Let's Talk About Our Marriages

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By Rebecca Teti

Thursday: Marriage

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Struggling in your marriage? Have some relationship advice to share? Have a marriage success story to share? Have a man/woman question? This weekly thread is the place to do it.

Come on in and join the conversation!

Rebecca Teti


  • My husband has announced that his boss approved him to go on a week-long all-expenses-paid business trip to his field's annual conference. He already signed up to go, so its not a question of whether I want him to or not. My feelings are hurt that he's already said he's not going for the lectures, but simply for the time away from me and our (very small) kids, the free yummy food, and the big city sights. While he's gone, I get to hold down the fort & he has not even offered to take a day off afterwards so I can catch up on rest. But what REALLY stirs my pot is that last time he went on a businenss trip (two years ago), he spent huge amounts of time in his hotel room looking at porn and seeking out TV shows/movies that offered nudity. I have not brought up the porn topic yet while discussing his trip - just my shock that he'd vacation for a week without me and the kids & how he'd better get ready to have an exhausted wife when he returns. Should I also talk to him about my fears that he'll spend all his free time watching trash TV and looking at junk on the computer?? I am so sick about it. If he leaves me with the kids to spend a week at a posh hotel and cheat like this, we will need serious counseling to get our marriage back on track. I was super-hurt last time. I am not sure he will be able to repair the damage if he does it again. Should I warn him?? Just quiz him about porn when he gets back? Neither? Both??

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 6:57 AM by anon today

  • anon today - At the least, I think you need to express how hurt you are that he admittedly wants to get away from you and your family. As for the porn use, was he remorseful after last time? Has he made an effort to ensure it doesn't happen again? Was it an isolated incident? However you approach it, I don't think it would be helpful to accuse before he's done anything. Perhaps there is a loving way you can ask about helping him avoid temptation while he's there. I will pray for you and your husband today!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:05 AM by Carolyn A

  • Whoo-hoo, someone has spunk! I think I like you. :) But lets just set a couple things straight logic-wise: if I'm holding him in contempt often (as you suggest), I can hardly be like a nun (which you also suggest). So, I'm EITHER habitually wicked OR habitually boring / nun-like. But not both at the same time. lol. As to which, I promise to heartily examine my conscience when the babies are down for a nap and think about it. In the meantime, does anyone have insight about taking about a past porn-issue BEFORE an offense has (or has not) happened? After the conference? Both?? Neither???

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:12 AM by anon today

  • Carolyn A, I like that concept of asking about a way to help him avoid temptation while he's there - so non-accusatory. And yet it acknowledges that last time he *did* admit that hotel rooms were always a huge near-occasion-of-sin for him. He said it from his own mouth, so its not accusatory of me to bring it up and ask how I can help (with prayers, or whatever, I presume. Maybe sending him with some nice framed pics of me and the kids to look at, etc.) Also, he was remourseful, but it was NOT an isolated incident. He had two conferences back-to-back (this was two years ago) and at BOTH of them he viewed porn. Also, he had viewed it before we were married. Thanks for your concrete and constructive thoughts, Carolyn! Anything else anyone has to add, I am all ears!!!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:16 AM by anon today

  • Anon today-I'm guessing that the conference is too far away to meet up with him even if it is only a day? That would be ideal. I can't think of any advice for you with the porn though. It is so accessible anymore you can watch on your smartphone now. Will send some prayers your way.

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:58 AM by Jay

  • Thanks, unknown! Thanks to your husband, too!! My husband is in a math/science field. He usually has a ton of extra work that could have kept him busy in the hotel, but just completed a massive project and has now taken up various home-repairs in his free time instead of bringing work home. All good and well while he's at home. I will chew on your ideas. Funny thing is, he skyped with me and the kids every day when he was at the last conference (which included porn use). So I guess he just felt no shame and popped off the computer with me and pull of some other women (can you tell I haven't completely gotten over this?!) Anyways, I will talk to him. I'm happy to find some dad books, maybe a Bible study, etc. The conference is really not for a month so there is time for me to collect some stuff for him to do. The thing is... no one will be watching over him. If he decides his sick of reading Scripture or whatever, he can just pull up whatever he wants. I wish he had a hobby outside of his job, but he really doesn't. He is either working, doing stuff around the house, or playing with the kids. All very admirable, but nothing he can "take with him" to a hotel. :( :( :( I am SO grateful to everyone who has replied!!!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 11:36 AM by anon today

  • Jay ~ yes, too far away to meet up. And I have put my foot down - no smartphones in our family!!! But there is still the laptop & at a hotel he will have a zillion channels, too. :(

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 11:38 AM by anon today

  • anon today: Did your husband go to confession the last time that he watched pornography? Is he open to speaking with your priest about the near occasion of sin & temptation that he will be experiencing when he attends this conference? I am so sorry & will pray for you both!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 2:16 PM by Praying for you!

  • If he's a science type then perhaps showing him some of the neuroscience research on the effects of viewing pornography would be helpful to him. My guess is he is trying to regain a sense of his pre-married self on these trips and since that self included viewing porn that is part of what he does. I understand needing a break from the family but some things, like porn, are simply off limits. I would show him the research and encourage him to seek spiritual direction before going. I believe the hotel may also be able to deny him the ability to rent movies while there if he arranges for it when he checks in.

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 8:28 PM by Becky Le

  • What a tough situation, anon today! Porn is such a devastating sin and I can see why you are hurting so much. I think that you have to address the porn with him specifically. Tell him how much it hurt you. If it's not an isolated incident, your marriage may need professional help - whether that's with a priest, a marriage counselor, or a marriage encounter weekend. Or he may need professional counseling to break the cycle. However, I will say that I am not sure it's right to judge him or be mad at him for wanting to go on a trip. As much as I love my kids, I would love a couple of days away with great food and a couple of good nights' rest. (I probably couldn't handle more than one, but I would love it!). I like your idea of having him take a day of vacay after he gets back though and giving you a full night's sleep and some time for yourself too. My husband goes out of town for a week 2-3 times a year and that's essentially what we do. Good luck!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:16 PM by JM