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Porn. Am I overreacting?

(60 Posts)
Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 12:02:04

Background: DH is supportive of me with dcs, me going back to school, moved to UK (he's from another country). He has always watched porn. I was 17 when I moved to his country to be with him. I watched it too. It was new and exciting to me. Fast forward a bunch of kids and 14 years later and I feel differently. I let him know this years ago but tbh can't remember if I was just upset at him and said I didn't want him watching it or if I articulated how it made me feel. Not sure I can even pinpoint how I feel so probably was just upset at him. I didn't see any porn in the house after this.

We have a 7wk old dd and throughout my pregnancy we probably had sex about 4 times. All on the earlier months. I was suspicious as to why he didn't seem bothered by this and did ask him in late pregnancy. He said he hadn't thought about it as he'd been so busy with work and understood I was uncomfortable etc. Fair enough.

We have parental controls on the Internet and a few nights when I have been upstairs in bed feeding the baby and going on MN ( blush ) I aaw email notifications that the parental lock has been overridden. The email is then promptly deleted. Dh stays downstairs every night working on his laptop. I started wondering what he was doing so looked on his laptop this morning. Internet history had a bunch of rubbish about girls in yoga pants showing everything hmm wasn't best pleased but overall thought hey ho its dodgy pictures through fb not the end of the world. Then I saw his documents folder was open so clicked on that. Found three videos. sad cream pies and god knows what else. Didn't look for anymore.

I need help articulating my feelings. This is where I am so far:
I have just had a baby. It was very hard going. I am better now but still very emotional about it. I have two stone to lose and a jelly belly. I feel like complete shit knowing he is looking at picture perfect women giving men everything they want on a screen and getting off to this. How am I supposed to live up to that??

Trust. I feel like he broke my trust. Our sex life has never been fantastic and a lot of that has been me not feeling comfortable I.e. he has been looking at those women and I don't want him looking at me now (this probably doesn't make sense does it)
I don't know how I'm going to have sex with him again and I feel so hurt anf self conscious. The tragic thing is the last week or so I was starting to feel really ready for sex and wanting him again. I was fantasising about making it really great after him going so long without and being so supportive of me. How laughable. How sad am I.

Porn. Why am I so against it? The feminist issue is definitely one for me. Just look at the titles of these things. Its abuse of women. I'm sure some women freely choose this but can't help feeling they must be in the minority? We have daughters ffs. FFS. How fucking dare he.
I didnt look at what porn he had. I saw one title was a well known "porn star" so in that sense there didn't seem to be the extreme stuff (have I got this all wrong is it all extreme? )

We are buying our first house together atm. My parents have given us the deposit. We will be joint tenants. I feel like I need to change that now.

I have put up with hia shortfalls over the course of our relationship. This makes me feel far less tolerant.

When I started this post I felt devastated. I kept trying to minimise this. "He needs something to have a wank to and you aren't putting out" but now I'm just pissed off and not sure what to do.
I feel how I feel and surely he should give a shit about me? Or am I way overreacting?
Someone help. Please. I'm just a mess right now with a demanding beautiful baby who wants feeding all the time and dcs who need a sane mother.

Only1scoop Mon 10-Nov-14 12:06:04

I'm sorry to read and run ....lots of issues I know.... but please protect that deposit on your house. He will be entitled to half of that.

TheHermitCrab Mon 10-Nov-14 12:14:00

I think the issue here is that you both watched porn over the years, and you admitted that you have enjoyed it.

You have now changed your mind about porn, and he hasn't - and he probably thinks why should he? If you have been accepting of it before, and even watched and enjoyed it yourself, its going to be hard for him to see why he should change his mind just because you have.

that being said I don't think you are overreacting, you obviously have some esteem issues re: having children, and having less sex, and improving your sexual relationship together should be of more importance to him than getting off.

I'm not going to get into the moral and feminist issue of it all, just because these kinds of threads can be taken over by that, and then it becomes one big rant, and you'll never get any help and support, just a bunch of people spouting their opinions on porn.

Your feelings together are more important than his porn use, so it should be a no brainer for him if you explain to him, clearly how you feel and why and really get some communication going here.

Do you think he is watching the porn "secretly" or "sneakily" and hiding evidence. Or watching it and just being "polite" deleting history as he knows you haven't minded porn before.

(I don't know if porn is something you shared together, or something you both just admitted to using privately?)

InfinitySeven Mon 10-Nov-14 12:14:06

Unfortunately, the well known pornstars are usually well known for a reason, although nobody can comment on how extreme it is without knowing who.

Anyway, that's a side issue.

To start with, you need to protect your deposit immediately, or he'll be entitled to half. Protect yourself, your parent's money and your children, first.

Next, you need to clarify your thoughts. I'd start with the biggest one - that you don't approve of porn, and he knows that, and that him watching porn has a direct affect on how you feel about him and your sexual interest in him.

I'd be tempted to play the rest of the conversation by ear, and see both what he admits too, and his reasoning and response.

I wouldn't accept any rubbish about all men watching porn, though, or him needing something to wank too. It's balls...it's an unfortunate lie perpetuated by magazines like Cosmo, which wanted to be forward-thinking and cool. There are plenty of research documents on this kind of thing, including the sexual disfunctions that porn usage can cause.

It might be worth considering if this is a deal-breaker for you before you speak to him, so you know exactly where you stand when you do talk to him.

chdmum2491 Mon 10-Nov-14 12:26:03

i have been in the exact same boat not too long ago, im not one to "talk" about things so i wrote him a letter explaining how i felt about it as i have such a lack of confidence after having my dd and all my body changing and after he read the letter came straight to my nans to pick me and dd up and apologised completely and had no idea that i felt like this and that he loves me no matter of my lumps, bumps, stretchmarks, blah blah blah and promised not to watch it again, and i believe him, since then i have told him if he wants to watch it that i want to aswell if its what he wants, but we havent had to... yet smile there are some good guys out there who do care !

TheHermitCrab Mon 10-Nov-14 12:28:10

chdmum2491.

That's great smile so happy for you both. xxxx

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Nov-14 12:29:14

No you're not overreacting and I'd be interested to hear what other 'shortfalls' you've put with over the years...

TheHermitCrab Mon 10-Nov-14 12:30:02

Oh and about the part the man should be able to have a wank or whatever and have sexual release if you are not providing it....

It doesn't mean there has to be porn involved. Porn is just entertainment (or a problem, or whatever you want to call it) Porn isn't the sexual release, it's there to turn someone on!

You're not denying him of self pleasuring (I presume!), just the means in which he does it.

Tuliptastic Mon 10-Nov-14 12:49:03

Thisis I could have written your exact post a few days ago, in fact I basically did - sorry can't link but you can look it up.

I have no words of advice as I'm still working through this myself, but wanted you to know you're not alone, there are a few of us, sadly. I don't think you're overreacting. I also have daughters and it makes a difference and I think it should to him too, but of course it doesn't.

One thing I will say is that I have told my husband that telling myself that "at least it's not really fucked up violent stuff" isn't exactly the bar that I was hoping to measure our marriage against.

Babies aside, how is the general state of your relationship? In my case, we've had lots of issues which we recently started working through. All the porn I found pre-dates us trying to fix our relationship, so I'm leaning towards working things out, but I still don't know for sure.

Windywinston Mon 10-Nov-14 13:11:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 13:14:45

Solicitor is sending relevant paperwork back to be changed.
Hermit at 17 I was watching his stash. He is over ten years older than me. It was new and exciting to me at the time. The novelty soon wore off.
I guess that's another thing. I am not a 17 year old girl anymore and have definitely changed. For the better I believe. I had a lot of stuff going on when younger.

He's not hiding it. I know the password to his laptop. He had a folder called 'porn' in his files. He is deleting Internet history. I asked him yesterday if I could trust him. He said yes but that I shouldn't ask people that as they will always say yes even if the answer's no.

I think it is a deal breaker. I'm not cool. I have issues and I need to be very secure and confident in my relationship.

Chdmum so pleased it worked out for you your dh sounds lovely.
Maybe if my dh knew all the issues I have with this he would do the same. One can hope.

Jean - I can't bash dh too much. He has worked hard for our family. I sometimes wonder if our relationship has run its course. I do love him but he has very little time for me. Work takes over. Other things take over. I feel like a burden if I want to just have a chat. He will help out around the house and with dcs though. I feel like I'm making less sense. I was up a lot with dd last night too.

Hermit- I have no problem with anyone's need to pleasure themselves I'd just rather not have to know about it!

FelicityGubbins Mon 10-Nov-14 13:18:25

I read this a lot that women think "he hates my body and wishes I looked like that" I really don't think it's that at all, its just that most mainstream porn "actresses" aren't 30 something mums of 3 kids! So by default they have less wobble/stretch marks/perkier tits than we do.
Nothing at all to do with our bodies or our husbands feelings towards it..

TheHermitCrab Mon 10-Nov-14 13:18:44

I think it's irrelevant who's stash you were watching... The fact is he has been under the impression that you have been OK with it for so long. That saying " I don't like it now don't watch it anymore" may seem unfair to him.

But as I said - not unreasonable.

He should care more about your relationship than how he gets of in private. Pretty simple. smile

chdmum2491 has proven that men can and should put their partner first over things like this. Otherwise it's selfish not to - shows there is hope though!

Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 13:19:24

Infinity I don't think I can even have this conversation with him. I am liable to cry a lot right now. Also when I am very hurt I become cold and sharp. It's like a defence mechanism I guess. I'm worried this comes across as uncaring when that's not how I feel at all.

Tempted to watch the porn to see what's on it. That's not going to achieve fuck all but make me feel a million times worse though is it.

Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 13:24:49

telling myself that "at least it's not really fucked up violent stuff" isn't exactly the bar that I was hoping to measure our marriage against.

^^this. Sorry you're going through this too tulip thanks it sounds like there is some hope there. The general relationship is up and down. I don't feel supported mentally. I need to have more interaction and conversation. He doesn't give me this but at the same time I know he's busy and not gallivanting around town. He's working to do well for our family. It's tough. But I guess rl is like that.

dreamingbohemian Mon 10-Nov-14 13:26:44

I don't think you're overreacting, but I think unless you really spell out to him how badly you feel about this, then you can't go forward.

If you think the relationship has run its course for other reasons, that's one thing, but if you do want to stay together then you have to find some way to communicate all this to him (perhaps in a letter?)

Also, I may be alone on this, but I think a 29 year old man showing porn to and sleeping with a 17 year old is a bit questionable (especially if, as you say, you have some issues). The fact you watched it back then shouldn't mean your acceptance was written in stone.

Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 13:37:07

Dreaming I think the past is an issue. Why happily pay for a 17 yr old to leave school and live with you.
Yes I was a dramatic teenager professing my love. But isn't that normal at that age?

I think a letter is the way to go. I want to have a relationship together. There just seems to be a alot of baggage after so many years.

TheHermitCrab Mon 10-Nov-14 13:38:06

Letters are good - no interruptions or arguments and you can get your feelings out without getting sidetracked with eachother smile

Espii Mon 10-Nov-14 13:41:13

I told my DP i wanted to look like the girls we posted on our blogs. He said he'd hate if I looked like that, I'm much better as he can touch, feel, see, talk, and love me. The girls are eyecandy and I don't think they affect how they see us. I watch a lot of porn myself, I watch it for the men but I don't see my DP any differently because of them. I don't think "I wish my DP looked like that" or anything.
To be honest, I do see the porn thing as over reacting because I like it. But, I CAN see where you're coming from and you are definitely NOT being unreasonable. Everyone deserves to be comfortable in their relationship and although I really don't see the big deal with porn as me and DP watch it together & neither of us are into violent stuff. But if you're not comfortable with it you DO need to speak to him, thats the best thing I can suggest to be honest.
Its one thing using porn.
I think the issue here is lying about it! Lying is the worst thing ever in my book.
I agree with Dreaming on their last point.

The ussue is being lied to & not feeling supported. It's not the porn. Thats how I'm seeing this.
thanks

Thisismync Mon 10-Nov-14 14:05:36

Thank you Felicity and Espii also for your posts. It does help to know partners don't necessarily want their OH to look like what they're watching. Feeling a bit better after initial hurt.
Thank you all for your advice.

PiperRose Mon 10-Nov-14 14:19:35

The issue here is that you have changed your mind about porn and have expected him to do so as well. I liken this to the fact that when I got together with my now ex I smoked, he was fine with it. He then encouraged me to give up which I did, but when I couldn't sustain it and started again he would tell me I disgusted him. It was the start of his controlling behaviour which eventually ended in our splitting up,

You cannot control his thoughts. You need to work out if it's a deal breaker for you.

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 10-Nov-14 14:29:12

Why happily pay for a 17 yr old to leave school and live with you.

Umm, I'm not sure I like this man. I dont think you do much either...

InfinitySeven Mon 10-Nov-14 14:35:32

Alright ThisismyNC.

I do think that you'll have to talk to him somehow. So, how could you do it that makes you most comfortable?

Could you write him a note? I think that tends to be taken more seriously than a voicemail or text. You only need to say that as in the previous conversation, you are not happy or accepting or porn use, and that knowing that he is watching porn has killed your sex drive once more.

Then you can leave it somewhere for him. You'll still have a period of awkwardness when you know he's reading it, but you'll avoid the emotions of having to verbalise it, and he should appreciate not having an awkward and embarrassing conversation, too.

Then you just need to wait. Ideally, he'll delete everything and stop, because it's written down in black and white that he needs to do that. There is no guarantee, of course, but that's the ideal. Hopefully he'll also put some effort into fixing the damage to your self-esteem.

But even in the worst case, if he does nothing and keeps watching it, you'll know that he fully understood and he made that decision. So you can then make your next decision from there.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 10-Nov-14 14:42:18

I think there are a few issues with expecting a partner to obey you when there is an issue on which you disagree. If, for example, one partner in a relationship decides to become vegetarian or vegan (when both partners have previously been meat eaters), that person doesn't have the right to insist the other stops eating meat and must not even eat it when away from home.

It's worth considering how the rest of the relationship is working before making any firm decisions. Do you think you would be happier single?

Mugg1ns Mon 10-Nov-14 14:55:39

Worth remembering that there are all sorts of people in porn nowadays, catering for all tastes, skinny people, huge people, Japanese people, people who call themselves midgets, amputees, blonde people, you name it.

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