Engaged to a man I’m worried has a porn addiction

| 04/01/2012 | Comments (1)

Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I need some advice, and definitely some perspective on a relationship problem. I am very much in love with a kind and wonderful man and am scheduled to get married next month.

About three weeks ago I borrowed his computer, and found that he had been looking at a significant number of pornographic websites. This is not a big deal for me, I know it is normal, and every past boyfriend I’ve had has admitted to looking at porn.

However, my fiancé has told me any time this has come up in the past that he doesn’t like porn, and that he finds it degrading to women and distorts men’s view of ‘real sex.’

So of course I asked him about these sites and he flat out denied it– and promptly deleted all his internet history and cookies. I tried to make it safe for him to tell me by assuring him I think it is normal, but he continued to angrily and vehemently deny he ever looks at it or likes it.

So I let it drop. Then this weekend I noticed him in our home office looking at pornographic sites on the computer. I checked his internet history (which is sneaky, I feel bad about doing it) and he had indeed been cruising various porn sites while I was just in the other room. I let a day go by and then asked him about it– trying to be really gentle about it and non-accusatory- and he completely lied about it, and got very, very angry at me for bringing it up again. I told him that I clearly know he was, and it is no big deal, but he will not admit it.

Please give me some perspective on this. I am really worried because we are getting married really soon. I completely trust him not to cheat on me or abuse me, but I am really hurt by his lying over this. What do you suggest I do to put my mind at ease? I don’t think there is any way he will ever tell me the truth about this, and I really don’t want it to come between us.


Ms. HeartBeat Responds:
Unfortunately, young lady, this issue has already come between you in a big way.

Your fiancee is demonstrating the traits of a man with a sexual addiction. What is sexual addiction and how is such an addiction identified?

Characteristics of Sexual Addiction
An excerpt from the book: “The Secret Sin: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction” Mark R. Laaser, Ph. D., Zondervan Publishing, 1992.

While sexual addicts will attempt to conceal their behavior, they usually exhibit some readily observable symptoms. People who live, work, or worship with a sex addict might notice these symptoms. As you read through these symptoms, be careful when you use them to judge the behavior of others. Some of these symptoms might indicate other addictions or emotional problems. If you see someone exhibiting these symptoms, that person may need help and probably doesn’t have the strength or tools to be able to ask for it.

Symptoms

Here is a brief list of observable symptoms:

1. Preoccupation with sexual behaviors
2. Escalating patterns of sexual activity
3. Acting distant or withdrawn
4. Depression and mood swings
5. Irritability
6. Abuse of self or others
7. Resistance to supervision or criticism
8. Use of sexual humor
9. Inappropriate sexual behavior and overt sexual advances
10. Occupational, social, family, professional, and legal difficulties
11. Intuition
12. Direct evidence

When someone continually denies their use of pornography, especially in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, it indicates a serious addiction to pornography.  He can’t even stop getting his fix while you are in next room! And he did this right after he JUST LIED TO YOUR FACE and denied that he even looks at porn? A man that is not an addict would at least be able to control himself and not look at porn while you were near. What you have is an addict that won’t accept that he is one, which means he is deeply conflicted about his proclivities. There seems to be a lot of shame associated with his desire to look at women having sex, to the point that he vocalizes his disdain by acknowledging that porn degrades women. Yet he can’t stop himself from looking at it, which means he enjoys seeing women degraded. See how that conflict is eating at him?

Sexual or porn addictions are nothing to take lightly. Both destroy women’s hearts, minds and self esteem, and often destroys families as well. The addict becomes more and more desensitized to normal sexual activity; his interests will change accordingly and sometimes become  quite perverted. The addicts need ever more stimulation which they cannot get from regular emotionally intimate sex, the type that women seek when in love with a man.

I believe this information coming to you BEFORE marriage was no accident. Spiritually you needed to know the reality of the man you are dealing with. Please don’t ignore it or think it will change once you get married. Marriage is not going to magically make him change or the problem go away. When a man shows you who he is, you need to believe him. In this instance, your guy is a liar and a porn addict.

A smart woman would take a step back and rethink marriage right now. Why not postpone the marriage while arranging for premarital counseling. If he refuses to admit he has a problem and refuses to seek help, you have some serious thinking to do. It would be very foolish to go into a marriage with full knowledge that your man has serious  problems that he is in denial about.

A man with an overwhelming need for pornography that he cannot control and refuses to admit to is not a good bet for a healthy relationship or marriage.

 

Resources

Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health

Porn Addiction Recovery

Christian Porn Addiction Peer Support Group

Sexual Recovery Institute

 

 

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MsHeartBeat

Dating expert and advice columnist since 1993, writing as Ms. HeartBeat. Author of the hilarious street smart dating guide "Sucka Free Love - How to Avoid Dating The Dumb, The Deceitful, The Dastardly, The Dysfunctional & The Deranged."

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  1. zipporah says:

    i think she either needs to postpone the wedding or ask him straight up—-there is a website called covenanteyes.com which deals with porn addiction…its christian based..what happens with guys into this stuff—far from playboy magazine—is that he may want to do freak things with you like anal sex or threesomes inside your marriage…or not have sex with you at all since he has spent all of his sexual energy masturbating…just postpone it for awhile

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