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how to make him understand the pain

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Rainiegirl:
My SO has given up porn because he knows he has an addiction and he knows it hurts me. What he cant understand is how vewing anything that is sexualy objectifying is very damaging to me and also hurts. He can't seem to understand what sexual objectification is and how some of these images can also be the same as porn. he dosnt understand the depth of my pain. Ive felt the power of sexual objectification my whole life. Being a 5" tall woman I can not possibly meet societys image of the perfect woman. Ive hated my body my whole life. Ive sufferd from anorexia. Ive self mutalated my body. Depression and low self esteem were my life. Men have picked apart my appearance right to my face. Ive been sexualy assaulted as a child and raped as a teen. I lived in a highly abusive relationship for years. I thought I had risen above all this but His pornography addiction has brought it all back. Has his addiction diminished his ability for compasion? How can I make him understand how damaging the things he veiws can be? His willingness to quit porn is great but I need his understanding aswell. Am I asking for too much?

dc6:
I started responding to this yesterday but deleted the draft several times before I gave up. It's a tough one to really give any advice on but I'll give it a shot.

First, you have such strong, negative and seemingly dangerous emotions surrounding your body image and sexual history that I think it would be irresponsible to not recommend strongly that you see a mental health professional about these issues in your past if you are not already. Until you can deal with your past in a productive way, you will be unable to move forward.

I don't know that the answer is making him understand your pain. The two of you likely have such different life experiences that he may never be able to fully understand. Instead, keep it to things anyone should be able to. It bothers you and it hurts you and it makes you feel like he doesn't see or value you as a human being and a mate. You want a relationship, which includes a human connection with a man that wants to share the same with you. You want that relationship with him. When he looks at those things, it makes you feel like he doesn't want one with you but rather just keeps you around for sex.

If that sounds about right, just tell him that. If he still doesn't get it, then I dunno.

Rainiegirl:
I have been to counceling. There is only so much that can be fixed, especialy when we live in a society the enforces so much negative imagery and ideas on what a women should be. I have talked to him about it all. He just dosent seem to understand that it is offensive how different forms of media objectify women or what sexual objectification is. How hurtfull it is for someone who I love to watch something that supports a culture that has made such a negative impact or my life. Its more an issue of understanding I guess. I cant erase my past or the pain that comes from it. There are things and ideas in this world that seem to tell people that its ok to treat others the way I have been treated. Its hard to reconize what those things are if you havent felt the negative impact of them. Im trying to write about how to reconize these things so that I dont have to live with them in my home. Does that sound like a good idea? I think part of the problem is also that Im not always the best communicator and sometimes my issues dont always come out the way I need them to.

dc6:
I had an experience with a girl who had trouble communicating. She would start off trying to tell me what the problem was but would never get there. It was like she was trying to tell me the house was on fire but all she could manage to do was tell me it was hot in here and then be confused and mad when all I did was open a window or turn on a fan.

When communication is a problem, sometimes bringing in another person is a good idea. Not necessarily a counselor but maybe a friend or family member familiar with the situation who can help fix the communication problems.

Because by the time I figured out that girl was telling me the house was on fire, it had burned down.

Bibbity:
Have you seen the documentary "MissRepresentation"?  I actually watched it with my husband last night and he was pretty horrified!!  I see myself as a pretty intelligent woman who is up on the status of women and even some of the stuff on there shocked me.  Definitely recommend you watching it with him.  It might open his eyes to how the objectification of women is really about controlling both men and women.  So glad I got rid of cable ;)

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