‘Porn addiction ruined my marriage’

I CAN'T say it came as a massive surprise, finding the porn on my husband Ben's* phone. Things had been weird between us for a while. He'd lost interest in sex since our twin daughters were born six years ago.

I assumed he just didn't find me attractive anymore. Once you've seen a woman breastfeeding twins while watching "The Bachelor" in a pair of stained sweatpants, some of the romance has to die, doesn't it? I hadn't felt sexy for years, and I assumed it showed.

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Other than that, Ben and I got along great. We worked together well as a parenting team, we shared the household chores and enjoyed hanging out together whenever we got some spare time away from the girls. We laughed a lot and we liked each other.

We just didn't have sex anymore.

THE DAY EVERYTHING CHANGED

We were on vacation at the beach when I grabbed his phone to change the music he was playing. I could see it in his face straight away that there was something he didn't want me to see.

It didn't take me long to find out what it was. App after app of a variety of different types of porn.

It wasn't even the porn that upset me, it was the fact that I had assumed he wasn't interested in sex, yet here he was proving me wrong. He just wasn't interested in sex with me.

Still holding his phone, I told him I wasn't worried about the porn. He'd been into that stuff when we met and I didn't mind if he looked at porn occasionally.

It's just that it seemed like he'd started preferring porn to me.

I expected him to tell me I was crazy, and that of course he was still attracted to me, but that's when my worst fears were realised.

He said it was true. My size 12 body didn't do it for him anymore. To get an erection, he needs to see fake boobs, shaved pubic hair and overacted fake orgasms.

That's the only way he could get off now, apparently.

That's never been me. I'm real. I'm mouthy and opinionated, I expect to have a real orgasm during sex, and as a size 12, I am built like a regular woman.

He told me he's addicted and doesn't know how to stop. He's looking at porn every day and I just don't do it for him.

I've never been one to quit, and with all the love we had in our marriage outside the bedroom, I told Ben I was willing to work at our marriage if he was. If he'd get help for this addiction, and start putting some of that sexual attention back into our relationship.

He agreed at first to counselling, but I noticed him pulling further away. He insisted on going to counselling on his own because he said it was his issue to work out.

SOMETHING ELSE WAS BREWING

I started to suspect he wasn't just talking about the porn addiction when he went to see his counsellor because whenever I asked him how a session went, he was really vague. He didn't want to talk about it. I tried to put it down to his being embarrassed, but underneath I knew something else was brewing.

I was starting to feel desperate to know what was going on. Nothing seemed to be happening at home. The more he pulled away, the more I grasped at him, and at the remnants of our relationship - demanding to know where he was all the time, and who he was with.

I was turning into an insecure, clingy wife; something I'd never been before, and something I hated.

THE BOMBSHELL

Then one day Ben invited me to come along to his counselling session, and that's the day my whole world came crashing down. My husband sat in that room, with this counsellor I'd never met before, and told me he wanted a divorce.

It was only five weeks after I discovered porn on his phone - when I thought we were happily married.

I was stunned.

I argued that it was still early days, that I was willing to stand by him while he continued to get help for his problem. But he shook his head and looked at me like I was a stranger. In his mind, our relationship had been over for ages.

I felt like I pulled at a thread and now the entire fabric of our marriage had come undone. I was utterly devastated.

I thought I would be in this marriage for the rest of my life, and now I'm a single mom - starting all over again at the age of 44. It's something I never thought would happen.

But as painful as it has been, I'm glad I picked up my husband's phone that day. It forced us to face the truth about our marriage.

Although it hurts now, I know that once I've licked my wounds and settled into my new life, I'll have the chance to find someone who doesn't need porn - someone who finds me attractive as I am and wants to build real intimacy.

In the long run, Ben has done me a massive favour. It's a chance at a new life, and as soon as I'm ready, I'm planning on grabbing it with both hands.

 

*Name changed to protect confidentiality

 

This story first appeared on Whimn.com.au and has been republished here with permission.



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