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Reacting badly to boyfriend watching porn

katya

katya

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Dec 4, 2013
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Hi all, I'm feeling pretty shitty at the moment. Last night, my boyfriend, housemates and I were having a lovely time watching all the TV we'd missed over the week for various reasons. At some point during the night, my boyfriend went upstairs. I waited for about an hour, thinking he'd just gone to the toilet, and he was watching porn. I asked him whether he was going to come downstairs to say goodnight, and he said no.

I'm not usually the sort of person to become sensitive about boyfriends watching porn; I don't mind if someone chooses to masturbate: that's not the issue. The issue is that it feels as though he's been distancing himself away from me recently, and this seems indicative of that. We haven't had sex in a while, because I have quite a complicated relationship with sex because I was abused as a child, and I'm also on anti-depressants so my libido is pretty much zero.

I talked to him last night about how I'm sorry for reacting so badly for him watching porn, because that wouldn't normally upset me, but that there is a deeper issue here, which is that I don't really feel loved/taken on/wanted anymore. He doesn't choose to spend a lot of time with me, he doesn't treat me with any sort of affection (unless he wants sex) and he's chosen to sleep in a separate bed to me during the week because he says he can get to sleep easier for work (despite us sleeping in the same bed for the first two years of our relationship).

I'm upset even more today because, instead of even acknowledging the fact that we had a heart-to-heart last night about how I don't feel wanted in the relationship, he's slinked off for a wank again, without even a attempting to talking to me, to ask me how I am, etc.

I feel useless at the moment.
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

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small town Ontario, Canada
Sorry your going through this Jruth, I can relate on all points and understand how it makes you feel. I hope your boyfriend understands porn is not real life and that they are different. Porn addiction can ruin relationships for sure with demands by the porn industries fiction of how it's supposed to be. Very selfish of him to go back so soon after your heart to heart with him. Not fair to you at all.

I wish I could help more in telling you how to cope with the labido going down as well. Mine didn't come back even after coming off the SSRI's, but luckily my bf doesn't have that high a lobido himself and we were able to work through it eventually. We now live apart as well, living together was a disaster for both of us. But we work with it. I understand how the CSA PTSD issues relate as well and focused on too much myself in all my relationships. Something I still have great diffuculty with and part of why I choose to stay in therapy.
Just sending you a huge huge hug of understanding. :hug:
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Am a bit late to reply, but just wanted to send you some hugs.:hug1:
I can totally understand why you feel the way you do about the situation... hope things get better soon.
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

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I imagine it can be hard to keep it erotic in a stable relationship. Porn makes it easy.

The sex industry is a natural by-product of the world. Don't understand why it is still so shocking and taboo.
 
N

notrealname

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This must be upsetting, I'm sorry that this has happened in such a long-term union. Did you have any indication he was like this before or is his moodiness a recent thing?

If there are other indications or long-term trends in his behaviour that seem to put his pleasure above yours or when he has seemed dismissive of your (perfectly reasonable) emotions, then perhaps you could question whether he is providing what you need in a relationship and consider cutting your losses and look for someone who is capable of fulfilling that role.

I trapped myself in emotionally distant relationships for a long time thinking there weren't any problems seeing as we never argued etc., always got on well as friends...but really I was staying in relationships where I felt unfulfilled and lonely simply because I wasn't aware there were other options. I grew up with emotionally distant parents and didn't expect support, love, care or attention from people when I entered the adult world, so I just didn't look for it.

I guess I'm saying be careful not to make the same mistake I did and starve yourself of love when it is actually available out there.

The basic rule of thumb is this: Are they behaving the way you would allow yourself behave? If you were to behave the way they are, would you feel shame or guilt? If they are not meeting the standards of behaviour that you would apply to yourself, they are not meeting your standards of behaviour. Everybody's different, everybody has different standards, and if their standards are lower than yours it will simply make you unhappy.

I don't like feeling like I'm telling you what to do, but I thought it was worth mentioning just because I spent so much time with dismissive men who simply recreated familiar relational environments (i.e. those I grew up with). I felt comfortable because of that familiarity, which is why there were no fireworks, but not loved - and frankly I didn't really love them - but I didn't complain because I was used to it. It had always been that way. But it doesn't have to be, love does actually exist...

PS: I just read this back and wanted to clarify that I'm not saying your boyfriend doesn't love you - there's no reason to suspect that, everybody shows their love in different ways. My dismissive boyfriends always loved me and were very upset when I walked away. The question is not whether or not you are loved, it is whether or not you feel loved.

PPS: And another thing - there is nothing wrong with watching porn/masturbating while in a relationship. We all do it and it doesn't mean anything. But I want to tell you that it is perfectly reasonable to be upset if a boyfriend literally appears to prioritise porn above their relationship, such as refusing to spend time with you in order to wank. Most of us would also consider it unacceptable to wank in front of our partners, or make it obvious we are doing so, without somehow including them...
 
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katya

katya

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Location
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This must be upsetting, I'm sorry that this has happened in such a long-term union. Did you have any indication he was like this before or is his moodiness a recent thing?

If there are other indications or long-term trends in his behaviour that seem to put his pleasure above yours or when he has seemed dismissive of your (perfectly reasonable) emotions, then perhaps you could question whether he is providing what you need in a relationship and consider cutting your losses and look for someone who is capable of fulfilling that role.

I trapped myself in emotionally distant relationships for a long time thinking there weren't any problems seeing as we never argued etc., always got on well as friends...but really I was staying in relationships where I felt unfulfilled and lonely simply because I wasn't aware there were other options. I grew up with emotionally distant parents and didn't expect support, love, care or attention from people when I entered the adult world, so I just didn't look for it.

I guess I'm saying be careful not to make the same mistake I did and starve yourself of love when it is actually available out there.

The basic rule of thumb is this: Are they behaving the way you would allow yourself behave? If you were to behave the way they are, would you feel shame or guilt? If they are not meeting the standards of behaviour that you would apply to yourself, they are not meeting your standards of behaviour. Everybody's different, everybody has different standards, and if their standards are lower than yours it will simply make you unhappy.

I don't like feeling like I'm telling you what to do, but I thought it was worth mentioning just because I spent so much time with dismissive men who simply recreated familiar relational environments (i.e. those I grew up with). I felt comfortable because of that familiarity, which is why there were no fireworks, but not loved - and frankly I didn't really love them - but I didn't complain because I was used to it. It had always been that way. But it doesn't have to be, love does actually exist...

PS: I just read this back and wanted to clarify that I'm not saying your boyfriend doesn't love you - there's no reason to suspect that, everybody shows their love in different ways. My dismissive boyfriends always loved me and were very upset when I walked away. The question is not whether or not you are loved, it is whether or not you feel loved.

PPS: And another thing - there is nothing wrong with watching porn/masturbating while in a relationship. We all do it and it doesn't mean anything. But I want to tell you that it is perfectly reasonable to be upset if a boyfriend literally appears to prioritise porn above their relationship, such as refusing to spend time with you in order to wank. Most of us would also consider it unacceptable to wank in front of our partners, or make it obvious we are doing so, without somehow including them...
Thanks for your really wise reply. There are some times in our relationship where he doesn't seem to exhibit as much empathy as I would like (or deserve in a relationship, really) but he has had a difficult, cold upbringing, and - to be fair to him - he is trying to make things better.

I had another heart-to-heart with him after I posted this and I think I got through to him more than I ever have done before that I haven't been feeling loved in the relationship (I know what you mean - it's not that he doesn't, it's that he doesn't know how to how it). It'll be a long process and I do need to think of what's right for me in the long run, but at the moment I'm happy he's making the effort. I hope it continues, because I do love and care deeply for him.
 
katya

katya

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England
I imagine it can be hard to keep it erotic in a stable relationship. Porn makes it easy.

The sex industry is a natural by-product of the world. Don't understand why it is still so shocking and taboo.
I've never really been arsed about porn. In the first few years of our relationship, I knew he watched porn and it didn't really bother me... I was pissed off and hurt by it the other night, though, because it felt like a smack in the face on top of not really feeling loved. If I felt loved, it genuinely wouldn't be a problem.

Some of porn is horrible and degrading... but that's not really the porn we're talking about. I can understand why some people really don't like it, though. I think it's hard for some women to feel comfortable with, and some men take it way too far.
 
N

notrealname

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Thanks for your really wise reply. There are some times in our relationship where he doesn't seem to exhibit as much empathy as I would like (or deserve in a relationship, really) but he has had a difficult, cold upbringing, and - to be fair to him - he is trying to make things better.

I had another heart-to-heart with him after I posted this and I think I got through to him more than I ever have done before that I haven't been feeling loved in the relationship (I know what you mean - it's not that he doesn't, it's that he doesn't know how to how it). It'll be a long process and I do need to think of what's right for me in the long run, but at the moment I'm happy he's making the effort. I hope it continues, because I do love and care deeply for him.
It's great news that he is listening to you and is able to see that his behaviour is problematic and he has his own emotional struggles to contend with. Just be sure that he is the one that contends with those emotional issues and not you - you don't need to make too many allowances for behaviour but everybody deserves a chance for change and if he is willing to put the work in to resolve his own childhood issues (has he considered therapy?) then that's fantastic. Just remember to focus on your own emotions and your own battles. Supporting another person is one thing - and a good thing, particularly in a close relationship - but sacrificing your own needs to help another will bite you in the long-term (believe me, been there :) ) You sound quite a lot like me. I always felt bad for my boyfriends because I understood them and had empathy for them and I felt I could go without, or tolerate certain unpleasant behaviours, in order to help them. I saw myself as essentially stronger than them, I think, and didn't want them to feel rejected just because they had problems, I thought that would terrible for them (I guess because it would be terrible for me!) Unfortunately, some of mine refused to believe any of the problems were theirs, and others realised they had problems but didn't really put the effort in to change. It sounds like yours is a little more grown-up :) I hope everything goes well.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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I imagine it can be hard to keep it erotic in a stable relationship. Porn makes it easy.

The sex industry is a natural by-product of the world. Don't understand why it is still so shocking and taboo.
No, perhaps you can't understand it from a male point of view. From a female point of view, it's very difficult adjusting to being seen as a commodity, a convenience to be used, as something that only has value to 50% of the population according to how pretty it looks. It's great if you are lucky enough to be born with the right genes, so you look good to that 50%, but if you aren't so lucky - well frankly, I think you might as well be put down at birth. Life really isn't worth all the angst and resultant depression if you are born a 'plain' woman.

So, you find your man looking at porn. This indicates 1) he doesn't find you as attractive as the women in porn movies 2) he would rather wank off to porn than have sex with you 3) his reasons for having a relationship with you (or any woman) is primarily sex (skills like being a good cook are a bit of a bonus) and who you are as an individual person really doesn't matter too much.

So, as a woman, you either just cave in and starve yourself to be 'thin enough' and wear the high heels and stockings and make-up and learn to put up with deep throating and anal sex or else you have to do without relationships with men altogether.

I don't want a 'forever erotic' relationship. I want to be loved and give love and I don't think sex is love. I honestly think it will be a good day when all men retire to one room with their porn and women retire to another room with their rabbits and the need for intimate, loving relationships no longer exists. We can always have babies using a turkey-baster.

This is why porn is still shocking and taboo to many people.
 
D

Dottyone

Guest
Pornography has been around for 1000's of years in one way or another from scantly painted drawings on rocks and caves, I thinks its a Natural interest for men and females, I have no experience of relationships so I cant give advice on that but I know boys will be boys.

I can see it could be upsetting in relationship.

I cringe at porn but thats just me, I am sure a lot of people dont male or female

:hug:
 
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N

notrealname

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No, perhaps you can't understand it from a male point of view. From a female point of view, it's very difficult adjusting to being seen as a commodity, a convenience to be used, as something that only has value to 50% of the population according to how pretty it looks. It's great if you are lucky enough to be born with the right genes, so you look good to that 50%, but if you aren't so lucky - well frankly, I think you might as well be put down at birth. Life really isn't worth all the angst and resultant depression if you are born a 'plain' woman.

So, you find your man looking at porn. This indicates 1) he doesn't find you as attractive as the women in porn movies 2) he would rather wank off to porn than have sex with you 3) his reasons for having a relationship with you (or any woman) is primarily sex (skills like being a good cook are a bit of a bonus) and who you are as an individual person really doesn't matter too much.

So, as a woman, you either just cave in and starve yourself to be 'thin enough' and wear the high heels and stockings and make-up and learn to put up with deep throating and anal sex or else you have to do without relationships with men altogether.

I don't want a 'forever erotic' relationship. I want to be loved and give love and I don't think sex is love. I honestly think it will be a good day when all men retire to one room with their porn and women retire to another room with their rabbits and the need for intimate, loving relationships no longer exists. We can always have babies using a turkey-baster.

This is why porn is still shocking and taboo to many people.
I'm sorry you feel that way, but it might be a little reductive to see the genders as essentially different. I'm a woman and I have watched porn while in a relationship. It wasn't so much my thing because I get off on my imagination more so than actually seeing others have sex, but I definitely didn't feel that I was cheating on my boyfriend. I continue to masturbate in all of my relationships because I get a different sort of enjoyment from it. I rarely - if ever - masturbate about my actual partner, frankly because I get to have sex with them whenever I want so it isn't as exciting to think about. I'll normally think of something that definitely isn't going to happen - sex with a celebrity or group sex or something like that, sometimes it's stuff I wouldn't actually want to do in real life but enjoy fantasising about. I think the two things are very different, basically. When I have sex with my partner I enjoy the intimacy, the feeling of another person's skin, I enjoy watching them enjoy it, I'm fairly sure much of my pleasure comes from feeling that I am performing well and thus feeling like a 'seductress' or beautiful/tempting. When I have sex with people I enjoy seeing their desire for me and I enjoy watching how I can manipulate them into feeling pleasure and losing a little bit of control. That makes me sound horrible, I should imagine, but I never mean it in an overly dominating way. I also enjoy sex with people I love because I enjoy having that feeling of love heightened - and of course I enjoy the physical side of it too.

With masturbation/porn, it's just fantasy and you do it for different kinds of reasons. It's nice to enter your own little world where anything you want can happen - including, as I say, stuff you probably wouldn't do in real life. I'm fairly sure I'd hate group sex in real life, but I like thinking about it. It's overly idealised stuff you don't expect - or even particularly want - in your actual every day.

I've always just assumed men feel exactly the same way as me and I'm not being compared. One ex only really watched porn with Asian women in it and he had a big thing for women with that particular look. I'm not Asian but I didn't feel that he found me any less attractive for it. The fact he was going out with me told me he found me very attractive, so I assumed he likes wanking over Asian women but in real life does not actually need that to be happy.

I said all that to kind of explain the other point of you because your thoughts sound quite upsetting for you.
 
D

Dottyone

Guest
:redface:gosh this is a bit racy, I think I will go and watch the news its more within my limits.
 
D

Deliah

Guest
This is a very interesting thread! From what you say, it's not the porn that is problematic for you, but his distancing himself form you intimately maybe? It's not an experience I've had and I've only once had porn play any part my relationship which I wasn't keen on at that time in my life. Now, I accept porn as norm but I wouldn't want to watch it with a boyfriend or want to be with someone who spent a lot of time watching it. I guess, if it feels that he isn't available for you because his attention is more with the pornography, then maybe you can reassess what you want in a person. I can also understand that as you say you have no libido at the moment, that he still has needs and it could be seen as positive that he is looking after these, though maybe a little much that he is doing it when you have company? Take care, I hope you can work things out with him. Love D xxxx
 
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