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Caught my husband looking at porn - need advice please

(48 Posts)
cantankerouscapricorn Mon 01-Sep-14 16:07:33

Okay, so as the title says, I caught my husband looking at porn and I need some advice. My head is all over the place and I cannot think straight.

My husband and I have been married 7 years and we have two children together. We have had a fantastic relationship and have always been able to talk to one another openly about any issues that arise. We have been through a hell of a lot together and have come through it.

However, things started to go downhill when I got pregnant the first time. My husband stopped talking to me. Any time I tried to tell him how I was feeling, ask him what was wrong etc, he would turn it into a fight. Any time he was at home, he would be using his phone in the corner. Whenever I asked if he could spend some time with me, he would tell me that he needed "social time". If I asked who he was talking to, he said I was being paranoid and that I didn't trust him. I would say that I wanted sex and he would point blank refuse to have sex. Sometimes I felt like he would start fights before bed just to ward off any sex. In then end we only had sex once in 12 months. We argued quite a lot and he hit me a few times. I discovered that on our wedding anniversary, when I was 8 and a half months pregnant, he had been messaging another woman trying to arrange to meet up for coffee. He swears nothing else happened.

When our DD was born, things briefly got worse, the violence escalated and I thought about leaving him. Then we gradually started talking again. He told me that he had felt depressed and needed to adjust to the idea of being a new parent. He told me that he understood how he had been a jerk and said that things were going to change.

I was very skeptical but they did change. We started communicating again, he had a renewed interest in our sex life and all the violence stopped. We went back to being how we used to be and I thought we were both very happy. Then we started trying for another baby.

Almost as soon as I got pregnant again, his behaviour started to change. He stopped wanting sex and would fall asleep whenever I tried to have a conversation with him. That sounds like an exaggeration, but I mean he would literally fall asleep 10-20 times during the one conversation and then jerk himself awake. He said to me that he had no sex drive. He said that he wanted to have sex but he was too tired to actually manage it. Whenever we tried stuff, he would just fall asleep before we got round to the main event. I was very frustrated as my sex drive increased when I was pregnant. I felt like a failure as a wife. Also, I missed having conversation with him but couldn't talk to him because whenever I tried he would literally fall asleep on me. I was hugely concerned about his health because he was falling asleep constantly and his lack of sex drive. He was constantly talking about going to the doctors and getting blood tests and I was very worried about him.

I also had moments where I felt very insecure. My body was changing (2 babies in less than 2 years will do that to you) and my husband was not making me feel attractive at all. We went 6 months without having sex. I felt that he was repulsed by the idea of having sex with me but he reassured me it was his sleep problem and not me. At night time, he would stay up to do the dishes, which at the time I thought was a very thoughtful gesture and something to help out.

However, at five months pregnant I discovered that he had exchanged numbers with another woman. It turned out she was a pole dancer and that he had introduced our child to her while I was at home working. This shook my confidence tremendously and I had a hard time trusting him again. I felt so hurt that he couldn't have the energy to have a conversation with me but he was exchanging numbers with another woman. He assured me nothing was going on but I found it difficult to believe.

I also began to have a nagging suspicion that he was looking at porn at night. Generally, I am not a huge fan of the porn industry however I understand that a lot of people watch it and have healthy sex lives. I had even suggested that we watch porn together, but I did tell my husband that I would be very hurt if he was watching porn when I was pregnant or after the baby was born because I was feeling very insecure about how I looked and I was feeling a bit unloved because he wasn't sleeping with me.

He promised me he hadn't been watching porn and told me I had trust issues. He told me I was insecure and that it was all in my head because of my hormones and poor body confidence. He shouted at me a lot about how he feels I don't want him to have friends or go out and how I don't trust him. I think that is very unfair. He works in a largely female environment in the care industry and I have no problem with that. I trust him 100% there. For me the issue wasn't trust, it was that I was feeling completely unloved. I think that I was feeling more troubled by the fact that he was making excuses not to sleep with me and that he stopped being affectionate. I did question whether I could really trust him after he lied to me about the pole dancer. However, I chose to believe him that nothing had gone on and move on with our lives.

When our baby was born, I had a very traumatic experience and ended up being taken into theatre after delivering and I could have died. When I was coming round, I thought about my husband, and when I came round, I said that I had a new perspective, that I was so sad about where we were in our marriage because we weren't talking to one another or sleeping together anymore. He agreed with me and told me a lot of stuff about how much he loved me and he wanted to change it etc.

Our baby is 12 weeks old now and I have been trying so hard to be a better wife. We have been having sex frequently over the last few weeks (several times a week) and we have been working to put the intimacy back into our relationship. I resolved to put the whole pole dancer thing in the past and focus on the here and now. We have had a lot of conversations about being honest with one another and communicating better.

Everything seemed to be getting better, and was only complicated by the fact that I have postnatal depression and feel extremely low a lot of the time. I feel very insecure about my post pregnancy body as well, but generally things were improving between us and I felt that we were being honest with one another and communicating better.

Anyway, last night I was wanting to be intimate with my husband so I got out of bed to find him. I found him looking at porn and touching himself in the kitchen. I was absolutely horrified. He initially denied it all (even although I caught him) before admitting that he had been looking at it all the way through my pregnancy and since I had given birth.

All day I have felt sick to my stomach.

My problem is not the porn itself but the fact that he lied to me:

1) He made out that he had a lack of sex drive and withheld all sex for MONTHS;

2) He convinced me his lack of sex drive was because he was ill to the point of needing blood tests;

3) He looked me in the eye and told me he wasn't looking at porn and wouldn't do that when I was feeling so insecure; and

4) He told me it was all in my head and made me feel paranoid.

It's also the fact that this is not something he is doing WITH me or AS WELL AS being intimate with me, he is doing it INSTEAD of being intimate with me.

Also, one time I had googled how to improve my sex life in my marriage and he accused me of looking at "sl*tty" things and having an affair. I was only looking at advice columns. Why is that such a huge problem if he is fine to be looking at porn?

Anyway, am I over reacting? Is this a combination of my hormones and the post natal depression? Or would you be hurt in the same situation? What would you do to try and make it better?

Sorry this is such a long post.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 16:11:18

He's violent towards you and you're worried about porn? hmm You're not overreacting. If anything you've been underreacting for a long, long time. You don't try to make it better with an abusive man, you get yourself safe and you get shot.

Keepithidden Mon 01-Sep-14 16:13:46

What Cog said, this is much worse than porn.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 01-Sep-14 16:14:06

"We argued quite a lot and he hit me a few times."

This isn't a pornography problem, this is a husband problem. I think you need to get out of this nightmare and quickly.

cantankerouscapricorn Mon 01-Sep-14 16:14:44

Sorry, I don't think I put it across very well. He WAS violent for a short while but we got past all that and things were getting. There has been no violence for over 18 months.

eurochick Mon 01-Sep-14 16:15:11

The violence and contacting other women would bother me. The porn and masturbating would not at all. I think you are focusing on the wrong issues.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 01-Sep-14 16:23:26

He was in contact with a pole-dancer and introduced your child to her?

How much more disrespect do you want to tolerate from this arsehole wanker?

I know I'm not you but this is one man I'd be grateful to not have touch me again. Not bloody ever.

CinnamonVanilla Mon 01-Sep-14 16:29:25

He lost all respect for you before he hit you, and he has none now. He won't gain it back. He doesn't care about your feelings, and he'll continue to break the rules and lie to you because he doesn't see you as worth any more than that.

It's harsh, but it's the truth. You wouldn't hit someone that you loved. You wouldn't message other girls, or introduce your child to them, or lie to them point blank. Infact, you wouldn't do any of those things to someone that you liked, let alone loved.

Leave him, and find a better man. You deserve it, and so do your DC's. You'll just be flogging a long-dead horse if you stay.

What's this with you trying to become a better wife, this man needs to become a far better H along with a decent human being and that is not going to happen ever. This is how life with an emotionally abusive man is.

Violence regardless of when it occurred is never acceptable within a relationship; the only level of abuse acceptable within a relationship is NONE. You are being abused here.

My guess he was all sweetness and light before the children came along then the mask he wore for you which was slowly slipping during that time well and truly came off. The fantastic relationship you thought you had was a cleverly constructed mirage. You are now seeing the real him and he is extremely bad news for you.

Is this the sort of marriage you really want for yourself, I should hope not. You and he should not be together. All he is doing now is dragging you down with him.

I stopped reading at "We argued quite a lot and he hit me a few times.". This isn't a porn problem, this is a being married to an abusive, violent, misogynistic twat problem. He's hit you, several times, when you've been very vulnerable either pregnant or with a newborn. You don't have a fantastic relationship. Women with fantastic relationships don't have husbands who hit them, cheat on them and refuse to speak to them because they're pregnant. hmm What you need to do is either kick him out, or leave with the children. He may have not been violent for 18 months it doesn't mean he won't do it again. He will! What happens if you get pregnant again? LTB.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 16:34:16

"There has been no violence for over 18 months."

There should never be violence EVER. It's a criminal offence, it crosses a line and, by tolerating violence and letting it back in your life, you are saying it's OK to carry on. This man hates women and he hates you. He may not be hitting you physically any more but he's telling you you have 'trust issues' .... insulting your intelligence and trying to make out you are psychologically paranoid. He rejects you physically and then lies about why. He lied about contacting someone for coffee. He introduces your child to a pole-dancer.

A violent man, a serial adulterer, a liar and now a porn-lover. You're asking how to 'get past it'... and I think that's quite the wrong question.

saltnpepa Mon 01-Sep-14 16:34:52

I'm afraid you have lost your way with what normal is. He has committed a criminal offence hitting you, does that help it sink in? You need to leave him, call womans aid and then leave him. This is not normal, acceptable or your fault, any of it. The porn is the least of your problems. He does not love you. This not love. You must leave.

MsAnthropic Mon 01-Sep-14 16:40:19

His use of porn is not really your problem here ... sad

AnyFucker Mon 01-Sep-14 16:44:08

How much more disrespect are you prepared to take before you say enough is enough?confused

Stop trying to improve your sex life with this pig. He is disgusting and you are demeaning yourself.

kaykayblue Mon 01-Sep-14 16:47:47

Oh OP.

It's not for nothing that many women say on here that domestic violence very often begins during a woman's pregnancy or after a child is born.

I know this isn't what you want to be focussing on here, since he hasn't hit you in over 18 months, but the fact is that you simply can't sweep something like that under the carpet. The fact that he raised his hand against you proves that he has absolutely no respect for you whatsoever. I'm sorry, but he doesn't love you, and hasn't done for a long time.

The rest of his (frankly horrifying) behaviour stems from this very fact.

Abusive men often start at this point because they consider that the woman will stay in the relationship, as she will view the child as a tie to it. Unfortunately, a lot of women go along with that thinking.

Your husband's behaviour goes far beyond abnormal. This isn't how any marriage should work. You can't do anything to "fix" this, because you are not the problem here. It is not you who needs fixing, it is him. And you cannot fix him. That is for him to do. You should take your children and leave. Otherwise you are going to be raising your children in a household where this is how they learn to treat women (if you have boys), or how they should allow men to treat them.

Your children deserve a much better start in life than that.

And of course, you deserve to be with someone who does not do these things.

Please don't sit around in this marriage hoping for it all to work out. It won't. It really, really won't.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 16:48:14

"Also, one time I had googled how to improve my sex life in my marriage and he accused me of looking at "sl*tty" things and having an affair."

'Slutty' coming from a man that takes his kids to meet the pole dancer he's screwing .... hmm

Annarose2014 Mon 01-Sep-14 16:50:26

I think, with kindness, you no longer know what a normal relationship is.

This is not a normal relationship.

Vivacia Mon 01-Sep-14 17:04:29

I agree with Annarose. Your relationship is so far from acceptable it's upsetting, as a stranger, to read your post.

cantankerouscapricorn Mon 01-Sep-14 17:16:53

Thank you all for your replies. I know I asked for advice but I have been surprised by a lot of the responses and I have found them difficult to read, mainly because I hadn't really considered the whole situation from an external point of view. Your responses have given me a lot to think about, so thank you all for taking the time to listen to what I was saying and taking the time to respond.

Vivacia Mon 01-Sep-14 17:22:02

I think that's a fairly common reaction OP. I hope you keep talking to us.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 01-Sep-14 17:24:20

Sorry this has been overwhelming for you but really, you must end this. He thinks it's acceptable to assault you. The fact that he hasn't done it for a while doesn't change his underlying belief that he has the right to hurt you in anger. Add to the fact that he's emotionally abusive, withholding and almost certainly cheated on you there is really nothing left to save in this poisonous mess.

BreakingDad77 Mon 01-Sep-14 17:25:24

As others have put more bluntly, the porn isn't the problem.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Sep-14 17:30:51

Good grief my love, the porn isn't the issue here. He is a violent abusive man who has let you believe that you have had a fantastic relationship.
Is there anything at all that is nice about this man?
It must be a shock to hear people speaking about your dh and I'm sorry to be another one.
Please keep talking as there are so many people here who have been through the same.
I will leave you here as I have no words of wisdom apart from this isn't right, but you know this now I think.

DeputyPecksBentBeak Mon 01-Sep-14 17:38:08

How exactly were you being a bad wife? How are you trying to be a better wife?

The problem does not lie with you. People, normal, well rounded, functioning people do not hit their partners. Never. Once is once too many.

How long until he does it again? He's already got you blaming yourself for everything.

Your post was very sad. You sound utterly downtrodden and most of that has to do with him. sad

Please remember that no matter how rubbish you feel about yourself you deserve better than this. And that you don't have to wait to have physical evidence of lying or cheating, or for him to become violent again for yiu to leave. You can do it at any time.

thanks

alphabook Mon 01-Sep-14 17:56:18

The porn is the least of your problems I'm afraid. He is emotionally abusive, a manipulator, a cheater and has been violent towards you.

How exactly are you the one that needs to be a better partner?

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