Author Topic: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome  (Read 2206 times)

OldSoldier66

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OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« on: February 20, 2017, 10:02:34 AM »

This, of course, is all new to me.  I have a problem, and I've signed up here because I need to get better in order to save my marriage.  I'm not certain that I'm a porn addict.  I know that I've used it as a substitute for real intimacy.  I've figured out - all on my own - that I definitely suffer from intimacy anorexia.  The porn use is my outlet for my natural urges and has offered me a way to decline meaningful sex with my wife.

Naturally, our marriage has suffered.  Three years into it, I'm facing losing her.  She is a good woman and my fourth wife (probably a significant statistic there).  She is different and doesn't manipulate me or emotionally abuse me as some of the previous ones have.  I'm fairly certain I've been made into the intimacy anorexic that I am by my mother.  I do not suspect there was any overt, outright sexual abuse.

I've searched the internet for support groups, advice and anything I can use to gain a better perspective and some insight into my problems.  Right now, I've sworn off porn and masturbation.  It seems to be helping.  I noticed that my mental imagery ability has responded, and my night dreams have become pretty graphic.  No wet dreams, just the sick part of my brain trying to force me back into my habits.

I took the step and shared all my revelations with my wife.  She appreciated me sharing it, and I think it was a good breakthrough.  It didn't solve the problem, of course, but now she knows I'm trying.

What I need are some references and help.  I've found all the emotional anorexia stuff (YouTube, etc) by that semi-famous counselor who's apparently damn near-trademarked the term.  The downside is, it's a typical twelve-step with the typical religious inserts and a slew of books and workbooks for sale.  Can anyone offer links, advice, or anything that might help?

My background: White, straight male, 48 years old, former Army officer who served 23 years.  Not sure what else might be relevant, but those are the basics.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 05:39:32 AM »
Just realized my initial entry might sound like I'm in denial.  I'm not, and I'm white-knuckling (so to speak) swearing off porn and masturbation.  I keep hunting for advice or insight into the emotional anorexia as I'm working on this particular aspect of my problem.  The stories here are helpful.  It's good to know I'm not alone.

MickorMike

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 07:09:08 AM »
Doesn't sound like denial at all. Porn does have a major effect on intimacy though. I found it's almost impossible to carry on a reasonable relationship when you're going out with 10 new girls a night. What chance does a real girl have. It led me to a pretty ordinary space which only changed when porn disappeared out my life.

Just go to yourbrainonporn.com and read everything you can. It's by far the best reference out there.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2017, 06:31:41 PM »
Mickormike, thanks for the advice.  I'd seen the link but hadn't gathered any kind of group opinion here yet.  I'll try it out... and keep working on getting my wife to come around and through her anger.  It's well deserved, but it flashes up from time to time and really triggers me in terms of what ex's and others have layered on me in damage.

Will check the link!  Thanks!

getagrip

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 09:06:30 PM »
I admire your courage to post on here. That's a critical first step. I'm still pretty new at this myself. Based on your user name, you might be 66 and that's my age. We older guys can suffer from PIED just like everyone else. On the positive side, we didn't grow up with high-speed porn in puberty, so assuming our duration of exposure to porn is shorter, that works in our favor. What may work against us is our declining testosterone levels and complications from medical conditions and medications. But I remain hopeful, and I hope you do, too!
Keep it real. As in real women.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 04:57:47 AM »
Getagrip, I am hopeful and appreciate the support.  I've found that my PMO issue is a substitute for intimacy, but while I'm not as bad off as some stories I've read here, it's an issue nonetheless.  Someone above recommended the link on this site to 'Your Brain on Porn.'  No real journal or ongoing support like this, but it's a wealth of linked and embedded information.  I'm still exploring it.

On a side journal note, I'm finding new periodic surges of random thought that distract.  I doubt I have to explain it, but it makes things tough.  The good news is, my life keeps me busy enough to counter it.

getagrip

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:23:25 PM »
Controlling our actions is hard enough but trying to control our thoughts is even harder. I had actually never seen our own thoughts as being possible triggers, but now that you mention it, it's obvious that they can be. Probably the best strategies are the ones that seem to work for the usual triggers... divert yourself with an activity (you know the saying about idle minds, lol) or use my favorite strategy which is coming here to this forum for inspiration and encouragement.
Keep it real. As in real women.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 10:12:26 PM »
@getagrip - Yes, whatever works, man.  I guess I'm lucky because, after 23 years in the Army, I'm pretty good at exercising self-discipline, which extends to both behavioral and mental processes.  That said, I'm still not special.  I had to admit to myself that I had a problem before I could start exerting that control.  Right?

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 06:42:07 PM »
So now things get tough.  I've posted a comment somewhere else to the effect that I feel depressed, I'm not sleeping well, and even not pissing like I'm used to.  Guess that's to be expected, I suppose.  I'd love to know when this ends.  Doesn't help that my life won't stop throwing additional challenges at me while I do this.

My biggest worry is still that my wife has mentally and emotionally moved on.  I brought up the topic of sex, and she said she had 'shut that part of her down.'  I have no idea what that means.  I have no idea when - during this process I mean - it is once again good to actually engage in meaningful sex.  I worry that I'm going to go through all this without any way of seeing if my efforts are paying off, so to speak.  I won't cheat on her, though. 

Probably not the best time to post here.  Those 'other life challenges' are weighing heavily on my mind.

getagrip

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 08:17:32 PM »
Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Do you think couples counseling would help as far as getting you and your wife on the same sexual wavelength again? I ask this because it doesn't seem the two of you are communicating too well on your own and sometimes a third-party facilitator can help.
Keep it real. As in real women.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 04:27:32 AM »
@getagrip - I don't think that's beyond the realm of possible.  I had a lot of other things weighing on me when I posted that, which is the real source of my down tone.  My wife and I actually communicate exceptionally well.  Since that night, we've had a sort of breakthrough - i.e., she wanted to - but of course waking me up in the middle of the night is always a dicey proposition.  Point being, she expressed this to me.  I told her how much that meant and the significance and she'd not considered how things appeared to me.

I'm still in the "not much reaction down there" stage of this reboot.  I guess my next question is, when is it okay to have sex with one's wife during a reboot? 

Gracie

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 08:46:11 AM »
My husband and I did a lot of foreplay type things.  If you go to porn addiction and go to the thread by Hablanos, "porn is the best thing that happened to me" he has a list of what we did.  It worked.  We are in our 60s as well.  During his use I had sex with him maybe once a week. He was having sex with screen lovers 4 times a week.    Now it is a lot more often 4 times a week avg.  BUT it took time and a lot of talking, and caring by both of us to get here.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 05:20:43 PM »
@Gracie - I tried that in my last marriage, and admittedly there was a lot of bad stuff happening then, so I don't want anything at this point triggering my brain to equate my current spouse with my abusive ex (the Vodka Harpy).  I'm really trying to do this the right way.  I do appreciate your input, though!

Dem

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 07:23:29 AM »
Hey man- I'm new to this and I'm married. I have some of the same questions and struggles that you are going through.  I am praying for you and hopefully you can read this book that I am reading. "The Resolution for Men" is a good read and reminder of how we should operate as men.  My wife is patient but I know she has needs. Hoping this will all Passover quickly but the reality is probably that it will take double the time that I've spent watching porn.  My next step is probably counseling. 

Good luck to ya man.
DW

getagrip

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 03:43:56 PM »
Good luck to you, Dem, as well as OldSoldier. Keep us posted.
Keep it real. As in real women.

MioSr

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2017, 12:11:01 PM »
Hi OldSoldier, I think it's fine to have sex with your wife whenever you both are good with it. More than encouraged in fact. Rebooting isn't about shutting out sex or intimacy, it's about retraining our brains to look toward real people, not computers, to experience our feelings with. Seemingly a simple enough road, but man, when we've been as self-conditioned to porn as we have been, the well-worn road to porn is pretty inviting. The game is to shut that outlet down and retrain our minds to move past porn and toward people.

I don't know about you, but it I have a real issue just carrying desire. It sounds like you have some experience of that too from your posts. I have found it much easier "dealing with" my urges than expressing them with another. My journey is to flip that, or really just to quiet that "dealing with" voice all together.

All power to you. The whiteknuckling is the worst. Know it daily. I read somewhere on here that the harder you fight against the urges the more they'll fight back. A good technique I've found is to take a moment and breathe into the urge. I think meditation techniques are really helpful. Simple ones like feel the breath coming in and out of your nose, feel the chair your sitting on, stuff like that. What it does is refocus the mind on to other images and/or senses. It's impossible to "stop thinking something." You need to replace the original something with something else.

It really is moment to moment to moment. It'll get easier. Plus you'll start to feel your momentum. Obviously, stay vigilant. But, to answer your question, stay intimate. That's the beginning middle and end of all this work.

OldSoldier66

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Re: OldSoldier66's Journal - Help and advice welcome
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 04:51:32 AM »
@MioSr - Wow, great insight.  I've kind of discovered a lot of the techniques you offer by default.  I appreciate your taking time to post here.  I know there's probably all the answers I'd need here on the site but damn - there's a lot to read, and The Man kinda expects me to actually perform work when I'm at work.  Right? 

Follow on question for the audience - I've been through a week of awful sleep, interrupted by some really bad dreams.  Not sex related at all, but the bad, disturbing, wake-you-up kind based on recurring scenes/places/worlds I've dreamt before.  Obviously, I've scraped the surface off of something and am now exposing the rotten inside to the air, but I guess I want to know if this is normal, or common.