*Hi sixlittlesaints, praying for you both. I just wanted to add, that I think your husband is a sexual addict, as opposed to only being addicted to porn. The fact that you posted he masturbates ‘‘for hours,’’ that is a sign of a sexual addict. I watched a 20/20 type show (it wasn’t 20/20 but something like it) on this a few weeks ago…basically, the show was mainly about men, but there were a few women. Of the men who were admitted sex addicts, the one thing they all had in common, was that they felt very low self worth, didn’t view sex in a healthy way (obviously) and their desire to masturbate, view porn, have sex with strangers for hours (like you post here) was due to the fact that they felt deeply depressed. Not much different than an alcoholic, who ‘‘needs’’ the alcohol after a while. These men were literally depressed if they were not escaping in these immoral ways. They would get depressed, have sex with a stranger in most cases (literally would patrol the streets looking for any woman to have sex with), and then they’d feel ‘better’ for a short time. Once the ‘‘high’’ wore off, they would feel guilty, and thus depressed…and then the cycle would keep going for hours.
I thought it was interesting. It still hurts you, I know…but it hopefully helps you to see that your husband has a serious sexual addictive disorder, as opposed perhaps, to someone who is just being selfish. According to the show I viewed, your husband, like the men interviewed, the underlying problem that they all share, doesn’t sound like it’s the vices they turn to, but rather the underlying depression that causes them to seek out a vice. You sound like you know this, but I wanted to share this, because it helps to know that your husband isn’t alone. The men in the show by the way, went to GROUP therapy sessions with other men. They said it helped TREMENDOUSLY because they felt ‘‘better’’ knowing they weren’t alone. Might have your husband try finding such a group?
It is not the same as a man driving by a strip club, with his buddies, lying to his wife…and then hanging out there all night. Then, he may not do that again for months or if ever. It’s not like a man who even has an affair, falls in love with another woman, and lives a double life. (both scenarios are bad, but not indicative of a deep rooted depression problem-maybe more of a character problem) Sexual addiction is more about supressing depression through sex. Some of the men on this show were even frequenting prostitutes. That is how one of them really knew he had hit rock bottom. It was a very sad show, I caught a few moments, and then decided to watch, because it was uplifting to see that these men overcame their addictions, and went on to save their marriages. I think once their wives stopped looking at their husbands as having inherent character flaws, and selfish behaviors, they were able to be supportive in helping them to heal from their ‘illness.’ The men were very ashamed of their behavior…just as much as their wives were ashamed of them.
I think that if you view your husband in the light of, that he is ill, you might not have resentment, and hurt feelings. I know that you must be hurting, and that is part of the consequences that your husband’s behavior has caused. But, whatever you do, whether you stay or leave…like others have said, talk with a priest, and keep the faith. Your husband isn’t going to be ‘‘all better’’ over night. He has a serious problem, and it will take a lot of effort and time on his part to kick this sin out of his life.
I hope that your marriage can surivive this, and be better for it, in the end. But, whatever you choose, know I’m praying for you! :console:*