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Messages - aquarius25

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:16:56 PM »
Huge accomplishment! You have worked hard on making this a life change, good job! Congrats!

When you share with someone who you trust you break down the shame. When you hide and keep it a secret it is almost like you feed the shame and it gets bigger. I am not sure if you are familiar with the Harry Potter books ( I know I am exposing my nerdy-ness, lol) but I feel like it is that whole Voldermort thing. You give the secret power by allowing it to have this hold on you. We are all broken and imperfect, everyone has their screw ups. The person you tell, no matter who they are has their own set of issues too. By realizing this and sharing it you not only gain more authority and control of your healing and recovery but you show others your vulnerability and it gives them a chance to realize that they are not alone in their secrets. I have also realized through encouraging my husband with his recovery how he has so much more grace for others. Before he was a lot more judgemental towards people (I was too). Now we both tend to see people's mistakes as a starting point for growth.

As far as the mention above about feeling like less of a man, I understand that a lot of men with PIED feel this way. My husband carried this attitude for a long time, he had very low self esteem for a bit. We talked one day and I had mentioned a perspective that he said was helpful to him and so I want to share it here too.....

How many actual minutes of a person's life to they spend having actual sex? Compare that with how much time they spend not having  much time to you work, play, spend with friends, live? Why base your entire self esteem on something that you only do a fraction of your life when you do so many other things so much more?  Sex and weather or not you can gain an erection is literally only one small part of a relationship. I think weather a person is kind, loving, funny, caring are WAY more important. If you really think about it then you would probably agree, right?

For my husband, when he finally thought about this he totally agreed and started seeing just how incredible a person he was. He is a good dad, friend, husband, hard worker and so much more! He finally started caring less and less about his PIED. That was when we both realized that his confidence and self esteem was impacting his performance and may what started as PIED had turned to PA and when he stopped caring and started accepting who he was and started seeing himself as an amazing person erection or not then his erections started coming back. It will be ok. I know it is scary but know that weather or not you gain an erection does not define the person you are!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: February 07, 2019, 03:44:41 PM »
Congrats on the amazing progress! It's only uphill from here!

Ages 40 and up / Re: quit for good
« on: January 19, 2019, 05:03:54 PM »
I just wanted to commend you in really starting to reshape your life, trying new things, and move forward. I think that is awesome. I really believe with the right tools and a good youtube instructional video anything is achievable, lol. I did all the subway tile in our bathroom on my own thanks to YouTube, lol. I would have been too scared years ago to take on something like that. Start small and work your way up. Engage your family in trying something new together! It is such a great memory maker to as a family try and learn something new together and allow your kids to learn along side you!
Good luck!

Ages 40 and up / Re: Yes I Can!
« on: January 19, 2019, 04:57:10 PM »
Hope you are doing well!

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: Please help
« on: January 18, 2019, 11:05:34 AM »
I am so glad to hear you two are working through this together! Yes you have a community of support when ever you need it!

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:13:02 PM »
Not a lot new going on. We got a bunch of snow and decided to make the weekend a family time weekend. My husband and I had planned to work but decided to just spend time sledding and throwing snowballs with the kids. In the evening we were planning on watching a family movie but the kids asked if we could just start a new book together instead. We started a new series and we all take turns reading a few pages. It is funny listening to each of us make different voices for the characters! We had a neighbor kids join in for most of the weekend. He is an only child and just wanted to be around friends while his dad is on the mend (recovering from shoulder surgery). He had so much fun and he kept says "my house isn't like this at all" or "My parents do really play with me they just take me to go play by myself". It never occurred to me that actually playing with my kids would be something unique. As I reflect on the years before my husbands reboot he would usually stay home and work (aka look at porn and do some work too, lol). Now he is so much more present and I am so glad we get to enjoy him being with us instead of looking for an escape from us. It feels good to be a family.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:09:30 AM »
I get feeling down and being hard on yourself but I want to remind you of something. You have made amazing progress!!!! Look at where you were and where you are today! You did something right for sure! You made a big changed that will forever impact your kids in a positive way! The fact that you were helping with the science project in the first place instead of withdrawing from your family to go look at pron is way better than actually having a working project anyway. Seriously! Her science project is one small moment in time, you spending time with her, that is priceless. You are a different person, be proud of that. We all have bad days but don't let that shake you too much because you are doing great! Celebrate that!

Porn Addiction / Re: Are we losing the culture war?
« on: January 08, 2019, 09:44:37 AM »
As I read through the discussion here there are lots of perspectives and views and some really great conversation. One thing that seems to be the consensus is that there is a problem. So if we can agree on that, rather an argue over all the details of how if you had _ than maybe you wouldn't be an addict today and ect I will pose a question. What are you doing to help change the narrative? What are you doing to help future generations? I don't mean stop looking at porn yourself, yes that is good, but what more are you doing? It could be as simple as volunteering as a mentor to help encourage kids to lead healthy lives. There are lots of ways you can be an encouragement and get involved in your community to help shift the culture around you. If we all did that, all over the world, I think that is where you start to see real change. It is one thing to have this conversation on a porn addiction forum where we all can see there is a problem but rather than sit here and discuss it I would really encourage you to go and and be the change you want to see! Not only will you be helping the community around you but I really believe it will have a positive impact on your own recovery.

So to change the course of the discussion just every so slightly..... What are you doing in your community to help shift this culture? Maybe we should share ideas? That could be a more productive conversation?

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: Please help
« on: January 08, 2019, 09:30:35 AM »
O yes, Happy Birthday! If you can find time to do  something special for you. Self care is so important. I know for myself my emotions would consume me so the moments that I could escape to a coffee shop with a book were truly the most therapeutic thing ever! I hope you find some joy amidst all the others stuff. Know you have support here!

Porn Addiction / Re: Are we losing the culture war?
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:26:28 PM »
I would like to reply some reassurance to poster changemylife. My  kids, ages 11 &8, play hide and go seek, lol. We have very limited online access for them but we do allow them to use the computer for certain things, always in public spaces like in the kitchen when I am cooking, in the living room with others around. We homeschool and they take 1 online class per term so they are comfortable with technology. They are allowed 3 hrs per week of recreational screen time (that includes movies, games like mine-craft that are not connected online, ect). In a nutshell we live differently. Our kids both know how to weld, plasma cut, operate a torch set, cook, chop, and can baked just about anything. They know their way around a kitchenaid mixer better than my husband, lol! The have confidence that they can do anything as long as they have a desire and patience. They build catapults and launch all kinds of things, they invent games, build full metal armor for spartan Halloween costumes, and sew and design clothing and jewelry. Other kids in the neighborhood have made comments on how they are weird and how mean my husband and I are for not letting them have more screens but then they come over and realize that my kids have their own tool set and can build a tire swing themselves and then I see the spark. Now kids from around the neighborhood think my husband and I are the cool parents, lol. They get excited to come over, heck half of them have projects they stash at our house that they are working on. I have even walked into the livingroom to see 5 kids ages 8-13 reading books! We have a lot of books (that's my addiction, lol). The tv was right there and they all chose to read! Yes culture is heading down a sad path but I think if we want to see change then we need to be the change. We need to create environments where kids can experience more. Most kids when posed with the question of playing a video game or building your own samurai sword will choose the latter, just sayin.

Porn Addiction / Re: Porn Addiction and Evangelical Christianity
« on: January 02, 2019, 05:57:39 PM »
I would say that the culture in most christian/ evangelical churches is very hypocritical and shame based. They preach love and grace but I don't see a lot of it in their actions. I am a christian, as in I believe in Christ, but I believe that love and grace should be our first response and action to all things. After all it does say God is Love, so if you are not loving then you are not focusing on him. I personally believe no matter what your personal belief is, if you are trying to be more filled with love then you will be happier and have more peace in your life. I have visited in quite a few churches and even been a member a few times but at the end of the day the constant judgement without grace and love (even though they claim that they believe in those things) was too much for me. Our family now is part of a house community that meets in each others houses once a week. We take turns speaking on whatever is on our hearts, we pray, encourage, and share a meal together. To me this was more of a space where we can grow and feel supported, not judged.

Christian or non christian, I believe there has been a shift in culture away from character. I  believe that we should embody good character not in a manner that feels like rules but more when you live a life filled with respect, love, kindness, honesty and many other attributes then you feel happier. Porn is something that is built on secrecy, shame, lying, isolation, and in a lot of cases the viewer is getting pleasure out of watching someone be degraded. Viewing and living in that environment for an extended period of time will have an impact on a person for sure. If growing up in a puritan home is where your porn addiction began and maybe not being able to talk about it made it worse then ok, but what you choose to do about it is up to you. You can recognize the areas where you started viewing and learn from them. In the future when and if you have kids you can be sure to create a different environment for them. I don't see that as making excuses or a cop out as long as you are taking responsibility today. Part of addiction is taking ownership of your actions and behaviors. Just like the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water......." You can be introduces to something but it is ultimately on you weather you want to view porn or not and what you choose to do about it.

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: December 31, 2018, 11:07:40 AM »
Well another year ends and a new one begins. I don't have big goals or anything for the new year just a continuation of the progress that I hope to continue. My prayer for 2019 is to learn to love more and grow my capacity of love for others. I just want to keep the momentum going. I am continually amazed by how much this journal and the people here have help and made a big impact on my life. I am so grateful for all of you. 5 years ago my perspective on porn addiction and addiction in general was a lot different. I can see how I was viewing though a much different lens. After seeing the changes in my husband and in myself I have so much more compassion for those who are hurting though this addiction. My heart breaks for the addict as well as his family. I have experienced first hand just how much this can ripple though a family in more way than I ever knew. I can see how my heart has grown to love a group of people I had never considered before and for that I am so grateful. I have gotten to know a deeper part of myself and wrestled with so many judgments and attitudes that I never knew I carried. Even those that I have disagreed with or those that have frankly flat out attacked me have helped me understand myself and how I respond in the situations and I feel like I am stronger for it. I welcome hearing different perspectives and have come to realize I have an increase desire to encourage people where they are at. They don't need to see it my way for me to still be encouraging to them. The more I learn through these tough conversations the more I realize I still have so much to learn. So I am ending this year in gratitude. Thank you to all the people here who I have met. Thank you for being apart of my process, my life wouldn't be the same without you.

Success Stories / Re: partner success story
« on: December 28, 2018, 01:03:59 PM »
I just wanted to add to this success story a few more things I have noticed. My husband is 2 1/2 years pron free. We no longer have sexual issues at all. He is a much more confident man and doesn't really carry the weight of shame with this addiction. He talks openly and freely about it with others when the topic arises and he doesn't seem to care about others opinions if they are negative. HE isn't worried about what others think, he just says this is a big part of his story and who he is today. He is proud of the work he has put in and really walks like a new man. He is more empathic and shows more care for others and how his actions impact those around him. He is someone I love so much more than who he was before D-day. He no longer struggles with performance anxiety as he knows he doesn't have to perform. When we are intimate it is so much better!!!! I can not emphasize this enough. He is present and sex really feels like a connection and not just sex.  We both trust and encourage each other and we both talk regularly about our life, goals and our future. Our marriage feels more like a partners and true best friends. I love this man so much more than I ever knew I could. We just celebrated our 15yr anniversary and I still feel like I miss him when he is gone for the afternoon. I look forward to seeming him when he comes home. He feels like my home. Our family is closer and I feel so much more love and joy. Looking forward to another year together!

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: Please help
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:28:11 PM »
I completely understand that question. I had asked that about my own husband countless times and I will admit that the questions still pops up from time to time. I would look back over the years and see all the ways he violated me  and my feelings, manipulated situations to suit his needs, and frankly was just completely self serving. That is what addiction does. I do think there are some men that are just narcissists and really at their root are self centered but I think that is actually a small percentage of the population. Every now and then I read back through my long and exhausting journal and I can see how much I questioned my husband, his character, and frankly I wrestled with the realization that I felt like I didn't really even know this man I had been sharing a life with. My husband is 2 1/2 years porn free now. He is a completely different person and in some ways he is the same. I can see how the addiction impacted the way he viewed the world, everything was ran through a lens of addiction. Now that he is more distant from that addiction he is a lot more empathic and frankly he cares about more than just himself. You really won't know who he is at his core until he has spent some serious time dealing with the addiction. Sure you can't blame everything on the addiction but you won't know what is the addiction and what isn't until he has removed porn from his brain for an extended length of time and I don't mean just 90 days. I didn't really start seeing real character progress in my husband till over a year porn free. Each person is different but 90 is just a starting point, he is an addict, he needs to remove that from his life forever.

The relationship is breaking. That is what it felt like to me. The past relationship died in a lot of ways. What we are doing now is creating something new, together, through constant communication. Things are so fresh for you and frankly you need to grieve. Just like the steps of grief, I had to grieve the loss of the life I had. I experienced everything from denial to anger and acceptance, all of it. Before you can start building something new you must accept the loss of what was. It is completely ok to be upset, angry, pissed off, hurt, all of it. I was to a point where I really questioned my own sanity, lol. You will get though this. You are not alone. Give it time. Don't make decisions about anything major for a while. Keep communicating. Tell him your thoughts, questions, talk often, write everything, just keep processing.

Where is he as with his addiction? Have you shown him this site and the information on Porn addiction? Have these conversations, they are so important.

Sending you lots of love and praying for healing for your wounded heart and healing for your family!

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: December 27, 2018, 07:53:56 PM »
Well Christmas was good. Learning how to do the holidays in a new town away from family always feels different. Last year we flew home for Christmas so this was the first Christmas in my entire life that I wasn't with my family. So weird. It was just my husband and kids and I. I thought it would feel lonely and sad but it didn't at all. It was quite and did feel a little different. We usually go to my moms and there ends up being about 30 people with all the cousins and grandparents and all, so 4 was very different. It was actually really nice. I didn't have to spend half the day cooking a meal for 30, then doing dishes, and then pulling out dessert, and then doing more dishes. My mom and I usually do all the cooking. Instead I got to spend the entire day with my husband and kids relaxing. I got to see them enjoy their presents and help them build things. We cooked a fancy candle lit dinner together and we all helps clean it up too. I think it was actually my favorite Christmas. We took a walk through the neighborhood with cups of hot chocolate and just spent time together. We facetimed the family back home to say hi, but seeing all the chaos in the background made me appreciate the gift of enjoying quiet time with just our immediate family. I am so thankful that we have managed to work through things and continue to do so. I am glad that my husband and I have been committed to making this marriage a priority and that we are still together enjoying our kids and this life together. Looking forward to another year full of life, lessons to learn, and laughs to share.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trying to Save a Marriage
« on: December 27, 2018, 01:44:47 PM »
I am glad to hear you are still talking. As long as the two of you continue to communicate there is always hope for real healing and rebuilding into something better than you had before. I will pray that 2019 is a year of continued growth and healing for you both as individuals and together!

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: Please help
« on: December 27, 2018, 01:25:58 PM »
I would echo everything Gracie said! Love you hate porn is an amazing book! I would encourage you and your husband to read it. Then you guys can have a common language to discuss. Start a journal, even if you just write out all your emotions and you feel like you sound crazy, you are not crazy, you are processing and that is good. Just like Gracie I would agree there are so many parts of your story that sound like you were telling mine. The hurt is so deep, it is physical, I could feel literal hurt in my heart and it truly broke me in so many ways. People would tell me "It's not about me" " I shouldn't feel rejected" and "I will be ok, maybe even stronger". No matter how true those words were, I just couldn't even conceive of them. They seems so distant, so if you are feeling that was then know it's ok.

I would encourage you to write everything you want in life for you and your family. Write your hurt, all of it. Then as you start to process start writing baby steps to achieving the life you want. I know for myself in the first few months I really didn't know what I wanted, I was consumed by hurt and anger. I was so mad and frankly mean and bitter. It is ok to be upset but remember bitterness only destroys you more. He doesn't get to do that to you. You are worth more than that.

Another important step is a commitment to communication. If you are going to make this marriage work you have to communicate. He needs to admit he has an addiction. You both need to arm yourselves with education of what porn addiction is and how it effects the brain. That is imperative. He also needs to make a plan for how he is going to heal. If there is no accountability then it becomes very difficult for your relationship.  Know that him looking at shemale porn is his brain craving more drastic material for an endorphin hit, he is an addict. The stuff my husband would look at made my stomach turn and frankly made me almost vomit. There is no human in porn, it's just pixles. You as a non addict can't fully understand this because your brain is there. This part of understanding is so difficult and complex. Just remember, his recovery is his, he need to recover so you both can work on healing the relationship but you are not responsible for him. You work on you.

One last thing I will say is I am sorry. It completely sucks and you have every right to be angry, furious, and pissed off!!! I am so sorry for the hurt you are experiencing and I am sorry that there isn't something I can do to take this hurt away. I know this hurt well and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If I could hug you, share a cup of tea and let you cry I would. Know you are not alone. This addiction makes partners feel so isolated, rejected, and alone and hollow. Those are lies. You are not alone at all and you have support! I would encourage you to read some of the partners journals. Start your own as well. Feel free to comment in theirs and engage in the community here. You can direct message me as well! I am happy to help and encourage any way I can.

I am sorry that you are hurting but I am glad you found us!

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:14:16 PM »
To anyone reading this Merry Christmas!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:12:35 PM »
That is awesome progress!!! May 2019 be filled with more upward progress and joy! Merry Christmas

Porn Addiction / Re: If you haven't told anybody,...tell someone
« on: December 24, 2018, 02:09:51 PM »
I know I am a wife of a porn addict but I just want to say something to the concept of telling someone. I agree telling a person face to face is really a huge step in taking control of this addiction and really owning it. It is scary, just like any big secret is, but it is a necessary one. Stepping out of shame and secret into the open also allows you to have more layers of accountability and to get more support in your daily life. One thing I want to be clear about, and this is just my opinion so you don't have to agree, is that each person is in their own place with their addiction. It doesn't matter if they tell someone on 9 seconds into realizing their addiction or 9 months or 9 years! It is still scary, they can still feel the weight and fear of being judged and I think we should be a place of encouragement. Good job reaching out! I would encourage every addict and their partner to reach out and talk with someone in person. We aren't here to judge others progress, we should encourage each other wherever they are at today to be even better tomorrow.

I will also say as a partner I had a ton of fear talking to someone in life about this too. I was worried they would think my husband was sick, that they would judge and view him differently and that they would distance their kids from my kids. There were so many things I was afraid of. Looking back, sadly, I think I was more scared than my husband was. We both have dealt with our fears and through that we had good and bad experiences but at the end of the day being able to talk about it and not feel shame and fear is so much better!!! We both are at a place where we can talk openly about it and have no fear at all. It is liberating and allows us to help others as well.

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Re: DE 150 Days in?
« on: December 18, 2018, 12:52:23 PM »
Yes they can reset without hard mode but I think it is much more difficult. The chaser effect is real. My husband and I would have sex from time to time and that was when his triggers and urges to watch porn spiked big time. Also you should know that this is an addiction, some have only been addicted for a short time while others it has been decades. The time it takes varies as well. I didn't start seeing real good progress with my husband till it had been a year at least. That is why I go back to talking with him. Does he communicate about his reboot? Does he have a plan? An accountability partner (should not be you because I completely agree you don't want to be his mom).

 My husband and I finally started setting boundaries and goals for each other. One of the agreements was that our phones are open. At anytime I can look at his phone if I am needing the reassurance because I am am working on trusting. I don't have to ask,  it is completely open. In the same respect he can look at my phone as well. I am not hiding anything from him just as I ask him to not hide from me. At any time he can look at my phone. We don't question each other about it unless there is something we want to discuss. We leave our phones on the counter or out in the open when at home, not in our pockets.

 We also made an agreement that we would have at least one other same person or place where we cold get support. The person was someone we both agreed to. I knew who he was talking to and I knew that person was someone who cared about both of us and wasn't just a jerk. I had a friend I talked to, he agreed to that person before had as well. In our case it totally blew up because the friend I talked to got really weird. Neither of us expected that, lol. Apparently he husband is a porn addict too and not interested in dealing with it. Super awkward, lol.

Lastly we both made a commitment to talk to each other. We had a weekly check in time set. Each week on Sunday evening we would check in before bed. Let each other know where we were at with things and what's going on. We continue this still and it has been over two years. We talk about what we can do to support each other and what we are doing well at or struggling with. It is actually very connecting. In the beginning it was not as fun and sometimes the conversation was stiff but having a set time made sure we would actually do it and not just procrastinate and avoid.

I mention these things as examples. I would encourage you to talk with him and set some boundaries and goals together. They don't have to be complex or anything and you don't have to be his mom. What you should do is figure out what you need to feel safe and secure and loved in this relationship. If being able to check his phone is the reassurance you need while trust is being rebuild than talk about what that looks like. Also what does he need? I honestly only check his phone a handful of times because just knowing I had his permission was enough. Seeing him be committed to leaving it out so I could was enough for me to know he is being open and supportive. I hope this is helpful. If I am way off base you can completely disregard this, lol! I with you the best in your relationship.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: December 17, 2018, 12:04:19 PM »
You are doing great and I think it is so wise of you to notice and admit where the weaknesses are. Remember to make a plan now for when you encounter that weak area again. Is it to send a text to your wife checking in? What ever it is, maybe even just a mantra to say, have something handy as a plan so that you can feel even stronger in the future. You have so much to be proud of  and thankful for going into a new year! Congrats on all your progress!

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: December 17, 2018, 11:59:28 AM »
Bob, I appreciate your support! Braved118 is allowed his opinion but  it doesn't make we wonder how long this individual has been married for to offer such words of advise. Before I had kids I had all kinds of ideas on how to raise them, now I have kids and I realize how little I know. This could be a similar example.

I think that is one of the many things that rebooting completely does, it allows you time to just get comfortable with you and (if you are in a relationship) with  your partner too. It forces you to have conversations and open up. Gives you time to soul search and if you are wise you will use that time to really soul search and learn who you and your partner are together. Then when you re start a physical relationship it is only reinforcing what you have already established. We put too much emphasis on sex being the definition of the relationship when in reality it is only one small part of the relationship. The foundation much be in the communication and interactions together, the life you create. The amount of that time that is spend in the bedroom is really only a fraction of the life you spend together so why allow that to occupy the majority of your determined worth in the relationship?  Focus on honoring each other, building each other up, and learning how to encourage each other to reaching goals together. There really isn't any time for porn when you are living in a true transparent and authentic relationship, you are too busy living!

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