for sexual gratification trump his need to be trusted by you.

and finally, practially: pray. offer reparation for both your ability to forgive and for your healing and for your husban’d conversion. receive Eucharist often for these intentions. pray and fast and receive Eucharist and repeat. and repeat.

do not become a private investigator, looking over his shoulder and sneaking around behind him. that will make you kooky. but do put blocks on your home computers. you have kids who need to be protected from the sinister deprivations of porn.

if your husband ever expresses a need to be free of porn, as if it was an addiction to him, there are places to go. there is help.


#10

Work on your own reaction to this. You can’t control what your husband may or may not do in the future, but you can learn to work on how you react to porn. If you stop seeing him viewing porn as a big deal, then it won’t affect you.


#11

Your husband needs to jack up!

I don’t think its been mentioned, but also get your husband to see why porn and masterbation is a sin. Besides that it is purely selfish self-gratification, it is harmful too. He wasn’t just looking at those photos, and if you will excuse the graphic nature of this, he was probably acting on looking at those photos too. Even if he wasn’t… Porn is disgusting. I think back when I was 18 I had a pron problem, but I didn’t realise it until I got a girlfriend and thought to myself “Is this what she’d want me to do? Would I want her to look at other guys lustfully and then sexually gratify herself? Is that love?”. Looking at and acting on Porn is the deepest insult to love, and marriage should be the deepest and most revered establishment of love.

A lot of men have no problem with it, and some girls think its okay and I know secular couples who watch porn together. Personally, I think thats pretty sick. But thats just secular relativism jumping into something that is meant to be holy. Sex is holy, a gift from God. Marriage too, hence it is a sacrement.

I don’t know what kinda guy he is, but tell him its fine if he does it, but you’re gonna do the same. All alone in the bedroom, with pictures of guys. I will bet my bottom dollar he aint gonna like that suggestion. And he’ll hopefully see whats wrong with it. Man, when lust takes hold of us it really is bad. Lust has caused many problems since man was made :frowning:


#12

I’m so sorry! You and your husband are definately in my prayers!

I really don’t know how you would help him give up the porn, unless he himself realizes it is a problem - which doesn’t sound like the case. You could & should have a really heartfelt and honest discussion about how you feel and why you feel that way - try to do it without “you’re so disgusting”, “cyber-wh***s”, “what were you thinking?” accusation-language: while you want him to know how his behaviour hurt you, you don’t want to get his back up.

Also, one of the above posters mentioned NFP. Are you practicing NFP to avoid having more kids? Is he on board with this or is this one of the reasons he feels like his needs aren’t being met?

And finally, I just want to address the comment you made about him having time to view porn, but no energy to help out after work. Viewing porn seems to fall into the “after work relaxation” area, and most, if not all men do need that time after work to mentally disconnect from work. Don’t expect him to come home from work and then jump into helpful dad mode. Give him at least a 45min - and hour to just be - whether it’s taking a bath, working out, reading the paper, whatever (so long as it isn’t morally problematic). Then ask him to do one or two things, like watching the kids while you go to the gym. A lot of men seem to turn to porn when their lives feel overwhelming, or when they are feeling neglected and underappreciated. (I’m not saying you ARE neglecting your husband or that you dont’ appreciate him, I’m sure you do, I’m just saying he MAY feel that you expect too much from him after work.

These are things you might want to talk about with him as well - though, you know him best & I may be completely off the mark. But if you can understand a little why he’s been viewing porn (espcially as he knows your history) you might be able to deal with the whole situation with a little more confidence.

Good luck and God bless,
Masha


#13

[quote="TamM, post:1, topic:197165"]
I've been with DH for almost 8 years, married for 2 and a half. I have a 10 year old that has considered him as "dad for almost 7 years" and we have an almost 5 year old and a five month old.

I always thought I could trust my husband completely. Always considered myself lucky that he wasn't one of those guys that would look at, seek out, or use porn. Never ever thought he would.

Although he is baptized Catholic and went to Catholic schools and I am in the long process of converting, I practice the faith while he is a bit clueless about it. That's another story, the point is I go to church and he doesn't. So yesterday when I get home from Church (of all places!) with all the kids, I sit down at the computer and find two browsers open (but minimized) to different porn sites. I was devastated to say the least. He admitted he had been looking at it, apologized, said he loves me, would never cheat on me, lots of hugs, etc etc. It really bothered me, still does. I cried myself to sleep last night. Today I told him I felt like I had caught him cheating with a cyber w***e, and he said something along the lines of it was silly to feel that way, that he looked at porn, and life goes on. I'm not sure I trust him not to do it again and just be more careful not to get caught. My ex-husband has a really bad addiction to porn and it's a big part in what ended our very short marriage. (and DH knows that!). Now I don't want DH to touch me or see me naked. I don't look like those girls and never will, nor do I want to! His excuse was that he has needs, and he wants to be with me, but he's afraid of having another child. I love him with all my heart but feel so betrayed and angry. He has time to do that, but no 'energy' after work all week to help out around the house.......I can't leave him, I do love him with all my heart and it would devastate our kids. So how do I get over this!!!???

[/quote]

Tam,
My heart goes out to you. Please know that this is not your fault, and you definitely are not the only wife (or girlfriend for that matter) who feels betrayed and torn apart by porn in their relationship. There are several things that can begin to help right away: speaking with a priest, getting counseling for yourself (and even better with your DH if he'll go), continuing to tell him honestly how much it hurts you and your family, praying, going to Church and receiving the Sacraments (and encouraging him to), and joining a women's support group (there's one online here at CAF called "Women Suffering Because of Unchastity." You can access it under Groups at the top tool bar.)

Satan loves to break up marriages in any way he can, and porn is one of his favorite methods. I'm currently going through what you are also, and please know that you will be in my prayers for strength and courage through all of this. Our Lord's peace to you.


#14

Wow I never thought so many people would take the time to post some advice and support - Thank you all for your support and prayer’s it helps so much.

I was reading from the link that JimG provided when DH came up behind me. When he saw what I was reading he apologized again. I believe he’s sorry he hurt me, but I think he feels I’m over reacting. I need to talk to him I know, time alone for long and in depth conversations is rare these days. We have plans Saturday so hopefully we can talk in the car. Sad but true.

bnbkaine, I am trying to forgive him, and I completely agree with your advice. Thanks for reminding me about St.Monica. I will definitely ask for her to intercede.

Amberdale, I liked what you said about helping each other to heaven. I’ll point that out to him.
Rye said “Tell him that you love him and you love to be with him but it makes it hard for you to be with him when you think about what he’s seen with the other women on the porn site. Let him know how awful it makes you feel wondering if when he looks at that kind of stuff if he’s wanting that kind of woman - let him know it makes you wonder if he still wants you.” and I’ll be bringing that up too.

PAboy57 mentioned that If he can start having a relationship with Jesus all of the other bad things will go away. I’m praying hard for him to feel God’s call.

Monicatholic brought up Jesus’s view and said that he did cheat by the Lord’s standards. This helps me feel like I’m not over reacting, even though I know most of my secular friends would say I am.

Newstheman, I did say something along the lines of how would you feel if I were looking at pics of buff guys with bodies and equipment you’ll never have? his response was “fair enough” meaning he caught my point. I still feel like he doesn’t ‘get it’ though, he’s clueless as to why this hurt so much.

Masha, trust me, he gets down time. I do everything, and what I don’t do, my mom does. I even do the painting/reno’s. I make his lunches, do his banking, make his doc/dentist appt’s…I do it all because ‘he doesn’t have time’ since he needs to relax after his long days at work, and I get that, he works hard. He does watch the older kids while I walk the dog with the baby in the evening or go for groceries or RCIA. So he helps in that department.

Bmaj, thanks for the bit about Satan. I’ve been thinking the same thing, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my thinking.

As for NFP, he doesn’t trust it…our five month was concieved the first time we BD’d while charting. Right now I’m breastfeeding and my chart is just one long mess lol. But that’s a whole other story!

Thank you all for taking the time to post some words of advice and support.

oh yeah, flyingfish, I won’t ever accept porn as okay, and could not change my reaction to it even when I was secular by most standards I never felt it was okay…I wasn’t religous by a long shot when my first husband was around and I still didn’t approve of it then. Thanks for putting your 2 cents in thou.


#15

One, it is a common problem. If you haven’t already, check out the thread on “How to stop masturbating and suppress the sin of lust” on this forum. 37 pages: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=373387&highlight=lust

You should try to stop thinking that this has anything to do with you. It is hard not to take it personally, but it is not personal. It does not reflect anything about the way he thinks of you or his love for you. These urges and drives originate naturally in the lower faculties. They are independent of to whom one is married or how attractive she is. You might look like Angelina Jolie, and it wouldn’t change. It is a drive for pleasure and immediate gratification.

Lust is a capital vice. It has many daughters and is destructive. Left unchecked it will ruin a marriage. It is one of the struggles of our existence. It is mortally sinful. Prayer is your main defense.


#16

Thank you. I’m working on it…I know this is his issue, but me and him = we, so that makes it mine too, if that made sense!


#17

I think it may be time to consider the daughters of lust. Again, lust is a capital vice. All capital vices have daughters.

Here is what I know about lust. It is defined as an inordinate desire for venereal pleasure. It is a mortal sin. Some of the daughters of lust are:

Blindness of the intellect. Drags us into thinking that things are good when they are not. Mitigates the ability to grasp the truth.

Precipitation: Destruction of council. Destroys prudence which is part of council. Doomed to foolishness and stupid behavior

Inconsideration: Thoughtlessness. Destroys judgment of what is the best means to an end. Person might know the means, but judges wrongly. ie knows that mortification will help but chooses gluttony instead

Inconstancy: has trouble keeping the course. Know the right thing but acts out of accordance.

Disordered love of self: Because a person loves to satisfy himself he becomes selfish - 6 and 9 commandments. Disordered self love makes it hard to love another.

Develops a hatred of God. Lust is prohibited so he starts to hate God.

Love of the present life. One becomes fixated on this life.

Desperation of the future life: Despair. One thinks that he will not be saved because it becomes too difficult.

Incircumspection: Can’t judge past circumstances correctly. Loose track of who they are

Glutony: hard time remaining temperant regarding food. The same faculty is involved in lust and gluttony. Fasting tends to reduce lust.

Losses fortitude:

Effeminacy: unwillingness to be separated from pleasure to pursue that which is arduous. The solitary sin causes effeminacy. Leads to androgyny. Men wearing jewelry and makeup. Men trying to look nice in a way which proper to women.

Destruction of modesty. Reveal that which is unsuitable

Pride arises.

Lust doesn’t want any restrictions. Work against societal norms. Because he can’t control himself he wants to control others.


#18

I would suggest the Pure of Heart CD, if you haven’t already heard/seen it.

shop.catholic.com/product.php?productid=178

There’s a lot of good advice here, so I won’t bother you too much with my own.

I don’t know if you have a daughter, but if you do, have you told him: what if it was your daughter you were looking at? Would you want other men looking at your daughter like that?
Or would he still think it’s just pictures or whatever? Because after all, every woman is a daughter or sister or cousin to someone, who’s heart might be broken that their loved one is doing these sort of things.

He might think he could hide it from his kids, and maybe he could for a long time. But it can’t be hidden forever, and sooner or later, the child does find out about it, unless he stops now before it’s too late. Speaking from personal experience, it is extremely hard for a child to understand why his/her father is looking at images that are not his/her mother. And when the child knows the pain it causes his/her mother, it makes the child angry at his/her father, and begin to distrust him.

I’ll never understand how people think the things they do don’t affect their family, or those who love them.

Still, constant prayer, and not giving up. As someone said, St. Monica never stopped praying, and never gave up, and I’m sure Fr. Corapi’s mom never stopped praying for him either. =)

(sorry this ended up being longer than planned :p)


#19

Thanks GreyRabbit. Our children are all boys, but he has a sister and a mom of course :p I will find a way to point out that this could hurt our kids too, in so many ways. I pray and pray and pray....somewhere I heard that the hail Mary is like armour against the devil....been saying lots of those lately too.

And I'll check out the link you provided too. Thanks.


#20

Ah, me again, I just remembered two other really good resources:

Every Man’s Marriage: An Every Man’s Guide to Winning the Heart of a Woman

or Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time

It might not hurt to read it yourself first, so you’ll be able to understand/know what he’s reading, and then be able to discuss it if you want, or just let him read it himself. Lol, I dunno.

And yes, the Hail Mary is definitely good, as well as the Rosary, which is our weapon against the Enemy. As Fr. Corapi always says “Your Mother wears army boots!” :smiley:

I’ll be praying for you :slight_smile:


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