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Topics - metal22

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Porn Addiction / Thoughts on sobriety versus recovery
« on: June 01, 2020, 09:50:49 PM »
So I have been on this site for quite awhile.  It was about 1 month from 4 years ago when my wife discovered the depth and perversion of my porn addiction.  It's been a long road for both of us but I believe we have grown from it. 
I think it was her that found this site.  What a life saver for me.  I did the hard 90 day reboot.  I had been addicted for probably about 15 years,  and had been a fairly heavy user.  It was rough,  but the threat of divorce and losing my family kept me from relapsing.  After probably day 30 things got a bit easier,  though urges and such would come in waves of a day or so.  I had no idea what triggered them,  they just came and went.  By day 90 much of the old habits had been eased,  and I was able to sort of reach a semblance of normality.
There was nothing wrong for me in striving for sobriety in those first 90 days.  My brain had been all messed up,  I didn't even feel too much like a human.  I don't feel like I was in any shape to do any soul searching.  The problem for me was at the 90 days I became complacent.  I felt like I had accomplished what I set out to do ( which technically I did).  But what I didn't do was reach for recovery.  I was sober,  but that was about all.
Our sex life didn't change much.  Her complaints about my involvement with the kids didn't change.  I still wasn't putting her first at all,  and she felt unloved.  Things continued like this for quite some time.  She would get upset and confront me,  I'd say I would change but it would last about 2 weeks and things would go back to the way they had been.  I felt happy with the way things were,  even if my family suffered.  It seems heartless to say this,  but honestly I believe that is the way of the addict.  I only wanted to change enough to keep people from getting upset with me.
So recently I relapsed.  It felt like the old things all came back.  I lied when confronted,  and only when she wouldn't give up I finally trickled the information out.  This time she said something to me that somehow stuck.  She said " If you can spend time on all these other 'interests' of yours why not your family?"  She had said this before,  but this time I thought about it.  "Yeah,  why haven't I"? I thought to myself.
I think recovery is a lifelong process.  I will always be a porn addict,  and both my wife and I have come to accept that.  I will be a recovering one,  but one nonetheless.  I started listening to podcasts about intimacy,  marriage and a healthy sex life.  I realized that I had no sex real education,  just one semester class as a snarky high school freshman,  and porn.  I honestly had no idea how to be really intimate,  to enjoy my wife and for her to enjoy me as a whole person,  not some objectified object.  Part of the reason I never initiated sex was I was afraid.  Although I had recovered from PIED,  I still carried that anxiety of not being able to perform.  I also was afraid that what I might do was too porn related,  or that my PE would happen and I would be embarrassed.  Pretty stupid for a guy married for over 15 years right?
Well, anyway I've got to start somewhere,  so at the beginning might be the best spot.  I've been changing my mindset on this,  relaxing and most importantly communicating about how I feel,  and asking her how she feels.  I think I'm more excited about our sex life than I have ever been.  Many of the things that used to hang over me are fading;  my insecurities,  my anxieties and hangups.  I'm not here all the way,  but I'm working to get there.  I hope that I can give my wife my whole me,  the thing she deserved 16 years ago.  I still screw up,  but with honest communication I think she is also able to know how I feel and give me grace and forgiveness.
Anyway,  there aren't a whole lot of "veterans" on the site.  I hope my contributions help.

Ages 30-39 / Starting over with a journal after 4 years...
« on: April 30, 2020, 07:30:27 PM »
Hi guys,
I thought that I had made it!  I went about 4 years without a relapse,  but here I am.  I believe I have learned a lot,  as well as my spouse during these 4 years.  I am ashamed to say that I need a lot more growth.  I wish I had just admitted to her about my relapse,  and then when she suspected I still lied!  Ugh!  It makes me feel like I'm back to square one again.  My addiction has really challenged my family,  and almost broke us apart 4 years ago.  Through the grace of my SO she stayed with me,  even when things looked bleak,  and I was a total jerk.  I don't know if I can express how disappointed it is to think you have finally made it and then to just fall back in the hole just like before.
I didn't value my marriage during the PMO days.  I took things for granted,  and basically eroded the marriage.  I've been in a daze for the last couple days,  not processing my emotions,  but today I realized unlike last time,  I need to fight for this marriage!   We have had our rocky times,  but I just can't imagine my life without her.  I don't express this enough ( obviously I need to improve here) that she means so much to me.  We are like the best of friends,  mostly always enjoying the company of each other. 
And to be so stupid and throw this away?  What the hell is wrong with me?!  She deserves better.  The amount of damage I did to her before was astronomical,  and to put her through this again?  She may not want to stay with me over this,  but I'm going to fight for this anyway.
This is day 4.

Ages 30-39 / Okay, time for beating the second monster.
« on: September 18, 2017, 09:10:47 AM »
So I've decided to start a new journal for myself.  Although I'm a porn addict and always will be I'm coming to realize I have another character flaw that has a awfully close feeling to an addiction. 
That monster is my self absorbed way of life.  Its inherent in me,  been here my whole life.  It was patterned to me by my whole family growing up,  and its just continued.  Maybe thats partially why up until d-day I generally didnt have much remorse for my porn addiction. 
Ive given this character flaw some thought.  Ive read a couple books,  and made attempts at getting better but just like my porn addiction I think its best beat by constant reforcement by daily accounting (like in this journal) to myself and everyone here.  There is no "just changing my attitude" like I was flipping a switch.  I'd imagine some can do that but daily accountability is what works best for me.
I'd like to put down in words what my wife has set for boundaries for me and our relationship.  Then I can reflect on them daily and record my progress (and setbacks). 
So the three main things that she needs for recovery is:
*taking the initiative to discuss both of our recoveries
* scheduling date nights and more intimacy
* and complete truth and transparency
There are more things that I need to work on but starting here will get me to move forward,  and then I can stack more on as my better habits are built.

Porn Addiction / Cool poem about addiction
« on: June 19, 2017, 08:49:57 PM »
I heard this at the local SAA meeting and thought I'd share it with you guys:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Porn Addiction / my P Addiction and sociopathy?
« on: November 22, 2016, 09:09:26 PM »
So I've been recently contemplating this.  I'm not exactly sure why it's been consuming so much brain space recently but I thought I'd share my thoughts.  My SO has compared my PA to a bit of sociopathy.  At first I didn't know how to take it,  my perception of a sociopath is kinda scary.  But I did have to admit she had a point.  I had taken my PA to a pretty serious level;  using FB to cruise for people I know and fantasizing about them,  to even using a pair of panties I had found that I knew weren't my SO's.  I carried the lie for our entire marriage,  getting worse over time.  Looking at it now I felt like I carried a complete lack of empathy for anyone but myself.  Although I could justify it by "not hurting anyone" it was despicable what I did.  As I look back now I can't really understand it.  My SO has been very supportive to me and my recovery but she's struggled a lot with how I could do all that and live with myself.
So I've been pondering sociopathy.  Am I one?  I mean I feel extreme remorse for what I have done and put everyone through.  But seriously,  how could I have done that for 13 years?!?  Maybe there's more to me than I thought.
So here's a kindof definition that I looked up:
   Sociopaths are usually defined as people displaying anti social behavior which is mainly characterized by lack of empathy towards others that is coupled with display of abnormal moral conduct and inability to conform with the norms of the society. People suffering from antisocial personality disorder are often referred to as sociopaths. Some of the other characteristics that sociopaths may display are stealing, lying, lack of remorse for others and towards living beings, irresponsible behavior, impulsive behavior, drug or alcohol abuse, problems with the law, violating rights of others, aggressive behavior and much more.
Though no person is born with this disorder, the sociopathic personality disorder does involve a history of persistent anti social behavior during childhood before the age of 15 and if left untreated, this disorder continues into adulthood too. Sociopaths could also have been influenced by various environmental factors around the age of 15 that is also one of the main reasons for this disorder in individuals. Some of the environmental factors can include deprivation, sexual abuse, abandonment, emotional abuse, association with people who are antisocial, physical abuse and others. Though there are no distinct biological causes that have been identified as the main cause for this disorder, research suggest that for people suffering from sociopathic personality disorder, the part of the brain that is mainly responsible for an individual’s learning from his or her own mistakes and responding to fearful and sad facial expressions tends to be smaller than in a normal individual.
Please note I'm not trying to offend anyone here.  I'm just sharing my thoughts on this topic and how I personally feel.  One of the things that really stood out for me was the during childhood before the age of 15,  which I feel applies to many (including me).  I had zero understanding of porn,  yet unrestrictedly allowed access to it at a young age.  Although I don't exhibit particularly anti-social behaviors normally,  I feel like I have when involved with P.  It was like it somehow warped my perception and made allowed for a skewed moral code when applying to "my drug".  Although most people who met me liked me,  and felt like I'm an upstanding guy,  I carried my dirty little secret.  I never felt compulsed to say "rob a bank" or actually seriously hurt someone,  I do have to say I have lacked integrity with a lot of my life.  Lying to my SO was easy,  lying to an employer was easy.  So maybe I have some anti-social characteristics?
Here's a link to a counter point.
In it the author talks about her experience as a diagnosed sociopath.  In the end she says:
Recently I have been thinking that the real problem is not in getting “normal” people to believe that we’re better than they think, but in getting them to see that the “normal” ones are actually worse than they believe themselves to be. It is convenient to define normal as whatever you happen to be. No need to confront the possibility that maybe you aren’t as empathetic as you seem. Maybe your conscience doesn’t have quite the sway that you thought it did. Maybe you are both capable and incapable of much more than you had hoped. Maybe you have a lot more in common with sociopaths than you’d like to think. Maybe it is just one big long spectrum with only a few people at the extremes and the rest huddled closer to the middle.

So I'm past my 90 day reboot.  And I've been really pondering what life is,  after D-day and living with this lifelong addiction.  My perspective is from one who has a SO,  so I guess that's where I'm coming from.
I still have PIED.  It comes and it goes,  but it's always there.  Stress,  fatigue and other factors seem to play into it as well.  I'm not even sure if I will be 100%,  or what 100% actually is anymore.  But the way I feel is that my SO is hurting greatly not because of my bedroom performance,  but because of my blatant dishonesty and general lack of character.
So I encourage all of us to reflect on the people we are.  I do feel like majority of women would like a man with exemplary character.  I also feel like if the man they are with has bedroom issues,  but really is a great standup guy they could easily look past the negatives.  I'm sure there are plenty of women that just want to "hook up" and want a guy to perform,  and other than that they could care less,  but do we want to be with those women? 
As for recovery of an SO after D-day and the utter betrayal of their PA spouse?  I do feel there is hope.  It's a long hard road for both.  We as PAs have to take the time,  patience,  listening humbly,  and then exhibit a track record of rebuilding the trust.  This cannot be rebuilt in 90 days.  It's up to us to explain why it happened,  what it means and what we are going to do in the future.  A man of real character will take to opportunity to rise to the occasion and be excited to prove himself to the person he loves.  This is a opportunity to repair the damage,  to stand by the person you love, and be a better person than even he thought he could be.  He does this even with the knowledge that he may never see her trust 100% restored,  and the nature of the relationship is probably changed forever.  By us raising to the occasion we allow our SOs to work past their pain and trauma,  and maybe eventually find forgiveness for what we have done,  even though we don't deserve it.
The problem is ( at least the way I see it) is that if we were guys of great character we wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place.  We would been open and honest with our SOs from the beginning and they could have helped us recover,  and without their trauma.  If you are in my place,  you realize that P was just a symptom of larger issues.  I at the core lack character.  I don't trust people,  I have low expectations,  I see things with a pessimistic viewpoint,  I have been a chronic liar to everyone,  I'm quick to judge,  I lack forgiveness (even when I ask my SO to forgive) and the list goes on.  I was able to justify my P habits thinking like that.  I look back at the things I've done and am horrified at how I could have felt okay with doing those things.  What I've realized is I need to change myself.  It feels stupid to be 35 and working on the same things my children are doing,  but I've got to start somewhere.  What I've learned about PIED is that our brains are malleable,  and we have the ability to think however we want.  If I want to be a man of great character (and I do) I must train my brain to think like that.  It's a daily process with constant setbacks,  but if I don't focus on the goal of being a better person I will never get there.  I have accepted the fact that I may never be healed from PIED,  but what I do have control of is how I am about it.  I know that my wife would 1000 times want me to be a man of character,  then some self-loathing,  shameful creature but is an animal in bed.

**Forum Rules-Guidelines-Suggestions** / resolution issues?
« on: September 19, 2016, 08:13:31 PM »
So somehow I accidentally changed what I think is the resolution on this forum just for my computer.  The font is so small I can barely read it now.  Anyone know how to change the resolution for this forum viewing?  I can't figure out how to fix it.  All other web pages display just like normal,  it's just when I'm on this site it's tiny.  Help?

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / What to you is support as a SO of a PA?
« on: September 09, 2016, 11:46:07 PM »
I'm sorry to post on the Partners of Rebooters but I am wanting to start a thread on what support is to you guys.  I'm wanting to know what us as PAs can do support and build up our partners.  I apologize if this has already been beat to death or if there's already threads with all this.
My SO has voiced that honesty is definitely number 1.  I get that.  I also get that my lack of integrity in how I handle my life has resulted in her not trusting me 100%,  or that she may never be 100% again.  It breaks my heart,  but I know that our relationship has been forever changed by what I've done.   I struggle with pure honesty,  I want her to be happy,  to be somehow shielded from this sometimes ugly world,  and her not to be angry with me.  This has of course brought us here,  a marriage that's definitely on the rocks. 
She has also voiced for me to take the initiative.  I am trying to deal with my poor integrity as well as some of my rather poor character traits,  but I think to her I'm just doing a 90 day reboot and yay for me. 
I feel like she has been supportive to me in my recovery,  and wants me to be more supportive in hers.  I want to be that for her,  I'm just too lost to do that.
So I guess that brings the question;  what is support for you as a SO of a PA?  Does bringing romance back to the relationship a big thing?  Daily appreciation for sticking by our side even when it would be easier to leave?  For us to be constantly sorry for what we have done?  Small things like love notes or poems or cheesy whatnots?  Or is it more of an emotional supportive thing?  Or just time and patience?
I'm not saying that what works for you would work for her,  but I think an open dialog might be helpful for everyone,  as I'm sure there are plenty of clueless PAs who really do want to help their SO and need somewhere to start.

Ages 30-39 / 2 weeks and counting
« on: July 16, 2016, 01:39:22 AM »
Today is my 2 weeks anniversary of my reboot.  It feels amazing to be on this journey.
So for a little back story.  I'm sure my story is similar to many guys.  I started at an early age ( 10-11 I think) with womens undies ads and such.  Once the internet came about things changed though.  As a late teen,  I think I would spend a few hours per day on PMOing.  It quickly turned into ED, which until very recently I never attributed to looking at P.  Anyway,  I met the most amazing woman and totally fell in love.  We married,  loved each other alot,  had kids and shared many life experiences together.  The problem was I was a hidden PA the entire time.  I wasnt PMOing as much,  but I still was.   Our entire marriage I've struggled with ED and PE.  She accepted me with those problems and was supportive.  She has never had anything against P and didn't have any problem with me doing M,  but as far as she knew I wasn't doing much of either because I was lying to her.  So on D day we were having an intimate moment that I was just plain not working.  Like zippy.  She was felt upset and for the umpteenth time said I need to go to the doctor to get checked out.  I gave in,  actually committing myself in my head to go.  So I started doing research on my ED and lo and behold I realized there was a direct correlation to PMOing and ED.  I feel stupid now about not realizing it sooner but I realized P was screwing up my life.  I erased my crap and said enough.  Another huge mistake was I thought I'll do this myself.  I wanted to save her the embarrassment that her husband was a PA and I wanted to save myself from the confrontation and have to admit my shame to her.  Basically I was a chicken.  I did really well that week,  feeling empowered about myself.  Then the second D-day occurred when she came across some leftover "paraphernalia" that I had forgotten about.  It looked really really bad.  She thought I had cheated on her,  and I finally admitted my lie.  We have been married over a decade and she had no idea I was a PA.  I think she feels like a fool but in truth I had gotten pretty good at hiding it.
Needless to say it completely devastated her.  I mean completely.  We've been through some pretty hard times but this was something that destroyed her.  She felt ( and still feels) like she was married to a man that she didn't actually know and was cheating on her the entire time with P.  I agree.  I felt like a terrible person.  I was full of shame,  disgrace,  sadness and other depressing emotions.  I had turned a beautiful,  extremely intelligent,  charismatic,  supportive woman into a sad person full of self doubt and feeling small and ugly.  Both of our hearts felt broken;  hers for marrying a man who wasn't actually acting like much of one,  and mine for doing what I did to her.
Something I feel is very important to share is that if you have a wife,  husband or other SO getting over the PO is for both of you.  It was easier for me to come up with a plan for myself ( like I'll do this and that and I will get better) but meanwhile she was hurting badly.  Be supportive, loving and helpful.  Having a man that's a recovering PA is something that's hard to handle.  It's not like she can go to her friends and talk about it.  You're the only one they can talk to,  and frankly I'd bet they feel like they hardly know you.  Its isolating,  scary,  and depressing.  There's no doubt rebooting is extremely hard,  but don't forget about your partner who is standing by your side through this.  Be the man they wanted you to be.  Accept responsibility for what you did,  treat them with the love they deserve,  and build them back up.  This experience can make you stronger as a couple.
But also believe in yourself.  You can do this!  You're better than this.  You'll be 10 times the man P free. 
Frankly I actually have no idea what I'll be like when I get over my PA and am fully rebooted.  Basically my entire sexual life I've been a slave to P.  I have sooooo much shame,  embarrassment and low self esteem tied to my ED that I don't even know what I'll be like without it.   I'm ecstatic at the idea of being a real lover to her,  fully present with our experiences together. 
Anyway,  I'll be sharing my progress with any who want to read. 

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