Teach Me: How does name-calling help get over infidelity?

As a lot of you know, I’m working on my second book right now. It’s a collaboration with a great therapist out of California that is going to be geared at the female partners of male porn addicts. He’ll handle the therapy side, I’ll handle the been there, done that side. The early work we’ve done is good and I look forward to continuing.

We’re not talking about sex addiction in the book. My co-author could, but I don’t have experience with it. My life was not secretive rendezvous and texting on burner phones. I don’t have the DNA makeup for that although I don’t judge any of them harsher than any other addict.

There are many women who have to deal with men who are both porn addicts and sex addicts. Many of them are loyal followers on this site and I always appreciate their feedback to me. Knowing what’s important to them helps me focus on what I should put in the book.

Sometimes I’ll need to directly ask them about something I don’t understand. I’ve never been in their shoes and betrayal trauma recovery is nothing I’ve ever participated in.

I suppose I could ask them the question central to this article individually, but I’d rather pose this to the community as a whole because I’d love to get feedback from different kinds of people who have had different experiences around infidelity and addiction. I sincerely hope it doesn’t trigger or open any wounds. There’s the warning. Trigger, trigger.

Why hate the other woman/women so much? I understand that they participated as your husband’s illicit partner, but why does it matter what their story is?

In the best possible scenario, your husband was lying to them the whole time and they had no idea your husband was married or boyfriend was in a serious relationship. They were duped the same way you were.

In the worst-case scenario, they knew he was married, were a close friend of yours and set out to destroy your relationship.

Either way, your husband was a willing participant and these women owe you nothing. Sure, it’s kind of sleazy to sleep with another woman’s husband, but it’s not like the husband didn’t also sign-off on the dalliance.

No perfect answers

I spent most of my last therapy appointment talking about this book. My therapist is voraciously secretive about her clients, but she told me she’s dealt with women going through betrayal trauma and it’s even harder to deal with than somebody going through the death of a loved one much of the time.

She said for whatever reason, there are just some women who can’t let go of the betrayal, yet don’t want to end their marriage. After running around in circles, she said that there have been a couple where she just didn’t know what to do with because they either couldn’t or wouldn’t move on.

The betrayal to my wife was on a lower scale because it was just pornography and chat rooms, or at least I think that’s what she told herself. There was also the involvement of the police and legal proceedings, so I think that threw the average betrayal situation off its normal track. I believe getting myself healthy over the course of time, and her having the time to do the same for herself took care of most of the pain. Either way, I know that I got lucky with how little she held against me. She could get totally mad at me, but the women on the other end of the computer had no idea who they were talking to…how can they be the target of her betrayal?

Oh yeah, well you’re a stupid head

In reading many of the entries these women put on their blogs, I’m impressed by their strength and dedication to their families and their systematic way of picking up the pieces and fixing things. Sometimes I think they may go too far with the boundaries/discipline with their husbands, but that’s probably natural for me to think things are excessive for the guy since I was the guy in my scenario.

The one thing that almost all do, that I have never been able to understand is how much anger, hate and resentment they carry for the “other woman.” Since none of these women use their real names on their blogs, everyone gets a nickname. Usually the husband or boyfriend gets a positive name, although I think it’s used ironically. The other woman, though, gets roasted.

I won’t use the real nicknames I’ve seen but they would go along the lines of “Supertramp,” “The Homely Whore,” or “Satania.” Feel free to use any of those, ladies.

Why so much hate toward the other woman? I read some of these terrific entries that encapsulate their feelings of grief, anger, betrayal and loss and am right there with them and then the other woman is introduced as “The Angry Cow.” It takes me out of the blog entirely.

I understand these women being an object of scorn, but is the name calling just to lower them? Is it to degrade them as a human? It is to build yourself higher?

I’m not saying the name calling is right or wrong, but it comes off so jaded sometimes. It’s hard to see the blogger as the better person when they write 500 fantastic words about dealing with their situation like an adult and then refer to the other woman as “Pig Face.” I wonder if being supported by similar women who also use name-calling as a literary technique clouds any objective view toward it.

I know it’s a complex set of emotions and I really don’t mind those names being used if the feeling is genuine, although I think healing is going to involve letting those monikers go. It’s easy to say how much you hate a situation, but when you call someone a name, you’re putting that hate on display. Much like I said in a recent blog, somebody once said the best revenge is living well. How can you live well when you’re still calling someone names like you’re in middle school?

Q&A Time: Does Hiding a Porn Addiction Mean He Hid Affairs?

QUESTION: I know my boyfriend is addicted to pornography. That’s obvious. He’s a very sexual personal overall, making comments and jokes about never being satisfied. Of course, he won’t admit he’s an addict, but I wouldn’t expect him to. Since he’s addicted to pornography, does this mean he cheated on me?

ANSWER: I think this is one of those individual situation scenarios. I can tell you that in the first 11 years of my marriage, all while addicted to pornography, I didn’t once cheat on my wife in the traditional sense. We can debate if talking to women in chat rooms is cheating, but in the case of a traditional affair, I never went down that road.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like being labeled as having a “sex addiction.” I think when people think of the word “sex” they immediately jump to intercourse. I had no interest in pursuing women outside of the pages of a magazine or on a computer screen. Frankly, I think that if I had ended up in a situation where it was possible, I would have fled out of fear.

In talking with male and female porn addicts, it’s clear to me that men use pornography as a coping and soothing mechanism. They are not using it as a substitute for intimacy. I never saw it as a replacement for real intimacy. The only thing that sex with my wife and masturbating with pornography had in common was the physical end result.

That said (and this may be a stereotype) but I believe that women are seeking romance and value a deeper bond with their partner than a man generally does. If all women needed to be satisfied was a naked body on a screen, wouldn’t the pornography industry have been catering more to women long ago? The economics proves that women don’t use pornography in the same way men do.

I’ve only known a handful of female pornography addicts and almost all of them acted out beyond their relationship because they were seeking a connection pornography alone couldn’t provide. It’s not just my anecdotal observations either. Statistics prove that women take their porn addiction to a different level far more than men. If you’re asking yourself this question about his fidelity, it could be that you are a woman and like most women, the wiring in your brain is different than a man.

Yes, some men start with pornography and move on to having affairs and develop intercourse addictions, but there are also plenty of men with intercourse addictions who have no interest in pornography. And as we all know, there are plenty of men with no addictions whatsoever who still cheat on their partner.

It’s impossible to say for sure if he cheated on you, but I don’t think it’s a conclusion that should be reached or an assumption that should be made. This speaks directly to the issue of how much you really want to know.  Please, used a trained facilitator if you think this is a conversation you should have with your partner. A random Tuesday night on your couch after a long day will not have positive results, regardless of his answer.

 

If you liked this Q&A, check out the others HERE

You can check out my Resources page if you need a place to start getting help. Click HERE

If you’d like somebody to talk to who has been there about porn addiction, be it yours or someone you love, but aren’t ready to make the leap to get help from the medical community, I can be a great resource. For more information, click HERE

DISCLAIMER: I have no formal training in counseling or medicine. My advice comes from experience as an addict and as someone in recovery for over four years.While many have labeled me as a pornography addiction expert, please take my words only as suggestions and before doing anything drastic, always consult with a professional. If you’d like me to answer a question publicly, either post it in the comment section or visit the contact page. Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.