I'm at a loss. I love my husband. We've been together for nine years, married for three. We have two wonderful children. But I think he has an addiction.
For years, he’s been looking at pictures of other women. Not porn pictures, but photos of women on Facebook. Some are friends from high school, some are complete strangers.
Either way, he's added them as friends and I often discover he's been looking at the "less than appropriate" photos they post on their profiles.
We've discussed this many times. When I caught him searching for nude self-shots of teenagers (18+), we had a long talk and he swore he wouldn't look at those pictures again. Three times since, he’s broken that promise.
He knows these pictures hurt me, yet he keeps looking. When I complain about it, he says I'm "controlling."
We had issues before with him texting female friends constantly. He’d communicate more with them than me. When I requested that he stop, he once again said that I was "controlling" him.
Ellie, how do I make him see that his actions have caused me not to trust him anymore? I feel he was having an emotional affair with at least one of the women he was texting.
I feel that the constant looking at nude pictures is an addiction that he refuses to acknowledge.
I understand men look at porn, but so frequently? It seems he can't start his day without looking at inappropriate pictures posted by his Facebook "friends."
Do I continue to try and salvage our marriage or is it time to call it quits?
Can’t Take Much More
An addiction is an addiction, whether it’s over porn, nude self-shots, or Facebook “friends.”
He keeps turning your comments against you as “control,” so you need to move from expressing your feelings, to alerting him to your actions. He needs a strong reality check about how he’s affecting the marriage.
Talk to a lawyer and understand the process of a separation, so that if you warn him of that possibility, you know what you’re talking about.
Then tell him you love him, and will fight for him, and support him, if he’ll acknowledge his “habit” and get help.
If nothing changes, then tell him you cannot just stand by and accept this obsession of his indefinitely.
Either he goes for therapy about it, and marital counselling with you, or you and the kids (whom you need to protect from being aware of his looking at photos of nude teens!) will go it alone. He’ll have to leave.
I'm an introvert, and I enjoy my life. I’ve been single for some time and prefer to remain that way.
Yet my exes keep trying to come back in my life, though I ended most of these relationships.
I’ve never felt all that connected to them. I’m very aware of how emotionally distant I can be, and am in counseling.
These men who are contacting me just annoy me. They think I’m playing hard to get, or they’re trying to "fix" me.
How do I make it clear that I’m truly not interested?
To permanently dis-engage from people contacting you, change your email. And your phone number.
Stop explaining yourself to others. If you’re happy on your own, don’t allow these intrusions to clutter your life by keeping them going.
But stay with the counselling. You clearly question some of your emotional distancing yourself.
FEEDBACK Regarding the June 17 feedback on the woman "wanting a real marital home:"
Reader – “Your initial advice was much better than this mean-spirited analysis in which the woman’s described as "a kept woman." What about the fact that she owns the house they live in?
“Her husband contributes only 20% of his salary to cover his share of room, board, maintenance, cooking, and cleaning, so one could argue that he’s a "kept man."
“Her husband should set financial limits on his adult children, after having already paid for their expensive post-secondary education.
“Having everything handed to them isn’t helpful long-term. He can help them out from time to time, but not with two-thirds of his income.
“The couple (three years’ married) should seek financial advice to come up with a more equitable arrangement, one in which the wife has some say in how their joint "assets" (her house, his income) are managed.”
Tip of the day:
Addicted people don’t seek change until they want to, but a reality alert can kick-start that process.