Why would a woman choose to marry a who uses/could be addicted to porn?


#1

I don’t mean this to come off as insulting, but I see so many threads where a marriage is struggling because of a porn addiction on the part of the husband that pre-dates the marriage. The woman in question almost always knew that her husband had a very damaged sexuality and that he was currently and actively using porn before the marriage took place. Why on God’s green Earth would a woman purposely choose to marry into such a huge problem, and one that goes straight to the heart of the marriage?

I know that people will say, “she loved him.” But love is not enough to make marriage work all by itself, and it certainly cannot cure deeply pathological personality problems. People are choosing to enter marriage, a relationship in large part defined by sexuality, with a person they know has a damaged sexuality and a gravely disordered use of it. Then they spend years being hurt, feeling degraded, or feeling ignored, because the spouse prefers porn to a real relationship. Then, usually after they have made children who will now suffer under this situation, they start asking, “how do I solve this?” I am fairly sure, too, that both partners would have to actively conspire to hide the porn use during pre-marital counseling or marriage prep, so that the priest or counselor would not tell them not to marry, that the problem needs to be solved first. (I am fully aware that secular counselors by and large regard porn use as normal. But this board is full of Catholic people, many of whom went through Catholic marriage prep and somehow still got married with this issue intact.)

I don’t understand people making these choices. I don’t understand wanting to inalterably attach the rest of your life to dealing with something so horrible. Is it just naivete? Thinking that “love conquers all?” Desperation, thinking this is their only chance to marry? Am I just being unreasonable and elitest, expecting people to examine their relationships rationally when love itself is usually not rational? Is it a societal problem, where people just are not receiving any kind of good education or advice about what marriage really is and what it takes to succeed?

Again, I am not trying to be insulting. I really want to understand the mechanisms, here. Partly to help my own daughters avoid making such mistakes…

(P.S. I do not mean to say that anyone with a “damaged sexuality,” like abuse/rape victims, or even a former porn user who has conquered it, should be excluded from marrying. People who have had bad experiences but have healed and are ready to move on are just as ready to marry as anyone else. I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea from my comments.)


#2

I think there is a certain amount of naivete and thinking “he will change” and also the cycle of “he promised to stop”.

In general, no matter the issue, the pattern I see is that people do not want to believe what is in front of them and don’t discriminate between something that is a character flaw and something that is a preference.

DH *prefers *onions on his hamburgers and I don’t. People can live with differing preferences, as there is room to compromise on things like what color you paint your bedroom.

DH has good character and would never look at porn. People cannot live with differing character and there is no compromise. People with bad character don’t change.

Because of a climate of moral relativism, some people believe the cannot expect or demand that people have good character. This idea that “whatever is right for me is right and you can’t tell me it’s not” feeds into this problem. The person who believes that porn is wrong is made to feel that they are in the wrong for demanding the other person *not *look at it.

These serious moral defects are treated as preferences. People have lost the ability to discriminate. Discriminate is NOT a bad word.


#3

In general, I think, many people have the impression that all guys (or at least the vast majority) have this problem - that it is common and easily correctable. In many cases, this is entirely true. Many of the posters here are just married to the hard cases that became genuinely addicted. Also, most women don’t find these things out until late into the relationship when they are head over heals in love. If the guy seems genuine in wanting to change, love overlooks these faults. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as a woman continues the relationship consciously, with her eyes open about the problems.


#4

Amen.


#5

It could happen for many reasons. Perhaps the wife has the same problem as her husband, and they have always strived to help each other through it. Or maybe they were not Catholic when they got married and it didn’t bother the wife… or maybe it was hidden. No one chooses to marry a problem, but sometimes the bigger the problem the bigger grace can come out of helping to end it. :shrug:


#6

Well if you waited to find the perfect man…you’d die an old maid.
I have had many male friends and co-workers “addicted” to porn. It’s not a billion dollar a year industry for nothing. Once it became “normalized”, it opened the floodgates for everyone to watch it. True, you can’t say ALL men are “addicted” to porn, but I bet it would be a very high number.


#7

Yeah good point, I mean you are going to have to accept some flaws. That being said somethings there is a such thing as too big of a flaw or two many flaws.And it is a mistake to think that you can always cure someone of an addiction. And a even bigger mistake to tie yourself to them in marriage before the addiction is cured!


#8

To answer the OP’s question…Lots ( not all) women tend to “settle” for someone as opposed to being a little more “choosy”

Kathy


#9

This is what I mean by failing to discriminate between character flaws-- which should not be accepted under any circumstances-- and plain old “differences” which are to be expected.

Yes, you are going to have to accept some “flaws”-- which I define as differences in personality, habits, compatibility, and preferences.

I have less tolerance for a messy house than my DH-- but that is not poor character, not something that is at the core of his beliefs and values. It’s not a dealbreaker.

I also find it common that people don’t actually make a list of “must haves” and “dealbreakers” nor do they seriously probe the other in this regard at any point in the relationship until it’s much too late. DH and I made our lists of “must haves” and “dealbreakers” and exchanged them. Only after finding none of the dealbreakers and all of the must haves did we determine we should continue to date and discern.


#10

A thought I have is that some of these women do not have a good relationship with their own fathers. They maybe be raised by a single mom or a dad who isn’t involved. And they are so hungry for male attention, any male attention, that they overlook the red flags.

When a woman has a good father figure in her life, she will less likely tolerate being disrespected by men. She will already know her value as a woman because she learned it from her dad.


#11

I suppose…I just don’t see what’s so attractive about seeing total strangers do ‘gymnastics’:shrug: When we got married in Cyprus, our honeymoon suite had several x-rated channels, free of charge (to get us in the mood, I suppose). Now…bear in mind we were both nearing 30 and both virgins, so we put it on to ‘get some inspiration’. Dh fell asleep after around 10-15 minutes and I flicked through the channels thinking ‘God this is BORING!’ Needless to say our marriage was not consummated that night:blush:

So…‘addicted to porn’…I’m thinking, why? What is so tempting about it?

In answer to the OP’s question though, I think it’s become so ‘normal’ to watch porn, that for most women it may simply be ‘no biggie’, until the husband is spending more time ‘intimate’ with a dvd or the computer than with the ready-and-available spouse (that’s my dh’s main issue with porn: why go for something ‘fake’ if you’ve got ‘the real thing’ right there!)

Anna x


#12

I agree with this also.


#13

Character. It is no longer expected, taught or important.

Many parents would go insane if they caught Little Johnny smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer. The same parents would wink at and not discourage porn use by the same son.

In the climate today, it is up to us as parents to teach our sons and daughters, they must be wise and know how to avoid this garbage, they need to know it is sin, they need to know it is expected that they do not partake of it.


#14

Ok, I say this knowing I am going to get FLAMED by many on here. Here it goes!!! :smiley:

I think the “I am addicted to porn” is a cop-out for many men who get caught looking at porn behind their wives back, or if they get caught having an affair, etc. To be clearly labeled an addict you have to have a psychologist or psychiatrist evaluate you and determine if your symptoms fall within the DSM-IV. I would almost bet that 90% of the people who claim they are addicted to porn have not been diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist (much less seen one).

Now I will give in and say that yes maybe there is a small percentage of men/women who actually are addicted to porn. For the most part, I think they are using their Free Will and making bad decisions in their lives. I also feel that it is societies way of rationalizing other poor choices these people decide to make. I don’t know how many times I have heard on the secular media that “he had an affair because he was addicted to porn”!!! Get real!! I would also guess if you look at their other behaviors, you will find other areas that they are making poor decisions.

IMHO addict is used too often for behaviors that one does not want to accept responsibility for. What if I liked to speed, can I go before the Judge and say I’m addicted to speeding?

I do admit there are some addictions that are out there I have worked many years with drug and alcohol addicts. Most defense attorneys will also tell you (well not really but in a round about way) if a defendant says he is an addict the Judge will more likely give him/her a lighter sentence.


#15

Thou - no flame here, I agree with you. If there is any “addiction”, it is to the rush of pleasure hormones that come with masturbation. The porn is simply a means to that end.

Like saying a heroin addict is addicted to needles - no, that is just the fastest easiest way to get the high.


#16

JustAnotherThou, I am totally with ya on this! It is used as an excuse way too often.

Thanks for all the input, guys! I think I basically had the right ideas about it.

Thank goodness my babies have a strong, faithful Daddy. That protects them from so much. It’s such a blessing to be able to tell the girls, “Just find a guy like your dad, and you’ll do fine,” and the boys, “Just be like your dad, and you’ll do fine.”

With the slide our culture is in, I wonder if my children will be able to find anyone decent to marry. :frowning: Even my DH’s young life had been contaminated with porn, as his dad decorated the garage with Hustler Honeys (those pictures were SO gross!), but he never had much interest and when I expressed disgust agreed that they were not the nicest pictures. He has never wanted to bring any of that into our home. The closest he’s gotten is Boris Vallejo and Olivia de Bernardiis calendars, whose art some would consider too racy, but certainly not porn, and I like most of it too. He likes artistic nudes and classic pin-up type art, but that’s a far cry from the nastiness he saw growing up. I’m proud of his strength of character in getting past seeing that stuff growing up.

Thanks again for your thoughts!


#17

I don’t believe it is an addiction either–that is why I put quotes around the word “addiction”. It’s not an addiction it is an excuse for bad behavior. I

Unfortunately, porn has become so available and normalized now it is a part of society that was unmentionable even 15 years ago. I don’t mean to men bash, but you would be very hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t watched it. It’s like trying to find a female virgin–they exist but are few and far between.


#18

What about those who marry w/o knowing the spouse had this addiction?? (I married DH w/o knowing he had this problem) BTW, I do believe it’s an addiction.

I wish I would’ve known about that before marriage but he hid it pretty well (well, sort of since I found out on my own). Does that mean I was naive?

For those who know… well, they marry for the same reason I married my DH, “He will change”. Man, was I naive? I thought his being a JW would wear off and realize the CC was the True Church… 2 yrs into the marriage, he’s still a JW :shrug: But at least not a practicing one :smiley:


#19

Every woman should ask her husband before they get married about his pornography viewing habits & what he considers pornography. It is part of his sexual history & make-up.
Again, it is a huge, huge problem. I work in the IT industry and it would be a miracle to find a computer that didn’t have some porn on it. If men are viewing porn that much at work, how much more must they be viewing it at home? Most companies track every e-mail you send and every website you visit–but in the privacy of your own home, usually big brother isn’t watching.


#20

Why should that question be asked if the husband never showed any interest in this? My husband was very religious (or so I thought) and even preached pornography was immoral. That’s why I didn’t ask. I don’t think it’s something you should be asking unless he/she shows behavior that would lead to this… just my 2 cc


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