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#65503 - 04/15/03 02:37 PM Need help confronting spouse over internet use
wifenneed Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 91
Loc: Michigan
I need some advice, from anyone. My spouse has been viewing things on the internet. He clears the history but I can find the files which shows where he has been, and how long, etc. This has happened only a few times, a handful, but it still concerns me. He is far more religious than me, and most conversations we have ever had regarding porn he says makes him sick, it is wrong, refuses to look at things even on TV when they get to be too racey in language, dress, etc. I am very confused. I don't know how to ask him about this. I don't want to come off as saying "hey, I know you lied to me about being on the phone the other day, you were on the web and I know where you were"....That would not be great for the trust factor, but I don't like being lied to either, for whatever reason. We seem to have a healthy sex life. To be blunt, we have made love in the alternate fashion (I'm too shy to say it any other way) a few times, and I enjoy it however I don't want it that way every time, don't want to hear him verbalizing about that way every time either. I feel like a trend is starting which has never been there before, and I don't know what to do. I don't want to be confrontational, I am afraid he will clam up and then feel like he can't trust me. So far our love life in the bedroom has been mutually pleasurable, but I feel funny, and don't know how to ask. How do I ask "Is this reminding you of something else?", "are you reliving things through me?" (I definitely don't want that), or what? I'm confused about him saying that porn is despicable but then there a few web sites are in my registry, big as life and making me feel nauseated.

Sorry all - I am new at all this, we have only been married less than a year. He has had counseling in the past (8+ years ago) and really is a joy to be with most times. I am just a little scared about things. How do I know if he is enjoying things, he seems to be? He is attentive to me and is loving, never hurtful. I don't want to hurt him by encouraging behaviors that may trigger unhappy things. Any advice, experience would be greatly appreciated.


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#65504 - 04/15/03 04:20 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
I suggest that you discuss this whole matter with a "therapist near you." There's a whole lot to explore in the situation you present. The men (and women) who visit here can offer support, but I think you would benefit most from one-on-one sessions with someone. S/he could help you to put your observations in perspective and support you in any eventual confrontation of your husband.

None of this is easy.


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#65505 - 04/15/03 06:42 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wifenneed
That's a genuine 'rock and a hard place' decision, not one I would wish on anyone.

My only thought is that you need to show and prove ( somehow ? ) your trust in each other.
The chances are he doesn't really want to look at the porn, or lie to himself and you.
And sometimes the seemingly small things, like porn that so many people use openly and admit to enjoying, are the very things we hide the deepest.
Because porn has that kind of image with some people, and is so easily available, it 'should' be the easiest thing to give up.
I always had a "hey, I can take it or leave it" attitude to porn. But I had great trouble taking it - it made my acting out worse, and even greater trouble leaving it.

I hope he finds the courage to tell you.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65506 - 04/15/03 09:22 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
taipan Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 57
Loc: CT
Wife....I am very sorry for you to have to find this. This issue is very close to my heart. Let me explain: I am a SA survivor; I denied my CSA was affecting my life and refused to seek therapy for 28 years....even though my wife was screaming for me to do so.
For some reason (and I still am not clear as to why) I, off and on, viewed porn on the internet. To make matters MUCH worse, my wife had breast cancer twice and no longer had breasts (she has since had reconstruction and feels much better about herself). She found the cookies from the porn sites in the Windows folder. She was hurt and devastated, and it shattered what little self esteem she had left. I today can not express how sorry I am that I hurt her in that way!
Now, I too HATE porn, I think it is disgusting, and abusive towards women, yet I was almost drawn to it (at times).
I guess what I am saying is that your husbands porn viewing is not necessarily a trust issue with your marriage, but more of a SA issue with your husband. Like me, he may not understand why his is doing it, and like me he may feel very guilty and ashamed of it.
I am not at all sure what you should do (SORRY!!), but I hope my experience helps you in some way.
Best wishes, Ed


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#65507 - 04/15/03 10:39 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ

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#65508 - 04/16/03 12:03 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Wifenneed,
I agree the best way to handle this is with one on one with your therapist.
Just from my yrs of experience of living with hubby2 (btw we both are SA survivors & he is an admitted sex addict)...
I know the sickening feeling of 1) searching to find out what he is hiding 2) finding what I already knew he was hiding 3) feeling as if I was not enough 4) wondering WHY if our sex life "seemed so normal" he looked at that sh*t

For me I felt more often that it was a personal attack against me as not enough of a female for him. I personalized everything he did against myself from saying to myself I was too fat, too bossy, not good enough to please him, etc...
then I would in turn add insult to myself by telling myself he had no reason to trust me as I did not trust him either --
I went so far as to spend the hours he was working the kids were at school, scouring the house, garage etc looking for ANYTHING to prove he was lying (which he was known for) and cheating on me... but over time I think he sensed I was over zealous in searching to prove he had broken the boundary of our spoken rule of NO PORN .. We have daughters and I was adamant that women NOT be sexualized in any messages sent to them from us. He just got better at hiding it and I just got better at finding it. We NEVER spoke about checking up on each other or not trusting each other.
I even went so far as to TRY to look at the sh*t with him, thinking erronously that it would help remove the desire he had to look at it.
When the melt down happened in our relationship he came clean about the use of the Porn and Masturbation. Along with his indescretions of prostitutes etc.
I happen to be a very blessed woman these past few weeks because of that awful meltdown. Hubby2 got into therapy and joined a sex addicts anon. group. AND we found this Site.
It has not been easy, we split & still live apart but both of us are working very hard on our issues. We've talked about marriage counseling but neither of us have pushed that issue yet. (we're great procrastinators too btw).
I can only add that we see different counselors for our issues -- thru his sharing of his sex addicts group learning we are building trust between us AND I am learning soooooo much from that and this site. Not just about his addiction, or what it is like for a male survivor of SA, but about my own self too.
I want to send a message of hope to you, that this is a situation that can be worked through for both of you. And I geuss I can only reiterate the original thought to get help from your therapist with this one.
Please post again and let us know how this progresses --- I would like to know other & others ways to handle this would be -- I was a screamer, pointer, blamer, self blamer, etc... and now I know that it was up to Hubby2 to come to terms with his issues at HIS rate of Speed , not mine.
You're not alone....
Peace, Wifey1


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#65509 - 04/16/03 02:16 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
wifenneed Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 91
Loc: Michigan
Thanks wifey1-

I wnet home yesterday, he had been home all day (sick), but had managed to be online a few times, and he has now learned to clean the history out and the files, they were all gone. I was put out but tried to hide it, but asked why everything was cleaned out, to which he said when he was in Yahoo porn keeps pooping up, etc. This makes me sick to my stomache, I couldn't sleep last night, but I tried to pretend I wasn't feeling what I was feeling. I had showed him innocently enough how to clean up the files a week ago because he said something popped up, and wanted to be sure it was removed from history in case the kids see something by mistake. They are too your, only 3 and 5, and do not go on the internet. I am trying to put this out of my head, but each time I open explorer and see the history and the cookies gone, I get freaked out! Especially from someone who says porn is a no-no (religious convictions). Is seems totally hypocritical, it is I guess. I had a prior husband who watched late night TV and someporn movies, even tried to watch them with him but I just can't get excited about it, but if it is sort of tasteful I don't mind. I just feel bad in that he is hiding htis from me. I am going to let this drop for now, and see how much more often he cleans things up, and then I don't know what I'll do. I'm not in any therapy at all, neither is he. He had therapy years ago, over 8, but none since. I have never had to deal with anything like this at all, until meeting him and having him disclose to me his abuse, which was a huge thing for him to do, and he did it very early on in our relationship. I try to be non-confrontational about everything, even to the point of just letting him be for days, until he comes back around and can talk, interact. I never push and I know he apprecitaes that about me. But it is so very hard......

I just wish he'd be open about it, I feel like a shmuck looking for clues of this kind (porn).

I guess I'l wait and see, and then if I continue to struggle I'll tell him that I am thinking of counseling for myself, to help me deal with the isolation and anger I sometimes feel about him being withdrawn, and this continual porn "popping up" when he uses Yahoo. Funny thing that never happens to me when I use Yahoo \:\( ........ Why do I feel so nauseated about this. I know I'm attractive, a good wife and mother, a good partner in all things. I wish I could figure out why I'm so upset by this. So what if he looks at a few pictures. Why am I so threatened by that? Sometimes I feel like I'm the one with the problem. He seems to handle things very well, only needs quiet time to work it out in his mind. But then this came up and now I feel like I am an object too, but it's by my own doing I suppose. Now any reference he makes sexually, on the phone from work or whatever, makes me edgy. Maybe it is just me.

Thank you all for your help and advice-

Confused and feeling sick.


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#65510 - 04/16/03 03:28 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
Whitecat Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 7
Quote:
Why do I feel so nauseated about this. I know I'm attractive, a good wife and mother, a good partner in all things. I wish I could figure out why I'm so upset by this. So what if he looks at a few pictures. Why am I so threatened by that? Sometimes I feel like I'm the one with the problem. He seems to handle things very well, only needs quiet time to work it out in his mind. But then this came up and now I feel like I am an object too, but it's by my own doing I suppose. Now any reference he makes sexually, on the phone from work or whatever, makes me edgy. Maybe it is just me.
I think you are asking yourself some good question here - but to get the answers you may need to get some outside help in the form of a therapist


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#65511 - 04/16/03 08:19 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wifenneed

Quote:
Why do I feel so nauseated about this.
Is it the lying, or the porn ?

Looking back at my experience with this I felt worse about being found out by my wife than I did about the actual content of the porn, if that makes sense ?

The 'macho' part of me, always a big part back then, created the image that porn was something that was there, to view like an adult, take it or leave it, I was cool with it.
The reality was I was addicted to it, ashamed of looking at it, ultra secretive about it ( this was after I'd discussed my acting out and giving strange men BJ's ) dependant upon it and far from cool woith it !!

Somehow it was a worse secret than anything else in my SA because I somehow saw it as something that could be considered normal by some people but I was using in an abnormal way that was out of my control.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#65512 - 04/17/03 03:47 PM Re: Need help confronting spouse over internet use
wifenneed Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/20/02
Posts: 91
Loc: Michigan
Thank you Dave for your reply-

Perhaps all I need here is a good dose of self confidence. I was trying to think of what my real fears are here. In most all other respects my husband is the epitome of what I want in my partner-caring, conscientious, thoughtful, attractive, loving......(not possible when the black moods strike, every few months for about a day or two). Then this sort of secretive behavior I found out about changed something for me. Maybe it took him of that perfection pedestal I had him on. I don't know if it is a female thing or not for me as a woman, being able to "take or leave" porn. I guess I am naive in that I think men get greater stimulation from it than women, because they are more visual in the fist place???? I consider myself to be a very visual person though.

I know porn is acceptable to some, not to others. I have my own limit on what I feel is acceptable content wise, but where is the line drawn for me in that I do not want him to partake of certain things? That is his choice, not mine. And if he respects my needs,and he always does in the bedroom, then perhaps I should not take offense at his internet viewing. I just wonder about him visiting a particular site, which to me I thought would be triggering for a survivor. I'm too shy to go into it here I guess, and don't want to offend anyone or trigger anyone. Perhaps being able to have a sexual relationship with me that he hadn't experienced with his former wife, and only had experinced himself through great pain and humiliation(because I find it a pleasurable experience), is a healing thing for him?

Well I think I'm becoming too cryptic now because of embarassment, so I will sign off.

Thanks all for your posts, they help a great deal.


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