Wife needs suggestions

Submitted by GoodWife on
Printer-friendly version

My husband and I have been together for 15 years. The first 7 year of marriage where horrible because he was always out partying with his friends, but after some counseling, the last 7 years have been relatively good. Last week he dropped a bomb on me. We are pretty strong Christians. Porn has been a real problem for us a few times in the beginning of our marriage. It made me feel not good enough and like he would rather look at those girls than me. Also he had a couple of girls in particular that he would fantisize about and watch their movies over and over. Through our time in counseling we had worked through those issues and he assures me he was done, even went as far as to put software on our computers. From time to time I would bring it up and he would assure me that he was not looking at porn anymore. Last week I caught him M in the shower. This seemed so crazy to me because we have sex almost every night and sometimes in the morning as well. After I caught him he would not talk to me for 3 days. I could not figure out what was going on. Finally he was ready to come talk to me and admitted that he has been looking at porn the whole time and never stopped. He new how to get around the software and used it as a way to keep me feeling secure. He said he would generally go a week or two (sometimes three weeks or even a month) and then he would binge on it for day's in a row. This would generally happen while I was out of town or gone to work. He would M and watch it at home, at work, in the car, where ever. He also admitted to me that he has been to the stripp club several times and kissed 3 girls and fingered one. (all of the girl incidents happed durring the beginning of the marriage, so it is old to home but new to me.) He wants a fresh start and wants to be free of porn and lies that sex has caused in our marriage. We are going to do a 90 day "reset" for both of us to heal and recover. I need advice on how to do this. The current plan is that he can't even have sex with me. We failed the first two nights but are going to keep trying. I need a plan of action. Can someone please tell me what to do here? How do I help my husband?

Also, it may need to be stated that although my sex drive is extremely high, I have some arousal issues. Do u think that could play into his porn problem? The sex we have is far from mild, and he has always told me how amazing it is. But naturally I think part of this could be my fault. I have gained weight over the years and feel horribly insecure. (This has really not been good for my issues with that) I tend to try to over compensate by being wild in bed.

Any advise, stories, or hope would be awesome. I will do what ever it takes.

That has to be

an agonizing place to be - I know because absent the porn, I've put my wife through this. So as to not make your posting sound like a diatribe, sent a PM.

couple of things

First, this really has nothing to do with you. Nothing whatsoever remotely to do with you. You could be the best woman in bed ever and it wouldn't matter.

Porn can in some guys be an addiction totally the same as drugs, alcohol or gambling. It is very difficult to stop.

A few things are needed.

#1, this has to be his deal, not yours. He has to do it for himself not for you. I really think that is essential. It's only a problem if *he* thinks it is. If *you* think it is, it's *your* problem and you have nothing to say in the matter, so you are really stuck! If you had never known he was looking at porn and masturbating, would you be blissfully ignorant? Probably...therefore this has to be something he owns himself. 

#2, the key to getting over addictions is lots of snuggling, non-sexual naked cuddling, eye gazing, hand holding. So called "bonding behaviors". If you and he really hook up this way, he can forgo having sex and you can too and you can discover a new level to your relationship.

My game plan would be for him to get rid of porn and mean it, and lots of snuggling and cuddling. He will find it helpful to stop masturbating also but again, this has to come from him and not be a matter of his trying to placate you.

If he does a reboot, that means no masturbation and no porn. Sometimes sex is fine, sometimes it causes cravings afterwards that are hard to deal with on his part. 

Is he willing to come here and post?



Read this article

It might help you reframe the problem.

Do You Need A Chaser After Sex?

There's libido and there's cravings. The later come from chronic overstimulation...which keeps demanding something hotter and more novel...and yet never feels truly satisfied...hence his porn use, no matter how willing you were. This is not about you. It's about his brain demanding more of the neurochemical that is released in response to novelty, seeking, forbidden (because he had promised you), "hot" and shocking.

Some of us here are playing around with a completely different strategy for finding sexual satisfaction. Instead of trying to satiate the insatiable, we try to give the sexual centers of the brain a nice relaxing vacation...until they become so sensitive that we can enjoy gentle lovemaking that satisfies without setting off a need for escalation of stimulation.

Trouble is...at first it's miserable. You're going through a sort of withdrawal, and desperate for kicks. And if you go for the kicks, you slow the return to increased sensitivity. Once you "cross the desert" you start to see the rewards.

Daily affection that isn't geared toward arousal seems to be the key to making it across the desert - and strengthening your attraction to each other at a deep level. Have a look at this to understand why: The Lazy Way to Stay in Love

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.


Thank you so very much for the words of encouragement and advise. For the last few days, each day we say we are goin to do the 90 days, each day he ends up tryin to have sex with me and I give in. I know I am probably not helping at all. I have tried to make the sex less "frantic" and slow it down a bit. What we have found is that if we are not in that frantic state, he can not stay hard. I have finally put my foot down and said that 90 days starts today with no exceptions. I think I just have sex with him now out of fear that if I don't he will start looking at porn again. I think he may be willing to come one here, but currently our counselor has banned him from the Internet. I do get on here and read some of the things on here though, this seems to be very encouraging to him. We are going to marriage counseling and he will be going to an individual addiction counselor. He agrees that the 90 days has to happen, not just for me, but to get him back to where he needs to be. I am concerned about the "naked cuddling" part. If he comes near me naked, he thinks it's go time. We have found that just cuddling in bed makes him go through the roof to the point he feels like he can't control himself. What are some good boundaries for our "cuddle time"? How do we know when enough is too much? As soon as he gets horny? He has shown interest in journaling, but doesn't really know what to journal about. Ideas?

I found that at first,

it was very helpful to keep underwear and a tee-shirt on in bed. I know it sounds crazy, but naked females are a powerful cue for male sexual response. Wink Give it a couple of weeks with a bit of "garb." By then he may be feeling calmer already. Then you can peel.

Daily affection...preferably his (and your) favorite non-erotic types of soothing touch are the key here.

Small steps

are what's needed here. A compulsive masturbation habit, with or without porn, cannot be reined in or halted quickly. it is good that you are doing both joint and individual counseling, my wife and I did the same over time. While I normally completely shun the common concept of leaving each other to address their own issues because ultimately, the situation has to be worked on together, with a compulsive masturbation addict, the addict does eventually have to take ownership of core problem(s). At times you may have to take "charge" or "control" of the bigger picture, because he's not going to be able to see clearly, and at times, you may not be able to either - and btw, I'm not using the word "control" in the negative way. A serious masturbation addict is where he or she is because it's gotten out of their control - they need the strength, help, whatever you want to call it, because they can't be trusted with their own body.

The "frantic" nature of it is likely also developed from his solo practices. Someone who does this and hides it from their partner, male or female, actually trains their body to be able to get the fix quickly - surprisingly quickly - to the point that something slower, gentler, quality, shared, won't get them the fix of orgasm.

I realize that most won't like the idea of having to regulate, or rein in/"leash" the problem. But again, when it gets this ingrained a habit, it's a total lack of ability to function/process things from day to day life stresses, anxieties, or even free time without sexualizing it. I had the same problem. Some days i still have it, and fortunately my wife has the strength and the motivation to help me beat the urges.

Journaling can be helpful, but a serious M/O addict does need to be supported - or, as much as I hate the term, "monitored" or "watched" - they'll get confused in their own head about getting frustrations or emotions out of their system versus being their own worst trigger.

LIke your spouse - although for different reasons - I also was unable to avoid associating cuddle time - clothed, semi-clothed, or naked, as anything else but party time. Cuddling may have to be something that you both keep a leash on at first, to the point where it's clothed or at least not total bare skin contact.

I'm not wanting to be discouraging or pessimistic on you, this can be overcome - but for an advanced M/O addiction, it's hard to make it 90 hours at first - 90 days may be unrealistic, and cause negative feelings towards each other because of setting the bar too high at first, with the resulting odds or expectations of failure.

And some days, you'll need to scream/vent/journal also.

sounds like you are 1/2 the issue right now

cuddling means cuddling. Having an erection is normal for me when I cuddle and we still cuddle, we do not have sex. 

We are pretty much having sex every other day, sometimes two days in a row, but on the snuggle days we don't have sex, period. 

So give up this idea that you will have sex with him when you are just cuddling, even if he sports a boner and even if he wants to have sex with you. 

You can always cuddle with underwear on. This is probably a good solution for now.

You can't cuddle too much. An hour is great. It really is the most wonderful thing. Probably both you and he are de-sensitized and will take a little time to really get into it, but it doesn't take that long and it's so awesome. It helps overcome addictions, bigtime.

But...I am not clear on the answer, is he really into quitting porn? Really, really into quitting porn? Or is he trying to please you mostly? I am still wondering about that. 


I believe he does want to quit.

He did not have to tell me about the porn, he told me on his own. (He could have just told me he was M and I would have never known about the porn). He has asked me to "lock down" his iPhone, put covenant eyes on the computer, and threw away a slew of movies in our house that he felt he would be tempted by. I have also found out that a year ago he went to two of his friends and asked for help with the porn (he was looking for accountability from Christian friends, neither one of them were very helpful.) We recently found out 13 yr old son has been looking at porn and this tore him up. I have seen some real signs of him making the initiative to purge his life of the porn. The last several times the porn problem reared it's ugly head, he never went full discloser with me, did not seek help, and even went so far as to put software on the computer that he knew he could get around (I don't think he could do that as easily with CE, but maybe I am wrong).