Author Topic: What "compartmentalization" really means  (Read 1786 times)

stillme

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What "compartmentalization" really means
« on: January 05, 2017, 10:50:24 AM »
As my husband and I engage in the hard work of seeing if there can be true reconciliation, I have had to dig deep in a number of areas.

Like most partners, my husband presented the concept of 'compartmentalization", where he claimed his porn use was separate from his feelings for me. I accepted that line, even though I didn't understand it. However, as I really analyzed what he said I confronted him with this truth - compartmentalization is just a fancy word for "loved less".

When we made our vows to each other, we promised each other our entire selves. At no point did either of us agree to only a 'part' of the other spouse. Him saying he compartmentalized porn use is really saying, "This was a part of myself I decided I was unable or unwilling to share with you, I took a part of myself that should have been yours and I gave it to porn.". It may hurt less to hear the word 'compartmentalization' than to hear the word 'loved less', but that is the reality.

I asked him if even before he got addicted, did he think porn was acceptable. While when we were married he presented himself as someone who didn't think porn was 'good', he said while he didn't think he would engage in porn, he didn't think it was bad at the time. Okay, then why didn't you let me know when you were watching and jacking off to it? Of course - because I knew you would not like that. Oh, so you decided - at the very first session where you took out your dick while watching porn, you made a choice to bring a wedge into our relationship. Then come the lies, then comes rejecting your wife in favor of PMO, then comes the spending money, then comes the webcam sessions, then comes 'falling for' webcam girls and pretending they are real.

The point is, when you decide that you are not longer required to have your entire heart in a relationship, but you are keeping a piece of it for yourself and your own enjoyment - and that piece of your heart is tied to intimacy and closeness and bonding - it is a judgement on love. Research has shown that people who excessively use porn that are married admit to having less loving feelings for their spouse over time. What that 'compartment' is made out of is love - and that person took love that they should have had for you and they used those emotions, those hormones, those feelings for something that wasn't even real.

Not fun to realize that what I felt over those years really was love draining from the relationship. No, it wasn't a matter of "I love you or I do not love you", it was a matter of, "I love you with my whole heart versus I love you with a part of my heart". As the addiction built, the piece of his heart that was dedicated to me (and the family as a whole) shrank. No, it was never that he only loved us with 20% of his being, but - do I really want to accept being loved with just 70 or 80%?

The more he fights to come back from the emotional and mental effects of porn addiction (the physical is fully resolved), the more I realize just how much of my husband I lost to porn. Just how big that 'compartment' was, just how much it edged me out of my rightful place in his heart. I don't know how long I am willing to wait for the tank to get back to 100%; I don't even know if the tank can get back to 100%.

The hard reality of being married to a porn addict.

aquarius25

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Re: What "compartmentalization" really means
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 03:26:27 PM »
I agree, intentions are very important. My husband was given a playboy when he was around 12 and told that this is what real men do. He turned to porn through his early development as a way to figure out what women want men to be, that was encouraged by his dad! When he was a late teen he started experience the first signs of PIED. He went to a doctor who prescribed him Viagra. He found when he was dating that he couldn't last long during sex and he was encouraged by a counselor and a doctor to masturbate to help last longer during intercourse. That was before we were even married! When we  were looking for a counselor after d-day I interviewed several and most of them said that viewing porn as a couple would help our sex life. All of them did not agree that porn can be addicting. Needless to say we have never found a counselor as I am not going to waste my money with that crap! Now none of this excuses his actions and behavior. It doesn't explain the lying at all!!! But it does help understand part of how he got to this place. And it shows us how we can do things differently with our son. He doesn't even speak to his father anymore for several reason but this certainly didn't help the situation.

stillme

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Re: What "compartmentalization" really means
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 03:59:14 PM »
I don't know how there could be any other intention when you literally pull out your penis to jack off to pictures and videos of women that are not your wife. What 'good' intention could have been there that would have been for the good of the relationship?

I have read way too many stories of people who cheat on their spouse, but they "never intended to".

Again, it is a matter of love. I do not see any way on earth I could "accidentally" masturbate to porn, how does that happen - I curious. While my husband never went online with the intention to get addicted to porn, he knew very well that he 'should' have been discussing his concerns with me. That is how relationships and partnerships work. The relationship was damaged, on his end, (as I was still there trying to open up communication, be kind, be gentle, love him), when he chose to share something that should be between a husband and wife, with a computer screen.

I have had full disclosure (with a polygraph), so I know everything that was done. Sorry, none of those things could have been done 'accidentally'.

Again, he didn't intend to get addicted, but he knew what he was doing wasn't building the relationship, it wasn't in my best interest, it wasn't good for the marriage, it wasn't the best way to be a father and a husband.

aquarius25

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Re: What "compartmentalization" really means
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »
I agree, I am not saying that the actions were ok not at all. But I also know the intent or the heart behind the actions wasn't necessarily intended to be a flat out harm towards me. He wasn't thinking, "hum I really want to piss her off" or anything to that degree. It was completely self service. That is absoutly not ok in a partnership. Why does it matter? Because it helps me to understand that it wasn't anything that I did personally. It is completely him being a self serving ass hat but not him trying to intentionally harm and hurt me. If it was the latter then I would have to leave, absoutly! Because that is narcissistic and self centered to a degree that I am not sure there is hope for. That is just my personal opinion. The hope is the important thing. It tell me the heart behind things. If his heart ultimately is a good heart and he isn't a complete ass hole then there is hope for the relationship. If he did it with the literal intention to drive a wedge then I would be so out of this marriage because his heart would not be one worth saving. That does not in anyway diminish the hurt I experience at all but it does help the hope for tomorrow. I really hope that makes sense.