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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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My husband is addicted to porn

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My husband is addicted to porn & has recently started to look at websites where you can meet real people.Our sex life is great but does this mean he wants to cheat? When I ask him about it, he says he "just likes to look" by why waste time looking if you're not planning more? He treats me like a queen but this really concerns me. 
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I am a psychiatrist.
I could best help you if I knew more information. Specifically, could you tell me how long this has been an issue for him? Also, how do you react towards him when he has been looking at pornography? Also, why do you say he treats you like a queen when he looks at the bodies of other women? What do you mean?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
he has been looking at porn for years.I get angry with him for doing it but it doesn't do any good.Other than looking at these sites he seems to be totally happy with me.We have great, intimate sex,he shows me love & affection, he helps with housework & is a great father to our 5 year old son.People who know us but not this part of our lives think that we have the best marraige.They would be shocked to know that we struggle with this. He's even looked at sites claiming they're women who are only looking for flings. This shocks me & hurts me.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 3 years ago.
I see.
What have you done to establish consequences for when he does this? For example, have you made him sleep on the sofa because of this? Has he sought nay help for this? If not, why not?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He doesn't think it's a big deal b/c he says he just likes to look. Our only fights & arguements are over this but lately i've just pretended like it's not happening. I guess after so many years I've began to get numb to it & it doesn't hurt so much anymore.I don't really even cry over it- I just get angry. One time i told him that he needs to choose between that or me & he said,"if you're saying that you want to divorce me b/c I like to look at that,you do what you have to do." Two days later he was doing it again.There are really no consequences for when he does it.He'll do it while i'm at work or in the bed & I act like the problems not there anymore.He knows it hurts me but he chooses to do it anyway.He broke my heart & saw me cry like a baby when I was pregnant with our son b/c I realized he was doing that again.(That was 5 years ago.) And he still keeps on.He would never seek help b/c he don't even see it as a problem or addiction & he would never admit that to anyone.Thanks
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 3 years ago.
I see.
I can tell that this has really hurt you an awful lot. I'm sorry.

It is unfortunate, but almost certainly, he won't stop doing this unless the consequences for his continuing to do this outweigh the enjoyment/satisfaction/whatever he receives from looking at pornography.

Since you have - very understandably - given him an ultimatum about choosing between you and it, you may have to make good on that if you want him to stop (or if you want your life to be free of a husband who is so disrespectful and dishonoring of you to continuously hurt you by looking at pornography. Whatever that is, it's not love.

Have you seriously considered divorcing him? (I'm not telling you to do that, or not; I'm just trying to better understand where you are with this.)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would be terrified to do that b/c sadly enough, I can't imagine how hard it would be without him in my life & trying to raise our son like that.I guess that's why i continue now to act like nothing's going on. I know that he's sending people e-mails & chatting with them but I don't know who or the extent of conversations. I've been tempted to download software that will give me the answers i'm looking for but am really scared of what would be revealed.I guess that's the only way I would ever know for sure b/c this problem also causes him to lie to me about it.Should I violate his privacy to really find out the truth or keep choosing to live in the dark for the sake of our marraige & our son? I could also just block these sites but it makes me angry to have to do that instead of him willingly giving this up. But if it is truely just an addiction for him,our internet would be like putting drugs in the face of a drug user & saying "don't touch that." Am I being unfair to him to expect him to be able to just stop on his own? What should I do b/c I have no answers. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 3 years ago.
He probably cannot stop just on his own, but he can take every step needed to get help on his own, so that he ultimately can stop.

He (and you) should start here: http://www.sexhelp.com/ Dr. Patrick Carnes, who has that website, is likely the foremost expert on sexual addictions in the world.

You need to protect yourself from any possible sexually transmitted diseases in case your husband has started having any sexual relationships with other women. If he's lying to you, you cannot assume that he is or isn't yet acting on his sexual impulses.

Regarding what to so with you marriage, the best thing to do is to really decide what you can live with, and what you cannot live with, and see if this corresponds to your staying married or getting divorced.

In terms of violating his privacy, you can do that. The fact is that he is doing things that he shouldn't be doing, that hurt you, that are a betrayal of you, and that may put you at risk of an infection. Why are you protecting him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for that website.I As far as protecting him I guess it's just one of those things that you don't want to believe is happening to you...a sort of denial I suppose.You've been a great help & I appreciate it. I have one more question. If I were to use software to find out the truth & he is having an affair,would that information hold up in court since I was "spying" on him?
Expert:  MN Psychiatrist replied 3 years ago.
I don't know, to be honest, if that information would hold up in court or not, and I don't have any experience along those lines.
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience: Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist
791 Satisfied Customers
Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.