"He's Hooked on Online Porn"

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The Counselor's Turn

Sexual Neglect

"What you find on the Internet today is not your father's Playboy," said the counselor. "The proliferation of Web sites, chat rooms, and Webcams offering instant fulfillment at the click of a mouse has taken pornography to a whole new level of accessibility. Mia isn't the only wife to be upset by her husband's interest in all this.

"Mia and Carson clearly loved each other, but their relationship had hit a rocky patch. Just as an affair can be a wake-up call, Carson's need for Web porn (which he admitted predated his marriage) indicated that they needed to find a way to communicate lovingly about sex. 'Try to turn this difficult situation into a catalyst for positive change,' I advised. Since Carson's tastes tended toward fairly standard sexual situations, I reassured Mia that his interest in porn was normal. 'Try not to take this personally,' I urged her. 'It doesn't mean he doesn't love you or find you attractive. Nor does it mean he intends to have an affair or wants you to look or behave like the women on the screen.'

"That said, I also told Mia a blunt truth that many women don't want to hear: 'If you reject a man sexually, he's eventually going to go elsewhere.' I know this sounds like marital advice from the 1950s, but that makes it no less true. 'For a man,' I explained, 'sex is the greatest index of love. When Carson's physical needs are met and he feels desired, his confidence will skyrocket and his need for pornography will diminish.'

Sharing Responsibility

"As I expected, Mia took umbrage. 'Doesn't he have some responsibility here?' she demanded. 'Why should I be the submissive maiden? Besides, I have an infant and just brushing my teeth takes every ounce of my energy.'

"'Yes, he needs to be responsible, and yes, you're exhausted,' I agreed, 'but if your marriage is to improve, you can't hold sex hostage. I'm not advising you to morph into a Stepford wife, but remember, your sexual responsiveness is the most powerful way for him to know that he's loved.' 

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn, continued

 

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