A Letter to my porn addicted husband

Last night we suffered another major blow up. I’d observed him doing something sneaky. I already knew the what and where – but I asked him what he’d done to see if he’d tell me the truth. He chose to act like I was insane and imagining things.

Finally I called him out and asked him exactly what was on the cassette tape (the kind for older video cameras) that he had hidden in his car.

His immediate response was to start yelling at me for snooping.

After sleeping on the whole matter through the night – I tried a different approach this morning. Trying to figure out just how to confront a porn addicted husband is a real challenge. Getting them to admit it is another.

Here is the letter I send this morning…

I’ve contacted a spouse & recovery support adviser because I KNOW WE need help. I am going to take the first step toward healing. For me and for us. I begin therapy soon.

Honesty is so HARD, especially when you are the one that is having to eat the frog. That’s a phrase used when someone must do something that is very hard to do but is the absolute RIGHT thing to do. I’m willing to eat the frog and be totally honest with you about some things…

I think our marriage is worth it.
I think YOU are worth it
I think I AM worth it.

Yes, I have been suspicious.

Yes, I have been sneaky

Yes, I have chosen my words wisely to avoid telling a lie – I have been deceiving nonetheless. And that’s the same as lying.

Yes, there was a time when I had access to view information on the computers – I gave you the login and all monitors that were set up in there have been erased. I can get a specific date for you if you like – but it’s been clean since June.

Yes, your "addiction" became my obsession. I have spent a great deal of energy obsessing over not being good enough – not being attractive enough, not being young enough, not being enough period. Trying to figure out the magical fix that would make me your first choice and all the stuff that was weighing on me go away; down to using the block on our computers that used to be there.

I was searching for one of two things -

  • That proof I so desperately needed that told me you loved me and that I have nothing to worry about.
  • The straw that breaks the camels back. The straw that allows me to make touch choices without it hurting so damn bad.

Yes, I have said mean and hurtful things targeted right at what’s important to you – because I wanted you to somehow feel hurt as bad as I did even if it’s for just a few minutes.

and this, I tell you just because it’s what I would want you to do if you were in the same position and I don’t feel right not telling you…

Yes, I was contacted by a guy I used to date. He was going to be nearby on business. He wanted to know if I was still single. Wanted to meet me for drinks. I said No.

Yes, I was tempted. I was torn between the thought of making you a little jealous (but I knew that would blow up in my face) while on the other hand I thought it might be nice to feel like someone wanted ME again.  There were just a few friendly emails exchanged. That was shortly after my birthday. At first it was nice to be showered with compliments then I told him I felt wrong in writing him. He respected that and I’ve not heard from him since.

Yes, I borrowed $200 from my mom to help me cover my portion of the bills last month. That’s why I get edgy over some of the habits here a home when it comes to groceries and misusing utilities. I’m stretched as far as I can possibly be stretched when it comes to money. I have paid her back, but it was a very tough month for me.

That’s all the secrets I have.

I’ve asked you some pretty pointed questions to see if you’d be honest with me. Many times I already knew the answers. You won’t answer them. You just ask questions back and we never get anywhere. That keeps me trapped inside a bubble without trust.

Over the last few weeks, something is just not right. I can’t put my finger on it – even you have said several times "if you feel and think something is wrong, it usually is." Can you tell me why I’m having this feeling? I can promise I won’t keep watching and searching for the proof – but I can’t promise I won’t keep wondering as long as the ‘something’ doesn’t feel right.’ and I can’t promise it won’t cause me anxiety.

Ignoring the problems, not talking about them does not make them go away. They won’t heal on their own.

The measures you have gone to to support this ‘habit’ proves it’s more than a habit. You can’t see it now because you’re in it – but if you’d just believe in me, trust me and try it my way for about 5 months – I know you’d be pleased at how big of a difference it makes in you, how you feel, your attitude, our relationship, your relationship with everyone around you.

I’ve spent time over the last few months reading lots of recovery stories for both sides and I am very hopeful for us. I want that for you and for us. What is 5 months? Maybe less – if it makes life so much better?

My trust has been damaged. Trust issues take a LONG time to heal. My paranoid behavior is a direct response to your actions.

We’re in a vicious cycle here. You don’t trust me because I police you – I don’t trust you because you act sneaky and because of the viewing habits and feel the need to play police.

I know it feels like you’re being punished. That just happens when one person is hurt. It can be healed IF two people are REALLY committed to each other.

In my own defense, you have lied to me and it hurt, DEEPLY. I don’t trust you entirely. Just like I know you don’t trust me entirely. And WE are BOTH valid in our position. As a result of my injury, I am guarded. For how long, I don’t know – that depends on the actions WE take toward healing together!

The best thing you can do to help US get through this is to be honest. TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, BRUTALLY HONEST!! MORE HONEST THAN YOU’VE EVER BEEN WITH ANYONE IN YOUR LIFE!!

If you are that honest with me and I SEE that you are, I will begin to trust you again. And with the trust, I will be a bit more willing to be honest, open, and intimate with you. But if we keep going and if I’m lied to again, AND OUR MARRIAGE IS DEAD!!

NO more lies means:  No more lies, no more half truths, no more withholding the truth for fear of how each will respond. Honesty even if it hurts! That’s the best policy period because it’s the very foundation of trust. Without it we have nothing.

Tell me the stuff that’s hard to share. Tell me if you have a slip and act out. Tell me if you are tempted to do something counter productive to our marriage. Tell ME what you are thinking and feeling. Lies and deception lead to big problems – it doesn’t matter how big or small those deceptions are or how justifiable – even the tiniest of cancers can grow to kill.

YOU decide. You tell me what you want to do. There are things we can do together to get our love and marriage back on solid footing. But it is going to take sacrifice on both our parts.

I do love you – so very much. I don’t want to fail at our marriage. I want to be the happy, loving housewife who is anxious for her husband to come home from work – who feels safe from all the world just because of a pair of arms. To actually see that love in your eyes for me again that I haven’t really seen in MONTHS. I loved feeling like I was falling in love with you every single day – I don’t want to be the person I am now but I can’t do it alone. I need YOU!

me

6 Responses to “A Letter to my porn addicted husband”

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  1. stephanie says:

    Thank you! I have 3 children, am a Psyc D and have never felt as low as I do now. Thank you for sharing your story, it gives me hope. I havedone incredibly ugly things to Mike trying to control his addiction. I am ashamed of myself, and feel like what hesays is the truth. It is my fault. Everything he does is in direct relation to something I did. According to him and our therapists, if I didn’t question our family would be okay.

  2. Allie says:

    I’m glad you found my site and that you felt comfortable enough to leave a comment. I know exactly how you feel – I have never known low self esteem like I do the last several months. It’s terrible feeling like you have to play porn cop or stay one step ahead. It really eats at your mind, doesn’t it?

    There are days I feel I totally waste just worrying. I wish I had the answers, but the best I can do is offer a knowing kind of support. Feel free to reach out anytime you need to.

  3. ashley says:

    Out of curiosity, did you give this letter to your husband? How did he respond? I have recently become aware that my husband has an addiction as well, and I am scared that if we ignore it, it will only get worse. I am very non-confrontational and my husband is very defensive and anger-prone when confronted, so I have been struggling with how to handle it. I have actually drafted a letter myself, similar to yours, but have yet to give it to him for fear that I still need to learn more to make sure I am doing things exactly the right way to save our marriage, or, that once I do confront him he won’t be able to handle it and that will be the end of our marriage.
    How did you husband react to your letter? Looking back, would you recommend a letter, or face-to-face confrontation?
    Thank you so much, from one broken-hearted wife to another.

  4. Allie says:

    Ashley – I did give it to my husband but as usual, he managed to justify his addiction somehow. He has a way of turning things around. He tried to lead the conversation to be about me and my snooping rather than about him, his addiction and my concern. I have spent a great deal of time researching and reading even more. What I have found is an abundance of information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and feel that everything I read, fits my husband to the letter. I still closely monitor my husbands porn watching, but for a narcissist, he will either watch porn and remain faithful to his marriage or he will have porn stripped away and seek to have his needs met in another way.

    For me, it seems like a no win battle. Dammed if I do, dammed if I don’t. I wish I had better advice to give you on how to confront your own husband, but I’m just as clueless as you are girl.

    It feels like you’ve been tossed in a thick paper bag, shook up and released – left to find your way back home, doesn’t it?

    I can’t tell you how to handle your husband, but I can be a sounding board and a friend to talk with as you figure things out on your own.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers – I know it’s a very lonely and frustrating place to be right now.

  5. A scared wife says:

    I would love to know how everything is now with your and your husband. I am now having the issues with my husband and finding all kinds of searches in his phone that scare me. If you saw us we are the perfect couple, I am that perfect wife. I feel like I have done something wrong but I know I haven’t. I desperately want to fix this. When I have confronted him in the past about what I have found he gets defensive and says they are just pictures. He doesn’t think he is doing wrong by looking at pictures and it feels like a knife is being driven in my heart everytime I find a search. This is the first I have “talked” about it to anyone. I am desperate. I pray he sees what he is doing is hurtful and actually takes action to stop!! Any advice would help.

  6. Macy Gustin says:

    We have our moments. There are days/weeks at a time he will go without watching. I can always tell when he falls back into it though – he becomes cold, distant and finds just about any reason to fight – it’s how he justifies his watching. In his mind, he doesn’t pick the fight – I do – and I push him away, leaving him no option but to get his “release” elsewhere.
    The only thing that really STICKS at getting him to go longer periods without watching is to remind him that the man that molested his daughter for more than 14 years used to make her watch porn with him before he would assault her. He didn’t hear the court testimony so I let him know that if he ever wants to see just how much damage porn does, I can either get the transcripts or ask his daughter to let him know the details of what she endured.
    My stepdaughter is so strong – she’s becoming a real advocate against abuse, but she’s obviously one of the many faces of just how much damage porn can do.
    I hope things get better for you. I would not wish this feeling on my worst enemy. It’s a very dark, lonely place to be.

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