My SO mentioned porn during sex

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Loveless, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    Hi Everyone,
    This is really more of a rant and a need to vent on my part. My husband and I have been making really good progress lately. With the help of our respective therapists and a real effort on both of our parts to make our relationship work, we have been doing pretty well.

    Last night he asked if I wanted to play around. We were just getting started and laughing and having fun, then he had to mention a porn video that he said he was reminded of by what we were doing. I know that he was just being honest and saying what came to his head. And truly, I'd rather that he be honest and not lie, like he did for years and years. Still, my thoughts were immediately pulled away from what we were doing. My mood went from playful and fun to crying. I was so upset that during our private, playful time, he was thinking about porn.

    At some level I understand that fantasizing is normal. And I'd honestly rather hear him talk about it than suffer his silent lies again. He apologized for being insensitive and said it wouldn't happen again. I'm so sad about this after all the progress we had been making. Not entirely back to square one, but I feel emotionally dead today.
     
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  2. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    I am the opposite my husband never thinks about it and I mention it... because it is on my mind.

    But I think that maybe to avoid this in the future he could tell you the things that could be reminders or triggers to porn? That way you don't do that position or act? I know for me I can't do something because of my own issues, and my husband is okay with it and we do other intimate things.
     
  3. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for your reply @AnonymousAnnaXOXO
    I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I wish we could just cut something out that would be a trigger, whether for him or for me. It is kind of complicated because what we were doing involved one of his mild fetishes that I enjoy from time to time. If we cut it out, he'll go back to isolating all his fetishes to obsessive porn viewing. He literally just accused me of being a puritan and said "everything" is a trigger for me, so you see where this is coming from. He thinks I consider him and his fetishes disgusting, when I was primarily upset that he seemed to be looking backward, talking about his old porn, instead of looking forward, which had become our motto for trying to define our post-addiction relationship. I guess I have to focus on looking forward again, even if I do it alone and he keeps slipping back.
     
  4. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    Is he flipping it back on you or gaslighting?

    I hope he can understand healthy sex without addiction. And fetishes, ask @Kenzi about, I don't know what to say about fetishes and recovery.
     
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  5. Hey Loveless,
    Similar problem here. My PA has just gone 30 days no PMO but doesn't understand why I just won't get over it. His logic is,"I'm doing the reboot - what more can I do?" and he's right.
    But what he's not doing is empathising. I've tried describing the opposite scenario to see if he gets it ("sorry darling, I'm not turned on by you tonight cos I've been frigging myself stupid all day over a chippendale. 'Fraid your normal body doesn't do it for me"). And he still doesn't get it. It's like his mind won't allow him in that space.
    For what it's worth, if my PA mentioned porn during sex, after all this, it'd be a sad illustration of, again, how he doesn't get it.
    The PMO addiction won't split us up. His lack of understanding will.
    I wish you the best of luck xx
     
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  6. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    @AnonymousAnnaXOXO , @TinaK
    Thank you both for replying. He's flipping it back on me. I'm apparently "cruel and manipulative" for crying when he talks about his favorite porn video during sex. According to him, it gets him in the mood so it is "natural" that he would think of it. From my perspective, after he hid his fetishes for years from me and isolated it to obsessive porn viewing, then got addicted to porn and hoarded 1000s of downloaded videos and while lying and engaging in other PA behavior, my attitude toward his porn and his relationship to it is going to be fraught with insecurities, hurt, anger, but certainly not fun or pleasure.
    And you're absolutely right, TinaK. What hurts most is the lack of empathy. This is what it all comes down to in our conversations. He thinks any emotion is "over the top" and "out of proportion" to what is happening. He yells at me to stop crying because it is "manipulative." What I'm not hearing is, "I'm sorry for being insensitive by bringing up something that has bad associations for you." Nope. It's "your thoughts are negative and unfair." I need to get back to reading about how to talk with narcissists, because that is clearly what I am dealing with. Absolute inability to see from any perspective but his own, in which he is logical and normal, and I am hysterical and overreacting.
    This, a thousand times.
     
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  7. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Right on! That’s why I left my ex the lack of understanding and he did the same thing “why can’t I just get over it?” If I brought it up he got angry. It could be that opening his heart and mind to that understanding would hurt him too much, so its better for him to avoid it and hope it goes away. If he were to understand, he would see how deeply he has hurt you and he does not want to, except he has to to move forward. The pushing down of feelings is also symptomatic of many addicts. As I have said, stopping PMO is the easy part, changing the addictive thought process is much harder. I hope he is able to do that. I cannot tell you how to reach him because no matter what I did I could not reach my ex.
     
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  8. That is totally abusive...how long can you last in a relationship like that??
     
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  9. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Its hard to understand unless you are in it. You start to believe that it is true. I was there, and from the outside looking in, its easy to say how could you stay? But when you are in it, you don’t see that. Then you have the PMO addict convincing you that it’s your fault that he PMOs, and that you are not being “supportive” enough of his recovery.
     
  10. self healing

    self healing Fapstronaut

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    The thing is, if he's really tackling his porn addiction, he shouldn't be entertaining thoughts about pornography as well as not watching it. By fantasizing about porn, he's reinforcing those neural pathways he created that makes his brain think porn=sex rather than real woman=sex. Does his therapist know anything about porn addiction? If yes, they're the exception. Even if the therapist does know, your husband could be lying to them. BTW, I suspect that when he's calling you a puritan, it's to protect himself from his feelings of shame over his own preferences. Just because you have likes and dislikes does not make you a puritan. You can easily go down the rabbit hole with that one.
     
  11. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    He has two pre-formed narratives about me that are very damaging. One is that I am censorious and puritanical and have very rigid ideas about what is "right." The other is that I am uninterested in anything that he is interested in, and am condescending and insulting about his interests. Both of these have the same thing at their core: I am disapproving and dismissive. I think both of these say a lot about his own shame and insecurities. Today I called him out on one of them, right as it was happening. He said I said "nothing" when he was showing me some items on his desk, and used this as ammunition in an argument about how I don't take interest in anything he likes. But I distinctly remember asking him two genuinely curious questions about these items, and when I mentioned that, he realized that his pre-existing narrative about my dismissiveness pushed out what happened in actuality. I told him to stop punishing me with his invented bullshit. He did not like being proven wrong, but had to admit that I was right and he is doing some very damaging stuff in our relationship. I am getting very tired...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  12. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    I agree. That's why I was so upset. I thought we had moved past this. His therapist knows about his addiction and has offered some very supportive suggestions about how and why it is important to retrain his body and his brain. As we get further along in the process of moving away from the worst of the PA, I (and and my SO too) are learning more and more that he has some very deep-seated issues around shame and his relationship with his father. They have all been coming out, some of it in the form of his criticisms of my "puritanical" and dismissive attitudes (a way of displacing his frustrations onto me in place of taking responsibility for his own feelings of shame, and especially his fear that he is not normative). This is some very deep and heavy stuff, obviously, and I am very grateful that he is seeing a therapist. More and more I am convinced that therapy and an accountability partner who is not a spouse are absolutely necessary in order to do the hard work of getting away from PA and getting back on track to a workable relationship that is not fraught with secrets, resentments, accusations, etc.
     
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  13. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    I'm following up here because I spoke with my therapist about these pre-formed narratives that my SO has about me. She said they both show that my SO fears he does not have appropriate limits on his behaviors. Because of his fear of his tendency toward addiction and obsession, he puts me in the position of disapproving censor. Whether he realizes it or not, he needs me to play that role (even though I reject it). By doing this, he absolves himself of responsibility for his obsessions, or fears his inability to keep himself in check. He makes me the one who upholds the limits. This was a very interesting insight that I'll have to remember, and I have to learn to intervene when my SO puts me in the disapproving censor role. As long as he does this, he is showing that he is afraid of his own obsessive tendencies and possibly not learning to take responsibility for them.
     
  14. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    What are appropriate limits for porn use and masturbation for him?
     
  15. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    Right now, he is not using porn or engaging in any PMO or MO. He has said that as long as we are together, working on our relationship and enjoying each other, PMO is off the table. He sounds a bit resentful about not being able to look at porn (just looking without MO), but he knows that this is what our relationship needs at the moment. I know he's relapsed (he's admitted it to me) and he knows I'm unhappy about it. We're a work in progress...
     
  16. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the update. It does sound like he does not want to do it and he is just doing it for you. Which is why he was resentful about it, my ex was very angry for that exact reason. I hope he can get past that and see its good for him as well. He says As long as you both are working on your relationship, and enjoyingeach other there is no PMO? To me that sounds like a person using words that he knows will get him out of a situation if he does slip up. Example, him to you “I was no longer enjoying you, so I PMOed”. Or I did not feel like you were truly working on the relationship, so I PMOed.
     
  17. Loveless

    Loveless Fapstronaut

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    The relapse (which was looking at P, not PMO), happened when I was traveling for work. I think it isn't so much excuses about my behavior as perhaps wanting to look, and doing only when I'm not around.
     
  18. He needs to be trying to recover for himself first and foremost. If he's doing it for anyone else, then his heart can't truly be in it and neither can his effort. Once he is working on it for himself honestly, then others around him will naturally benefit.

    He also needs to understand that he is not the only one who needs to heal. You have your own set of challenges ahead which you will need to both work on together and alone. But if he thinks he's the only one who truly is being put upon, then he needs clarification on how this affects you.

    His behavior and words do indeed sound inappropriate - especially when he is turning things back on you. As a PA myself, I can tell you that it is an embarrassing and difficult thing to try to recover from. I made poor choices, continued to lie, and generally did not approach things correctly at the start. As I progressed, however, I was able to become more vulnerable with my wife and that led to a great improvement in our approach. We are not perfect yet, but we are always getting better. So while your partner did exhibit what I feel was very poor behavior, remember that this process is sometimes two steps forward and one back. Sometimes we (as PA's) make mistakes and learn from them. Only you can evaluate your overall progress with your partner and determine whether this behavior is a real sticking point, or a mistake that can be learned from.

    Regarding 'porn in the bedroom': I think it was completely wrong for him to reference a porn video and I think your reaction was completely realistic and appropriate. There is no need to reference porn videos during moments of recovering intimacy.

    Part of what scares me about my future is not knowing what I will be like as a sexual partner when I am healed. Specifically, I'm talking about what I will enjoy doing in the bedroom. Will I be happy with a few positions? Will I want to play around with role play, light bondage, toys? I have no idea at all and that's a little weird. But I've had my addiction all my life, so I don't know what I will honestly be into. (But I also look forward to the fun and excitement of exploring.) That being said, when I am better, my attention will be 100% on my wife at the time. I will (and do) want to do anything that she wants as long as it does not cross moral boundaries for myself. And I will ask her to do things for me with the same caveat. (Because if we are honest with ourselves as humans who enjoy pleasure, having just a little bit of selfishness is okay.) I look forward to exploring with her and finding what works for both of us.

    That being said, I will never reference having seen something in a video that I want to try. If I want to try something, it will be because it genuinely interests me. And only when I can keep my mind 100% clean, 100% of the time with her. She and I have talked about this very issue. We have discussed about bringing things into the bedroom that I've seen elsewhere and how I will be able to distinguish between what I like and what I think I like. And so until I am better, it's not safe for me to explore very deeply.

    Have you explored the idea of putting filters on his computer/phone and having the software report his searches to you? That was a huge first step for me in moving forward. It helped me mostly rid myself of porn (addicts can sometimes still find a way). Then I had to start answering questions about YouTube videos I was watching (I have since blocked that site) and Google Image searches I did (I lied about that, pissed her off, and have since stopped those searches). That might take the onus of being a censor off you and onto an inanimate piece of code.

    I wish you sincere luck in your work together.
     
  19. Excellently written comment @BreatheDeeply .. Your exhortation about the PA having to own his own recovery -- spot on!

    And, I love how you describe "when I am better" -- looking forward to figuring out what healthy sexuality looks like for you and your wife....you put it so well, something for me to ponder about and focus on. Thanks.
     
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  20. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Maybe. So if you did not travel for work, he would not be alone and he would not have the time to look and would not look. So when you go on work travel you have to worry if because he’s alone he’s going to look at P?
     

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