Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I find that I'm stuck in a vicious cycle.  When Pete views pornography and practices self-gratification I withdraw my physical affection and shut down sexually.  Some of the reasons for this are obvious, some I am still discovering.  But the more our intimate relationship suffers the more he is tempted by outside sources for fulfillment of his desires. 

I am learning not to take responsibility for his actions. I used to believe that if we just had sex more often he wouldn't be interested in pornography.  I know that this is not true.  He has an addiction and I can't make it go away by forcing intimacy that is neither fulfilling or enjoyable for me.  He has damaged our intimate relationship and therefore it will take time and effort to repair that damage.  In the meantime he will have to learn to resist temptation and suppress his raging hormones because I refuse to have sex just to appease him.  This is not to say that I withhold intimacy out of anger and revenge.  I am trying to regain my desire and have a healthy sexual relationship in spite of his struggles.

I used this analogy the other night to explain to him how his episodes with pornography and self-gratification have hurt my self esteem.  He is the financial provider in our home.  He takes pride and satisfaction in knowing that he is capable of meeting my material needs.  He works hard to support us and give us a comfortable life, and is confident in doing so.  When he looks elsewhere to meet his sexual needs I feel robbed of my opportunity to meet those needs for him, the way God intended.  It hurts my self-esteem and self image.

My other struggle comes when my husband approaches me to solicit intercourse.  I find myself doubting his motives.  Is he coming on to me because his male body desires gratification? Or is he attracted to me, loves me, and longs for us to be intimate again? 

Getting past pornography to have a healthy intimate relationship is so difficult.  But I know that it is an important step to healing and ultimately will help us be happy and emotionally close. 

I have found a great source to help me.  The Marital Intimacy Show by Laura Brotherson.  She is straightforward and understanding.  You can get the podcast for free on iTunes.


  1. Good girl, you are not responsible for his actions. This was probably THE hardest thing for me. You sound right on track with knowing you need a "healthy" intimate relationship, that you are comfortable with.

  2. I have always struggled with intimacy and this comig to light escaladed my problem. Having VERY open dialogue with my husband has been the greatest help. Your analogy to your husband is exactly true and right. I feel you though, it's a definite struggle. Good luck to us all.

  3. I am currently struggling with this issue. I just can't even fathom being intimate with him after thinking of him viewing all this nasty stuff. If has made me feel less than adequate and like I must not be "good enough" and that saddens me so much. How will we ever be normal again and will having sex make him want to view porn again? He as been doing so well and I'm so afraid it will re-open the porn door. Is that a silly worry?

  4. Nothing in this battle is a silly worry. I have found the intimacy between myself and my husband helps him know that I love and trust him. It is HARD and something we are working on. Pornography has nothing to do with us as wives which is quite hard to believe but it doesn't. Pornography is an addiction, not anything related to our inadequacies or imperfections. I wish you the best. Talk with your husband as openly as you possibly can. This can and will get better!

  5. It is amazing how much we have been raised to use negative reinforcement. Our grandparents used negative reinforcement at times to raise our parents and they in turned used it to help us grow. For normal healthy people, negative reinforcement can help us when we just don't get it.

    But with an addiction, the brain of the addicted has been rewired. It interprets many different negative stimulus as a threat to survival. And it sees the addiction as the ultimate survival tool; a constant standby to any trouble that come up in life.

    The addicted person often does not respond well to negative reinforcement. What a great person you are to notice this and be able to change your attitude toward him and his addiction. He is very lucky to have someone help him out of the addiction.

    It's tough to not be negative during the recovery. But the savior was a perfect example when he made drawing in the dirt, very calmly. And said let those without sin throw the first stone.

  6. I'm also struggling with this. My husband told me from the very beginning of our marriage on how sex was supposed to be. This being things that made me uncomfortable or left feeling used or unwanted and mostly broken afterwards. I also caught him with pornography 2 months into our marriage so you can imagine the combination that made. Being young and foolish I did not know how to communicate to my husband about the "sex" topic and most of all how to communicate to him about how I was feeling about things. Mostly because I was very uneducated on the subject. It has been 4 years now, and he still has a problem, he still expects the same uncomfortable sexual encounters, and I'm still fighting for our marriage. We have two children, and have been to counseling for a year and very small progress has been made. I love my husband more then anything, and I want the best for him. But how do you get over a hurdle like this when sex and intimacy is such an important part of marriage and your relationship with your spouse? How do we deal with that, especially when it has become 'necessary' to do those uncomfortable things to even have intimacy? What do we do then?


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