"My Husband Is Addicted to Internet Porn"

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His Turn

"I'm so ashamed of what I've done and how badly I've hurt Kathy," said Brad, 43, an X-ray technician. "She doesn't even know how bad my habit really is, or how much money I've spent on it. Cybersex is a sickness. I've stopped since she caught me, but it's a constant struggle to resist.

"I've been into porn since I was a teenager, when I'd sneak my dad's Playboys from his closet. He and I had a terrible relationship. The only emotion he ever expressed was anger, and he was abusive, emotionally and physically. My mother was a total doormat. Even on the rare occasions when she'd object to something he did to me, he'd shoot her a dirty look and she'd back off.

"Dating was hard for me. I never connected with anyone, and none of my relationships lasted long. I began dabbling in cybersex about a year before I met Kathy, after a friend told me there were lots of hot women online who'd talk to me. So I started going on adult sites and looking at photos of naked women. Sometimes I'd e-mail back and forth with them. Then I moved on to the telephone. I'd meet a woman online, I'd type in my credit card information, she'd give me her phone number and we'd talk for an hour or two -- for $12 a minute. She'd ask me what kind of panties and perfume I'd like her to wear and what I wanted her to do to me. As she'd talk, I'd masturbate. This happened about twice a week. Eventually I started watching women performing sex acts on my computer via live webcams.

"Then I fell in love with Kathy. She understood me, and together we laughed, went to movies, had fantastic sex. I felt more comfortable with her than with anyone I'd ever known. But after we'd been married a year or so I started feeling out of sorts. I'd wake up anxious for no reason. Being married felt like a burden. Basically I shut down.

"That's when I turned to cybersex again -- my easy outlet, my quick fix. Only this time I got more sucked in than ever. I'd be in the basement four, five times a week. Sometimes I'd hear Kathy's footsteps on the stairs and I'd shut down the computer. Once she said, 'You're spending a lot of time online -- what's going on?' I said I was trying to sell stuff on eBay. Cybersex became the most important thing in my life. Kathy and I were like roommates -- the kind who barely talk to each other.

"When Kathy discovered what I was up to, I tried to worm my way out of it. But I feel horrible. I've been living in fantasyland, and I'm not sure I can stop. Kathy deserves better."

Continued on page 3:  The Counselor's Turn

 

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