Am I not understanding enough?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2003
Am I not understanding enough?
7
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 3:12pm
Hello all. I've seen several conversations started about this topic, each one having it's own spin, but now I feel the need to bring it back up and get some answers specific to my situation. You see, I feel that my boyfriend is addicted to porn, and it's tearing me up inside. When I first found out that he had porn I was really confused by my reaction. I was hurt and upset. These reactions confused me, because I've had boyfriends before that have had porn and I didn't think anything of it. I mean, I myself like to watch porn, and it was something that my previous boyfriends and I would partake in together. I have always been open about sex. But the difference here is he seems obsessed. He's got thousands . . . THOUSANDS, of pictures with naked women. I checked yesterday and he's downloaded over 200 videos. I am of the opinion that some erotic material here and there is fine and may actually help a relationship, but his obsession is destroying our relationship. I don't think of myself as a controlling person, but I find myself checking the history, or I'll do a computer search to see how many pictures he downloaded in one day, and it's really heartbreaking. Like I said, I've always thought of myself as open about sex, but I feel this is too much. I've talked to him about how I feel, and he says that the pictures make him want me more, because they don't compare to me. I say BULLS**T!!! I've told him that I didn't like it. He stopped for a while and then just started all over again. The more that I talk about it with him, the better he gets at hiding them. But I've found them time and time again. I've even gone so far as to delete them. Very bold right? I've never seen or heard him so angry before in my life. He said it was his business and didn't concern me. I asked him if he could just look at the material on a website, in an attempt to compromise. He refused. I don't know what to do. I feel miserable everytime I think about it. He literally can't stop. But to add insult to injury, why do I feel compelled to go look for it? It's not in my face. Why do I have to search hidden folders?

And there's more! Up until a week ago, he's been chatting and e-mailing females as if he weren't in a relationship. I first found out in month two of our relationship (about the same time I found out about his porn habit). He would go to on-line dating services and find girls/women to talk to. I stumbled across this e-mail and he was describing to the girl how he would kiss her if she were here with him. I couldn't believe it! My heart literally sank. When I confronted him about it he denied it. When I showed him the proof, he said that he would stop. That was back in March, now it's June and last week we were having that same discussion. He pleaded his case by saying that he wants to have a future with me, not those girls and that they lived so far away (like Toronto, Canada and we live in California), that nothing would happen anyway. Once again he said that he wouldn't do it again, but I'll never know since he unsaved the password for his AOL account. I've never been so insecure in a relationship, but he doesn't seem to understand how his actions perpetuate this. Maybe I'm just too nosey for my own good and all men go through these phases. All I know is that I'm getting so fed up that I am only a couple of steps away from calling it quits. Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 5:18pm
*** When I first found out that he had porn I was really confused by my reaction. I was hurt and upset. These reactions confused me, because I've had boyfriends before that have had porn and I didn't think anything of it. I mean, I myself like to watch porn, and it was something that my previous boyfriends and I would partake in together.

This statement is confusing and hypocritical. It seems as though YOU, for some reason, have developed an issue with pornography that should be examined.

*** But the difference here is he seems obsessed. He's got thousands . . . THOUSANDS, of pictures with naked women. I checked yesterday and he's downloaded over 200 videos.

Unless he's spending all of his time looking at porn then it's probably not an obsession...it's just that he's got access to a lot and a huge amount of disc space. Conversely, it seems as though you might be developing an obsession by needing to control your BF and spying on him.


*** I am of the opinion that some erotic material here and there is fine and may actually help a relationship, but his obsession is destroying our relationship.

How much is "some?" A few dozen pics and videos is ok but hundreds or thousands is not? You didn't say he was ignoring you and living at the computer to peruse his hoard, so who cares how much he's got? He couldn't possibly look at it all all of the time, so where's the problem? It seems, again, as though you're being disingenuous...you're ok with a "little" but not a lot...and you have such a small problem with it that you started snooping through his computer. Why did you start spying on him in the first place?

*** I don't think of myself as a controlling person, but I find myself checking the history, or I'll do a computer search to see how many pictures he downloaded in one day, and it's really heartbreaking.

Um...yes...you're a VERY controlling person...and also a very insecure one...and it is heartbreaking.

*** Like I said, I've always thought of myself as open about sex, but I feel this is too much. I've talked to him about how I feel, and he says that the pictures make him want me more, because they don't compare to me. I say BULLS**T!!!

You're right, it's just an excuse. He simply likes to look at naked young women...but he knows that explaination won't be acceptable to you so he white-washes it with "but it's for you" drivel to get you off his back.

*** I've told him that I didn't like it.

You think it's ok, even "good" for a relationship...but you don't like it to the point that you snoop through his private things...pick one for God's sake!

*** He stopped for a while and then just started all over again. The more that I talk about it with him, the better he gets at hiding them.

You've created a situation of mistrust where he's forced to hide things from you.

*** But I've found them time and time again. I've even gone so far as to delete them. Very bold right?

No...very inappropriate. To the point that I'd put a security password on my computer so that you couldn't have access...and if it went further, I'd dump your controlling a**.

*** I've never seen or heard him so angry before in my life. He said it was his business and didn't concern me. I asked him if he could just look at the material on a website, in an attempt to compromise. He refused.

So again, you're confusing...it's ok to look at thousands of videos on the website, but he just can't have it sitting on his computer...bizarre...so it's not him looking at porn that's the problem, it's his "owning" it?

*** I don't know what to do. I feel miserable everytime I think about it. He literally can't stop.

He apparently doesn't WANT to stop.

*** But to add insult to injury, why do I feel compelled to go look for it? It's not in my face. Why do I have to search hidden folders?

Controlling nature? Insecurity? Obsessive?

*** And there's more! Up until a week ago, he's been chatting and e-mailing females as if he weren't in a relationship.

that's the same as cheating and should be dealt with accordingly.

*** I first found out in month two of our relationship (about the same time I found out about his porn habit). He would go to on-line dating services and find girls/women to talk to.

There usually isn't a committment after only two months, so it's up in the air as to whether or not it was inappropriate for him to be communicating with other women that way.

*** I stumbled across this e-mail and he was describing to the girl how he would kiss her if she were here with him. I couldn't believe it! My heart literally sank.

"Stumbled?" As in dug through his private emails?

*** When I confronted him about it he denied it. When I showed him the proof, he said that he would stop. That was back in March, now it's June and last week we were having that same discussion. He pleaded his case by saying that he wants to have a future with me, not those girls and that they lived so far away (like Toronto, Canada and we live in California), that nothing would happen anyway.

And why are you still with a serial cheater? You ought to examine why you're still in this obviously troubled relationship.

*** Once again he said that he wouldn't do it again, but I'll never know since he unsaved the password for his AOL account. I've never been so insecure in a relationship, but he doesn't seem to understand how his actions perpetuate this.

Maybe you ought to examine why you need to stay with a guy who cheats on you?

*** Maybe I'm just too nosey for my own good and all men go through these phases. All I know is that I'm getting so fed up that I am only a couple of steps away from calling it quits. Help!

The only help I would offer you is out the door. This situation is problematic at it's core. You're too insecure and controlling to ever be satisfied with anything but his total abstaining from porn and he's too selfish and insensitive to ever give you what you want or to stop chatting with other women. The writing's on the wall...read it and get out.

Mac

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 9:18am
Shy,

First, assume that your bf will never change on this issue. Ask yourself, "If he never changes, can I be happy with him as he is?" Think about that and go from there. If, as you said, he is literally addicted to porn, he may be very happy with that situation and not interested in "curing" his addiction. If he is addicted, and he wants to cure it, realize he would have to be in recovery and in 12 step groups for the rest of his life to ensure he doesn't go back to his addiction.

And it is true that porn, like alcohol or anything else that produces a high and is an escape from problems, can be addictive. Which does not mean that everyone who looks at porn is an addict, just as some people can drink alcohol without becoming an alcoholic, and some don't. There are many levels.

But if he in in fact addicted, I recommend you break up with him unless you're willing to accept him the way he is now, for the rest of his life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 12:16pm
Mac, the tone of your response was rude, presumptuous, and unhelpful. Regarding the content, you are entitled to your opinions. In my opinion, the intensity of your reaction reeks of your own issues with control and possibly even porn. I think shygirl has reasonable concerns and has acted understandably and I think your response completely missed that. I typically don't respond to responses but I felt that your's was hostile and way out of line at a point where shygirl needs support in getting out of a bad relationship.

Shygirl, I don't think your current insecurities speak about your own nature as much as the situation you are in. I also don't think you appear to have a controlling nature. However, it seems that you have information about your boyfriend's character and the quality of this relationship, but you aren't trusting this information or your own instincts. You don't have to ask us if you are not understanding enough - you are fine! I think you do need to examine the payoff for being in this kind of relationship, as pathological as it is, and why you aren't RUNNING away from it. So, the situation you're in is a product of your boyfriend, your current mental/emotional/spiritual state, and the dynamics you create together. I think you are probably not at your best personally; if you were, you wouldn't choose to stay with this guy. You may be more vulnerable now than you normally are, so things may affect you slightly differently. But REGARDLESS of that, your boyfriend's behavior is unacceptable and porn IS something to be negotiated in an initmate relationship (you are not the first person to post about a concern re. the amount of porn your partner needs...it is a valid concern!). He is not meeting you halfway, and, apart from the porn, he is proving himself to be, at best, NOT dating material! At worst, he has some character issues that will negatively impact you if you allow that. Either way, he is not working with you and that means the relationship is doomed.

This is a toxic relationship for you and it is time to end it. You have all the information you need; there is no need to waste your energy trying to track down more information - it has become an obsession, not b/c you have a personality flaw or even an 'obsessive personality', but b/c you are in some sick dance with this partner and you are just ignoring your own instincts. I think you would find that these things wouldn't be issues if you found another, better, partner. I'm glad you are recognizing how you were in past relationships vs. how you are in this relationship. There is information in that. Act on the information that is in front of you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 2:28pm
OK, I think it's time for a reality check. YOU are the one with the problem. SPYING on him is NOT okay, whether he's looking at porn or not. It's a complete and total invasion of privay. You think you were "bold" for deleting this stuff? Is that what you call it? I call it utterly inappropriate and disrespectful. I seriously doubt that he even knows how upset you are, as you are always contradicting yourself. You said yourself, you like it. You think it can be good for a relationship. It's safe to assume that he KNOWS you like it. Why, then, do you demand that he not download it? And why would he take you seriously? The bottom line is, YOU have a problem with him looking at porn. If you don't like it and he won't stop, then leave. It's simple.

As far as talking to the other girl, that's the same as cheating. So deal with him the way you would deal with any guy that cheated on you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 3:17pm
I think your boyfriend is attempting to use the internet to fulfill certain needs and desires that you are not fulfilling. Often, guys get excitement from porn because the women in the pictures are doing things and behaving in a way that their wife or girlfriend would never do. Sometimes, if a girl is very sexually insecure or timid, their husband or boyfriend will find themselves drawn to girls who are highly sexual such as porn stars or the types of girls who like to talk dirty to strange men in chat rooms. Perhaps your boyfriend desires a woman that is very sexually agressive and you are not. The reason why I think this is because of the fact he chats with other girls as well. He obviously does not want to cheat on you since he is turning to porn and chatting with girls who he could never have a relationship with, but he is obviously not very satisfied with JUST you. I would think that this unhappiness is of a sexual nature since he is acting out in a sexual way. My advice is to ask him if he would be happier if you were more sexually agressive because the happier he is with his sex life, the less he will feel the need to turn to porn and strangers in chat rooms for satisfaction. Also, just because there are hundreds of porn links in your history file does not mean that every picture was clicked on and downloaded. Every immage on the page will show up in the history, even if you don't click on it. Now, even though I have said all of this, I still believe that he shouldn't be doing these things if you have asked him not to. He should respect your wishes and show you more respect. I am just saying, if you are interested in the root of the problem, you might want to give some thought to your sex life with your boyfriend. Maybe try asking him if he feels satisfied with it. It sounds like he isn't.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 12:43am
*** Mac, the tone of your response was rude, presumptuous, and unhelpful.

Hmmm...think so?

*** Regarding the content, you are entitled to your opinions.

I know...that's why we're here.

*** n my opinion, the intensity of your reaction reeks of your own issues with control and possibly even porn.

Probably so...I definitely have an aversion to people spying on me, invading my privacy and betraying my trust. As for the "porn"...it's occasionally a fun diversion, but it's not really an issue with me or my relationship.

*** I think shygirl has reasonable concerns and has acted understandably and I think your response completely missed that.

I disagree...I don't find her concerns reasonable, based on what she posted, and I definitely disagree with the way she handled the situation. Her post is wrought with contradictions...and one wonders which came first...the chicken or the egg? Did he allow her to see the bushels of porn he's storing on his computer, or did she discover it when she was generally snooping and going through his emails?

*** I typically don't respond to responses but I felt that your's was hostile and way out of line at a point where shygirl needs support in getting out of a bad relationship.

While I believe that she should leave the relationship based on her BF's "chatting/cheating," I'm afraid I can't offer her any support for her behavior.

Mac

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:42am
I agree with you about the invasion of privacy, and her being really contradicting in her post. I also agree that she needs to kick this cheating loser to the curb.