My husband and I have been married for six years. We met at a time that he was very spiritually sound and a devout Catholic. He overcame a lifestyle of lust and using pornography and was clean for several years before meeting me. We married and began our life together.
Our marriage was tested almost immediately by several deaths in the family and two among our friends. This was extremely devastating for us and the amount of stress and sorrow was unimaginable. The pain is indescribable to remember. We got into counseling and at first that wasn’t very helpful, but it began to get better and we learned quite a bit about grief and surviving. We began talking to our counselor about unresolved issues with certain family members who had passed on, and it was revealed that my husband’s father introduced him to pornography at age six. I knew that his history began early with the use of it, but I was under the impression it started in junior high and ended in his early twenties.
We were both virgins when we married. He had prior experience but never came close to actual intercourse. Our married intimacy life was very awkward and unsatisfying. The frequency was very little, like maybe a few times a month whenever I initiated it, but it quickly dwindled down to once a month and then basically next to nothing. He seemed quite troubled about having sex with his wife, but I chalked it up to beginner’s anxiety and tried to have compassion for how difficult it was to transition into married life and deal with the deaths of several important people all at once. We discussed it many times and I tried very hard to not push or make him feel badly. But I began questioning what was wrong with me if he didn’t want me. He seemed to want me before we were married, but not after. We were chaste during our courtship. We have never, ever used contraception and have only used NFP. He has been completely uninvolved in the charting aspect, only half-heartedly asking about safe days and then finding excuses not to use them.
I had two pregnancies in a row, and he was uninterested in sex during this time, including the recovery. But, he was very excited about the babies and becoming a father. I was very hurt by the continual lack of intimacy and beginning to panic that we’d only had sex a handful of times in our entire marriage and yet the years were passing. I insisted we get back into counseling and he reluctantly agreed. I was suffering from PPD and my whole life seemed like a fog.
He has been diagnosed with OCD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, anxiety and depression. He is on medication and it helps a great deal, but certainly not enough. He’s on the highest dose they can put him on and still be safe. He’s very successful at his job and a wonderful provider for our family. He’s an excellent daddy to our two girls and they love him to bits. Part of his OCD includes scrupulosity and intense guilt with sexual relations.
Our youngest is two years old, and we’ve only had sex twice in the last three years. The last three years have been a constant cycle of me being infuriated by this and alternately resigned. We’ve discussed it endlessly. He “feels bad” and is so beaten down sounding when I tell him how hurt and troubled I am. We go to therapy and he makes promises but it never changes. He explained that his OCD causes him a great deal of stress and anxiety about sex and that he has a hard time being intimate with me because there is so much anxiety with it for him. He has a million excuses, like being too tired or having too much work or being out of town on business. Recently I walked into his home office and saw Jesus pictures taped to the monitor. I immediately was suspicious and the next morning we had a conversation and he admitted porn use.
It took about a week, but he finally confessed (after my prodding) that he’s been indulging his addiction for the entire duration of our marriage and it began almost immediately, when stress started pounding away with the tragedies that hit our family. He says that he’s told his individual therapist about this but that he’s been terrified to discuss it with me because he knew I was under the impression he’s clean. There have been times I’ve suspected and asked him directly if he’s struggling. Each time he lied to me, to my face. He also lies to me by omission and is never forthcoming. I have to not only guess whatever is wrong, but ask the right questions, and only then will he answer with a yes or no. His OCD leads him to exactitudes and he spends a great deal of time “considering” what he should say so it’s entirely accurate. Yet most of what he says is misleading, or just part of the truth. It’s infuriating and I can’t even describe how angering it is.
He works with technology and is quite computer savvy, so he would often invite me to look at his history and I never saw anything inappropriate. I’ve looked many, many times. There was never anything suspicious.
Under the guidance of my therapist (he hasn’t seen his in a fortnight) we’ve moved the computer to our living room area and last night downloaded a software program. He’s going to contact a ministry in our area that helps support men with porn addiction. He says most of his porn use has been related to OCD stress. Feeling anxious and unable to conquer the anxiety. The two times we’ve had sex, he had serious delayed ejaculation, probably because of the high dose of medication he’s on - or that’s what I thought. But it might be that he masturbated beforehand, for all I know.