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POLL RESULTS: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It?: (8 comments)

POLL: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It?

Friday, December 19, 2008 - 12:01 AM

A reader writes... Q: I am married to a man who finds it necessary to hide porn books and hotline numbers in his dresser. He doesn’t know I found them. I was suspicious because something seemed different lately. I think this is a form of cheating and it makes me sick. Plus I’m so lonely. What do you think? We’ve been together 21 years. Am I wrong for thinking this? I’m going crazy thinking about it. Should I say something?

POLL: Is reading porn the same as cheating on your spouse?
 
6% (78) YES! There's no question
 
34% (401) Maybe... depending on the relationship...
 
59% (694) NO! What a prude!
1173 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Stevarooni
Lover

From: KCMO

Posts: 64

Registered:
Jun 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 01:37 AM (#46276)
Porn isn't cheating unless you consider his seeing other women and finding them attractive to be cheating, as well. Honestly, if you think that you're the only thought in his head when he's having his "alone time", you're either terribly naive, or he's a very rare duck, indeed. From my perspective, cheating involves another person. The reason he hides his porn (because I know that the question, "But why does he hide it, if it isn't wrong" would be forthcoming) is because he knows your attitudes toward it. Obviously marriage means that your sexuality should be shared, but even the most intimate of loving couples has moments when they're not together...even sexual ones. I think that you're wrong for thinking that porn is cheating, but that's something you have to decide for yourself; if you think it's cheating and cannot accept the idea of him lusting after another woman (even if it's a completely plastic personality he'd never act upon) then you are incompatible with him...though I warn you that your strict standards will make it unlikely for you to ever find a man who will 100% comply with your requirements for fidelity. As I said, if this constitutes cheating and you cannot abide his continuing to do so, you should inform him, so that your divorce can be swift. If you can vaguely understand why this might not be cheating, then I would advise leaving it alone; be aware of it, but don't bother with his private things.

The hotline numbers (Are these hand-written numbers separate from the porn, or even phone numbers circled in the back of some of the books? After all, a lot of porn has commercial advertisement that is essentially porn with hotline numbers attached.) are a bit closer to cheating. They're either the only way he feels that he can explore some aspect of his sexuality that he doesn't feel that you can/should share with him, or he's looking for porn that's closer to actually having sex with another person. On the one hand, he is interacting with another human being for his sexual purposes. On the other, though, this person might very well be a different person each time, and so there's not really an emotional connection. Again...much stickier to define as cheating/not-cheating without knowing if/how he's using these numbers.

That said...you say you're "so lonely", which I take to mean outside of finding his stash. That is important! That should be something you ought to look into.
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Amanda
Lover

Posts: 30

Registered:
Oct 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 06:23 AM (#46278)

It's normal for even married people to want to masturbate and the same-ol'-been-there-for-21-years image of the wife in their heads isn't always fun even if you're the hottest, most amazing woman on the planet. Condemning him for it will only drive him farther away from you and you want him to trust you and want you more than his porn. If you find the number of a girl who's not paid just to talk, then worry. For now just work on either refocusing his and your priorities or giving up on 21 years and finding someone who's priorities match up to ours. Definitely talk to him though either way. It's important to learn to be open about your emotions especially with someone you've been married to so long. So discuss your loneliness with him and how you both can have more fun together. Then calmly discuss with him that you found his porn. Don't talk TO him... discuss it WITH him. Listen to him and be as open and honest and calm as you can be. If you come at him pissed and ignoring all his words, he'll probably just leave and you'll be left lonely while he fills his own loneliness with porn. Good luck to you.


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mechgogo
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
Jun 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 08:45 AM (#46281)

Amanda and Steve pretty much nailed it. Bluntly stated, looking isn't cheating. FUCKING is cheating. Even if you open it up to fondling being cheating it sounds like the only person being fondled is himself and it's not like he can stop seeing "the other woman" in that particular case. The simple fact is that even the most devoted and loving of men-and a pretty stunning percentage of women considering the amount of porn out there for the ladies- enjoys looking at and thinking about other women. It doesn't mean he loves you any less. It simply means you're married to a perfectly normal, healthy, het male.

You say you're feeling lonely. Sit him down and TELL HIM SO. Don't jump him. Don't attack him. Don't throw the porn up in his face and use it like a club. Simply sit him down and say very calmly "Hon, I know you love me and I love you right back. But lately I've been feeling a bit neglected and I miss you. I know you're a good man and I know you want to do right by me. So what can we do together to fix this? And while we're at it is there anything you need from me?"

Bottom line; 21 years is a HELL of a long time to be married to the same person. He obviously loves you or he wouldn't still be there. If you sit down and have a calm, reasonable, non-attacking discussion with him odds are you'll at least get a step or two down the road towards fixing your feelings of loneliness. The feeling about the porn? Sorry but it's not cheating and really, the only truly effective ways known to stop normal, healthy het males from looking at or thinking about women other than their wives tend to be loud, messy and felonies. Best of luck and look at it this way; over 21 years together you've no doubt worked through and overcome all manner of stuff. Thats all this is-one more bump in the road.


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Cat1864
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Dec 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 09:27 AM (#46282)

No matter what, DISCUSS the matter with your husband. Find out how he feels about the materials. The reasons for them may be a way of trying to deal with age and physical and mental issues. It may be a way of self-medicating.

On another note, do you read romance novels and fantasize? Is that any different than his viewing so-called "porn"? Are you "cheating" on him?

This also leads to the discussion of people who take pictures or video tape themselves having sex. Would you feel better if he had a drawer full of pictures of you or stories you've written?


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TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 04:29 PM (#46288)
In Response to mechgogo (#46281):

..."You say you're feeling lonely. Sit him down and TELL HIM SO."...

I have to disagree with this one point, but only in a minor sense. I can tell you, from experience, that sometimes a face-to-face on the subject can feel like an attack, regardless of how amicable it is.

Sometimes, openly confronting one's emotions just isn't the solution. He's protecting those feelings for a reason. So, rather than force his hand, try a more subtle and intelligent approach.

To the poster-

First, don't just infer that his porn is replacing you...

Fact: He's been hiding his porn.

Fact: You've been married for 21 years.

Question: Do you really think he just started looking at porn at this stage in his life?

My wife and I are coming up on our 10 year anniversary in 2+/- weeks. Porn and I have a 20+ year relationship. You could even call it my first romantic relationship if you want. But, my wife has come to understand that I'm still the same person she fell in love with.

Second, look at what your together time is like. There could be any number of turn-offs just lurking in your everyday habits.

- Is one/both of you dealing with health issues or additional stress? Have you both had physicals lately? A check-up may reveal low vitamin levels regardless of that multi-vitamin you take every morning.

- When you see each other, are you focused on being with one another, are are either of you just unloading about your day?

- You're both getting older. Do you both exercise regularly? A lack of exercise will greatly reduce sexual stamina.

Third, make sure you aren't taking each other for granted.

- When the subject or interest of sex comes up, one/both of you demonstrate affection positively and physically? Or, do either of you just complain about a lack of it?

How my wife and I approach each other is very important, especially after 10 years. If (hypothetically) you just met some guy you're really into, and want to have sex with him, you'd go through the whole seduction ritual, right? So, why not with someone that you've loved for 21 years?

I can't stress this enough. You can NOT brow-beat someone into arousal. So, where sex is concerned: less talk, more action.

Sometimes, the hectic parts of life slow down and leave us (in general) with more time to think and feel, than to which we've been accustomed. That's the perfect time to force ourselves to do the things for our spouses/girlfriends that we wish we'd done before, but we just keep putting off until later.

Remember, the longer you're together, the less time you have together. So DO something with it.


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TheOriginalJes
Lover

Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, December 19, 2008 - 04:31 PM (#46289)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#46288):

...and unless you have the phone bills to prove it, those numbers mean nothing.


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Burstaholic
Lover

Posts: 3

Registered:
Jul 2008
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, December 20, 2008 - 10:33 PM (#46302)

It sounds like you are both feeling lonely in your own way. I bet there are a couple of deep misunderstandings (probably about sex) leading to this, along with other issues.

This is definitely something you should talk about, possibly with a professional mediator (i.e. marriage counselor).


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Theran_Bakain
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Posts: 2

Registered:
Jan 2009
Re: It's Always the Sock Drawer, Isn't It? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - 02:41 AM (#46458)

Something I have always heard regarding the psychology of fantasy is that (the majority of) women fantasize about the people that they CAN have--part of the nurturing mentality. Men on the other hand tend to fantasize about the things that they CANNOT have in relation to the hunter/conquest side of their mentality.

If this is the case (and I'll take the default "I am not a doctor/lawyer" deferral here), understand that it isn't that he desires you any less, he wouldn't still be there if that were the case, but there are parts of his brain that need his attention too that you will not be able to give him (any more than if one of you were having desires for the same sex--you don't have the parts to meet that desire for the other).

This as with all things of relationships requires open communication without stigma.


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