I asked my porn addicted husband to leave 4 months ago. He is living in our RV a few miles from the house. I have been a chump for 8 very long years and now I find myself in a terrible position. When I married him 14 years ago, I thought I had vetted this guy well. I was a divorcee with an alcholic x and a 4 year old son.
We dated for 2 years and I had to get an annulment so we could marry in the Catholic Church. I asked all the “right ” questions. My mistake was believing him. I even asked about porn and he assured me that he found porn disgusting and would NEVER hurt his wife that way. He came from an intact family, mom and dad well liked and very involved with the church. I got my annulment and we married. I agreed to quit my career and stay home to raise my 4 year old. We had 4 children over the next 6 years.
I caught him masturbating to porn when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with child #3. He swore it was stress and his first time and he was sorry. He went to the priest and confessed his sins. Hmmm. Then of course, I caught him again and again and again.
I went through the oh honey let me help you stage. The take the kids and leave for a week stage. The throw the computer out and get rid of cable stage. The screen EVERY SINGLE movie we rented for nudity or sexy scenes stage. The acting like a hooker in the bedroom stage. And on and on it went. I read every Carnes, Schaumburg, Marsha Means book available. I told no one. I kept it as my shame and secret. I tried, God knows I did to help him to stop. But, in the end this old girl could not look like a Nympho Teen. Or a Slutty Teen. Or a beautiful 16 or 17 year old girl. I was not enough. He has never admitted to anything physical, but my instinct says different. I always caught him. Then he would “try” recovery.
I am 53 and have 5 children. 4 of whom are still at home and I am homeschooling them. I have not been employed in the workforce for 14 years. I told him the last time I caught him, he would have to leave. He was a police officer and within 2 months lost his job. We now have no health insurance and I doubt he will be able to get a job as an officer again. He has not been very forthcoming about why he lost his job after 5 years of decorated service and a promotion to detective. But I can make an educated guess.
My question is this: I realize that all of you have had husbands or wives who have had physical or emotional affairs. But this porn feels just as bad I think. I am so hurt and I do not love him anymore and have told him that. I have told him I will NEVER live with him again, but he comes over 3 times a week to eat dinner that I cook, with the kids. So I have to sit there and eat the shit sandwich and smile while my kids are so happy to see daddy.
I still am a chump. I can’t divorce because he has no job and no way to pay child support. I walk around like a zombie. I love my children and do not want them hurt. I believed him everytime he said he would change. What to do? How do I stop with the hopium? How do I extricate myself from this man? He says he will NEVER give me a divorce. I would have to rely on the state legal aid to try to get a divorce. I have no family here.
As a side note his father has been found to have been molesting 3 of my husband’s sisters’ daughters. This shit runs in the family. His mom knew, just never said anything. Am I wrong for feeling like this is infidelity? He says it is not infidelity and that he loves me and that I am his “soulmate” and he will never let me go. He says there are two sides to him –the good guy and the “deciever.” He has lied so much to me I can’t believe anything he says, but he brings me hot coffee in the morning and my favorite sandwich for lunch. He makes me sick.
Why am I stuck being a chump? I am trying to get away but I can’t seem to get out.
Boy, where to start? Okay, first call that legal aid society and get some professional help NOW. You need to divorce this guy — he’s not going to get better and he’s had umpteen chances. Why are you stuck being a chump? Because you’re ACTING like a chump. Change the actions and the chump thing goes away. First step — get legal advice. Make an escape plan with the help of a professional.
Next, grandpa is a child molester and husband likes to jerk off to pictures of underage girls is NOT a coincidence. This little “aside” would be enough to have me running for the hills with my 5 kids in tow. Get your kids some therapy now — direct yourself to local social services, whatever you have to do. Find out if they’ve been abused and get them some HELP.
After that — quit homeschooling. You need to free yourself up to get back in the workforce. And if the kids need counseling, the best place to get it might be the school counselor who can make referrals and set something up. Especially with this drama and crazy dad in the RV, the kids need a safe haven that isn’t home life. And you need the independence that comes with a J-O-B.
Lastly, the porn question. Is it infidelity? It doesn’t matter what I think — what matters is what YOU think. If this is a deal breaker for you, then it’s a deal breaker for you. He knew this, he did it anyway. You’re not compatible. Your values don’t match. He’s not the man for you. Look, he’s not the man for ANYONE seeing as he’s very fucked up and admits to being a “deceiver.” You could never feel safe with this man, ever. So start putting your life together to DUMP him.
He won’t grant you a divorce? Huh. He doesn’t get a say in that. He can tell it to a judge. Sure, he can resist and try and make things difficult, which is why you don’t tell him what you’re doing — you just DO IT. Get professional support ASAP and make a PLAN. I’m sure whoever awards custody would be interested to hear about his porn habit and grandpa’s molestation. Demand supervised visitation.
Back to porn — if you want my opinion here it is — in moderation, I don’t have a problem with porn. I don’t think looking at naughty pictures is cheating. I think for some people it spices up their sex lives, and for men, it’s just something most of them do. As much as it might skeeve some of us out, and our own sexuality might not be wired that way, some people enjoy it. Okay.
But here is my problem with porn — and spending huge amounts of time in virtual worlds PERIOD — it’s escapism. When porn warps your idea of what actual sex with real people is like, when you prefer the fantasy over the authentic, when you demand that real life mirror porn life — you have a problem with connection and intimacy. Pin-up photos don’t have needs. They stay glossy and perfect no matter how many times you jerk off to them. No real person can compete with a fantasy, whether that’s an affair or a porn site.
So if someone spends an inordinate amount of time with porn — my take away is that this person prefers sex without intimacy. They prefer escapism over real life. That tells me a lot about their character and what kind of partner they’d be.
And I hope this goes without saying, but if the porn is CHILD porn? If their fetish is underage girls and boys? You call the cops. Period.
(If anyone wants to jump on me for civil liberties and presumed innocence — I’d prefer to let the law enforcement professionals make that call. My sympathies are with the victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse.)
Hopeless Chump, your situation is not hopeless, it’s just hard. But you can get out if you set your mind to it. Just take the first step — call legal aid — and get on the road to your new life.