The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nude scenes

Was watching a bit of the movie 21 Grams last night, and Husband happened to come in during a scene in which Naomi Watts was naked. This was the first time I'd seen on-screen female nudity in Husband's presence since finding out about his addiction. It made me so uncomfortable that I got up and left the room.

I wasn't sure what to do. Husband seems to be conscious about staying away from imagery that triggers him. The scene was depressing, and Watts' nudity had nothing to do with the sexual fantasyland of porn and prostitution. We both love movies. Do I expect him never to watch another narrative or documentary movie with contextal nudity? I don't know.

I know I'm uncomfortable with imagery in "men's" magazines, and sex fantasy based advertising of any kind (unfortunately so prevalent in our culture.) I know I don't like to watch Mad Men with him - the betrayal played out evokes too many painful thoughts for me.

But contextual nudity? I guess it depends partly on whether or not he feels triggered by it. Clearly an area where we both need to come to an agreement on what the boundaries are.


davka said...

you know that i feel something similar about nudity when i watch it with my boyfriend. i think all women, younger/older married/single WHATEVER- feel this sense of inadequacy when confronted with the standard of beauty in movies. we all feel it somewhere deep inside without consciously understanding what we are feeling because it's just all so impossible. i can't imagine what it would feel like with that kind of addiction and betrayal lingering between you. i love that you write about the whole gamut of emotions and experiences. you should write a book!

Stephanie said...

My husband and I were watching the Office the other day. There was a scene where Dwight is caught with his pants down because he is having office sex. My husband hosted his last hooker at his office in a conference room on 12/27. Had this never happened the scene would be funny. So I ask - did you get caught? sort of as a warning like a snake hissing. My stupid husband proceeded to not think about it and say - no didn't get caught and proceeded to tell me more about what was happening on the Office. This spurred the most violent fights between us. I couldn't believe he could be so thoughtless. Forget the hookers, now it is funny? I literally wanted to kill him in that moment and lost my mind and tried to do so. I couldn't believe how he could throw salt on the wound like that. We were left pretty bruised up and our 4 year son witnessed part of the fight. It was not good. Hours later he realized what he had done. After much discussion I realized that my husband was still just as immature and thoughtless as he was the days he acted out. I realized I need to be more direct in my communication and less of a martyr. Now when something on tv bothers me, I say "please change the channel now." And he respects it. If it isn't healthy for me, we've decided it isn't healthy for us and vice versa.

Rae said...

It's been interesting to realize that I often am very aware of potential triggers for my fellow addicts.

I hear their stories in the 12-step rooms and then become aware of how difficult it must be at times just to go about life without being triggered by this disease.

woman.anonymous7 said...

Stephanie - I just started attending a moderated therapy group for partners of sex addicts tonight, and somebody brought up that sex addicts, because of their narcissism, have trouble readily understanding their impact on others. From my own experience, I'd agree with this, although I wasn't aware of this disconnect between me and Husband until I discovered his sex addiction.

I've done some reading on narcissism, which is considered to be a personality disfunction or disorder. While not an excuse, (and kind of scary) it does explain a lot.

Thanks for your perspective. "If it isn't healthy for me, it isn't healthy for us" makes sense to me. I'm going to try it out.

MargauxMeade said...

I definitely feel the same way any time my husband and I are watching a movie in which there's a sex and/or nude scene. I also hate it when Victoria's Secret TV commercials come on--those things are soft porn.

CV said...

Do NOT rent the Chinese film titled "Lust, Caution". Little did I know that the movie would contain graphic sex over and over again. I asked my husband to get up and leave the room since we were testing out our new Apple TV and couldn't figure out how to fast forward yet! We also need to figure out when contextual sex is okay, even if it is totally graphic. I guess intent plays the biggest role here.

Mrs. Jane Doe said...

I have been following your blog for a while now, and found this post very interesting.

My husband and I promised each other that we would stay away from any type of rated R movie because of sexuality. For over a year now, we haven't seen much nudity on TV. It has been good, and I haven't felt like I have been missing much at all.

The other day we were watching a TV show that showed a fairly graphic love scene. It made us both feel very indifferent. It was strange to go so long not viewing such graphics.... it was almost uncomfortable.

We talked about it afterward. My husband said he felt the same as I did. But he also said it wasn't a turn on. Then he processed to say that he preferred that we still keep to our original agreement and not see that kind of television or movie productions.

It is interesting how desensitized we can become by viewing those kinds of things on TV. I admit, it was a little exciting for me to see a little something, and at times I wish together we could watch those kinds of things. But, I also haven't felt like I am missing out on too much. At least not enough to want to view it continually.