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Bad Swimmers in Sara Jaffe's <i>Dryland</i>


Bad Swimmers in Sara Jaffe's Dryland

Resisting the Traditional Coming-Out Narrative

<i>Freeheld</i>: Maybe Just See the Documentary It's Based On?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Dude, Take My Free Advice!

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 10:29 AM

My wife and I went through a long-distance period when we were still dating and she went away to school for awhile. Because we could only see each other infrequently, during the down times I would use porn as a masturbatory aid rather than build up my sexual frustrations. I did not tell her this, as she had (and has) insisted that porn is equivalent to cheating and that I am not being monogamous to her by turning to porn for any reason.

Well, flash forward a couple years (and a marriage) and we were talking about those times and I let slip that I had watched porn during the times we were apart when I felt like I needed a release. She flew off the handle and ever since then insists that we can't have children because I'm now a pedophile for watching porn which may or may not have contained women acting like teenagers. Apparently getting off on the images of sex acts equates to having a predilection for young girls—even if I try to explain to her that I watched it for the act itself, not for any specific actress or genre. If we go anywhere, she will literally yell at me if my gaze goes anywhere near the direction of girls or women she perceives to be younger than she is. This includes on TV, magazines, newspapers, you name it. A lot of this stems from her best friend's cousin, who worked with people in the porn industry and tried (and sometimes succeeded in) seducing underaged young girls into sexual acts. To her, watching porn is the same as what this guy is guilty of but I am pretty sure that I am not a sexual predator.

I've never made any kind of sexual advance towards anyone in the time I've been with her and until my admission she had assumed I was a generally good person. At this point I'm not sure how to get her to see me for the person I am rather than the person she thinks I've become. I feel like she is going to forever see me as the same type of person as her friend's creepy cousin, even though I have nothing in common with him other than watching porn. How do I convince her I am still the same person she fell in love with and put aside this irrational fear she has about me?

Sincerely Not A Pedophile

My response after the jump...



There's just one thing you should be trying to convince your wife of right now, SNAP, and it's this: You aren't gonna put up with her abusive bullshit anymore. So go gather your things together—don't forget your balls—and move the hell out.

This conflict has nothing to do with porn, it has nothing to do with your character, it has nothing to do with the criminal behavior of your wife's best friend's cousin. (Whatever the fuck to that rationalization!) The issue here—the only issue—is that you made the mistake of marrying a controlling, irrational, abusive psycho. Sticking around to reason with a CIAP doesn't get you anywhere. Begging and pleading with your wife—desperately trying to convince her that you're the person she fell in love with—only demonstrates to her that you'll take whatever she dishes out and come crawling back for more.

Get out. Leave. Don't look back. DTMFA.

UPDATE: I agree 100% with half of what Uncreative (who should register) had to say in the comment thread over at Slog:

This is what happens when you marry someone you already know you have to lie and cheat to be with. She set her conditions plainly—she feels porn use is evil. You knew you were fine with porn use and used it yourself. You should have broken up for irreconcilable differences then and there. But instead you chose to lie and to pretend to be someone you weren't. Break up now and find someone who accepts you for who you are.

Or break up now and be alone. Being alone—and being free to enjoy porn—would be better than being with someone like your wife. If you can't stand the thought of being alone, and if you absolutely, positively must stay with this woman for reasons 1. you don't list and 2. I couldn't begin to understand, you're going to have to tell the CIAP what she wants to hear: you did a terrible thing, you're an addict, you have a problem. Go see a therapist for some confidential sessions, talk about the weather, then come home and tell your CIAP that you're cured and that you will never look at porn—or other women—ever again. You will, of course, and you'll probably get caught again at some point down the road. Then you'll have to go through this whole thing all over again—only this time with kids in the mix.

So, yeah, you're better off taking my original advice: DTMFA.


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