My Husband Has Chosen Porn Over Me – Scary Mommy

My Husband Has Chosen Porn Over Me

Except…I knew why. I had allowed myself to foolishly believe that things would be different when we were married—despite all of the warnings and jokes from already betrothed friends that your sex life disappears the moment you say “I do.” I still held out hope, hope that he would change, that I would be enough for him, that this union we were embarking on together would make him want to, that he would be able to change.

For years already, I had felt lonely in our relationship—though he certainly never was. There were other women, thousands of them. All perfectly made-up, with their tight asses and perky breasts, doing everything any man could ever fantasize about any time he felt the urge. And he felt the urge often. Daily. He would sit himself down in the spare bedroom of our Chicago apartment for hours on a Saturday, leaving me on the outside, both literally and figuratively, as he got lost down the rabbit hole of online porn.

He fantasized, was mesmerized, and was ultimately completely desensitized…to me. Here I was—his girlfriend, then fiancée, then wife—a woman who did still have the tight ass and perky breasts of her 20s in all her pre-nursing, pre-gravity splendor. And it was as if he saw right through me.

Just like in the musical Chicago, there I was, in Chicago, seemingly the female version of the song “Mr. Cellophane.” ‘Cause he would look right through me, walk right by me, and never knew I was there…

He never tried to touch me anymore. Not a kiss, or a snuggle on the couch, or a hand grasped at on a walk around Lake Michigan. And we had that once. Those days at the beginning when he couldn’t get enough of me, but they evaporated when I wasn’t paying attention. And I told myself it was just the normal ebb and flow of a long-term relationship, until there was only the ebbing. I had watched the boomerang of lust and affection and desire hurtle out into the world, and it never came back.

We fought about it, and I cried to him, and I begged him to stop. I told him how lonely it made me feel, how inadequate, how unattractive, how empty. He denied that his now daily porn habit was a problem or that it had anything to do with our anemic sex life or his complete lack of affection toward me.

And he is otherwise a good man, a wonderful father, a hard worker, my best friend. It always seemed crazy to even consider divorcing someone over what should be such a small aspect of a marriage—the very thing we have all always been told not to bank on lasting all that long anyway.

Over the years, I have tried setting reasonable goals. I have made tiny requests of him: kiss me good-bye before you leave for the day, put your arm around me when we are out to dinner or at a wedding or work event, hold my hand sometimes when we are out with the kids so they see what affection between their parents looks like, so that maybe one day they can experience healthy relationships themselves.

He has said that he will try, but he can never seem to do it. In reality, it is more than him doing the act, more than him holding my hand or kissing me, it’s the fact that he needs to try at all, that he needs to be reminded to do these things. In The Break-Up, Jennifer Aniston’s character tells Vince Vaughn’s character that it is not enough that he helps her do the dishes. She tells him, “I want you to want to do the dishes.” It sounds ridiculous in the course of their argument in the film, as it was intended to, but I get it. I really do. I don’t want to have to remind my husband to want me, to feel affection for me, to see me.

I thought that was a given. I thought that’s what I was getting. I didn’t sign up for a lifetime of loneliness while sitting inches away from someone else. I don’t want just another friend, or partner, or someone to co-parent with me. I want the whole package—the intimacy, the affection, the love.

I hear my friends who complain that they are either too tired to have sex with their husbands, or that they just “give in” when they feel like it’s been awhile. I have friends whose husbands can’t keep their hands off of them; I see the way they are gazed at adoringly—a hand casually slung over the chair they are sitting in, an arm wrapped around a waist, a quick peck on an exposed shoulder. If they aren’t having sex, it’s because they don’t feel like it, they are exhausted, the kids are always underfoot, but they make time at some point.

I’m not having sex because my husband uses those same excuses, and yet finds one to two hours per day, at least four times a week, to have sex with himself, while staring at a screen filled with seemingly perfect women I can’t begin to compete with. When he looks at them, he sees what he wants, what turns him on, what gets him off. When he sees me, he sees cellophane and feels about as passionate as one can possibly expect to be about Saran Wrap.

For me? I see a future filled with the same loneliness and rejection I’ve felt for the better part of the last 16 years. At this point, I no longer believe that I am anything worth looking at anyway.