Reader: I’ve spent over $3K on counseling (couple and separate)and read every Christian and secular marriage book and kinky sex tips website (not that I needed any) but your site has gave me more insight into what is actually happening in our relationship and how I feel and things I’m doing wrong.
So- my husband was an English teacher when we met, he didn’t graduate until he was 30yo, I had a fairly successful self employed career and was divorced with one kid. We dated for 10 months then accidentally got preg. I did not want or mean to get preg or married. We had 2 kids back to back, he was laid off from job and so I have been the only income for almost 3 years. He agreed to get a job once unemployment ran out- about 10 months ago. He’s not looking.
I know this because I put a tracker on our computer because we don’t have sex. It started out as 1 time a week and has moved to once a month. I figured early on it was because I was preg. Then I lost all the weight and initiated and told him I wanted wild crazy, loving, any kind of sex. I have heard every excuse in the world to its me, him, kids, job, etc. He had always looked at porn. That’s one reason I put the tracker on I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want sex. I was never opposed to porn before, I was like that’s cool and that’s hot. Hell, I have offered 3somes for him. Anyway, he always lies about the porn, I will make it obvious that I’m taking off work and want one on one time and he will look at it before them and not be interested afterwards. This has happened countless times.
Ok- SR I think we are fairly equal. Not sure. He’s says I’m a 10 for my age-36 an an 8 for overall. I get hit on by hot fit 20yo. And women lol. I’ve been holding on for 4 years, last 2 are killing me. I need/ want sex/love with my husband and I want him to want me. He says he doesn’t. He is very beta acting in some ways and only alpha in a passive aggressive way. I have became alpha in my ways because who’s going to take care of things????
I also can’t trust him with $ because of gambling problem and just very irresponsible things like selling his car that I paid for for gambling debt or getting loans with no intention to pay back! I have realized that I have been extremely focused on my career and am trying to pull back and be a better beta wife in the way I talk and treat him. But I can’t live like this much longer. I haven’t had an affair but really want to just have that release and closeness with somebody. (To be wanted) All thoughts are appreciated and I appreciate cruel bluntness
Athol: Okay here’s the deal… you’re simply “talking to the addiction” rather than to him. Internet porn is like “rock concert loud” on the dopamine receptors in his brain and essentially deafens him to further stimulation… unless it’s also “rock concert loud”. So you offering him sex just isn’t “loud” enough to get through to him.
It’s very common for wives with porn addicted husbands to jump through all kinds of hoops trying to get his sexual attention – lingerie, toys, more porn, date nights yada yada yada… and getting still near zero response. Usually the wife gives up and then the husband just has zero impulse to break free of the porn further and it all cycles around again deeper and deeper.
The gambling and the porn use are also linked addictions. There’s sort of an addictive bubble where cutting back say on the porn, would suddenly make him want to gamble more… and cutting back on both… would make him want to do something else new and addictive. Both sex/porn and gambling are powered by dopamine and he needs crazy amounts of it to feel just normal. So there’s no easy solution where you just can talk him out of being addicted, you have to really take action and force him to make a decision to work on things.
Or in other words, you have to play things into a position where losing you is a bigger deal than losing the addiction. So you basically need to run the MAP toward an ultimatum where he dumps the addiction or you punt him. Basically right now he sounds fairly dependent on you, so a firm “Option A or B” dicussion with divorce papers on hand to sign for Option B might work very quickly. See Chapter 27 in the Primer for a run down on the approach. Porn addiction and an affair are dopamine powered so neurologically it’s not really all that different of a process you’re trying to break up.
Sounds harsh, but it’s about the only way to get there.
As a potential follow up to an Option A where he chooses to work on the marriage: I’m increasingly liking the idea of using Wellbutrin as a band-aid to get through the withdrawal phase of the addiction (and/or affair recovery for the cheating partner). The primary action being to increase dopamine and norepinephrine… thus supplying a controlled dose of what they got from the addictive behavior, without actually having to perform the addictive behavior itself. Wellbutrin also doesn’t cause sexual side effects and can even increase sexual function as well. Plus the norepinephrine can act as a kick in the pants energy boost.
Porn is an increasingly complicated issue. I personally don’t have a moral problem with it, but it does seem that there’s a crap ton of men (and women) that get addicted to internet porn. It’s all a good time until your dick starts failing to stand up straight in the presence of your wife. There is a link between excessive porn use and erectile dysfunction.
Also, come join the forum. I seem to be having a sudden influx of “Porn Widows”. http://marriedmansexlife.vanillaforums.com/
Also http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/ is an important resource.