Menu

Boyfriend's porn watching is ruining my life

HomeForumsRelationshipsBoyfriend's porn watching is ruining my life

New Reply
Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #39556
    Rae
    Participant

    My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years now, and have recently made a huge step in our relationship by moving in together. I’ve stumbled upon porn on his computer a few times accidently and have been feeling a bit betrayed and “cheated” on. That was back when we weren’t living together, and I wasn’t aware of when he would watch it or the frequency so it didn’t bother me too much. Quick note: I don’t watch porn nor really have any interest in watching. However, now that we’re living together, I’ve again, stumbled upon the downloading of porn and watching on both the computer and his phone. I’ve brought up the topic of several occasions, making sure he knew how I felt about it (that I didn’t like the fact that he watch it or was seeking it). Of course he assured me that it was something he does after a long day/stressful day to relax. He also said that it has nothing to do with me, as I questioned him about me not being able to satisfy him or if there was something lacking from our relationship. After each talk, I would feel reassured and so much more relieved, but these feelings of “why does it need to watch porn? is there something I’m not able to give him? is there something wrong with me? is he becoming a porn addict?” would always resurface within the next week or so. It’s like a vicious cycle of constant doubt that I’m not doing something right or there’s something wrong with our relationship.

    This is a feeling that I’ve been feeling constantly, every day. The fact that I know he watches porn when I’m not around makes me want to be home all the time so he can’t do it. He gets home before I do everyday after work, and that is the time he would spend watching it. I come home and knowing what just happened, I feel angry, and a sense of resentment. I think I just try to avoid the idea of it all, which makes me avoid him. He always wants me to go out (either to hang out with my friends, go to the gym, etc) so he can watch porn and masturbate (he has jokingly told me this, but I know he’s serious). In my mind, because I don’t watch porn or feel the need to watch it, I just can’t understand why he needs to…or for that matter, why anyone needs to.

    There are times where I feel like this “habit” is becoming something more serious. He tries to watch it as any chance he can (because he knows he won’t be able to when i’m home). He’s recently leaving work early (he says he makes up his time by working during lunch) so he can be home early. I’m assuming this is solely for the purpose of watching porn. I’m not sure what to do. I try to push these feelings aside and tell myself that this is ‘normal’ guy behavior. I’m always thinking when I’m not home, “what is he doing…I bet he’s watching porn.” It’s definitely tiring to always to be around this and have these unpleasant and angry feelings. Some insight on this from anyone would be great. Perhaps I just need some male perspective on if this is what guys do? or am I just being unreasonable and feeling like crap for no reason.

    #39558
    John
    Participant

    That’s uncanny! Two threads about porn in one day.

    I’ve responded to Katie earlier in this thread (http://tinybuddha.com/topic/the-initiator/), but I’ll share with you as well.

    I’m sorry to hear about your suffering and I empathize completely. I’ve been on the other side of this equation and reflecting back on my situation, I can readily say I suffered from a very unhealthy addiction to pornography.

    Rest assured you’re not crazy. This is not ‘normal’ guy behavior even though it may seem that our society condones and even celebrates pornography as liberating for both men and women. Let me be clear, I’m not anti-porn. If used mindfully and properly by two consenting adults, certain types of pornography can be used to explore new areas of physical intimacy between couples.

    However, I strongly urge you to watch this video and share it with your boyfriend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU

    The way it actually manipulates your brain and changes your physiology, I think pornography could be classified as a drug. Recreationally and in moderation, whether it’s tabacoo, coffee, alcohol, or marijuana, using drugs probably isn’t the end of the world and you can lead a fairly normal life partaking in these “vices”. However, depending on your will power, the availability of the drug, its potency, and other variables, the slope towards addiction is very slippery. The same applies to porn.

    Having been on the other side of the equation, I always wished someone had intervened to help me sooner. Instead, I had to learn the harsh consequences of the addiction on my own.

    If you can open your boyfriend’s eyes to the possibility that he may have a problem, I think that’s the most that you can do. The rest will be up to him to act to try and salvage and repair your relationship if he recognizes his role in the equation.

    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by John.
    #39560
    Rae
    Participant

    Hi John,

    Thank you for your response. I’ve brought up the addition aspect of porn to my boyfriend during the discussions we’ve had about me not being comfortable around it and the fact that he watches it (even when I’m not around). I asked him about often he does it and he says 2-3 times a week. I’m assuming that his is just the weekdays since we usually spend the weekends together. But I know for a fact that that’s not true. I know he does it more than he says. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was everyday. He tells me that no, he’s not some ‘sex crazed pervert’ and that I make it seem like porn is his whole life, when it’s not. Of course one sign of addiction is denial…so I don’t know how to even help. I mean, I really don’t know if he is addicted to porn or not…how can I know? If I ask, he’ll deny it or make it seem less frequent than it really is. So I just feel stuck. And i’m the one suffering because of it.

    In someways I feel like I just need assurance of some kind. Someone to tell me what “normal” is and what isn’t. I know that there is no such thing as “normal.” Everyone is different and someone can watch porn once a week and be called “normal” while someone else can watch it everyday and be “normal”. Is there a healthy balance?

    #39564
    John
    Participant

    You’re very welcome.

    Your boyfriend needs a lot of compassion and reassurance that he is not a sex crazed pervert. If he is watching as much porn as you suspect he’s watching, deep down inside he’s probably suffering and as you said, using it to “relax” or “escape” from the stress and anxieties of every day living. I would suspect the porn watching is simply a symptom of deep seeded anxiety problem.

    How much porn is too much? I think too much porn is when it begins to negatively affect those around you who love and care about you. That could be 1 day a week or 7 days a week. I think the same applies to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, video games etc. Everyone has a different threshold of tolerance for how much their loved ones use drugs or find other means to escape or relax and when they do it.

    Other than the frequency with which you suspect that he’s watching porn, have you noticed any other side effect that might help better understand whether it’s a problem? How much sex are you having? How would you describe the quality of the sex? Has he experienced any ED? How would you characterize his work life? How would you characterize his social life? Does he make time for hobbies? Does he make time for friends and family? Is he happy with life in general?

    In addition, have you considered other ways that you could help your boyfriend find a release from stress and anxiety? Exercise? Meditation? Cutting back on other stimulants like caffeine and alcohol? Or even perhaps having more sex to remind him that your shared intimacy could also be a place he could turn to in difficult times.

    If you haven’t already, I would suggest sending him the link to the video with a simple reminder him that you love him and want only what’s best for you both and the health of your relationship.

    #39565
    Matt
    Participant

    Fysh,

    In contrast to John’s heartfelt advice and pornography deliberations, I’m seeing something quite different in your words. It seems that perhaps you are obsessed with porn. Specifically, it seems like you are digesting your partners actions as having to do with you. As though because he likes porn, that it means he does not enjoy your company or sexual exchanges.

    If I were in your shoes, I would start there… it is inside our own view that we have the ability to heal, not through the control of the actions of others. His actions as “ruining your life” sounds like there is far too much of your self esteem interwoven with his actions.

    Buddha taught that sensual craving is a road to suffering. If your boyfriend is addicted or otherwise shifting his actions to create, maintain and defend his habits, that is a real difficulty that each of us has in our own way (until we are enlightened). Consider replacing “porn” with “playing with teddy bears”. If he leaves work to play with bears, lies about playing with bears as often as he does, asks you to leave the house so he can play with teddy bears, plays with teddy bears 7-14 times a week… would that have anything to do with you? Would his time playing with teddy bears be so often that he isn’t spending time with you?

    Seeing it this way can help you erode the attachment you have in your aversion to porn. Can you see how ridiculous it is to obsess about others’ actions? If he was spending all of the money in the household on teddy bears, or is being neglectful in the relationship because he only wanted to play with teddy bears… that would be one thing.

    So, what is it about yourself that you don’t like? Its perhaps that dislike that makes your mind get stuck in loops comparing yourself to his teddy bears and obsessing about his actions. Said differently, perhaps if you were more comfortable in your own skin and with your sexuality, porn would not be a problem. Or, if it was a problem for you, you could simply move on… like some people have to do when they are in love with an alcoholic. But, that’s not what you asked, or the way you described what you’re experiencing. How is your sex life with the boyfriend? Are you satisfied with your intimacy with him?

    Its possible that his sex drive is stronger than yours, that he is addicted, that he really does it less than you assume he does, or even something else. Whatever it is, consider that trying to stop him is codependent. Pia Melody has a great book on overcoming codependency that is on amazon if you’re interested. She will help you better target the obsession and control aspects of your behaviors, so you can be peaceful and happy without trying to change others.

    For the record, I am personally against the use of pornography to fulfill sensual desires unless we don’t have a partner or watch it with our partner. In a relationship, sex becomes a sacred binding force of intimacy that has the potential to provide so much joy and union that porn becomes rotten food. I only say this so you don’t continue to think I am just trying to help your boyfriend, it has nothing to do with him… it has to do with you and your health, your mind and your peace.

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #39566
    Rae
    Participant

    John and Matt, thank you both for your perspectives on this issue. I will be taking a look at both the video and book suggestions later on this evening.

    To answer the question about our sex life, in my opinion, it seems pretty average. I say this only because I don’t have any experience in this area, and my current boyfriend is my first and only sexual partner. We have sex about 2-3 times a week, and I feel satisfied with what we have. On the other hand, like Matt mentioned, he may have a stronger sex drive than I do, and it’s true. He has mentioned a few times that he’s not use to having so little sex. This is also because he’s had much more experience than I have and many more partners. I know for a fact that I’m not entirely comfortable with the act of sex itself, just because I’m still so ‘new’ to it. But I do try to be open minded about what he wants and what I can do to increase our intimacy. A lot of the time, I feel disinterested in it because of the fact that I knew he watched porn and had his “fix” hours earlier.

    Regarding addiction, I’m only familiar with the basics of it. As far as the activities my boyfriend and I engage in together or individually, points to a healthy lifestyle. He’s not spending all day glued to the computer watching porn, nor is he skipping work or cancelling plans because of porn. But I can only say this because we’ve agreed that he would not watch it when I was in the house. So I don’t know what’s going on when I’m not home or if I were to be away on a trip for a few days/weeks.

    Matt, you are absolutely correct that I feel his actions have something to do with me. I know I have self-esteem/confidence issues and I feel like by my boyfriend watching porn is not helping me at all. As silly as it sounds, but I can’t help but to compare myself with the girls on video. If these girls are what my boyfriend finds attractive and I don’t look anything like them, what does that say about me? Aside from just the physical attraction or physique of these girls, I know deep down he’s not trying to hurt me and he loves me a lot.

    I also know that it’s crazy and ridiculous to obsess over someone else’s actions. I’ve thought about this over and over again. Why am I so hung up on something that isn’t my problem or an act I’m doing? (If it was a problem, I do want to be able to help that person. But in my case, I’m not even sure if there is a problem/addiction.) But because of my obsession with this, I’m making it a problem for myself…and I don’t know how to stop. I don’t want to be the type of person who controls other people. I know it’s not my right to tell someone else what to do.

    What it also boils down to is trying to figure out why I have such as aversion to porn or why I’m uncomfortable with my sexuality. I’ve watched it few times just out of curiosity, but it never really became something I cared for, or conjure up thoughts of “oh, maybe I’ll go watch porn.” I know a lot of people agree that porn is disgusting, gross, disrespectful, humiliating, etc. but it seems like it’s the opposite for people who enjoy it. And I just can’t wrap my head around it.

    If all the porn in the world were to be gone tomorrow, I would be the happiest girl alive! But that just wishful thinking. Thanks again for all the replies…I do feel a little bit better getting this off of my chest and hearing some personal experiences and responses.

    #39568
    David Goettsch
    Participant

    You know this is a topic that I had to give my two cents about, because I personally went through something pretty similar to what you are talking about. My relationship had taken a serious turn for the worse and also porn had become a big issue and a stress reliever for me. I really thought it wasn’t a big deal until I finally stopped watching it. Its been about 7 months now, and my relationship has been on a whole new level personally and intimately. That video John posted really is some powerful powerful stuff. Even assuming that he doesn’t have any physical issues, porn is, at least in my experience, very destructive to a healthy relationship.

    Even if he is just relieving a physical need due to a higher sex drive, porn really saps away at the intimacy of a relationship, and leads to some unrealistic expectations of what intimate sex in a relationship should be like. I’m not saying people don’t have successful relationships with porn involved, i’m just saying that you should highly suggest that he watches that video john mentioned and checks out what NOFAP is all about. It can really change your life. Matt also really hit it home, all you can really do is help him along whatever road he is headed down, and make sure not to obsess about it. My story is a bit one sided because porn was destructive for me. Just be patient with him and introduce him to the materials john showed you. He will find his own way, and eventually if his porn use becomes a bigger issue, he will at least be able to see it more clearly instead of blaming something else in life because he has already seen what porn can do. Best of luck!

    -Dave
    personal-growth-project.com

    #39619
    Rae
    Participant

    Thank you, David for sharing your experiences.

    I watched the video John shared last night with my boyfriend and it really hit me that addition is very real. I have a science background and the brain has always been fascinating to me. But what the video showed really stuck with me (how reward can really alter your brain) and every time someone watches something a new or different kind of porn it piques their interest so much that it’s almost like a drug that they seek and want all the time. I can see how this can become a cycle that continues until it becomes an addiction. I’m just hoping that my boyfriend can see and understand the messages that were conveyed through this video.

    #39643
    John
    Participant

    That’s great! I’m glad you and are you boyfriend were able to watch the video together.

    David mentioned NOFAP and I have to admit, I tried it myself for a few months and it was great. I think fasting of any kind (sex, food, etc) can do wonders to clear the mind and rejuvenate the body.

    If you needed to share any more arguments with your boyfriend as to why he should eliminate porn completely and cut back on masturbation, here are just a few:

    – it will improve the quality of his erections
    – when he does have sex, he will be able to last longer
    – more testosterone in his system will actually reduce his anxiety and make him more resilient to stress
    – his voice will deepen and he’ll sound more masculine
    – his confidence will improve
    – he’ll want to have more sex with you (if your libido doesn’t match his, there are other ways besides intercourse to give him the release he craves and still help you deepen your connection)
    – he will have more free time on his hands

    While I do support eliminating solo internet porn watching, I don’t believe in eliminating masturbation completely. Some people do. Nevertheless, both of you will find lots support and testimonials from this website:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/

    Here’s to your new and improved sex life! I hope things work out. 🙂

    #39661
    Fractured
    Participant

    I have to give special thanks to John for posting the link to the video. This explains SOOOO much to me. Like others here I’ve been on the other side of your issue. For me the addiction has carried a very heavy cost. I’ve ruined what could have been a happy 20 year marriage, I largely ignored my children through their best years growing up, and I suffered for years with depression and anxiety, and so many other negative side effects.

    While in the midst of this addiction I was completely unaware of the phyisical and mental changes happening to me. If someone had confronted me I too would have denied any “problem” and blamed my symptoms/issues on other causes while, as the video suggests, my libido went into the basement and I increasing neglected my wife. In the end it took her having an affair to snap me out of it and realize what I’d done (and by then it was too late).

    The last eight months of recovery and trying unsuccessfully to keep my marriage and family together has been the most challenging and painful time in my life and yet I’ve also seen the rebirth talked about in the video.Since quitting watching porn I’ve lost 30 pounds, I am in the best shape of my life, I feel 15 years younger, my libido has never been higher, my thinking and mental state is sharper than ever, I carry more confidence at work, and on and on. As I mentioned I could never have known how much this had affected me and until watching the video I didn’t really understand my “recovery” either.

    Have your boyfriend watch the video and quit before it is too late and the damage is too great. If he won’t quit you can predict where this goes and what you have to look forward to if you stay with him. Like others I’m not anti-porn now but I’m living the example of what happens when it goes overboard and my suffering has been huge.

    Hope this helps….

    #39706
    Sara
    Participant

    Fysh,

    Run. Run like you’ve never run before. You can not make him recover and you will drive yourself crazy trying to control him, no matter how many videos on addiction you have him watch or how much you tell him that it hurts you. I recently ended my engagement and moved my sex addicted fiancé out of my home. He would tell me lie after lie to try and keep my emotions at bay so he could continue to act out. It wasn’t until I found the plethora of avenues that he was involved in on the internet that I realized how out of control his addiction was. The addict is usually the last to realize there even is addiction. There are exceptions to the rule, people who can fight this and win without in/outpatient treatment, but they are rare. But, since in this case you have reached out on a forum, I cannot sugar coat this. Run. Or at least, educate educate educate yourself. Look into COSA, codependents of sex addicts. Find the website and either find a meeting near you, or find a telephone meeting to listen in on. It may sound more familiar than you want it to.

    Wishing the best for you no matter what the resolve.

    #40180
    Dee
    Participant

    Hi Fysh – I am also dating a guy who watches a lot of porn (well, hopefully still dating, check ‘relationship break?’). I’m 22. For various reasons, my libido had been low for 2 out of our three years of dating. He, on the other hand, had a very strong sex drive. I don’t know if this will help you at all, but from what I am reading, it doesn’t sound like he has a problem watching porn. I agree with Matt, it sounds as if you are the one who is having the problem. If he has a good social life and is generally happy, I doubt his interest in porn is anywhere near an addiction. I don’t mean to make you upset. My boyfriend watched porn probably at least once a day, and that had never bothered me. It just meant that he was horny and wanted to do something about it, and I (the obvious first choice) wasn’t around.

    Is your boyfriend sexually attracted to you? Do you feel like he thinks you’re beautiful, that you’re sexy? If so, then you have nothing to worry about from any girls in porn…
    The only thing I can compare it to is have you ever read any books with steamy scenes that you like? I don’t mean like real erotica, but like even regular novels with steamy scenes that got you going. That’s something that I have always enjoyed, and just because I think one of the characters I am reading about is totally sexy and hot and I would love to be in that gal’s place, doesn’t really affect my feelings for my boyfriend at all. Just another way to think about it.

    As for the humiliating vs. awesome thing… I think the majority of popular porn is made for the male gaze and can perpetuate male dominance, etc. However. I also think a lot of popular music is like that, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good song. Porn is a great way for people to get turned on and have a good time. It also totally perpetuates the male hierarchy. I think you just kind of have to accept it for what it is. You don’t have to like it!

    My thought is that you should really sit down with your boyfriend and try to talk honestly. He seems like he is interested in obliging you, even if he’s not exactly doing what you want. Sit down and talk to him. Ask him why he watches porn, what it means to him. Ask him if he feels like you aren’t enough for him. Does he think you’re sexy and beautiful? Does he compare you to those girls? Try to listen really honestly and understand how he feels. My personal experience with guys is that most guys I know rely on porn as a way to curb their sexual appetite. I think it would be hard to get him to stop doing it. Since you’re the one who feels confused about it, try to listen honestly from his perspective. Who knows – hopefully, he will tell you how he feels about it and you might be able to see it as just something he does rather than a form of cheating on you.

    Good luck!

    #40266
    Justin
    Participant

    I read a few of the replies and they all may be light to your situation, and if I could be any help to the circumstance to ANYONE with curiosities in this subject I hope I am with what I am about to share. Without getting into heavy detail and running on (if anyone has any questions after I’ll gladly answer) I am a male, and I use to watch porn frequently. Now to society I wouldn’t of been classified as having a problem, maybe even noted as healthy it wasn’t hurting nobody and it was my choice. As I thought. Until I got into a relationship with someone that sex drive was out of control and by any means I do not mean that in a good way. We’re no longer together, I personally think she has an issue (almost being a sex addict) that runs VERY DEEP emotionally and spiritually. What I am getting at is, instead of examining her ways or questioning her, I started questioning my actions, and how do I end up in these same situations that seem to be getting worse? So I started observing myself and this is what I came up with from studies and knowledge I have acquired on the subject:

    It is said that the “eyes are the windows to the soul” I truly believe in this statement. From watching tv, choosing what you read, to WATCHING PORN. I thought it was entertaining, and I enjoyed it. Now that I look back it was counterproductive and helped me develop many insecurities and fears that I was bringing to life without even knowing it. Also I noticed it was linked to a time where I would be down about things, unhappy about something, or anxious. As studies show that sex releases similar chemicals as dope. Now who would say I was an “addict” I watched it once a week, maybe 3 times a month, but it was a symptom to an underlying problem I had that needed to be addressed to seek change.

    Likes attract likes, so if I could give you any advice, ask yourself is this his problem or your problem? And truly observe yourself to see if you need to change.

    Feel free to ask any questions, I hope this helps. 🙂 Have a great day!

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.