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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My husband wont stop watching and masterbating over other

Customer Question

My husband won't stop watching porn and masterbating over other women. He knows this hurts and upsets me deeply and makes my self esteem even lower than it already is (I have gained a little weight so now weigh 8.5 stones and my body shape has changed after 2 children). Should I cheat on him to show him how it feels to be hurt and betrayed?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

From what you described, it sounds like the issue here is your husband's unwillingness to deal with his problems and not an issue with you or your marriage. And cheating on him will only give you the same problems he has and will not resolve anything. It may give him more of an excuse to continue to cheat.

It is very natural for you to feel deeply hurt by what your husband is doing. This is not about how you look or even your marriage. Addiction to porn and masturbation is like any other addiction and it is treated as a mental health issue. And if your husband cannot stop, he needs to seek treatment.

People are often attracted to porn because it represents an escape from their worries and burdens. It is common to feel stressed but not be aware of how much. Escape is appealing. And men are attracted visually to females so the nature of watching porn is an extension of that desire. They may not realize the damage they are doing to their spouses, however. Or they may realize and still not be able to stop.

Looking at porn is never a good idea in a relationship. It often makes you feel cheated on because your spouse is being turned on sexually by an image that is not you, but someone else, making you feel something is wrong with you. Any sexual feelings about another person, even if they are not in person but on a screen, is demeaning to the relationship and to the other person. It says that the relationship and the sex in the relationship is not enough and there needs to be something else (which is about your husband's issues and not about you).

It is ok to tell your husband that you feel this way. It is important that you have a chance to express yourself and have your side heard. Hopefully, if you tell him again, he will be willing to work on this issue with you. Let him know that he is not being faithful to you and making you feel like you are not enough for him. Expressing your feelings to your husband is vital because it impacts how you feel about how important you are in the relationship.

Also, insist on counseling. He needs to see a therapist for an evaluation to see if he is addicted and needs treatment and for marital counseling with you. Make this a mandatory requirement for you staying in the marriage. That way, he knows how serious his behavior is. However, if he refuses to see a therapist or doesn't pay attention to your needs, you may want to talk to a therapist on your own to decide how you want to proceed with your marriage. You deserve the support right now.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate









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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Today I put this to him, you either know it hurts and upsets me but can't help yourself or you know it hurts and upsets me but just don't care? He avoided the question and coming home on time so he doesn't have to answer me. I really wish I could speak to a friend but I feel too humiliated like what kind of a wife isn't enough for her husband?
We have 2 children together and I really don't want to break up their family as I came from a broken home and vowed If I had children I wouldn't do that to them. I really am exhausted physically and mentally from feeling this way and I hate myself for not being pretty enough or "fit" enough
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Since it seems he is not willing to work on this issue with you and is not paying attention to what you feel about it, you may want to see a counselor on your own. And while it is understandable that you don't want to consider ending the marriage, staying is going to force you to live with a husband who will not listen to your feelings. He may also hurt the children with his behavior since porn never is easy to keep as a secret and by using it, he is putting himself ahead of your family. Sometimes considering a separation can also help. He may need to know you are serious about the impact of his behavior on your marriage and your children.

See a counselor and decide from there what you feel is the best option for you. No counselor should ever judge you, but an experienced counselor will be familiar with these types of issues and you might feel more comfortable with someone who has worked with situations like this before.

Kate

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