o kaaaaayyyyy -
I read the original post as being written by someone who was feeling really really tender and vulnerable. Let's keep this thread to her, and move the general porn/ religion thoughts to a new thread if anyone is so inspired.
I hope the OP still feels comfortable to chime in and let us know how she's doing, and how she's decided to handle things thus far.
Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).
OP, I have very different views of porn, so I will just comment on what I see as the heart of the issue. You and your spouse had an agreement on an issue that is very sensitive. And he broke that trust. You have every right to feel as you do and need to talk to your DH about it. At the same time, come to the discussion with as open a mind as possible. You both love eachother and are going through the difficulty of long physical separations, which would put pressure on most marriages. Talk about how you can both be true to and respectful of yourselves and each other.
Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymore.
The dynamic is similar to when a teen wants to do something that their parent doesn't allow, so they do it and lie about it. Whenever we attempt to control other people's behavior, we set ourselves up to be lied to.
I get this and agree with the gist of it but the OP's issue is not with a teen child but with her adult husband. You are, understandably, concluding based upon your own point of view that he didn't really mean it when he said he wouldn't watch porn. Taking her at her word, she and her husband mutually came to an agreement that he wouldn't watch porn. She wasn't attempting to control his behavior. As such she didn't set herself up to be lied to. They had an agreement, he broke the agreement.
Yeah. It's nothign at all like a parent child relationship. OP didn't say to her DH "you're not allowed to watch porn!" He wasn't forbidden. They both agreed that they don't want to do it. THey both don't think it's right. He slipped. He's not doing it in retaliation to some command to not watch porn. That's rediculous.
The problem is that sometimes the relationship between a young husband and wife, especially where porn is concerned, really can seem like a parent/teen relationship. Linda's conclusion isn't out of thin air. So I don't think it's ridiculous. But we shouldn't assume that that's what's going on between the OP and her husband.
Oh mama, I'm sorry. I'd be very upset if I were in your shoes too. I don't think a no porn agreement between spouses is unrealistic, long separations or no. I would definitely try and talk to him about it as calmly as possible, which would be very hard, I'd probably bawl the whole time no matter what I tried. If he wants to recommit to no porn, I'd try and find some resources for helping with that and coming up with a plan to deal with the emotions of the long separations and the temptations around him. I wouldn't want to go on just his promise to not do it again, without talking out some strategies and maybe some agreed upon rules to help make success more likely.
ETA I also know that I too would have a very hard time feeling like putting myself in the vulnerable position of intimacy with him when the feelings were still so raw.
OP, despite my vastly different opinions on porn, I completely understand the pain you are in. Different reason, same pain and I'm able to translate. If you and your husband had an agreement not to watch anything for sexual pleasure then it would be out of love and respect that he stick to that agreement. If he is struggling/tempted to break that agreement, it would be important for him to talk to you about it so that TOGETHER, you can find a way to remedy that.
In my first year of marriage, we spent a total of 3 months MAYBE 4 months together. Although we are okay with porn, enjoying it separately and together, we still had plenty of other problems thanks to the separation. We have now been married for almost 3.5 years and we've spent less than half of that together... heck, we've spent less than half of that on the same CONTINENT. We were THISCLOSE to divorce last summer. Separation is hugely difficult.
I think the most important thing you can do right now is revisit the agreement and ask him to share his reasons why he was unable to stick to it and ask him how you can help. If he just needs more sexual experiences in the space apart, perhaps letters or pictures or what have you are the perfect remedy if you are comfortable with that. Perhaps you'll be okay with him reading stories that you've picked out (I know of a website that will make a story about you and your husband specifically; they have a template and you just fill in some info that they put into the template and email to you. No one actually reads it.. the computer does all the work. I'm happy to share this site via PM) Perhaps he was just bored and needs help finding hobbies or things to do so he doesn't turn to porn. I don't know the reasons for him to use it nor do I know what you'd be comfortable with to help him, but I do think the best way to approach this is with a willingness to forgive and to help him find a better way.
I know my husband and I have our own rules for our marriage that others would find weird as well but that is irrelevant. The most important thing is that you continue to work together to meed the shared expectations you have and to find ways of overcoming the temptations or whatever the case might be out of respect and love for one another. I might think no porn to aid in masturbation is weird but if that is how you both feel things should be within your marriage, then it is important that the both of you work together to achieve success within the rule.
OP here. . .
Just to clear up a few things, 1 - the long seperations are a recent development, so this occured while we saw each other every day. During our seperation we have been very good at meeting each others needs through, phone, chat, texting, etc... 2 - I have no issues with masturbation so long as we're keeping each other in mind. I have no issuse with sending sex videos of US or photos of myself to my DH when we have long seperations. Thinking about anyone else while meeting a sexual need creates an issue with lust, which in our thoughts = cheating. 3 - We believe pornography is a large part of the sex industry, which also includes human trafficking (some girls are forced into porn) and prostition. Pornopraphy is prostitution for mass distribution. You're paying for the act of sex. Yes, that comes off strong, and I'm sure that will offend someone. I hope that doesn't deter the real topic of this discussion.
Anyway, discussions regarding this issue with my dh has been difficult. He is always surrounded by people and has to share a room with 2 other guys, so the only time he is alone is when he goes to the bathroom or when his roommates just happen to disappear.
After I calmed down, I was able to approach this in a mature manner. We did enjoy a relaxing weekend with our children.
I'll post more later. It's sleepytime.
Some questions that don't require answers:
Was he just curious? For some reason, I get the idea that you guys are pretty young and still figuring life out.
Was he super stressed out at the time? What else was going on in your lives? It is a form of stress relief.
I am sorry for what you are going through and I do wish you the best. I hope that you guys are able to find a solution that works for you.
but everything has pros and cons
Re: the bolded-actually the opposite is true. Census data shows that divorce rates in conservative christians were significantly higher than other religious groups, and much higher than atheists/agnostics.
It's not niave in any way. For example, church couples are much less likely to get devorced. It's extremely rare in my string of churches anyways. Much much less than the national average. We work through our problems. Had I not been church going I would have definitely left my DH for going on Chat Roulette (it's like porn but interactive, real people, real webcams!) I was beyond angry. I felt completely betrayed. Next best thing to cheating, I felt. But the church gave us the help and support we needed to wrok past that.
Regardless of whether he has a porn addiction or not, it upsets her that she does it, they both beleive it's wrong, thus, he should not do it. Maybe your relationship is different. That's fine. Don't tell her how to feel.
And no one EVER claimed deacons were holier than thou. In our church we have the understanding that everyone is sinful. Everyone has their own sins they struggle with. Even the Reverend is no better than the rest of us. But he has knowledge on the subject and that's why he preaches. To help and support us on our journey. Not to say that he's perfect and the rest of us are poor wretched sinners. I'm sorry you've been abused by someone you should have been able to trust. I think a lot of us have. I have by a close church friend. But be careful you don't make generalizations abou tthe whole congregation because of one man.