Need advice

Submitted by Simone576 on
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My husband has been trying to recover from his porn/masturbation addiction. As far as I know, he was porn free (not masturbation) for 6-7 weeks. I have noticed his edginess over the last couple of weeks and have some questions. He had one particular site that he went to everyday for hours at a time. He gave this up, but still would look at one particular site that shows celebrities, models, etc. sometimes completely nude, sometimes bikini shots, but mostly boob shots. He would only look at a few pictures each day. I don't think he thinks there is anything wrong with this. He still only wants sex when he's turned on by these images. Yesterday, I saw that he visited his old favorite site. My heart sank, once again. He was very amorous and I could tell he wanted to be with me later that evening. Instead, I ended up caring for our sick daughter, and much to my relief, was unavailable for sex. Today, he has been peeking at pics again and is coming on strong. I don't know if I'm supposed to make love with him and pretend not to know, or am I supposed to tell him why I can't make love to him when I know he is fantasizing with his images while he's with me. He has always told me that he doesn't ever fantasize when with me and that images don't really stay in a man's head. Of course, I know this not to be true. This is such a slippery slope, because I don't want to reject him, but I don't want to be hurt myself. I have a very high sex drive, and I'm so tired of being rejected and only wanted when "he's in the mood". I don't know how much more I can take. Any advice??

Sounds like a tough situation

First of all, there's nothing "wrong" with porn. But it definitely has a powerful effect on many brains. Part of its effect isn't even related to the degree of extremeness of the material viewed; it's simply the constant flow of novel, arousing erotica. A user can "edge" for hours and put himself in an altered state that's drug-like, in terms of its effect on the brain. Even if it's only the kind of stuff you mentioned, its effect on his brain can create lots of problems in his state of mind and in your relationship.

Too much stimulation gets his dopamine up (the craving neurochemical that's behind all addictions...and our drives like sex and hunger). This can make him feel less and less satisfied...even if he's having more and more orgasms. It's paradoxical, but it really is this way. Have a look at this article if you want to understand more:

High dopamine (and the low dopamine that too much dopamine triggers) can make someone feel very dissatisfied, demanding, and self-absorbed. That's not a good mindset for lovemaking. It's really only good for "getting off," if you know what I mean.

Is there any chance that the two of you could try a gentler approach to sex? After an adjustment period, it might actually leave you both more satisfied.

I realize this doesn't answer your question, but I'm not sure there is a really good answer. He sounds like he's hooked, and like lovemaking isn't going to be all that satisfying for either of you until he's back in balance.

Seems like you owe him an explanation for your behavior, otherwise his "cold wife" becomes the excuse for even more Internet erotica, no?

Good luck. I'm sorry for your pain.

be patient


I agree with Marnia, this is a tough situation. A couple of thoughts. He is going to have to want to change – you can’t make him do it. Has he visited Marnia’s website? Perhaps if he can become aware of others struggles, it would help him. For what it’s worth, I found this site quite by accident a couple of months ago. Its message really got thru to me and I immediately gave up porn. I think it has to be all forms no matter how tame – hard core, soft core, celebrity nudes, etc. Within a few days, my perception of my wife made a complete change for the better. We had been almost five years with hardly any sex life. I found I wanted to cuddle her and do things like the bonding behaviors described on the site.

Our sex life was rekindled, but totally different than before. Instead of driving to a climax, we started to engage in slow, gentle lovemaking without the goal of orgasm. I no longer masturbate by myself -- it is no longer satisfying in comparison with the lovemaking we have together. She had a difficult time understanding what I was going thru, but now my wife loves it, and so do I. After two months, I am porn-free.

Please be patient. I takes time, and lots of love.

I am willing to be “courtly companion.”


Thank you both for your

Thank you both for your comments. I agree Marnia, porn is not all bad. It never bothered me until several years ago, when it replaced me. He used to spend several hours after I went to bed each night indulging and our sex life suffered because of it, i.e., less frequency, him not being able to keep an erection, his taking care of himself, and/or me being used as an object, or reenacting out his fantasies, etc.

I encouraged him to research the effects of porn on the brain. He didn't do any research, but did admit that it was out of control and began to abstain from his one particular site that he frequented the most. He never has given up seeking a daily peek at celebrity nudes, which of course, is still stimulating his brain.

I have been very open and honest about my feelings and have tried to provide him information about the harmful effects of this addiction. He is a recovering alcoholic, and we are all too familiar with the disease of addiction. We had a breakthrough a couple of months ago, when I thought he was finally realizing the impact and admitted that it does affect the way he looks at me and our relationship. I think he truly believes that if he uses in moderation, it is okay. I know that I cannot control it. I have been supportive and understanding to a point. When the subject comes up, as it did this weekend and I did share with him how it effects me mentally and emotionally, he shuts down and stops talking about it. He feels like I am "blaming" him, when I'm really only trying to open his eyes as to how this addiction is ruining our marriage. I explained to him that I simply cannot be intimate with him when I know he is not engaging with me.

I will encourage him to visit this site and continue to be patient. I don't want to stop being intimate, but I'm not sure if continuing to have sex is helping or hurting. I think I could use a "courtly companion" right now.

If your husband knows addiction,

then be optimistic that he'll be able to understand how porn can also become an addiction. And he'll understand why there may be no "middle ground" for him. He may need to give up porn entirely. Has he read this article? Whether it's drugs or alcohol, dopamine dysregulation is the cause of addiction.

Also, there's a good chance that the two of you would really benefit from trying a different approach to sex as he returns to balance. ( Each orgasm seems to cause a mini-roller coaster ride of dopamine in sensitive brains, driving the person to seek more intense stimulation soon after (even normal) sex. Have a look at this:

Companions can be very helpful. Send Jesse a private message from here:

Wishing you the very best.