Porn and your Spouse

I have noticed a common theme while reading through many of these post.

A) Men with "ADHD Characteristics" are drawn to technology (TV, Computers, PD's)

B) Men with "ADHD Characteristics" tend to stay awake late at night, many post claim their spouse is on the computer "doing work."

C) Many of these post talk about how the intimacy in the relationship is gone.

D) Other problems persist because of the men being tired in the morning.

 

I would argue that this is a growing problem for all marriages, not just "ADHD marriages," and ONE of the main culprits is pornography. There is actual neurological evidence for how pornography changes the chemistry of the brain and causes severe damage to relationships. I am curious to how many of the problems mentioned on this board stem directly from people's addiction to porn? Men can be very sneaky with their addictions and hide it well (using the "invisible" mode on browsers, hiding folders, renaming files, etc). I do know that the excuse, "I can't sleep, I'm going to go read the news on the computer, or do work until I get tired," is a guise for many with this addiction.

The research on the harm of pornography does fit the description of many of the men described on this forum. I have seen where porn is discussed in other places on this site, and I would urge many of the unhappy spouses here to visit them. As for my intentions on posting in this resource section, I would have to say that Wired For Intimacy, by William Struthers is a good book for adults to read about how porn effects one's chemical makeup. It is a Christian book, even though i don't agree with his thoughts on the soul, but it is a good book for people of all beliefs.

Women contribute to the American Porn Crisis as well, by endorsing such movies as Magic Mike and books like 50 Shades of Grey. I could get on a soapbox as a father of two daughters about this issue and ramble for days. This is an issue, along with my struggles in my marriage, that I address in my own ADHD testimony, so I am well aware how different the two worlds are, and am confident that all men can overcome all obstacles to have a happy marriage if they desire to do so.

A marriage is much healthier when the spouses "only lust after each other." It's hard to achieve this in a pornographic society, but it is possible when the right motivation is found.

 

I understand your points.

Hello,

After reading your post, I think I understand your points (regarding pornography and it's effect on relationships). Due to the accessibility of so many forms of pornography (via the internet), it is almost impossible to enter any set of search terms and not find pornography in the results when using any search engine (unless you set the parental controls to high). I think it's highly destructive, the viewing of pornography, and (in my case) it lead to additional (more destructive) behaviors. I think I first became addicted to pornography via simply locating photos on the internet and using them as the basis for masturbatory fantasies. As it progressed (and I discovered additional methods), I found photo sets and then videos. By that time, I was spending time up late at night, doing what you mentioned. With the advent of pay per view - I was able to then view movies simply on the TV - which simply added to my ability to find a quick fix - and to escape from the intimacy of the relationship with my wife. The use of pornography has been an escape from reality, and has developed into an addiction. However, I took the cycle farther, and I began to engage in riskier behaviors. I began to go to strip clubs and drink and get dances. This continued until my wife discovered my activities. I then attempted to stop in a "cold turkey" manner. It worked for a bit, as I was desperate to save my marriage, but I slowly developed my addiction again. It initially began with viewing pornographic images and then to viewing video on the computer - then to TV (on demand) movies - and then I acted out and went to another strip club. I am desperate to end this. I cut off all of my access to pornographic material yesterday, and I am hoping that this will be the start of a successful turn around in my life. I don't think I have done this to hurt my wife, even though I know it has caused significant pain. It feels - to me - like I'm stepping out of my own body - and enjoying things from the persona of another person. That may sound quite odd - and it may be due to the fact that as soon as I get to a club - I start to drink heavily.

I am so desperate to control my urges, I simply don't want to do this anymore. I don't derive pleasure that comes anywhere close to the wonderful feeling of closeness that I had with my wife. I have a daughter, and I have told my wife that I will leave the house, if she would prefer, but she says that it's far more important for me to be in the house for our daughter.

Simply said, and it's not meant to justify or lessen my wrongs, but almost 98% of the time, I am a good father and husband, but it's the time I stray, which is once a year, that I simply blow it - and ruin all that I have worked to rebuild.

logicalfather's picture

growing problem

It feels - to me - like I'm stepping out of my own body - and enjoying things from the persona of another person. That may sound quite odd - and it may be due to the fact that as soon as I get to a club - It's not odd at all, and ANYONE with a weight problem should be able to understand it. No matter what intentions some people have, they can seem to almost black out, binge eat and then feel guilty. Your addiction is the exact same. 

You'd be surprised how many men are in your boat, and many of the spouses would be surprised that their husbands are hiding what you've so bravely confessed. The effects of porn have an effect on the chemistry of your brain, and really start to change who you are. The scary thing is how desensitized our children are becoming to porn, and how your confession will be the norm for many of them, keeping it well hidden from their parents and spouses. 

I can envision clearly a women wondering why husband does not pay her attention to her, the intimacy is gone and etc, not knowing that her husband is dealing with what you just described. 

It's hard to give advice on how to get over an addiction like that, because everybody has to find their own way. I address how I've broken my "ADHD trance" in a Christian Testimony that I'm praying may help some with similar situations, and I tell a lot of people about the Wired for Intimacy book by Struthers.

I suggest you just read, study and reflect until you find your path to overcoming it, because it sounds like you want to, your wife is worth it and your daughter deserves it!

Also, the movie Fireproof was GREAT, and addresses that issue. I highly recommend you watch that. Talk about a movie with the main character overcoming "ADHD Characteristics" with never mentioning the letters ADHD. 

I would start with getting your wife to put a filter on your computer, setting a bedtime, and force yourself to have the strength to stay away from those clubs. Decide who you are, what your beliefs are and develop into that man of integrity you desire to be. 

I wish you the best of luck. 

 

thank you for your reply.

Thank you for your reply.

I have struggled to overcome this addiction (for lack of a better word) to pornography and the other potential escalating aspects of detached behavior. I will read the book your mentioned, as I am looking for all the help I can gather. I have recently started to see a therapist, and I am hoping that will help. I think it is much easier to act out when one is detached from their spouse. It simply allows you to think - with the emotional (and physical) distance - the hurt will be less. That's so far from the truth. The pain is considerable, and the trust is so hard to repair. I have been "on the fence" in terms of my personal relationship with God. I attend church on sunday, and I teach my daughter about God and the bible, and about Jesus and his acts. But I haven't given myself over to God. I haven't made the "leap" to become close and to strengthen my relationship as I should. I know my wife is horribly hurt, and I am hoping that I can bridge the gap between her and I and that I can also bridge the gap and become closer to God.

I generally refer to my daughter as my Angel. She is the greatest gift God has ever given me. Just looking at her smile or just seeing her makes me know - God exists - and every second I spend with her is a true gift. I need to look at my wife in a similar way. To realize the beauty that God has allowed to enter my life through her as well. It's easier to find God in the purity of young children - but the Lord exists in all of us - and I simply have lost my way and my vision has become clouded. I have begun to consider 06/25/13 as the first day of my new life in God. I took the time to remove all of my access and accounts in pornographic websites. I will come to bed when my wife goes up - so as to avoid the possibility - but to also spend more time with her. There is something magical about a nice long chat in bed, and I miss that. I know - reading to a child at night is also a magical experience - as she drifts off into a world of sweet dreams.

I believe in the healing power of prayer as well. It is also very important to build a strong relationship with God. A dialogue with the Lord is something that can offer peace and calm in times of great anxiety, and that is so very important.

I thank you for your kind words, and I will work to become a better man, a better father and a better husband.

logicalfather's picture

I bet you do.

Good luck man. It's going to be tough, and you'll face setbacks. But just keep telling yourself that you want to be a man of integrity, google the books and do your own research. Talk to your preacher, get a group at your church to hold you accountable, just keep desiring to change and it'll happen. Your going to find your way. 

 

an update - the withdrawal has been difficult.

Just an update. It's been a few weeks since I cut off my access to internet porn and the viewing of all porn, and the process of cold turkey withdrawal has been brutal. I didn't think that there would be such anxious feelings as I went along this path - but it has been quite difficult. I think that the porn was almost a coping mechanism for not dealing with other areas of my life. It masked the issues - and I was able to drift off into a porn-induced haze. I no longer want that to be part of my life, but it has not been easy. I spent 4 days in the hospital psych ward, as I got my mind stabilized. I have a regular therapist now.

 

The damage done - to my relationship with my wife - will take time to heal. I have simply told her that I want to be close to her emotionally again, and I want to be a better man, and a better husband (and father). It won't be easy - to let me back in - but I am hopeful that she will allow me in. It's been such a long time of feeling so disconnected, I don't expect things to ever be the same (as they were when we were young) - but if she will allow me to be close - I won't make the same mistakes again.

American Porn Crisis? This

American Porn Crisis?

This battle has been waged all across this forum and I do not particularly wish to ignite another one, but talking about the crisis of porn is absurd. To suggest that there is something inherently, universally wrong with porn is factually incorrect, and nearly all of the research shows that it can be (and most often is) a healthy indulgence. It can be a tool used by spouses together to enhance their intimacy, but it can also be used by spouses alone and not constitute a problem. Only lusting after one another is to start an unrealistic expectation for nearly every marriage, but I guess it depends on your definition of lust. If a wife catches a glimpse at a calendar depicting the firefighters in town, is it wrong for her pupils to dilate at the shape of Mr October? I would argue no, and I would argue that that moment in time says only that she is human. We have eyes, we have specific tastes, and as long as a spouse honors the "rules" of their relationship with their partner, I have a hard time seeing that there is a problem. Most of the time those rules include making all areas of intimacy, both physical and mental, exclusive to the relationship, but this is not always true. It is up to each couple to come up with their own expectations and guidelines. Looking at something and getting turned on would seem to me to be largely unavoidable, and something that comes nowhere close to violating these usual set of rules.

If I went to the support forum for spouses of alcoholics, I would expect to find a similar consensus of opinion regarding alcohol. I appreciate the experiences here but they are individual experiences that are not representative of a universal truth. Porn and alcohol are in and of themselves no more negative than are romantic comedies and chocolate. It may very well be true that people with ADHD have a greater propensity towards using porn in an unhealthy manner. All this suggests to me is that ADHD people should keep that in mind just as they would staying up late and failing to exercise.

I grew up nerdy in the first digital generation. In the 90's I was what would now be called a "tween" strolling along the back alleyways of the internet before the general public knew there was an internet. Nowadays most every tween girl has seen everything under the sun, but back then it was a brave new world. Honestly I don't know how teenage boys got through all those years of (usually) not getting laid before porn was free and infinitely accessible. In my experience getting into a relationship crowds out any porn use, replacing it with the "real thing". Even if it continues, the extent to which it is unhealthy is the extent to which it bothers the other person. If I'm going to make some kind of subjective value judgment, I'd draw the healthy line in the sand at preferring porn over partner. I don't see a crisis until that idyllic world of lust takes precedence over actual intimacy.

Theres also another dynamic that might be good to consider. It is suggested that porn use comes on the scene and causes problems. This is certainly true in some cases. It could be just as true that porn use is an effect of a deteriorating relationship. Intimacy dries up, sex becomes rare and/or mediocre, and the porn use is seeking to fill that void.

logicalfather's picture

I disagree

I respectfully disagree with your post as a whole, and I do understand that people have different moral foundations which they work from. But I would argue the point about the research. Research is coming out in droves on the negative effects porn has on the brain and on relationships. Rather than debate this issue from the platform of personal experiences, I do hope that any who read through this post do research the effects of porn on one's brain chemistry. As with any topic there is research supporting both sides, so each person will have to decide which research is less subjective and holds the most truth. 

As far as only lusting after one's spouse not being realistic, that I can argue from personal experience, and the change has been magnificent in my life ever since. 

ladyesther's picture

I could get on my soap box too...

About porn use and how it negatively affects relationships and women's self esteem and body image.  It messes with your mind!  And it irks me that woman don't want to be objectified yet they are involved in the media scantily clad etc.  There are mixed messes towards young men.  Sex is about the heart not the body.  It's about how we feel about the person.  Remember was it little darlings when kristy mcnikols character had sex and she was taken back and said its so personal?  Porn teaches us to mental emotional detach from the person.  It is very selfish.  If the wife is not interested in sex don't you think a better approach would be to dive into finding out why rather than saying fine if you won't put out I will take care of myself?  I think the number one reason woman don't is because they are angry with their spouses but also the possibilities is low sex drive, headache lol.  What turns a woman on is knowing her not in the biblical sense!  But knowing her.  What she likes and doesn't like.  What makes her tick.  Act like you did when you were dating.  You were so interested in her!  She was your center.  You could not stop thinking of her.  She was your sun, your moon, and the stars.  You were passionate about her!  You think you know someone after years but you don't not because we are so deep.  Discover who your lover is and she will love you!

I agree with you.

I know what I've done is objectifying - and I need to work away from that. I think my obsessive behavior - centering on porn - and strippers - and continually accessing sites to get that continual rush - is not an easy thing to stop cold turkey. I am attempting to do just that. My wife and family - deserve nothing less. I know there will be bumps in the road as I work to rebuild my relationship. I will do anything to keep my wife and to bring her closer to me. My desire to be close to her is so strong - but my actions (in the past) have displayed a very different desire. I can't believe how I've hurt such a wonderful woman. I know - if my wife lets me in (in a figurative sense) - and we are close again - then I will be a very happy man - as she deserves the world and the stars!