Dear JoAnn,

I don’t even know where to begin. I met my boyfriend almost 12 years ago, soon after I had graduated high school. We started dating almost 3 months after first meeting each other. I thought things were going good between us, until I found out he was masturbating all the time, even though we were having sex at least 1x a day if not 2x. I was young, only 19 and I thought, “Well, I guess all guys do it, no big deal.” I think he is a Porn Addict.

Throughout the years, I have tried to ignore it. A LOT of the time I ended up walking in on him with his pants down or touching himself while viewing porn. I always tried to blame myself. I wasn’t thin enough, I didn’t have the small boobs or body size that he apparently fantasized about. I didn’t have sex with other women, etc… I tried to define myself by his values, and only hurting myself in the end.

We have lived together for most of this time. He started hiding the porn from me, denying it, placing the blame on me. Some of the lines he used are: “Your sex drive is too high, it turns me off when you ask for sex.” – When asked about why it is so long between sex his answer was, “Been there, done that.” And I sat there and took it. I have asked him to quit numerous times, but I never truly trusted him.

For the majority of these past twelve years I have been dealing with a sexual drought. Again I blamed something I did on it.

Fast forward to this spring. I am blaming myself at this time, I have no job, I am completely dependent on him, and I am failing at school, simply because I am exhausted and depressed all the time. I had gained a lot of weight through a birth control medicine, and I finally decided that I need to do something to get it off.

I started an exercise program to lose the weight, but yet he gets mad at me for using gas in the truck to drive to this program, saying I am being selfish and I always do what I want. I call one night and end up leaving a message on his cell that I am on my way home. I did this every night. I try calling again as I got closer to home. I end up getting home, opening the front door, and there he is on the computer in the middle of masturbating.

All I can feel is shock, and betrayal. We had started having sex again at least once a week a few weeks prior to this incident. He said he was only looking at porn to get himself in the mood and that he hadn’t done this for awhile. I again tried to ignore the pain and heartbreak. I was so mad I just told him to do whatever he needed to do.

A week later as I sat thinking after he left for work, I realized that it is NOT my fault. I shouldn’t have my needs put to the side, just so he can get satisfaction. My feelings matter as well! I started to do some laundry and I found all the shirts he was using to clean up. I still get that stomach drop sick feeling every time I think about it.

I looked up info online about sex addiction and I wrote him a very long letter that read like a journal entry. I also moved my stuff into the spare bedroom. I gave him an ultimatum. It was either our relationship or his pornography and masturbation. I took a long walk that morning before he came home. He later found me, and that evening told me that he would chose me and that he would work on things. I told him he would need to be completely honest with me, even if I don’t ask it, he needs to tell me when he messes up, and he agreed. I never felt so happy as that night.

Things have been going good, the sexual drought ended… except that I ended up feeling like I was replacing his porn and masturbation. I even let myself believe in him and trust him by moving back to his room.

These past two weeks, something has felt off. The bathroom door is locked when he takes a shower, which was one of the conditions I placed around learning to trust him again. He was starting to get evasive again. There was no sex. This past Thursday (7/21/11) I woke up and decided to peek out into the living room. There he was in front of the computer watching a video of two “girls” and touching himself.

I went outside and came back in and he didn’t see me or hear me, he was so focused. I waited in the room for about 5 minutes, and I decided that I had enough, I shouldn’t be trapped in the bedroom while he pleasured himself. I walked to the door again, and watched him for about a minute, even though my heart and stomach decided that the world had fell out from beneath my feet and I was falling through eternity.

I asked him if he was almost done so that I could actually come out of the bedroom. He jumped about a foot in the air and closed the porn super quick. I told him to not bother, I had already seen enough, that I had been watching him. He tried to tell me that he loved me, and all that other garbage. I have just decided to ignore it and act like he isn’t even uttering such stupid lip service to me.

I am cordial to him, but I really am not feeling it for him right now. My problem is this: Every single time I want to break it off, he begs and pleads with me. (I really don’t believe it, even if I really want to.)

My situation is such that if I leave, I will be homeless. I have no car, no job, and no other family/friends I can depend on. What can I do to keep things civil between us while still living in the same house, but make it clear to him that there are consequences to his actions. I am so lost right now! Please any advice would be helpful!
Sincerely,
Kara