In the opening post in IronSpineSally’s story she spoke about the sexual problems in her four-year marriage and how her husband made her feel that the reason they couldn’t get pregnant was something to do with her. She also mentioned his addiction to pornography and that too was her fault. Here’s IronSpineSally:
He was part-time in the Air Force, so he would go for a few months and then come back. He was away the summer of 2010, and that was when I found more pictures of women who were actual women and not porn stars. I couldn’t deal with it anymore. For years I had been finding these things and showing them to him and saying “can you at least hide it? Can you at least put it somewhere where I’m not going to see it immediately when I walk in the door?”
He would say, “oh, it’s your fault I have to do this.” I had had back surgery, so he blamed a lot of it on that, that I wasn’t well enough to provide for him in this sexual way. I was insecure enough that I was willing to go along with this for many, many years. Well, while he was away, I got used to being on my own and I realized I didn’t need to compromise after all.
It was when he came back, that things started to get really bad. I would start to try to bring these things up again and he would turn them around on me.
One time my sister had asked me to go on a trip with her, and I had said yes. He sat me down and told me how selfish it was that I would be going traveling with my sister rather than staying home and trying for a baby. I cracked,
“You know what? You can’t even do that, so why are we having the conversation?”
I had gone into therapy because I couldn’t understand why when he came back from the war I couldn’t adjust to having him back in the house and why I couldn’t put these things aside, like I always had. In doing that, we uncovered a lot of lies that had been there all along, and at that point, I really wasn’t willing to work on it anymore. I just wanted out because I knew that when I confronted him, he was never going to really fully admit to everything. He was more interested in covering himself and not having anything wrong with him and not having to work on himself, than he was in being married to someone.
As soon as I took off, he didn’t care that I was gone, he cared about how he was going to present that to everyone else so they didn’t know what was going on with him. So there wasn’t really the opportunity to work on it.
The Divorce Coach Says
Pornography isn’t a black and white issue for me – when does something stop being erotica and become pornography? When is pornography free speech? When is pornography harmful? Yes, there are aspects that for me are completely wrong – child pornography, forced participation but was it wrong for IronSpineSally’s husband to enjoy pornography? I don’t know. What I do know is that it was wrong for him to blame her and not to claim ownership of it.
It is a very significant indicator of IronSpineSally’s level of self-confidence and self-esteem that she bought in to that story. Like she said in the first post, she married her husband because she thought she had found someone who wasn’t going to leave her and in exchange she thought she could ignore the problems with sex and the pornography. His deployments however meant that IronSpineSally had to be more independent, more self-sufficient and in my next post, IronSpineSally shares what she learned and what it meant for her future.