Question: I think my husband has a porn problem. I have even seen stuff on our computer suggesting he is in communication with other women. You should know that he has always been very affectionate with me and that hasn’t changed. Our sex life is a little lacking, but he has a disability that makes “getting physical” a little a little bit of a challenge. I have asked about the porn and he denies it. We have been married more than twenty years and I really love him. Last year he was in touch with his old girlfriend, but claims she contacted him. He said that he hid it from me because even though it was completely innocent and nothing happened, he had a fling with this woman many years ago, and didn’t think I would understand him talking to her now. However, I believe that he is watching porn, still talking to his ex or some other woman, or all three, and pretending to love me. Help if you can. …Joni
Answer: First, let’s deal with the porn issue. If your husband is looking at online porn, he is like just about every other guy (and some women) using the internet today. Guys are very visual and porn appeals to our more voyeuristic tendencies. As long as he is not obsessed with it (ie. missing work, social appointments, meals, or quality time with you), it is probably just a harmless diversion. Even if he is masturbating to the porn (which is fairly likely), it is not a reflection of his feelings for you. Men often use masturbation purely as a means of quick physical release – a stress reliever, if you will. But why would he do this if he has a willing and able sex partner (you) close by? Because maybe he’s already tired, and the idea of the extra effort he may have to exert to have full-on sex with you is a little overwhelming, given his weary state. And to be perfectly honest, most married men masturbate at least on occasion, so truly I don’t think this is anything to worry about.
Since you said your sex life is less-than-stellar, one other thing that comes to mind is that your husband may be avoiding sex on occasion because of his injuries. Although he may still cherish the intimate interaction with you, the actual mechanics of the act may be uncomfortable and/or possibly even a little painful. He might also be suffering from performance anxiety given his diminished physical state. One way for you to maintain the intimacy without him feeling either pain or pressure is to do for him what he is probably now doing for himself to get needed sexual relief – masturbating. It can be a very sensual experience to manually bring your partner to orgasm. And, of course, you can switch off doing each other, or grope each other simultaneously. This mutual masturbation will likely make him feel less pressured and cause him to want to spend more time with you, a real, live, flesh-and-blood woman with magic hands, and less time with two-dimensional online vixens who offer no skin-to-skin contact. It’s kind of win-win for both of you.