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Topics - Linus

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Ages 40 and up / Choose life
« on: March 29, 2015, 05:03:04 AM »
OK, that's a direct steal from Danny Boyle's awesome 1996 movie "Trainspotting", about a Glasgow drug addict's struggle for ultimate redemption and a better life, but it seems pretty appropriate.

I'm 49, and porn has severely compromised most aspects of my adult life.

I found some pretty extreme material when I was about 14 and just starting puberty. My father travelled, and it was his. That started and cemented a lifelong relationship with porn, masturbation, and guilt which has held me inside it's confines since.

I've enjoyed a successful career, owned a business, met and married a great woman, had two kids (now 20 and 17), so all is not despair. But as I now recognise, porn was always there, chipping away and slowly but inexorably taking over. The major turning point was when the internet helpfully delivered it straight to my desktop, in my private room at home. No more running the gauntlet at the local video store, which by design restricted porn use. Now it was a 24/7 open pathway to an ever-escalating path of "interesting" stuff.

So over the last 10-12 years, it has become an omnipresent ogre.

After the kids were born, parenthood took over, my wife and I became Family Managers and Parents as opposed to lovers/partners. Her interest in sex declined, my porn use increased, pathetically justified in my mind as better than an affair (though I sampled that poisoned chalice on occasion also). So our relationship changed, and we never got it back.

By the time we had more time, it seemed too late. Our habits were nailed. She goes to bed at a normal time and I would then hit the internet. One year I counted we had sex 8 times. She's not stupid, and she knows about the porn use I think.

My suspicion is my story is not unusual.

Porn has siphoned away our physical relationship, and it's my fault. Not hers. I find her attractive, but now have ED issues.
I'm lonely in our marriage, though people probably see us as a perfect, rock-solid couple. The lack of any genuine physicality leaves me feeling so alone, despite the fact that we spend a significant amount of time together. It's insidious.

I've become increasingly depressed, as the state of the relationship is a direct result of my porn use, which she probably (and rightly) resents, doesn't understand and creates an underlying tension between us, which we both ignore hoping it will go away. If I ever commence sex, she never refuses, but I can't ever recall her initiating sex, even though she did when we were young. I feel like she is repulsed by me, from a mental perspective, which of course sends me into a deeper spiral of guilt/depression/porn.

I justify porn use to myself by saying that if she does not find me attractive, it's better than an affair. Or perhaps it's just an outcome of her low (normal?) sex drive, and my high one? That's a great justification for PMO for me, because it "explains" the situation between my wife and I.  But I realise now that's all bullshit, and I am where I am probably largely due to my inability to maintain a normal relationship anymore.

Porn seems to have extracted all the joy from life. It has:
1] slowly eaten away at sex with my wife
2] made me feel guilty and depressed
3] stopped my ability to think creatively, to concentrate, to achieve to the level I previously did in my professional role
4] wasted so much time!

I've also recently been made redundant after a lengthy period with the same firm (see 3 above!), and have yet to source a new role.

I'm now at a point where suicidal thoughts are becoming more and more prevalent. I understand the warning signs, during a particularly stressful work period 9 years ago, where I also had a brief affair with my boss, I ended up seeing a therapist for 6 sessions. He was very good, I ended the affair but never spoke to him about the biggest issue, which was my addiction to porn. I'm now starting to actualise the thinking about how to physically go about ending life - which is a red flag I know.

So choices are take the easy option and end things. Or try to effect change.

Idle hands are the Devil's playground, as Gabe confirmed, and a redundancy and a porn addiction are not great bedfellows. But I did also use the time to read a book or two, and Norman Rosenthal's "The Gift of Adversity" started a chain of thinking around depression issues, and how addiction disorders are related. That sent me to a few YouTube videos, where the C4 documentary talked about Jon E Grant, and a link to YBOP.

What a revelation. The 18 minutes I spent watching Gabe Deem dispelling porn myths was like watching my entire life get checked off, box by box. Finally, a site which doesn't mention religion, and directly addresses the biggest issue in my life. Where has this site been? I studied the site, looked at RebootNation, read the stories, and realised there may be another way out - just maybe.

And that brings me to today, which I hope is the start of a new chapter in my life. I want the fog to lift, I want to gain a clearer head, better thinking, concentration, a genuine appreciation for the truly joyful things in life. But most of all, I don't want to be lonely in my marriage anymore. I know the journey will be long, and tough, and I've failed previously when trying to give up porn.

But I hope that with better thinking, a greater understanding of the issues now thanks to this site, and a recognition that it's achieve or die, I'll make it.  I guess we'll see.

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