Help! My husband is a porn addict.

Submitted by TheOtherSide on
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I am new to this forum, however, I have been reading posts and articles on this site for the past 2 months. Here is my story… My husband and I met about 4.5 years ago. We had such a heart-racing, head-spinning, butterfly-in-your-stomach romance, that at times I felt that I was being picked up by a tornado and just taken away. During our 2 years of dating, we never had fights, and arguments were so rear and our sex life was really wonderful. Three years ago, we got married. First year of our marriage was ok. Right away I noticed that our sex life has started to decline. I wrote it off to the stress of our jobs/economy (it was year 2008, we just got married, bought a house, the economy started to crumble, we worked for the same company and our company really started having financial problems). My situation at work was very dire. At times we would have dinner together and I would start talking about my day and just cry because the situation at work was so hopeless. My husband was very supportive and really tried to be positive and optimistic even though he dealt with the same situation.
In July 2009 I lost my job. In a way it was a relief because I was very unhappy at this company. And we both decided to have a positive outlook that this is for the best and this is the opportunity for me to find a better job that suits my education (international business). First 6 months were not too bad. I had interviews and was preparing to really land a great job. But after January 2010, the pulse of the job market seemed to be absent. I was continuing sending resumes and felt that I am sending them to a black hole where there is nothing coming back. It was such a devastating time for me, for both of us. My husband really started to stress out because his salary went down (he worked on commission) and there was no way we both could live on his salary AND pay for the mortgage. I was happy for any opportunity to earn just a little bit to make the ends meet – waitressing, babysitting, ANYTHING (I have Master’s Degree and really impressive work history). Needless to say, our sex life was almost non-existent. But here is the thing I discovered: every morning when my husband was off to work, I was at the computer looking for a job and when I went to the history to see if I sent resume to a particular place, I started noticing porn links. To say I was devastates is an understatement. After 6 months of sending resumes, interviews and constant rejection I really started doubting my skills, my education, myself as a professional. My home, my husband was my safe haven; he was my castle to retreat after fighting dragons all day. And here I am finding these links… I really felt that the whole world is crumbling around me. Turns out my castle was just a straw hut that is barely standing in the wind. I felt that I was betrayed, that the enemy has conquered my home and there is nowhere to go, no one to turn to. Not only am I worthless as a professional; I am worthless as a woman as well.

I tried to talk to my husband about my feelings and he kept telling me that porn is different that he is still attracted to me. But you cannot fool woman’s intuition. I decided to put that aside and focused on getting the job first and THEN deal with the rest of the problems. Exactly a year later after I got laid off, and after numerous tortures interviews, I landed my dream job. I have to say that I was very lucky in this regard because I was ready to settle for something that I did not want to do and saw many people do just that. My husband was very supportive during this whole process. When I received an employment offer, that is was the first time I actually felt relief. That was the last time I felt relief as well…
The next day my husband told me that he did not want to have kids. But first let me tell you a little history predating these events… When we first met, my husband was engaged to another woman. We both were in our late twenties and he told me that he had vasectomy because he does not want to have kids. I thought that it was so strange because he did not even know what it’s like to have kids since he is the youngest in his family (how do you know you don’t want something when you have never had it or experienced before??). But his fiance did not want to have kids either and I thought that “OK, they found each other.” As time passed by, I started to fall for him and he started falling for me too. Long story short he broke off his engagement a month before the wedding. We talked, we had a long hard talk and I told him that I want to have kids, in fact, I want 3 kids. And I clearly stated that I do not want to be with the person who does not want to have kids, no matter how much I love that person. He said that he is reconsidering his decision and that having kids with ME is actually sounds appealing to him. Throughout our 1.5 years of dating he was constantly re-assuring me that we are on track and we will have kids together, but not 3, just 2. We even started picking out names. How silly…
So, the day after I got my employment offer, my husband told me that he does not want to have kids. I remember that night so vividly. I was crying and shaking and just absolutely miserable. Why? Why does he hate me so much? Why would you do that to a woman you love? Why would you cause her so much misery?
He said that he loved me and that he does not want to lose me, that I am the only bright spot in his life. And he can’t understand why he is not enough for me. I just felt betrayed, manipulated, and trapped. I had no one to talk to about it. I knew my parents and friends were going to take my side and will advise to ditch him. But I loved him and at the same time felt very hurt and confused. He suggested going to a marital counselor. I saw that he really wanted to figure out why he does not want to have kids and has hoped that either I can help him or the counselor. Every time we went to the counselor the reasoning for him not wanting kids was changing, first, it was the money, then it was that he didn’t know if he is going to be a good father, then the excuse was that he is an introvert and doesn’t like social interaction. I started suspecting something fishy. He accused me for not selling him the idea of having kids, I accused him for lying to me. My work became my castle, and my home became a battlefield. Every day. After about 6 months of counseling, I saw that we are not going anywhere. He kept telling me he loved me, but sex for him became a chore. I started to feel so much resentment toward him that I hardly wanted to have sex with him anyway. After long hard look at my marriage of 2.5 years, I decided that I just can’t take this anymore and decided to talk to him about getting a divorce. He begged me to reconsider. He said that even though he doesn’t want to have kids, he will go get vasectomy reversal, because this is what I wanted. Is this really what I wanted?! I told him that I want a partner who wants to have kids with me, who will help and support me in having kids. At the same time I started having female problems, which really scared me and really put things into perspective. It scared my husband as well. We decided to go ahead and do vasectomy reversal. I agreed to it with very heavy heart.
After finding a job, I hardly have time to sit at the computer at home. However, 2 months ago, I needed to look something up and I went to use the computer… He didn’t even close the window… It was so disgusting… He was looking beyond just normal porn (if you can say that porn is even normal in the first place). Having kids with this pervert?! (it was not kiddy porn thankfully). I was ready to pack my bags and leave, leave right away. I couldn’t even look at him. How could he?! Before I could leave, he came home and I just poured my disgust and anger at him. He stood there just saying Please, Please, Please… Then he fell on his knees and said that he really needs my help and started crying. I couldn’t understand anything. My help with what? Then he told me about his porn addiction, that it started since he was 8 years old finding his father’s porn tapes. That he hardly remembers his childhood because of it. That this was the reason he did not want to have children. He told me how he desperately wanted to quit using porn after getting the vasectomy reversal. How he wants to be a really good father to his kids. And how hard it was for him to quit watching porn.
After searching all over the Internet, thankfully I found site. I watched the series, and re-watched it, and re-watched it. Everything started to make sense. I showed it to my husband and he was so relieved that it wasn’t one of those religious sites. That this is science based and that it is all in your brain. I am still amazed though how people would ruin their lives and marriages for this dopamine fix. This is an absolute tragedy.
It has been about 2 months and he already relapsed several times (it seems that 7 days is the most he can go without it). These 2 months have been hell. If I thought my last 1.5 years was hell, I was in for a surprise. He is constantly snapping at me, he is constantly yelling at me, he is constantly depressed. There is nothing I can do that wouldn’t make him angry and snap at me. Examples: I am outside walking the dog when he gets home from a week-long trip. It upsets him because he had hoped I’d be home and he would greet us at home. Just comes to ridiculous situations. I feel like I am living nearby a volcano and don’t know when will it erupt with anger. I am at my wits end. I feel so much hurt, I feel so betrayed, and now I am the person who frustrates him the most. WTF???
At times I just want to pack my bags and leave. In these past 2 months we have not had a normal weekend. Whatever I say will make him so angry. Then he runs to me and apologizes that he didn’t mean to. Well, if you don’t meant to then don’t do it in the first place. Right now his apologies don’t mean anything to me, because he will turn around and yell at me again for no reason. I have to say that I impress myself for dealing with this for so long. I am a beautiful, smart, young woman that just happens to be in love with an addict. But my patience is running thin. It almost feels that he is testing my love for him: What else am I going to tolerate? Please help! I want to save my marriage, but I am not as strong as I used to be. His addiction is ruining our lives.

You are a strong woman for

You are a strong woman for sticking by him through this. But I am in the same boat as him, I have been addicted since I was 14. I am 28 now and my wife of 8 years is expecting a child in three weeks and I want nothing more than to be rid of this demon. He does not choose the path of addiction just like I have not either. I have made a decision that I don't want to raise a child with the fear that she might catch me looking at things she should never have to see. I want to be a different man.

It sounds like he does too, and I think you have both come to the right place. Your right, the science-based approach here is what compelled me to start opening up, start blogging honestly. Until this website I never opened up about my problem and without any of the support I have found here, I doubt I would have made it to day 12 already.

It changes you, physically. So it is to be expected that there will be physical withdrawal symptoms as well. It can take a while, sometimes a long while, but from all the success stories on here, it is worth it.

If he has not already done so, suggest to him that he needs to open up about his experiences through the forums and blogs. Everytime I have an urge now, I log onto this website and post, or just read others posts. Eventually my urges go away. I even go to this website on my cell phone at work, to remind myself of what I am working towards.

I would never presume to tell anyone how to live their life and I can only tell you my story and help you draw similarities from there. It is your choice how to proceed but if he can make it through, even if your marriage cannot, he will thank you for changing his life around. There is a real person in there behind the addict facade. He knows it probably better than you do, and I am positive he wants that person back.

I feel your pain and

I feel your pain and frustration. I also know what it's like to be without a job for a long time and how that will mess with your confidence. I too have a college education and can't seem to find a job. Congratulations on finally finding one, I'm still searching.

I know how frustrating it is to be with a man who can't seem to get past a week. Mine has made it 8 days a couple times along with a few 5 days in between. I want him to just do it and get it over with but I'm realizing it's not going to happen that way. 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

As far as being angry. Mine is usually angry on the day he relapse. That along with a glazed look on his face is how I can tell when he does. Have you tried reaching out to him physically? I have noticed that when I hug him, hold his hand, rub his head and back, sit close to him, snuggle in bed he seems to be less angry. I know it might seem hard to do, especially when you feel betrayed but I have noticed it helps me too. We also tried karezza but unfortunately it ended with both of us having an O. We set an alarm for 10 min so we would know when to stop but ended up just shutting it off. We are going to try again so hopefully we can manage to not O and get the benefits of karezza. We are going to try to look at it as if our genitals are just touching and hugging each other, not about sex. Even though it wasn't successful we both felt a difference in how we felt towards each other. The not trying to O and just enjoying each others touch was amazing.

I hope that something I said helps. There doesn't seem that many people post under the mate area. It would be nice to hear some more stories about mates and how they are dealing with this addiction and what has helped them. I feel like I'm in the
recovery process too and need to know more about what I should do. It would also be nice if some of the addicts would let me know what they might need from us.

Good luck and continue to be strong. I do believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it's just going to take a while to get to it.

courtly companion

May I suggest that you consider finding a courtly companion on this site. For an explanation see

I am a recovering addict and was in this program with a woman in a situation very similar to yours. I believe we helped each other deal with our problems. We could vent to each other without putting the details on a blog for the entire world to see.

Whatever you do, remember you are not alone and you can rediscover the man you used to know.

Tough story but don't give up

I second the idea of getting a Courtly Companion (actually I'd love to talk to you, but I am male). I've been on this forum for around 6 months now and my life was completely changed because of it.

I have chosen to not have children (as has my wife). Our reason had more to do with our upbringing (long story). We considered adoption a couple of years ago and if we did it all over, probably would have had kids.

Porn is a tough thing for women to compete with once a man is addicted. What I learned from this board was to find something better than porn -- karezza. Karezza is amazing and brings couples back together (but both parties must want to do it). There are many reasons couples separate, in my case my wife was ill for a number of years so our sex lives stopped. Later my wife admitted sex had too much pressure. After trying karezza I actually agreed. Now we can't keep our hands off of each other (in a bonding and comforting way).

I strongly believe that people can only change if they want to. If your husband wants to change, then you have a fighting chance. The next step is re-establishing cuddling and comforting each other to draw your emotional connection back together. I think the tough part for you will be dealing with the highs and lows of your husband trying to recover/reboot.

You wrote a lot of information, but there is so much more to talk about and learn. It's great you are speaking up and looking for the help of others. My first suggestion is finding someway to make a emotional connection and get him to understand you are on the same team.

Other obvious things include a porn blocker for the computer ASAP, perhaps a frank discussion on your sex life (what you both want and do not want), and ways to cope with his melting down (or you to set boundaries on acceptable behavior by him).

Take care and keep writing.


First, my condolences to you for your porn-tainted marriage. I can only imagine the loneliness that you and other women feel in such broken relationships.

You said a mouth-full about your husband and the reasons that he gave for not wanting kids, his flip-flopping on the issue, etc.

However, you haven't said a word about why you want kids, and what you want from the experience of motherhood or from those would-be kids. Care to explain?

Hi OtherSide

Sorry for what you've been through. Sounds like you and your husband both need support. He needs a blame-free environment in which to heal (shame and stress promote relapse). And you need a place to vent with a lot of empathy. If this site doesn't prove to be the right place (due to the fact that there are so many men recovering here), have a look at the "For the Partners of Addicts" links here: It might be good to post at several places, in fact.

I lived through the reverse of your problem...and it was very uncomfortable, so I empathize. I knew from high school that I didn't want kids this lifetime. (I'm quite motherly in some respects, so I figure I've had lots of practice in other lifetimes. Wink ) A man married me thinking he would change my mind. Every birthday and Christmas I received a stack of baby and pregnancy books. Ultimately, our plans to buy a house together fell apart because he decided his commitment was dependent on my getting pregnant. The marriage fell apart, too. And that was good. He's now married to a pediatrician and they have three daughters. Smile

If your husband doesn't want to be a parent, don't force him. You also cannot force him to recover. If he really, really wants to, the chances are good that he can do it - but it will take time. You can help best by learning what behaviors best soothe you both. Have a look at this article: "The Lazy Way to Stay in Love"

If you want to learn about karezza, or gentle tantra, consider reading one of these two books:

For the record, Courtly Companions are *always* members of the opposite sex. The goal is to help each gender gain from the perspective of the other gender. They are not matchmaking connections.

Good luck sorting things out.