Porn and the Affair

I’m having a hard time writing today. I just can’t seem to focus enough to sit down and write a post from start to finish as I usually do. So instead I’m posting my answer to a question on the Q and A post. I feel a bit lazy doing it, but it’s easily long enough to stand alone as a post and I think it’s important.

Q: What part do you think your porn addiction played in having an affair?

A:  Good question.

For starters, I think the porn addiction was a sign of deeper problems. Porn is a form of false intimacy – it is a way to avoid real intimacy. In my case, I didn’t really trust my wife so I had a hard time being vulnerable with her in bed. Whenever we did have sex it was great, but because I had been looking at porn since puberty, I had unrealistic expectations for what sex should be like. I didn’t feel like I was living up to my expectations and I was filled with self-doubt, so I didn’t trust my wife when she said she was happy, all of which put me in vicious cycle of doubt, avoidance, and escape.

As for the porn, when I first started viewing porn as a young teenager, it wasn’t even really porn. It was pictures of women in bikinis or lingerie. Then it was topless women. Then it was full frontal. Then it was actual sex. Then it was kink. And so it went. There was a natural progression where each step made the next easier. The same was true of the affair and since I had walked similar steps before with porn, I think it allowed me to progress faster into the affair. In particular, I was used to suppressing my natural reactions to sexual stimulation that was wrong.

Another way in which porn facilitated the affair is it had long fostered secrecy in our marriage. I knew my wife didn’t want me looking at porn, so I became very good at hiding it and compartmentalizing it in my own mind. It became okay, at least in practice, to hide things – sexual things – from my wife. The affair played right into that. Just as with the hidden porn addiction, I thought if I could keep it secret and hidden, then no one would be hurt. It never worked out that way for porn or the affair, obviously.

I also think the long-term porn addiction has skewed my perception of sex and women. When you have viewed as much porn as I have, and have obsessively searched for the next great pic or vid the way I have, you start to view women in a very base way. That’s not to say I was incapable of loving and appreciating a woman, but when I saw a woman, one of my first thoughts was “Would I fuck her?” I was rating women in real life the way I was rating porn stars online. This made it easier to see myself having an affair with Scarlet because I had already done it in my fantasies.

As far as the addiction goes, I’m not normally an addictive type of person. I’ve tried smoking and drinking, but I’ve had no problem picking both up and dropping them at will. Porn, and the affair, have proved to be very hard to quit. I can’t really explain it other than to say that both are just always there, ready to pull me down. Whenever I’m having a bad day, whenever I’m bored, or whenever I’m feeling bad about myself, it’s always there looking so good. I know I could indulge in that addiction and I’d feel good for a couple of hours or maybe longer. There’s that siren’s song of, “Nobody has to know. It’s just a little harmless fun.” Right now I know it’s not true, but it’s easy to lose my head when I’m already weak.

So you see when I say I’m a broken person, it’s not mere hyperbole. I know I’m pretty messed up and porn has played a big part in that. That’s why I take it more seriously now and have tried very hard to stay clean and sober since the affair.

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About Anonyman

Recovering adulterer and husband of an awesome wife who has given me a second chance. Sinner and Christian, saved by grace alone. I cuss a lot
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17 Responses to Porn and the Affair

  1. I had a problem with porn, I still do I think. If I’m bored I think about it, M stays away from it and doesn’t watch it like I did. My problem was replacing M and so it had to stop. The fact that I had 3 girls also made me stop. I wanted to set a better example for them.

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    • Anonyman says:

      This is one of those times when a good memory is a liability. For me it had become an obsession verging on compulsion. I had hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of videos, and I could never have watched them all. But there are a quite a few that stand out in my memory in very clear detail. And of course they’re always waiting for me whenever I’m bored, stressed, or just needing to escape. The memories are slow to fade, but at least I’m not adding to them anymore.
      I don’t know to what extent porn was replacing my wife, but it was – especially when it became more compulsive. I’ve been looking at X-rated material since I was old enough to drive – about 18 years now – so I don’t even know what normal is supposed to look like. I have two boys and I hate the thought that they might get hooked as young as I did. I also want better for them.
      Whenever I think about porn addiction, or even just casual viewing of porn, I tend to think of guys. I suppose that’s a stereotype since women obviously do watch. You are not the first woman who has admitted that to me. Inasmuch as one can generalize about why men and women watch porn, I suspect their reasons are different.
      For me, just the arousal of seeing something sexual was a physical high, but I also liked the fantasies. It wasn’t so much about looking different as it was about acting different – watching the “actors” and “actresses” doing things that I can’t or won’t do with my wife. It wasn’t anything too extreme, more of a walk on the wild side. Anyway, probably TMI, but what’s the point of having an anonymous blog if you aren’t free to overshare sometimes, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • For me I just like watching the anatomy. The grinding, the pounding. I’m not a big fan of same sex porn. I too have memories of porn they are hard to get rid of. M introduced me to it and it just became a thing I never thought was terribly wrong in my life. Then it became a problem and having 3 girls and a boy. I certainly want more for them. I know that watching porn I was convicted about it. No one told me it was bad and I know there are many reasons why porn is not good for one who believes, but I didn’t buy it. Until God convicted me himself I would feel icky afterwards and I knew if I’m bored, or horny I should be getting it on with my husband rather than myself thinking about porn.

        So there’s that. I do miss it. I wish I didn’t. I wonder if that’s like an affair kind of?

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        • Anonyman says:

          Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I miss both at least at times, though more the porn than the affair. I wish I didn’t. I know both are wrong and harmful. Temptation is what it is, I just choose to resist.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicetomeetu says:

    I found out about my husband’s, year long, affair over 10 years ago. Somehow I was able to keep on going. Through the years and several incidences later I’ve found myself right back there…to where I was 10 years ago. I’ve been seeing a therapist since October and so has he. He is working on his many problems. If he had been doing this years ago, maybe our relationship could be saved. Each incident has chipped away at the love I felt for him. I don’t hate him…but not IN love. He wants to work things out. I hope you are able to get professional help and will be able to save your relationship!

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    • Anonyman says:

      I’ve made a lot of “If only I knew then what I know now” and “If only I had fixed the problems before I went and did something really stupid” statements. I’m so sorry you have had to endure this not once, but twice. I hope you are able to save your relationship, or at least get the help you need to make it through this mess he’s put you in.

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      • Nicetomeetu says:

        Yes, the help I am receiving has been a real asset to me. It’s hard because he is so remorseful and is finally facing his problems…some just discovering and others just dealing with from a whole lifetime of ignoring them. I fear it just might be too late though. If I no longer feel IN love or feel I can be intimate with him….not really sure you can get that back. Will NEVER be able to trust him again (been there done that…and stabbed in the back)…and I KNOW I don’t want THAT type of relationship. Very difficult seeing how he is hurting and struggling and its a fine line that I walk ….being here to support him, at least as a friend, and keep myself mentally stable, healthy and happy. It seems every time I try and help him…he feels better and I feel worse!! 😦

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        • Anonyman says:

          From what I’ve read, you can get it back. I firmly believe that love is a choice and an action verb in addition to being an emotion. That’s not to say you have to stay with him. But if he is working on his problems and if he is remorseful, I think you can make it work regardless of whether you should make it work.

          I’m curious why it is you feel worse when he feels better? My guess is there’s a lot behind that statement. I’ll take a stab at it if you don’t mind.

          To truly forgive your husband you have to recognize the full depth of hurt he’s caused. Only then can you forgive the debt. However, forgiving it doesn’t mean you have to stop hurting – you won’t. It doesn’t mean you have to forget what he did, either. But you have to be ready not to remember it, too.

          My guess is you are internalizing the hurt to make him feel better, but that’s not forgiving him and ultimately it’s hurting both of you. I’m probably way off, but that’s my two coppers based on what I’ve read.

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          • Nicetomeetu says:

            There are many factors as to why I feel as I do. Infidelity and betrayal are a part of it. He had regained about 80% (as much as I[d ever give again) and broke it at least 7 times that I know of. There was no smoking gun so to speak with these additional incidences but I was betrayed many times. His neediness and bad temper also has chipped away at my feelings. He’s more broken than I ever realized. It’s been years and years of this. I’ve stuck my head in the sand and realize I haven’t been true to myself and been faking it to a certain extent for YEARS. I’m drained and running on empty. Time to think of myself and put myself first!

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            • Anonyman says:

              Damn this WordPress app! I had a reply written and poof it goes into the aether.
              Anyway, that’s a lot of betrayal. I don’t think you owe him anything at this point. I’m a firm believer in forgiveness being best for both parties, but you’re absolutely right. You have to do what’s best for you. That may be to forgive him as best you can and then move on with your life.
              By the way, my speculation was only as to why you feel worse when he feels better. I obviously don’t have all the facts and I hope I didn’t offend.

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            • Nicetomeetu says:

              I hate when that happens! LOL No offense taken at all. I’m a very forgiving type of person…probably too much for my own good. Fool me once shame on you….fool me….7, 8, 9 etc times shame shame shame on me! I’ve gotten to a better place, in my head, several times. Then he is very down and depressed etc and I talk to him and try to help him. Then I feel as if I’ve taken 5 steps back. It’s a very tough situation. The best thing, right now, would be for us to separate. Unfortunately, it’s financially not possible. It would be hard enough living under the same roof if things were mutual….but being as they’re not….it’s been extremely difficult. Thanks for taking the time responding. Always nice to hear different ideas and perspectives. 🙂

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            • Anonyman says:

              Last bit of advice, I promise. I’ve both taken it and given it. You are not responsible for another person’s happiness or mental well-being. If you try to be, then you are holding yourself hostage to an unhealthy person.

              I will be praying for you. God can heal all wounds and he does work miracles, even when they aren’t the ones we’re looking for.

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            • Nicetomeetu says:

              Love what you just wrote! Thank you!! 🙂

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  3. B says:

    This makes so much sense, and is such a great, and simple, explanation of compartmentalization. And how once one line is crossed, each successive line becomes less of a big deal. Did you learn to lie when you were young? I believe children lie when they fear the consequence of the truth.

    Show yourself some compassion. You can overcome the addiction but you don’t and shouldn’t have to do it without help. Find someone you can confide in and trust, and who will help you learn to be accountable to yourself for what you want to achieve. Because in the end it IS for you…if others benefit then that is a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonyman says:

      I don’t really want to get into my childhood at the moment. It wasn’t bad, I just don’t want to get into it right now. Suffice it to say that yes, I was quite adept at manipulating the truth by the time I left home.
      I’ve tried having an accountability partner, and it sounds good so long as I don’t have anything to share. But once I slip up, I have a hard time admitting it. I have no problem standing up in front of 100 people on a regular basis, but the thought of sitting down with a friend and baring my soul fills me with indescribable dread.

      Like

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