Reboot Nation

Journals => Women => Topic started by: Gracie on March 09, 2014, 01:08:22 AM

Title: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 09, 2014, 01:08:22 AM
 :)Hello, there are familiar looking people here.  I am here because a year and a half ago, I discovered my husband's porn use.  So, It was a surprise!  (name of my journal)  I will try in the next few days to go over that experience.  We are well on our way to finally getting through this.  But I see so much pain in the addicted and their partners trying to work this out.  Hopefully, as I tell the story, there will be things learned.  Good to be in a place that will hopefully not be upset when we talk about the feelings we have being betrayed.  For from time to time we really do not understand what got us and our partner here.  Sometimes we can't keep ourselves going let alone the partner.

The first question I will ask is, when a woman gets sick, why does a man turn to porn rather than talk to a wife of 25 years about what she could do?  or in light of the added chores, decides porn is the way to unwind.

That is where I will begin my next post.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gabe Deem on March 09, 2014, 01:46:02 AM
Hey Gracie!

Quote
I am here because a year and a half ago, I discovered my husband's porn use.

You are an amazing person and I am thankful for women like you who are compassionate and supportive. Your insight and experience will surely help many other partners, as well as addicts who need to hear that honesty and openness are good things.

Quote
Good to be in a place that will hopefully not be upset when we talk about the feelings we have being betrayed.

Your experience is your experience and no one can tell you otherwise. If you ever feel like anyone breaks any of these rules stated in the registration agreement:

Message me or a forum moderator and we will take care of it ASAP.

Quote
The first question I will ask is, when a woman gets sick, why does a man turn to porn rather than talk to a wife of 25 years about what she could do?  or in light of the added chores, decides porn is the way to unwind

If a guy has been watching porn for years, he has sexually conditioned himself to want and not a real partner. When his brains reward circuit has become "numbed" , things like spending time with a sick wife, waiting for sex until she gets better, and doing chores around the house, will not register as rewarding. It takes some time off the super stimulation of porn for guys to appreciate the little things and be willing to wait for the the bigger things. In a way porn programs us for "instant gratification" and we become impatient and irritated with waiting and chores, so we take the highway created in our brain to pleasure-ville, instead of paving a new road. The easy way out, and it is what we wired our brains to do. A guy has to get to a place where he understands that highway (porn) will not lead him to a place of sustaining joy that a loving partner like you can.

Also, could be due to laziness, a lack of discipline, or simply selfishness. This was true for me in past relationships. I was selfish, I valued my pleasure, and joy over partners. Also, I never developed the discipline to stay focused on a relationship. You are well aware that long term monogamous relationships take effort from both partners, and it takes going through a little discomfort every now and then that I never went through. So when things turned sour after the "honeymoon" phase I resorted back to my childish ways. Playing games and watching porn, instead of pursuing a woman's heart, with time, thoughtfulness, and passion. For me, it was selfishness. I can only see it now that I am on the other side.

Also, guys usually do not put themselves in their partners shoes. For instance, if guys really sat back and thought about how it would feel if their partner secretly watched porn all the time, and was searching types of porn that do not necessarily match the type of person they are, I think they would feel differently about their porn viewing habits.

Ultimately it comes down to a guy not understanding that staying away from porn and exclusively giving himself to his partner will lead to greater joy, and in my opinion more pleasure. Finding out porn was keeping me from experiencing the most joy and pleasure in life, was key to me giving up porn for good. I believe we do everything for our own joy, some people just have different beliefs on how to get their. In my opinion weather we live selfishly or selflessly, we believe that way of living will be the best way. I found out the selfish way was the wrong choice.

Glad you are here, I have read many of your posts and they are always very helpful and encouraging for others!

Much love
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Viper on March 09, 2014, 05:06:16 AM
Sorry to hear about this challenge you are facing. I can not relate personally since I've never been married or been in a relationship for as long as you. I will say though that it does take a strong partner to be supportive and that this can be reversed. Wont' happen overnight but sometimes the best rewards take the most time to achieve. I guess the bright side is that it's porn and not real life affair. Just keep in mind that you didn't do anything wrong for him to be hooked.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 11, 2014, 02:52:48 PM
First off, Gabe thank you for your response.  It seems from reading through men's journals when a wife or partner gets ill, it suddenly means no sex.  That is very disturbing to me.  That thought never crossed my mind when my husband had back surgery.  And perhaps men should try to reach out past themselves and see the forest not just the tree.  It would help so much.  And perhaps that is a good way to start.  In one area of your life, think about your wife or partner or someone else and how they would view what you are doing.  Not porn at the beginning, but how you do housework, do laudry, shop for groceries, do yard work.  View something you do from another's point of view.  i know that when my husband and I started working through this, we had to look at how we talked to each other and others, how we treated each other and ourselves.  We had to make sure what we said actually came out in a way that we understood.  A lot of times my husband would react and I would say that is not what I thought I was saying.  I had to look at how we weren't hearing each other.  Looking at ourselves from another's viewpoint helped a lot.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rainforth13 on March 12, 2014, 11:32:39 PM
Hi Gracie!

I just wanted to say that I am thankful you are here and sharing your story. People need to hear it!

You show great courage in sharing and even more so in staying with your husband. When I was in high school, my mom stayed with my dad after he had an affair, so I've always thought highly of women that possess enough grace, patience, and endurance to be there through the tough times of their partner's life.

The bad and good news is that people change throughout the course of their life, single or married. I believe your husband can one day be a different person then the one he was looking at porn for whatever reasons. There is hope! In a book I just read called "The Meaning of Marriage" by Tim Keller, there is a great few lines:

"When I married my wife, I had hardly a smidgen of sense for what I was getting into with her. How could I know how much she would change over 25 years? How could I know how much I would change? My wife has lived with at least five different men since we were wed--and each of the five has been me."

I don't know much about marriage, hence my reading and sharing from a source outside myself. I resort to Gabe's response on your question as he hit it right on the head. I hope you'll continue to share! Know that pain is on the near side of your situation but in the end you'll both be better for it and that joy is on the far side of it.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on March 20, 2014, 08:12:28 PM
Hi Gracie! Hope all is well with you and yours.

Looking forward to this new forum.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 20, 2014, 11:29:47 PM
First off, Gabe thank you for your response.  It seems from reading through men's journals when a wife or partner gets ill, it suddenly means no sex.  That is very disturbing to me.  That thought never crossed my mind when my husband had back surgery.  And perhaps men should try to reach out past themselves and see the forest not just the tree.  It would help so much.  And perhaps that is a good way to start.  In one area of your life, think about your wife or partner or someone else and how they would view what you are doing.  Not porn at the beginning, but how you do housework, do laudry, shop for groceries, do yard work.  View something you do from another's point of view.  i know that when my husband and I started working through this, we had to look at how we talked to each other and others, how we treated each other and ourselves.  We had to make sure what we said actually came out in a way that we understood.  A lot of times my husband would react and I would say that is not what I thought I was saying.  I had to look at how we weren't hearing each other.  Looking at ourselves from another's viewpoint helped a lot.
Welcome Gracie. It's great to have you with us.

You pose an interesting question and I have a solution, albeit not universally popular. As I see it, a man has to be prepared to weather a sexual drought. There are plenty of events in life that require this, pregnancy and childbirth, illness, extended travel that keeps mates apart, you name it.

It's been over 440 days since my last ejaculation and I'm doing fine. I now know that I can weather the storm. It doesn't become more difficult with time, if anything it becomes easier. I believe that all men need to be confident of their ability to weather a long drought.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Jverhoye on March 22, 2014, 05:11:07 PM
Hi Gracie:

I wanted to offer a response to the "unwinding with porn" question you raised.  Prior to going through a treatment program for Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB), porn was my outlet for soothing my anxiety and "unwinding" after a hard day.  For me, it really didn't matter what was going on with my wife, and at times I could be very attentive to her needs.  Still, because of how I had conditioned my brain through extensive porn use, I craved the dopamine rush I would get from my porn viewing.  I'm guessing a lot of guys can relate to this, and for the guys who are married or in relationships, this is one of the biggest balancing acts--trying to rein in my selfishness and be attentive to my wife so she doesn't get suspicious and find out about my porn habit.   Also, I would justify my porn use and actually tell myself, "I'm a better husband with porn in my life because it allows me to relieve my anxiety and be more attentive to my wife."  These are some of the twisted thoughts that were going through my mind when I was using porn.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 23, 2014, 12:23:03 PM
Yes I know it is a way to unwind.  The problem comes when the wife or partner is turned away from.  Which is the beginning of my story.  This may come in bits and pieces because sometimes it is difficult to recall as it is still painful.

I knew something was wrong because we were not having sex very often.  His idea of tonight's the night was to slap me on the butt at some point during the day.  And of course then I dreaded it because it did not feel like making love.  I tried to say sit next to me, hold my hand, talk to me.  But he would sit in his recliner play solitaire on his palm pilot and watch tv.  He would have to stay up late because he wasn't sleepy. I went to bed to early.  Then I had some painful health issues so he would stay and sleep on couch so I could have the bed.  We had all the movie channels so he would watch.  In fact he would make sure I was in bed, had taken my medicine to help me sleep all around 10 which was when the porn would be on.  Every night.  I started to think he wanted to leave me.  We were in our late 50's and I thought is this it roomates forever?  I thought he was watching and there were little things.   I will talk about them later.  And then as we always did, we had sex before we would be apart because of a trip.  We had sex before I went to visit grandkids.  I woke up and went downstairs for a drink and Cinemax was on with porn.  He had fell asleep with it on.  Right after we had sex.  I was devastated and was yelling and hollering and hurt and crying.  He said Jesus Christ I was asleep.  I said bull shit!  Then the next day  i had to leave to go away for a week.  It was awful!  Will post more later.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Jverhoye on March 23, 2014, 12:48:25 PM
Disconnection is, I believe, at the heart of the matter for so many couples, especially when Porn Addiction is involved.  Being turned away from sucks.  A friend turned me on to this book and it has made so much sense to me! 

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, by Patricia Love, Ed.D. and Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 23, 2014, 12:50:53 PM
Yes I know it is a way to unwind.  The problem comes when the wife or partner is turned away from.  Which is the beginning of my story.  This may come in bits and pieces because sometimes it is difficult to recall as it is still painful.

I knew something was wrong because we were not having sex very often.  His idea of tonight's the night was to slap me on the butt at some point during the day.  And of course then I dreaded it because it did not feel like making love.  I tried to say sit next to me, hold my hand, talk to me.  But he would sit in his recliner play solitaire on his palm pilot and watch tv.  He would have to stay up late because he wasn't sleepy. I went to bed to early.  Then I had some painful health issues so he would stay and sleep on couch so I could have the bed.  We had all the movie channels so he would watch.  In fact he would make sure I was in bed, had taken my medicine to help me sleep all around 10 which was when the porn would be on.  Every night.  I started to think he wanted to leave me.  We were in our late 50's and I thought is this it roomates forever?  I thought he was watching and there were little things.   I will talk about them later.  And then as we always did, we had sex before we would be apart because of a trip.  We had sex before I went to visit grandkids.  I woke up and went downstairs for a drink and Cinemax was on with porn.  He had fell asleep with it on.  Right after we had sex.  I was devastated and was yelling and hollering and hurt and crying.  He said Jesus Christ I was asleep.  I said bull shit!  Then the next day  i had to leave to go away for a week.  It was awful!  Will post more later.
Holy smokes! That is awful. It's great that you have worked through this together and are in a better place. I can relate to unwinding too. The funny thing is, I'm much more "unwound" and calm without porn.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on March 23, 2014, 05:36:06 PM
Yes I know it is a way to unwind.  The problem comes when the wife or partner is turned away from.  Which is the beginning of my story.  This may come in bits and pieces because sometimes it is difficult to recall as it is still painful.

I knew something was wrong because we were not having sex very often.  His idea of tonight's the night was to slap me on the butt at some point during the day.  And of course then I dreaded it because it did not feel like making love.  I tried to say sit next to me, hold my hand, talk to me.  But he would sit in his recliner play solitaire on his palm pilot and watch tv.  He would have to stay up late because he wasn't sleepy. I went to bed to early.  Then I had some painful health issues so he would stay and sleep on couch so I could have the bed.  We had all the movie channels so he would watch.  In fact he would make sure I was in bed, had taken my medicine to help me sleep all around 10 which was when the porn would be on.  Every night.  I started to think he wanted to leave me.  We were in our late 50's and I thought is this it roomates forever?  I thought he was watching and there were little things.   I will talk about them later.  And then as we always did, we had sex before we would be apart because of a trip.  We had sex before I went to visit grandkids.  I woke up and went downstairs for a drink and Cinemax was on with porn.  He had fell asleep with it on.  Right after we had sex.  I was devastated and was yelling and hollering and hurt and crying.  He said Jesus Christ I was asleep.  I said bull shit!  Then the next day  i had to leave to go away for a week.  It was awful!  Will post more later.

Hi Gracie,

The roomates forever comment really sums it up. I know it is hard to talk about this stuff, you are very brave for telling your story. My husband thought it wouldn't hurt me if I didn't know about his P use either. I don't understand the logic, but there it is.

You are amazing.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 29, 2014, 06:52:00 AM
It is so helpful to post and go back over this.  But only small bits at a time.  Obviously, I went to see grandkids for a week.  While there, we would have phone conversations.  I did not understand how he could do this to me.  I felt worthless.  I felt like he had been unfaithful.  (Yes I know there are those that say it is not the same.  But it felt the same to me.)  I really feel the unfaithful view came from him not being with me.  We did not do things together.  He did not talk.  He was mad a lot over nothing.  He had even found a reason not to sleep with me. (I never said I had too much pain for him to be with me or even acted that way)  I literally thought there was someone else.  The only thing that kept me from going totally down that road was he was home all the time.   

When I came home, I let him know what he had been doing was unacceptable.  I could not live like that.  It was hard giving him my needs for us to go forward.  I felt so off balance.  I had little self esteem left.  But I did tell him what I needed.  Our situation did not involve the internet.  It was only what was on late night tv or programs with nudity.  So, I told him we were going to bed at the same time every night and sleeping in the same bed.  I also said that we would be hugging.  This helped give me a measure of security.  Like I have said before, the routine was most helpful.

But then I said I did not like being around him.  I would find reasons to visit people and be away every day.  I finally said this is not working.  We need to do something different to make this work.  I then started reading about porn.  A lot of what I got as I started looking was that women should just accept it as a part of life.  All guys do it.  And that is what my husband said.  He was sorry, but all guys did it.  Welll, I knew that I could not live like that so I kept looking.  I found Mark Chamberlain's blog Love You Hate the Porn very early on.  I read it and all the archived things like a man in the desert finding water.  I had him read them.  I don't think he realized he had a problem until we read those things.  After I found that, I was able to use links he had to link to other sites.  Success, right?

Well on the porn front yes.  But I started into a horrible depression.  I could not work, I could not function.  I even considered suicide.  From my messed up past I brought baggage into my marriage. (Surprise!)  I had been so mistreated by physical abuse and emotional abuse I had decided I would not be in that ever again.  That no one would hurt me.  I stayed single a long time to make sure.  My husband was the one.  And then this.  I felt so betrayed and stupid.  I felt stupid that I did not know, I did not see this coming, I did not realize how it would affect me.  It sucked the life right out.  I was so hurt.  My husband said I looked like a wounded animal.  I was wounded.  Later he convinced me to go on an anitdpressant.  That literally saved my life.

Sorry this is long.  But it does help to write. 

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 29, 2014, 07:44:18 AM
The more I learn about the effect of this upon spouses the more convinced I become that this is cheating. Look at the definition for adulterate: To corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element; especially :  to prepare for sale by replacing more valuable with less valuable or inert ingredients.

In my humble opinion this describes the effect of porn and masturbation within a marriage. Before anyone gets their dander up keep in mind that I am at the head of the line; by making this comparison I am calling myself a aerial adulterer. I certainly brought a foreign or inferior substance into my marriage. I also substituted something inferior, masturbation, for something valuable.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 31, 2014, 02:39:18 PM
I know that some people do not like medication to assist in depression.  I have had that pointed out to me before.  But it helped me sort out what I needed and how to work toward a better way for the both of us.  There was so much work to do.  First we had to figure out how to talk again.  Really talk.  So there were times I was just raw emotion and then times there was calm conversation.  It was so hard at the beginning.  He had not talked to me in so long beyond the mundane everyday converasation.  I was scared at times to talk because he had so much anger the last few years.  Not abusive, just anger.  We both had to work. When we talked, sometimes the conversation was hurtful toward me.  That made it harder.  But he did not feel it was a problem for a while.

As I have said before we had routine.  Kiss goodbye, kiss hello, kiss goodnight.  No pecks, real kisses.  They really began to connect us.  Sleep all night in the same bed.  Sit next to each other.  Hold hands.  Caress each other. Touch, touch, touch.  Sometimes we did this and it was not fun at all.  But it began to work its magic.  We were a do it yourself project.  I pulled things from lots of websites and came up with a hodgepodge to try.  Some were hilarious.  Some  worked.  Some did not work. 

We started a Spotify playlist that is titled Love.  It now has 7 hours of music.  We have added songs that sound like how we feel.  How this has made us feel.  It is fun to listen to our songs.  It has drawn us closer.  Here is are links to three of our favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGs8vtjDxxY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThnePX8ghfo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnmauhGp5JI

Enjoy

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 31, 2014, 03:00:19 PM
I know that some people do not like medication to assist in depression.  I have had that pointed out to me before.  But it helped me sort out what I needed and how to work toward a better way for the both of us.  There was so much work to do.  First we had to figure out how to talk again.  Really talk.  So there were times I was just raw emotion and then times there was calm conversation.  It was so hard at the beginning.  He had not talked to me in so long beyond the mundane everyday converasation.  I was scared at times to talk because he had so much anger the last few years.  Not abusive, just anger.  We both had to work. When we talked, sometimes the conversation was hurtful toward me.  That made it harder.  But he did not feel it was a problem for a while.

As I have said before we had routine.  Kiss goodbye, kiss hello, kiss goodnight.  No pecks, real kisses.  They really began to connect us.  Sleep all night in the same bed.  Sit next to each other.  Hold hands.  Caress each other. Touch, touch, touch.  Sometimes we did this and it was not fun at all.  But it began to work its magic.  We were a do it yourself project.  I pulled things from lots of websites and came up with a hodgepodge to try.  Some were hilarious.  Some  worked.  Some did not work. 

We started a Spotify playlist that is titled Love.  It now has 7 hours of music.  We have added songs that sound like how we feel.  How this has made us feel.  It is fun to listen to our songs.  It has drawn us closer.  Here is are links to three of our favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGs8vtjDxxY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThnePX8ghfo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnmauhGp5JI

Enjoy
I really admire that approach.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Jverhoye on March 31, 2014, 04:53:42 PM
I echo LTE...very admirable.  You have clearly put a lot of effort in.  Some folks would have thrown in the towel.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: somethingelse on April 07, 2014, 08:06:41 PM
Gracie, reading over your story parts of it does make my nerves jitter and heart melt but you've been such a gem in all this. Honestly, one thing that is infectious is your ability to stay positive in the face of adversity and mindful during the good days. I appreciate your presence on this forum, it's inspiring to be frank.

I Hope You and Your Husband Have a Blessed Week ahead too
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Rainiegirl on May 01, 2014, 11:32:51 PM
I love your playlist. How romantic!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on May 03, 2014, 06:59:35 AM
Thank you rainiegirl .  I wasn't sure anyone would play them but they helped me a lot.  We have 122 songs on our play list.  Some are fun Love Shack--B52s, Sugar sugar--Archies etc.  But some are like these we have ever thing.  Rod Stewart, Neil Young, John Prine, Dolly Parton, The Cure, Goo goo dolls, Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler. Jack White, Cars can be blue and also the Iquanas.  A rather eclectic list.  But we have each put song on. 

It helps us focus on the important part.  I think everyone as they go through this should have a song list that the two of you share.  Picking songs lets you express where your head's at.  And with your man or woman choosing songs as well it helps bond you.  This is just for you two this selection process.  When you choose one and share, the other one knows that you have been thinking about them in a good way.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Blue Bird on May 03, 2014, 05:46:20 PM
Dear Gracie:

Hello. I read and paid attention to all your messages and I just can think that you are brave and a strong person.  I hope all the best for you and your husband on his recuperation.  Thanks for the time in writing all these messages. It is so important to listen a woman's perception of the addiction.

I confess I was very uncomfortable in reading wife's reports because I knew I would feel myself  very selfish and ashamed. I embraced the courage and opened your journal to read.  That was a task for me.

I am 52 years old and have a marriage of 17 years. Two daughters of 14 and 16.  I love my family and I feel I have been betraying my wife the same way you have described in your messages.  I feel very bad about it and want to recover and forget PMO.   My wife has put me against the wall several times for not having sex as much as she expected.  Of course, I always had an answer  and carried on the relationship  in a warm manner..... Not cold, not hot.  She does not know that I am in this forum and doing a reboot.  Since I began rebooting two weeks ago we are  much closer and happier together. I hope to begin soon intimacy with her again. I love her.

Your messages were very precious to me and will help me find the required strengh to stop it forever.

I admire you very much.

Kind regards.

Blue Bird.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on May 05, 2014, 06:29:16 AM
Bluebird,  I am glad that what I write helps people.  I try to put my feelings in writing as best I can.  I truly feel that everyone can move through this.  I won't say ge t past, because it changes the relationship.  It changes the way you view your partner.  But this can be done!  I know that it is hard for men to write in the journals of women.  It is often hard for them to journal after a woman had made a comment in the men's journals for some reason. 

I want you to know.  I believe in telling the woman.  It is hard.  It is tearful but then there are two fighting this thing and not just one.  I think that if the goal is for a man to be able to discuss the things that bother him that led to PMO then he needs to be able to talk about it all.  Not all the details about what was watched, just that it was watched.  Then there can be communication.  Communication is what helps it change. 

Got to go to work.  I will write more later.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on May 05, 2014, 06:43:47 AM
Good points, Gracie.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Jverhoye on May 07, 2014, 09:55:01 PM
I agree, Gracie.  Communication is key!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on May 10, 2014, 07:33:24 AM
I am able to write today.  Sometimes I have the time but the emotion of writing is too much and then sometimes I want to write but have no time. 

As I looked over my last post about communication, I realized that I have had trouble communicating as well.  I could not talk about a lot due to fear of the unknown.  I cannot think of anything I was afraid of, it was just a generalized fear.  I suppose that was due to a combination of fear of rejection, failure, not being whatever I thought I should be or whatever I thought my husband wanted and I could go on and on. 

What made me realize this was a late night conversation because he could tell I was restless, which is a sign my mind is at work and I am having trouble voicing what it is.  Most of the time it is what was the thing that started this whole 15 years long thing in our lives?  This bad choice that he made.  (Trust me, it is a big step for me to be able to say he made a bad choice)  So I looked within me and was able to talk about when I had to choose to be away a lot to take care of a horrible situation involving my mother and how guilty I had felt at the time and still feel over choosing her over being with him and the kids at that time.  (My mother was emotionally very abusive to me)  And how could I choose that over him.  That situation occurred around the time he started pulling away and using porn.  Soooo after 2 years, I can reason things out better.  Because I do trust he is not going to use again.  I just have trouble with I am good enough.  But like I said, baggage.  Parents said not good enough and even though husband did not say it, in my mind he did so by demonstration.

Another good thing.  I was looking through some old things mostly paper stuff and in there was a lingerie catalog from 20 years ago.  I did ask him about it right away.  And because of where it was, I knew there had been no chance of recent or even years ago use.  We talked about it...and I did not go down the rabbit hole of emotion.  I put it in its own trash bag and took it to the can.  I am so proud!

Sorry this is rambling.  But just the thoughts of this morning.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on May 10, 2014, 08:12:31 AM
I am able to write today.  Sometimes I have the time but the emotion of writing is too much and then sometimes I want to write but have no time. 

As I looked over my last post about communication, I realized that I have had trouble communicating as well.  I could not talk about a lot due to fear of the unknown.  I cannot think of anything I was afraid of, it was just a generalized fear.  I suppose that was due to a combination of fear of rejection, failure, not being whatever I thought I should be or whatever I thought my husband wanted and I could go on and on. 

What made me realize this was a late night conversation because he could tell I was restless, which is a sign my mind is at work and I am having trouble voicing what it is.  Most of the time it is what was the thing that started this whole 15 years long thing in our lives?  This bad choice that he made.  (Trust me, it is a big step for me to be able to say he made a bad choice)  So I looked within me and was able to talk about when I had to choose to be away a lot to take care of a horrible situation involving my mother and how guilty I had felt at the time and still feel over choosing her over being with him and the kids at that time.  (My mother was emotionally very abusive to me)  And how could I choose that over him.  That situation occurred around the time he started pulling away and using porn.  Soooo after 2 years, I can reason things out better.  Because I do trust he is not going to use again.  I just have trouble with I am good enough.  But like I said, baggage.  Parents said not good enough and even though husband did not say it, in my mind he did so by demonstration.

Another good thing.  I was looking through some old things mostly paper stuff and in there was a lingerie catalog from 20 years ago.  I did ask him about it right away.  And because of where it was, I knew there had been no chance of recent or even years ago use.  We talked about it...and I did not go down the rabbit hole of emotion.  I put it in its own trash bag and took it to the can.  I am so proud!

Sorry this is rambling.  But just the thoughts of this morning.

I love it when you journal, Gracie. You have a warmth and style that is genuine and honestly refreshing.

Relationships are like a bag of wire coat hangers, when you need to pull out just one, fifteen others are hooked on. Just the nature of things.

Have a beautiful weekend.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on May 10, 2014, 08:25:10 AM
I am able to write today.  Sometimes I have the time but the emotion of writing is too much and then sometimes I want to write but have no time. 

As I looked over my last post about communication, I realized that I have had trouble communicating as well.  I could not talk about a lot due to fear of the unknown.  I cannot think of anything I was afraid of, it was just a generalized fear.  I suppose that was due to a combination of fear of rejection, failure, not being whatever I thought I should be or whatever I thought my husband wanted and I could go on and on. 

What made me realize this was a late night conversation because he could tell I was restless, which is a sign my mind is at work and I am having trouble voicing what it is.  Most of the time it is what was the thing that started this whole 15 years long thing in our lives?  This bad choice that he made.  (Trust me, it is a big step for me to be able to say he made a bad choice)  So I looked within me and was able to talk about when I had to choose to be away a lot to take care of a horrible situation involving my mother and how guilty I had felt at the time and still feel over choosing her over being with him and the kids at that time.  (My mother was emotionally very abusive to me)  And how could I choose that over him.  That situation occurred around the time he started pulling away and using porn.  Soooo after 2 years, I can reason things out better.  Because I do trust he is not going to use again.  I just have trouble with I am good enough.  But like I said, baggage.  Parents said not good enough and even though husband did not say it, in my mind he did so by demonstration.

Another good thing.  I was looking through some old things mostly paper stuff and in there was a lingerie catalog from 20 years ago.  I did ask him about it right away.  And because of where it was, I knew there had been no chance of recent or even years ago use.  We talked about it...and I did not go down the rabbit hole of emotion.  I put it in its own trash bag and took it to the can.  I am so proud!

Sorry this is rambling.  But just the thoughts of this morning.

I love it when you journal, Gracie. You have a warmth and style that is genuine and honestly refreshing.

Relationships are like a bag of wire coat hangers, when you need to pull out just one, fifteen others are hooked on. Just the nature of things.

Have a beautiful weekend.
I agree. I want to thank all of the ladies that post here. Hearing from the partners of men that have this problem is very helpful in gaining perspective regarding this problem.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on May 17, 2014, 07:08:43 AM
Well I thought I would write more today.  I was thinking of what we went through during that first year.  And the hardest thing was knowing that no matter how bad I hurt, he was the one that could heal me.  In the book, "Love you Hate the Porn", attachment is talked about.  We all have a primary attachment figure in our lives.  When we are young, that is our mother generally.  We look to her to provide love, nourishment, and security.  When she is around, all is well.  As we grow, we then begin to pull away and find another attachment figure.

The attachment figure we have as adults is usually our husband or wife.  We choose someone for a lifetime relationship.  Threis relationship is built on love, trust and commitment to each other.  Somewhat like a three legged stool.  When one of those legs is gone, the attachment is weakened.  For me the trust was gone.  By watching a smorgasboard of women, he chose someone other than me.  It matters not to me whether I was the one all the time is his mind or not.  There is not room for two.  And looking and masturbating effectively removes thoughts of me.  He also chose to hide this for all those years. That broke the trust even more.  So here we are then trying to figure it out.  One of the things I had to say outloud during that time was: "I love you anyway."  This helped. A lot.  As we worked on healing, I realized how big the wound was.  It was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

As you know the mood of the recovering person are all over.  There were times he looked like he loathed me.  I felt ugly, used and stupid during that time. It was like he was someone else.  But I kept working and he did too.  He was the bandaid that could cover my gaping wound.  We had to grow a new attachment.  That involved learning new ways of connecting.  One of the things he said was it was easier to give up the porn because I knew about it.  It gave him incentive to change.  He said that he had thought about it before, but since I didn't know, I wasn't being hurt.  He said he now knew the realtionship was very damaged.  We have rebuilt trust.  He knows I cannot ever go through a time like that again.  The only way he know though is because we talk. 

We are now re-attached.  We are stronger than ever.  But only because, we shared what happened.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on May 17, 2014, 08:07:24 AM
Great thoughts, Gracie.  It points up an important fact, porn, maturation and the objectification that accompanies these behaviors are poisonous to relationships. This problem goes far beyond ED.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on May 17, 2014, 12:59:49 PM
After all this, Gracie, you surely have the deed to his heart.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on May 17, 2014, 01:29:14 PM
After all this, Gracie, you surely have the deed to his heart.
When I was married I was terribly ashamed of myself but I yearned to be caught and confronted because I thought that this might help me to break free. By helping him and investing in him I am certain that you will own his heart forever.

We men can be jerks sometimes. It's a combination of our masculine aggressiveness, libido, pride, insecurity and our imperfections, but sometimes we definitely resemble the south side of a northbound horse. But we do love the ladies in our lives and we appreciate and take note of the times when our lady friends see through to our good traits. I know that I do and when I get so much as a crumb of sincere admiration and appreciation from a woman I care for it makes me feel very good inside. 

Gracie's thoughts about a primary attachment figure really struck a chord with me. That person has been missing from my life since I was divorced and it was like losing a part of myself. I'm not denying that I deserved it, I did indeed. But I need that emotional attachment and that is much, much more important that sex. One of the big problems that I see in today's world is that sexual gratification has been placed in a primary position and the emotional bond is thought to be dependent upon good sex. Life experience has taught me otherwise. When the emotional bond is healthy, sex will be fulfilling and satisfying. If the emotional bond is not healthy you can read all the sex manuals on earth and it won't do any lasting good. IMHO, sexual intercourse is the ultimate expression of emotional closeness and that closeness is the source of true satisfaction.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on May 17, 2014, 06:01:37 PM
Yes, I do have the deed to his heart.  And finally, two years after the start of this journey, I can truly say that I feel that.  I post here my thoughts on how we got through this.  Six months ago even I was still very emotional.  And I still have those moments but less often.  But they are me not him and they are not moments where I think he is going back to the old ways.

The attachment is a big thing.  Geoff Steurer actually has a video where he talks about this and how it affects couples dealing with porn addiciton.  It is very good.  It let my husband see why I felt adrift.  It helped me understand why I felt that way. 

I still feel it is important for wives to know what husbands are dealing with.  The attachment cannot be there if there are secrets.  When men say the wife can't handle it because of what they looked at, I can honestly say when I found out, what he looked at did not matter.  I did not ask for every detail.  But had we not had an honest conversation and an occasional fight about it, we would not have made it through.  I respect him so much more because he did talk about it and he let me vent, and cry.  He has always said however long it takes, he is not going anywhere.  And neither am I.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on May 18, 2014, 02:04:40 AM
Yes, I do have the deed to his heart.  And finally, two years after the start of this journey, I can truly say that I feel that.  I post here my thoughts on how we got through this.  Six months ago even I was still very emotional.  And I still have those moments but less often.  But they are me not him and they are not moments where I think he is going back to the old ways.

The attachment is a big thing.  Geoff Steurer actually has a video where he talks about this and how it affects couples dealing with porn addiciton.  It is very good.  It let my husband see why I felt adrift.  It helped me understand why I felt that way. 

I still feel it is important for wives to know what husbands are dealing with.  The attachment cannot be there if there are secrets.  When men say the wife can't handle it because of what they looked at, I can honestly say when I found out, what he looked at did not matter.  I did not ask for every detail.  But had we not had an honest conversation and an occasional fight about it, we would not have made it through.  I respect him so much more because he did talk about it and he let me vent, and cry.  He has always said however long it takes, he is not going anywhere.  And neither am I.
It sounds like the two of you have turned this problem into an opportunity for growth.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on June 29, 2014, 04:55:43 PM
Hi Gracie

I want to thank you for all the wise words you share with us. Thank you also for replying on my comment on the post you shared with us on what happens to wife's when they realise that their husbands use porn.
The most important thing for any porn addict to realise is that: If you think you can fix this thing by yourself while hiding it from everyone else you will not achieve anything!
This is one reason why this forum is so successful in helping addicts to recover.
It is also helping you to be accountable towards other people.
The most help however will come if you can involve your partner in supporting you. I know, for many years I believed that I can fix this by myself. This is not true and a total lie from the enemy! No matter how difficult it might be, take your first step to recovery and tell your partner that you are having a problem and that you need help. Yes it will devastate her to realise that you were cheating on her. But it will also turn out to be your best support that you will ever get or have.
I wish I knew this before I was caught red handed. It would have saved me a lot of embarrassment and shame, and definitely would not have damaged the trust relationship as badly.
Very important is to then have an open relationship. At first you will have to listen to a lot of blaming, and answer a lot of questions. This is natural, remember your partner needs make out this in her mind, and need to make sense out of all of this.
Be patient! Reaffirm your commitment to her! Be patient!!! Listen, and give her time to vent.
Do not think that this will be something that will be there the one day and the next day it will be history. NO!! It will take time!
 Be patient, Be honest, Be transparent... no matter what!
Then the healing will come, for both of you... and you will be blessed with a wonderful marriage. Free of baggage, guilt, and shame.
If handled with the necessary respect for each other and your relationship. You will end up with the best marriage ever! :)

Once again thank you for everything you mean for this forum!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on June 29, 2014, 07:10:36 PM
I Posted the first part of my story.

VICTORY over PMO

Have a look and realise how totally lost I were
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on June 29, 2014, 07:35:05 PM
I Posted the first part of my story.

VICTORY over PMO

Have a look and realise how totally lost I were
where?
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on June 30, 2014, 02:19:06 AM
Hi Ite

I posted my story under the 40 + section titled VICTORY over PMO

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on July 06, 2014, 06:55:39 AM
I just noticed something in reading some of the men's journals here.  As there are posts about wives/girlfriends and amount of sex with them, I see references to "do you still find her attractive?"  Now we as women are told it is not about us, or our attractiveness, sometimes physical changes after having a baby,  etc.  But there it is.  Also there is the question are we sexually available enough for the men. 

First of all, I have yet to see a woman on these boards speak of the physical  attractiveness of their partner.  All of us from the older group are aware of the fact that we and our partners are older.  Yet we do not talk about this.  I also understand that I may be different, but once I chose my guy, that was it for me.  But this is not an item that we say, "I am not able to get excited because well, I just don't find him "hot" anymore.  And yes I get men are visual, but we are too.  Seeing my man in my favorite shirt, or naked is exciting to me, even though he has put on 70 pounds since we married.  This brings me to physical changes when babies are born.  This one is less frequent but I see it.  Really?  We are birthing your child, or we have had children and you expect us to not have physical changes?  I had a friend whose husband wanted her to have surgery to "tighten" things up.  Well there is a point of view that will get us wanting your body.  Please recognize this is often beyond our control. 

Then there is our "sexual availability" to our men. Believe or not we want sex and intimacy too.   For many of us that are married to or are with a porn user here is something to consider.  Your lovemaking changes when you are addicted to porn.  You act different in everyday life.  You act differently at work.  You act differently with us.  You act differently when you have and or want sex.  It is not intimate, it is not lovemaking.  You want the sex life you had at the beginning?  Then take us out on dates.  Take us dancing.  Hold our hands, light up your eyes everytime we walk into a room.  Tell us we are beautiful.  Don't tell us this just to get us in bed.  Be sincere.  Sit next to us.  Be interested in what we have to say.  Cherish us.  Do not disrespect us by looking at other women all the time.  Or glancing and think we don't notice. 

I remember when I had been single for 11 years after my divorce at 21.  A friend asked me when I would know I was with the right guy.  I told her, "When I am sitting in a room talking to him and I do not notice anyone else in the room, either already there or walking in, that is the one for me."  And he was.  And I was. But then along came porn.

I know this is long.  But I wanted to say this.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on July 06, 2014, 08:15:38 AM
I just notice something in reading some of the men's journals here.  As there are posts about wives/girlfriends and amount of sex with them, I see references to "do you still find her attractive?"  Now we as women are told it is not about us, or our attractiveness, sometimes physical changes after having a baby,  etc.  But there it is.  Also there is the question are we sexually available enough for the men. 

First of all, I have yet to see a woman on these boards speak of the physical  attractiveness of their partner.  All of us from the older group are aware of the fact that we and our partners are older.  Yet we do not talk about this.  I also understand that I may be different, but once I chose my guy, that was it for me.  But this is not an item that we say, "I am not able to get excited because well, I just don't find him "hot" anymore.  And yes I get men are visual, but we are too.  Seeing my man in my favorite shirt, or naked is exciting to me, even though he has put on 70 pounds since we married.  This brings me to physical changes when babies are born.  This one is less frequent but I see it.  Really?  We are birthing your child, or we have had children and you expect us to not have physical changes?  I had a friend whose husband wanted her to have surgery to "tighten" things up.  Weoull there is a point of view that will get us wanting your body.  Please recognize this is often beyond our control. 

Then there is our "sexual availability" to our men. Believe or not we want sex and intimacy too.   For many of us that are married to or are with a porn user here is something to consider.  Your lovemaking changes when you are addicted to porn.  You act different in everyday life.  You act differently at work.  You act differently with us.  You act differently when you have and or want sex.  It is not intimate, it is not lovemaking.  You want the sex life you had at the beginning?  Then take us out on dates.  Take us dancing.  Hold our hands, light up your eyes everytime we walk into a room.  Tell us we are beautiful.  Don't tell us just to get us in bed.  Be sincere.  Sit next to us.  Be interested in what we have to say.  Cherish us.  Do not disrespect us by looking at other women all the time.  Or glancing and think we don't notice. 

I remember when I had been single for 11 years after my divorce at 21.  A friend asked me when I would know I was with the right guy.  I told her, "When I am sitting in a room talking to him and I do not notice anyone else in the room, either already there or walking in, that is the one for me."  And he was.  And I was. But then along came porn.

I know this is long.  But I wanted to say this.
That is a great post, Gracie. IMO, sex is something shared between loving partners, but it is not the central thing in a marriage. Our popular culture all but worships sex, while, at the same time, assigning taboos right and left. Masturbation turns our sexual interests inward and is the enemy of intimacy. Intimacy is where it's at. 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: STR on July 06, 2014, 12:49:12 PM
When I was a PMO addict,

1. the shape and condition of my wife's body was a huge concern to me,
2. my wife's "availability" for sex (and in particular, exciting sex) was a huge concern to me,
3. I wasn't happy with my wife's body,
4. I wasn't happy with my wife's availability for sex or lack of interest in variety.

Since quitting PMO,

1. the shape and condition of my wife's body is nowhere near as important to me,
2. my wife's "availability" for sex (and in particular, exciting sex) is nowhere near as important to me,
3. I am happy with my wife's body,
4. I am happy with my wife's increased availability for sex and of level of interest in variety.

Over the past year as I have made my wife the only outlet for my sexual energy and as I have treated her like a woman that I am in love with, my wife has actually become much more open sexually and is willing to experiment and have fun in a way that she wasn't before, back when I tried to force her to be like the porn women I used to look at all the time. At the same time, my own interest in experimenting and variety has returned back to a "normal" level, and we have essentially met each other in the middle of the spectrum.

I am inclined to think that most men who complain about their wife's body or availability for sex are probably comparing their wife to an unrealistic standard promoted by porn that simply cannot be met by real women, and as long as men hold on to that standard, they are never going to be satisfied.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Bibbity on July 06, 2014, 05:46:27 PM
It's ALWAYS easier to blame the other person for perceived faults than it is to face your own.  Rationalization is the addicts ally.  I wonder what Tiger Woods was rationalizing to himself when he cheated on his intelligent model wife?  It really has nothing to do with us.  The mind has a great way to rationalize behaviour for an addict.  Those men whose journals you read are still in denial about why they are failing at sex and relationships.  It's easier to say "she's not hot enough" than it is to say "I'm afraid of intimacy with a woman".

STR it's so great to hear that your wife has opened up sexually to you.  We often open up to men we know we can trust.  It's an intuitive thing.  I'm a pretty spiritual person and I have read that sex can suddenly become painful if a woman is having sex with someone she doesn't trust.  I can attest to this in my own marriage.  Thankfully we are now having the hot and steamy sex we both always wanted but it certainly doesn't look like a porno and I'm grateful for that ;)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on July 07, 2014, 05:01:06 AM
Thank you for your insight STR.  It helps to know that there are people here that get what I am saying.  I went through a bad time health wise right before my discovery of his porn use.  I did not have the strength to put make up to go to work.  One of the first things he said post discovery was I should wear make up every day.  He knew it was a health issue but did not care at that time.  Now, he is very remorseful that he ever would think of saying that. This shows the porn mind at work.  There were times he looked at me with the most dislike I had ever seen.  It literally looked like a demon was looking at me.  Very scary.  Those were the most painful times ever in our marriage. 

That is why when I see the remarks about wives I try to speak up.  The wife is dealing with something she has never encountered before.  Whether she knows or not.  That is because her husband is a different being.  Think of your marriage as a spinning top.  It is all balanced and spinning along nicely.  Then porn comes in and it still spins but it is a little wobbly not quite centered.  Then as porn continues it wobbles more.  We wives get knocked off balance as well and we are wobbly.  It takes time to get it spinning again.

Lte, Bibbity thanks for what you have said as well.  Bibbity, you are right it does get better than ever in the marriage.  But it takes two as you have done.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on August 16, 2014, 07:23:14 AM
Reading through this forum it amazes me how many relationships are affected by porn addiction.  And the kind of porn varies so much.  Some are just the HBO, Cinemax brand, others are internet normal for want of a better word and then others are drawn in by things they never thought would excite them.''

It also amazes me how many men say it is not their wives, but then post about how often sex occurs, or how they look or the fact they aren't an intelligent equal.  If these things bother them, then it is about their wives.  But some wives never know what is bothering their husband or about porn.  So then they are left with a half-assed relationship.  How horrible to go through life without having the relationship of a lifetime.  Both partners are then cheated.

My husband thought I did not want sex anymore. But once I found out about porn and we went through everything,  (you can read my posts) he discovered the lack of sex was due to his lack of interest in making love and enjoying each other.  I had children before we were married.  Then when the last one was out, I thought we are alone this is gonna be great.  Only it wasn't.  Now it is what I had imagined.  I still have moments.  And to address those moments, I am applying the "do not think about it for this day"  I don't look to the past or try to look forward.  I am in this day. And I am a little past 60 so I know I may not get 25 years of being beloved. (That was how long it went on)  But it is so much better.

Men, I challange you look at your wives and girlfriends through the eyes of love. 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on August 16, 2014, 07:59:54 AM
I find it an amazing coincidence that just before you posted that I was thinking about the fact that love is the answer . . . to pretty much everything. I can't think of a problem that can't be helped through the application of love.

Lack of love manifests itself in many ways, greed, dishonesty, hatred of persons different than you, etc. In evaluating attitudes about porn we repeatedly read about objectification and what else is objectification if it is not able se of love. The woman that appears in a porn scene has a story, wants, dreams, needs, and all the things common to all humans but to a porn viewer she may be nothing more than a collection of interesting anatomical bits.

One thing that astounds me about my journey is that I'm no longer triggered by a glimpse of nudity in an R rated movie. If I do happen to see such a sight these days my reaction is to admire the beauty of the human form and I automatically remember that what I saw was a person, not a thing.

This translates well into everyday life, too. There are still cute bottoms and impressive busts out there in the world, but I have learned to see the person, not the anatomical bits, even when they are appealing. In the store, recently, my cashier was a beautiful young woman with smokey gray eyes. I didn't notice her bustline, I was far too busy noticing her eyes and the soul behind those beautiful eyes. She was pleasant and friendly as she took care of my transaction and that was the greatest beauty of all. Not only had I bought a cup of coffee that morning, but I exchanged smiles with a beautiful and pleasant young woman. I didn't take a detailed inventory of her anatomy; something I probably would have done a couple of years back. Here's the important part, I acted with love and consideration towards her, treating her as an equal, not as an object.

If you apply love diligently, the entire porn illusion falls apart. The actresses have a story, and in most cases it's not a happy story. Women in the sex industry frequently came from a troubled background. People that have been mistreated as a child, especially if that mistreatment was sexual in nature, will tend to devalue themselves. If you don't have a sense of self worth, then selling your body becomes much easier to do. Sadly, many of the people in porn believe that their only real value lies in their sexual abilities. Apply love in our outlook and we see them as people deserving of love and respect, just like ourselves. Porn just does not work in the presence of love.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 16, 2014, 08:26:11 AM
Ite

What you are saying here is so profound.

I have come to realise that rebooting gives one new eyes through which one can see all of this. Without new eyes there is no understanding to what you are saying here.

Ditto on you wisdom.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on August 16, 2014, 08:39:42 AM
Ite

What you are saying here is so profound.

I have come to realise that rebooting gives one new eyes through which one can see all of this. Without new eyes there is no understanding to what you are saying here.

Ditto on you wisdom.

Thanks, PMOV. I see it as simply attaining normalcy, after a 43 year detour. :) In all seriousness, three insights are important in order to live effective lives. If you are not in control of yourself you are not going to be as effective in showing respect and love for others. If you are not in control of yourself you are not going to have healthy self esteem and, once again, this impacts your ability to love.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 16, 2014, 08:46:56 AM
Does this ring a bell...?
We should love others as we love ourselves (Paraphrasing)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on August 16, 2014, 09:12:07 AM
Does this ring a bell...?
We should love others as we love ourselves (Paraphrasing)
Lady Gaga? :) Just kidding, mate. IMO, love is summed up in the Golden Rule, treating others as we would as want to be treated. The beauty of this is it is truly a one size fits all solution. Love may mean overlooking faults in a family member. It may involve just the opposite, and cause you to take a stand against self-damaging behavior on their part. Sometimes it's as simple as looking at someone and rejoicing at the fact that they are alive and part of your life. Love dictates that we be gentle, patient and nurturing towards children. It dictates that we respect the wisdom and experience of our elders. Sometimes love simply comes down to a matter of letting someone else be who they are and accepting them that way.

One thing is for certain, if we truly love ourself we will not PMO.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 16, 2014, 09:55:12 AM
Quote
One thing is for certain, if we truly love ourself we will not PMO.

Ditto

I find loving myself daily, more and more!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on August 16, 2014, 10:08:59 AM
Lte and PMO so interesting to see what you have written.  It is also encouraging.  It shows that people can change.  I really thought that I would not endure profound hurt by my husband.  His first wife had sex with a lot of his friends and other men as well.  In my eyes he knew what it was to be hurt. 

I was so careful all those years so that he would not think I wanted someone else.  Because when we got together I had men friends.  Then when caught it was the old well I never touched anyone it's only p orn. But he did.  He touched my heart in a bad way.  It was broken.  He touched our lives in a bad way.  So there is touching.  And touching yourself and thinking of or seeing someone else is touching someone.

The old Ice Castles song Looking Through the Eyes of Love is smarmy but so true! And the golden rule, that was insightful.  A relationship means holding each other in the highest esteem, valuing each other above all others.  I know how I valued my husband changed as he pulled back.  I did not hold him in high esteem either.  But now after much time and talking and touching and crying and holding onto each other we feel all those things for each other.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on August 16, 2014, 10:15:45 AM
Good points, Gracie. In my opinion PMO is cheating, plain and simple. My rule, my cardinal rule, is I don't touch myself for pleasure. It's that simple for me.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: William on August 16, 2014, 11:16:31 AM
Just read this thread.  This is a great thread with some great insights.  I usually do not write or read here about how the addiction affects the ones in our lives.  To be honest, when I first began quitting, I found those considerations distracting.  My narrow focus, and purpose in writing here, is not to tell guys why they should quit, the benefits of quitting, the negatives of not, but to give narrow information on how to quit.  I have presumed, some times correctly, some times not, that by the time a guy staggers into a pornography addiction forum, they have their reasons for quitting.  Most guys don't need to be talked into quitting by the time they get here, and if they do, they are not ready to be here.  Like most guys, I thought of porn as harmless fun, then it became a harmless distraction, and then it became a chore, something that had to be done.  Then it was not fun or a distraction anymore, it was the one thing I had to do every-single-day.  I had unknowingly wrapped myself in a chain of my own making, one link at a time, no pun intended.  I suppose on some level I knew it was bad for me, but like the cigarette addict aware of lung cancer, I did it anyway by telling myself I was only hurting myself.  But then it came to hurt the one I am in love with; I had great difficulty reaching O during sex, and she came to believe she "was not enough for me."  Truth is, she is way out of my league and I am lucky to have her.  That is when I decided to get clean, that is my reason.  It helps to have a reason, something a guy can say is much more important to him than the temporary dopamine rush of porn.  I like Ite's rule:  "I don't touch myself for pleasure.  It's just that simple for me."  I came to this forum from nofap, which is a great forum, but what I like about this place is, it is focused much more on dealing with porn addiction, it is created by a guy who identifies as porn addicted, and there are a lot of other guys putting up significant days "clean." 

Keep posting.  Reading and replying are part of my recovery, so thanks.  How do we help ourselves?  We help ourselves by helping others, so, you have helped.

Peace.

Will I AM
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 17, 2014, 02:48:02 AM
Will I AM

What you are saying is very true.
Quote
  Most guys don't need to be talked into quitting by the time they get here, and if they do, they are not ready to be here.
We all know that we need to do this but it is so difficult. I can remember many times trying to quit. Record attempts were like 3 to 4 days. This really drags one down. But now I'm free. The PMO devil is dead and buried.
The reward is great.
My advice to all who still struggle is to keep on keeping on.
It is not easy, but it gets better.
Know your triggers.
Educate yourself.
Post your journals.
Quote
Keep posting.  Reading and replying are part of my recovery, so thanks.  How do we help ourselves?  We help ourselves by helping others, so, you have helped.

Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 17, 2014, 02:49:47 AM
Gracie

Thank you for all that you keep on posting.
You are, and I keep on saying it, a woman of wisdom.
What you say is so profound! Thanx for sharing and speaking your mind.

Be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on August 17, 2014, 06:29:02 AM
Will I Am, thank you for your words.  I think that the porn addiction causes such self centeredness that the addict cannot or will not see the harm that is caused in his everyday life.  He thinks he is the same. 

I remember during this time one son had a problem with his car.  It was a simple one, but he never worked on cars before.  My husband said he is just like the people at work, making problems and not listening.  I looked at my husband and said, "he is not your employee, he is your son.  Do not confuse the two."  Now I know it was lack of connection.  He also went through a time that instead of me calling and leaving him a message or talking to him at home, I should communicate upcoming things through email.  This was at a time he complained about receiving too many emails.  I once again said, I am not someone from work, I am your wife.  So no you will not get emails. 

The looking back and seeing all the signs of disconnect.  Now we text everyday.  Sometimes a lot of texts sometimes not.  But we both send one every morning telling of our love for each other.  First thing.  Then he set up (without my knowledge) an alarm everyday that goes off at 845 that reads "Its luvey duvey time"  This starts our routine everyday.  To go from hardly talking to this is bliss. 

PMOV I will keep posting.   I looked at threads yesterday and notice that the women's threads get read the most.  It is encouraging to see so many care about how their partner is feeling.  I only wish more would comment so they get their feelings out.  But I know man and expressing feelings are not words that are comfortable in the same sentence.

So far the do not go down the rabbit hole by getting through one day at a time is working.  I am 5 days in.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 17, 2014, 01:33:31 PM
Thanx Gracie
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on August 23, 2014, 06:48:32 AM
Well now I am now ten days into 1 day at a time "don't go down the rabbit hole"  It is nice to be able to keep my thoughts from escalating and going back to the "Why are we going through this at this point in our lives?"  At around 60, I  we would just be motoring along towards retirement.  I can handle stray thoughts without letting them take over.  However, I do know it could happen at any time. 

Now when I feel uneasy, I just think I can wait to do something with this though tomorrow, and I file it back like I do all the other things.  Then tomorrowar comes and I find that it is not bothersome any more.  It took two years and three months to get to this point.  But I had an epiphiny.

I help people in my job.  A girl had a significant other that identified her by a crime commited against her.   Slut, whore, anger, ready to hit.  I said, what happened to you is not a definiton of who you are.  He cannot identify you that way the rest of your life.  You have changed.  You are not that person anymore.  You deserve to be treated better.

Well, as I was talking, I was seeing myself in the role of the girl's SO.  I kept trying to identify my husband by what he was.  By what I found out two years ago.  He has done everything I have asked and changed.  He is a new person.  Then I was like "What the hell?"  So I talked to him.  I apologized. 

After that conversation, I made my decision of one day at a time.  Not all the stuff from the past, not all the what ifs of the future, just one day at a time.  I still get little thoughts but they are told they have to wait until tomorrow and then I will decide.  This all has given me a true sense of peace.  He on the other hand is cautiously optomistic.  I see him looking for signs that I am uneasy.  I know that will pass.  However, I am still a little anxious about the looks thing.  But I know it will be okay.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on August 23, 2014, 07:05:01 AM
I like the strategy. Live in the now, live in positive anticipation of a better tomorrow, but keep yourself in the here and now.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on August 24, 2014, 12:59:08 AM
WOW Gracie

Quote
Well, as I was talking, I was seeing myself in the role of the girl's SO.  I kept trying to identify my husband by what he was.  By what I found out two years ago.  He has done everything I have asked and changed.  He is a new person.  Then I was like "What the hell?"  So I talked to him.  I apologized. 

After that conversation, I made my decision of one day at a time.  Not all the stuff from the past, not all the what ifs of the future, just one day at a time.  I still get little thoughts but they are told they have to wait until tomorrow and then I will decide.  This all has given me a true sense of peace.  He on the other hand is cautiously optomistic.  I see him looking for signs that I am uneasy.  I know that will pass.  However, I am still a little anxious about the looks thing.  But I know it will be okay.

What you are saying here is a break through and very significant.
Thanx for sharing!

Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 07, 2014, 08:28:49 AM
Well I made it three weeks before going down the rabbit hole.  Bleah!  When it was discovered by me, he said so many hurtful things.  And every so often, they  just wash over me.  And then I feel so down.  He holds me and lets me talk about the hurt I felt and the hurt I feel when this happens.  I am glad he does.  But I cry.  And even though I hear, read, and have him tell me it was not me, it can still feel that way.

But the good things are:  He does not watch anymore, he does not scan, we can talk to each other, and most of all there are no secrets.  Those things keep me centered.  Just every once in a while, there is a bobble and sometimes I can keep centered and sometimes it goes careening off the thoughts that go through my head.  Who knew that porn could cause so much pain?  Who knew it was not harmless?  Who knew it could shake relationships to their very foundation?  And unlike other problems in life, it is not something you can just sit down and talk to anyone about.  So you have to figure it out.

I am glad there is this forum.  It helps. 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on September 07, 2014, 08:38:41 AM
Quote from: Gracie
Who knew that porn could cause so much pain?  Who knew it was not harmless?  Who knew it could shake relationships to their very foundation?
It is amazing, the degree to which the professional world got this one wrong. I talked to a doctor about my problem, many years ago, and was told that it was completely normal. That avenue of assistance wasn't going to yield anything useful. It's taken decades and the advent of the Internet to make the truth inescapable, but countless lives were destroyed in the meantime.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: STR on September 07, 2014, 09:18:48 AM
Who knew it was not harmless?

There was strip club in my home town years ago that advertised "harmless visual stimuli". That is a lie, that many of us have believed for most of our lives. I like to think that there will be a major societal backlash against porn in the not-too-distant future, as people increasingly release the tremendous harm that it actually causes to people's minds, bodies, and relationships.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on September 07, 2014, 10:05:26 AM
Who knew it was not harmless?

There was strip club in my home town years ago that advertised "harmless visual stimuli". That is a lie, that many of us have believed for most of our lives. I like to think that there will be a major societal backlash against porn in the not-too-distant future, as people increasingly release the tremendous harm that it actually causes to people's minds, bodies, and relationships.

I know that the last couple of times I visited such places I felt conspicuous and uncomfortable. I do t think that nudity, in and of itself, is bad, but selling it and exploiting women in the process is not good for anyone.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 07, 2014, 12:00:18 PM
Some things at first can look so innocent. Or we may think it is.
"A quick glimpse will do nothing... I am just going to peek... I'm in control... I can stop whenever I want..."
All this and more are things that we make ourselves believe...
How wrong we are, how wrong we were!
Thank God it is history for me, and a lot of others on this forum!

Best of luck to all that still are battling with it!
Victory will be yours!
For as long as you stay strong the Blessing is waiting for you!


Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 08, 2014, 06:05:30 AM
Well I made it three weeks before going down the rabbit hole.  Bleah!  When it was discovered by me, he said so many hurtful things.  And every so often, they  just wash over me.  And then I feel so down.  He holds me and lets me talk about the hurt I felt and the hurt I feel when this happens.  I am glad he does.  But I cry.  And even though I hear, read, and have him tell me it was not me, it can still feel that way.

But the good things are:  He does not watch anymore, he does not scan, we can talk to each other, and most of all there are no secrets.  Those things keep me centered.  Just every once in a while, there is a bobble and sometimes I can keep centered and sometimes it goes careening off the thoughts that go through my head.  Who knew that porn could cause so much pain?  Who knew it was not harmless?  Who knew it could shake relationships to their very foundation?  And unlike other problems in life, it is not something you can just sit down and talk to anyone about.  So you have to figure it out.

I am glad there is this forum.  It helps.

I understand exactly, Gracie.

I'm in the middle of falling down that rabbit hole. It snuck up on me Sunday morning and has carried over into today. He went to work early and I woke up to him gone. It threw me into a spiral.

His patience with me having "an episode" isn't evenly matched with my patience with the ED or the PIED. He just stands there and is emotionless while I cry. When I said "I didn't ask for this!" he finally held me. I couldn't hold back because I wonder if I am feeling this way just for attention. I hate myself so much for being so broken while he can just stand there.

Yeah, nothing wrong with a peek - it's just to relax. I'm weighed down with the stigma of mental illness now, the harpy wife trope and a million other excuses that justify wadding me up like a piece of useless paper.

I start therapy tomorrow. I want this to stop. I don't know if he's going to be a part of that or not.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 08, 2014, 09:43:00 AM
I know what you mean.  Even though he is understanding and says, "as long as it takes" me to get past it he will be there for me.  And he says that he broke my trust and has to earn it back, I can tell he is like "but really how long will it take?"  Yesterday I told him that he literally quit talking to me.  He sat in his chair and played solitaire on his palm pilot or read a book while I was up.  Then when I got ready to go to bed, he said he wasn't tired.  Then Cinemax or Hbo filled his fantasy world.  He did not have sex with me unless I came downstairs and he said did I miss a signal.   It was awful. 

I told him yesterday that he may have loved me during that time, but he did not like me.  He had always said if he didn't like somebody, he just quit talking to them.  I asked him how was I supposed to feel?  I had sex twice a month he was having sex 18.  Twice with me and 16 with his hand.  How can it not sneak up on us?  We are supposed to just go, oh thank you for stopping.  I am okay now.  It is all better.  But for us, as women, that approach does not work. 

I can keep it together most of the time.  But when it goes down hill it just seems to gain momentum.  I have physical pain from health issues and when I am in pain it is harder to not go down the rabbit hole. 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 09, 2014, 01:58:50 AM
I was doing well for about two weeks there. I had a glimpse of the Old SO (before she became a reboot partner). I was getting it done, juggling like a pro. I got three things done for the business that will make a difference. I did a good for myself and didn't feel one bit guilty. I was laughing again.

I know he is trying, but the very real fear and lack of security make me very twitchy about being hurt again. I have no trust in him, that he has my interests at heart, that our family matters. I don't want to be married to that selfish man. My marriage, as it was is over - there is nothing left but to rebuild a different relationship.

It is so frustrating because I want to know what he tells me is true, but I don't believe anything he says. I really did forgive him in the beginning, but the relapses have taken their toll on me. It is a very real betrayal of my trust and love for him.

I am hoping therapy will help me get control over the these triggered emotional storms and thunderclouds.

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 09, 2014, 03:29:32 PM
Ladies

I know this is not really my place as a man to even try and give any advice. I can not even say something that might make you feel better.

I can however thank you for saying the things you are saying here on the forum. It gives us an opportunity to hear from a woman's perspective what you go through when we are not truthful to you and break your trust.

I sooo wish there were a magical pill that could be given to all those who suffer from PMO and once and for all cure them.
But alas it is not possible.
Some do reboot easier than others.
I just wish I could know why...?
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 11, 2014, 07:42:56 AM
To all of you men who post here to us, thank you.  Through you, we learn how the men in our life may be thinking.  It helps us understand better.  I know there are women that have been here and then  everything is fine and they stop posting or everything is bad and they stop posting.  I stay because if I can assist one person in withstanding the horrible pain that this addiction has caused then it is worth it. 

I know a lot of men, young and old, only decide to quit because of ED.  I wish they would realize they should do this for the relationships, current and future.  I wish they realized that if they were turned towards their partner they would see so much more.  Helen Keller had a saying that I try to cling to in times of trouble.  It is, "If you turn your face to the sun, you can never see the shadow."  If your SO is truly your one and only, stayed turned toward them and nothing else has a chance to come in.  You need to truly be best friends.  (I had to work on this too, as over time with him turning to porn, I did not like being with him so I turned away as well) 

After I discovered his porn use, for me SEX became the center of our relationship.  Because (haha) he said he wasn't getting enough sex.  Well shame on him for saying that because sometimes I cannot get that out of my head.  It is easier now.  But I have changed in that I have more interest with him only turning to me.  That is how I know, turn toward your wife you may be amazed.  I want men to understand how turning away from their wife, they miss the true beauty of her.  She is there through everything.  And when you get old she will be there for you.  Just treasure her and she will treasure you.

Thanks again to the men who are changing for their beloved.!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on September 11, 2014, 08:22:31 AM
Great post, Gracie.

Quitting to alleviate ED doesn't strike me as a good motive, either. This process is about reinventing oneself and escaping the hype of pop culture. It involves making sex a meaningful part of your life, something  that you are in control of. It involves strength. Strength in knowing that you are able to control yourself and that your sex drive  compulsions and addictions are not running the show.

All of these things can only help in building a better and happier future. Right now there is no one in my life and there may never be again; I'm seriously contemplating spending my last decades as a bachelor, by choice. Having my sex drive under control has made all of the difference and I can live happily either way.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 12, 2014, 12:05:54 AM
Quote
I know a lot of men, young and old, only decide to quit because of ED.  I wish they would realize they should do this for the relationships, current and future.

What you are saying here are something that have been bothering me for quite some time! I've been around on RN and reading a lot of posts, and picked up on this as well.

Guys if you can just realise how there is a bigger picture here and that it is about more than what you think.
Be true to yourself, who you really are. Not what society has moulded you to be, thinking this is who you are supposed to be!
This is where the danger lies.

Quote
"If you turn your face to the sun, you can never see the shadow."
Thank you for sharing this gem!

Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 12, 2014, 10:33:05 PM
This has been a very insightful and thought provoking thread Gracie and I thank you for your openness and honesty about your journey as a partner of an addict.

I have only just recently quit porn for good after 40+ years of heavy use that I can say was the direct cause of a failed marriage and all of the associated turmoil that creates in the lives of our children, and in the lives of our extended families. It was the direct cause of significant PIED problems that lead to self esteem issues, depression and a lot of suicidal thoughts on my part because I knew that it was "me" that caused all this havoc in my family. It was me who created all the pain and all of the hardship because of my own selfish addiction.

And yet to this day no one in my family knows or suspects I'd be a porn addict.

I am just an average guy who's pleasant, well mannered and likable. I have lots of friends, I have a generous spirit and an abundant willingness to help others where I can. I am successful in my field, my adult aged kids think I'm a fun loving easy going Dad who's always there to turn too, and always willing to be involved in their lives.

I have a wonderful caring and good natured second wife. She is gorgeous to look at (in fact I sometimes wonder how on earth she's with me), and we share a great life together. We do all the normal lovey dovie things daily. We kiss, we cuddle, we hold hands sitting on the couch watching Tv. I help out around the house, I help with the washing, the ironing and I'll even make dinner several times a week. PIED has affected our sex life but we managed to get around that in other ways so that we both still get to enjoy our sexual climaxes at least weekly, and often more.

Since quitting porn for good I have only seen our relationship go from good to better, and I have been using a lot of the non sexual bonding techniques to improve the level of intimacy within our relationship as I strive to become a much better husband than I have been before.

But the secret is there. I have lived a double life for more years than I care to remember. I have never physically cheated on either of my wives, but I acknowledge now that I had cheated on both of them emotionally. I have had online relationships that I actively encouraged 

The lie is still there, it has never been discovered. I feel a heavy burden realising just how much pain and sorrow my porn addiction has caused those that are and were closest to me. They have no idea that the root cause of the failure of my first marriage, and thus the failure of our once happy family, was entirely a result of my porn addiction  :(

I have a strong desire to come clean and spill my story, but I fear what will unfold in the wake of doing so? As I rationalise it to myself I know I'll feel relieved that my dirty secret is finally out. I know I'll feel a sense of relief and a weight lifted off my shoulders.

But then as I read accounts of how painful finding out has been for some of the other women who have contributed to this forum. It seems entirely selfish and unfair to burden my closest loved ones with the ugly truth that, at the very least, will be painful and hard to accept. And, at the very worst might be devastating and potentially relationship ending, particularly if I go with absolute full disclosure of the things I have done?

To my mind it would be entirely selfish of me to expose my loved ones to that kind of pain. My addiction long pre-dates my current wife's involvement in my life, so how can I possibly explain to her the lies and deception, and knowingly risk placing our relationship on an unknown and unfamiliar path?

I have given this so much thought over the past few weeks of my reboot. I know I'll never go back to what I was doing before. I feel so much shame for what I have done and for what I have wasted. I want to confess, but I believe this is a burden I have to carry as my punishment for my selfish indiscretions. I read of how others have been discovered or confessed, and how for them it's been a good thing. But as stupid as this sounds (given my past behaviour), I don't think I could hurt my family by confessing.

I'd appreciate any feedback that wives can offer? If you were a wife living in the same circumstances, would you want to know or would you rather things just be left to improve within the relationship?

I should probably make this a thread of its own!         
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 13, 2014, 12:27:09 AM
This has been a very insightful and thought provoking thread Gracie and I thank you for your openness and honesty about your journey as a partner of an addict.

I have only just recently quit porn for good after 40+ years of heavy use that I can say was the direct cause of a failed marriage and all of the associated turmoil that creates in the lives of our children, and in the lives of our extended families. It was the direct cause of significant PIED problems that lead to self esteem issues, depression and a lot of suicidal thoughts on my part because I knew that it was "me" that caused all this havoc in my family. It was me who created all the pain and all of the hardship because of my own selfish addiction.

And yet to this day no one in my family knows or suspects I'd be a porn addict.

I am just an average guy who's pleasant, well mannered and likable. I have lots of friends, I have a generous spirit and an abundant willingness to help others where I can. I am successful in my field, my adult aged kids think I'm a fun loving easy going Dad who's always there to turn too, and always willing to be involved in their lives.

I have a wonderful caring and good natured second wife. She is gorgeous to look at (in fact I sometimes wonder how on earth she's with me), and we share a great life together. We do all the normal lovey dovie things daily. We kiss, we cuddle, we hold hands sitting on the couch watching Tv. I help out around the house, I help with the washing, the ironing and I'll even make dinner several times a week. PIED has affected our sex life but we managed to get around that in other ways so that we both still get to enjoy our sexual climaxes at least weekly, and often more.

Since quitting porn for good I have only seen our relationship go from good to better, and I have been using a lot of the non sexual bonding techniques to improve the level of intimacy within our relationship as I strive to become a much better husband than I have been before.

But the secret is there. I have lived a double life for more years than I care to remember. I have never physically cheated on either of my wives, but I acknowledge now that I had cheated on both of them emotionally. I have had online relationships that I actively encouraged 

The lie is still there, it has never been discovered. I feel a heavy burden realising just how much pain and sorrow my porn addiction has caused those that are and were closest to me. They have no idea that the root cause of the failure of my first marriage, and thus the failure of our once happy family, was entirely a result of my porn addiction  :(

I have a strong desire to come clean and spill my story, but I fear what will unfold in the wake of doing so? As I rationalise it to myself I know I'll feel relieved that my dirty secret is finally out. I know I'll feel a sense of relief and a weight lifted off my shoulders.

But then as I read accounts of how painful finding out has been for some of the other women who have contributed to this forum. It seems entirely selfish and unfair to burden my closest loved ones with the ugly truth that, at the very least, will be painful and hard to accept. And, at the very worst might be devastating and potentially relationship ending, particularly if I go with absolute full disclosure of the things I have done?

To my mind it would be entirely selfish of me to expose my loved ones to that kind of pain. My addiction long pre-dates my current wife's involvement in my life, so how can I possibly explain to her the lies and deception, and knowingly risk placing our relationship on an unknown and unfamiliar path?

I have given this so much thought over the past few weeks of my reboot. I know I'll never go back to what I was doing before. I feel so much shame for what I have done and for what I have wasted. I want to confess, but I believe this is a burden I have to carry as my punishment for my selfish indiscretions. I read of how others have been discovered or confessed, and how for them it's been a good thing. But as stupid as this sounds (given my past behaviour), I don't think I could hurt my family by confessing.

I'd appreciate any feedback that wives can offer? If you were a wife living in the same circumstances, would you want to know or would you rather things just be left to improve within the relationship?

I should probably make this a thread of its own!         

It is up to you. I don't know if a confession would have been easier for me. It would have shown me he had respect for me and my ability to make decisions. Instead I got "you should just divorce me" and "I'm not able to love you the way you need" because he preferred PMO to a real live woman. (This was interpreted by me as I wasn't loveable because he left out the part about preferring PMO.) Catching him in the act was difficult on both of us.

I have waffled from "I would want to know" to "I wish I didn't know" but I am actually glad I know.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 13, 2014, 06:48:16 AM
Rider,  this is a question a lot of men here have, to tell or not to tell.  I will say that discovery is far worse the being told.  My husband was a Cinemax, HBO, magazine sort.  I came downstairs one night and the show was on.  He had fallen asleep, but the cat was out of the bag.  We had just had sex that night and then he went downstairs to sleep.  He said he  was doing so because of surgery I had so that I could sleep well.  We had sex maybe once a week.  He and his TV girls were together 3 or 4 times a week.

The upsetting part, other than him doing it, was the secrecy, the not telling, that made it seem like I was not enough.  To me he lied, when he said I was beautiful, I was the best wife, even the I love yous rang hollow.  Why?  Because he did not tell me there was a problem.  When you are having happy hands, and doing other things to avoid penetration, there is a problem.  Porn is affecting the choices you make with your SO.  We can tell you watch.  Sometimes not how much or what kind.  But we know something is off.  If he had told me, "There is this problem" we could have worked together in a sane way.  I had helped him through a drug addiction.  (That was far easier, but more scary)  So what was hard about this?  What was hard for me is that he was choosing another person over me and one that I could not compete with.  And I did not know why, as he told me I was everything he needed.  At that point I felt like I was around just in case everything (his penis) quit working. 

The other thing that comes to mind with a hidden addiction like this is:  What if something happens to you?  You are injured or have surgery and she and the family have to take care of you, or you die and this is discovered.  Do you want their last thought be you had this secret life?  Do not leave her with that as the last thing she knows about you.  For me if that had happened, I would have thought he never truly loved me.  He was just biding his time until something better came along.

My husband said, he knew he should stop.  But the thing that made him think that is he was not getting hard to the porn anymore.  Once again the ED thing.  Not our relationship and the lies but the ED with porn.  You do not have to tell her all the different kinds.  But tell her you want to work on making your marriage better.  And that you watch and masturbate.  You do not have to say 'I watch sex with goats to get turned on. I just wanted you to know.'  You could ask her opinion on the amount of sex in shows and slowly ease in to telling.  But please, do not make it so that she would find out in another way other than you telling her.  This is a big lie if you don't. And two can work through better than one.  Once again, it wasn't the knowing, it was the discovery of the porn use.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 13, 2014, 03:12:27 PM
Once again SORP and Gracie

What will us men do without your continual, insightful, thought provoking, intelligent conversation with us guys!
We appreciate you so much!

Those of you, and I guess it is all of you, know my story. How that I struggled to get out of the death grip that porn and masturbation had over me. How that in a short span of time certain significant things and situations happened that were driving me to getting a solution to this addiction.
Here is the thing, for me, I wanted to get control over this addiction and beat it.
I could never let it get out in the light.
It would be to devastating to me, my reputation.
Who I am.
What I believe in.
What I portray to be.
Perfectly sorted out.
Family man.
Business man running a successful enterprise.
Roll model.
Someone a lot of people admire.
Steadfast.
You name it...
Not to mention my wife.
What would she say, think react...
NO!
I need to do this, all on my own.
It is my secret.
It's been my secret for 40 years.
I can handle it!
I have been handling it!

And then...

BANG!

My wife caught me out... what irony!

Never in my life I experienced more shame, guilt, devastation!
I wished for the earth to just open up and swallow me...
All the wife did was to turn around after she screamed and ran out. With me following her trying to talk to her.
We work together in the business and it were one of the most difficult days of my life. Having to save face in front of all of the staff with a wife that is ignoring me flat.
Thank God that I could talk to her that night and we could work things out to a degree where she was willing to at least give it a go.

Before this, I have already did some reading on YBOP and the Reboot. I shared it with her and told her that I am willing to go through this process. And that this will be the turning point for me.

As difficult it were, looking back, I would not have chosen it otherwise.
There are nothing more liberating. All the cards are on the table. Nothing to hide.
No one can even one day blackmail me on anything regarding my porn addiction, internet usage, nothing. It is out in the open.
As a matter of fact. At the end of this month I will be addressing a lot of women at a women's camp on porn addiction!
I could and would never have thought it would be true. That I would be able to stand in front of an audience or 300 - 500 people admitting to them that  I did porn. But this is the Grace of God. He takes my weakest shame and will use it to His glory, and I can do it coz I'm free...!

Will it be easy? No
But there is a need and I will do it.
My wife will also have the opportunity to address the ladies with me.

Quote
You do not have to say 'I watch sex with goats to get turned on. I just wanted you to know.'
this is very significant.
Although my wife knows that I watched porn, the nitty gritty she does not need to know!
This is where I need to draw the line for now. In it self it is hard enough for her just to try and understand why I could even look at it once, even just a slight peek at a photo. Not even to mention looking at a video, and as we all know, that is where it started. Now fast forward this viewing or internet porn over 15 - 20 years and realise how the addiction would have progressed. I am in shame myself to just think of it, and I did it. What would her reaction be If she had an idea of it.
So rider, I know how you feel when it comes to should I tell her or not. At the end of the day, personally, I believe it will be the best. It won't be easy, and a lot can com out of this, negatively speaking. But on the positive side I think the scale will tip in your favour.


Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 13, 2014, 08:01:42 PM
Wow. PmoVictory, this was at work? I caught my husband at work in off hours.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 14, 2014, 01:41:01 AM
Thanks everyone for your responses to my question on disclosure.

I too have thought a lot about this question since posting it up, and I think its one of those things were there can be no right or wrong answer.  Though I do agree with you all that if you have to find out, being told would be much better than finding out through discovery.

My thoughts are that I should continue my path and focus on my reboot and work hard to improve my relationship with my wife. I see a confession will inevitably make the reboot process much harder and create a lot of additional emotional stress to deal with. One thought I have is that it might be a whole lot less distressing if I was to confide in her once I have reached the 12 month mark (which is the milestone when I'll begin to consider myself as truly successful), and then let her know that I was once an addict, and that I have successfully overcome the addiction.

Thanks once again for your considered input. It's appreciated.       

   
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 14, 2014, 03:00:28 AM
Rider

I agree with you in that as we differ from all walks of life, so the right answer is different for each other. You will notice that I also said that for me I think it were better that way.

I also would have love to first of all reboot and wait a year and then tell my wife. It would have been the ultimate.
Getting rid of the vice. Work on and rebuild the relationship and then spill the beans. I suppose some people just have more luck than others.

You are nearing your 30 day mark. It feels like yesterday that you joined the Reboot Nation. You have come a long way and made significant contributions on the forum.

Stay strong and receive the Blessing!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 14, 2014, 04:40:41 PM
I've been here awhile and always when this question comes up "for the ladies" we tell it like we see it.

I have yet to see a single rebooter take the advice and just be honest with the wife.

She already knows something is wrong in the marriage, but again it is your story to tell.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 14, 2014, 05:29:51 PM
I feel the same way SORP.  Sharing the burden is always better.  Not having it hidden is better.  And as you and I know, it can and has been discovered by us.  I would not wish that uncontrolled situation on anyone, not the Porn Addict or the signifacant other.  Things simply aren't as hidden as we think.  But as you said, to each one it is their own.  But sometimes I think they already know what they will do. So the question is moot if we disagree.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 14, 2014, 06:07:07 PM
I feel the same way SORP.  Sharing the burden is always better.  Not having it hidden is better.  And as you and I know, it can and has been discovered by us.  I would not wish that uncontrolled situation on anyone, not the Porn Addict or the signifacant other.  Things simply aren't as hidden as we think.  But as you said, to each one it is their own.  But sometimes I think they already know what they will do. So the question is moot if we disagree.

Absolutely.

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 15, 2014, 05:10:36 AM
Hi Gracie, PMOV and SO Reboot Partner,

Thank you for your comments as I do appreciate your feed back and I value your perspective.

Reading your personal accounts, and in particular the way you describe the depth of the pain you went through once you found out reinforced why I feel it is better (at least in my case) to beat the addiction first and confess the success later.

The question was never moot, I did take on board your responses and applied them to my own circumstances, though our circumstances are different for many reasons. 

I can't risk putting my wife through the same suffering and heartache you ladies have endured and bravely shared. I have no idea how my wife will react if I tell her the full truth. I could tell her a lesser truth to protect her from the gorier details, but then that would still be a lie.

The most significant pain will come from having to shatter my wife's understanding of what we have together. She has been hurt by men who physically cheated on her in her past marriage and while she was in two other relationships.

Even though I know this will sound like the most massive of lame cop outs, she thinks the world of me and us (even despite my ED issues), and I don't want to rob her of that sense of what she believes she has with me by telling her now.

I do understand what you mean SO Reboot partner when you made the comment "she already knows there something is wrong in the marriage", however, in my case she doesn't, because things have been the same all along.

I was having a battle with ED from the beginning of my relationship with my current wife. Erections were hit and miss from the start and I used Cialas with some success, but ultimately we found other ways to be sexually intimate that were enjoyable and satisfying when penetration wasn't possible. So within our relationship there hasn't been the noticeable lack of desire or an absence of regular sexual contact. Our sexual contact was just different in that there wasn't always penetration. 

None of what I am saying is meant as an excuse to diminish the wrongness of my behaviour. The truth is my battle with p addiction long pre-dated my current wife's involvement in my life. The cancer of p addiction was in me well before she and I met. 

Weighing up the pro's and con's I believe that for now this needs to be my burden. I have to shoulder this and protect my wife form the kind of emotional trauma you ladies have endured. I know I have to take full ownership of the problem and work though it to fix myself for my wife's sake and my own.

I am well on my way now thanks to the support and information found here.
   
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 16, 2014, 04:05:58 AM
Rider,

My original comment isn't really a personal thing directed at you. Your decision is yours and I respect that.

The question "to tell or not to tell" seems to always come up around the time the guy is waking up to the impact of his diminishing hobby on not only his life, but the lives of others.

Every guy doesn't ask the internet what to do, but a lot ask - or it seems that way. Most will take the responses and decide not to tell for some similar reasons you gave above - minimize the "hurt" for the partner and "wait until I'm successful" are common refrains.

If you had a communicable disease, would you tell your partner? Ebola? STD's? Do you kiss her if you have the flu? Not telling is like being Typhoid Mary, only for mental anguish and codependency.

As I delve more deeply into why I choose to react the way I did before and after learning "the secret", I see a pattern of behavior in myself that says I absolutely knew something was wrong. I worried and compensated and covered for him long before I knew what it was I was dealing with. I tried my best to hold my head high when he told his friends he had a "smoking hot secretary" in front of me.

I made choices that were not in my best interest, set weak boundaries, made allowances and centered myself around "supporting" him rather than being strong for myself. I adopted codependency behaviors that supported his addiction. I am trying to unwind that now, for me first and then to support him if he decides to kick this thing for good.

Addiction guarantees codependency in the partner. That burden may have developed or already there when the relationship started.  I helped him be a pmo addict with a professional facade and a loving family and sacrificed my needs. It takes two to be married and an addict.

Not telling, the fear and shame, kept that engine running for many sexless years of tears and walking on eggshells and disconnection and disengagement and looking to him for identity as a woman and thinking there is something wrong with me.

It seems kind, leaving a partner unaware, but it isn't. Not knowing means the partner can't make informed decisions to heal, while the addict can. It is selfish, imho.


I respect your decision Rider, but understand you are taking away her ability to decide.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on September 16, 2014, 07:45:39 AM
I agree, SORP. PMO is cheating, IMO, and partners deserve disclosure.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 16, 2014, 07:32:06 PM

I made choices that were not in my best interest, set weak boundaries, made allowances and centered myself around "supporting" him rather than being strong for myself. I adopted codependency behaviors that supported his addiction. I am trying to unwind that now, for me first and then to support him if he decides to kick this thing for good.

Addiction guarantees codependency in the partner. That burden may have developed or already there when the relationship started.  I helped him be a pmo addict with a professional facade and a loving family and sacrificed my needs. It takes two to be married and an addict.

Not telling, the fear and shame, kept that engine running for many sexless years of tears and walking on eggshells and disconnection and disengagement and looking to him for identity as a woman and thinking there is something wrong with me.

It seems kind, leaving a partner unaware, but it isn't. Not knowing means the partner can't make informed decisions to heal, while the addict can. It is selfish, imho.


I respect your decision Rider, but understand you are taking away her ability to decide.

Thanks for your reply. I absolutely agree in circumstances like yours where you have been essentially trapped in a sexless marriage for years and been putting on a brave facade, discloure would be entirely appropriate and essential.

My relationship with my wife has been entirely different to your circumstances. None of the issues you describe in your last post that have been going on for years in your relationship have been happening in ours.

Beyond the ED issue that has been present from the beginning (and we found ways around that), there is nothing that stands out as abnormal in our relationship .... and I really do mean nothing. We remain sexual together regularly and there has always been an abundance of affection in our relationship even considering the usually ups and downs that go with any relationship. There has been no pain, no walking aroound on egg shells, no codependancy issues, and certainly no years of sexless living.

The only facade has been mine. I love my wife beyond what mere words can describe, but I've always had this struggle with porn addiction. The porn abuse is "me" and always has been "me". Which is why I feel it is "me" that has to take responsibilty for my actions and do what I am to overcome the addiction.

I do understand and appreciate your point of view. I see this as something I have to fix myself.

Again thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 18, 2014, 03:53:50 PM
I have been following this conversation and chirped in on it as well.

Sure I see the validity in what every one has to say. I'm sure the last word still has not been spoken on this subject as yet.

I'm certain that as we differ from outward appearance, so out situations differ as well. I'm convinced that there can not really be a set rule for each situation. My dad has a saying, he is 71, does not talk a lot but when he speaks he speaks with wisdom. I still need to hear anyone els use this saying, but what it says is so true.
He says; "Every husband kisses his wife in his own way."
To me this says it all.

Stay strong and be Blessed!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on September 18, 2014, 04:06:06 PM
I favor disclosure, but as a single man it's a fairly easy opinion for me to hold. Ultimately, we all bear our own burden and must decide according to our circumstances, experiences and our personal values. Nonetheless, carrying a secret around will take a toll.

In my last marriage there was one piece of information, non PMO related, that I withheld from my wife and I believe that it damaged my health to carry this weight upon my shoulders. I'm sorry that I chose as I did.

The other thought that comes to mind is to compare PMO to adultery. While they are not one and the same, they are both ways of seeking sexual satisfaction apart from your spouse. I would never condone one concealing adultery from their mate and I find it hard to come up with a point of demarcation that would make it unacceptable to conceal adultery but acceptable to conceal PMO. I don't have a definitive answer on that one.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 18, 2014, 09:18:23 PM
I find it hard to come up with a point of demarcation that would make it unacceptable to conceal adultery but acceptable to conceal PMO. I don't have a definitive answer on that one.

It's impossible to argue against the wisdom in those words, Ite.

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 18, 2014, 10:24:05 PM
Hey Guys,

What ever path you choose, I wish you well.

I still believe the addiction creates a lot of cognitive distortions to protect itself - ie (and this is NOT toward any one individual, only observations of many posts) I-don't-want-to-hurt-her and this-is-my-problem

The first step in any 12 step program is admitting one has no control over their addiction. This is a big step because addiction wants to be in control. This problem is bigger than you. Until that gets addressed, you won't get better and tell her later.

Also, just about every addict wants to be convinced to sobriety with a story that is similar to their own and shoot down anyone's advice that doesn't reflect exactly the same circumstances. I haven't read a single account where the addict recovered 100% all on his own without telling his partner - that includes wife, gf or partner.

Addiction thinking is really clever - don't tell the wife/gf because it could hurt me, but say its because I don't want to hurt her. (Also, real life accountability isn't a counter on the internet.) It takes some courage, trust and commitment to heal to face that.

As I said in my first post about this, it is really just an observation. It may not be time for admitting a lack of control over the addiction. Perhaps one isn't ready. That is okay, because it has to be okay.

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 19, 2014, 12:10:37 AM

Addiction thinking is really clever - don't tell the wife/gf because it could hurt me, but say its because I don't want to hurt her. (Also, real life accountability isn't a counter on the internet.) It takes some courage, trust and commitment to heal to face that.


Hi So Reboot partner,

Oh that is true too. There's definitely part of me that choosing not to disclose because I know it will make my life harder, I absolutely accept that proposal.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 19, 2014, 11:40:08 PM

Addiction thinking is really clever - don't tell the wife/gf because it could hurt me, but say its because I don't want to hurt her. (Also, real life accountability isn't a counter on the internet.) It takes some courage, trust and commitment to heal to face that.


Hi So Reboot partner,

Oh that is true too. There's definitely part of me that choosing not to disclose because I know it will make my life harder, I absolutely accept that proposal.

Ask a man if he wants to walk into a buzz saw and if he is sane, he will say "No, I do not want to walk into a buzz saw." Avoiding and keeping secret what is unpleasant or difficult is sane, the problem is that is exactly what addiction uses to survive by disconnecting the user from support.

I don't want to see you walk into a buzz saw. I hope you can at some point come clean, because it will mean you are reaching out for your real support group. I really do respect your decision. What you decide has to be right for you. When the time is right.... I'm starting to sound like a Cialis commercial.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 22, 2014, 07:51:07 PM

Addiction thinking is really clever - don't tell the wife/gf because it could hurt me, but say its because I don't want to hurt her. (Also, real life accountability isn't a counter on the internet.) It takes some courage, trust and commitment to heal to face that.


Hi So Reboot partner,

Oh that is true too. There's definitely part of me that choosing not to disclose because I know it will make my life harder, I absolutely accept that proposal.

Ask a man if he wants to walk into a buzz saw and if he is sane, he will say "No, I do not want to walk into a buzz saw." Avoiding and keeping secret what is unpleasant or difficult is sane, the problem is that is exactly what addiction uses to survive by disconnecting the user from support.

I don't want to see you walk into a buzz saw. I hope you can at some point come clean, because it will mean you are reaching out for your real support group. I really do respect your decision. What you decide has to be right for you. When the time is right.... I'm starting to sound like a Cialis commercial.


Your not sounding like a commercial SORP. I do appreciate your perspective, and like Ite's wisdom, its impossible to fault your logic.

My decision is ultimately mine to make and I do so with the best of intention, and with an understanding of my wife's past relationship experiences. My wife has endured a lot of pain in her past. Emotionally distant parents and a dysfunctional family growing up. She was a repeat runaway from the age of 14. Was in and out of forster care till 18. Her first sexual experience was as the victim of a rape. Every partner she has had in life had cheated on her physically which she then internalised as being somehow her fault, simply because it just kept happening to her. She had battled depression and suicidal thoughts for years, and though she doesn't know I have read them, I found private letters from her daughter from that time in her life where her daughter was pleading with her not to end her life. It is gut wrenching stuff to read.

At age 50 she meets me. For the first time in her life she has a loving family that embraces her and has a partner who supports her to grow emotionally. She has flourished in our relationship and grown so much as a person. She has been able to build up a strong sense of herself and an even stronger sense of us. She not only loves the life we share, she is in love with the life we share.

Dispite my addiction we have kept each other satisfied sexually and there is no sign that anything is outwardly wrong in our relationship whatsoever, other than I carry the heavy burden of my secret life that long pre-dates her involvement in my life and has nothing to do with anything she has done or not done.

I know that if I confess it will make me feel better, but it has the chance of sendinng her into a downward spiral of emotional dispair. She will realise she has lived yet another lie and will most likely internalise that and lead her into further self destructive thoughts. I love her and know her well enough to know that I can not possibly do that to her.
   
I am on the right path now and I feel strong and assured that porn is finally out of my life for good.

I do respect everyone's opinion on the issue of disclosure and I agree that truth and honesty is the preferred option, though I also accept there are mitigating circumstances and valid reasons where protecting a person from the truth might be the better course of action too.   
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 23, 2014, 01:03:47 PM
Time for me to chirp in on the conversation again.

Rider, I think if anybody should know the best it will be you. IMO go with your gut.
Having read all that you shared about your wife, and I guess it is only scratching the surface, I can not but think that you will do what is best. I know, as you do, that the time will com e for you to share it with her. But the way you will be doing it will be long after your reboot and getting this devil out of your system. Rebuild, as you are presently doing, your relationship on a solid foundation free of PMO. Your wife will know that there is something different and then you can seise the opportunity at the right time to share with her that because of your relationship and you being happy with her it was possible to rid this thing out of your life never to return.

Ite, Gracie & SORP Isn't this what the forum were created for. Exchanging knowledge, Ideas and opinions, helping others to take everything in consideration so that they can make up their minds, knowing that they still have the final say, but were  informed about all the possible pitfalls.

To all of you and the rest of the Reboot Nation

Stay strong and receive the Blessing!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 23, 2014, 07:48:59 PM
The intent was not to shut rider down.  The intent is to show that people do find out about the porn use.  It cannot be hidden forever.  I was like his wife with a bunch of stuff. (child abuse, child sex abuse, rape, domestice etc.) I can tell you that if my husband came to me and said hallelujah I am healed and oh by the way for x number of years when I was with you I was a porn addict and I brought this with me but decided you would only be hurt by the knowledge.  I would be upset because he did not trust my love for him enough to tell me and kept the secret so he is just lumped with the abusers that made my life the way they wanted it to be.  Because dear men here, when you do not share you control the marriage.  You are making it what you want it to be.  It feels like with are not worth trusting.  This is why women have to take a step back.  What we thought our marriage was is not true.  This is why SORP is not taking responsibility for her husband's choices.  We all have to reach that point.  Because we want to share, we want to be two united against this thing. 

If two committed people each putting in 50 percent and yes I know it changes, this is just a math thing.  And one holds back 2 percent for themselves then we do not have the full 100 percent.   It is the little bits here and there that are held back that makes the foundation start to not look great.  It makes it easier to hold back. Secrets are not good because they are eventually found out.  And if you do not want to hurt someone, then don't keep them.  They wither in the light of day.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: rider654321 on September 23, 2014, 10:00:51 PM
Hi Gracie,

Firstly I want to say how sorry I am to hear you too went through those kind of things in your life  :(

I do get what your saying Gracie and I know your not trying to shut me down. I respect your honest input to the discussion though the closest agreement we're going to reach is to agree to disagree  :)

I do have to say that if I was to tell my wife that I had beaten the addiction, I would do so with far more tact and diplomacy than the words you've chosen to describe how such a conversation might go :o

Through our own life experiences each of us develops our own personal filter through which we see and evaluate things. I'm certain we both make decisions based on what we believe is best for the given set of circumstances as we know them at the time.

The important thing is I'm here to fix a problem I've had for years. It's my problem. I created it. I was the one that fuelled it over the years, and I was the one that became seemingly powerless to ever stop it.

I'm here now to fix the problem and for the first time I have the right information, the right tools and the right mindset. And importantly, I now know "why" all of my previous attempts to quit failed.

What matters is I am here and I'm making serious progress in the right direction and maybe my journey might even encourage others who are walking the same path?     
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 23, 2014, 11:50:48 PM
Quote
If two committed people each putting in 50 percent and yes I know it changes, this is just a math thing.  And one holds back 2 percent for themselves then we do not have the full 100 percent.

The math does not work like this in a marriage. For each to put in 50% will and can not work.

Each must put in 100% for the math in a marriage to add up to 100% 8)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 24, 2014, 06:30:15 AM
Okay we will split the math hairs.  One that thinks their marriage is a certain way gives 100%  but the other because of their need to keep a secret gives 98% or 90 or what ever just to keep that secret is not 100 percent committed because there is a secret that affects the marriage pretty directly.  Then that person says I only kept this secret to protect you.  The point is that is not what is happening.  The secret keeper is protecting themselves so they do not experience the pain of dealing with the issue.  This can be about any secret not just porn.  It can be about money, family, jobs anything. The secret keeper is controlling the marriage they are controlling the outcome so that when the secret is told it is at the best time for them to tell.  All in the name of protection. 

Even coming from an abusive background, having everything out in the open about anything is much better than trying to guess.  Mainly because we lived a life of secrets.  And if people feel responsible for someone's pain they probably are causing some pain.  Talk about it and then help each other.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: SO Reboot Partner on September 24, 2014, 06:45:16 AM
Quote
If two committed people each putting in 50 percent and yes I know it changes, this is just a math thing.  And one holds back 2 percent for themselves then we do not have the full 100 percent.

The math does not work like this in a marriage. For each to put in 50% will and can not work.

Each must put in 100% for the math in a marriage to add up to 100% 8)

How much for the p addiction discount (or p-pilferage rate) in your marriage percentage participation paradigm? Gracie's point was that P diminished the marriage by 2%, I think it is closer to 92.6%
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: PMOVictory on September 24, 2014, 12:59:37 PM
Your points are adding up ladies!
Thank you  8)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on September 25, 2014, 09:30:14 PM
We try to help.  This addiction distorts so much thinking.  Just remember women are tougher than men think.  And from my work with victims I know the  truth can always be handled.  It may be painful, it may be tough but it is the truth.  Secrets and lies of omission are like vapor you never know what is in your hand and you can't see it or identify it.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on October 02, 2014, 07:02:50 PM
I am really affected by SORP's struggle here.  It is all of the women's struggles at one point or another in this walk with our husbands as we go through this mine field.  And that is what it is.  We never know the excuse or justification that might be thrown our way as "the reason".   And when our husband says nothing to our questions, then we work on what we think it is.  Then we just keep getting diversions thrown our way.  Whether things are said to hurt us, or protect us, or to explain to us, it is the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime. 

For all the young men that read these comments, be up front with the woman or girl, do not hide it.  Deal with it full on.  You do owe that to someone you love.   For the ones that have hidden it.  Figure out a way to be truthful.  Do not risk being discovered.  Man up.  We keep hearing on here about a man's nature, he can't help but notice whatever it is about women.  Show some respect.  You chose this woman your are with.   Why did you choose her?  Is it because she is you soul mate?  If yes, then bare your soul.  Go back to when you chose.  Why did she choose you?  Are you that exact same person?  Do you still look at her through the eyes or love or do you look at her with eyes of comparison? 

Do not throw smoke bombs.  Love her.  Love her.  Show her the respect she deserves.  and Love her, as she is.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 17, 2015, 07:59:38 AM
Gracie here.  I have been disappointed that a number of women have stopped posting on Reboot Nation.  I wish I knew why.  I stay because the hurt is so profound I would like men to understand their partner's response, to remember that there are two going through all of this.  So, I am going to post at least every two days things that I have learned during this time.  Today, I am going to post things that have changed with us and in our marriage.

The number one best thing is that he told me once I discovered it.  Maybe it wasn't the best way.  He is not a talker and sharer, but he became one for me.

1.  We go to bed at the same time every night.  We wait up if someone is at a meeting.------This is a great change!
2.  We hold each other now all through the night.  (We used to sleep on opposite sides of the bed)----This is a great change!
3.  We kiss hello and goodbye and hug every time one of us goes somewhere.---This is a great change!
4.  We go out----This is a great change!
5  We sit together on the couch.----This is a great change!
6.  We actually enjoy each other's company.-----One of the greatest changes.
7.  We tune in on each other's feelings in an instant.---This one is woohoo!
8.  We feel like a team that can get through anything.---Great thing.  For so long I felt all alone in dealing with things.
9.  We are connected in a way we never would have been before.---Great change.
10.  He holds me when I bottom out.

Now for some that are bleah that we are working on and we both understand.
1.  I have trouble traveling alone for my job.
2.  I have trouble being alone when he travels.  (not because he may look.)
3.  I still worry about how I look.
4.  I occasionally bottom out about all that happened.  (not as often, and it doesn't stay for as long.)
5.  ED comes along and whacks us in the head.

I know this is long. But I feel it is important. 
More later.



Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 17, 2015, 08:22:57 AM
Gracie here.  I have been disappointed that a number of women have stopped posting on Reboot Nation.  I wish I knew why.  I stay because the hurt is so profound I would like men to understand their partner's response, to remember that there are two going through all of this.  So, I am going to post at least every two days things that I have learned during this time.  Today, I am going to post things that have changed with us and in our marriage.

The number one best thing is that he told me once I discovered it.  Maybe it wasn't the best way.  He is not a talker and sharer, but he became one for me.

1.  We go to bed at the same time every night.  We wait up if someone is at a meeting.------This is a great change!
2.  We hold each other now all through the night.  (We used to sleep on opposite sides of the bed)----This is a great change!
3.  We kiss hello and goodbye and hug every time one of us goes somewhere.---This is a great change!
4.  We go out----This is a great change!
5  We sit together on the couch.----This is a great change!
6.  We actually enjoy each other's company.-----One of the greatest changes.
7.  We tune in on each other's feelings in an instant.---This one is woohoo!
8.  We feel like a team that can get through anything.---Great thing.  For so long I felt all alone in dealing with things.
9.  We are connected in a way we never would have been before.---Great change.
10.  He holds me when I bottom out.

Now for some that are bleah that we are working on and we both understand.
1.  I have trouble traveling alone for my job.
2.  I have trouble being alone when he travels.  (not because he may look.)
3.  I still worry about how I look.
4.  I occasionally bottom out about all that happened.  (not as often, and it doesn't stay for as long.)
5.  ED comes along and whacks us in the head.

I know this is long. But I feel it is important. 
More later.

Gracie,

Thanks for posting that. It's one of the most positive things I've seen in a long time.

I truly appreciate the female forum members and feel that you serve a very important function in helping men see the harm that porn and masturbation have caused to their mates.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 18, 2015, 07:37:23 AM
Well I am back posting today.  I was reading through some of the journals about porn choice popping back into rebooters brains early in the morning, having a "still moment", going to sleep at night, being alone etc.  A big light bulb went off.  When I wake up in the night, wake up early, quiet myself, driving etc., that is when start thinking about him choosing porn.  (by the way, when I say choosing porn it is because he kept it secret so it was a choice so knowing someone will be hurt and you have to keep the secret makes it a choice)Thinking about what we have been through.  Wondering about how bottomed out my self esteem is.  (A lot of that now is he couldn't talk to me and share himself) 

So apparently there are some SOs that have the same problem about intrusive thoughts and our brain trying to go back.  So in the morning I get up make some coffee and do a little cleaning.  I guess it just goes to show, it is two going through this at the same time.  Our intrusive thoughts are not the same, but they have the same motivation:   repairing ourselves and our relationships.   
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 18, 2015, 09:18:06 AM
Those "still moments" can be very frightening for everyone. It's just us and our inner demons. :)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Jimmy James on January 18, 2015, 12:55:33 PM
Great thread.  Very educational.

I know I need to confess to me wife, but so far I have been too gutless to do so.  I know I need to just grow pair and do it, but ...
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: STR on January 18, 2015, 03:49:36 PM
Hi Gracie -

One of the things that I have made a conscious effort to do (and that has also happened naturally, to some extent) since quitting porn has been to be more affectionate with my wife throughout the day. I try to hug and kiss her multiple times daily, which I didn't used to do (unless I thought it would lead to sex). I also try to think of her as a sexy woman, rather than focusing on her flaws. I tell myself periodically "I can't believe I get to make love with this woman! I'm a lucky man!", instead of dwelling on all of the women that I don't get to make love with.

All of this has had a huge (no pun intended) impact on curing my ED. For the past few months now my body has been working better than ever, and I get aroused just from kissing and touching her. I have learned from past experience that if I want my body to function properly with my wife, I have to keep thoughts of other women out of my head. And if I keep thoughts of other women out of my head, then my body functions great.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 18, 2015, 04:01:46 PM
Hi Gracie -

One of the things that I have made a conscious effort to do (and that has also happened naturally, to some extent) since quitting porn has been to be more affectionate with my wife throughout the day. I try to hug and kiss her multiple times daily, which I didn't used to do (unless I thought it would lead to sex). I also try to think of her as a sexy woman, rather than focusing on her flaws. I tell myself periodically "I can't believe I get to make love with this woman! I'm a lucky man!", instead of dwelling on all of the women that I don't get to make love with.

All of this has had a huge (no pun intended) impact on curing my ED. For the past few months now my body has been working better than ever, and I get aroused just from kissing and touching her. I have learned from past experience that if I want my body to function properly with my wife, I have to keep thoughts of other women out of my head. And if I keep thoughts of other women out of my head, then my body functions great.
Nicely stated, STR.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 19, 2015, 09:49:42 AM
Jimmy James,
It is not a matter of "growing a pair".  I wish it was.  It is a matter of sharing your burden.  It is a matter of two facing this together.  I know a lot of people do not feel that way.  But so many are here to heal ED.  All of this comes into focus once the porn affects the addict.  In the meantime it has been affecting all of your relationships.  It affects  the marriage most of all because there is always the porn being present.  Always.  And we know.  Whether we are able to voice it or not, we sense that there is something.  We can't quite figure out what it is, but we know its there.  Someday hopefully you will tell her.  I discovered as you know from my post.  Him caring enough to tell me would have meant so much more.  Instead I had to hear the excuses.  The I was planning to quit.  I knew I should quit.  The I don't know why I did it.  The I knew I should tell you.  The its not about you. (Which I wrote about in Porn SO)  Then there were the comments he said to rationalize the use.  The ones that indicated it all started with me.  Those things make it much harder when you start the hard work of healing a marriage.  And believe it or not your marriage needs healed.   

Being married and working through this is not easy.  But it is worth it!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 21, 2015, 07:40:35 AM
Well now that we have come so far, we have been talking about what happened and what things in our lives kept it going.  It is hard to hear that he was being very self centered and mean in his comments (during use).  It is harder still to discuss how those words have stuck like glue in my brain.  Super glue I might add.  So of course anytime ED happens, my brain goes to they must have been true.  And then to they are absolutely true.  That I think is why I am so rough on men that blame their wives.  My husband admitted he was so self centered that when I had neck surgery and became distraught during oral sex because I did not think I could do that anymore he was more concerned he would have no more blow jobs than he was about my health.  I was upset because it was and is something I really enjoy.  But hearing the depth of the self centeredness of him is tough.  (Not that way now).

Sooo we have started doing sensate focus.  Kind of like the reuniting.  We did the first body exploration and touching last night, no sexual touch.  Very relaxing and made us focus only on touch, not work, not problems, not anything else only touch.  I hope this helps us as we continue to grow in our relationship. 

Peace
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 21, 2015, 08:03:59 AM
It's amazing how self centered a man can become because of porn and masturbation.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 24, 2015, 06:01:03 AM
Well sensate focus works unless we get side-tracked.  Maybe not disciplined enough.  But we keep doing the exercises anyway, we enjoy them.  I was messaging another person and we were talking about married people going through this and the number of divorces we are seeing on forums.  So sad that something like this can simply go out and ruin a relationship.  Pictures and fantasy  can ruin a real live human relationship.

Sure there are other problems, but with porn which came first?  If someone has been masturbating since 10-12, then the porn came first.  Those images and that method of turning on and tuning out has become ingrained.  Then starts comparisons to wife, not enough sex, not daring enough, not attractive enough.  She starts getting treated different, she reacts.  Kids start getting treated different, they react.  Work becomes a pain. Life becomes and pain.  Then one day it all comes into focus.  It is discovered, or told about.  The years suddenly come into focus and things start to make sense.  The wife wants answers.  And sometimes it cannot be worked through. 

I know I felt at a certain point I did not think I could.  The betrayal was too great.  But the love was strong.  The road to healing was rough.  Like climbing Everest with no oxygen or food at times.  And there are still moments that it overwhelms me.  There are moments for him as well because he knew the depth of what he had done, and he thought I would leave because he failed me.  But we are still here.

It just saddens me because pictures and fantasies can ruin a marriage.

Peace
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 24, 2015, 09:22:22 AM
Well sensate focus works unless we get side-tracked.  Maybe not disciplined enough.  But we keep doing the exercises anyway, we enjoy them.  I was messaging another person and we were talking about married people going through this and the number of divorces we are seeing on forums.  So sad that something like this can simply go out and ruin a relationship.  Pictures and fantasy  can ruin a real live human relationship.

Sure there are other problems, but with porn which came first?  If someone has been masturbating since 10-12, then the porn came first.  Those images and that method of turning on and tuning out has become ingrained.  Then starts comparisons to wife, not enough sex, not daring enough, not attractive enough.  She starts getting treated different, she reacts.  Kids start getting treated different, they react.  Work becomes a pain. Life becomes and pain.  Then one day it all comes into focus.  It is discovered, or told about.  The years suddenly come into focus and things start to make sense.  The wife wants answers.  And sometimes it cannot be worked through. 

I know I felt at a certain point I did not think I could.  The betrayal was too great.  But the love was strong.  The road to healing was rough.  Like climbing Everest with no oxygen or food at times.  And there are still moments that it overwhelms me.  There are moments for him as well because he knew the depth of what he had done, and he thought I would leave because he failed me.  But we are still here.

It just saddens me because pictures and fantasies can ruin a marriage.

Peace
It's an unbelievably dangerous force. My life has been ruined by it; literally. The cost, in dollars, is well into six figures, perhaps even seven figures. As I approach retirement I am still paying on a mortgage and have nearly $100,000 to go. Had I not destroyed my marriage my for,dr home would be paid off by now. My ex-wife's finances are, to the best of my knowledge, in shambles as well, probably worse than my own. So now we're up to seven figures, no doubt. But there's another failed marriage in my history and negative effects for her so let's toss in the price of another home there as well and were sprinting towards a mil' and a half that my little "hobby" has cost.

I suspect that masturbation plays a huge role in the numbers of divorces that occur these days. Think of it like this; it's no secret that most men will do damn near anything to obtain the favors of a sex partner. If they shunt their sexual energy via masturbation this force of attraction is diverted away from their respective spouses, so the incentive to ride out the normal ips and downs of marriage is diminished. Porn and masturbation, undoubtedly, has an inestimable social cost.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: STR on January 24, 2015, 09:44:15 AM
There was a strip club in my hometown when I was young with a sign out front that said "Harmless visual stimuli".

I never went into the club, but the message on that sign really affected me. I spent most of my life believing that porn was harmless, and that I wasn't hurting anyone by looking at it. I didn't realize the damage that PMO was causing to my marriage until I learned about PIED, but PIED was really only a symptom of a greater problem that involved a rupture in the emotional intimacy that should have existed between my wife and I but didn't because of my "harmless" PMO habit...
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 26, 2015, 07:32:54 AM
Yes, Harmless visual stimuli.  But what does it do?  It sometimes shows you what you can't have.  It shows you what you don't have.  It shows you unrealistic visions of women.  (ie constantly turned on wanting sex)  It shows you that your wife is not what you want. 

For everybody that says to me it is only looking and looking is okay because there is no touching, I now reply are you touching yourself?  Because then you are also thinking about them touching you, so there is touching.  So it is not okay. 

Choose the one you are with!  You will be rewarded!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 26, 2015, 07:59:39 AM
Yes, Harmless visual stimuli.  But what does it do?  It sometimes shows you what you can't have.  It shows you what you don't have.  It shows you unrealistic visions of women.  (ie constantly turned on wanting sex)  It shows you that your wife is not what you want. 

For everybody that says to me it is only looking and looking is okay because there is no touching, I now reply are you touching yourself?  Because then you are also thinking about them touching you, so there is touching.  So it is not okay. 

Choose the one you are with!  You will be rewarded!
Agreed!  As I see it, the matter comes down to seeking sexual excitement without a partner. That can't work.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Bibbity on January 26, 2015, 01:08:29 PM
Gracie here.  I have been disappointed that a number of women have stopped posting on Reboot Nation.  I wish I knew why.  I stay because the hurt is so profound I would like men to understand their partner's response, to remember that there are two going through all of this....

Hi Gracie!  I know this post was not intended for me necessarily but I did stop posting for quite a while and mainly because it was affecting my mental health.  It is very hard to try and try to help people who do not want to change, it's hard to read some of the things on here and not cry yourself to sleep at night and it's especially hard to be reminded of the type of world my daughters are going to grow up in.  I am not one to put my head in the sand but sometimes we need a break from that pit of despair so we can adjust our lens on the world in a more realistic way.

Anyway I may or may not continue to post but I certainly wish everyone all the best :)
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 26, 2015, 09:26:44 PM
Bibbity,
Not targeted at the women.  Was talking about how hard it is to be a woman posting here for the exact reasons you stated.  Men worrying about ED not relationship so much.  Yes it is hard to be here.  I sometimes do not post for the same reason.  Mental health.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Bibbity on January 27, 2015, 08:32:01 AM
Bibbity,
Not targeted at the women.  Was talking about how hard it is to be a woman posting here for the exact reasons you stated.  Men worrying about ED not relationship so much.  Yes it is hard to be here.  I sometimes do not post for the same reason.  Mental health.

Yes!  It is very hard to see men talking about using women to reboot or talk about how ED is ruining their relationships when we know it's not about the ED.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 27, 2015, 10:14:26 AM
Bibbity,
Not targeted at the women.  Was talking about how hard it is to be a woman posting here for the exact reasons you stated.  Men worrying about ED not relationship so much.  Yes it is hard to be here.  I sometimes do not post for the same reason.  Mental health.

Yes!  It is very hard to see men talking about using women to reboot or talk about how ED is ruining their relationships when we know it's not about the ED.
One observation I've made is that some people come here to fix ED, others come to fix their lives. I think that the second group will be more successful.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: STR on January 27, 2015, 12:07:34 PM
Quote
One observation I've made is that some people come here to fix ED, others come to fix their lives. I think that the second group will be more successful.

In my case, I had always tried (but failed) to fix my life, and it wasn't until I realized I was suffering from PIED that I found YBR and started trying to fix my ED. Before long I realized that my ED was a symptom of a much bigger problem, and so I started trying to fix that problem.

Now that I have fixed my relationship problems with my wife, my ED has gone away and we are happier than we have ever been.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: chiefmitch88 on January 27, 2015, 12:49:18 PM
lte, I agree that the second group will be more successful. Do you think there might be an effective way to help move more of the ED obsessers from column A into the life rebooters of column B? There seems to be a lot of focusing on a problem rather than creating a solution. Perhaps there is a gap in information here that neglects the individual's necessity for evaluating the escapist and obsessive tendencies of the addict. Whereby we just continue to replace one addiction/obsession for another. (i.e Sex/Objectification,Using women to rewire, blaming the world for our problems, whining for sympathy, resisting acceptance, etc).

Granted, there are a good number of men in the forum who are single. They might simply need the tools to get themselves into the dating pool. There are plenty of handy facts and figures to show them how to overcome that issue. There are people out there who will use that knowledge for malicious intent and seek only to become pick up artists. Knowledge is power, you can't refute that. Ultimately, they will find emptiness at the end of that road as well and find themselves right back where they started. I pray for those poor souls. I feel that we can teach our young women to spot these sorts of men. We can also teach them that a relationship is not the pinnacle of existence as the media brainwashes us into believing.

Young women are put through the ringer of our society and rarely come out the other side whole. Numbers on sexual assault and rape are astronomical. My wife can be counted among those statistics. It has affected her in ways that I cannot begin to fathom. Also, her father was not around during her childhood because he was a philanderer of epic proportions.  She is my family though, I love her. I still don't feel that I grasp all the pain I caused her with my addiction. And I know that I would benefit greatly from some information that addresses issues such as the effects of sexual assault on the human brain or codependency in relation to sexual addictions. Or how to broach discussions with the opposite sex that uncover unhealthy expectations for their SO.

I know when I first started my reboot I made the mistake of rebooting for my sex life alone. It took failing several times to recognize that I allowed many areas of my life to deteriorate. My career didn't fulfill me, I had no self-confidence, my marriage fell apart, one by one my friendships disappeared, life had become a grind. It takes many positive relationships to support one person and I put far too many expectations on my relationship with my SO. I expected her to be my everything. The thing they forget to tell you is that no one can be your everything. People can bring light to your life, yes, but it takes a village to help us each find our path.

Some people are finding that village for the first time here. I choose not to believe in lost causes. Each individual has a unique story and by classifying them within the hopeless column A we make them another number that isn't deserving of our compassion. If most are like me, they didn't understand that the choices they were making were chipping away at their foundations. I had come to accept that I was simply born lacking. Maybe by  expanding the information that RBN provides we may be able to help these people help themselves. They know they need help but the unique circumstance of each person that comes here to find help may prevent immediate success. By providing links to other resources that address physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual traumas we may be able to enlighten people to their story and help them to begin writing new chapters that are filled with contentment.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on January 27, 2015, 01:13:16 PM
lte, I agree that the second group will be more successful. Do you think there might be an effective way to help move more of the ED obsessers from column A into the life rebooters of column B? There seems to be a lot of focusing on a problem rather than creating a solution. Perhaps there is a gap in information here that neglects the individual's necessity for evaluating the escapist and obsessive tendencies of the addict. Whereby we just continue to replace one addiction/obsession for another. (i.e Sex/Objectification,Using women to rewire, blaming the world for our problems, whining for sympathy, resisting acceptance, etc).

Granted, there are a good number of men in the forum who are single. They might simply need the tools to get themselves into the dating pool. There are plenty of handy facts and figures to show them how to overcome that issue. There are people out there who will use that knowledge for malicious intent and seek only to become pick up artists. Knowledge is power, you can't refute that. Ultimately, they will find emptiness at the end of that road as well and find themselves right back where they started. I pray for those poor souls. I feel that we can teach our young women to spot these sorts of men. We can also teach them that a relationship is not the pinnacle of existence as the media brainwashes us into believing.
IMHO, the PUA culture, using women to rewire, etc, are just continuations of the same behaviors as PMO, it all points back to a single source. A person has to learn to be in control of their sexuality, it's that simple.

Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: chiefmitch88 on January 27, 2015, 02:37:51 PM
I don't dispute that. Anyone coming here knows that they must get their sexuality under control. But a messy sexuality might be an indicator of a messy life. Maybe those people never understood that they had any control. Obsessive/Compulsive personalities can probably relate to the feeling that the have no handle on their behavior. And after reading thousands of words from hundreds of rebooters I have come to find out that people in the midst of a difficult time don't feel that their problems are simple.

They may know that porn is bad, but if it is the only comfort they have ever known it is awfully hard to see that when they are watching their world crumble around them. If they have been brainwashed to self-identify through their sexuality the problem is deeper than the sexuality alone. They must go through adolescence from the beginning. You may be dealing with people with the emotional quotient of a 10 year old. We have hundreds of articles relating to the physiological response of the body and mind to porn addiction. The journals of the people here speak of the ways it affects our lives. Life coaching people toward a fulfilling purpose or calling might be an effective means of shifting rebooters into that higher gear that is required if they are to succeed.

Also, I feel you skirted around contemplating any other points I brought up in my previous post.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 27, 2015, 04:24:12 PM
Young women are put through the ringer of our society and rarely come out the other side whole. Numbers on sexual assault and rape are astronomical. My wife can be counted among those statistics. It has affected her in ways that I cannot begin to fathom. Also, her father was not around during her childhood because he was a philanderer of epic proportions.  She is my family though, I love her. I still don't feel that I grasp all the pain I caused her with my addiction. And I know that I would benefit greatly from some information that addresses issues such as the effects of sexual assault on the human brain or codependency in relation to sexual addictions. Or how to broach discussions with the opposite sex that uncover unhealthy expectations for their SO.

I can tell you that sexual assault/abuse affects a lot of areas of a survivor's life.  Sometimes it depends on the age that the abuse occurred and what the abuse was and how long it went on.  Each person is unique.  If you let me know some of the things you would like to know I can post links to the information. When you talk about how to broach discussions, who is the person that has unhealthy expectations?  The addict or their partner?  I can tell you the things that worked in my situation.  Because it is very difficult to work through.

I think that for the single men, the answer is for the older ones here to continue to stress that the time devoted to sex in a relationship is at most an hour a day.  (I know it is less most of the time) but what is going on the other 23 hours a day?  And talk about the true importance of building a life together, getting to know someone before sex realizing that the brain interaction is more important.  The communication, the ability to talk.  I do not think guys get that now.  The more secure people are in their relationship the more everything else falls into place. 

I can tell you that telling my husband what was needed for me to feel secure was very difficult.  I knew I ran the risk of losing him forever if he did not understand what I needed to stay.  But I knew I could not continue on as it was.  Fortunately he got it.  However, the smoke bombs continued, and even now I have to call him on it sometimes.  It takes a lot of strength.  But, chiefmitch, maybe we can change this.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: chiefmitch88 on January 27, 2015, 05:44:07 PM
@Gracie

I would be interested to see some reports on how and adolescent girl might be affected by being molested by older male guardians. Also, the effects of growing up without much in the way of a father figure.

Regarding the relationship expectations I feel there are a few on both sides. She is a codependent and is in the beginning stages of learning to handle it. As you  may know it is an incredibly dynamic and sometimes convoluted issue. I am struggling with finding patience while she works through it. I feel that area is where my expectations are off base. I have a tackle it head on mentality. From  my perspective, her codependency is the major issue affecting our ability to communicate openly. As an addict, I am doing my best to be an open book while she is the sort that has trouble addressing unsavory emotions or scars from the past. As a codependent i believe she has associated feeling bad with being wrong or out of sorts in some way. I also have my suspicions about her equating her sexual desirability with her own self worth. As you might expect, this theory has been met with some major opposition. I have tried to talk to her about it from dozens of different angles and it always ends in a fight. Probably because, as her spouse and an addict, she feels so powerless that she resorts to anger and putting up walls. Time is likely what is required on my part.

On her part, I feel that her constant need for love and affection while I am trying to battle this addiction is unrealistic. I feel that I am on a razors edge around her and at the slightest hint of my disapproval she is touched off. I feel as though I must be the fairy tale prince charming who put his sentences together with perfect syntax or run the risk of having her pick it apart to find something she can ultimately blame on me. Perhaps I caused her so much pain with my addiction and the associated behaviors that she became someone she could no longer trust. I can get that, but how do we get over the hump to the point where she will be open and honest with me?
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 28, 2015, 07:30:17 PM
What happens when someone is sexually abused at the childhood level often is that their development freezes at that time in a lot of ways.  You may look at how she handles things and see that she is like a teen in her responses.  It is difficult for her to reason or apply logic to problems.  Teens are driven by emotion and you may also see that reflected in how she views life. Being abused by people who should protect you causes a major mind f**k.  It causes huge trust issues and creates difficulty when the person looks for an attachment figure.  Because in the past the attachment was ruined by being used.

So now we come to the porn addiction.  She developed an attachment to you as her husband.  And I can tell you and you have probably read in my posts, that we feel not enough.  It interrupts how we feel about ourselves, our husbands and our marriage.  It is difficult to discuss this calmly because of the fear of rejection.  And yes as co dependents the fear is being bad and wrong.  And all SOs of PAs want to know we are desireable but as she has had the sexual abuse it is even more important.  The men who "loved her" had sexual contact with her.  And something was chosen over her. 

Her constant need for love and affection is so she can feel attached.  She needs to feel that above all else, otherwise she feels adrift. 

So what can you do?  My husband asked me what I needed to feel secure.  1.  So we texted.  In the beginning I needed LOTS of texts.  I wanted to know he was thinking about me.  Some were love you.  Some were steamy.   2.  We started a love song list on Spotify.  It was fun and interesting to find songs that expressed our feelings.  3.  We went to bed together every night at the same time.  and we sleep naked.  4.  Kisses hello and goodbye and real kisses not pecks.  5.  We sit together on the couch, no sitting separate.  6.  We hold hands walking in public.  7.  We got rid of Directv  he was a Cinemax watcher.    These were all non-sexual and made us connect.

We also read things about porn addiction together both for addicts and SOs.  These were sitting and talking to each other.

 http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/on-marrying-a-survivor-of-childhood-sexual-abuse/278967/ 
This is about a male survivor but I think you will see some useful information.  I will gather more information and link you to it tomorrow.
 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: chiefmitch88 on January 28, 2015, 09:41:19 PM
Do you feel these are things I can bring up in conversation? I truly believe that if I did it would be met with pure hostility...
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 29, 2015, 07:42:05 AM
Just say   I want you to feel secure, what do you need to feel secure.  Then if she doesn't know or is hesitant, pick a few and ask would this help?  Like would it help if I was in bed next to you instead of staying up.  Ask can we kiss hello and goodbye.  Say I miss holding hands.  Ask do you remember some of the songs that we liked when we were dating.  Let's see how many we can remember.  The non-sexual things will help her know this isn't "just for sex"  it will help her attach.  With attachment after a while there will come intimacy and then will come sex on a different level.  She will notice that it is different.    Can you pm me what state you live in?  There may be free help for her in working through the past trauma.

Peace
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on January 31, 2015, 07:45:58 AM
I love this forum, it enables us all to get help and support regardless of what is going on.  Sometimes it helps us see things from the other side.  We finally went to Dr. over the ED.  Turns out Dr. thinks it is his heart medication.  So we have Cialis.  He did not want to use meds because he felt it was a crutch.  I encouraged him to talk to Doc to make sure it wasn't physiological.  It was good to see him have confidence again.  And good to know it was a physical thing.  Helps both of us mentally. 

BTW I was listening to a Sirius XM program on Sexuality, they had two docs one male and one female.  A woman called in about men wanting to "spread their seed" and can they be monogamous.  The male doc actually said it was a woman's duty to be sexy and alluring her whole life for her man.  He made no mention of the man making her the center of his life. Or helping her feel sexy.  Only the woman being trim and fit and sexy and alluring and keeping herself up.  We women can't win with attitudes like this. 

That's all on my ramblings for now.

Peace
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on February 04, 2015, 08:15:00 AM
I wish that more women participated in this forum on an ongoing basis.  There is so much need for them to be here.  There is a need for them to all know there is hope.  That there is healing.  That they can get through to the other side.  I have seen a lot of men truly grow and become better husbands, boyfriends as a result of staying to course.  The ones that seem to do best are the ones that realize that intimacy is the key.  That letting your partner into your world is worth its weight in gold.  My husband no longer has the wall up that he stays behind and is "strong".  He shares, he is more relaxed than he has ever been.  I too have learned that I now have a husband I can share things with and he listens.  It has taken me three years to really get to where I feel I am on the far side of this addiction.  It has taken a lot of stepping out of my comfort zone emotionally to get here.  But, it was worth it.  I am glad he stepped out of his comfort zone as well.  He has consistently said, "Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes."  And he has lived those words.

Peace
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on February 04, 2015, 09:24:03 AM
I wish that more women participated in this forum on an ongoing basis.  There is so much need for them to be here.  There is a need for them to all know there is hope.  That there is healing.  That they can get through to the other side.  I have seen a lot of men truly grow and become better husbands, boyfriends as a result of staying to course.  The ones that seem to do best are the ones that realize that intimacy is the key.  That letting your partner into your world is worth its weight in gold.  My husband no longer has the wall up that he stays behind and is "strong".  He shares, he is more relaxed than he has ever been.  I too have learned that I now have a husband I can share things with and he listens.  It has taken me three years to really get to where I feel I am on the far side of this addiction.  It has taken a lot of stepping out of my comfort zone emotionally to get here.  But, it was worth it.  I am glad he stepped out of his comfort zone as well.  He has consistently said, "Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes."  And he has lived those words.

Peace

Sadly, in our society, there is a lot of pressure to,separate love from sex. I see this as a source of many problems. People used to search for someone to love and then they had sex. Nowadays, many people have sex early in relationships and hope that eventually they will find a permanent mate among their lovers. I think that this has hurt us in many ways.

People that use this approach may never really learn to,be in control of their emotions or their sexual desires. If they do find a relationship that could be enduring they may not possess the skils required to make it work. It's easy to fall back into old patterns and just move along instead of working out the problems. At the end of the day, these people call themselves serial monogamists, but, IMHO, this is just a buzz-phrase design to mask the reality of a life of incessant wandering.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on February 12, 2015, 09:32:05 AM
Well I have not posted for a bit.  We are doing great.  Although the other day we discussed how many areas of our life were affected during his PA.  Talked about the effects on us, the kids, doing things to our house.  How checked out he was.  Those hindsight glasses are like lit flashing arrows pointing out the things that we SOs did not understand that were different and did not know why.   

If only people knew, it is like throwing a pebble in to a still pond and watching the ripples go on and on and on.  So on discovery for me it was survival mode.  My survival, the survival of our relationship.  At that moment and for a long time after it does not sink in that this affected absolutely everything.  Then as we start to re-bond at the broken places and "renovate", we start seeing the other things.  Then sometimes we (both of us) grieve the lost time.  Then we make a stronger commitment to this "new relationship" that we have with each other.  For him he is surprised that sex is not the most important thing anymore.  It helps us bond and we do not neglect this part of our relationship anymore.  But, it is not the be all end all.  We are important to each other in a deeper way.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on February 12, 2015, 11:14:23 AM
Well I have not posted for a bit.  We are doing great.  Although the other day we discussed how many areas of our life were affected during his PA.  Talked about the effects on us, the kids, doing things to our house.  How checked out he was.  Those hindsight glasses are like lit flashing arrows pointing out the things that we SOs did not understand that were different and did not know why.   

If only people knew, it is like throwing a pebble in to a still pond and watching the ripples go on and on and on.  So on discovery for me it was survival mode.  My survival, the survival of our relationship.  At that moment and for a long time after it does not sink in that this affected absolutely everything.  Then as we start to re-bond at the broken places and "renovate", we start seeing the other things. Then sometimes we (both of us) grieve the lost time.   Then we make a stronger commitment to this "new relationship" that we have with each other.  For him he is surprised that sex is not the most important thing anymore.  It helps us bond and we do not neglect this part of our relationship anymore.  But, it is not the be all end all.  We are important to each other in a deeper way.
The part I italicized is beautiful, truly poetic.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on February 27, 2015, 04:10:38 PM
I have made it through two weeks of sickness without going down the rabbit hole.  This is a record! (during a sick time)  And even no kissing time on a regular basis.  Which is my favorite.  We have truly come far!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 04, 2015, 01:20:28 PM
I would like to share that my husband was on an overnight trip and I did not worry.  At all!  I am so proud.  I did not have to call him a lot or text a bunch it was all wonderfully normal.  And I slept.  I did not keep waking up did not have trouble going to sleep.  This is a big step for me. 

So happy with how far he and I have come!  Celebration!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: jkkk on March 04, 2015, 07:49:58 PM
:)

So happy for you!
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 05, 2015, 12:10:08 AM
I would like to share that my husband was on an overnight trip and I did not worry.  At all!  I am so proud.  I did not have to call him a lot or text a bunch it was all wonderfully normal.  And I slept.  I did not keep waking up did not have trouble going to sleep.  This is a big step for me. 

So happy with how far he and I have come!  Celebration!

Congratulations to both of you.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: So Reboot Partner on March 05, 2015, 05:40:33 PM
I would like to share that my husband was on an overnight trip and I did not worry.  At all!  I am so proud.  I did not have to call him a lot or text a bunch it was all wonderfully normal.  And I slept.  I did not keep waking up did not have trouble going to sleep.  This is a big step for me. 

So happy with how far he and I have come!  Celebration!

Hugs. This is a big deal.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 16, 2015, 10:46:03 PM
Today my husband had some surgery.  I noticed how we took care of each other.  Without effort.  We truly care for each other and I was happy to get him the things he needs and he wanted caresses to make him feel better.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 16, 2015, 11:43:21 PM
Today my husband had some surgery.  I noticed how we took care of each other.  Without effort.  We truly care for each other and I was happy to get him the things he needs and he wanted caresses to make him feel better.
That's the way it's supposed to be.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 17, 2015, 10:56:19 PM
I know that it is the way it is supposed to be.  But it was not that way for a number of years.  We would each say we like to be alone and take care of ourselves  /  In retrospect, we were no connecting.  At All.  And now without effort we are there for each other.!! 

Amazing how the "normal" feels so amazing@
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: lte on March 18, 2015, 11:06:22 PM
I know that it is the way it is supposed to be.  But it was not that way for a number of years.  We would each say we like to be alone and take care of ourselves  /  In retrospect, we were no connecting.  At All.  And now without effort we are there for each other.!! 

Amazing how the "normal" feels so amazing@
In the final analysis, a marriage is a very good friendship. Cooperation, etc, are a huge part of marriage.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 19, 2015, 05:42:28 PM
Thanks for those kind words.  He is still not feeling well.  We talked how his use REALLY escalated when I had surgery.  And I said how even now having a solo experience with by my side was not needed.  I would wait for him.  We talked about how porn was his go to and how he ignored me pretty much every day as I recovered. 

Then we discussed the statistics that show when a wife gets ill and needs taken care of divorce is often the outcome.  When a man gets ill and needs care the marriage continues.  It follows some of the comments that show up here on Reboot.  Wife unavailable, unwilling etc.  Why the difference?   I do not know.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Gracie on March 29, 2015, 07:24:23 AM
We have had some interesting talks on how with his surgery I do not need to turn to porn to handle what is going on.  Then we talk about what drove his need to turn to porn even more during that time.  And then compare it with the research that is showing that when a wife is ill the marriage is more likely to end in divorce but if the husband is ill the women stay with their man.

What drives this difference?  Any thoughts? 
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: Steam rolled on April 14, 2015, 01:09:00 PM


Amazing how the "normal" feels so amazing@

Glad to hear things are going good, you are a great person and admire your strength.


We have had some interesting talks on how with his surgery I do not need to turn to porn to handle what is going on.  Then we talk about what drove his need to turn to porn even more during that time.  And then compare it with the research that is showing that when a wife is ill the marriage is more likely to end in divorce but if the husband is ill the women stay with their man.

What drives this difference?  Any thoughts?

Our motherly instinct is strong! wouldn't want it any other way.
Title: Re: Surprise
Post by: hoopvol on August 20, 2015, 02:00:40 PM
Hi Gracie,
I 've come across your name many times on this forum. Just wanted to say I admire the way you are coping and that your support and your posts give many partners hope! I 'll try to do my share as well, but for now I just want to say: thank you!!