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is there any 'getting over' a porn addiction?

(53 Posts)
shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 16:44:51

The man I'm in a relationship with (or rather was -.we're currently on a break since this came to light to think things over, which may become a permanent split) is addicted to porn. He acknowledges that it's a problem, has been reading some books on the subject and will shortly start counselling.

I am very much a Cool Girl (if you've seen or read Gone Girl you'll get what I mean). I've always said I had no issue with porn, I knew he watched it. I assumed he meant occasionally. Where was the harm I thought? He spends a fair bit of time on his phone/ laptop when I'm with him, and when I'm not. Again, I never asked questions or pried. And his job involves a lot of computer usage, so why would I be suspicious?

Turns out it was much more than occasionally, and has been part of his life for decades. Sometimes he said he would view it several times a week, others maybe once, but always at least that often.

There were no other red flags I don't think. He's always been pretty consistent re sex in our relationship (but his porn use was well established long before we met), and has always been very respectful in bed - and generally. I've had a fair few other sexual partners, he's virtually the only one who never expected constant bjs, and always wanted me to be satisfied (which again in my experience put him in the minority) and never did or asked for any of the porn type stuff other men expressed a preference for. So unless I missed something, I really didn't know this would happen.

He wants to stop using porn entirely, and has said that whilst he completely sees how he's betrayed my trust, he wants to try and earn it back, and hopes that we can rebuild our relationship.

Would I be a fool to consider it? Can he get over this addiction?

VestalVirgin Wed 17-Aug-16 16:58:13

I suppose the chance is about the same that an alcoholic gets over his addiction to alcohol. Pretty slim.

However, I am confused as to why you want to end the relationship. He always watched porn, you were fine with it, and now he confessed that he is addicted and suddenly you feel like he betrayed your trust? I feel like I am missing something here.

Don't get me wrong, I would end a relationship with a man who watches porn, too, but I am very much not cool with any porn ever, and would end the relationship because I wouldn't want to be with a man who watches porn.

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 17:06:52

I was ok with it because I thought it was just now and then, something men (and women do). I've watched porn on occasions myself, though not for a few years now. The fact it's such a big part of his life has come as a shock, and I can't help feeling uncomfortable with it.

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 19:52:45

Im just not sure what to do. He's not rushing me, and is happy for me to take as long as I need. I'm thinking maybe we should keep things as they are (we're still on friendly terms/ still speaking, but purely platonic) until he's finished his counselling.

Has anyone been through this?

I think likening it to alcoholism is fair. I've known a few alcoholics, mostly under control but they do still relapse at times.

BartholinsSister Wed 17-Aug-16 20:04:33

There was an interview on the BBC Newsbeat website the other day with a woman describing her battle with porn addiction - might be worth a look. I saw the link but didn't watch it.

Northernparent68 Wed 17-Aug-16 20:06:43

Is a couple of times a week really an addiction ? If everything else is ok maybe you could learn to live him watching porn.

There seems to be an element of punishing him and your partner punishing himself.

Forgettheworld Wed 17-Aug-16 20:09:29

I wouldn't call a couple times a week an addiction I would think that's the amount most men use it

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 21:35:33

It's generally more than a couple of times a week. And it's been going on for many, many years. He feels there's a compulsive element to it. Its habitual and secretive - whilst i knew he used porn, he's never done so in front of me.

I'm the first partner he's ever told he used porn at all, but of course he massively underplayed the frequency. He's done some reading which has made him realise he's addicted, that it goes beyond 'normal' porn usage.

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 21:37:18

He doesn't want to continue watching it - the reading he's done suggests that if you're addicted you should stop watching it entirely in any form.

ThinkingForever Wed 17-Aug-16 21:40:29

As I remember the Cool Girl in 'Gone Girl' is bitter and angry about her (inauthentic) self-portrayal.

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 21:45:38

I'm not bitter, but I am angry/ disappointed that I've been laidback and non confrontational, not just of the porn (as something men do), but everything, I'm not a shrew or a nag, I don't ask questions, and rather than being honest with me, he concealed all this for over 2 years.

That said, if he'd told me at the outset he was addicted to porn, I probably wouldn't have got involved sad

LesisMiserable Wed 17-Aug-16 21:47:55

Are you sure he isn't just telling you what you want to hear? What frequency of porn usage are you ok with? Who decided his level was addiction level? Did he feel he was addicted before you knew about it? You say you have a good healthy sex life so how is his porn usage impacting on your relationship? (Other than him saying he is addicted, how is it negatively manifesting itself?)

ChaChaChaCh4nges Wed 17-Aug-16 21:49:28

Crikey. I use erotic literature a couple of times a week - sometimes more. Perhaps I'm deluding myself, but I really don't feel addicted confused

FellOutOfBed2wice Wed 17-Aug-16 21:49:43

Is it having an real impact on your relationship or sex life though? If not, why do you care, are you the one pushing he give up or is he?

LastGirlOnTheLeft Wed 17-Aug-16 21:50:15

Men DON'T just DO porn!!! My DH loathes it...he sees it for what it is...the destruction, exploitation and degradation of women! Often extremely vulnerable women.

He won't ever watch porn. So please OP stop believing the myth that porn is something that men just DO!

Good men DON'T!

LastGirlOnTheLeft Wed 17-Aug-16 21:51:54

Sorry for the caps, OP. It looks like I am shouting but I'm really not. Please don't believe this is just what men do.

ChaChaChaCh4nges Wed 17-Aug-16 21:53:13

But, LastGirl, OP doesn't object to porn per se, just her DP's frequency of use....

And given you're OK with porn, OP, it kind of feels to me like you're making a problem where there isn't one.

LesisMiserable Wed 17-Aug-16 21:53:42

last I'm intrigued to know how you can be positive your husband has never watched porn ?

LastGirlOnTheLeft Wed 17-Aug-16 21:54:53

If he kept it a secret for two years, then obviously he knew you would find it very difficult to see him in the same way if you were aware of of his usage. So he knew on some level you were against it and that he was betraying you.

LesisMiserable Wed 17-Aug-16 21:58:00

Is not watching porn with your partner and viewing it alone and wilfully keeping it secret the same thing though? I think not unless she told him up front she didn't like it, which she didn't she said she was ok with it. What's he supposed to do, flag up every time he watches it? Say what?!

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 21:58:03

I have honestly never met a man who hadn't used porn, or didn't occasionally.

He'd previously said it was occasional/ once every so often. That was my experience with other men, so I had no issue.

I didn't find out it was more, he confessed it to me. And that he felt it was a problem, potentially an addiction, he knew he'd breached my trust, but wanted to stop - since then he's done some reading about porn addiction and found some other sources of help. I haven't asked him to do any of it. I'm pleased he is though.

The reading he's done has made him realise how unhealthy his relationship with porn is, he's had access to it since a very young age (under 10) which isn't right really.

LastGirlOnTheLeft Wed 17-Aug-16 21:58:31

Lesis, he has never lied to me, EVER, in all the years I have known him. He has told me many uncomfortable truths, but one thing about my DH, he is honest to a fault!! He hates porn, and he sees people who use it as pretty bad!!

ThinkingForever Wed 17-Aug-16 21:58:35

I'm not a shrew or a nag, I don't ask questions Maybe you should have asked questions. You have a perfect right to ask questions you know. Porn is so prevalent now, rape porn, teenage porn, and so on, its all over the net and alot of it complete normalised I would suggest.

On a general note I believe any woman starting a relationship should always try and get a sense of a man's relationship with porn before even sleeping with him. Most men will tell you, maybe even to test you, and I think it will tell you alot about him as a person, and how his values fit with yours.

LesisMiserable Wed 17-Aug-16 22:00:36

Well so if you care about him then you'll stick around whilst he deals with his addiction I agree seeing it from such a young age is really not good but becoming more prevalent I fear sad

shulka Wed 17-Aug-16 22:02:52

LastGirl, this is the first thing he's lied to me about. He is generally honest to a fault, I think that's why I'm struggling with him regularly searching the internet for porn, having porn sites pinned to his desktop etc, I had no idea.

I thought I knew what his values were.

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