Porn Breakup

13 Mar

Letterbalm No PornDear LetterBalm: I’m in real trouble. I got into watching porn online, and many times I lied to my wife about what I was doing. I kept telling her I had quit, but it wasn’t true. I couldn’t help myself. The last straw for her came after we brought our new baby home. I was taking care of the baby while she ran some errands. She came home and found him crying and me … well, oblivious. She was so angry she took our son and went to her sister’s. She wants a divorce and won’t even talk to me. Her family thinks I’m a pervert. I love her and my son and don’t want to lose them. I realize I need help, but she won’t see me. What can I do?

–Turned Off

Exactly how much porn were you watching? If it was anything involving children, excessive cruelty or unwilling partners, your wife has good reason to leave you. Let’s assume your penchant was for the basic stuff. Are you serious about excising porn from your life? Then stop besieging your wife and her family, find a therapist who treats your addiction and start treatment. Talk with your counselor about a first step to reach out to your wife: A letter to her that outlines your therapy and recommends a cooling off period. (Ms. L.B. says that after your wife starts speaking to you again, you might gently advise a visit with her doctor because her extreme reaction to seek a divorce might suggest she’s suffering from postpartum depression, understandable under the circumstances.) Ask a trusted friend to hand-deliver the letter to her:

Darling,

I’ve asked Mona to hand-deliver this letter to you because I really want you to read it.

You have every reason to be angry and fed up. I’ve hurt you over and over with my porn addiction. We have a new son, and I couldn’t even give it up for him and the new family we’ve made. I’ve created a mess, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart for causing you such pain.

I want you to know that I’ve begun counseling with a therapist who specializes in my addiction. He’s recommending that I also begin group therapy and that you and I see a marital counselor after a cooling-off period.

I don’t want you to think I’m ordering you around – all this is only if you want to. I love you so much that I’m willing to work as hard as I can for our marriage to work. Please, will you consider sitting down with me to talk?

Love always,

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