I'm a wife dealing with her husband's addiction to pornography. I hope to be a resource for wives (and family members) dealing with similar struggles. Please join in the conversation and leave comments--even if you are here for curiosity's sake and are just learning about this kind of struggle! You can read my story here and the 4 things I think every addict's wife should know here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

is he a creep?

Where do you draw the line between nice guy with a problem and a creep?

Because my husband is not a creep. Granted, my husband is one of the milder cases of pornography addiction out there (in my opinion). But that doesn't mean people won't judge him for having an addiction to pornography. What a terribly humiliating thing to have to admit to yourself and others.

Let's look at society as a whole. I would say that the vast majority of men out there use pornography. And no one thinks twice about it. Imagine your stereotypical college male--straight out of the movies. Good looking, partier, the cool guy in the movies. He looks at porn. So do his friends. They joke about it when they hang out. Duh. That's totally normal. Isn't that what all single males that age do?

Now let's move to the more conservative (and often religious) circles who have been taught to stay away from pornography. Pornography = bad. So when you find out that the parallel good-looking, life-of-the-party young male (or even "perfect" husband) in your more conservative circle has an addiction to pornography, the mind starts to race. What else does he do? What else does he lie about? Has he hooked up with other girls? Is he addicted to sex? Oh my goodness, is he looking at child porn?? Has he molested anyone???

Do you see what we do? We demonize something that seems totally normal in the rest of society. I'm not saying that I think pornography is a good thing or even acceptable. I think it has implications that many people don't grasp. That addiction to it is easier (and more common) than people think. That it is an addictive substance that shouldn't be taken lightly.

But my point here is that we have to be careful in how we judge people who have gotten sucked into pornography. I wish I could tell the world to be careful how they judge my husband. Yes, it's true that anyone in porn addiction could end up going down that slippery slope into much worse territory, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will.

Why the double standard?

Why do we shrug our shoulders at the college frat boy yet pity and shame the nice LDS boy?

Is it because we hold him to a higher standard? We expect more of him?

Is the shame and secrecy only adding to the addiction?

I don't believe that the shame and secrecy are the only source of the addiction. To say that these men are addicted because their upbringing has told them "no, no, no" is a cop-out and just uses religion and conservative views as a scapegoat. (And provides no explanation for non-religious men who are addicted to pornography.) I think the college frat boy is just as likely to be addicted but less likely to recognize the addiction.

So is the porn addict a creep? He could be, depending on how deep into sex addiction he is.

But chances are he is not. Chances are he is the college frat boy who has actually recognized that he has a problem and is (hopefully) working to fix it.


  1. Great post! After each disclosure from my husband I would think he was a pervert and not want to be around him.

    In fact I caught a creep looking at some women sunbathing. He was hiding in a tree with binoculars and I yelled out "pervert" when I drove past. I can't believe I've actually thought of my husband at that same level. It hurts! I feel bad I thought of him that way.

    He is not as bad as some men with the addiction. He's done nothing illegal, never paid for porn, or had sex with anyone else. He's a mild case as well.

    It's sad that in the church the addiction is looked down upon as shameful and nobody wants to know about it or talk about it. I keep wishing that there was some way to bring it up without everyone thinking my husband is an addict or judging us. I feel like we'd be shunned.

    I just wish they could all partake of the 12 steps. It really is for everyone, addiction or not.

    1. See, and I've even come to realize that those with more "serious" cases of sex addiction are just guys with families and friends and jobs and ambitions and joys and sorrows just like the rest of us. But they've gotten sucked into an alternative life they can't escape. I don't get creeped out anymore. I just get sad. Sad for them and sad in general.

      And YES the 12-step program is for everyone! I learned so much to apply to my ENTIRE life, regardless of addiction crap.

  2. I am so relieved to find your blog (I would normally say happy, but that is not an emotion I have right now!). We are coming to terms in our marriage that my husband has an addiction to porn. This is the second time I have caught him after long, long periods of lying and deceit. The fact that he was able to admit that it is out of his control has actually brought me a lot of peace. Yes, the hurt feelings and distrust are indeed painful - but I can see how that aspect of his life is compartmentalized. Your descriptions of how the feelings and suspicion spiral out of control... in fact, the first time I caught my husband his internet history listed some personal ads on Craigslist, so I in effect, went crazy for awhile. I think we do hope to hold our husbands to higher standards, and when they fail, it is a harsh reality check. Thank you for being so open with your blog, more men and women need to be talking about this. Porn is painful to everyone involved and has destroyed many, many families out there.