10 August 2011


I find that I'm stuck in a vicious cycle.  When Pete views pornography and practices self-gratification I withdraw my physical affection and shut down sexually.  Some of the reasons for this are obvious, some I am still discovering.  But the more our intimate relationship suffers the more he is tempted by outside sources for fulfillment of his desires. 

I am learning not to take responsibility for his actions. I used to believe that if we just had sex more often he wouldn't be interested in pornography.  I know that this is not true.  He has an addiction and I can't make it go away by forcing intimacy that is neither fulfilling or enjoyable for me.  He has damaged our intimate relationship and therefore it will take time and effort to repair that damage.  In the meantime he will have to learn to resist temptation and suppress his raging hormones because I refuse to have sex just to appease him.  This is not to say that I withhold intimacy out of anger and revenge.  I am trying to regain my desire and have a healthy sexual relationship in spite of his struggles.

I used this analogy the other night to explain to him how his episodes with pornography and self-gratification have hurt my self esteem.  He is the financial provider in our home.  He takes pride and satisfaction in knowing that he is capable of meeting my material needs.  He works hard to support us and give us a comfortable life, and is confident in doing so.  When he looks elsewhere to meet his sexual needs I feel robbed of my opportunity to meet those needs for him, the way God intended.  It hurts my self-esteem and self image.

My other struggle comes when my husband approaches me to solicit intercourse.  I find myself doubting his motives.  Is he coming on to me because his male body desires gratification? Or is he attracted to me, loves me, and longs for us to be intimate again? 

Getting past pornography to have a healthy intimate relationship is so difficult.  But I know that it is an important step to healing and ultimately will help us be happy and emotionally close. 

I have found a great source to help me.  The Marital Intimacy Show by Laura Brotherson.  She is straightforward and understanding.  You can get the podcast for free on iTunes.

07 August 2011

Judge Not

After Pete's most recent episode I desperately wanted to talk to someone.  It always feels so lonely during the times when we are not communicating well.  What I wanted was a friend who I could pour my heart out to, and disclose everything.  I wanted some small relief of my burden by sharing it with another. 

Unfortunately I knew this wasn't possible, or wise.  I couldn't betray Pete by sharing his weaknesses publicly.  And I could not think of any friend who would be able to listen without judging.  Pornography is so taboo that I feel my friend's opinion of my husband would be forever altered in a negative way.  I wish this were not the case and it caused me to reflect on what friendship really means.

All I wanted was acceptance.  I wanted to be able to lay it all on the table with a good friend and have her love me unconditionally.  I didn't expect her to condone his behavior, absolutely not.  I just wanted to know that her loyalty would remain unchanged.  I've never felt so strongly the desire not to be judged.  It made my heart ache. 

I hope to take this lesson with me.  I hope to be the kind of friend that loves in spite of sin, especially much less grevious sins.  I hope to be able to offer forgiveness so instantly when a friend confesses or offends that my love remains the same, or perhaps even grows. 

My capacity for empathy grows each day as I realize that all of us have temptations that we are aware and often ashamed of.  Part of coping with Pete's addiction is finding humility and getting past my feelings of embarrassment and pride.  But that is another chapter for another day...

06 August 2011

My Story

When I married my husband (who I refer to as "Pete") eight years ago in the temple he was a straight arrow.  He was chaste and morally clean.  He had never been tempted by pornography or self-gratification.   Four or five years into our marriage he began to travel for work and one night in his hotel room out of curiosity he viewed pornography for the first time.  In the last three years he has worked hard to deal with this ever growing addiction and we continute to endure setbacks.  I believe in the atonement, I am committed to our marriage, and I have hope for better days.  But it is a difficult road at times and I started this blog to express my thoughts and share my insights.