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Abusive past and can't tolerate any porn. How can me and my partner move on?

Tagged as: Pornography, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 October 2012) 8 Answers - (Newest, 11 October 2012)
A female United States age 36-40, *arafina writes:

I have been in an on and off relationship with the father of my youngest son for 7 years. Things have been tumultuous from the beginning, us both being insecure and having other issues, mine being from an extremely abusive upbringing. My step father made kiddy porn in our basement and I was involved from the time I was 3 years old. I haven't had many healthy relationships with males ongoing and have an extreme problem with porn and our over sexed society. All the men I've dated and have been with have been into porn and it feels like I am so alone in feeling that it's degrading and abusive. Ive gone to many extreme periods in my life in complete anger and becoming self destructive and feeling hopeless that I am never going to get with "the times" and just be into it. I will never be a normal women ever because of my upbringing but, enjoy being loved and the feeling of intimacy and security. My question is how can I make my feelings known and validated in some way with my current partner, who I am just getting back together with?. We have hurt and damaged each other in the past, but I want to make sure the past doesn't repeat in our treatment of eachother. I have seen my worth while being separated from him for a year. But, he watches porn and still has lots of pictures of naked ex relations on his PC. Im not sure I have healed fully from everything. We can talk about things but, I get angry behind closed doors and slip into negative places. I dont want to be a push over and I am willing to be compassionate and understanding but, Im confused if he really cares for my spirit and me as a person.

View related questions: insecure, move on, period, porn

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 October 2012):

He's been stringing you along for seven years...please, do not get back together with this man. There's a reason the relationship has been on/off. It's because the relationship is not working. When two people are committed to each other and willing to make it work, the relationship is 'on' continuously, even when times get tough.

Because thats what loving someone is. Working through the hard parts. From what you are saying, he has obviously had no problem leaving his son, coming back into his sons life, and then leaving it again based on when you two are on or off.

Do yourself a favour. Take the worth that you found in yourself in your year apart from him, and find yourself a new man.

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A female reader, Stayc63088 United States +, writes (10 October 2012):

Stayc63088 agony auntIt sounds like you are settling for him because you think everyone watches porn and that's just how it is. It isn't. There are men that won't watch porn if it bothers you so much. And having pictures of naked ex's?? That doesn't fly for anyone. You are very unhappy with this man and you are trying to deal with it by screaming to yourself behind closed doors. He isn't the man for you, stop trying so hard and making yourself miserable to force it to work. You can't force a relationship to fit. You CAN find a man that respects you and isn't obsessed or needs porn. He will remain your child's father but that doesn't mean you need to be with him. You don't need to learn to accept porn. You should find someone else that makes you happy and you fit together.

But if you are determined to work on the relationship with this man, then you need to tell him porn and pics of ex's aren't going to happen. You ask how you can make it known to him how you feel so I wonder how much he even knows. You make it known by sitting him down, explaining that porn has no place in a relationship with you and the pictures of ex's are to be deleted by you if this relationship is to work. That's how you aren't a push over. That's how you stand up for yourself and stop screaming alone to yourself and getting angry without him knowing. He needs to know. A relationship needs everything in the open. And the only shot you have of making this work this go round is to speak everything on your mind and have his porn out of your lives. If this can't happen then it will not ever work. Keeping your anger and fears to yourself will destroy the relationship. Only open communciation can ever have a chance of fixing this. If he says he won't get rid of porn you NEED to move on. Don't accept this and try to deal with it. You don't have to. And if he isn't willing to delete and get rid of these things then he doesn't care, and you staying with him anyway makes you a push over. Which completely takes away everything you gained from a year away from him. So if you are determined to give this a go, put your foot down and don't accept anything less than what you want and deserve. You learned your worth so don't accept less than that.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 October 2012):

I'm sorry you have been the victimized by someone who used porn. You should not be required to keep porn in your life if you don't want to. A no-porn ultimatum would rule out lots of guys as boyfriends but that may be necessary for your own emotional health. Do what you have to do. With your traumatic history I think that is very understandable.

But your question sounds like you still wish you could deal with porn.

The best advice I could offer is try to remember that porn does not always have to be bad. Just like sex, it does not always have to be an abusive degrading experience even though it certainly can be that way. The problem is that the porn industry attracts a lot of scummy lowlife types. It makes for a product that does not have to be scummy but usually is.

But just because the porn makers enjoyed putting women down that does not mean the audience is always enjoying that part of it. I have watched a lot of porn and some of it was degrading to women at times. That attitude was always something I put up with, not something I liked about it. Just like I sometimes put up with bad writing or stupid jokes in a regular movie because I want to watch it for other reasons.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 October 2012):

After how you grew up and what you know about porn and the damage it caused you and the kind of women who do porn are likely in the same boat as you...I do not think any man who watches porn, knowing this about you is someone you need to have in your life. He doesn't get it and he doesn't respect what you know, what you've been through and how damaging porn is in most solid relationships.

I think you should get that man out of your life for everything except being the father of your child because that is a lifetime relationship for your son only, but that's it.

I think you should also start healing, tell your story, be a spokesperson, make a website, do whatever to get the word out what porn is really about and make a dent in this world so people will get a clue and not be so niave and in denial about what it's really doing to all the young and impressionable boys turning into men and how women are portrayed in porn. Teach women to have more respect for themselves and not give in to "all men watch porn" crap, etc., etc, etc. You could do something good and turn your own life around in the process. But you need to start by rejecting any man who will engage in the one thing that scared you for life. A man who is worthy and who loves you, will be willing and easily have other things in his life to do with or without you that have nothing to do with watchig porn.

I am so sorry what you've been through and I hope you can find some peace and stability in your life.

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A female reader, person12345 United States +, writes (10 October 2012):

person12345 agony auntI don't think it's a good idea for you to get back with him. Even without porn and without the abuse I would say you shouldn't get back with him. I know one couple that wound up happy together after breaking up and getting back together. That's because they were dating in college and then had to move thousands of miles apart for an indefinite period so they broke up, then reunited and got married. I have never met a couple that had a messy emotional breakup, decided to give it another shot, and wound up happy together. Not only that but I think many women would consider having naked photos of exes totally inappropriate. Everything you've said about this guy sounds like bad news, even without all the other problems.

If porn is a dealbreaker don't tolerate it. Don't date someone you know doesn't care about your past and helping you cope with it. There are men who won't use it or will stop.

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A male reader, MikeEa1 Australia +, writes (10 October 2012):

MikeEa1 agony auntit sounds like things have been tough. when you're a kid you don't expect all this stuff and you don't deserve it either. when you're an adult you have to taken it on board to some extent. I am not suggesting that you have to tolerate inappropriate behaviour. It sounds as though the father of your child is not very respectful of your feelings that have developed as a result of your childhood experiences. he may have the attitude that its not his problem which it isnt but he should respect the fact that you are his partner and it is your problem. I do agree with you about oversexed society. I think its got something to do with marketing but thats another story. Make your own sense of self a priority and try and get the people in your life to help you move forward while at the same time looking after those that you want to be close. the past is over.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (10 October 2012):

chigirl agony auntAre you sure that getting back with someone who's hurt you in the past is the right choice? Especially as he does things that are generally considered deal breakers?

Having porn might not be a deal breaker for some women, but for some it is. And for you it is. And you have excellent justifications as well. Having nudes of his exes is a deal breaker to all women world wide I would think.

And a deal breaker means just that: someone we do not enter a relationship with. So I will ask you again, is this really someone you should be with? Are you not better off on your own, than with someone who you know will hurt you?

You know his porn hurts you, and the images of exes. And you know he has them. So you KNOW he will bring you pain. Why do you willingly enter a painful relationship?

There are men out there who do not look at porn, and there are men out there who will gladly stop looking at porn if that is what you desire. Once a man loves a woman, he crosses the earth for her and not watching porn is a small sacrifice to make for someone you love.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (10 October 2012):

CindyCares agony auntBut, if by "healing " you mean being accepting and tolerant of his porn habit,...why do you have to heal ???

Women who have an adversion to porn, should not date men who are regular porn consumers. Quite simple, same as women who are against drugs should not date drug users, etc Why betraying your values and beliefs in the name of " love " ?

In your case, then, this is not simply an intellectual or moral adversion , based on rational or social or religious positions. It is also an emotional thing, something that , due to your personal history, is bound to pull powerful emtoional triggers , i.e. to mess with your head big time. Why do you want to bring this upon yourself ? If you want to be compassionate ,start being compassionate with yourself . " Prima charitas incipit ab ego ", all love starts from loving oneself.

It's like if you were a victim of incest- sure, you don't have to let that traume dominate your life, and shape your future, you can , with time and therapy, heal from that wound. But, once that you have healed, ... it does not mean that now you should fuck your uncle again, because hey now I am healed ?!

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