Author Topic: frustrated with coach's view of porn  (Read 537 times)

raven song

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frustrated with coach's view of porn
« on: August 07, 2017, 01:39:04 PM »
I feel frustrated by the advice a coach is giving my partner about 20 year porn use.   

I am so incredibly angry and I feel marginalized and invisible.  This coach is supposed to help my husband grow and learn about the root causes of his porn use. 

« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:07:12 PM by raven song »

malando

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 02:02:26 PM »
Ok, speaking as a man, this "coach" is talking absolute baloney. It's hard to imagine how much further off base he could be in terms of his understanding of porn abuse.

Using porn does not resolve a self-esteem crisis - if anything it creates it and grows it. Using porn makes people intensely aware of how inadequate they feel. It highlights to the user how incompetent they've always felt around the opposite sex - how unattainable these "beautiful" people are and how intimidated they are around sexuality. Porn is a coping strategy, not an attempt to heal or understand yourself. It's a numbing agent designed to avoid dealing with reality. It's a drug that can help you avoid the world, and yourself, for a little while. But afterward, there is certainly a chaser effect - no porn addict feels good in the hours after a relapse. Once the orgasmic rush has subsided, the self-esteem is even lower because there's a sense of how pointless all that was. How it isn't real sex, how lonely and pitiful it is, how there is no control over this sexual obsession. It's enslavement.

This coach is missing all the underlying psychological awareness of what porn does to the brain. He's engaging in homespun logic with no science behind it. It's a very dangerous thing to be doing. Think about it: if you think sexual partners don't accept you, why would watching them engage in sexual acts with other people for money convince you that you are more worthy? In fact it's the opposite - if you asked these actors and actresses they'd probably say "all the people who buy this shit are pathetic losers". Making a porn film is not personal acceptance of everybody who watches it - what a ridiculous proposition.

My advice would be to get your husband away from this charlatan. He's exploitative and really no different than porn - he gets people hooked on his drug and they pay money to come back for more. There will be no cure under this guy - basically a porn user who wants to legitimise what he does by building some crackpot philosophy around it that hides under the banner of self-love and acceptance. It's so far off base, it's breathtaking. People who get hooked on porn have serious issues to confront and deal with. If it was big enough to go seek out this guy, it's big enough to go seek out a real psychologist who actually understands porn and sex addiction.

I wish you all the best.

malando

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 07:27:02 PM »
Malando,
Thank you for sharing your male perspective! It is a breath of fresh air after hearing this coach's advice. 

I appreciate your explanation of how porn can exacerbate a self-esteem crisis and how dangerous his theories are - when I think about it - this idea can actually prolong the porn use and lead my husband deeper into denial of its affects.  This could lead to more porn use and the end of our relationship - and then he is alone with his struggle, and I would assume a further downward spiral. I'm sure that if I were to make the really difficult decision to leave the relationship - that would only exacerbate his lack of self-acceptance.   

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basically a porn user who wants to legitimise what he does by building some crackpot philosophy around it that hides under the banner of self-love and acceptance. It's so far off base, it's breathtaking.

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This is what my gut is screaming at me, too.  My first thought was "Ohhh, this coach must use porn daily and this is his own justification for his use. And with his degree in social work from an ivy league school - he's got some psychological theories to make the justification seem legitimate"  Yes! - this is even more dangerous.

Porn use got mislabeled as sexual freedom at some point. They are not the same thing. Porn addiction is a maladaptive state, which harms somebody's life. If somebody presents with a problem, you must take that seriously, not inject your own feelings from your personal life into the situation. This coach has failed to take due care and actually listen to the problem and how porn is harming your husband's life. He's no doubt of the belief that porn has been liberating for himself, but he's failing to see that your husband is a different person with different issues. This coach sounds like he has problems with seeing other perspectives, and like he's trying to manage his own issues through his patients. This is not a good sign for a therapist!

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Red flags have been waving about for me -- This "charlatan" didn't connect with my husband's original issue that he brought into the session -- He feels bad about his porn use and feels bad that it hurts me so much.  And THEN the coach challenges my husbands belief that this is an "acting out behavior" and encourages him to relabel it as "simulating self-acceptance with a pretty woman."  Now, this does not help my self-esteem any --- I'm already working hard with my own body image issues.
That is problematic in the first instance because he is clearly not respecting your marriage. He's encouraging your husband to seek his sexual relations away from you and to turn away from you, and to compare you unfavourably with porn. Again, absolutely shocking advice. This is malpractice level advice, in my opinion. What he's suggesting is likely to result in the destruction of his client's marriage, and yet the client came to him wanting to help his marriage.

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I should clarify, because I don't think I conveyed this well -- the coach is saying that the cure is for my husband to accept himself. Which I agree with. But telling him that continued use is no big deal and that my feelings are mine and that millions of other women would be okay with it - well that is absolutely insulting and damaging to our relationship.  Doesn't make me want to stay in this relationship if this is the view my husband chooses to accept.  I hope he doesn't, because then I need to take care of myself, leave the relationship, and let him have his own recovery process - maybe he hasn't hit rock bottom yet.

"Accepting yourself" is pretty lame advice from a mental healthcare expert though. It's incredibly obvious on one level - yes, in order to feel ok, there needs to be self-acceptance. But on the other hand, people can be in great turmoil because there is something ruining their life, or their relationship might be in crisis. The key to surviving that is to identify what's dysfunctional in the situation and taking steps to remedy it - the solution isn't to just accept the crap you're in and keep doing it! This coach has effectively tried to take the easy way out on behalf of your husband - which is very disappointing because he is actively contributing to the worsening of his patient's situation. If your marriage is deteriorating under this coach's advice, he is directly causing damage. Especially when your husband went to him in the first place saying he needed help regarding his porn addiction.

You can only accept yourself when you resolve your inner conflicts. Porn is already escapist fantasy, and to suggest that your husband pretend like these porn actors are giving him love and acceptance is one more step into escapism and avoidance. I can't think of a worse idea for somebody who needs to confront reality. This coach is playing games with your husband, and with your marriage - which I think is unconscionable. It would be grounds for reporting under our system here in Australia.

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We've been trying different therapists and approaches - and this is the third one who says that porn use is normal healthy sexuality.  I'm getting frustrated and I'm trying to find a good therapist to help with this.  any suggestions are appreciated.
If you do choose to try again with a therapist, I think you need to vet them very carefully to try to ascertain what their attitude is to porn use and whether they recognise it as a potentially damaging addictive thing. If they aren't very clear in what they say, i would just move on to somebody else. After all you've been through, I wouldn't even attend the first session unless they can talk to you on the phone first and discuss what they have to offer. Anyone who insists you come to the session knowing nothing, paying a full fee, just to find out what they can do, probably doesn't really have the solutions you want.

AppleJack

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 10:42:42 PM »
He needs to see a certified sex addiction therapist (csat) and one who is trained in betrayal trauma. Anybody else and they'll just add more damage. There are some who will do Skype if they aren't any in your area.
I really wish I could punch that coach in the cock, people like him should not be allowed to guide others.

Emerald Blue

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 06:13:19 AM »
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The coach told him that if I feel hurt by my husband’s use of porn -- that is my problem, my reaction.  There is nothing inherently wrong or hurtful with porn.  My husband is simply pretending to be accepted by a pretty woman.  He doesn’t need to accept my feelings.  “Millions of other women would react differently” than me.  “You are not going to own what she’s putting on you.” He coached.

What can I say? This is BS. This guy is clearly not a trained therapist and has no idea about relationship counselling, never mind porn/sex addiction. Any chancer can set up shop as a "coach". You need a therapist trained in relationship counselling with specialist training in porn addiction. I would ditch this "nice guy" theory and move on.

To say that it's OK if one partner knowingly behaves in a way that hurts the other and damages the relationship while the other partner has to suck it up, especially in a 'therapeutic' context, is outrageous. Your husband shouldn't go anywhere near this chancer. A charlatan indeed.

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… I feel expendable and disposable simply because in the world view of the coach - I am not like the “millions of other women” who would understand. 

I don’t like the word used either of “attractive” and “pretty” women.  It makes me feel like I’m not attractive or pretty enough – as I grow older, I can’t compete with 20 year olds. 

These attitudes are completely dismissive of your feelings and experiences. So often partners of porn addicts have no voice. So often, women are told to "get over it… all men do it… what are you complaining about?" when they do eventually voice their distress.  So it's like a double wall of silence. Not only that there are almost always accusations that you're just a prude, or you must be old/fat/ugly, or you're 'sex negative' (and WTF does THAT mean anyway?), and on and on, with suggestions that you need to "watch it together" or buy overpriced nylon tat to sex up your relationship. Again, putting the onus on the woman to do whatever pleases her man sexually with no consideration for her own needs and feelings – and I include turning a blind eye to your husband's porn use as a prime example of sacrificing our own needs and suffocating our feelings.

There's plenty more I could say but I feel it's more important for you to draw from whatever support you can find here and have your feeling validated and understood
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

HumbleRich

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 08:54:21 PM »
A lot of posts, that I will read over.  But let's think about the advice here.  He basically said, "don't feel badbecause porn use is good for him, and hey, instead of going after acceptance from real pretty women, he is pretending to."  Wow, pop psychology at its worst. 

Let's think through this.  With this "logic", it would make more sense for your husband to cheat on you, because that way he would get to habe real sex, touch a real woman, get real affirmation. 

The problem is that this overly simplistic view is just using the problem as the solution.  Because it is agreed upon that cheating on your spouse is wrong, he should just pretend to be cheating on his spouse.  Wow.  What brilliance!

The problem is where he is getting his source of value. 

It is okay to get affirmation from a relationship.  Indeed, that is why we get married.  To provide that for someone else and then get it back.

It is true that self esteem and wellbeing should come from the self.  Absolutely.  But we derive that self provjded self esteem through actions that build it up.

Through service and actions that grow us.

That is why reading a book will be better for your brain than playing a video game.  It is also why serving your wife is a much better form of affirmation than getting something from her, or getting attention from someone else.

It is really hard to start thinking this way, to get that mindset.

That cynical statement we hear from people that marriage is just legal prostitution hurts because it is somewhat true, but only at the most shallow level.
I
It isn't that the people who say this are just reading the map wrong, they are reading the wrong map.


It is time for your husband to start reading the right map. 

You knkw, I like how the Bible talks a lot about "the world" and how it pulls us into sin.  I am religious, but you don't have to be to gain insight from what the Bible has to say.

The world (popular culture) tells us to be self centered and to always look to be entertained and validated.

God or wisdom tells us acceptance comes from within, and from those who are closest to us.

That is the truth and it sets us free.

Emerald Blue

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 04:09:36 AM »
Happy to help, raven song. It's good to know you're finding support from the members of this forum. Remember, we've all lived through similar experiences and felt like you are feeling now.

 
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

malando

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 05:02:10 AM »
It's great to see you are returning to a position of strength. This coach (hate that word) has been actively undermining your position in your marriage and making you feel unjustified and unreasonable in your expectations for far too long. Now you are talking to the right people who have actually experienced this stuff. You will no longer feel like you are asking too much or that it's crazy for you not to be happy or accepting about your husband's porn abuse. Just remember, you are going to run into a lot of people who think porn is harmless - but these people really comment from a position of ignorance at best, and personal denial/lack of self-knowledge at worst. They often have no idea how porn is changing them or slowly ruining their relationships and personal lives. Keep reading up on the subject and keep expecting better from your husband. He needs to know that his comfortable life of porn abuse is now over if he wants to continue to have a wife! It's not too much to ask. You have every right. And it's what he needs too - even if he resists it sometimes.

Best of luck finding somebody with actual knowledge and experience to help you and your husband.

raven song

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 08:47:16 PM »
Malando, thank you for summarizing what I feel - it left me second guessing myself and my feelings. I think I'm finally coming out of the funk.  I am taking your words to heart - I'm not crazy, I don't have to accept this, AND at the same time, there are a lot of ignorant people - so don't take their reaction (to my feelings about porn) seriously. 

Also, that my husband needs me to not accept this, even if he resists somewhat.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 04:47:43 PM by raven song »

HumbleRich

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 04:49:37 AM »
I'm glad I could help.  I am still just beginning my journey, het again, but I habe had plenty of time to think about all of this stuff.

I am glad you seemed to understand my "legal prostitution" comment in context.

I remember back in college, a guy said that comment and I remember feeling very uncomfortable about it.  It was so twisted and disturbing to view something so beautiful this way.

He argued that men spend a small fortune on a ring, they spend on valentines day dates, dates in general, and he quoted statistics on how single men outearn married men by an astronomical margin.  That men spend small fortunes on women to get sex.  That it was literally legal prostitution. At the time I had no rebuttal.  He had statistics, numbers, premises, solid sounding arguments.

What did I have?  Well marrying someone you love is so beautiful.  I felt like an idiot.

Now I realize that that guy was in the early stages of the Mens Rights Movement and for all I know is an active MGTOW protester.

He was seriously deluded.

Yes, married men are poorer generally than single men.  Of course they are.  They are usually contributing to a family, or at least a marriage, while a single man is only spending on one person

I almost wish I could go back.to that moment and prove him wrong.  But I know there will always be people like him, and your husband's shallow therapist. 

As long as there are people who are on the right path there will be people telling them that theh are on the wrong one.

Know that you are right deep inside.  And do what you can for your marriage.

Good luck!

HumbleRich



« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:59:23 AM by HumbleRich »

HumbleRich

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 05:02:34 AM »
Also, your comments about how you took erotic photos of yourself for your husband are interesting to me.  They remind me of that joke from I Love You Man where Paul Rudd's character tells Jason Segel's character that he masturbated to a photo of Rudd's character's fiancee when she was away.  And Segel's character acts like that is the grossest most disturbing thing he ever heard.

I never understood that joke.  Wouldn't any woman want that to be the way their husband does self sex?  Anyway.

Hope things get better.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 05:44:46 AM by HumbleRich »

Emerald Blue

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 06:10:44 PM »
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He argued that men spend a small fortune on a ring, they spend on valentines day dates, dates in general, and he quoted statistics on how single men outearn married men by an astronomical margin.  That men spend small fortunes on women to get sex.  That it was literally legal prostitution. At the time I had no rebuttal.  He had statistics, numbers, premises, solid sounding arguments.

I live in a country where it isn't illegal to accept money in return for sex. In that respect, there is no such thing as "illegal prostitution" where I live.

Your friend's ideas are so outdated, they belong in the 1950s. Not all women want marriage, engagement rings or Valentine's gifts, or dream of happy ever after with Prince Charming. If men are paying "small fortunes to get sex" perhaps it's their personality they should be working on.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

HumbleRich

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 06:43:13 AM »
Emerald, I don't know why you are trying to convince me.  I am a married man.  I'm aware of the counter culture of MGTOW and MRA that is out in the streets.  It is a big problem.  I don't agree with legal prkstitution, but I guess that is okay.  I agree with most of what you said.

HumbleRich

Emerald Blue

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Re: frustrated with coach's view of porn
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 06:01:40 PM »
No, not directed at you personally.

The thing is, this forum is read by a lot of partners who find us in their own search for some kind of explanation about what's gone wrong in their own relationship. There is a wide spectrum of people here too – different ages, different countries, different faiths and different life experiences.  Because of the mainstream acceptance of internet pornography and increasingly other facets of the sex industry, it's quite difficult for some partners whose relationships have been negatively impacted by porn addiction to find a sympathetic response.

I wouldn't like a vulnerable partner who has just discovered that the man she is married to is addicted to internet pornography or paying for webcam girls or whatever, and she's told she just has to suck it up, or there's no such thing as porn addiction or whatever. Meanwhile she's got a little children to look after, she can't just walk out, or just take the kids and go. And then goes online to see if anyone understands what she's going through. It she reads "marriage is legal prostitution" or whatever, that's even more upsetting. She's not a prostitute just because she takes time out of paid employment to care for kids that were planned for! So it's important to counter these statements.

This MRA and MGTOW isn't a thing where I live anyway, although I'm sure it has its supporters. Fine. If these guys want to go their own way, that's just grand.  I'd even pay for their ticket.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it