Author Topic: On the road to recovery, there are drivers, and there are passengers.  (Read 9335 times)

HelpUsHelpUS

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This is my first journal entry. I posted in the forum for partners and families of rebooters about how my boyfriend has developed PE as a result of heavy porn use. That is kind of my backstory so I would recommend viewing that first. My entries will be long on average as I'm a writer and this is where I get my feelings out. I haven't talked to anyone but my bf about it because everyone else in my life knows him. So this will be my place to talk about it, with people who understand.

On the road to my boyfriend's recovery, I'm the passenger. This is a journey he's taking, but I'm right next to him along for the ride. And I hope it leads to where we need it to go, because we're leaving a sad place.

He agreed two nights ago to quit PMO and do a reboot. I'm thankful he's on board with this, and I will support him in whatever way he needs during this time. I told him I would give everything sexual up too if it helps him stay focused. We may have sex from time to time, but I told him I think it's best to keep it very few and very far between.

I suggested he check out YBOP, which he has, and he said that's exactly what's been going on and he's relieved it's a problem that can be solved. I felt that at first also, then I began to wonder, of it's really that ingrained in his brain, how prevalent this proclivity will continue to be post reboot. An alcoholic can't quit drinking for a while and then have a beer occasionally after rehab. That's not the way it works, I've seen people try to do that, to be the exception and fail.

I've also been feeling pretty heartbroken, for a while because I've known that something was wrong for months, and everytime I would ask him about it, he'd make me feel like I was crazy and that I was obsessed with sex. I'm not. But I did notice when things started to take a turn and I was feeling down on myself because I didn't know what was wrong and it seemed like he just wasn't as into me anymore and there was nothing I could do. Finding out about his addiction has been the answer to my intuition telling me something's been going on for a long time. But I've been feeling especially sad the past couple of days upon the shock of this realization.

A lot of it I think is that I analyze myself and my choices and despite loving him to pieces and being very willing to work with him on his reboot and our relationship, I'll find myself thinking things like, "You don't deserve this kind of BS in your life. Leave now," or "Way to go. You really know how to pick 'em." It's part of me just processing the resentment that has come with this. Why has porn done this to my relationship? I'm attractive, and I love sex, and everything was great, and how dare he? I know this is a destructive way of thinking and I've been trying to point my thoughts elsewhere. I really have.

The trust is what has taken the heaviest blow, and it's taken a chunk if my self worth with it. He has given me old porn he had lying around and told me to hide it, told me to hide all of our toys and sexually oriented stuff, even told me to take the tissues out of our room. I went into his computer yesterday and deleted porn and pics I found, plus bookmarks and history with Tumblr and other things he used to look at porn. He assured me he wasn't receiving email from them and he let me go into his email and sniff around, making sure everything was unsubscribed to, deleted, and trash emptied. His junk mail was FULL of porn stuff. I find this concerning because he claimed he didn't know where it was coming from, and if he ever gets desperate, he could prob just go into his junk mail and PMO. After the lying, it's hard for me to trust that he's going to really commit to this. It's the internet: if he really wants to glance at porn, he will.

Just nervous I guess. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up every morning. How committed is he to this? I suggested he start a journal and he kind of shrugged it off. I suggested he watch some of the videos and he hasn't yet. He seems to take this a lot less seriously than I do when it's his recovery, not mine. But I don't want to be this nag who is policing his life. Ugh. Stay tuned.

HelpUsHelpUS

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Sometimes, I'll pull way out of the situation and it's almost funny to me. Anyone else feel that way?? I'll think about the things my bf had been looking at and even getting off to and then my life feels a little like a tragic sitcom, where you're laughing but at the same time you feel so bad for the main character. I know hentai and futa porn are hugely popular, but when you think about it, what kind if a world are we living in where people get off more to CARTOONS than their SO?! Like I'm sorry I couldn't grow a dorsal fin for you or a tiger print fur coat and tail or tentacles... I guess I'll never understand. To me, it's interesting at the most from a purely artistic level. I'm not trying to be a jerk here, I know there must be people on here who were all about that stuff before rebooting and I'm not trying to trigger anything from anyone, I just don't see how that would get someone off and I'm constantly trying to make sense of it. I suppose it's just increased shock value, from what I've read.

Bibbity

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You need to grieve everything you've lost.  Don't deny your feelings ever because it will make it impossible to get through them.  My husband and I had a very rough year but we did make it out the other side.  I made a commitment to myself however to express everything to him that I was feeling, as I was feeling it.  It was tough because he didn't want to listen, the guilt was too much but I had to get him to realize that I was the victim in this and I deserved to be heard.  I am a firm believer in getting emotions out on the table rather than bottling them up or "pretending everything is always fun fun fun"!!

I also found things to be ridiculous when I took a step back and sometimes laughing about it helped in a weird way.  My husband preferred masturbation to me!  awesome.  How the EFF did I end up here.  I am a beautiful vivacious woman with a high sex drive.  I have been told I could get any man I want by other men.  Why did I choose THIS?!!  In the end I realized it was about me and not putting myself first.  I also recognized my own messed up co-dependant behavior.  My husband had a video game addiction as well.

You are not alone :)
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

Rainiegirl

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For me its like this never ending cycle. If you look at the five stages of grief, I keep cycling through stages 2, 3, and 4. Ive looked up many differnt sites on how to cope, and the best info I got was this..

(Partners often present with a set of symptoms that match symptoms similar to rape trauma syndrome (RTS) and complex post-traumatic-stress disorder (C-PTSD), including psycho-biological alterations, re-experiencing of the trauma, social and emotional constriction, constant triggering and reactivity, significant anxiety, emotional arousal and hyper-vigilance. Sex addiction-induced trauma is a highly specific type of trauma that involves nuanced symptoms that can include fear and panic of potential disease and contamination, fear of child safety and potential of child molestation, social isolation, embarrassment and shame and intense relational rupture and attachment injuries.)

so you are not going crazy with mixed emotions. Your reaction is normal and you need somewhere or someone to go to. If you want to read the whole study here is the site http://nationalpsychologist.com/2012/07/partners-of-sex-addicts-need-treatment-for-trauma/101713.html

Keep writing. Ive been writing everything down on paper as soon as I feel it and its been helpful. I told my SO where my notebook is and that he is free to read it whenever he wants. I do not want anything hidden in my life.

HelpUsHelpUS

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You need to grieve everything you've lost.  Don't deny your feelings ever because it will make it impossible to get through them.

My husband preferred masturbation to me!  awesome.  How the EFF did I end up here.  I am a beautiful vivacious woman with a high sex drive.  I have been told I could get any man I want by other men.

This has definitely felt like mourning the loss of a person in way; mourning the relationship I thought I had before I discovered this big secret of his. I told him the same thing, that I'm not trying to harp on him or make him feel worse than he already does, but he's known about this for years and I've just found out, and I feel so disillusioned. I've been letting myself cry when I need to, and I've been trying to work out more to channel my thoughts into something positive.

What you said also about laughing at the whole thing and being mad at him and yourself at the same time is EXACTLY how I feel! I've taken hold of this though and making sure he's takng this seriously. Thank you so much!

HelpUsHelpUS

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Thanks Rainiegirl!

I will definitely look into that. I've found solace in the amount of material available on this subject. I didn't realize it was such a prevalent issue in our society, but the more I think about it, of course it's a huge problem. In this day and age of instant gratification, we have access to whatever we want with complete anonymity. Reading articles and looking at studies on porn addiction makes me feel a little more at ease because I understand now what has happened to him and I know that we can beat this if we work together.

I would say the primary symptoms I've been experiencing are anxiety, constant triggering and reactivity, and hyper vigilance. The past couple days have been pretty awful for me. I haven't felt this low since the loss of my mom a few years ago. So this info will be very helpful. Thanks again!

HelpUsHelpUS

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So... I have a confession.

My SO is only 4 days into his reboot and we had sex this morning. He took care of me first, and was extra sweet about it, as opposed to the disconnected way he's been recently. He still had PE as he has, which we both expected this time so it wasn't awkward for either of us, which is good I guess.

I know we probably shouldn't have. He knows it too. We talked about it and decided we would try to avoid it for a while. I know actual sex is part of rewiring the brain but it's way too early for us to be doing that I think. I'm wondering if we should consider this a reset or not? He swears there hasn't been any P or M.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 11:48:57 AM by HelpUsHelpUS »

Bibbity

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Sex with you is way better than M and P so don't be too hard on yourselves!  Lots of cuddling without sex is great but I can tell you that we had sex a lot during the reboot.  It might be why it took us a year though.  We decided to abstain from O for 8 weeks (for him) about 9 months into the reboot because the ED just wasn't going away fully.  We didn't know about YBOP or this site so we did everything by trial and error.  At least you guys have a head start with this knowledge :)
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

HelpUsHelpUS

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Thanks Bibbity, that is so reassuring!

I'm SO GLAD I found this site, I can't say it enough!

daws

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Thanks for your recent reply to the start of my journal. Reading from your perspective is really interesting and you should give yourself a lot of credit for going through this with your bf. I honestly think if I had known I was addicted to porn when the girl I lived with left I would still of let her go to keep it a secret. That is how damaging this stuff is. You have stuck around and have taken the time to learn this is an insidious problem. You are a great gf. He is very lucky to have your support. Keep up the good work !

HelpUsHelpUS

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daws, you're so welcome! It was surprising to read that you would've still let your girlfriend go to keep your P addiction a secret. That was an eye opener and a testament to how serious this problem can get. I'm so glad you're choosing to overcome this and that you're getting the help you need. You will be so much better off, I know it!

HelpUsHelpUS

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The past couple days have been great. My bf understands that he has a problem and is willingly moving forward with a reboot. I wish he'd start a journal but maybe he will in time. He seems to be taking it very seriously. He said he kind of regretted having sex the other day because even though he knows it's ok, he's like to abstain from O as well. He's been acting sweeter to me, more considerate, more affectionate. He really is putting forth an honest effort and I'm crossing my fingers that it continues on like this. I feel a bit more at ease about things and I feel closer to him. So far so good.

Thanks Reboot Nation for your support thus far!

Jverhoye

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HuHu, I've enjoyed reading your journal entries.  You have definitely found a good place.  Continued success with you and your BF.

HelpUsHelpUS

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Things are going well. I've been making it a point to ask my bf every couple days how he's doing/feeling, if there's anything new he's noticing, etc. He has admitted that it's harder than he thought not to look at any P at all, and even when he looks at The Chive, his favorite app, he avoids the rolls of hot girls and stuff like that. He knows it can be a slippery slope. He's still M-free as well, which he says he came very close to breaking a couple times, which I can understand from the sheer buildup he's been experiencing. I told him if he does break on either the P or M front, that I want him to be honest with me, and that I may be disappointed, but I understand it's an addiction and I'm trying to be realistic about the likelihood of a relapse. If it does happen, I don't want the lying to start up again so I'm trying to keep the lines if communication as open as possible, which I think they should be anyway.

I've been experiencing some difficulty on my end with abstaining from sex with him. The longest we've gone without it so far is a week and a half. I know it's for him and for us and that it'll be more effective if he avoids O during his reboot, but it is difficult. Especially with the positive effects I've already noticed from lack of P and M. He's more focused on other aspects of his life, especially task oriented things. I could not even give a full list of the things he's gotten accomplished in the past week between school, work, and a lot of stuff around the house. I think he's keeping busy to distract himself from thinking about P and M, but he's been so productive. He also seems a little less irritable. And he's more responsive to me. He just seems a little sweeter somehow, and that makes me let go of some of the negative stuff and be more responsive to him. And then it's hard to avoid sex. We've given in a couple times this past week, and there is still a PE factor for sure, but he was much more present and I feel like I'm getting my relationship back. We'll continue to work on avoiding O more to deal with the PE, but my attitude is starting to lighten considerably. I'm so grateful that I found this site and so grateful that he's willing to work on this for him and for us.

Bibbity

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It sounds like you both are doing great!!  Like I mentioned before we had a ton of sex during the reboot and we turned out well so..... ;)  I think the reconnection both sexually and emotionally is hugely important to get between the disconnect that is caused by porn.  As soon as we started reconnecting the porn monster got smaller and smaller and the "need" for it got less and less.  He was able to come to me and express his stress and anxiety instead of turning to M for comfort.

Keep up the great work :)
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

Viper

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Wow HuHu,
nothing like having a supportive SO in the struggle.


HelpUsHelpUS

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Here is a post I put up in another forum. I wanted it be part of my journal as well so here it is.

Yesterday, I began a conversation with my SO about the prospect of whether or not he planned on using P after his reboot (however long that takes). I'm worried because while he said he wouldn't use it right away and maybe just resort to M from time to time, he seems to think it'll be ok for him to view P again in the future at some point, maybe just more traditional type stuff.

I feel like P has poisoned his brain and his bodily responses and that what he's suggesting is similar to an alcoholic having just one beer occasionally after getting out of rehab, or a smoker quitting cold turkey and only smoking when they drink. I'm nervous that he doesn't fully understand that he could end back up at square one.

I also worry that the only reason he's doing this reboot is to work on the PE problem he's developed and nothing more. I agree that's an issue, but I'm more concerned with the fact that he was in this weird fog for so long and now he's coming out of it and already thinking about jumping back in.

I told him I don't think it would be smart to view P at all, but how realistic is that? And what about M?

What do others out there think about P & M post-reboot?

SO Reboot Partner

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I think his addiction is testing the waters of your resolve, perhaps hoping to negotiate.

Here's the deal. This is a really tough thing to give up. His brain is mush and you need to ignore a lot of these musings because they are junk-think. He's looking to you for any crack of hope that he can live that double life. If you want to support, don't fee the demon.

You can't control another person, you can only control you. Build your self-esteem, your worthiness because if you've been living with this you may not think too highly of yourself. I didn't. Sharpening your self-esteem also calibrates your BS meter. You will be able to discern when the addiction is talking.

I had that "I'm just a passenger" mentality in the beginning too. Realize this is YOUR life, not just his. You are the driver when it comes to how you want to live. Addiction depends on you having no self-esteem or value, because it wants to be number one in his life.

Bibbity

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All I can say is that this is the mind of an addict unfortunately.  They really view porn as their source of true happiness.  Real sex to them is a mechanical act and they aren't able to connect intimately so they keep on seeing porn as good or better than real sex.  It takes a lot of time and really good rewiring to get them to see the light.
Intimate connection is absolute key here IMO.  Intimacy is the difference between porn and sex.
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

Rainiegirl

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porn is not a nessesary thing that men need. Being that he has you it can, and has, also cause dissconnection between him and yourself.  It works against the pair bonding mechanisims in our brain. Everytime hes veiws pornography his brain will realese chemicals that will bond him towards the images he is watching. This is why many women instictivly feel like their partners are cheating when they use pornography. You are not wrong if you feel like asking him to never use it again. It is a risk and because he has already created such a strong pathway in his brain for it, occasional vewing will most likely put him right back to where he was. In the end its up to you, but for me I would put my foot down and say absolutly not. You might also want to wait awhile for him to progress further befor you have a conversation about it because he seems to still be thinking with an addict brain at the moment.

HelpUsHelpUS

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Being that he has you it can, and has, also cause dissconnection between him and yourself.  It works against the pair bonding mechanisims in our brain. Everytime hes veiws pornography his brain will realese chemicals that will bond him towards the images he is watching. This is why many women instictivly feel like their partners are cheating when they use pornography. You are not wrong if you feel like asking him to never use it again. It is a risk and because he has already created such a strong pathway in his brain for it, occasional vewing will most likely put him right back to where he was. In the end its up to you, but for me I would put my foot down and say absolutly not. You might also want to wait awhile for him to progress further befor you have a conversation about it because he seems to still be thinking with an addict brain at the moment.

Makes sense about the bonding mechanisms. From what I've seen, the difference between our sex life and relationship as a whole during his PMO and what it has returned to after he realized his addiction is proof enough for me. He's so much more present in the moment now. I pat myself on the back too for having such a strong intuition. I know there are probably a lot of people who would see a difference in behavior but think nothing of it. I'm glad I had the strength to acknowledge, both to myself as well as him, that something was wrong.

I also think it gives people an unrealistic impression of what sex should be like. Messed up storylines and situations. Ick. Trashy. And I had begun to see a change in what he wanted in the bedroom. I'm an adventurous girl, but it started to get dark. I'm glad I stopped compromising myself and started looking for answers.

HelpUsHelpUS

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Intimacy is the difference between porn and sex.

YES!!

HelpUsHelpUS

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Re: On the road to recovery, there are drivers, and there are passengers.
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2014, 11:20:58 AM »
Happy June!! I'm happy and relieved to say that my bf has been PM-free for just over a month now. We've had sex a few times but I've been trying to avoid that to help with his PE. I picked up a night shift at work last night and wasn't home till late. The thought did cross my mind that I hoped he wouldn't have a relapse, and he told me this morning that he had really wanted to, but fought the urge and did not. Phew! Last night and this morning, he wanted to fool around, but not to the point of O. I was surprised and glad to hear this because it seems like he's starting to appreciate things like foreplay again just for what they are, as opposed to just a means to an end. He stopped really doing those things altogether for a while so this is refreshing for me. He said he wanted to get me off because "it helps" him. Not sure how that would be, but I did abstain because I told him I wanted to wait for a bit so I could do this alongside him. The sun is out today, I'm getting a tan, and feeling optimistic!

Bibbity

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Re: On the road to recovery, there are drivers, and there are passengers.
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2014, 12:20:52 PM »
Great news!!!

For us having sex actually helped the PE.  Abstaining made my husband very sensitive (which was great because he was not sensitive enough before) so when we started having sex he had PE at first but that got better the more we did it and the more he was able to focus on things other than quick Oing.  Sometimes he would have to pull out to calm down or close his eyes to concentrate on relaxing so he wouldn't cum too quickly.  It took about a month or two before things got really good and he can now last as long as he wants for the most part.

My husband loves getting me off.  It's now his favorite part of sex!  I think porn makes men more selfish lovers and when they give up porn they realize that sex is a shared experience and that an aroused woman is the best part of it.  I'm not sure if you are ready to start the rewire process but it sounds like it might be a good idea :)
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
― Octavia E. Butler

HelpUsHelpUS

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Re: On the road to recovery, there are drivers, and there are passengers.
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2014, 09:18:56 PM »
Pleased to report that we had the best sex we've had in a very long time last night! It was like it used to be. At first, his plan was just to get me off, which he did manually, but he ended up cumming too. He'd been actually holding out in hopes of a wet dream, to prove to himself he could go that long, which he said he hasn't done since he first started getting them.  He told me he's been doing Kegels in the car to help with his PE. I really appreciate him putting in an honest effort and working on himself. But anyway, at first I thought that might be it, but he had a super fast refractory period, and we ended up having delicious sex. I reminded him to slow down a couple times and not to worry about it, and it felt special and real and great. I know I can attribute it to his reboot and the work we've been doing together, and I am so thankful for that.

Our next goal, besides keeping him PM-free, is to go longer without sex. Our record is a week and a half. Seems to be our breaking point, not that I mind.  ;)