Husband Asks Me to Join Him in Watching Porn | About Islam
Home > Ask the Counselor > Addictions > Husband Asks Me to Join Him in Watching Porn

Husband Asks Me to Join Him in Watching Porn

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Dec 07, 2017

Question

As-Salmu Alaikum respected counselor. My husband is 58 years old, and we are married for 26 years with 3 grown children. Recently, I found out my husband chats with a married woman for about a month, and he has been pursuing her through the internet for nearly 5 years. I cornered him; he confessed and promised to change. Later, he also confessed committing adultery many times in the past with various women, men, and even in a group. He promised to never do it again. Since all the muftis I turned to asked me to forgive him, I forgave and now try to live with him. He is always abroad for work purposes and only comes home for vacations, but we regularly chat online. However, he is sending me porn pictures and asking me to see and sex chats with him. I am trying to remind him to fear Allah as much as possible. He has a high sex drive, and he hardly lives with me. Is it permissible for him in this case to look at such pictures and masturbate, and for me to accommodate his wishes by looking at pictures and chatting? Is it a disease of senility? How should I correct this malpractice and save us from fitnah? Jazak Allah.

Counselor

Answer


Husband Asks Me to Join Him in Watching Porn

In this counseling answer:

“Take a fearless inventory of who you are, what you are honestly ok with, and what is going to cause you psychological, emotional, or spiritual harm. Then keep clear boundaries and refuse to engage in behaviors and activities that will violate you as a human being, a woman, and cause you such harm. If you are worried that you will lose your husband if you do not enable him, then consider getting intensive face to face counseling for yourself.”


As-Salamu Alaikum dear sister,

We can look at several different issues that you might want to find clarification for.

First, we want to look at the strength and level of the emotional bond you have with your husband and the health of your marriage.

We also want to examine whether your husband has a sex addiction. It seems he might at least be addicted to pornography.

Finally, we want to take a look at your decisions about what boundaries you want to have and what is and is not healthy for you.

First, let’s look at the health of your marriage. 

You have been married for 26 years. If we took the sexual equation out of the picture, can you measure for yourself the level of healthy communication between you? Over the years, have you had mutual goals between you that you worked together to accomplish? Have you become each other’s best friend, a person that you can trust your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, needs, and emotions with? What about the shared spirituality between you? Does it exist?

Before we talk about sex, explore the probability that this is a man with whom you will most likely have in your life shared obligations and mutual needs for another 20 to 40 years or more. We can examine this through the lens of pop psychology, or we can take a more realistic look. Naturally, I would suggest taking the realistic look.

With that said, after 26 years of marriage as a mature woman with grown children transitioning into a life, it would be nice if you can manage to develop a strong bond of friendship with your husband so that you have someone you can depend on when you need him as the years unfold. How that will look and the actual quality and type of marriage that will become is quite unpredictable given the information that you disclosed. However, I can assess the questions you are asking that you are likely willing and even wanting to try to create a stronger bond between you and your husband.

Enabling unhealthy behavior is not going to strengthen your bond. Identifying the core issues that led to the emotional and psychological disconnect between you is where you want to put your energy and effort. Then once that is identified, you can get guidance on how to work toward overcoming those barriers and healing your disconnect.

I highly recommend that you see a marriage counselor and gently open this door. The behavior is more of a symptom rather than the root problem. This may be a symptom of something going on specifically with your husband, and/or it may also be symptomatic of the quality of the relationship between you and your husband. These are issues that you want to explore with a face to face marriage counselor.

Let’s look at your husband’s sexual behavior

Contrary to what we are hearing in the media with all the pop psychology, infidelity is not as natural as we are led to believe. The media and current secular milieu might be selling both men and women this line of reasoning, but it is truly unhealthy conditioning. Much like young women who believe they are not sexy or beautiful if they do not force malnutrition upon themselves and make themselves medically ill by extreme underweight. This is what the media tells us. This way, we can sell more fancy running shoes, diet pills, and powders.

Likewise, men are now bombarded with Viagra commercials. They are buying into the myth of eternal youth. All they have to do is act like “real men” and get their libido up to prove themselves. Of course, they need to take special medications, get hair implants, and, oh yes… they need fancy running shoes also.

This is all very sad. However, if your husband has to travel a lot and uses commercial airlines, he is bombarded with these advertisements, and he is in a milieu where the women have glued and glamorous hair and wears modern corsets to make themselves more sexually appealing to the men who are taking the commercial medications. Get the picture?

Our instincts for basic survival pick up on these messages. There are a fear and partly justified fear that if we don’t hold on to these images, we will not survive in the secular “jungle” and, thus, won’t be able to compete well enough to make enough money to experience enough security and make our families happy enough. It’s all about being good enough. Is this starting to make sense?

So, with that goal in mind, we become disconnected from our true core being. In reality, our instincts were put there to preserve the security and safety of our family. The problem is all of the propaganda for unnecessary commercial items (stuff that we don’t really need for basic human survival) is paired with sexually stimulating messages that pass the forebrain and go directly into the reticular formation of the brain. This is where our biological need for sex is stimulated. This area of the brain is stimulated unconsciously, so we do not even know how much artificial arousal we are experiencing from these kinds of media pictures, words, and ideas that we are bombarded with on a daily bias. Pair these sexual messages with the need to be good enough … and well, you get what we have in society today.

With that said, it is possible that your husband had affairs and is not addicted to sex or pornography. However, it is abnormal and unhealthy behavior from a psychological and spiritual perspective to be looking at porn and asking one’s spouse to engage in this type of behavior. It is very possible that your husband has fallen into the trap of addiction.

I am not a mufti or Islamic scholar, thus, I cannot say whether this behavior is permitted or not. I am a psychologist, and I can tell you that it is not healthy, it is not good for the soul, and it will ultimately damage you if you are forced or manipulated into participating in this behavior. This will not help your marriage.

The problem is when a man uses pornography to sexually stimulate him. He is not connecting with the real woman that he needs to be connecting with so that he brings himself into sexual union with the actual woman. To connect with the woman on a psychological and spiritual level, a man usually needs to have actual physical contact and physical connection with the woman – not an air-brushed picture of a woman that doesn’t even exist in real life. The use of this type of paraphernalia prevents a couple from doing the real work of true intimacy which is the pathway to a real bond and healthy marriage.

Identity problems and sex addiction are becoming more and more common. This does not make it normal or healthy. This insidious disease creeps into more and more marriages. If you would like to learn more about this, I suggest that you take a look at the website of Don Mathews, marriage and family therapist in the Bay Area of California, USA. His website will help you understand more about sex addictions. It is called Sex Addict Treatment. I believe that it would be helpful to look at some of the literature that he has on his website. Your husband may have an actual sex addiction. This information will help clarify some of that for you.

Now, let’s take a look at your decisions about what boundaries you want to have, and what is and is not healthy for you.

If you are completely honest with me, then please tell me how comfortable are you with looking at porn while chatting with your husband knowing that he is masturbating? Will this help you feel closer to him or rather will it slowly cause a build of resentment?

Most women usually have to be dishonest with themselves in order to get themselves to accommodate a man in this way. They convince themselves that they like it, or that it is ok, but in reality, they are very insecure that they will lose the man they feel dependent on or love. So, they engage in behaviors that eventually make them lose self-respect, and they become very unhappy individuals. Once women lose self-respect, the men in their lives lose respect for them as well.

Take a fearless inventory of who you are, what you are honestly ok with, and what is going to cause you psychological, emotional, or spiritual harm. Then keep clear boundaries and refuse to engage in behaviors and activities that will violate you as a human being, a woman, and cause you such harm. If you are worried that you will lose your husband if you do not enable him, then consider getting intensive face to face counseling for yourself. You may be right. Yet, this is very much like losing a drug addict because you refuse to use the drug with the addict, and you refuse to go buy it for him. If you are in this kind of situation, get help.

As you move toward the path of recovery, be brave and do not give into behaviors or attitudes that will only enable further psychological and spiritual harm to your husband and to yourself.

May Allah help you.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:




About Maryam Bachmeier


find out more!