I found an article this evening that affected me pretty strongly. I’m going to list its major points and then deconstruct them.
How porn affects your relationships
1. Regular users of porn have shown greater difficulty or inability to become sexually aroused without pornography.
The last I checked I have had no issues with arousal. Since I’ve had zero sexual interactions since earl January, that might have changed. There has, however, been very little porn use since then.
2. Porn use causes users to lose interest and engages in fewer sexual experiences with partner.
I haven’t had any loss of interest for My Bride. She HAS, however, completely lost interest in me.
3. Each relationship is different, but some romantic partners of users may view pornography as cheating and a betrayal to the relationship.
This one is right on the mark. My Bride does see porn as cheating and as a betrayal of the marriage bond. That’s something I’ve known since her initial discovery of porn use. There hasn’t been any mystery there.
4. Users also demonstrate unrealistic expectations for sexual activities and behaviors.
I did demonstrate unrealistic expectations. She didn’t truly want a facial and I KNOW she didn’t like anal. Back then, I didn’t realize that. She had said that anal was strictly because she loves me. The facial thing, that actually might have happened organically a few times (or she was an incredible actress). There are 3-4 that specifically come to mind. On balance though, I put extreme expectations on her.
5. As a result of sexual expectations, partners of users feel sexually inadequate and threatened by pornography use. Constantly comparing themselves to porn stars can make people feel sexually inadequate or undesirable.
I am 100% certain she compared herself to porn actresses. She said that exact thing. Honey, I just can’t do some of the things those girls do and I can never measure up to them either. I know she tried to keep up with it for awhile. I’m pretty confident that she thought that if she could do what they do, I would be totally devoted to her.
6. Partner may feel that certain sexual activities desired by user, based on what they have seen in pornography, are objectionable.
This goes back to unrealistic expectations. I know for a fact that she thinks anal sex is objectionable. She’s discussed it with her sisters, I was there and half listening. I know she told them we had done it, but that’s all I heard. They all got really quiet immediately after. Oral sex, I’m not sure. She might not find it objectionable. We were dating when that first happened and there was zero prompting from me. This sweet, innocent girl just did it. She might find it objectionable know though. I know she said she’ll never do it again last fall after I disclosed. I just don’t know.
7. Both user and partner experience a decrease in relationship sexual satisfaction and emotional closeness.
Decreased satisfaction and emotional closeness? Yes and no and yes. I never list satisfaction, ever. I KNOW she did. Her O rate dropped, rather the time it took extended dramatically and I was never involved. Our emotional closeness was destroyed. She showed zero interest for me by the end of July (my birthday), and even less at the beginning of August when our anniversary hit. For the first time EVER there was zero action on those days. There wasn’t even flirting. I think we hugged and there may have been a quick kiss.
8. Relationship trust often decreases due to dishonesty and deception about pornography use.
Relational trust had been slowly dying from the very beginning of our marriage. It had been dropping our first 5 years. The past 15 was a downhill race to death. That’s why there were no romantic exchanges on my birthday or our anniversary. Trust was dead. There might be a faint pulse now which is very encouraging.
9. Both experience increased isolation and feelings of loneliness.
This last point is immensely painful. I had been in emotional isolation for some time leading up to disclosure. Quickly after, she informed me that she had been in isolation and felt entirely alone for at least 5 years.
What’s the point? Why are you dragging yourself through this again? The points are painfully simple.
1. We should have been communicating our feelings while these things were happening.I’d much rather have my feelings hurt then destroy my marriage. My Bride would have had to have been very careful in communicating these things to me, I was so explosive.
2. I should have confronted my addiction much earlier. It would have been nice had this occurred but it didn’t and almost certainly couldn’t. It took my life crumbling around me before I was able to admit my secrets.
3. It’s never too late to recover. 17 days ago I thought my marriage had ended. I had been kicked out and our trial separation was merely a formality so My Bride could say we tried everything. She wanted out and I was the cause. That’s what I was telling myself as I drove to Brother’s apartment. I didn’t even consider serious changes inside until that happened. I began changing. I wasn’t going down without a fight. If she was going to leave me, I wasn’t going to let it happen because I didn’t try.
I think it takes severe motivation for me to make changes. The day before my disclosure saw My Bride hit me with truth for the first time. I became on open book to her. The day after disclosure saw her in a catatonic state. My heart broke to see her like that. I knew this was far more serious than I had thought. The middle of January saw My Bride have a PTSD flashback. It took that experience for me to understand she wasn’t being over dramatic like I had thought. May 6 saw her kick me out. Not for porn addiction, it was for the way I had been treating her. It took my marriage speeding to the very edge of destruction for me to realize I had to change things and I had to change immediately.
What’s the point?
I have to learn how to be more attuned to the reality of our marriage. The days of me meandering through life and doing whatever I pleased, whenever I pleased are over. Marriage is a team effort. My Bride has carried me the past 21+ years. Her playing short handed ended on May 6.
I’m ready to get in the game and kick some butt.
I’d like to point out that I wrote an entire post without cursing.