I’ve been with my military husband nearly 8 years, married nearly 6. In the beginning things were great. But about a year after we started dating he returned home for a visit and while using his phone to take some pix of myself I spotted some images on there of Catwoman in shiny leather (and other similar pictures). His explanation was that he liked the leather look and the tightness of it.
I’ve tried to surprise him over the years with tight fitting lingerie (he was disappointed) and latex outfits (again, disappointed). We got married, had a child and things have gone up and down. I’ve found more evidence of fetish sites and we’ve fought over his porn use because our sex life was suffering. At one point we were living in a different state and I flew home with our daughter because his anger was out of control. I came back and found he had cheated on me. He’s tried committing suicide too.
We’ve gone to counselling, but he was upset and felt the entire process was completely focused on him. We’re now back in a downward spiral; I’m due with our second baby, my self-esteem is at an all-time low and I’ve told him once the baby is born I’m going to find a job and leave. It’s not what I want but I can’t take this anymore. He freaked out. He wants his addiction gone because he doesn’t want to lose us, but he also fights against that because he’s been into it since he was a kid and doesn’t want to live without it. I also worry if we separate that his fetish will take over his life and I’m afraid even if he tries to hide it our daughters will be exposed to it and I’m not okay with that. Any advice is appreciated. I have nobody to talk to or get advice from. Taylor
How awful to have to make these decisions about your future at a time when you should, by rights, be excited about the birth of your second baby, sorting out the nursery and putting your feet up. But you’re married to a troubled guy who’s in the grip of something he can’t control. From what I’ve read about fetishes, I know for some people the excitement and arousal is in the illicit nature of it. So that could explain why, when you’ve tried to meet him halfway and share his fantasy or ‘sexual script’, it fell flat.
I interviewed sex therapist Margaret Redelman recently and she mentioned that men get attached to their sexual scripts more than women do. You can actually change your sexual script, but it’s hard, takes time and you have to be motivated to do it (maybe by the threat of losing something you love). This is the sad bit: for while he doesn’t want to lose you and the kids, he also doesn’t want to give up his fantasy life and that actually may have a stronger pull for him, especially if he can’t stop lying to you and has cheated on you at least once that you know about. More concerning to me is that he’s already exposed you to anger issues so bad you actually got on a plane with your kid to get away from him. I don’t know where you go from here, but sticking around while your husband spirals into an addiction he refuses to get help for is, I think, the wrong choice for you and your kids.
My advice? It’s time for tough love, Taylor. You’ve tried to manage this. You’ve tried to help him. He’s done diddly squat, resisted attempts at counselling, and continues to indulge his addiction even after knowing he’s almost certain to lose you. But that’s the nature of addiction, and if someone’s not willing to help themselves, you can’t give up your life for them. Your responsibility and your focus now has to be on you, and on building a safe and happy future for yourself and your kids. I wish you all the best doing that.
Love, reality chick