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How My Husband’s Porn Obsession Outlasted Our 30-Year Marriage

By June 4, 2018 No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

We received a story that shows what a real struggle pornography can turn into. The following story shows how porn can isolate, consume, and eventually even destroy friend and family relationships.

We were in high school when I first met my future husband. He was my first serious boyfriend, so obviously, I had no real experience. He came from a nice family in our town, and I was determined to have a fairytale life with him.

Since we started dating at 15, I didn’t know what was really appropriate. Even then, I felt I was fulfilling his porn fantasies, and he treated my body as “parts.” I thought it was just him being a young guy. I remember the first time we were alone at his house—in his bedroom—and I saw the giant bag full of porn magazines. He said his mom knew and didn’t care, she just advised him to hide them when his younger nephew came over.

We did the usual high school stuff—went to dances, football games, etc. Then there were times we snuck into the X-rated movie theater with other teens. I was very uncomfortable with it, but that was my first exposure to sex.

Porn as the third wheel

We were married by age 20. Our honeymoon included him bringing porn magazines. Almost as soon as we were married, it seemed he lost interest in me physically. But he always had porn around.

Our first Christmas together, I innocently asked for a Polaroid camera. He obliged, and immediately used it to take nude photos of us. I even got sick with the flu on Christmas morning but that didn’t stop him. It’s not what I had intended the camera to be used for, but I loved him and wanted to make him happy. We were one of the first people we knew to get a VCR, and the first thing he did was go out with his buddy and bring back some porn videos. I wasn’t happy, but I went along with it.

Related: My Husband Has Chosen Porn Over Me For 16 Years

Even though I’m an attractive woman, I never felt attractive to him. I felt nearly invisible. Our sex life was lackluster and never initiated by him. There was never any passion or true intimacy.

We had two children and he was a good provider, but once we had kids I saw porn in a new light and no longer allowed it in our home. So, much like an alcoholic, he would hide it.

At one point, he worked with a bunch of male co-workers, and they had their own “porn club” in which they would swap magazines through the office mail. I would find piles of magazines in the trunk of his car. I didn’t know what to do, so I would just throw them out. He was our son’s scout leader, basketball coach; to the outside world we seemed like the all-American family.

Then the internet came.

Fighting against the rising tide

As soon as we got the internet, there simply was no way to combat the flood of porn that was able to enter our home. On a major wedding anniversary of ours, I got up in the morning to find he’d accidentally left a print out on our kitchen counter of a graphic sex act he’d downloaded off our computer. I wondered if there were other times he had forgotten but our sons found it first instead of me. I’ll never know.

From the browser history on our computer, I was shocked to see his tastes were becoming more and more extreme. Still, I talked to no one about any of it.

Related: The Science of Betrayal: The Real Trauma Behind Having A Porn-Addicted Partner

I suffered from bouts of depression, even attending therapy, but I never connected my depression or our relationship difficulties to the porn; I barely even mentioned it to the therapist. I still thought this was something all men did to some extent, and had no clue how devastating it was to relationships.

After many years, my husband became a workaholic who was advancing in his career, leaving me to take care of the family by myself. We were very dependent on him, but still felt alone. He became a top executive in his company and moved deeper in professional circles, and that’s when he started having the affairs.

Related: Is Watching Porn The Same As Cheating On Your Partner?

Looking back, I realize there were signs he was cheating on me before we were married and then into our marriage, but I couldn’t allow myself to believe it. He would always deny it, and frankly, since he never seemed to have much of a sex drive, I dismissed the idea.

The separation, and a reason for his obsession

We eventually separated after I made a major discovery about an affair. He then admitted that he was sexually abused as a preteen. The abuse involved older teens and pornography, he said. He went to counseling and we tried to reconcile.

Finally, I discovered a year’s worth of bank statements in the trash in our home office, and saw numerous charges to not only porn sites, but swinger sites where married adults can hook up. We hadn’t had sex in a couple of years at that point, so he claimed he needed it for “emotional release.”

We divorced just shy of our 30th wedding anniversary. He remarried 2 months after our divorce, to a woman I had suspected he might be seeing. Our family—and my teenaged fairy tale—was officially torn apart.

Related: How Discovering My Partner’s Porn Secret Pushed Us To Fight For Our Marriage

I joined a support group for family and friends of sex addicts and it was a such a great help. My sons were completely blindsided by the divorce considering my ex-husband and I kept our issues private for so long.

Although we’ve all moved on with our lives, my sons will never have the family holidays the way we had them before. My youngest son battles anxiety and depression, I had to sell our family home, and I now work two jobs to barely get by.

Fortunately, I’ve met a wonderful man who has helped heal my heart. The family we were, the family I gave my entire adult life to, is forever broken and gone.

This is real life, this is how pornography eats away hopes, dreams, and lives.

– K.

Why this matters

We applaud this Fighter for her honesty. While their relationship did not outlast the porn struggle, sometimes, partners can be pushed to fight for each other despite an obsession. It all depends on the couple, and whether they’re both willing to fight for the commitment.

We get thousands of emails and messages from partners all across the world who describe how their relationship was torn apart by their significant other’s porn habit. Porn kills love is not just some catchy slogan for our movement, it is the reality. Research shows that those who consume pornography have a much higher tendency to objectify those around them and to be more critical of their partner’s body, looks, and sexual performance. How is that healthy for a relationship?

Porn is, at best, heartbreaking, and at worst, downright destructive to relationships. Thankfully, real love and mutual determination can have the power to work through the damage porn can cause in a relationship. But both partners have to be all-in; in this case, it was clear that they both didn’t want the same things.

Our mission since day one has been to shine a light on the real harms of pornography and make this issue a hot topic, not some awkward or hidden conversation. By being open about the harms of pornography, we can change attitudes and perceptions about this new drug in our society, and how it’s affecting individuals, relationships, and our society as a whole.

Fight for real love, and fight to change the world.

Bloom For Women

If you or someone you know has experienced betrayal trauma, there is hope. The damage that has been done can be repaired, the pain can be healed. There is a wonderful resource called Bloom that helps women who have experienced betrayal to heal, strengthen, and grow past the broken trust and trauma, all with professional support, educational resources, and an empathetic community. Bloom is one of many great resources that Fight the New Drug recommends for anyone women looking to find hope and healing through pornography addiction. Learn more about Bloom at bloomforwomen.com.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

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Show support for this brave woman and SHARE this article. Spread the facts on the harmful effects of porn and help to change the conversation about porn in society.

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