Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Distraught - husband kept 8 year secret from me

(350 Posts)
Alicetravellingviawonderland Mon 03-Sep-12 16:59:54

Hi, please help me - I discovered a couple of days ago that my husband used the family computer to access porn websites. I confronted him and he confessed and through my questions I now know this has been going on for 8 years (since we've had a computer). He says that it's something he did every now and then but only when I was out of the house. At first he tried to calm me down by saying its something most men do and that it wasn't because of anything I'd done or didn't do. He did it when he was home alone and bored. We have a nice life, decent jobs, a lovely son, I thought we were very much in love and we have a good sex life. I can't tell you how hurt I am that he's had this secret life for 8 years. He says the stuff he watched on line was free and all 'normal' stuff. How can I believe him when I feel like I don't know who he really is? And what do I do now? He says he's sorry (he's been physically sick for the entire day when I found out) and that he'll go to counselling and never return to these sites again. For me, I'm completely shaken and a wreck. I cannot believe I didn't know anything about it - for that I feel very stupid. How could i ever trust him again? Why would i ever trust him again? I feel angry that he's used the family computer for this purpose. I cannot understand the porn thing, is something missing in my marriage or is it really common place amongst men? Also, if he's been doing it all this time, is he addicted and will he be able to give it up? We've been together 21 years - am I married to a cheat and a deceiver or a daft guy who made a huge mistake and who I should work with to sort it out? I go from wanting to throw him out to thinking we can somehow work through this. What's normal, what's acceptable.........what to do next?

Alicetravellingviawonderland Mon 03-Sep-12 17:15:30

Thanks folks - yes over reacting, I'm in shock. When you think you know someone and they keep something completely separate from you, something they do on a regular basis (every week/month) it doesn't feel right.

lynniep Mon 03-Sep-12 17:15:32

I dont think its particularly a big deal either. Sorry. He hasnt told you - he's probably embarrassed. I wouldnt tell my other half either. I think counselling is way over the top. Its normal in my book and I certainly think 'daft guy who made a huge mistake' is an overreaction. Its not a huge mistake. Shagging your neighbour is a huge mistake.

WhatYouLookingAt Mon 03-Sep-12 17:15:36

Maybe he didn't tell you because he knew you would hugely over react as you have.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 03-Sep-12 17:15:47

@elastamum... no.

adrastea Mon 03-Sep-12 17:17:00

On-line porn is addictive
Really? For whom? You? Everyone? The first time I looked/used online porn was in 1996. Since then I have had a few occasional short periods where I have looked at it often, but mostly there have been periods of months and months or even years inbetween. Is that addicted?

pictish Mon 03-Sep-12 17:18:05

Yes - cheating on your wife would be huge and a mistake. A quick, occasional wank to internet porn really isn't.

OwlLady Mon 03-Sep-12 17:18:25

If she is upset, she is upset, I don't think there is any need to treat her like a child. A lot of women dislike how porn depicts the female form, maybe the OP has her own opinions as to why she feels so uncomfortable with it, I don't know, but she wont be the first or last woman to be upset about something like this and I don't think anyone has the right to tell her how to think either.

IShallCallYouSquishy Mon 03-Sep-12 17:20:01

I think it's perfectly normal to look at porn. Was sat with DH on sofa just other evening and we wanted to find something out so googled on his iPhone and in the drop down bit that shows recent searches one of them was "free porn". My reaction? "oh yeah, I saw that in your searches mr!" did it bother me? Not really. We have a 14 week old baby and I'm too knackered for sex more then about once a week at the moment so would rather looked at a bit of porn if me and DD are in bed, then go out and cheat!

In simple terms I think you are over reacting a bit!

Goldchilled7up Mon 03-Sep-12 17:20:22

Personally I think you should apologise you your husband for how you made him feel. Poor man!

pictish Mon 03-Sep-12 17:21:15

No I agree Owl - I already said she is not expected to be delighted about it....but she is not just 'upset' - she is worried, furious, frightened and freaked out....and that is not rational.

pictish Mon 03-Sep-12 17:22:18

She is talking about splitting up with him!

BonnyDay Mon 03-Sep-12 17:22:58

lol

all men do ( apart form those married to MNERs of course) wink

Alicetravellingviawonderland Mon 03-Sep-12 17:23:25

Wow what reactions here. My problem is that we were pals who shared laughs, good times, bad times. But now I've realised we don't share everything and that feels disappointing. No tea and sympathy on this forum that's for sure lol

Chandon Mon 03-Sep-12 17:24:30

Hi Op,

why do you feel so threatened by this?

It can be seedy and even nasty and illegal, it all depends on the sort of stuff he goes for. If it is not any sicko stuff, I don't see why you're so upset, tbh.

Not just as it is something "men do", women can be into it too.

Not every woman reading 50 shades, or every man reading Playboy, is a deviant.

Not all porn is nasty, though a lot of it is...

BonnyDay Mon 03-Sep-12 17:24:54

yes there is some rather tasteful stuff on tumblr a friend told me ;)

Goldchilled7up Mon 03-Sep-12 17:24:57

Indeed. I agree that the OP should express her opinions about porn with him, but he has the right to disagree, and not be made to feel like a perv. He didn't cheat on her.

pictish Mon 03-Sep-12 17:25:01

You can't expect to share everything!

How cloying. We all need our little me-isms - and this is one of his.

FreckledLeopard Mon 03-Sep-12 17:25:38

Have you spoken about porn in the past? Have you said how much you loathe it/don't understand it? What about masturbation? Surely both of you must masturbate from time to time?

I think, frankly, that looking at online porn (or, before the internet, some 'girly' magazines/videos) is the norm amongst most men. I'd probably think it odd if a guy didn't look at porn.

Why the huge over-reaction?

Ffs the fact that you haven't noticed any difference in his behavior towards you etc in 8 years says it all. There is no problem, he isn't an addict and you are overreacting somewhat. If he had been ignoring you or whatever then fair enough but you say you have a great relationship so what's the big deal? It's not impacted on your relationship thus far so why should it now? Plenty of adults (notice I didn't say men) use porn and there is nothing wrong with that.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 03-Sep-12 17:25:57

You are entitled to your feelings.

Porn would be a deal breaker for me too and it is for many other women.

Not all men use porn.

Secret porn use is definitely NOT on - this is taking away energy, time and other resources away from the relationship.

Porn can be addictive and there is a link between porn and infidelity so I can understand your concerns although he does not comes across as addicted. Is he using webcams/sex sites as well?

I would also be horrified that he thinks it is ok to wank over images of vulnerable women who are likely to have been abused/trafficked. My advice is for him to do some research in the realities of the porn industry - this may shock him into stopping using porn.

ThePigOnTheWall Mon 03-Sep-12 17:26:48

Are you telling me that you share everything with him - or do you gossip with your girlfriends, or occasionally spend more money on shoes than you said you did, or have a wank, or find him really irritating, or secretly dislike his best mate, or fancy the postman, or a million other thoughts that you have that you don't share with him.

pictish Mon 03-Sep-12 17:28:08

Secret porn use is definitely NOT on - this is taking away energy, time and other resources away from the relationship.

Blethers. That's just not true. At all.

ParaOlympicpark Mon 03-Sep-12 17:29:12

Same as my DH, I was aghast but not too offended about the fact that it was porn, more that he hadn't told me. I don't think you are overreacting as you must feel very hurt, same as I did but I did get over it quite quickly and now I don't really think about it, try not to worry too much. I think it is normal for men to do this and treat it completely separately and differently to how they view their relationship. It won't be a slight on you, although I understand why you feel that way. Lots of men are less discreet about it. Not worth splitting up over I don't think. Sending you a hug anyway though....

adeucalione Mon 03-Sep-12 17:31:22

Another one here who thinks that you have over-reacted.

I know that you can't control how you feel, but I do think that you should be able to think about this rationally and I feel sorry that your husband has been made to feel seedy and dirty about something that most men look at - it used to be magazines, which probably restricted use to those brave enough to buy them, but now it is freely and anonymously available online I think that those that haven't looked at it are probably in the minority.

It is hardly something that I discuss often grin but whenever this topic has come up in a group of friends I have had the impression that it is normal and common. By making him feel ashamed you are ensuring that, from now on, he is even more furtive about it.

Goldchilled7up Mon 03-Sep-12 17:31:31

OP is not that we're not being supportive. You've got the right not to like porn but you're not being fair on your husband. Myself and others are just trying to show you that is not an abnormal thing that he has done.

About sharing, that's all very nice, but everyone also has the right to their privacy.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now