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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Porn & possible E.D. problem
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luckylove6 posted:
We've been married 10years with 3 kids(9,8,7). My husband is an only child who's father left when he was 6months old & at age 6-7 his single mother got sick with chronic fatigue, bi-polar, depression, fibromyalgia. He took care of her & himself even after step-dad came into their lives.. When his mom would get sick or in hospital he still had to care of because step-dad on weekends went/goes to bar. My husband about age 15 came home from school & find mom unresponsive with empty bottle of sleeping pills. At about age 16-17 husband & step dad got into argument & husband kept quite while step-dad yell & got more mad for him not answering then his mom smacked a ceramic vase over her son's head. Around that time frame husband began to look at porn & do phone sex calls & he never had a girlfriend until after he graduated. She cheated on him in his truck & he caught them & after began calls & chats & porn's again. Him & I met a little over a year later. He told me right away about his mom being sick & that if we would have plans or I was sick he would be taken care of her because step-dad wouldn't. The first time I got after a month of knowing each other his mom was sick too & step-dad was at bar, but my husband stayed with me even when I tried to force him to leave. We moved into together after a few months & he was not doing any of the sexual habits. We were planning to get married over the summer & 2 weeks before we got married found out we were having a baby. By end of of pregnancy he started to look at pics online: girls in stockings & hiding it from me. Went in spurts of this until about Christmas but just 3-4 weeks ago found out. He would at times get out of bed & go to computer & get off, 1 night I walked in on. We had a lot of money & me serious health issues about 4-5 years into the marriage. I over the past 2 years have gotten much better! Just moved away form his mom; my mom gave us her house 2 months ago. Been working on ground for pool since June9th, trying to unpack, he works third 6 days a week. He has been thrilled to move near my family, which is extremely large. Over the past 4 years living near his mom & now with the move has grown very distant from her, could careless to see or talk to her. Every time she called it involved money and how step-dad was threatening to divorce her because of something we did.This time of the looking at stuff I was ready to leave. He for first time cried over what he had done, said he had decided he never wants to do it again & needs me to help him. Since things have been wonderful with us, talking & we have worked out me wearing stockings to help fulfill his need. But problem; right after everything of me finding out, when we had sex i noticed him getting semi limp during sex but getting it back so i didn't say anything, then 2weeks on anniversary his mom called about money & 3days later we had time alone & for no reason i was up until 4am crying, when woke up had sex & in middle; it went totally limp. later he broke down& anxiety attack. We've been having sex once maybe 2 times a day with only 2-3 episodes of slight softness, regaining hardness w/out it interfering. Now we are curious if the limpness could be stress & guilt induced? We have began to wonder if his start of porn stemmed from mom since vase? Every time I got really sick he did the stuff & now I'm better & last time he tried to look at pics he could only get semi-hard.
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darlyn05 responded:
I didn't notice that you were asking for others thoughts or views concerning this. I have heard of S-Anon, for family members of those who have sexual addictions. Has he been in to see a Dr for tests, even for an annual physical? How about seeing a sex therapist?
 
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luckylove6 replied to darlyn05's response:
We were just this morning about maybe some type of couple's therapy. We need to watch what type of testing and stuff is done, due to job. He is the only one that works and it involves FBI clearances & such & any type of mental health issue & he will have his clearance pulled & loose job. We really can not afford that since I can not work and we have 3 kids.
Now I have been researching info while kids are asleep & he works. We go over everything I find. But anyways from what I understand & I am not totally sure but as a late teen he was addicted to sex & porn because of amount of time spent of the stuff. Now & for the past 10yrs it has gone in spurts of once maybe twice a year for just a few days. That I know for sure because until about 2yrs ago I decided to stop looking & checking so much, which he did not know. I was just sick of of finding he did & wouldn't tell me. Oh I guess point I should make is until our 1st baby turned 1 I would watch with him but then he took it to private which at first I just happen to find out by chance. All I asked was him to tell me, but he said he was ashamed after doing it. So the not telling me, getting out of bed once I was asleep to do it was most upsetting then because he went to just girls with stockings which is what he goes crazy over but nothing with guys. It hurt a lot keeping part of his life secret & when I would ask he would say no at first until I showed proof.
Bills, going to type in web address & one popping up then i researched it, got a thing in mail once, etc. So after while I started to check and put parental locks on stuff & checking cells even went to prepaid to watch. Our computer was hacked & bank account but the hack messed up computer with parental controls and would not let me in on parental side so had to take & get fixed, almost lost pictures from my dad's last X-mas. So I did not put as strict locks on computer. I noticed that somehow I always found out even if I didn't look for it so I just stopped driving myself crazy. This last one was done end of November & I found out beginning of July.
Now we've been talking & he seems to think that when he did the stuff was when he had issues with parents & not really so much me being sick. Inways I agree if I sit down & think about it. Also that he is like a kid still & just sits & listens to them yell or yack without saying anything at all.
So does this make him an addict?
He is very upset with how he hurt me this time & all these years & is actually very different. He asked me to put locks on cell phone, computer, etc. He does not want to loose me. Can this looking & getting caught this time with the guilt & me ready to sign divorce papers cause the slight loss of erection & once loosing it completely? At this same time dealing with that everytime his mom called it involved money & his dad threatening to divorce her, which inways she was blaming on him (my H). Also I guess when he tried looking in Nov. he couldn't get full erection (says he thought of me getting upset.
And then how likely that this strained relationship with mom (which he could & has for while care less to really see or talk to her) has in way triggered him to look at stuff?
Thank you maybe you or someone else might have more info or ideas.
 
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darlyn05 replied to luckylove6's response:
From what you've described my thought is that this is stress induced. On all counts, from the issues with his parents down to you feeling upset when he does this a couple times a year. I think there needs to be something done about the neglect and/or abuse from childhood, and your insecurity or esteem when he does this a 'couple' times a year.

Also, what he is experiencing in the bedroom with you is so very common, and it doesn't have to be age related. As I mentioned, stress factors. And don't discount physical factors such as high blood pressure, narrowing of the arteries, prostate, thyroid or heart concerns. A good and thorough physical examine with his PCP is a very good idea. It is nothing or very little to do with psychological or mental health issues.

If he is genuinely unable to go to counseling, why don't you go and take notes that you and your husband have written together with you?

In a nutshell, the pleasure chemicals our brain produces with pleasure is probably how he dealt with the neglect and or abuse from childhood, and in the same token is disrupted when and if you are becoming upset(heaven forbid you sort of act like his or a 'mother' to him in a scolding fashion) that remains on his mind while in the bedroom with you.

No, I don't think he's an addict. Yes, I think guilt/stress and you hanging divorce over his head can cause this. Yes, I think the strained relationship with his parents can trigger this.

Hope this helps.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to luckylove6's response:
Lucky,

Having had similar issues to your husband, i can relate to both topics. After examining the things i did to keep the porn hidden from my ex and how i was in denial of how much it played a role in my life. I came to the conclusion that i had/have a problem with porn. So much to the fact that just going onto the computer to look up a movie time or sports score, brings urges to look at porn. As for the ED i have had issues with that as well, given his job, i can clearly see how stress can be a major issue with this problem.

I, like your husband starting watching porn in my teens and as i got older the obsession grew. For me personally, there were other issues there, depression and self doubt the main ones. One of the things that happens when you use porn to "get off" is that you start to desensitize your parts, you get used to your method and that is what your body expects to feel during intercourse. Which we all know are two different feelings all together, but the brain attaches that stimuli(porn) to getting and maintaining an erection and it basically forgets how it was wired to think.

Over the past couple years i have began seeing a therapist for my issues and unfortunately there are many, lol. But dealing with my internet problem, has been the hardest thing to do. For me mainly its a way to forget about the stresses of life and i slip into my own little world, where ther are no problems. No issues with mom or what ever the case may be. I understand that because of his job it is hard to seek counciling, but would you be able to talk to the office and explain to them his situation and maybe use a psudonym? and dont use any insurance so it stays off of his medical billing history.

I do applaud you for being supportive and trying to appease his needs by dressing up for him, you have done more than most by just doing that.

Also, i completely understand how he feels when he says he feels ashamed of what he did. The next day or hours after, I feel absolutely horrible, because I know what i did is something that is holding me back. And by no means is it an easy conversation, it is hard for me to talk to my therapist about it and I usually have no issues telling her anything. But when i talk about porn, i see the look of disappointment on her face. And i agree with Darlyn, hanging divorce over someones head isnt a means to accomplish anything. If anything it will add more stress to your relationship, because he or the both of you might start walking on eggshells around one another.

I wish you the best of luck!

IC
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to darlyn05's response:
I have to disagree, the reason people get addicted to something is because they reach a point of euphoria. Him dealing with those earlier abuses by looking at "stuff" is how he dealt and escaped. Now, when someone gets upset or gets "motherly" toward him, he will react in the same way. They are called "triggers" and all addicts have them. Guilt/Stress very well could be triggers for him, along with many other things. Sadly, its a vicious cycle, because he feels ashamed for looking at the "stuff", but yet, looking at the "stuff" takes his mind away from what he feels ashamed about.

So when his brains starts to produce those pleasure chemicals, dopamine, etc. he reaches a point of euphoria or in his case orgasm. And im sure that the males in this group will agree, the first time is a pretty great feeling...almost euphoric.
 
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darlyn05 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
IC, Thank you for your input. I must have worded incorrectly, could've been clearer, or misunderstood the frequencies. And I do not have your experience either. After a very stressful week or what have you, some people will go out on a week-end and have an exceptionally good time. And I don't view them as being alcoholic. So I didn't/don't feel that addiction was all together fitting in this situation.

I hope the poster returns to read your insight.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to darlyn05's response:
Darlyn,

I understand what you mean, but there are varying degrees of having a "good time". Someone could go out and have a couple cocktails and unwind. On the other hand, someone could go out and drink a 12 pack or more to unwind. Some might say, the latter has a problem. Addiction is all about control, you thinking you have control over the substance/medium, but in reality the device has control over you. Based off of what the poster said and giving the past of the husband, is the reason i did suggest addiction. A crack addict, didnt go out looking to get hooked, he was looking for a good time. But because of the intense high you supposedly get the first time, they continue to smoke it, chasing that high. Most addicts look at their device as a way of escaping reality, so they dont have to deal with current events in their life.

But you are right, i shouldnt have labeled a complete stranger an "addict", but given my personal experience and hearing his story. I made the connection between the two of us, just because i have this particular addiction, doesnt mean that he does.

I hope they repost as well, sorry for any confusion.

IC
 
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darlyn05 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
IC, Your insight is very valuable. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
 
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luckylove6 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
Thank you so much for your input.
About the therapist we can get around by doing a couples therapy so that is not considered any type of mental instability & out his job on the line. Over the past few weeks we've been talking a lot & getting a lot better with some stuff. He is answering any questions I have or don't understand & we've been working on taking stressers out or trying to lower them.
I do have question for you because as he & I have talked more & more info has come out, which some was upsetting but maybe you have some first hand experience here too or advice. He also tried doing a few chat rooms & even would sign up for those social networking sites ex: Ashley Madison but never followed up on. He'd look around & then that was it. So the question; Is this other stuff part of it too or completely different?
With our talks he's (we) noticed that when he would go in spurts of months with doing nothing & then for 2-4 days do stuff, then not again for months. He said that it does seem to center around his mom. Do to the fact that from the day we met until we got married 8months later he did nothing but his parents (dad) was having fit about having two separate receptions for his family. His mom just sat there & we ended up with two, but he started looking around then. Then was fine after that was over until 1&1/2 later when we were staying with his parents & I had a breast reduction done, he started again. At this time we had been staying with them about 3 months & he still had to take the full 6-8 weeks off work because his mom kept asking how, what, when, etc about our son who was about to turn 1 at time. Other times were when I had another surg or bed rest & she would hardly help. The big one to notice was in july 2009 he had been fine since Oct. 2008. we got a house very close to his parents & I had a P.E. while I was in the hospital his parents never watched kids or did anything for food for him & the kids. My family who lived 35-45mins away & my dad just getting out of hospital for his blood clots, watched our kids and made sure they all had food to eat. As my husband pointed out even the 90 year next door sent her daughter to KFC to get food for them one night.
now since moving away from there & to wear I grew up he actually doesn't want to talk to her & when she called he gets all stressed out so the past 2 weeks I talk to her mostly & he's much better, though with this move i myself am doing much better & my family helps with watching kids or other things if I do have a bad day. But it seems like the exact triggers were if I was sick & his mom wasn't there to help or if a disagreement with his dad came up & his mom would say to him "you dad said ...... he's signing the divorce papers" & i wasnt doing well, he went looking.
He has cried & apologized like crazy for hurting me & states that he does not & will do it again. Which he has never shed a tear before this.
I am hoping & want to believe that this time is different then all the others & that maybe this is it.
 
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luckylove6 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
Well that's kinda seems to be what has happened here. And with his last time he said he could only get semi hard. Now I was doing a little better then, not as good now, but better than 4 years ago. Don't know exactly what that means.
 
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luckylove6 replied to darlyn05's response:
Thank you both so much. Sorry this last week was a little hectic & didn't get a chance to get on & check anything.
I really appreciate the advice, input, & all. It's a great way to help me look at things to understand better.
 
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luckylove6 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
Another question that I am curious on but not really wanting to ask my husband because he may not be 100% honest in fear of how I may react.
But when you look at the stuff do you picture the girl you are looking at the moment? Or would you picture your partner? Are you even able to picture your partner at all?
Now his big thing is thigh highs/stockings. That's what he looks for.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to luckylove6's response:
Sorry for the delay i was on vacation. Okay, so there is a lot to digest here. In regard to chat rooms, that is actually what got me started, it started out in highschool and it was innocent fun, chatting with girls my age all over the globe. But as i got older and more attatched to the "porn" the conversations became more about sex/fantasy. Now since the people where on the other side of the country or across the world the opportunity for any of this to come to fruition was very very minimal. But as time went on, i started to talk to people who were closer to me, i did happen to meet a couple of them for a brief encounter. I was in my early 20's then, but as time went on and i evaluated what i was doing and realized the risks. Yet i continued to chat, but knowing that going forward i would never meet anyone again. I would find some excuse or just simply stop talking to them. Like your husband, i went on ashley madison once, just to kinda of see what it was about. I am not a home wrecker by anymeans, but there are people who dont care and that is their business.

Sadly for me this entire thing has been a double edged sword and dealing with depression for over 20 years and finding this fantasy world to get lost in. The fantasy world helps me deal with my depression because I dont think of being depressed. I can be something im not or what ever the other person wants me to be. Also i dont think about work or finances or what ever might be bothering me (triggers). But after imersing myself in that world for hours on end and waking up the next day i feel shame and guilt and regret and everything else that comes with it. So it just sinks me deeper into a hole. I have tried to stop and have had some success...a few weeks here, 6 months there. But i always came back to it, one of my many triggers is, boredom, I have a very active mind and if i am not doing anything i immediately want to go online.

Again with your husband and I dont know him personally, but his relationship with his parents sound pretty toxic. I love my mom and dad to death, but in small doses. It sounds like his mother doesnt do anything for you or him and im curious if its always been that way. Most people who are often made to fend for themselves come out strong independent people. But on the other hand, someone who is depressed or feeling worthless, because Mom isnt doing the motherly things he thinks she should. Can lead to him feeling, thinking he is worthless and that he is unloveable. And from what his Dad sounds like, he wasnt much help to his psyche either. Ultimately to me his issues seem to be deeply rooted in his childhood. You mentioned that when you were sick and in the hospital, that someone had to bring him food? Whether he can cook or not, he should be able to provide food for himself and his family. I might have read that wrong, if so i apologize. And based on what you said about his mom not pitching in, it seems to me that he got that behavior when he was growing up.

I know i didnt get to all your questions, but im running out of space and time. I will continue this post when i have a few more minutes.

IC
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to luckylove6's response:
Sorry about cutting that last post off short.

First off im glad to read that you guys are commuicating better now and your being open. From my own experience, having someone who is compassionate can be huge. My ex- was not and that made me more shut down and defensive. I just felt that no matter what i said, she would judge me and assume the worst. Which is what she did all along and i gave her reasons to do so, but i digress. So continue to talk to him and try to be as understanding as possible. And if you want, if you have a secret or something that is very near to you, that you are comfortable about opening up about, that may help him, if nothing more to show him that we are human and we make mistakes and that it's ok.

Using the couples therapy to skirt the system is a good idea, but honestly, i dont think the couple is the problem. You seem like a very supportive spouse and he is a very lucky guy to have someone who is as open as you are. But as a couple going to therapy you can sort of keep him in check if they give him certain tasks to work on, etc.

As for your last question, we all have our quirks and kinks. And once you get on that topic and you combine it with the internet, look out. Pandora's box is wide open. And a lot of times, it's just nice to know that your not the only person with your particular "fetish". So you start to talk to people for a feeling of normalcy. Now stockings/hosiery is a pretty mild fetish and one that a spouse might not be intimidated by. I wont lie, i love the way a womans legs look in thigh highs/stockings. But for what ever reason, i have a hard time bringing that up to anyone i seriously date. I dont know why, it is not like its that kinky of a request. But it feeds into my need to be accepted, if i tell someone and they think im a freak, ill be crushed, so i keep it to myself. As for what i envision when im looking at porn, is just what i see. I have a creative mind, but not an imaginative one. Its difficult for me to picture something and see it vividly in my mind. Im creative in the sense that i can think outside the box to fix a problem. So what i see with my two eyes is what i see. I wish i could picture my partner(when i have one) but i rarely can. I know some guys who can just close their eyes and are able to get aroused, because of what they are imagining. The worked for me once and i was in highschool.

I understand your reservations about asking your husband for fear of a false answer. But if it is something that bothers you, you need to ask him. And you need to be prepared for his answer, you might not like his honest reply. So my advice to you would be to ask him that question, once you know you can handle any answer.

I just want to say that admire your courage to stand by him through this tough times, as long as you continue to be supportive of him and have his back, he will make it through.

I hope this helps and best of luck!

IC


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