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Husband is viewing internet porn sites

May 2007

I just discovered that my husband has been viewing Internet porn sites. I do not yet know the full scope of his use. I came home at an unexpected time and found him flustered with his pants open and then today looked at the log and found some of his history.

I have not yet confronted him about fully about this - as I want to sort this out a bit on my own. I feel that we have deeper problems here. I did talk to him about needing more affection and physical attention from him and expressed the sadness I feel that we are not physically intimate anymore. Our sex life took a plunge when I got pregnant 5 years ago. It was not great to begin with but we did at times find our groove. This last year sex has been almost non-existent. I almost always have to initiate and he has some erectile difficulties. We have not had vaginal sex for a while. My drive is pretty low.

I have mixed feelings about porn and see it has its place - but I do not want it to replace our intimacy. It saddens me that his use may be out of ease and the 1-way-ness of this experience. It is a lot harder to negotiate this with a real living person - me. What shall I do? My gut says counseling and reading is in order. Any suggestions on therapists/books? We are out in the Dublin area. anon


Have you guys tried to reenact ur husband's internet fantasy? (ween him off the computer with REAL hot sex, if you will.) im not trying to be rude. This is a serious matter that i can relate to. Put the kids to sleep and both of you fire up the computer. watch him perform. ask him what does he think about while watching this porn. the key is not to be ashamed b/c these are all feelings. he has feelings and so do you. And they must be addressed and understood to have good harmony. hopefully ur man won't be embarrased or ashamed if you guys do this. but if he follows the dao (buddist) he should be cool. try this method if U haven't already. Take care Mr. Kwaz
Your post really strikes a chord with me because I was in the same position only 3 years ago. After having our second baby, and no sex for months at a time, I started to actively persue it with my husband. I did my best to try and arouse him and his fantasy to no avail. I was desperate for affection . I know that I am an attractive woman, so I wondered what was going on. About that same time I noticed that every time I returned home and my husband would be alone,(or sometimes with the kids in the other room even), he would be masturbating in front of the computer. He tried to hide it and denied doing it, but there was wet physical evidence under the desk (yuck)! He waS also unbearably mean and nasty all the time. Life was miserable. I told him how it made me feel, bad, like I wasn't good enough, sexy, or respected by him. I also didn't like the possibility of my boys happening in on what I saw so many times. Many times I would come to him in tears begging him to stop. Often times he would be on the net satisfying himself while I was readily available and more than willing in our bed in the next room. This is not your fault. You cannot satisfy him the same way those photos can. My husband liked to watch two girls. How could I possibly satisfy that one?! Your husband has a problem, and he needs to stop alltogether. I think you will find, as I did, that it is an addiction, and he cannot stop without help. Go to the library or book store and find some books, this will help you understand and explain the problem to your husband. My suggestion is to request therapy and counselling. My husband was reluctant, but I could not abide and was ready to leave him. After some hours of therapy and soul searching on my husbands part, he was able to put this addiction to rest. He doesn't even touch the stuff anymore. Our sex life has improved vastly and he is no longer mean, irritable and totally disrespectful. Don't waver on this one, again, it is not your fault as many would have you believe. It is your husband who has the problem, and you can very likely expect your children to be affected by his addiction as well. Don't give up on your husband yet. It is possible to walk away- but you need help. Never go against what feels wrong in your heart. you're not alone

Bothered by husband surfing porn websites

Dec 2006

Last October I woke up to find my husband on my computer sheepishly surfing around. That same night I suddenly woke up and looked to see where he'd been. The history showed misc porn and ended up on pages N. Cal. callgirls. This made investigate our credit card statements which showed one charge for around $50 at an adult bookstore on a Wednesday afternoon, when he says he's working (he has own contracting biz.) That day I was working at my FT job and our 1.4 year old daughter was in daycare.

Even though I don't like the messages porn gives to men and the industry's expolitation of women, I'm not against porn use for a consenting couple and in the early days we would sometimes use it. But ideally, I'd like my husband not to EVER be interested in it and I am VERY against what I see as a huge betrayal of our marriage and commitment to each other.

After this happened I took a loose survey of my married women friends who almost ALL said their husbands used porn and it was somthing they basically put up with. That said, is it really too much to ask that my husband not need porn?

Since last October we've begun therapy and he wrote me a contract saying if he ever does it again, (or I catch him, I suppose) he'll leave our home immediately and everything to me and our daughter. This was his idea, given in Jan. He says he has a sex addiction but does not want to attend meetings or anything but our therapy to help with this. He is a Buddhist and says that is the way he is chosing to work on it. He also says he has not done anything since last year.

My problem is that I can't seem to accept that he did this and even with the trust work we've done in counseling I have a hard time believing him about anything and feel like I not only can't trust him but have lost a lot of respect for him. I struggle with wanting to put spy software on his machine so I can see what he's ''really'' doing so that maybe I'll have an excuse to leave him. This action has shaken my entire being; my self confidence, my security, my sense of family, and the love I once had for him to name just a few.

Has anyone been able to reconcile a situation like this; what I see basically as an affair? still wondering and hurt


You seem to need your husband to be really ''guilty'' for watching porn and for being a ''sex addict.'' Your post didn't convey any compassion for whatever it is that your man is really going through. You mentioned that your husband considers himself a ''sex addict,'' but you only mentioned porn and the internet...is he addicted to actual sex, or just furtive viewing of erotic materials online and on video? In my opinion, these are different things & should be addressed differently. If true sex addiction is the problem, he should be in therapy for it, Buddhist or not, AND he would probably really appreciate and benefit from your support with this issue just as a drug or alcohol addict would.

If porn is the only difficulty, why don't you view and approve of a few porn films for him to watch, and he can restrict himself to those? I think the more ''forbidden'' the porn is, the more he's going to be attracted to it. There are some very woman- positive erotic films--Candida Royalle is a female director who has made some good films enjoyed by both sexes. You might identify what you find so terrible about it...since it sounds like your husband is struggling with parts of his sexuality, and you don't sound interested in helping him through it.

Just because a guy watches porn does not mean he will run out and seek sex elsewhere (unless he has strong desire for fantasy fulfillment, which the two of you should talk about anyway). Most men DO like porn, and most of your friends tolerate it within their relationships. Can you move beyond considering it cheating or infidelity, and start to view it as a form of sexual fulfillment? Research shows that men really DO have different erotic needs from women. Men tend to be excited by visual stimuli (i.e., pictures) much more than women are. Why not honor and accept that basic fact, and not worry about it so much?

Finally, the ''agreement'' he signed that forces him to move out if he ever watches porn again sounds too punitive to me. If a person is on a diet, should they be forced to move out the first time they eat a cupcake? I think ''harm reduction'' should be your strategy, not ''total and complete compliance or else.'' It won't help him for you to try to ''guilt'' him on this--try to be as understanding and welcoming of his sexuality as you can --sex positive Mama


I am sorry you feel so sad about this. But i have to say that if you could leave your husband for watching porn then the divorce rate would be 100%. Maybe it's cultural (I am not american) but i find lcal women completely unrealistic about the subject of porn. If you assume that a high number of spouse cheat then clearly something i not working. so while i would never put up with actual cheating if my husband wants to watch A LITTLE porn then why not. forbidding doesn't work! anon
It was around 7 years ago that I accidentally discovered that my husband is an internet porn dog. At first I felt a lot like you do: shocked, betrayed, and wondering what else I don't know about. Then, also like you, I asked around and found out that most men like a little internet porn (or a lot - there's even a really funny song/video about it called 'The internet is for porn'). Over time, I came to realize that there's room in our marriage for both private and shared sexuality. His private sexuality happens to include porn, and that doesn't bother me, largely because it doesn't seem to interfere with our sex life. In fact, it probably enhances it, because he stays 'juiced up' even when I am tired or not in the mood.

When I read that your husband '' wrote me a contract saying if he ever does it again, (or I catch him, I suppose) he'll leave our home immediately and everything to me and our daughter'' I got very worried for both of you. If porn is part of his private sex life, maybe he shouldn't give it up. And maybe he can't without feeling really deprived. It sounds like you've both demonized his passtime by calling it an addiction and categorizing it as a betrayal. Maybe it is neither. So my advice to you is to explore different ways of thinking about his porn attachment. You might, like me, conclude that it is a harmless part of his private sexuality, which he has a right to, and that you can live with it. You might also, like me, prefer not to see exactly what he's looking at, and let it remain private :). Good luck! porn dog's wife


I really feel for you. The hard part about dealing with another person's addiction is accepting that you don't have any power over it - Sexual addictions are very real addictions with a chemical component. They're rarely about someone trying to consciously hurt their partner but rather about filling up a hole in themselves (the same hole others try to fill with alcohol or drugs or food). The only thing you can do, in my experience, is have good boundaries, set limits, and take the very best care of yourself you can. You can stop enabling his behavior (setting ultimatums, ''detaching with love'' or leaving him), but I've found it a lot more helpful to focus on my own behaviors and emotional issues when I'm in a relationship or friendship with an addict. So, even if he won't get help - You can get help for yourself.

There is a 12-step program / support group for people who have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior that you might find really helpful. They have at least one meeting in the East Bay that I know of: http://www.cosa-recovery.org/ I'm pretty sure it's mostly women.

There is also a program for Sex & Love Addicts, which includes not just internet porn or sex addicts but also a lot of people who are in relationships with folks who have compulsive sexual behaviors as well as people who have trouble having good boundaries in a relationship. A good mix of men and women, dealing with issues around relationships in general (not just sex). I've found this helpful not just for dealing with addicts in my life but for learning to know myself better and attract healthier people into my life. Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous http://www.slaa-sfeb.org Anon


Counseling seems like a wise choice for you and your husband. If your husband's self-assessment of a sex addiction is accurate, then that needs to be addressed. But from what you describe in your email, his use of porn is on par with what many of your married friends describe. Yes, it can be pretty revolting to realize your husband likes to look at porn, but it doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't love you, isn't committed to his marriage, or is cheating on you. It seems like it would be useful for both of you to move beyond treating his actions like the crime of the century. He seems to be drowning in guilt and self-punishment, and you are consumed with rage and hurt. Would it help to look at his actions in the context that many if not most men like to look at and be turned on by pornographic images surreptiously and in solitude, no matter how much they love and desire their wifes or partners? I hope you are able to work this out over time.
Men look at porn because it's something different than what they are used to seeing. Just because men are looking at porn does not mean they are going to leave their partners or cheat on them. Porn does not equal having an affair, in my opinion. If your husband has sworn off porn, and you have found no recent indications to the contrary, then I would suggest trying to take him at his word. It might help you to see a therapist yourself without your husband to work through these issues.
Lori
I am a woman who also occasionally uses pornography. I am married with children and perfectly normal and respectable. My husband knows I do this and he uses pornography as well. I guess I can't really understand how women see use of pornography as a betrayal of their marriages. I love my husband and we have a good sex life. But we've been together for 17 years and sometimes I like to indulge my fantasies about sex with women. Just because I think about this does not in any way mean I will act on it. Unless your husband has impulse control problems, what is the likelihood of him actually having sex with another woman? One cannot control one's thoughts or desires. All we can do is control our actions. Are you really saying that you cannot accept that your husband finds other women attractive? To me this seems a lot to ask of a man or anyone for that matter. We are human beings. It is ok to have sexual thoughts about someone other than your partner and to experience pleasure from those thoughts. If I had to hide my sexual thoughts from my husband that would adversely affect my relationship with him. Dirty Girl

Hubby and hardcore porn - am I just a prude?

April 2006

This morning, I sat down to the family computer, and I was greeted by the hardcore porn site my husband accidentally left on screen. My first thought was that of repulsion, and then concern, as this is the same computer my 11 year old daughter uses. I'm also feeling betrayed, inadequate, and sad. My husband is a night-owl, and a workaholic. I would often joke to him that he was surfing the internet late at night looking for porn, and he always denied it and said he was doing research. Now, I feel like I can't trust him, what else does he do online? (I probably watch too much Dateline, and fear the worst.) My feelings of inadequacy come from our sex life these days. We have 3 kids, 2 are pre-schoolers. I'm exhausted and feel like my body is going through hormonal changes (I have had a low sex drive since I had my babies). Also, I feel inadequate as a woman, comparing myself to what my husband obviously is attracted to sexually. Am I making too big a deal of this? Am I to accept that this as normal behavior for men, or just a warning of a sexually frustrated, unhappily married man? I know pornography has been around in different forms for ages, but, with the computer so close, and private, I feel like he has been having a secret affair. What if he's a porn addict? He has asked me to watch porn on tv with him, which I've declined, I just don't want to. I know lots of people do, and that's fine, its just not for me. I guess my question is, what's the right way to feel about the viewing of pornography? Am I just being a prude? Should I just get over it? Do I forbid it? What have other woman with similar experiences done? I'd be interested in hearing from both men and woman. sad & inadequate wife


I expect you will receive a lot of postings that looking at porn is completely normal, a safe way for your husband to indulge some fantasies, and that its nothing to worry about. I've heard all of that myself, and it still bothers me. I feel the same way you do- staying up late alone, watching these women do things that are completely intimate doesn't feel innocent to me- I won't go into details, but there are SO many things that he sees these women do that I feel like he should only know/see with me. I don't say anything to him anymore about it, and I've told him how I feel, and I think he's cut back, but every time I go to ''recent items'' to open up a file and see a whole list of quicktime porn videos, my stomach feels sick.

the only suggestion I have is to keep an open dialogue about it with your husband. Let him know that it makes you feel insecure and that it hurts your feelings. Tell him how it makes you feel about you, and not just how it makes you feel about him. If you start attacking him or trying to make him feel bad, he'll likely only get defensive. Also, don't listen to anyone who downplays your feelings. Sure, tons of women might be completely okay with it, but if you're not, and if it hurts you, well, that's how you feel. Its legitimate. I've had so many friends tell me that it shouldn't bother me and I've tried to convince myself that it doesn't, but that just makes me feel worse. It does bother me, I do feel like it is a violation or our intimacy, and I don't think I'll ever feel different. I no longer try to control my husband and stop him from doing it, but I do my best to let him know how it makes me feel and hope that he respects that. anon


On its own, I don't think looking at pornography on the internet is such a bad thing, and I don't think it should make you feel inadequate -- lots of men (and women!) like looking at porn and it doesn't mean they don't love their spouses, that they're addicted to it, that they have a secret life etc., it just gives them a little extra satisfaction. On the other hand if your husband is really spending a lot of time doing this, or if he seems absent from your life in other ways, then there may be issues that need to be dealt with. I think you should begin by talking frankly to him about this, about your fears, and about how you feel -- but if it seems clear that it's just something that he likes to do and it's not interfering with his role in your family and emotional life, then I wouldn't worry about it. Good luck! anon
I read your posting aloud to my husband and his advice was basically: Just know that men are animals. For them, he says, looking at porn and the extra curricular activity associated with that is like going to the bathroom. Don't read too much into it, unless there are fundamental problems in your marriage. Masturbation in men is way, way, way more common among men than most women know. In fact, he just added as I'm typing this, ''we just talked about it today at work.''

That said, the 11 year old factor is another issue - it's more just irresponsible. Then again, most kids know wayyyyy more about computers than their parents -- and even blocking software isn't much of a hinderance -- so they can visit these sites pretty easily on their own (a poorly worded Google can even get the most chaste of computer users a return of some very graphic sites!).

Anyway - good luck. Your husband is probably very normal. You might tell him kindly to make sure he closes the sites up and makes sure the computer history is clean before handing over the computer to your daughter, though. Anon.


hi sad and inadequate. looks like we have the same problem. i struggled with feeling inadequate at first. but i have thought about this A LOT - and have come to many conclusions some of which include the following negative ones: I should leave him now! I mean RIGHT NOW!; I'm doomed to be married to a dirty old man!!; He's not attracted to me because I don't look like women in porn! Here are the positive conclusions:

(1)your husband needs to separate his private space from his family space, i.e. his own computer. You need to put a parental control on your home computer.

(2)you should STOP wasting time obsessing about your husband and invest time into YOURSELF and finding out what turns you on and what sexual needs are.

(3) both my partner and I are different people with different sexual tastes and different sexual fantasies

(4)my partner has his own privacy that he had before he met me - that privacy includes his sexual relationship with himself which includes fantasy

(5) my partner's use of internet porn is not sexual addiction (unless he does it all the time at the exclusion of having a relationship with other people)

(6) my partner is respectful to women - and this is his real way of relating to and viewing women that is separate from his fantasy and porn.

(7) I am sexy and attractive in my own way. What turns my partner on has nothing to do with my own sexual attractiveness- if your partner is comparing you to these women and suggesting you change yourself or your body (other than putting on the occasional sexy dress or lingerie) - then you got problems.

(8)he was like this - meaning into porn - when he met you, when you had your first kiss, when you first made out - when he first said he loved you - and he's the same right now - its just that you now just found out - and its freaking you out. The both of you need to be open and honest about this instead of creating an environment where your husband has to lie.

(9) I'm attracted to a lot of men and that does not make me less attracted to my husband -it just means I'm human.

I wouldn't mind meeting for coffee to vent...Email me.

sexy and NOT inadequate wife


First, I'm so sorry to read your post. I was in a very similar situation 2 years ago (with the exception of adding other people to our sex life - You are going above and beyond, my dear).

Anyway, first, you need to confront him, and it is not going to be easy. Fully expect him to deny it, then say it's no big deal, then to then get angry and defensive, then throw things back at you (i.e., about your hormonal situation, etc.). Then you must insist that he meet with you at a counselor to work this out.

I know many people feel that internet porn is harmless ''fun'', and that men don't disclose that they like it because they are embarassed. Surely this is sometimes the case, but I know that my husband had no idea how the combination of my post-partum body/hormones, along with my insecurities about my body and my identity as a mother of 3 children would set the stage for the ''perfect storm'' of completely destroying my self-esteem when I found out about his porn habit. He was using it as an outlet for his own insecurites about having less sex, wondering if his wife would ever be his ''girlfriend'' again (and not just the mother of his kids), and to do something he thought harmless yet naughty. We did a lot of painful talking at the counselor, but amazingly, we came out fine, just a bit tender. I'm rooting for you - good luck. Been There


Oh, how I feel your pain. I just found (2 weeks ago) out my husband was doing the same thing. There is NO right way to feel, you feel what you feel at the moment you feel it. We have decided to try to figure it out on our own...came to realize there was sooooooo much else going on with us, that the porn was more of a symptom. He had issues he never told me about because '' never talk!!'' or at least I talk, he walks away. etc....He says he didn't tell me because he ''didnt want to hurt me...'' Anyway, we may end up in counseling becasue our communication style and ways of interacting are keeping us apart and allowing these sorts of problems to occur. It is obvious to us both that we love eachother and we have made a commitment to give it our best shot. Your husband's porn addiction (yes, it is an ADDICTION!!!!!) may very well be the symptom of a problem - HIS PROBLEM- but is in NO WAY A REFLECTION OF YOU!!! Porn is not personal and requires no effort- what a way to escape!

If you guys feel like you can work it out on your own then good luck, but sounds like counseling may the way to go. Good luck. anon


I often wonder if the internet itself is addictive. I can hardly stop looking at shopping sites, celebrity gossip sites, bpn postings, etc. Perhaps the porn is just his site of choice and the easy access makes it too tempting. anon
About 5 yrs ago I discovered the same thing about my husband. We had some pretty long and emotional conversations. It turns out he wasn't using internet porn in a ''normal'' way, (whatever that is) but was addicted. He did private therapy alternating with our couples therapy every wk for 2 yrs, and then we reduced it to 1x/mo. private & 1x/mo. couples, eventually leading to 6 mo. of just couples therapy. The porn abuse in my husband's case was an expression of his inability to handle stress & feelings of inadequacy (not sexual, just general). Through his individual therapy he learned to identify & deal with those feelings.

I was totally destroyed by the porn. I felt disgusted, betrayed, insecure, inadequate, unsafe, suspicious, etc. just as you described. I was worried for myself and our children. (You always hear about porn in connection with child molesters...) After the first meeting with the therapist, Dr. Charles King in Berkeley... he specializes in sex addiction. I bought some books & read up on sex addictions. (Phillip (?) Carnes was the best if I recall.) Sex addictions are not always progressive. Over time & through therapy I was better able to accept that his addiciton wasn't about sex, or me, & wasn't (in his case) leading us into the netherworld. We were eventually able to rebuild our trust & communication skills. We exited therapy with some very good plans.

In fact things were going so well I thought we had beat it. Then a few wks ago he had a relapse. He was honest about it. We talked & realized that we had not continued our communication or his stress management. It brought up all of those old feelings for me, & threw me for a loop all over again. I guess I let myself forget that it is an addiction, & that it will always be there, & we have to take it 1 day at a time. He knows that I am willing to work through this with him, but that there are limits to how many times I can. We have reinstituted what we had let go after therapy, plus he is now blocked from the internet at home. I can't say that your situation is the same, or that my situation is any example... but you are not alone in discovering this & having to deal with it. Good luck. annonymous


You know, it's funny. My husband -- the kindest, sweetest, most considerate person you can imagine -- really! -- did this awhile back. I was extremely upset about it. Finally, I just talked to him. First, I listened -- really listened -- to why he did it. In his case it was mostly a weird (to me) sort of stress relief, in addition to the fact that we weren't having sex that much. In fact, as he expressed it, this was his way of relieving that, so that he wouldn't feel any urge to cheat on me. Second, I told him that for me, it was upsetting enough that I strongly preferred he not do it any more. He said he would not, and so far as I have been able to tell (and I've checked) he hasn't. In return, I promised to try to have more sex, and have been at least working on keeping that promise. As I get older, I believe more and more that men and women are just fundamentally different in some ways, and this is one of them. I don't mean to imply that something like this is never a sign of deeper problems -- I just wanted to point out that it doesn't always have to be.

Sometimes this is just mindless stress relief (without a lot of forethought) for a man. anonymous


It can be shocking to come across porn the way you did, and your concern about your daughter having a similar experience is a valid one. But take a deep breath and believe that this quite possibly has very little to do with you. Men like to look at porn, as corny and trashy as it is (I know: you look at those women and think ''oh my god, is that what he really wants?''). This incident is not necessarily a sign that your husband is a crazed sex addict, that he doesn't love you anymore, or that your love life can't recover from the doldrums. I would advise that you not assume the worst, but the most typical: that your husband looks at porn because he can. Once you are feeling at least somewhat calm, I would suggest you have a conversation with him saying what you saw and that you don't want your daughter to ever see something like that. Either as part of that conversation or separately, it would be healthy to address how you are both feeling about your sex life or lack thereof, and see if there is anything you can do together to rekindle your physical connection. From what I hear, things do get better as the kids get older! anon
My hubby used to deny his viewing too - or at least be furtive. I decided I really didn't care - so long as he was comfortable and honest doing what he was doing- meaning if he felt he had to be furtive, then he needed to think about why he was uncomfortable with his actions. I was not judging his viewing, I was judging his reaction to being ''caught'' .. but how can you be ''caught'' if you're doing something acceptable? Circular reasoning maybe, but he now peeks less frequently and is not so ''guilty'' looking when ''caught'' so we're both happier. peeping on a peeping tom
Boy- there are several issues here!

Your husband CANNOT leave open porn sites or bookmarks to porn sites or porn downloads on any computer accessable by children, and you're just going to have to lay down the law on that one.

In terms of feeling inadequate, the fact is that the vast majority of women in porn are young cuties with great bodies- that's the nature of the beast. I'm chubby and middle aged, my boyfriend surfs porn, and he loves my body. He doesn't compare me to porn actresses, he just happens to enjoy porn in addition to me.

I look at porn sometimes, sometimes it turns me on, sometimes I'm just curious. I look at ''activities'' that may (or may not) give me material for fantasy but aren't things I would actually want to do, and from talking with other women and with men I find that's not so unusual. Just because your husband is looking at ''whatever'' doesn't mean that's what he really wants or that he's going to go looking for it.

Your husband lied to you- that's unnerving at best, but at the same time he's probably embarrassed that he surfs porn, and he probably was afraid that (just like it has) it would hurt your feelings. Could you ask him to tell you what it's about for him and be open to his answer? You could tell him what his viewing of it means to you, and discussing it, even if nothing changes, might bring you closer in understanding each other.

I'd say look to things in your daily life together as to whether or not you have a happy marriage, don't just conclude that because your husband surfs porn you don't.

There's no right way to feel about it- be yourself. Your homonal state is real and is natural. Explain that to him, and, assuming that you do, reassure him that you love him and that he's still your husband and lover even if you're out of commission for awhile. anon


Is your husband sexually frustrated, most likely! Is he unhappily married I can't answer that but I can speak for most men and that is if they got frequent sex they would be Happier in their marriage. I can give you example of another Married man in a similar situation.

My wife and I are in a mid 40s and have young kids. My wife too has lost a lot of interest in Sex and which is further decreased by how she feels compared to other women. I think this is really sad that she lets what other people (she doesn't even know) affects what could be a very healthy sex life with her husband (who would do anything for her). I would have sex with my wife everyday (several times) if given the opportunity. Regardless what you think there is always opportunities regardless of how hectic your life is.

I'm not unhappy in my marriage and not going to leave her for lack of sex but I am not going to stop masturbating and fantasizing about having an active sex life either.

Like you my wife also complains about being tired. I don't know of any therapy or drugs that are better than Sex. I don't know about women but Sex both energizes me for the day when I have in the morning and evening sex helps me sleep better at night.

Not only do I enjoy sex but it's a great stress reliever and release from the day to day hassle. Unfortunately I have to result to masturbation usually this is late night too after trying to catch up on work and right before I go to bed. I would much rather go to bed and make love with my wife given the opportunity.

The issue with your kids accidentally seeing what your husband looks at late at night is easily rectified in a few minutes. Ask your husband to log in with his own account on the family computer and set the screen save to lock the account after a certain amount of idle time. annonymous


You are asking a lot of good questions, many of which I think you need to explore through conversations with your husband - that's right, this means just going ahead and talking to him in a relaxed way. There are a number of scenarios and it's hard to predict which applies to him and to you two [how much is he into porn? what type of porn does he like? how does he feel about his marriage, did he leave the porn on the screen on purpose, etc.] Maybe a therapist could also be helpful with regards to your feelings of indadequacy [how deep does it go, etc.]

I'll give you a view into my situation, only as a possible scenario that may apply here. I've always considered myself to have more sex drive than my wife, and our differences has widened even more since we've had our three children. Though hard-core porn depresses me, I find occasional soft-porn web sites a relief, the ones where [seemingly] well-adjusted women reveal their bodies in unhumiliating ways. For me, it's an occasional pressure release valve, both mentally and physically. I really don't feel guilty about it, and then I'm off living my 'regular' life. Some may find this unhealthy or immoral and they are welcomed to their opinion; our marriage is a couple of decades old, with no signs of waning.

Maybe your husband is like me. Maybe not. Wish you the best in finding out.

p.s. Please don't beat yourself up about your sexuality. It may have nothing to do with that, and even if it does, I doubt you deserve it. happily married


Most husbands do this. Though, you need to find out, if he has a problem with porn or if he ''occassionally'' looks at it. If it's a temporary fix, then it might not be a problem, otherwise, he could have a sexual addiction. The ''Impulse Treatment Center'' in Pleasant Hill, CA, could evaluate you and your husband and this could, then, be all solved. Hopefully, it will be that easy. anon
an addendum to the ''Hubby and Porn'' posts: a few men posted that they look at porn as stress releases or b/c they don't get enough sex in their marriage or b/c their sex drive differs from thier wives. my partner looks at porn but in our relationship my sex drive far exceeds his as well as my ability to have sex (multiple times anyday everyday). his use of porn apparently is a way to release his sexual energy when he cannot have sex (b/c his body hurts). the thing that bothers me about this is that I'm not involved and so my sexual needs in the relationship (which is separate from my indiv needs) are unsatisfied - kind of like the hubbys who feel like they don't get enough sex so they go to porn. Seems rather unfair to me - so the option is to look at porn together (UGH!! NO WAY) or find ways to be intimate without having my hubby hurt himself, I guess. I guess what I'm trying to say is that our hubby's porn often makes us feel alienated from them and their intimate sex life which I thought was ''our'' intimate sex life - but I'm having to accept isolation and alienation. I'm still trying to find ways to bridge this gap (feelings of being alienated from him) wihout (1) going to therapy and (2) watching porn with him (yuck!) or (3) seducing him to have sex that later makes his body hurt for days (this makes me very sad). hmmm...just some more thoughts. alienated from partner's sex life

My husband's addiction to porn

Oct 2004

About 5 years ago, after the birth of our daughter, my husband emotionally withdrew from our marriage, refusing to come to bed, instead staying up nights logging on to internet porn and once he secretly videotaped our neighbor while she was undressing. He went to therapy, briefly, admitted being addicted to porn and said therapy helped and he was able to ''handle'' it. I believed him. I told him it wasn’t the porn that bothered me, but it was the type (peeping tom type / teenage girls) that I found degrading and that if he were to do it again, I would leave him. Fast-forward 5 years. Just last week I stumbled onto a disk which contained 300 porn downloads of teenage girls (practically daily downloads since June 1—some during the workday and others in the evening. He is a consultant that works from home). Also on our Tivo, I found 30 porn flicks that he has recorded since June. (Most of the films were deleted, but Tivo keeps record of what is recorded and deleted.) Although I am not totally adverse to porn, I do find these images disturbing and degrading. Last week when I found the most recent pictures, I confronted him and he said he messed up and he would go back to therapy, which he is. I know porn is based on fantasy and not “real life” and we have a pretty active and spicy sex life. For all other accounts he is a good father and husband, but I simply don’t trust him anymore and the thought of sex with him is sickening (it just brings up images of him downloading pictures of teenage girls). Needing sound advice


Your letter struck a chord with me. When my husband and I were engaged I found out he had been secretly looking at porn pretty much every night and on the weekends when I would go running, etc. I was devastated and considered calling off the wedding. Luckily my best friend and old therapist were incredibly supportive and reassured me that porn is MUCH more normal than I thought so I started to feel a bit better about that part. TO me, although it wasn't teenagers, it was pretty graphic and I felt disgusting. Also my husband, like yours, admitted it was a problem and saw a therapist for several months and we went to couples counseling. The biggest issue for me beyond my disgust was my lack of trust since there were several cover-ups involved so that I wouldn't find out. The couples therapy gave us so much more than just dealing with this issue. Also my husband started being more honest with me about how much he was looking and when. It definitely goes up during stressful times. for the most part I never ask now and assume that he doesn't do much but I could be wrong. I think just having it be something we could possibly discuss meant a lot to me. I recommend the couples counseling route for just getting things out in the open. Funny enough, now is a very stressful time for me and I have developed an internet hobby (not porn) as well. My husband has objected a bit but allows is although he says it reminds him of himself searching for porn on the internet. It has given me a new understanding of how people use the internet to ''tune out'' and take a break from stressful life situations. I think a lot of internet porn for men is a way to tune out and a release and is a bit less about the graphic imagery than just imagining another life. perhaps for your husband it was the carefree days of teenage years when the girls he liked were teenagers too. I definitely think it is worth understanding what he ''gets'' from it before worrying specifically about that part of it. I know it is hard though but if it is a good marriage it is worth investing in the therapy and time to understand each other and each others' flaws better. Just my 2 cents
Hello, I was once in a similar situation as you, and married for about the same length of time. I remain married, and it feels great to be able to say I am happily married. It took (and takes) a lot of hard work, both my husband's and mine. We loved each other very much, and we both wanted to save our marriage. For two years, my husband went to individual therapy, and we went to couple's therapy. It took a lot of time, money (for therapy and dates), and a huge commitment from both of us, especially from my husband. It took several attempts before we found the right couples therapist for us. It was important for us to find a male couples therapist (my husband wanted a male, he didnŐt want to feel judged by a woman) who did not appear biased towards or against pornography. We were surprised at our first attempt with a couples therapist who told us my husbandŐs use of pornography was normal, and that I (as a woman) needed to get over it. This approach did not work for our us, as we both felt that change was important for my husband and to our marriage, and we needed support and to a means to understand and resolve the underlying issues that the pornography might have been a symptom of. We found a great male therapist in SF, and we worked with him for about two years (we only went once every other week or once a month during the second year). A side benefit of therapy was that my husbandŐs commitment to it helped me see his commitment to our marriage. One bonus of couples' therapy was also that we had it in SF in the late afternoon, and (almost always) after therapy, we awarded ourselves with a special date. I think that the weekly dates brought us closer, even if we felt challenged or separate during our hour of therapy, we endeavored to have (and were successful at having) a good time together. We often think back fondly of our SF date nights. With children, it is difficult to make time for marriage therapy, but the entire family benefits in the long run, and the investment was invaluable to us. Good luck! ps: Richard Bush is a wonderful couples therapist in Berkeley. once wearing similar shoes
I understand your problem. I discovered that my husband had a porn addiction problem about three and a half years ago. I was devastated and reluctant to have sex with him after seeing what he had been downloading. My husband went to an SAA meeting once, and felt good about it, but then he decided that he would feel more comfortable with one on one therapy. The therapist met with him alone every other week for about a year, and with us both on the alternate weeks. We continued with individual and couples therapy for two years, and then, with the agreement of our therapist, stopped attending. It still bugs me sometimes if I think about what I saw, but not as often. trust is harder... I worry sooner when he is moody, withdrawn, or working late hours. Since therapy we are able to discuss those feelings when they come up. The main things we got from therapy were: 1) An understanding that this can be an addiction, just like any other... including the need to cut porn out of his life completely. 2) There is an underlying root problem that causes this behavior. Maybe it is shame, poor self-esteem, abuse, etc. My husband was only able to realize his particular root cause and talk about it after 6 months or more of therapy. 3) New ways of dealing with/coping with the problem have to be learned. 4) Better ways of communicating our needs, feelings, etc. with each other. At this point I feel that it has been a successful recovery for my husband. The therapist felt pretty strongly that my husband was not at high risk for relapse... I don't think I would have been willing to stop therapy without that kind of reassurance. I don't really know what I would do at this point if he did relapse. I felt that giving therapy a chance was the right thing to do at the time... but I don't know if I could trust it again. I know that my husband thinks he will loose his family, and that is a pretty strong motivator to stay away. I've been there...
I would strongly recommend that your husband be evaluated, and receive treatment if needed, by a specialist called a sex- specific therapist. The fact that your husband has a history of voyeurism (the peeping tom behavior) is concerning. Voyeurism is a paraphilia, which is one of a class of disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a sexual disorder. Other paraphilias include fetishism, exhibitionism, and pedophilia. Sex-specific therapists are highly trained to evaluate and treat people with paraphilias. Because people with one paraphilia often also have other, related paraphilias, it is important that people who have one or might have one, receive evaluations from these specialists so that effective help can be provided as needed.

I don't know what type of evaluation or treatment your husband recieved in the past, but if it was dynamically oriented therapy (talk therapy) with a general therapist, it is unlikely that this problem was truly succesfully resolved. Dynamically oriented therapy is not very effective with paraphilias. My organization's website has additional information about sex- specific therapists and a referral list of several in the Bay Area and well as many across the country. You can access this at: http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pages/resources.html I would also recommend a program called Sharper Future that has several offices around the Bay Area. Their main number in San Francisco is 415-397-6622. They could provide an evaluation for your husband and determine if he needs further treatment for this problem as well as the other issues you raise.

I also think an evaluation by a sex specific therapist is in order because the behaviors you describe, while alarming or upsetting enough on their own, are also simply the ones that you are aware of or have been discovered, thus far. It is possible that there are more issues going on with him and through an evaluation, a sex-specific therapist will be able to determine this and then also provide any treatment that is needed.


I feel sad that you have to deal with this. You are right. It's not just about porn. It's about the teen porn, and about his exploitation of others as in videotaping the unaware neighbor. The issue, I think, is even more serious than this. Teen porn, unless you're talking the 19-and-over variety, is illegal. Any porn depicting children under the age of 18, any videotaping of children under the age of 18 (yes, even 17.5 years old) is child pornography. It's a really serious crime. If your husband has this illegal addiction, he really needs help so he can correct himself before he gets into some real trouble. Or if he's doing the 19-and-over legal teen porn but teetering on the brink of child pornography with younger teens, then this is the time to get him away from the brink. You can't do it alone. You guys need a competent therapist trained in sex therapy possibly as well as family therapy to address this. The therapist needs to be very sensitive and respectful and not the type to trash you or your husband. You guys need empathy, respect and help.

You have a big problem on your hands and I sincerely wish you the very best with this. anon


My advice is that BOTH of you should be going to therapy TOGETHER. You need COUPLES counseling. I don't know, because you can only give limited information in a post to the newsletter, but from the information you give, the impression *I* get is that you want your husband to go do the therapy and get ''fixed'' so he'll be the husband you want.

I'm not saying that to be mean or make you feel bad, because it's perfectly human and understandable to want that (on an unconsious level, as I'm sure it is, IF that is what is going on). But YOU need to look at YOUR STUFF too! You have some issues here: your trust has, quite understandably, been shattered. It's soooo important that you get to voice that in the presence of an objective facilitator. Your husband isn't the only one with a problem, you have one too, but it's a problem between the two of you, so the two of you have to work it out together.

This kind of thing is way too difficult to try to do on your own, you deserve support. Don't give up on your husband or your marriage just yet, find yourself a good therapist (and please, shop around, not all therapists are good [don't trust someone who thinks *they* know whether or not you should divorce, for example] and not all good therapist are going to be right for YOU.

Additionally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read ''Passionate Marriage'' by Dr. David Snarch, a couples councelor and SEX THERAPIST for 30 years, this book may be very helpful to you as you seek couples counseling. I don't know ANY body that couldn't learn something from this book about marriage and how to work through the really difficult times like the one you are in now. Seriously, this book could help save your marriage. You can get this book on Amazon.com.

My husband and I are currently seeing a therapist together. We do not have anything going on that is quite as dramatic, but we definitely have issues and I figured we should work on our stuff NOW before it becomes dramatic. Don't wait until you're halfway out the door (which is usually when couples finally go to counceling - when it's practically too late).

I wish you the VERY BEST of success.

Sincerely Counseling Works!


If your sex life is good, and it seems so, and your husband is not acting out his fantasies elsewhere, I think you might consider getting him help with his addiction but being less upset about the actual content. He's turning to you for his pleasures and that's what counts. If he were ONLY turning to porn, that would be another problem. My husband has ***NO*** libido and I wish that he would turn to porn or something since our sex life is non existent. So from my perspective, your situation is preferable! I understand your disturbance but my sense is that the quantity is the issue, not the content. From a different perspective
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