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Messages - Erasmus_xlt

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51
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 10, 2016, 08:40:11 AM »
41 Days without porn and it's problems.  41 Days toward becoming a friend of God and my wife's best friend.

My wife married me for a reason.  It wasn't to escape her circumstances at that time.  It wasn't for my money, my good looks or my position in life.  Whatever her reason may have been or whomever she thought I may be was decimated when she found out that she was married to a porn addict.

That's when she discovered she was married to a hypocrite, a con artist, a traitor, an egomaniac, a liar, a cheat and a thief.  I considered myself to be nice, kind, thoughtful, considerate, benevolent and humble but porn poisoned everything good about me and made it something else.  Instead of nice I became mean. I traded kindness for inconsiderateness.  Thoughtful was exchanged for being thoughtless.  I stopped being considerate of others and became self-centered.  The only benevolence I offered was when I received something out of it in exchange.  Humility was discarded for conceit and false pride.

That, gentlemen is what the false world of pornography makes of a person.  We become slaves to our own desires.  We are citizens of a world with a population of 4: me, my sluts, my penis and anyone else who lives for my pleasure.  There are occasional glimpses of the world outside of the protective bubble we live in, but the shackles of porn quickly drag us back down into the cellar of our depravity.

We think we are still that nice guy that was around before porn.  We think that is who the world sees.  But that person has been possessed by something malignant and vile.  It turns all of your good intentions in to evil so that nothing goes right in your life. And, that conniving entity convinces you that you're ok and it's everyone else that has a problem.

But, there is hope.  You can break free and return to being who you were.  It won't be easy.  It requires training and hard work.  It won't happen overnight.  But, it will happen.  Use the tools to break the shackles.  Assemble a team to assist with your escape plan.  Get trainers for your body and your mind. And stay on the path while moving in the right direction. 

Never lose focus of your goal.  That's what will keep you on track when you step off the path.  It's like the autopilot on an airplane; always checking it's position in relation to the goal and correcting the ATTITUDE of the aircraft to keep it on target.  That's why you don't have to be perfect, but you must be committed. 

I'm at day 41.  I have much further to go.  We are here to encourage and support each other.  I hope this helps someone get through their day successfully.


52
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 10, 2016, 07:54:32 AM »
Day 15:Create Your Value Menu

Activity is a follow-up to yesterday.  We are to expound on the values we identified.

Integrity
Telling the truth even if it causes me trouble
Doing the right thing even when no one is looking


Compassion
Helping others without selfish intentions
Not being critical of others
Being able to sympathize and/or empathize with others

Dedication
Being know to stick to tasks
Not doing anything that would cast criticism on a loved one

53
Ages 40 and up / Re: yet another journal
« on: June 10, 2016, 05:30:17 AM »
The question about having sex with your wife is one I have thought about also.  The general consensus seems to be that it is a good thing as it strengths your relationship with her and gives her support through this time. 

On the other hand, agreed sexual abstinence is also refered to frequently for a complete reset of the brain and attitude toward your wife and sex.  Terry Crews and his wife did a sex fast and posted a video on it. 

My Hard 90 has my wife and I in different rooms for now.  So, a sex fast was enacted with no thought.  If she were to desire connection I would likely comply, but I don't know if my body would go along with the plan.  But ultimately, the decision is hers to make.

For me, I like to rely on Biblical guidance and in this regard the guidance is (1) to refrain with agreement and (2) not neglect the needs of each other.  In other words, if she desires to make love she will have it.  Otherwise, I will continue with the fast.

The problem with PMO is primarily the porn leading to fantasy relationships that replace the need for a real life, flesh and blood person.  Secondly, the problem of masturbating to porn or porn thoughts and edging leading to either PE or DE.  As I understand it, orgasm is only a problem when it is a result of the prior two conditions.  With your wife is the proper context and is not problematic.

I hope this helps.

54
Ages 40 and up / Re: Malando - getting started.
« on: June 09, 2016, 03:03:31 PM »
Success is not measured by how high you climb. But, by how far you bounce after you fall...

55
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 09, 2016, 02:57:35 PM »
@Chip,
Thanks Brother.  But, I feel like I haven't even started in most regards.  Day by day with each passing moment, I find strength to carry on. A wonderful God and a fantastic lady are good inspiration for doing the right thing.

56
Ages 40 and up / Re: yet another journal
« on: June 09, 2016, 10:53:35 AM »
Hello Hansgl2,
You are in a good place to work on your reboot as well as your relationship with your wife and family.

I know what you mean about getting around filters - I am a cyber security professional and can get around just about anything out there.  But, I use a filter on my devices (Covenant Eyes) because it means I have to think about what I am doing and can't just automatically get to porn.  Think about the scenario where you are in the hotel room, bored and lonely, and you decide to look at porn.  But to get there, you have to INTENTIONALLY bypass the filter.  It changes the dynamics if only a little bit but it sets you up for success.

If I can offer any other suggestions, I would recommend that you put a team together to help you through this.  The load is much lighter with the strength of others to help.

57
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 09, 2016, 10:28:33 AM »
Day 40.  Almost a day for every year of porn in my 46 years of life.

Biblically speaking 40 is a number related to testing:  It rained 40 days and 40 nights; Moses was in Egypt 40 years, 40 years he lived in the wilderness and 40 years he led Israel in the wilderness; Jonah preached to Nineveh for 40 days; Jesus was tempted for 40 days and Jesus ascended 40 days after his resurrection.

I have been tested and tried.  I had some failures as well as some victories.  I mostly have my team in place and many tools to help.  Which reminds me, I had my first appointment with the counselor yesterday.  It was mostly just an intake interview but, I left with a challenge for homework.

I have tested my wife's patience (quite unintentionally) as well.  My relationship with her still requires that I learn much more.  But, as I desire her respect, love and intimacy, I am learning to do what it takes to gain her back.  She is the grand prize in all of this.  Please don't think that my comments about her anger toward me is all there is to her - she is so much more.  My comments when I am hurt, angry, lonely or tired (HALT) tend to be exaggerated snapshots of time.  She could say the same and much more of my outbursts of rage.

BTW, HALT means to stop.  When we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired we ahould stop and consider what is going on.  Those are the times when we are most likely to be tempted and fail...

I just received a call saying that I just won a free cruise to the Bahamas to be taken anytime in the next 18 months.  Wouldn't that be a cool idea... renew our marriage vows, cruise to Europe and then come home to a new bed and a new beginning.  I turned down the offer when they started talking about money, but the idea is still planted for the not too distant future.

So, I've made the first forty days.  I look forward to 40 weeks, 40 months and ultimately 40 years and beyond.

58
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 08, 2016, 07:22:03 AM »
Day 39. Porn is a broken crutch never offering any help again.

Had a good meeting last night with my Celebrate Recovery group.  Initially, I didn't expect to get much out of these meetings.  Most of the people there have drug, alcohol and anger issues. And then two people with sexual addictions gave their testimonies.

The man that resonated with me did not have the same story as me.  However, he told about the several marriages he had been through and the many, many affairs he had engaged in.  Then, he told of jobs lost and opportunities missed.  Finally, he shared his road to redemption.

As he told the last woman he was with his problems, she was very angry.  She had stood by him through a couple of affairs.  She stayed mad, angry and furious with him for months on end because of his betrayal.  Day after day he listened to her and could almost know what she was going to say, but he listened without fighting back (lesson learned: quit fighting back).

Weeks, months of the same thing until she ran out of steam.  Then she cried.  They cried together.  Then things started improving.  She still has trouble trusting but, they are closer than ever.  They were both baptized together.  Talks of marriage may be forthcoming.  Their days together keep improving.

So, it was good to hear his story; how he handled the rage, accusations and answer-less questions. My situation is not that different than others who have hurt their loved ones.  The greater the love, the greater the pain, the greater the recovery perhaps.

Anyway, after I got home last night, my wife and I had a very productive dialogue.  It wasn't easy, but we actually communicated. It was good.  It was promising. I love her very much.  Perhaps even more as I learn more about what love really is.

59
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 07, 2016, 11:03:21 AM »
@Boo, I just started on the Prozac and it won't be long term.  I do have a marriage that's in deep trouble because I caused it. I have lost her respect and have to re-earn it.

@Malando, she is hurt and wounded and fighting for her life.  I don't think there is any pleasure to gain from it.  I think she just has to grieve and unfortunately there is no one way to grieve.  She is being hit hard with the depth and reality of all of this and the long term affects.  She is right for fighting to survive.  I just don't like it.  Perhaps it will be better in the long run.  Only time will tell.  I have to deal with the fallout from the disaster I created.

60
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 07, 2016, 09:35:56 AM »
38 days with no porn.

I feel like crap.  I think the Prozac is making me worse.  Or the reboot is stronger than the Prozac.  My head is spinning; brain fog; can't concentrate; still can't get a true erection (I wasn't getting them with porn towards the end neither); irritable; I detest having to be at work and am finding no joy while at church which I love.

I can't handle the constant rage that my wife is expressing daily. Yesterday evening, I was on the verge of calling a divorce lawyer.  I stumbled across a blog post on www.blazinggrace.com that basically said (but not in these words) "Suck it up you wussy.  You caused this now deal with the consequences .  You can choose your actions but you can't choose the consequences."  So, I will try to take in her pain and anguish and rage without my usual crutch.  The way I'm looking at it, I will be better in the long run even if it means I am alone.

She's asking for answers I don't have.  When I try to answer and it conflicts with something I said before, she calls me on it and says it's further proof that she can't trust me and I'm not changing. I'm trying to be truthful but I can't think right and things dont come out my mouth in a sensible way.  I'm a mess. 

I don't even feel like a man right now.  I'm really struggling and starting to believe that I am all the things my wife says about me.  But, I can't go there. If I am what she says I am, then why change?  But I know I am not defined by my negative actions but God knows my heart.  I know my heart is good and I have to make that show up in my actions.

I want intimacy and acceptance.  I want the love and adoration of my wife.  I want her to trust and respect me.  I may never earn back what was once freely given, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying even if she decides she has had enough and leaves.

Miserable but at least not relying on Porn.  This too shall pass...

61
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 07, 2016, 09:01:35 AM »
Day 14: What do you love most? Find your Value Anchors.

For the "Do it" exercise, I am to imagine my 80th birthday bash.  A large party that is well attended.  Then, the following scenario plays out:
Place your hand(s) on your heart and begin now:

You feel loved and supported by the crowd that's gathered around you. One of your loved ones stands up, smiles, and raises their glass to you...

"The quality I appreciate most about him is _____________." He was always showing this by ____________ and I'll never forget the time he ____________. You feel a sense of deep gratification. You have managed to personify the values that mean the most to you!

I want to fill in the blank with integrity.  Always showing this by being counted on to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way.  The example she would never forget could be that she knew of a situation where I could easily have compromised myself, but I stood strong and was an excellent example of true Christianity.  Instead of taking advantage of a young woman in distress, Iqhere no one would have known, I called her and we were able to find her the help she needed.

2nd quality would be my heart of compassion as evidenced by my community service.

3rd quality would be my dedication to my family as evidenced by the intimacy with my wife and care and concern for my children.

The purpose of the exercise is to remind me of the important anchors in my life so that when I am tempted, I remember what I type of person I am becoming.

62
I am happy for your progress with your wife.  I hope and pray that in a few days...weeks...months...(gulp, years) that I can really start repairing my relationship with my wife.  Everytime she talks to me now, is an angry rampage of what I have been in the past.  I fight myself to stay.  I hate seeing her this way and knowing that I am the reason.  Even worse, I can't fix it.

I am resigned to the long run and she will have to be the one to leave.  I've made my bed and have to sleep in it.

But, keep posting of your progress.  I am encouraged by it as I am sure others are also.

63
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 06, 2016, 05:50:37 AM »
Day 36.

I took last week off to take care of some things.  I feel like I barely did anything..  The shed is still not complete, I didn't get the cover on the greenhouse, no progress with the wife and I need to cut the grass and plant the grow boxes.

At least I didn't look at any porn.  I did get to see my son in Athens, GA. I spent time with my daughter too.  Oh well, back to the tedium of work.

Meh.

64
Ages 40 and up / Re: Malando - getting started.
« on: June 04, 2016, 01:06:10 PM »
From the threads I am reading, it's quite common for rebooted to dream they are relapsing. May it never be.  That just ain't right.

65
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 04, 2016, 12:55:16 PM »
Day 13: Connection is Emotional Oxygen

Do It: Connect Today

What's one simply thing you can do today that will increase the sense of connection you feel with those around you? Put your hand(s) on your heart as you ponder the following ideas and decide which is a good fit. Or come up with one of your own. Then do it.

Go to a social activity like one of these.
Offer to help someone in your life who could use it.
Help out at a charity near your home.
Invite someone to go for a walk.
Share a meal with your family or friend.
Write someone a thank you note.
Touch base with a friend you haven't seen in awhile.
Offer a kind gesture to someone?
Loan or buy someone a copy of a book you've loved recently.

I made breakfast with fried egg, bacon and toast for my wife and I.  When i asked her if she wanted breakfast, her reply was along the lines of fine if you do, fine if you don't.  I did it anyway.  Later, I gave her a kiss on the cheek and a quick run of her back as I gathered her soiled dishes. 

 You might be thinking, "what's the big deal about that?" Well, I am not trying to connect with the rest of my community.  I just want to connect with my wife and everyone else will come later.

66
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 04, 2016, 08:19:41 AM »
Thank you @Gracie.  I appreciate your kind words and guidance.  When/If my wife is ready, I would like to practice touch much more.  I have been very adverse to touch (I guess from my background) even though part of me seeks it.

Day 35 of the rest of my life without lust/porn.

Just that line alone changes the dynamics, doesn't it?  When it comes down to the nitty gritty, I don't just want to be free from an addiction to porn or sex.  Those are symptoms of a much bigger issue: the love for God that is not evident in my life because of lusting for something else.

I know that God loves me and I know it's not with the imperfect love my human father gave me (not saying he was a horrible father, but unmistakably flawed).  I know that Gods love for me is not like my wife's love for me as she too is still limited by humanity.

No, Gods love for me is all encompassing, all knowing, always forgiving even when correcting, always available when I fail Him (often).  His love is unlimited and unconditional. He loves sacrificially and according to my need.  His love never fails.  His love is truly amazing.

The problem is that my screwed up life finds that hard to believe for myself on a personal level.  I know others have said it is true for them.  I have seen it change other people's lives.  But, the church I grew up in was full of father's that were molesting their daughters (likely, my own also) and kids that were molesting each other (in the nursery, behind the church and at each others houses).  That, I'm sure, paid a heavy toll on me.  And then, the rejection of my teen years (yes, I was the nerd that dressed funny) by all the girls I was interested in led me to porn and self-love (M).

But, God.  I have always made Him a part of my life.  I've always known He was there.  I have always tried to do good things for Him.  The problem is that I didn't give Him all of my life and I haven't loved Him as I should.  Furthermore, if I couldn't love God right, how could I love my wife right?

Oh, I know I've created a mess.  But, 35 days ago (actually, a little before that) I set out on a journey to fix that mess.  It starts by having a right relationship with God and being truthful to my wife.  I have a long way to go and look forward to who I will be when I get there.

TODAY is the first day of the rest of my life.

67
Congratulations.

I am quite encouraged by reading your post.  My situation is quite a bit different than yours. However, seeing that you were able to return to a regular life of making love to your wife is exactly what I needed to hear.

I pray that you and your family are blessed.

68
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 03, 2016, 10:09:32 AM »
@Chip, I saw where Bundy had his start in porn.  The author of the piece also went to jail when his porn addiction escalated to attempted rape.  As you said, another good reason to put this all behind us.

Day 33 with no porn and breaking the addiction that is ruining my life.

I have a fantastic wife.  I'm learning more about her all the time.  She is super intelligent and exceedingly well read.  She is beautiful and has the body I always wanted in a partner.  She has told me that we could have been making love more if I weren't turning to porn.

So why was I turning to porn after about a year from it?  There really is no good answer.  I realize now that instead of turning to porn, I should have been trying to talk to her about what I was feeling.  Unfortunately, my experience before her has been that my feelings usually didn't matter.  That pat answers of "you'll get over it" or "don't be such a baby" or "feelings don't matter" just didn't cut it.

Well, I intend to find out what it means to "know" someone in the Biblical sense.  To learn intimacy.  To accept the pain as well as pleasure of emotions.  It may not sound manly, but I don't care if it gets me closer to my wife.

Day 34...screw porn, I want my wife!

69
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 03, 2016, 09:50:28 AM »
Day: 12: Find Your Center of Gravity Within Yourself

Do It: Accept Some of What You've Been Working So Hard to Avoid

Identify an aspect of life over which you wish you had more control. Perhaps an aspect of an important relationship that's not going the way you want it to. Is your lack of acceptance in these areas causing you grief? Consider your behavior when it comes to dealing with these issues: has it become controlling?

Write down 1) the element of this situation you have the hardest time accepting and 2) one outcome you dread and have been trying to avoid.

The one thing that comes to mind is that I really want the love and respect of my wife and to make love with her frequently.  What I dread and have been trying to avoid is dealing with her emotions because that results in an abstinence from making love.

I accept that my wife does not want to always make love physically.  I look forward to my wife expressing her feelings as these are opportunities to be intimate with her.

70
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 03, 2016, 09:36:01 AM »
Day 11: Show Your Brain Who's Alpha

Pick three or four potential self-control moments you'll face in the next 24 hours. What are a couple of good things you're intending to do, but are unsure you'll be able to follow through? What are a couple of actions you'd like to avoid that you might find tempting?

Put your hand(s) on your heart and commit to yourself to exercise 10 seconds of willpower in those moments.

1. Work my shed
2. Work on my greenhouse
3. Plant seeds in my garden
4. Do homework for school

All things that I need to do.  Exercise and nutrition are things I should be doing too, but they will come.  I am a diabetic and just found out that my A1C is at 6.9 so that's good.

71
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 02, 2016, 10:28:24 AM »
33 days and it feels good to be free of the porn and all that goes with it.

I've been doing some reading on Focus on the Family's website and saw some good info I thought I would share concerning the stages and progression of porn addiction.  One thing that is obvious is that he is not talking about internet porn addiction. The stages they present are:

1. Early exposure. Most guys who get addicted to porn start early. They see the stuff when they are very young, and it gets its foot in the door.

2. Addiction. Later comes addiction. You keep coming back to porn. It becomes a regular part of your life. You're hooked. You can't quit.

3. Escalation. After a while, escalation begins. You start to look for more and more graphic porn. You start using porn that would have disgusted you when you started. Now it excites you.

4. Desensitization. Eventually, you start to become numb. Even the most graphic, degrading porn doesn't excite you anymore. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again but can't find it.

5. Acting out sexually. At this point, many men make a dangerous jump and start acting out sexually. They move from the paper and plastic images of porn to the real world.

I think this cycle better describes sex addiction rather than porn addiction through high speed internet streaming.  However, the path of progress is similar except for the final stage.

Just passing along tidbits to help.

72
Ages 40 and up / Re: Malando - getting started.
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:03:12 AM »
I tell you what the further I get from the porn the more laser like focus I have for my spouse, Woo-Hoo!

Oh yeah, I've noticed that already! I'm often salivating at the thought of touching her now. I always desired to touch her, but I'm not sure it was always her as a person because my mind was full of fantasies. Now that I'm staying right away from fantasies, I'm finding her much more exciting than I used to. It's great, and a sign that I'm doing the right thing. There was definitely an expiry date on my old lifestyle. I'm glad I'm changing it before I became impotent.

I have always found my wife very exciting and sexy.  I can't wait to make love to her again. I do find that intimacy is what has lagged in my marriage.  As I drew away from her and into my mind I'm sure she could sense it and also withdrew into herself.  Our lovemaking became more perfunctory when it happened maybe once a week.

Since my Reboot, we have not made love.  I don't get the chance to practice being intimate with or without sex.  But, I know it will be better when we get there.

Keep up the good work gentlemen.

73
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:36:35 AM »
Sounds very noble, Erasmus. You are really taking responsibility for your life and weaknesses. I admire that. I think we all need such a customised pact with ourselves to live by - not just as we exit the life as a P addict, but right through life.

Best wishes, M.

Thanks  Malando.  I want her to know that this time is different.  I also see this as a resolution to myself for who I am becoming.

74
Ages 40 and up / Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: June 01, 2016, 09:31:30 PM »
Day 10: Support Yourself When You Need It

Today's activity is to Practice Supporting Your Struggling Self. 

Dr. Chamberlain reflects on a technique where you practice talking to yourself now so that when a situation arises when you need to, you'll be able to.  We are to repeat phrases that cover the areas of self compassion:
1.  Mindfulness, or being open to the reality of the present moment.
2.  Recognizing our common humanity.
3.  Self kindness, or being as caring with ourselves as we are with others.

So, here goes: (with hands on my head):
1.  Ouch.
2.  Everyone puts their foot in their mouth.
3.  That's part of what makes me who I am.

75
Ages 40 and up / Re: Because God and my Wife Deserve Better
« on: June 01, 2016, 09:12:54 PM »
Day 32.  I have much further to go.

Now that I have the first 30 days behind me, I want to concentrate on helping my wife.  To that end and after listening to some YouTube videos on intimacy I resolve the following:

1. Take responsibility.  I admit that I messed up.  I admit that I did not treat you with the love and honor that I swore to you when we married.  I admit that watching porn is still mental and emotional adultery.  I admit that my treatment of you has been in many ways abusive, manipulative and controlling.

2. No More Secrets.  I will trust you with my secret hurts, pains and emotions. I will make myself vulnerable to you by allowing you to see into me.  I will do my best to keep you aware of what I am doing. 

3.  Get Help.  I will realize when my burden is too heavy to bear alone.  I will learn to reach out to you and, when appropriate, other men to augment my strength to handle my loads.  I will consult with professionals in their field of expertise to address problems that are outside of my scope of knowledge.

4.  No more viewing.  I will not actively seek out porn of any kind via any media.  I will endeavour to keep my heart, mind and eyes on things that would please a holy God.  Any unintentional porn will be immediately dealt with and removed from my area of viewing or I will move away from it.

5.  Create a new life.  We will create a new life together without the influence of porn or its side effects.  A new paradigm will be in effect where we will get to know each other in intimacy as we really are.

These are 5 steps that I am making to give us a better relationship than we even initially expected.  I will continue to grow into these as time goes by.  These 5 resolutions are meant to be the basis from which we can build a foundation for our future.

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