Your guilt sounds like a JW hang-up to me. Yes you watched porn when you were an elder - so what? We all know elders are nothing special, just guys who did enough to impress a bunch of other guys who through they were special.
Need Some Tough Love & Help
I support your suggestions soft+gentle
Makes me wonder if there's more history to this.
Seems like a very strong reaction from your wife. Has she been unhappy for a while, waiting for a reason to leave?
Don't answer that, I'm just thinking out loud.
Unless there's a history of infidelity here then yep this sounds like a total over reaction to me too, sounds to me like she's a very jealous woman or else now wants to use this as leverage.
If your 30s daughter is at all normal she will find the situation quite funny and tell her mother to stop over reacting and more than likely side with you over this. However if you think your wife WILL go this route then i suggest you preempt her and you be the one to get your daughter involved instead ... (but as already said this has NOTHING to do with your daughter and she should not be involved at all if possible!!)
Obviously not all porn is equal so unless this is pretty vanilla stuff her hurt and anger may be somewhat justified but mostly due to shock.
Whatever it was / is that gets you off you need more open two way communication right down to these intimate levels if you want this resolved.
"To the dear women we have on this site - what did you do when you found out your hubby or boyfriend was looking at porn?"
It does not bother me when my husband looks at it, or watches it. Now this is why I say that. My husband and I have been married 19 years. Most women say that they fell betrayed, but that is not how I feel about it. My husband uses it as a tool in learning new ways to do things.
As a believer I was chaste and good (no porn or masturbation or impure thoughts) for 99.99% of the time which in hindsight was astonishing and the result of no internet access till after my mission (finished when I was 21) plus an intense level of religious indoctrination, ironically it was a church lesson when I was in Young men's (age 12) which first introduced me to the concept of masturbation and led to an experiment that afternoon. That's how controlled my worldview was. After every masturbation event I went to the Bishop to confess. 5 or so visits in total. Age 36 before I finally figured my faith was a sham. After each Bishop visit I would be wracked with guilt, torn with self loathing and disgust and would resort to quite unusual extremes to try and redraw the boundary again and prove myself worthy o forgiveness (I'd throw out books , commit to additional scripture study, enter newspaper shops with my eyes glued to the ground and so on.)
As a woken up rational thinker I found something interesting. Almost everything, with common sense, can be seen to have a place. Stripped of its taboo nature porn is much less enticing, there is no secret thrill involved in looking. It makes sense that porn is made powerful by banning it. Now I can see something pornographic and I barely even notice it whereas when it was forbidden it was like a magnetic. No wonder Victorian prudes went into paroxysms of sexual climax when they caught sight of an uncovered ankle. Frankly most pornography is uninteresting and not titilating at all - whereas before it all was. There are times when pornography has played a useful part in my sex life but in reality even that is fading as I find it a bit naff.
If you can imagine a buffet laid out in front of you which if you overindulge in any one food group will make you ill over time (yes even the vegetables if eaten soley will cause problems) and which so called 'sinful' activities act as garnishes. A little salt makes food delicious, too much makes it nasty. A little lust can be wonderful and fulfilling, a little excitement can bring colour and meaning to the bland filling of life. Religious thinking spends so much time trying to 'gild the lily' that it turns that which can be beautiful and enriching (sexual behaviour including the desire to make sexual display!) into something tawdry and guilt laden.
Religion is all about power (this is one reason why your wife wants to tell your daughter - she wants to place you in a mentally submissive state where she can dictate your behaviour - which some people like ;) It doesn't matter whether you are a JW or a Mormon, they all want to control teh authentic you and make you into a Stepford wife/husband - emasculated and a slave.
Practical - you need to man up. Stop pity partying and panicking. You are a grown up. Your body is your exclusive property and you share who you are with your family but you are not owned by them. Use this crisis to decide who you want to be. If you want to revert to a closet sexual being controlled by a religion then grovel, plead, beg for forgiveness, shed tears and forever by tempted by the delights you are denied (pro tip - no amount of extreme porn avoidance techniques you add to your behaviour will work long term - you are a sexual being subject to hormones, biological rhythms and an extreme, natural drive to procreate - no religion or artificial control can ever destroy that - it requires chemical castration!) If you however, choose to own who you are, then lay down the boundaries, let your wife play out any of her control games (ultimately - grit your teeth here - your wife will either leave you or stay and either way you will have your answer about the true state of your marriage) and make sure that you never let anyone smash your spirit again. If you like a bit of porn every now and then, do it (privately of course) and just get the urge out of your system and carry on. Do this and you'll be a much better husband and a much better man becasue you are at peace with who you are rather than always running from your biological self. If you ever find yourself being addicted to porn (or anything for that matter) or you find your authentic self is into unlawful stuff or is warping your view of yourself and other people then seek professional help as addiction / law breaking / negative social behaviour is a real problem.
lp, Soft+Gentle & Resistance: Thank you - I appreciated the way you expressed yourselves. Yes I can see that it has a degrading effect to minimize women and marginalize them via porn. I think she is seeing the masturbation and then choosing that over her as perhaps more damaging than the porn itself - feeling lied to for our entire marriage - the masturbation never left me even after we were married.
Not a good night. My wife is still horribly devastated in that all the years I was an elder this was happening. She says it was bad enough that I dragged them into the religion and that at least she thought I was a decent caring person that counteracted some of the bad she saw. But now i am just as bad and just as bad hypocrite. I do so want to hug her in my arms, i hold back my tears as she says I am just a sociopath and that is manipulative - so i suppress them and that does damage too as coming off as not caring. I wish we could put this behind us and move forward.
She says I have broken everything including her heart. She cannot process the masturbation or the porn - I can understand that but my apologies and deep regret rings hollow with her. She is in horendous tears and anguish and I can see how selfish it was - when I was doing those things I should have thought through the consequences. I don't think she is exaggerating - I do not think my self a bad person or a bad husband but my choices clearly hurt and what she calls my neglect over the years I simply cannot see - am I that blind?
My wife and daughter are very close, my daughter suffered as a JW and has baggage. I can see that she will need to find out and when she does she will be devastated. At least now my wife has promised to wait till after Xmas as this is our third Xmas and she wants it to be special for my daughter and her husband. Add to this that my daughter has health problems adn it could send her into a flare up. Sheesh....what a bastard I am for not thinking through the consequences - rings hollow I know.
I oferred to take couselling and promised never to do it again - that rings hollow right now. I am finding hard to express myself and my silence is not helping - I at least answer each question truthfully and without any deciet.
Hindsight is 20/20 vision and I begin to express how bad I feel for my wife and eventually when my daughter finds out. I honestly do not think i can live with them both hurt. the shame yes, the hurt no.
I wish like hell that you all wouldn't drag your daughter into this but it's your choice. I also wish I could talk woman to woman to your wife.
P.S. my hubby occasionally masterbates and watches porn. Neither has affected our very active sex life. My philosophy is its his body and none of my business if he chooses to wack one off. I don't want that kind of control.
And please give your daughter some credit, yes she may have baggage from being a jw but she's also a grown ass married woman who has sex too. Unless you all are going to start swapping sex stories between you and your daughter I'd say your watching porn and masterbating is really none of her business.
but like I said its your choice you're going to do what you want to do.
Qcmbr: Thank you - I need to take control I know - it sounds like you just say that I need to ride the problem out and that two realities will emerge 1) she will leave me or 2) stay and there will be consequences both ways. I get that.
Another problem, I have a very low testoterone level (likely damage at birth - I was a breech birth and had testicular damage resulting in hydrocele testis) well below normal levels of 6 or 115 ng/dL and just started therapy for it after two blodd tests - I was boyant and ebulant that this could help us both and then I let this happen. Masturbation was not the cause of this - but it sure did not help my behaviour over the last number of years as it got worse. So when discovered yesterday I thought - no more lies or deciet - come clean and start from there. I tried to explain that much of my behaviour over the last 15 years or so I can trace to this medical problem - she blows this off and focuses on my being a "pervert". But I do not want it to be an excuse, but hope my wife can begin to see that the symptoms are explainable as they are to me.
I can assure you that I am not addicted to porn - it is occasional not every waking hour and it has not got worse. I also do not "find (myself) authentic self is into unlawful stuff or is warping (my) view of (my)self and other people.
Thanks to all - I continue on...
Ah no, in my humble opinion this is quite frankly none of your daugther's business.
You've been offered a good bit of advice, but the above is without question. Would you or your wife discuss anything else about your sex life with your children? This is a 30 year old daughter? Does she tell YOU (plural) how often she and her hubby have sex, or if they engage in "perverted" sex, etc?
It's none of YOUR damn business. Just as this is nothing in which to involve your daughter (or for godz sake, the elders).
This sounds like a lot being made out of a little. But, perhaps in your relationship this is more serious than in many of us. I know of those for whom porn is a serious problem -- it really becamse an "addiction". If you feel you have that serious of a problem with it, you should def see a counselor.
Even if it is not that serious of an issue for you personally, it sounds like using this as an opportunity for you and your wife to get some joint counseling would be a great idea. Married 40 years -- yes it's worth it.
Best wishes. You have a PM.
[And, fakesmile: You've shared your thoughts adequately, I think Simon was hoping for more than just your opinion. Respect. Doc]