How To Cope With Your Husband's Sneaky Pornography Use

Sex

How to deal with it and move on.

It’s happened to a lot of women at various times in their lives — even with partners or spouses that they never expected to experience it with: You walk in and catch your husband masturbating to pornography, and it totally throws you for a loop that you weren’t prepared to deal with.

But before you go rushing after your husband and demanding to know why he’s been doing this and what’s been going on, take a deep breath and a step back.

It’s important that you understand some things about a man’s relationship to porn, because it’s really different than what you might think!

While a man might tell you that he’s watching porn because he was stressed, or you haven’t been having enough sex, or “all men do it,” or even that he was bored, the truth is something different than what he says it is. Any man caught masturbating is going to be embarrassed and want to escape the situation as quickly as possible, and that means giving you, his spouse or partner, as fast an answer as he can think of.

He’s most likely not lying on purpose; he’s embarrassed and wants the situation over with ASAP.


Related: 7 BIG Signs You're Watching Waaay Too Much Porn
 

In the video (which you can watch above), Wendy Conquest, a certified Sex Addiction Therapist, explains that men have a different kind of relationship to pornography than women typically have. The real reason that men masturbate often has nothing to do with you or your sex life at all. You can have a killer time in the bedroom, and your guy might still sneak away later to watch porn.

It is not because you don’t please him or because he doesn’t love you.

Men will often masturbate to porn because it’s a way for them to relieve stress. In fact, when a man orgasms, a flood of chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin are released that make him calm, happy, and sleepy. It can also be an escape for him.

Pornography is first and foremost about fulfilling a sexual fantasy—even if it’s something that he doesn't actually want to try in the bedroom! It allows them to escape into a fantasy world for a little bit, and yes, it can even make them feel better about themselves. Remember those chemicals after orgasm? Those can make him feel more in control while the harsher, testosterone-driven parts of his mind take a backseat.

But if your man has a true addiction to pornography, things aren’t as black and white as that. Their relationship with porn will leave them with a need that it seems like nothing else in their lives will fulfill. Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that your husband doesn’t love you or doesn’t want to have sex with you. He is addicted and has a real problem.

Here are three steps you can use to help, if it turns out your husband does have an unhealthy relationship with pornography:

1. Ask him to stop watching porn.

You can simply ask your husband to stop.

Explain that it makes you upset, and talk to him about possible stressors in your relationship that might be driving his need to watch porn, whether it’s just being busy, not having time to be together because of kids or household activities, or anything else. Once you discuss the issues, you can tackle them together and he will be able to talk with you about his needs instead of hiding them behind porn.

2. You’ve asked him to stop, but he hasn’t.

You asked your hubby to stop watching porn, you both chatted about it, and he agreed. You felt pretty good about the whole thing, but now you’ve caught him at it again!

This likely means that your husband isn’t just watching porn as an escape or stress relief—he’s addicted to it and feels like it needs to be in his life. This will require outside help if he cannot stop himself. Remember, in an addict's mind, the pornography need is something that he cannot fix with anything else.


Related: 6 Signs You're Totally Addicted To Porn (And Need Help)
 

3. Seek help to end the addiction to porn.

If you’ve established that your husband’s pornography watching is most likely due to addiction, then you’re going to have to change your approach to it.

Asking him to stop won’t really help because he has an addiction problem. This is not something that is fully under his control. In this case, seeking the help of a trusted counselor or therapist to discuss these problems with your husband is the best case scenario. They may uncover the root of why he’s addicted to pornography, or perhaps give him some ways to help combat this issue on his own with your help.
 

It is important for you to understand that this is not a time to place blame or get angry. The best thing to do is to talk to your partner about his drives instead of shouting at him or accusing him of anything. Communication is so important and it will help you understand if your guy is just going through some issues or if he has a real problem with pornography and needs to seek help. 

Looking for more support? Reach out to Wendy, or look for her book, Letters To A Sex Addict: The Journey Through Grief And Betrayal.

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