I’ve been married to my husband for seven months, together for six years total. I have three children from a previous marriage, and we had a baby together (now 14 months).
Throughout our relationship, I’ve discovered many photos of women on his phone (I did snoop). He’s mostly found them on social media or through a search history of pornographic models.
Earlier in the relationship he had group messages with friends where they share these pictures.
This bothers me since the photos are from social media platforms or the women’s personal pages which I feel is more intimate than surfing porn sites. It also makes me feel that he’s "thirsty" for other women.
I confronted him and said I don’t like it for these reasons. He’s said he’ll stop, but doesn’t. He’s still involved with this porn frequently, more than once a week.
We no longer have sex, maybe once a month (when I initiated), which I’ve now stopped.
He says I’m insecure and that’s why I have issues with it. He also says he doesn't do "everything he used to do,” (I assume the group chats). He’s now resorted to secure folders or decoy apps to continue this behaviour.
He also now refuses to even talk with me about it.
I feel I cannot discuss anything with him - this or other important issues - as he doesn’t want to hear the same thing.
Am I overreacting or is this as serious as I believe it is?
Photos Replace Intimacy
What’s serious more than the photos themselves, is the growing distance between you two.
He doesn’t want to give up something that bothers you, you’re feeling ignored, and you’ve both given up on intimacy/sex together.
The harm to your marriage is even more serious since there’s a baby and three other children to raise together.
Try a new approach: If he was obsessed with some other interest – say, a baseball fan always watching games, keeping statistics, constantly talking to like-minded friends – you’d present your concerns differently.
You’d say, perhaps, that he’s not giving needed time to the kids and responsibilities in the house, and that you miss him as your partner in bed.
Currently, “discussion” has been about your opinion that what he’s doing is wrong. So, since he enjoys the “fun” of his photo-finds, and then sharing them with his equally-voyeuristic mates – he ignores your request to stop and closes down.
If this continues, insist on getting counselling together.
Tell him that this issue is very divisive and that an eventual separation/divorce will be very costly emotionally and financially for the children and both of you.
He’s not only addicted to porn, but also to the desired self-esteem-kick in securing it from private sources. Unfortunately, that’s as smarmy as searching through women’s dirty lingerie for a turn-on.
I’m an Agnostic, and my girlfriend is deeply religious. She prays about everything (but I’ve never seen or experienced a prayer answered). I question everything: Jesus, Satan, Hell, Heaven, etc.
We’re not yet married, but we’re talking about it.
Should We Marry?
Keep talking until you both understand each other’s viewpoint, and respect it enough to not need to convince the other of being “wrong.”
The important binders in a marriage are mutual respect and love, bolstered by how you treat each other and behave in the world.
Differing ideas/opinions aren’t a major problem unless they lead to coercion, putdowns, and ongoing arguments.
FEEDBACK Regarding the parents’ concern that their Christian-raised daughter’s in love with a Muslim man who wants her to convert and have children very soon (May 8):
Reader – “This isn’t just a religion question. It’s a typical demand/expectation of a patriarchal society, and isn’t limited to many Muslims.
“Some Christian denominations, Jewish sects and many societal groups incorporate a patriarchal system, and expect a young woman to accept the control of a man and his family.
“That's really what’s happening here. Many young couples make a decision for one to convert to the other's religion, but hopefully without familial coercion.
“Unfortunately, this situation has only a binary choice - convert (and expect a growing distance from her family) or break up.
“There’s probably no good outcome for the young woman's parents unless she slows things down, and also considers that she’s not being offered a say in her future.”
Tip of the day:
When a couple’s disagreement over one partner’s behaviour persists, and discussion and sex/intimacy end, their union (and family) are at risk of separation.