By nancy
2/4/2011 11:37:04 AM
My husband came clean to me about his porn addiction about 4 months ago. We have been married 3 years and have always had a very active and what i thought satisfying s~x life. We never did anything with each other that we both didn't enjoy. Now that he has come clean i have been withholding that s~x life from him. Oh I have let him make love to me 5 or 6 time, but nothing like we use to do, and he is the one that has to start it. Is it right to withhold from him, or am i just driving him back to porn? He tells me when he has slipped and i believe him, its only been 2 times. I love him very much and i still believe he loves me with all his heart and that he is trying very hard. Do I try to make life hard for him, or show him an out pouring of love for coming clean and stopping? I have been told (by friends) that before we were married his old girlfriend tried to get him to do things, and that was why he left her.


My thoughts    
"Let me start by saying that I am a sex addict and have also been married to two different sex addicts. Only you can decide if it is right for you to withold sex. Don't do anything you don't feel comfortable doing. Witholding isn't going to drive him back to porn. If he relapses that's his fault, not yours. I also don't think, in my opinion, that witholding helps them get sober either. I think you just have to do what you feel right doing. I think that being loving and supporting is more helpful than being hard. Most of us addicts are hard enough on ourselves.

Remember that his addiction is not your fault! It isn't about your sex life being satisfying or not.

I wish the best for you and your husband. I hope you'll both come here and take advantage og the AR program and family/spouses program through family services.\

posted at 13:17:53 on February 4, 2011 by dstanley
D you have serious heart    
"I think you add a lot of understanding 99,9% of all of us on this site cannot ever achieve.
I think there must be a lot of faces on this site who appreciate your honest remarks and candid comments. We both have something in common - persistence.

Nancy holy cow my wife and I have been where you guys are. I bet you are still trying to survive from the old life and now learning to take your first steps in this new life.

Gees I wish you could speak to my wife, she has trodden a similar path as you have and she opted to turn herself into a virgin again. In fact she has reached "MONK" proportions. The rate she is going at, she will be Mother Theresa next week!

But I am reluctantly fine with the arrangement so long as she can live a happy life from now on. I just want to live with this Beautiful NUN, so in reality I am bracing myself to live a Pope life where I am a spiritual giant but no sexual relations.

Just messing around as you can tell but it is time that you take your life by the scruff of the neck and TAKE CARE OF YOU."
posted at 15:49:00 on February 4, 2011 by ruggaexpat
My wife    
"My wife doesn't call it withholding s~x; she calls it "boundaries." :)"
posted at 19:47:44 on February 5, 2011 by hubster
Not giving advice    
"But just speaking as an addict, a son of an addict, and the scion of a long line of addicts.
It is important to be honest about why you are withholding. If it is because you are not comfortable with physical intimacy, that is absolutely your right.
But if it is in an effort to punish or to try to fix your spouse, it may not be healthy.
My wife cannot fix me. That is up to me and the Lord.
Physical intimacy is part of a normal healthy marriage,it is a divine gift we have been given by Him.
Husbands must respect our wives and their boundaries. It is not healthy to push those boundaries. But, it is not healthy to use sex as a tool to punish our eternal companion.
Just food for thought.

posted at 14:15:53 on February 7, 2011 by Hk-47
with hold    
"My recent (long) post explains my situation. The short story is I was abstinent from mb for 10 months, then she decided on the boundary. I have been swirling down a giant whirlpool in the darkest ocean of mb ever since.

It is not her fault. I chose to, true. I still think it was so freakin rude."
posted at 17:46:07 on February 7, 2011 by lawrence
It’s tough…I know!    
"Hey Nancy. I’m glad you have found this site…this is the perfect place for questions like the ones you have. You are going to get lots of different answers based on different people and situations. That being said here’s my 2 cents…

I have never been one to withhold sex. I knew of my husband’s problem, he was still lying to me…I tried to use sex to win him back. That didn’t work, just more heart ache. Finally the truth came out. I think my husband just assumed it was going to be difficult for me to be intimate with him again, and I was nervous too. I think that lasted all of 2 days…maybe (I can’t remember). My husband was really sweet about this. He asked me if I was ready…I answered yes (we both just needed to be close). And even though our marriage didn’t have all the components (trust, fidelity, comfort, ect.), having our physical relationship missing too…well it felt to me like that would be one more thing missing. Does that make sense? My husband and I are very physical people. We usually fall to sleep snuggling.

Tables are now turned in an odd way. This sometimes confuses my husband, he wonders how I can be intimate with him, but still not trust him. He feels the physical connection we have means we are that connected in all ways. Kind of ironic that is how I used to feel…I felt that our sex life was just that, OUR sex life. It’s been hard for me that I ache physically for my husband, he is the only way to fix this. But if he starts “aching” it’s a struggle for him to not fix the problem himself.

I thought something was wrong with me for not having a problem sharing myself physically with my husband…and really wanting that physical relationship. My counselor said that every situation is different we have different comfort levels and triggers. There has been many a time that it was me that needed the closeness that comes from physical intimacy.

Another thing that is bad when we have a dry spell. The sexual tension between us. I hate that! So I get rid of it. For us physical intimacy helps the feelings in our home. Do I sound like a freak?

People might think I’m being Co-dependent but I’m going to risk it. If my husband “needed” me, if possible I would be there for him. We are married and we need to do all we can to help each other with what we need. There have been times when I have just needed to be close to him, and he wasn’t necessary in the mood…but he was there for me. If my husband came to me, I would be proud of him for not solving his problem by himself and feel honored that he trusted me.

This is just my situation yours may be dramatically different. I tried to point out in my 2nd paragraph that I KNOW more sex will not fix the problem (it didn’t before), but I want this physical relationship in my marriage. This problem has taken WAY too much from me…it’s not going to take my sex life too!"
posted at 18:08:44 on February 7, 2011 by summer
"You don't sound like a freak at all. It sounds like you've taken a very healthy approach to it and are doing what you need and what feels right for you."
posted at 00:16:46 on February 8, 2011 by dstanley
"Wow. I don't honestly think my wife has ever "liked" sex. Never "gotten there" so she just mildly enjoys it, but only if the house is spotless and all of the kids' missing assignments are done and the yard is perfectly manicured and there are no paint chips on the garage doorframe and if I bought her flowers and her timer since the last time has sufficiently ticked enough days, but even then she can take it or leave it. All the books say men "need" it in a marriage, to keep the bond there. I used to use that argument, and to be nice, she would, but even then she'd be ashamed to get any pleasure out of it, if you know what I mean, so highly encourage me to just do my thing. I wanted to please her, so I did my thing. Now she refers back to those times and blames me for it having no meaning for her. I get confused by this switching attitudes and claiming not to remember having a conversation. It makes me doubt my own sanity. Wait. I am an addict, therefore I am insane.

Now forever more that argument holds no water whatsoever. I am an addict, so if I "need" her, I am "fueling my addiction" and she will never have any part of it. I have worked myself into a frenzy here writing, haven't I? Maybe I shouldn't have posted. Maybe I should stay off the internet except to read conference talks. One time she took the book, The Care and Feeding of a Husband by Laura Schlessinger and threw it across the room. She says she is so selfish, but I always say "no you're not honey". Maybe I should just say, "yep, but not as much as me.""
posted at 09:31:18 on February 8, 2011 by lawrence
"These are all great thoughts, but I like SUMMERS 2 cents worth. Sex is a part of our marriage just as the other things that you have mentioned. If I cant be intimate with the one I love (yes I still love him) than how can I ever expect him to overcome this. He needs all the help that I can give him."
posted at 11:26:37 on February 8, 2011 by nancy
"Just to clarify a little. I have walls…emotional, spiritual, ect...You all know I’m a mess. But for some reason, physical walls are not an issue for me. So I’m not going to put them up. I hope that makes sense. My husband would probably prefer that I was more emotionally attached to him (fyi…things are getting better in that category) then physically. Last appointment I had with my counselor, I asked why I could give myself physically, but not be fully attached. He told me that for some people giving emotional attachment is much harder than giving physical closeness. That is true for me. But I have noticed that the physical relationship has helped in the other areas that are missing/damaged in our marriage. For the record, I feel closer to my husband when he has been open and honest with me verses being physically intimate.

Nancy- You can’t fix this with the amount of sex or kind of sex. If you are only having sex with him to get him to stop acting out…don’t waste your time. I have to make sure that my motives are in line, I have learned I can’t carry my husband’s addiction…way too heavy, and pointless in the end…it is him who needed to change his thinking. For me I’ve had to let go of wondering if my husband’s motives were healthy for wanting physical intimacy. I want a connection of love not lust…but all that I have control over is my motives.
A long time ago my buddy Gondor asked some questions about appropriateness in a marriage. Nyronian said some things that brought some comfort to me. Might be nice for you to look over. I’ll put the link at the end of my comment. I am so sorry you have to worry about this, it’s not an easy trial.

D- Thanks for saying I’m not a freak. :) You add so much to this website…I appreciate you!

Lawerence- I’ve read dr. laura’s book, I found some parts helpful and other parts completely absurd. One thing that I try to focus on is my motives. If sex is what you want your end result to be…then your acts of kindness might be overshadowed by that. I try to focus on what I can change. It doesn’t seem like you can control your wife's desire for physical intimacy, so maybe try a new way to show love to her? Hang in there!"
posted at 12:47:14 on February 8, 2011 by summer
Posted earlier on the other side!    
"Welcome Nancy!
"I noticed that your post was on the spouses and the addicts side. I am responding on the spouses side to your post. It is good you have come here to journal or ask questions. There is much wisdom here. You will also find those who are going through or have gone through the same things!

Your question about being sexual or limiting your sexual intimacy with your husband? There is no right or wrong answer here. For me I needed to continue sexual intimacy. I felt like our sexuality as a couple would help us both heal. His addiction has nothing to do with meaning is that you did not cause it you cannot control it and you cannot cure it! Plane and simple. So if you are uncomfortable then make those decisions strictly on your feelings not with a thought to having any control over what he is going to do or might do or has done.

Have you been attending a PASG support group for spouses? If not download the family support manual on the left of this screen. The purple one. Read the introduction you will find much strength and direction as you go through this process. You are going to need to heal regardless of what your husbands recovery choices are.

Love and prayers to you Nancy."
posted at 00:51:14 on February 5, 2011 by Hero"
posted at 14:07:29 on February 8, 2011 by Hero
a writing frenzy    
"i know this is nancy's blog, but lawrence made a comment, i would like to address.

lawrence, DONT QUIT THIS SITE. its a great site for helping you to sort out your feelings and get advice. sure, limit your internet usage, but dont eliminate this site, it is a great resource."
posted at 15:11:35 on February 8, 2011 by kaybee

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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball