Pornography destroying my marriage


#1

Don't even know where to start. Some months ago I discovered my husband was emailing an old girlfriend on a sleezy online dating website. I was devastated to say the least. The emails were flirtatious and somewhat sexual. I confronted him of course, and he was very remorseful. Went on to explain that this woman meant nothing to him and so on. He agreed to counseling and have been going since.

As time has passed by I have come to realize who the real "mistress" is here. Porn. I will admit I knew he liked to watch it early in our relationship. I explained to him I did not like him to watch it and to stop. He agreed, but continued to do so over the years. I caught him watching many times and eventually just accepted it (what a mistake) as a guy thing. However, eventually our sex life would deteriorate (his disinterest) to nothing and then I find the e mails.

I now realize that his watching porn progressed until he eventually seeked out another woman. He promises he is not watching anymore, but how do I believe?

We are both catholic, unfortunately not as involved as we should have been. I see now that was an even greater mistake. I see this event as an opportunity for my faith to grow. I struggle each day, with God's help, not to obsess and try to control for those are my reactions. I try to let go and let God, to have faith that He is working in us both to heal and combat this evil.

My worry and question is how do I handle a situation in which my husband cannot or will not stop watching. Considering his past history that very well may happen. I will confess that what I would like to do is to take both of my little boys and leave him, for the thought of him continuing to watch feels me with dread and hurt. I know that I "accepted" this behavior from him since the beginning, but I was raised to just "take it" (father cheated on my mother most of their marriage and she never did anything about it and their marriage was bad). I never imagined this end result. As usual I second guessed myself and convinced myself I was exaggerating. Well, not anymore. God has given me strength to confront this evil, I do not want to use it wrongly and leave my husband for that is the temptation.

I am praying for patience and wisdom in handling this situation, but I truly do not know what to do if I discover my husband continuing to do this. He is a great man, who had a difficult childhood and because of this, I believe, he turned to porn in his early years.

Please pray and advise. I know divorce is not an option, but how do I handle the pain of his continued use?


#2

Well its really up to your husband what will happen.
He is committing adultery with the pornography and if he is not willing to stop then maybe you have to seperate from him. Your boys can be very much harmed by having a dad who watches porn in your house. Its a kind of passive abuse - that way he can continue to victimize others like he has been a victim himself as a child. This is a very common psychological mechanism.
Also it's below any wife's dignity to put up with infidelity with prostitutes going on.
You have accepted this for way too long but from today you should not tolerate it anymore.
I suggest a marriage encounter weekend.. or couples therapy. If your husband is unwilling to go to it and work on his problem then you already have your answer.

I am not married, but I once went out with a guy who was caught up in porn-addiction. I thought very hard about our possible future. I could appreciate him as a person and a friend, but whenever I tried to imagine a future together I got the image of him and a black square hole next to him.. that was a grave as I perceived it, and it is where I would go if I would be with him while he was still in this mess. The image sickened me so much.

So take charge of your life and dont let this abuse of your trust continue. He has broken his vows of fidelity and exclusivity already.


#3

I can sympathize with 'being raised to take it' if your mom stay with a father that cheated. However, I want to point out that you do not have to let your upbringing interfere with the respect you deserve.

As much as God wants to heal your husband's addiction, He also wants to heal you from the belief 'you are to take it'

Leaving you husband does not equate to divorce. You could leave and tell him until he does something about his porn addiction, you will not come back.

You need to think of your boys. You know what it was like to see daddy cheat on mommy. When your boys see this, it will have a negative effect on them

God Bless

CM


#4

I am so sorry that you are going through this.

I can't really advise you to leave your marriage, but neither should you stay if your husband really won't give his whole heart into stopping the porn. Is he repentant? Is he very concerned that he needs to change this before his sons grow up thinking it's OK? Or does he just want to get you off his back so he can go back to doing what he's always done?

He was on the way to adultery, by contacting the old girlfriend. This is, other than catching him in bed with another woman, the most serious breach of trust in a marriage. The porn is like virtual adultery, I am not going to say it is exactly the same but it's a betrayal. Is he acknowledging that he has betrayed you and the marriage vows he took?

And, the counselor should be calling him on his BS which is saying that he merely promises to stop watching. Porn is an addiction and most men cannot simply make up their minds to stop - they really get hooked on it and it acts rather like a drug. Your husband having done this for years, is almost certainly addicted. He needs support and accountability. If he just says words that he will stop, I think you need to draw a line somewhere.

I hope one of the men here will find this thread and respond to you as well, from the other side. Your marriage can be saved but it's up to your husband as to whether or not he is willing to do what it takes to save it.


#5

Speaking as someone from the other side, I’d reiterate what I said in this thread. The bottom line is that it’s disrespectful and damaging to a relationship, regardless of what anyone says to the contrary. It takes prayer & effort to put it behind you, but it’s definitely not impossible.

At the same time, though, I think Nursebermudez’s case may be a bit more serious. I believe most guys, in their head, have a line defined that they know they shouldn’t cross. I can’t think of a guy I know for whom exchanging salacious emails with an ex-girlfriend doesn’t cross that line.

I’d strongly advise getting into marriage counseling as soon as possible. I hate to say it, but in your husband’s case, I wouldn’t take him at his word if he says he’s stopped looking at it. I think you need and deserve real proof. When I resolved to break the habit, I made sure my wife was with me when I got rid of the physical stuff (DVD’s, magazines, videotapes). I wanted her to see that I was as good as my word. I had already deleted everything from my hard drives and erased all my bookmarks, so I couldn’t show her that I’d gotten rid of those other than by offering to let her do a search, which she knew wouldn’t have proven anything since she knows that I could just as easily just hide the files; but watching as I got rid of everything else was both a big deal from an actual and a symbolic point of view. If he’s not willing to do the same and offer some form of ongoing assurance (full access to his PC, parental controls, etc.) then I’d be dubious of anything he said.

As in the other thread, I don’t want to sound harsh, but I know the effects this has, as well as what guys will do to cover it up and convince their spouse either that it’s okay, or that they’ve stopped when they really haven’t. The fact that he’s taken things as far as he has tells me that he’ll likely have a much harder time kicking the habit than I had. If he’s truly willing to change, you’ll have to be patient and know that it will take a long time before you’re able to trust him again. At the same time, you’ll need to stick to your convictions and let him know exactly how you feel and what effect his actions have had on you. Don’t sugarcoat it and don’t back down. You’re not the one who did wrong and you’re not the one who has anything to be ashamed of.


#6

[quote="cmscms, post:3, topic:231891"]
I can sympathize with 'being raised to take it' if your mom stay with a father that cheated. However, I want to point out that you do not have to let your upbringing interfere with the respect you deserve.

As much as God wants to heal your husband's addiction, He also wants to heal you from the belief 'you are to take it'

Leaving you husband does not equate to divorce. You could leave and tell him until he does something about his porn addiction, you will not come back.

You need to think of your boys. You know what it was like to see daddy cheat on mommy. When your boys see this, it will have a negative effect on them

God Bless

CM

[/quote]

ditto :(


#7

Has he said why he's doing this? It'd be helpful to hear what's going on in his head.

You said your sex life has deteriorated, is that mainly from disinterest on his end? How about being affectionate in other ways, does he show a physically affectionate side to you at all? Has his view of you, or of marriage changed these past years?

I'd try to unearth his real feelings, and once you do, talk with him about how to get from where he is now to a loving, faithful place. Lastly, I really hate to mention this, but probe him to find out if he still believes that's possible. I hope for your sake he does, but I think it's important that you confirm it.


#8

[quote="Havard, post:7, topic:231891"]
Has he said why he's doing this? It'd be helpful to hear what's going on in his head.

You said your sex life has deteriorated, is that mainly from disinterest on his end? How about being affectionate in other ways, does he show a physically affectionate side to you at all? Has his view of you, or of marriage changed these past years?

I'd try to unearth his real feelings, and once you do, talk with him about how to get from where he is now to a loving, faithful place. Lastly, I really hate to mention this, but probe him to find out if he still believes that's possible. I hope for your sake he does, but I think it's important that you confirm it.

[/quote]

He's looking at porn, that's why he's doing what he's doing. It's an addiction. One doesn't need to know why, the person just needs to stop the addiction. He needs to be honest in therapy and the therapist needs to be trained in addictions, especially addiction to porn. If her husband has been viewing porn for years it's going to be difficult and he may not even want to give it up. I'd say don't worry about what caused it, men fall into this all the time, unfortunately, just find out if he is interested in stopping. Because if not, then there's no point in going forward.


#9

I’m confused at your post. Finding out if there are other personal or marital concerns on his end will help her find out if he’s serious about going forward. And further, the porn may not be the end of the problem, if his morals or his commitment to the marriage have changed, it could manifest itself in many other ways. So I think they are very important things for her to ask about.


#10

This whole thing is just so sad :(


#11

There is tremendous opportunity for God’s grace here, let’s pray for that. :gopray:


#12

well I’m not married but I was addicted to pornagraphy and I have something that would help you. First your husband has to admit his sin and that he want’s to stop. There is an internet filter i use called clean internet cleaninternet.com/ It’s a great way to block porn and other bad sites you just have to take control over the pc using your email etc. The thing that i love about this software is that it’s impossible to bypass and I tried many internet filters which i found my way around someone, im pretty good at computers. But clean internet the files are on there server not your computer so there is no installation files on your comp. Just try it out and tell me how your situation goes:gopray2:


#13

Thank you all for your posts. I wanted to add that I have no doubt that my husband loves me and is dedicated to his family. Unfortunately, he has a problem and has never seemed to want to work on it. We are already in counseling for the infedility but the counselor has already guessed at the real culprit - porn. We have a session today and I have to finally bring out the depth of his problem. Originally, we started counseling for those e mails. I am scared to talk about it, not wanting to start more discord between us but I know I must. I am praying to the Lord for strength and the right words. The last thing I want to do is make him feel judged. My question remains. How will I deal with a relapse? My reaction now will be to leave him, but is

that the right thing to do?


#14

[quote="NURSEBERMUDEZ, post:13, topic:231891"]
How will I deal with a relapse? My reaction now will be to leave him, but is

that the right thing to do?

[/quote]

Call me a pessimist but I've never known any addict to stop with one single act of the will. If he is an addict, accept that a relapse is going to happen and allow him to fight his addiction. I know that it is difficult but realize that no man pulls himself out of a bog with a single step. As long as he is going to confession, give him space and pray for him but don't go digging for things you know you will be able to find.


#15

Prayers for you and for your husband.

May I also suggest that in addition to counseling that you take physical steps? Moving the computer to another place in the home, changing the passwords, throwing out books and tapes, changing passwords on cable tv to order etc…

Also please encourage him to go to confession. This will help a lot. Also see if you can get your house blessed, especially bless the places where he used and kept pornography. Until you can get it blessed by a priest…get some Holy Water from church and sprinkle it their yourself. You need these bad deamons exorcised from your home!

Prayers prayers prayers for you and for your marriage. Take care as best as you can and may Christ be with you today at your counseling appointment.


#16

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