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His porno preference is ruining our marriage

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Pornography<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 March 2017) 13 Answers - (Newest, 21 March 2017)
A female Australia age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I simply can't accept that my husband wanted to look at porn with women that were the age of our daughter, around 20. I find this disgusting and don't seem to be able to get past it even though he tells me he isn't looking at it anymore. It's not the porn itself so much as the fact that he is interested in women half our age. I have lost all interest in him sexually and where I loved the sex we were having, the thought of it now literally turns my stomach. I don't respond either mentally or physically and when I'm alone I just find myself crying. I can't talk to him about this anymore. I'm will only hurt our marriage even more. I used to be so happy and I thought he was too. What more can he do than give up watching young women. He can't help what he likes. I'm terrified our marriage is now dead because of me. Please help.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2017):

This is all about what will make you happy. Forget about what will make him happy. See a counselor if you are both willing. Above all listen to your gut, it's rarely wrong. I divorced my husband after 28 years and the question I asked myself was "Do I want to retire with this man". For me, the answer was absolutely not. I can do bad on my own.

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (20 March 2017):

like I see it agony auntYour posts are breaking my heart, OP. Do you not think that as your husband's wife of 30 years, as the mother of his child(ren?), after all the love and memories and experiences you two have shared, you add more value to your husband's life than just your looks? Yet you seem so certain that he would throw you away in an instant to be with a younger, plastic-looking porn actress if only you two didn't share finances. Even though he has no meaningful life connection with such a person, and even though most men would not want to be with a woman who earned a living selling her body to other men. If he has actively, by words or deeds apart from his past poor taste in porn clips, made you feel so valueless to him, that's a separate issue. And you would be right to think of leaving over something like that, if he doesn't appreciate you as a wife and as a mother and it shows in other ways. But I don't think the porn use alone proves any of that.

How was your marriage before you found out he was using the porn? How did you get along as a couple? Did you feel loved and appreciated, or did he seem disinterested or distant with you? I think that information would speak volumes one way or the other.

I'm so sorry you are hurting like this. Hugs to you

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 March 2017):

Try looking at it this way.

When I was in high school & college many of the girls I was interested in were crushing on male celebrities in their 30s and 40s. Some even dated men that age. I sucked it up and dealt with it. I didn't get too turned off & depressed about it to date them.

People are attracted to different ages for evolutionary reasons. A young girl is usually not more mature just because she likes older men. Older men are usually not immature just because they look at younger women.

It is our natural sex drives at work. No better and no worse.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 March 2017):

Likeiseeit, Thankyou for taking the time to reply. I agree with all yoh say and I have been thinking about those very things over the last few months . The only things I don't feel is likely true is where you say

' it seems he quit viewing porn when he found out how much it bothered you. So if you choose to perceive this as a competition between twentysomething porn starlets, and you, his wife, you've already won. He prefers you. He would RATHER HAVE the woman he married than watch videos of younger women naked.'

He did quit yes and he did do that because it upset me and he didn't want the marriage to end but in truth I think the reality is that his reasons for not wanting the marriage to end had nothing do do with preferring me over the twenty year olds and a lot more to do with not wanting to deal with the hassles of a divorce and losing half his estate .

In other words , I'm one hundred percent certain that if he could chose the twenty year old over me and to keep the financial and material comforts of money ( regardless of what happened to me ) he would do if

This is why I'm so damn sad . It seems merely the sin of me being a woman who has aged has lessened my value so much to him that I'm effectively worth nothing but the attachments of marriage

Him getting older had done no such thing in my eyes and my love grew deeper , yet to him it seems the further I have gotten from the physical youth the less valuable I am to him

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (19 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYouth sells.

That goes for models, actors, flight attendants (they were for a LONG time age gated with a MAX age of 32-35), news anchors, pin ups, exotic dancers/strippers, etc. For females, mind you, NOT for male counterparts.

Does it mean he is thinking of your daughter when watching porn? I don't think so. He'd probably also eyeball a pretty young thing on the street rather than an older more mature woman. I think THAT part (preferring to look at younger women) is way more to do with biology than anything else and... SUPPLY - there is a MUCH bigger selection out there for young and young looking pornstars than anything else - and... they COME cheap because they still have the hopes that doing porn can lead to REAL acting jobs or financial freedom.

Does it mean that YOU have to just suck it up? No, I don't think so. I do think you are focussing on the wrong end if the stick. The porn and NOT your husband and marriage.

I think how YOU see his porn use and how HE sees the porn use is very different.

I don't think HIM watching younger women EQUALS to being disgusted with you and your body. I think in some cases men watch women who LOOK MUCH different from their partner out of some misplaced respect. They don't WANT to objectify their spouse (though other women apparently isn't a problem) It's not exactly logical.

I have 3 young daughters so I absolutely understand how you feel. My husband has a thing for chubby red heads. I'm not a redhead nor chubby... Does it bother me? Not really. What he watches is pretty tame and very infrequent. And if there is something I have learned is that you CANNOT control what your partner (or anyone but yourself) thinks, desires, feels or says.

My second guess is he still sees your daughter as a little kid with skinned knees and pigtails so he doesn't see her a sexual object, like a porn star.

I think if you ACTUALLY explained to your husband WHY you are upset by it, he might not only feel some shame but I think it'd be a wake-up call for him.

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (19 March 2017):

like I see it agony auntSome people end relationships and marriages over porn use. Some work through instances of actual physical infidelity or even extramarital pregnancies and manage to remain married. Every couple is different, and at the end of the day, only YOU can decide what you can and can't forgive. If the porn use is a deal breaker after 30 years of marriage, so be it. Speak to a lawyer about the steps you need to take to separate legally or divorce and start moving on with your life.

Nothing I or anyone can say can erase overnight what you are feeling toward your husband. But I would offer the following in his defense:

First and most importantly, it seems he quit viewing porn when he found out how much it bothered you. So if you choose to perceive this as a competition between twentysomething porn starlets, and you, his wife, you've already won. He prefers you. He would RATHER HAVE the woman he married than watch videos of younger women naked.

Second, it does not sound like his porn use was affecting his attraction or desire for you, or your sex life since you described satisfaction with it that lasted not until he started using porn but until you found out about the porn. In the great scheme of things, I'd feel much less understanding of a man who let porn eclipse his relationship while his sex life with his partner dwindled or suffered. It doesn't sound as though your husband ever did that. If anything, it sounds like porn use was an extra, the runner-up to real sex. Nothing you have said suggests he "finds you disgusting" and I would imagine he's missing your lovemaking dearly now that it's off the table.

Third, your husband didn't make the videos, write the titles or the scripts. He, I would assume, watched for the visual action, as most men do. About the only videos out there that aren't potentially offensive in that regard are the "romance" ones made for couples to watch together as foreplay or whatever. Porn is not real life. I'll say it again. Porn is not real life. Where porn becomes problematic is when people watch porn and bring those attitudes and expectations into the bedroom with their partners, wanting and demanding to do things their partner may not be comfortable with because they got the idea from porn. It doesn't sound like your husband ever did this. It sounds, honestly, like porn was nothing more than a tool to get him off when sex wasn't convenient or wasn't on offer, and that's about the most harmless way one can use it. (If this is not the case and he did choose porn over you in some way, please update us, because that would be a totally different scenario.)

Finally, the expectation that he seek out porn of women the same age as you is, as I have tried to explain, not so realistic, just as it wouldn't have been realistic for me to insist that my past partners who used porn as a supplement to our varying libidos only watch videos of women with my body type when that body type - average weight with a chest like an ironing board - simply isn't represented in porn. I suppose I could be mad that they didn't spend an hour combing through clips looking for women like me before they jerked off to a three-minute video, but I wasn't. I think the secret to not being bothered by porn is to understand that unless your partner has an addiction, porn is no more than a quick means to an orgasm. In the vast majority of cases it is not the competition that people make it out to be.

I understand the point you are trying to make about those girls being your daughter's age, but unless your husband has ever been inappropriate towards your daughter or her friends I don't think this suggests anything sinister about it. Again, that type of porn is what's widely available and he watched it, I guarantee, because it was there. Not because he secretly wants to be with a twenty-year-old rather than you. You already know he is capable of visually appreciating twentysomething women because you were somewhere in that age range when he met you. Would you expect him to look back on memories of your intimate times together when you were that age with anything other than appreciation, love, and attraction, or should he now refrain from nostalgia too because you were a young and inexperienced woman twenty years ago and he's in his forties now? Would it be creepy now if he played out in his head your wedding night, or the first time you two were intimate, because you were about the age then that your daughter is now? I know it's not the same thing. I'm just trying to illustrate that there's some gray area as one ages as to what is and isn't "wrong" to acknowledge as attractive. Your husband looked, he didn't touch, he didn't contact any of these women or try to, he isn't inappropriate with any of the young women in his life currently unless there is more to this than what you have posted. My gut feeling based on all you have described here is that your husband made the simple mistake of carelessness in choosing an outlet for his libido and you have read into it far more than he ever dreamed or intended. The question is, how dearly do you wish to make him pay for that? Is it worth writing off 30 years of marriage? Entirely up to you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2017):

Ok here yes I do understand what you are saying and yes I am know it's true most pirn does have younger women . I expected as my husband got older he would not want to look at girls the age of our daughter and this has affected me deeply for right or wrong . Especially seeing the horrible names they add called and way thy are treated . I think watching any more of that would make the problem worse for me .

For what it was worth I was seeing a counsellor for some time after this came to light and the result of that was coming to understand that this may simply mean the marriage is over . She told me many women are there over pirn issues although she did not say the age thing I specifically mention so I suppose I'm not the only one

I am still her though hoping for some last hope . I do love him but the truth is probably that I can't respect him again. I find it hard to see him as anything but a dirty old man and Eheb my daughter is here with her friends i end up imagining what's going through his head when I know he had been masterbating to girls just like them . He didn't go looking for women like me or his age . No ! He looks at that ! They are kids ! Absolutely . Havnt even lived . What kind of marriage is this . Thirty years down the drain because he wants girls and finds his old wife disgusting to want to even imagine looking at anything like me

I'm sure he is completely happy to be left alone with that . He wouldn't even miss me gone

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (18 March 2017):

like I see it agony auntOP, I was not suggesting that you take up porn watching as a habit or that you watch even a minute of a porn video against your wishes. But I do think it would help you feel more at ease about what you are perceiving as an active preference by your husband for younger women if you observe firsthand that the vast majority of results for any given search ONLY include women in the age range that you're bothered by your husband watching. If you don't want him watching porn with younger women in it, you are better off asking him to quit watching porn, period. Because the vast majority of porn is going to include actresses in their early 20s.

Again, I would suggest you both talk this through with a counselor who can help you reach a solution. It sounds like he has already stopped the porn use anyway, so what's left is for you two to either find a way to move past what has happened in the past, or not.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2017):

Thankyou for the advice but I should say that I have no desire to join in watching porn . I find the industry very degrading to women . Many of the videos described the women by extremely offensive names . The men were old and frankly overweight and ugly . It's a double standard . I won't be a part of it so yes thats also upsetting to me but I accept if he watched porn of women our age and took the time to find porn that was not abusive to women but I've now found out I married a man who doesn't just not care , he enjoys young women being sworn at and degraded

Now people are telling me there's nothing wrong with it and join in

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (18 March 2017):

like I see it agony auntDid he express that this is a preference of his, or is that just the type of porn you've noticed him watching?

I ask because the vast majority of porn (fetishes excepted) tends to feature early-20s women. I speak to this as a woman with a healthy sex drive, a frequently absent partner, and a working Internet connection. And you don't have to go out of your way to find that type of material, so your husband may not be specifically looking for it either. If it doesn't offend your sensibilities, pick a sex act of your choice and Google it. Take a look at what comes up in the video results. You don't even have to watch the videos; just look at the age range of the actresses in the screenshots. Studios want to appeal to the broadest range of consumers and so unless they're casting for a specific fetish involving "older" (or on the flip side, even younger "barely legal") women, it makes financial sense for them to pick actresses who will appeal to the broadest possible range of viewers, from teenage boys to older men. I don't think this says so much about your husband as it does about the porn industry. Searching "older" porn puts the would-be watcher squarely in fetish territory as the results often feature two partners with a creepily large age gap (older man/schoolgirl in plaid skirt and stockings or cougar/son's friend type scenes) or two people in their 50s or 60s having sex. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with this if all participants are legal and consenting, but not everyone wants to watch porn that simulates a vulnerable young person being groomed or reminds them of their parents getting it on - see my point? Kind of a niche market, if you will.

It's also a good sign that you and your husband had a healthy and active sex life before you found out about the porn. It doesn't sound like he was using porn in place of having sex with you when you wanted it, or at the expense of intimacy in your marriage. Clearly he finds you attractive and desirable, whatever he may watch on his own.

I think it might be helpful if you two visited a licensed marriage counselor together to help you work through this. It doesn't have to be the end of the world or the end of your marriage.

Hope this helps. Good luck and best wishes moving forward!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2017):

I guess I'm the exception here because I happen to agree with you. My bf and I watch porn occasionally together. We watch amateur because we find them to be more into each other, more real and it's more of a turn on for us. If I found out my husband was watching porn that was only women half my age it would definitely be a turn off to me both emotionally and physically.

I would definitely talk with him and let him know how I feel about it. Hear what he has to say. I wish you luck.

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A female reader, singinbluebird United States +, writes (18 March 2017):

singinbluebird agony auntI'm a female who loves porn. My advice is stop playing the victim. I am compassionate but honey, it's all just entertainment ! You're the woman he comes home too, had a life with, the woman who he gives pleasure to and kisses !!! These are women he looks at online only ----don't forget you are the woman who impacts him and plays a role in his life and you're the one he chosed as well as let YOU make love to him.

Women who feel threaten by porn don't realize their own power they have over their man. He enjoys young women prob but what do you enjoy , what do you desire that he may often find he falls short of. Men are deeply insecure of their desires, their penis size, their stamina, and whether their women actually wants them.

My favorite part of intimacy is actually treating porn as something my partner and I would do together. We would watch what he likes and then what i like and alternate and we LAUGH together the entire time. Porn is only mental stimulation and entertainment. Some of the stuff we watch makes us laugh so much because it's ridiculous but we enjoy it and in turn, feel completely safe and open with each other. This is stepping stone to best sex life ever

Your husband may enjoy young women videos, but get into sharing what you enjoy too. Make it social time, laugh, don't take yourself so seriously, and then make love after.

Because I have made porn something we did together , my partner now only enjoys when I'm around and he gets a kick when I'm turned on by watching videos he put on and suggest and allowing him to control my pleasure that way...let's just say your man feels appreciated and safe and motivated to be yours forever

Relax. Shift your mind into viewing porn differently , it's not the subject you watch but the shared receptiveness you have with each other that will save your marriage . Good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2017):

... Would you feel better if he had been watching porn with "milfs" in it? Wouldn't it have bothered you that he was looking at women who care for and love children, much like your own? Wouldn't it have bothered you either way? My point is I feel like it would have upset you regardless of what he was watching. If he was watching porn with bigger/fatter women in it, would that bother you as well?

I am a person who hate hate hates porn. Everytime my partner watches it I die a little bit because he is picking this intimacy over me - I've never thought to be bothered about what genre he is watching.

I just wonder if it's really about the age of the people in the video. And if it is, do you never look at younger, fit celebrity males and thing "ooh, nice"? Do you not find younger men attractive ever? It doesn't mean you're interested because of their age and I can't imagine your husband looks at these younger women and goes "Oh yes someone my daughters age". It's likely he doesn't even see your daughter as a young woman as she's his little girl and that's how he'll always see her mentally. It's also probably because this is the age of people in most popular pornography. Did he say he watched it specifically because of the age of these girls? Even if he did look for people who are in their 20s specifically, it's just fantasy and it's normal to find younger people (and older people) attractive. How much porn do you think there is that contains women aged 40-50?

Just because he sees them in porn and gets aroused (it makes ME aroused and I don't even agree with it!) does not mean he doesn't also find women your age attractive. Has this made you feel like you can't compete to his fantasies? Like you're not young enough for him? Because I'm sure this isn't the case.

Try to stop obsessing now. See a relationship counsellor if you are considering ending your marriage overy this. Keep open discussions together. Don't just shout at him for it and run off. He obviously understands your point if he has stopped watching it, but clearly you still have things you need to get off your chest.

Try to remember that usually men don't watch porn to hurt you or cheat on your or because they don't want you. Porn is always arousing to them, much easier than trying to initiate with another person and much quicker and different. It is a different satisfaction.

Please try to do a bit of research, speak calmly to your husband, try to move forward. Don't let porn ruin it.

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