Hi I really hope someone can help and advise me. I have been married for 22 years and my husband has always looked at porn. I am not a prude and would be a liar if I said I hadn't looked too over the years. A few years ago my husband took things a bit further and joined a sex community on the internet which involved chatting etc and he also opened up an msn messenger webcam account. I went along with this because I didn't know how to say no but I was never really happy with it. As time went on my husband was using msn messenger every day and he developed an online relationship with one particular woman. It seemed to me that he couldn't wait for me to be out of the house so he could log on to talk to her. I told him I wasn't happy about it and it caused a huge row. He said that it was only a bit of fun and that I knew he was doing it so what was the problem? He did stop and closed the accounts down but a few months ago he said he had had a random email from another sex community site so he opened it up and before I knew it we had another account with several "friends" I told him I wasn't happy but he again said it was a bit of fun. I feel embarrassed and ashamed to say I went along with it again and joined in because he is so persistent. Once again he has found one woman to have an online relationship with and he has been logging on everyday to her to chat and have cybersex. I challenged him about it and it caused another massive row. He said "it's only a bit of fun but you have never been comfortable with it. I make no secret of it so what is your problem" I told him it hurts me very much and that I wished our marriage was just about us but the row just escalated and we are not currently on speaking terms. He is away working at present and he hasn't rang me or emailed me since the argument. I can't ring him due to where he works and I feel he will probably ignore any emails I send. I feel ashamed of myself for not being strong enough to deal with this and also I feel I am a hypocrite - can I really critiscise my husband for doing something I did myself even though I was never really happy about it?
I am confused and very upset and don't know what to do next. My husband will not consider any kind of therapy or counselling. If anyone has any advice I would be very grateful.
I understand your concerns. You are certainly not being unreasonable nor hypocritical. He is being unfaithful, committing cyber-adultery! Porn is dangerous and addictive.
Of course he won't want counselling or therapy because he does not consider he needs it, nor does he want to change. Your marriage is a covenant which he has broken. It is not 'just a bit of fun!'. That is the excuse also used by some who commit physical adultery.
This has now been going on for a few years, so has become a regular ingrained habit that needs to be stopped. It is going to be hard, but he needs to know that you thoroughly disapprove and are extremely hurt. You do not need to justify yourself. In the face of accusations of past behaviour, admit you were wrong, and that you should not have done it. No-one is perfect. You can only be considered a hypocrite justly if you condemn a practice you engage in whilst pretending to avoid it. Many have turned from abhorrent behaviour to proclaim the dangers of that particular behaviour. Preferably this has to be done fave-to-face, refusing to be drawn into arguments. If it has to be put into writing, do so in a very carefully worded and thoroughly reviewed letter, not an email.
There is no excuse for your husband's behaviour, but is there anything that he might consider so? How have you been communicating on a social basis? Have you been sharing all aspects of your lives together? Are there family problems? Financial problems? Spiritual problems? How has your sex-life been? Have you both been meeting each other's sexual needs? Is there anything that you can do practically to address any of these things? (This is not necessarily admitting failure or being complicit in any way).
You may be able to go for counselling yourself. It may be that doing so will alert him to your seriousness on the issue. Where do you live? Are you in any way associated with, or know of, a church that could help? Many have good pastoral facilities.
This, I know, only touches the surface, but I hope it helps a bit. If you want to chat more, please feel free to do so (privately if you prefer).
Shepherd I very much appreciate your reply and it makes a lot of sense to me. I would like to chat more but I am having difficulty registering on this site as I used it as a guest member earlier and don't know how to contact you. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I'm glad I was of some help.
I don't know why you could not register. Try the 'contact us' link at the bottom of the page, and maybe the SteadyHealth team can help. I will wait to hear from you later.