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Betrayal Trauma?

Community Member

I've been umm'ing and ahh'ing about whether to post this for quite some time. It's something I haven't told family or friends, so I guess I just need somewhere to vent, and hopefully get some advice or reassurance.

I recently discovered that my husband of 14 years has been doing some things behind my back that I find unacceptable - both the behaviours and the fact that he was doing hurtful things behind my back, and lying to me when it was discovered.

In a nutshell, he's become addicted to porn and perving online, and was becoming infatuated with a female friend of his (thankfully she's a lot younger and way out of his league, so it was unreciprocated otherwise I think I'd be dealing with a full blown affair).

Hi behaviours are all centered around online/social media use including regular online porn use, pornographic emails, googling images from skimpy to pornographic, looking up women on facebook through groups and suggested friends list and going through their photos, plus the private messaging and obsessive 'likes' of his female friend. All these behaviours were behind my back which tells me that he knew they were hurtful, and I wouldn't like him doing it. If he wouldn't sit there next to me going through countless images of women he finds hot, then he probably shouldn't be doing it?

I discovered his behaviour by chance - I opened my eyes one morning in bed to see him scrolling through his suggested friend list and opening every hot chicks profile, going straight to photos and opening all the ones he wanted a better look at. Then onto the next woman.. After this discovery it all came out in dribs and drabs (along with lots of lies) about everything else - the porn (emails and websites), the facebook perving, the googling, the obsession with his female friend.

I'm not totally naive, or a prude. It's fine to appreciate an attractive woman passing by, on TV etc.. It's incidental and fleeting. But to go hunting for them everyday, in secret - I don't think this behaviour belongs in a marriage. Even porn, we watch together every now and then to spice things up, so why go behind my back?

Would love to know your thoughts. I feel so betrayed because of the lying and deceit. My self esteem has taken a huge blow - I feel like I'm not good enough, and if I'd been more attractive he wouldn't have done what he did.

4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

An interesting post that I resorted asking my wife’s opinion as well.

We both believe there is not enough communication in terms of setting down boundaries even though it’s obvious he has stepped over invisible ones.

Relationship counseling is highly recommended in this situation particularly with his fantasies with his much younger friend.

You have no logical reason to feel less attractive nor worthy and this low self esteem needs working on via therapy. Talk to your GP.

So in the meantime I’d recommend serious chats about such boundaries, express your distaste of excessive porn and your justifiable feeling of jealousy for his friend.

Try to put these things in question form eg “do you think I should be ok with you showing interest in a younger woman”? “Do you think it’s ok to surf Facebook and perve at other women.?” “Have you lost interest in me?”

Gather all these answers, write them down and take them to counseling. Keep your options open, even separation as compatibility is questionable based on trust issues.


Community Member


I totally understand your agony because I’ve been through it myself. I am now divorced for 6 years and the road to this sad state of affairs was about 10 years.

Like you, I discovered my ex-husband’s (of 24 years) porn addiction by accident. When I mentioned it to him, he made me feel that I was just a prude. He was already seeing a counsellor because he had been depressed for a long time but hid it well from our friends and his family. Not long after, he started having female friends that I wasn’t allowed to meet ... then affairs that he denied etc .

We had numerous psychologists and psychiatrists counselling for couple work but it didn’t help us unfortunately. I do hope it works for you both though.

Bear in mind also that being discovered brings in another level of complications and added shame for him which he probably finds it hard to deal with.

I do hope, your husband’s search for extra female connections doesn’t lead to disrespect then discard. Do make it clear that you will not be treated with disrespect and what this entails for you. He’s obviously unhappy and using unsafe methods to remedy his ill feelings but it should not be at the expense of your intimate life together.

Best wishes

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi somebun,

I can understand how hurt and betrayed you must be feeling. It shows a general lack of respect towards women, and a desire to treat them as objects, which must be unsettling. No one likes to think of their partner as being a creep, and a lack of an affair purely because the other person isn’t interested is little consolation. My partner started to look at porn fairly frequently at the start of our relationship, to the point that he would actually turn me down for sex and then I would catch him looking at porn “because it was easier”. It was incredibly damaging to my self-esteem and made me feel extremely undesirable, which was ridiculous considering I was 22 and at my peak. I don’t really have any advice for you, other than to say that people do messed up things in this world, for reasons that are only known to them, but it is in no way a reflection on anyone else other than them.

Community Member

Hi, Sorry that this has happened in your relationship! I experienced something similar to this with my partner in that i found things on his phone by accident that were very upsetting and while he wasnt having an affair it still feels like some form of cheating. Its been a year now and things are ok. Its taken alot of communication and for a period of time he had to be ok with me picking up his phone and going through it . Trust has/had been broken so to build that up again they have to be willing for the steps that you need to take to build that up again. Most important though is communication - does he feel remorse for what he did? can he see how much it hurt you?

Its been a year for us and while the relationship is going well again, it is now a different relationship. It will take along time for me to really trust him again and not doubt myself and my worth. but with time and his patience through my occasional melt down i think it can be re-built. Obviously he has to be honest with you and make a promise to never do those things to hurt you again. Would he be willing to do this? or how does he view what he has done?