I'm new here. I'll get to the point. I'm in a relationship with a man I care for and love very much; to the best of my knowledge the feelings are mutual. The beginning of the relationship was foul in that he was my counselor, and made a pass at me while still seeing me. He "kept" me for a while, until I earnestly entered recovery from drug addiction.Ten years later, I am self supporting with a great job and middle class acutrements.
I look at pornography. I spend less time lately than in the past, but have spent hours on end looking at and downloading pictures of gay, straight, bi, lesbian, bdsm, ect porno. I don't IM anyone anymore. NONE of it is of children. My partner constantly complains about my viewing of this material. He says he feels uncomfortable,disrespected, abandoned, dehumanized and humiliated. Believe it or not, I understand just how he feels, but can't stop looking at the stuff.
I want to blame our sexual life on my use of this "stimulating" material. In the past year, we had sex FIVE times. the five years before that were similar. Before the computer, (1998) I looked at vhs tapes. I always view this stuff in private, but sometimes he'll come into the room and see an image on the computer screen. I masturbate at least once a day, just about everyday. I have become comfortable with blaming him secretly for my behavior. As a rule I don't feel badly about my behavior, but I know it hurts him.
I feel I need my stimulation, and unfortunately must rely on myself, as I will not see anyone outside of my relationship, and I guess I'm not ready to end it, even though I have seen it for what it is, beginning to present. He is somewhat unaffectionate, while I am very affectionate. I usually initiate ANY sort of intimate interlude, and don't allow myself to really fell all of the hurt when I am (frequently) rebuffed. Writing abuot it now makes me sad. And angry. I'm reminded about how unworthy or worthless I have felt, when I would allow myself to be had for just a little "attention", like when I was younger.
Any identification with my plight, any suggestions you have are welcomed. Should I move on? Does anyone think couples therapy would be helpful? Should I just tell him (again) how I feel about the way things are going (and just deal with the guilt I have for speaking up)? How do I avoid feeling like I'm begging him to "treat me right"?