following a MMA fighter, even a pretty one on Instagram is no where near the realm of porn addiction. I also don’t see a problem with it after what he has been through. He owes her nothing. Now, he has offered her another chance, and at some point I think he shouldn’t follow this woman, right now might not be the right time to be drawing a line in the sand for her. I know for me, when I was where he is, that would not have been received well. If my wife had drawn a line like that, I would have reminded her where the door was. Others may disagree with me, and that’s ok, but I believe the approach she should take, and I do believe she should approach it now, should be one of “kid gloves”. Not “line in the sand”. She should say that it bothers her. She should tell him how it makes her feel. But now is not the time to be telling him what he should and shouldn’t be doing. I also like MMA, and I follow many fighters. I don’t follow any woman fighters. I don’t ever “like” or comment on girls in bikinis or the like. I certainly don’t do it because my wife told me not to. I do it because I feel it’s not respectful to my wife. Although I probably wouldn’t anyway. That needs to be a decision “he” makes, not one dictated to him by the woman that betrayed him and destroyed his life.
I have to disagree about this making a partner jealous is an ego boost. Even if it was, I don’t think that’s a healthy way for anyone to build their self esteem and it’s certainly not a good way of communicating. But we are only second guessing here. We don’t know if this is Phoenix’s husband’s motivation at all — it’s just a guess, and “guessing” why someone is behaving is not good communication at all. But let’s put that aside, and we can agree to differ if we need to.
Phoenix, I wouldn’t like this either. My husband had a big problem with porn and it almost destroyed my marriage. I ended up with depression and an eating disorder that has impacted on my physical and mental health. I make no apologies for having a zero tolerance towards it in my home and in my marriage. So, I admit in advance here that this is the experience of someone married to a (recovered/recovering) porn addict. It was every bit as bad as a long drawn out affair. Unlike his infidelity that was over quite quickly, this situation was never ending.
When my husband was hooked on porn he also used to view video clips of actresses and “sexy” music videos etc. After he quit, he still viewed all that “sexy” garbage like women in bikinis or near naked women cavorting in skimpy lingerie etc etc. I guess you could call it “porn lite”, and in porn addiction circles they call this sort of imagery “porn substitutes”. Guys who try to substitute porn with something less explicit are still feeding their brain with more or less the same stimuli and inevitably they relapse. So this sh*t had to be kicked to the curb too.
(I appreciate that your husband may not have a porn addiction problem, this is just to explain where I’m coming from and my own relationship history.)
When you are in a relationship with someone who is investing time and energy in looking at “sexy” images of women, it can and very often does impact on their partner’s self esteem. Women are pretty much tyrannised in our culture to be forever 22, very slim and toned and preferably with large breasts, to have perfect skin and be totally and permanently hairless from below the eyelashes. And guess what? This is exactly the kind of women that men fantasise and seek out and masturbate to via online imagery, whether it’s porn or celebrities or glamour models. And it’s the fake standard that we internalise and know we are not it. We see these women in advertisements aimed at women. We see these women on billboards, magazines, etc etc. When it comes to all this sexualised, objectified imagery, the odds are stacked against us. All of us. Because we all age, our bodies change, we all have pores, we all have body hair, we all sweat, breathe, eat and go to the bathroom. Pictures don’t have to do any of this.
Phoenix, may well be the case that your husband had a sort of online infatuation going on. Despite his comments, it’s very probably a one-sided interaction. I’m sure she has plenty of followers and comments, he won’t be the only one. But there are some caveats. I learned of one woman’s story from a sex addiction community- her husband was interacting with a webcam girl and became so infatuated with her that he left to travel to another continent to be with her. This webcam woman had to take out some kind of restraining order against him for stalking her. That’s one crazy and extreme example, but these “infatuations” certainly happen and he may well want to travel to where she is to see if he might spot her someplace. Even if he was to show up as a “fan” at somewhere she is appearing professionally, chances are that she would not be at all interested in him. And I’d bet he’d not be unique either. IF that is his intention (meeting her as a fan), and I’m only guessing. I’m not him so I don’t know.
Taking inappropriate interest in another woman, or “sexy” images of another woman isn’t particularly healthy. I know someone will jump in and say “haven’t you ever found (name of some actor) sexy or handsome?” Yes, of course. But only for a matter of moments if I’m trying to follow the plot of the movie. Just as we all have to develop the skills of managing feelings of attraction towards others when we are committed to fidelity in marriage, we also have to behave like grownups around sexualised imagery. Phoenix’s husband is behaving like a one of those teenage girls in love with Justin Beiber only he’s a grownass man.
Phoenix, this is ultimately an issue about boundaries and only you can draw the line between what is and is not acceptable to you right now. I suggest looking up Vicki Tidwell Palmer and her podcast series Beyond B!tchy. It’s worth listening to anyway, especially if you’re in a relationship with a history of betrayal.