Author Topic: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?  (Read 5234 times)

Emerald Blue

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Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« on: July 19, 2016, 10:48:23 AM »
It seems to be a universal experience that the female partners of male porn addicts feel bad about themselves in some way. We don't feel "good enough". I feel that the porn addiction/habit itself is something itself creates increasing levels of dissatisfaction even with the porn. I certainly felt that my partner was dissatisfied with me.

It's taken me a long time to be able to look in the mirror and feel OK about what I see. But I still feel like shit when I think of my husband and his porn preference for very large breasts. I was always a slim girl and I have a smaller than average bustline. I was always perfectly happy about my breasts. I'm not flat chested by any means either. I've never felt thought "I wish I was bigger" and it's not as if anyone was complaining either. Before porn killed off our sex life he wasn't even touching my breasts, and before he reached that point I'd actually have to physically put my hand on his and direct him just to get 5 seconds as a courtesy. Looking back, he never paid my breasts much attention and his eventual ignoring completely probably paralleled the progression of his porn addiction. At the time I believed that breasts weren't his thing. Then I found what he'd been watching and it was all large, very large and oversized breasts. I won't go into details but there were videos of various acts involving large oversized breasts. Yet he wouldn't even touch mine.

Of course it has created issues for me. But here's the thing. I don't feel bad about my own size and shape. I did before, especially after discovering those videos. The reason I felt bad was because this was what he sought out, and not only that, he was getting off to stuff that we never did. Considering how he hardly touched me there, he certainly never expressed an interest in doing any of those things with me.

I like the physical sensations that I can experience from my breasts and when I look back I even think of the physical pleasure that I was denied because I'd only get a 5 seconds courtesy call. He found me lacking. Whether it's a porn induced fetish, I'm really not so sure about. I reckon the porn just served up more and more of the shit he wanted to indulge in. But now I feel quite weird about him touching me. He paid more attention to my breasts after d day after I told him about his very obvious lack of interest. He made the effort but I think he's paying less attention now. So, here I am, back to that feeling that he'd rather he could get his hands and whatever else of his onto a pair of big melons like he sought out in porn.

Don't get me wrong. I don't feel bad about my body. I don't want to be anything other than myself. It's taken a long time to feel this way about myself again. My body image was so negative through neglect but his video stash was devastating. I know "don't take it personally" and porn-induced fetishes do happen. I don't feel negatively about my breasts, and I certainly wouldn't change places with any of the porn "actresses" he watched. I just don't feel comfortable with that knowledge. It's one of those moments when you wish you were married to a man who wasn't so brainwashed and polluted by this shit. I do feel I've earned the right to feel good about myself. Why is is so hard at times, though? You grow stronger, you feel better, but you've still got these gnawing doubts.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 10:49:55 AM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2016, 12:46:17 PM »
I think you are absolutely right! We should feel good about ourselves. I think there are a lot of influences in our culture even without being married to a PA that want women to feel bad about themselves. If we believed we were ok the way we are then we wouldn't need to buy and consume all the crap the media is selling us. There is another issue in our culture that I believe keeps women feeling insecure. When you come across a strong secure women a lot of people tend to call her full of herself, over confident, narcissistic and other various less than kind things. Yet when a man feels secure about himself he is strong. There is this underlying theme that women are supposed to be weak and need saving so to speak. I do believe this attitude is starting to shift, but it is still here and we are still wading through it. This cultural attitude is the very same one that says men have to macho and that very thing drives a lot of men to porn. I know it did for my husband. When we start treating people as just people and not putting expectations on them to be a certain standard that is when the real change will occur and we will all be better for it.  That just my perspective for what it's worth.

Great job seeing yourself as a woman of real worth! You are amazing!

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 11:37:49 AM »
Thanks aquarius25.

It's so true that women are constantly receiving negative messages telling we are not good enough as we are. There are entire corporations built on women trying to change themselves, from weight loss to skin creams that promise eternal youth, and now we're in an era where Botoxed faces and breast implants have become "normal". No matter what we achieve in life, if we don't look a certain way and look 22 forever then we seem to be valued less.

I thought my husband married me for who I am. I suppose that's still true but when he was using porn I felt less valued and taken for granted. Porn has very subtle and not so subtle messages concerning relationships. Sex without commitment. Sex without respect for other human beings with emotional needs. Sex with expectations that the other person should look a certain way and so on. All the emotions of the porn addict are used up in the seeking and the eventual (one sided) gratification. Its not about a shared experience. I believe that porn trains the user to treat people as disposable. "If this one doesn't do it for you, there's always the next one."

And how much of that attitude filtered through into the marriage bed? If I wasn't doing it for him, he could go onto the porn sites and find what did do it for him. And that was what he chose. He wasn't even touching my breasts yet he was downloading series of big boobs videos and getting off to those instead. And a woman's breasts are a very important part of a woman's femininity, so to find out that he wasn't touching me because he couldn't indulge in his big boobs fetish was quite humiliating. I mean, this was my husband, not some guy I'd picked up in a bar for a one night stand. We'd made a lifetime commitment to each other and then after being ignored in favor of porn I find out that I'm not his "type" to the extent he wouldn't touch me there, or had to be "encouraged" to put his hands there out of a sense of politeness. I found those videos very upsetting because he chose those that shit over me.

It's true that we have to work on our own recovery and build our confidence up without feeling dependent on any man's approval. It helps when our men say and do things to make us feel good, pay us the attention they should have given us instead of diverting all that attention to chasing another porn fix. But we have to do it for ourselves and it's not easy when your self esteem and your sexuality, your femininity, even your identity has been wrecked.

The mainstream porn ideal is no ideal to me. It never was. I have never and will never change myself to be more like porn. Recently I was shopping on an upscale European legwear fashion website and the models were nothing like what you'd see on porn sites. These were beautiful women with elegant gazelle-like figures wearing tasteful clothing. Sexy, definitely, but without being blatant about it. Evidence enough that small boobs can be sexy and that small-breasted women don't need push up bras or obvious cleavage. Subtlety and elegance is far sexier than those godawful trussed up porn turkeys. Not that I'm saying there's one ideal, certainly not, but there's no reason why we shouldn't feel inadequate just because of these porn types. We should all be proud of who we regardless of body shape.

I refuse to feel inadequate because of the porn my husband sought out. This is how I am. I'm not a consumer product. He either accepts me as I am and respects my values, or he doesn't. I don't let any other man touch my breasts and he has to realise that my body isn't some option on a computer screen that he can click on or not. After being dragged down by his habit for years there is no way I'm going through it again. Learning that it's OK to feel good about being myself also means knowing how I'd like to be treated. With respect. But I guess that begins with us respecting ourselves and maybe then they'll see what respect means.

Be strong! (Because it's not easy.)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:43:03 AM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

stillme

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 07:16:54 PM »
I go back and forth with this a lot. Some days I look at myself and realize what a beautiful person I am. I am confident with who I am and how I look and embrace all of me, even the parts that may not be as perfect.

Other days, not so much. I think my biggest struggle is knowing that while my husband is doing great, he is doing great due to avoiding porn and porn substitutes. My confidence shrivels when I realize all it would take it one image of a half naked woman and he could be right back into the throws of porn. I start lacking confidence when I think about the idea that the reason why he is all in to me at this point is because he is avoiding seeing any other woman. Avoiding watching television, avoiding surfing the net, avoiding seeing these women because the addiction is so much more powerful than anything that I could ever hope to deliver.

I try to avoid those crappy feeling days. I hope to have more days when I feel beautiful, when I feel "enough", when I don't care if he wants me because I am confident in who I am. But, I would be lying if I didn't say I don't still struggle with self confidence. It is a constant battle for me. I mean, the reality is I almost lost my husband to pixels on a screen. The reality is the only way he can keep himself from going back is to avoid.

It has been hard for me to not feel like I am competing with (and losing) women half my age and barely legal. I am honestly still floored that my husband was ever attracted to such things. I wonder how he could be attracted to such filth and be attracted to me - I am so far away from porn it isn't even funny. How could he be attracted to both? But, like I mentioned - I try to focus on the positive. I try to limit those thoughts of feeling unattractive and inadequate. It isn't easy, because it isn't just porn telling me I am not enough - it is all of society. Every commercial, every advertisement, literally everything I see tells me that I am not living up to the "standard" of beauty. So, being confident in myself is swimming against the tide. Mind you - I am not unattractive, honestly on a good day to most people I would probably be a 7 and if I worked hard and "worked" the right smile I could reach 8. But, not even my good and "worked" days could I hold a candle to porn and that continues to piss me off.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 01:38:00 PM »
stillme, I totally get this fluctuating self confidence. I'm certainly not immune to it. I had to realise that how I felt about myself couldn't depend on my partner's approval. The porn told me I was unattractive and undesirable, which I suppose is crazy when you think about it. If one of my girl friends was to confide in me about that same thing I would probably respond by saying "please don't let this get to you, you're absolutely fine as you are, if he can't see that then he's going to lose you out of his own stupidity and carelessness". Of course it's much more difficult when you're the one going through it.

One day I thought, "if I was single I wouldn't be plagued by these doubts. I'd feel much better about myself". That was a sort of turning point for me. If my self esteem can be undermined just because I'm in a relationship with someone who was masturbating secretly to videos, then I really cannot give away that power to someone who, quite frankly, has a serious problem going on. I feel the burden of being married to a PA every day. Even if he has quit, he is still an addict. I know if he relapses it will be the same old fairground ride of hiding and lying, and there's all these other things to like being hypersensitive to sexualised imagery and the whole objectification issue. So it's a huge burden for the partners and sometimes I wish I could be free of all that.

In some respects our recovery as partners is more difficult. If I wasn't in a relationship with a PA then I wouldn't have the burden of this situation and I would have a porn addict dragging down my self esteem. That's when I had that flash bulb moment. Why can't I feel OK about being me regardless of the PA in my life? I don't compare myself to these images of women. I can only be the best that I can be, and that's enough for me. Take it or leave it. If my PA partner doesn't appreciate me then it's not another man's appreciation that I need. What matters is that I am appreciating myself, as a whole person and not just a superficial appearance. It can actually be threatening to a PA to realise that his wife or GF is not a little mouse who just says "do what you want, treat me like shit and then wipe your feet right here". But it's hard work to keep it up, it takes work to take care of yourself especially your emotional health.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Steam rolled

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 10:01:16 AM »
My other post should be over here.

Thank you emerald for your help!

I have came back the past few days cause im feeling like leaving.
Even though my SO has been clean 2 years- its great and all for HIM.
And why i say him is headaches gone,irritability able to sleep ..... exct exct all gone.

But as for Me -I have some what fell out of love.
And by seeing him everyday it a constant reminder --- Im not enough.

So my answer has been - Out of sight out of mind!

Leaving is just so difficult and he has told me i will regret leaving the man who loves me unconditionally who with or without me is done with PMO!
Im a mess!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 10:03:18 AM by Steam rolled »
LOVE IS NOT LONELY!!!

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 11:10:01 AM »
I hear you, steam rolled. It's living with this ton weight of someone else's porn addiction on your back. It gets too much at times. I don't want to leave my partner but sometimes I want some time off from being the wife of a PA so I can be myself again. You take the porn problem away and then you see what you've got. A moth-eaten relationship full of holes and unexplained gaps. Who is this person I'm married to? Why didn't I see it? Why was I prepared to sacrifice my dignity just to be married to a man who'd rather watch porn and leave me to my own devices? I realised on day I was married to "that man", the midlife married man who lurks around adult bookstores. A character to be pitied, I thought when I was young. I would think, What kind of idiot woman would be married to one of these guys? This one.

I miss the freedom of not being married to a porn addict. I miss being able to feel good about myself. I miss the peace of mind. I miss knowing who I am. Above all, I miss living an honest life and not having to censor myself around him. Even things that I considered quite innocent in the past have been tainted. It's true, it's all a reminder and some days I want to be free from it. I feel as if I'm dragging this ball and chain around with me.

I don't want to be single again, but IF I was single I wouldn't have this monkey on my back all the time. I know my self esteem and self confidence wouldn't be under the sword like this. I'm just trying to work out whether I can get some of this feeling back into my life and I guess relying on a porn addict to feel good is a non starter. It's ludicrous when you think about it.

Some days I'm up, some days I'm down, but I'm realising that this is the next stage – feeling good about myself isn't something that comes from a PA's approval. So I'm trying to use the perspective of "if I was single, what would I do? How would I feel? Would this matter so much? What would be different? How can I make this difference in my own life?
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Gracie

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 01:46:52 PM »
I hear both of you.  I had a bad weekend.  Semi-meltdown  I talked about my feelings and why wouldn't I feel so used.  I basically said for 20 years you were looking for something else.  Do you know how that feels.  How it feels to think do I look good enough. How it feels to think am I making love right.  How it feels to know you were undressing women you looked.  How it feels when you say I wasn't aware I did that. 

Then we hear it is not us.  Maybe not.  But these are the effects that result.  And the thing that is affected is our marriage.  So the not us may be in your brain PA, but the effects or results of the secrecy and PA choices are what we deal with. 

Sometimes in therapy, a therapist dealing with couples will have one partner say how they feel and then ask what the other heard.  The perception is what is important.  That perception is the effect that the statement had.

Nothing bothers me more then hearing I don't do that anymore so everything is good.  Well no I feel like the porn time took away my marriage and what I believed it was and what I thought you were. 

He says men are brought up to believe looking is okay as long as you don't touch.  I say but you were touching, you were touching yourself in response to what you are seeing, so you are/were touching.

My husband does always say whatever it takes as long as it takes for you to heal.  But in my sixties do I have enough time to fully get there?

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 02:12:19 PM »
I feel terribly for you ladies what this addiction has put you through, what it has done to your self-esteem. Some of you have shown concerning symptoms for a long time. You just don't seem happy and the constant battle is too much. It puts such a strain on your nervous system and your whole body. I really think you should give serious thought to leaving. I can't imagine what this might do to you if you feel this way for the rest of your lives. No marriage is that important. Your first duty is to take care of yourself - especially if you can't feel the love anymore and you honestly believe you will never be able to look at him with a peaceful and loving heart again. Don't stay with him because you don't want to be single - if you do that, you're already single in your heart. Don't stay because of vows - vows are hollow when everything is broken around them. Don't stay because it's hard to leave - it might be harder on you to stay. Don't stay because he is trying hard and he's sorry - that might not be enough to heal your heart, ever.

Only stay if you think you can get past this and not see PA, betrayal and anger. You must believe that a peaceful and wonderful life with your partner is possible. If you don't believe this is possible, take back your life and move on. You deserve peace and a fresh start.

I wish you all the luck in the world in getting where you want to be.

(for what it's worth, I'm just a recovering addict, I don't expect you to care or respect what I think.)

aquarius25

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 02:56:50 PM »
Malando,

I can only speak for myself but I understand what you are saying. I appreciate you sincerity. It's tricky when you are married, have children and in my case own a business with this man. Personally I can see a future with him. I know he can beat this and I know we can have a beautiful marriage. The tricky part is the process of getting there. It's a bit of a roller coaster. I don't make decisions on my emotions alone because they are all over the place most of the time. With the stress of this it sometimes makes me feel like a crazy person. Some days are more difficult than others. Some days I feel like it's too much hurt and I don't know where to go but having a community to reach out to (this forum) has been great. Over all it is worth it. I know it will get better. For me the hardest part is working on not taking it personal and building my confidence up and understanding how to support him. I want to help and I don't always know how to do that or what to say.
Thanks again for your attitude of respect for us!

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 03:22:23 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Aquarius25. I didn't want to suggest that you are all in the same shoes. You seem to be feeling much more positive about your future than some of the other ladies here. I really believe you will get there because your hope and positivity are still strong. But I do feel the immense suffering that is going on for some of you. I just wanted to voice that it's ok to leave when you know it cannot be healed. I really just wish each one of you a peaceful resolution - in whatever form that will take. Just don't suffer for longer than you need to.

Best wishes.
M

Gracie

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 04:13:07 PM »
I understand what you say M.  My husband and I have come a tremendously long way.  And my bad feelings (really bad) only happens when the illness that he used as a reason to leave our bed flares up in the form of severe neck pain and severe headaches.  He was not there for me when I went through surgery and the recovery mentally and in the end physically.  Keep in mind at no point did I say no sex.  It was his choice/rationalization.  So when the pain starts my body reacts.  Sometimes when my head HURTS  bad pain for three days or more that porn time and discovery washes over me.  It is very triggering.  Then once the headache is gone I am fine.  I just have the uneasiness that has setteled in.  Most come from the things he said in gaslighting me about his choices.  The things were mean and some things I cannot change.  And he apologized but he did not want to be the bad guy so putting me down put him on top.  So the reason we women are here is that even though we feel like we are going crazy, we see others feel the same and have the same struggles.  This is a place where we can say leaving feels like an option.  I thought my husband wanted to leave me. Then I discovered his use.  Leaving was a thought.  So was suicide briefly.  He saw it and made sure I got to a doctor. I had no plan but it hurt so bad.

SOs really have no big go to places either in real life or on the internet.  I thank Gabe for including us here.  When I first looked fo information on porn it was all "suck it up buttercup boys will be boys and it certainly didnt feel that way. 

There are a lot of men on forums that talk about their wives not having sex, being fat, being ugly, they dont like their wives because of looks of the pixel girls.  They talk about their unhappiness yet I do not see anyone telling them if after 30 years of marriage and things are still bad and you feel that way just leave your wife ajd take care of yourself.  The men support each other and say hang in there and acknowledge the feelings they have.  They support each other they vent.  We need that from our fellow SOs too.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 02:32:36 PM by Gracie »

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 07:11:36 PM »
Thanks for offering your perspective, M. I really do agree that the strain of all the stress on our mental and physical health is a realistic consideration, although there are ways of counter balancing this by enough sleep (not easy), relaxation or meditation techniques, a good diet, and moderate exercise. It's too easy to get too serious so we all need to make an effort to have fun. Remember fun? Lol!

My partner and I are both committed to healing our relationship and healing our lives. Since quitting porn he's really worked on making his life better. We spend far more quality time together and he's doing all the things he used to do before, he's doing better at work too. I've not had such glowing results. For me, d day was the beginning of a very distressing period of discovery, I was very angry, very hurt, and quite honestly devastated by it all. I was depressed and the wasn't functioning well. I sought help. I read self help books. I learned about porn addiction and its effects on the brain, and I found support here. I did lots of things to help myself get through it. Writing my experiences here really helps too.

I'm only just beginning to get back to doing the things that gave my life meaning. I'm a creative person and it's just not possible to when your mind is in a constant state of flux and anxiety. It's only now that I'm getting back to my projects that have been on hold. After all the trauma of a drawn out discovery period I had to really work on building up the very core of who I am, and that was just accepting the person in the mirror again.

The addiction info from YBOP was what really helped us both as a couple because he understood it so well. The experience of watching what he didn't really like, the endless seeking for the ultimate video clip that invariably disappoints, ejaculation without orgasm, loss of feeling in the penis, trying to quit but not being able to, suffering in silence. To him it was a relief to get it out in the open. But having said all that, he found it so difficult to be honest. The shame he felt for the damage he did and wasn't aware of. I totally get "it's not personal" BUT the habitual tendencies of ogling and automatically looking at "sexy" ads or photos etc take a conscious effort not to look at. He knows he can relapse too. I can't really expect anything more at this stage.

It hurts because of the potential to fall into old ways very easily. It's the knowing that it's never really over. Would he be honest if he did cross the line? That's the sort of thing that haunts me. Because he did stuff I knew nothing about and because he had my absolute trust he was able to exploit my naivety. Of course, he didn't wilfully set out to betray my trust and the I'm not that naive in that I was well aware of what porn is, it was the addictive nature of 24 hour online porn for free without having to leave the house, in unlimited quantities, of any and every type. That was the catalyst that turned it into addiction. He's not a bad person, though I do believe he was already vulnerable. Something about online porn just clicked the final combination number to unlock the addiction and he was hooked straight away. He was an addict even on the old dialup modem and low res movies.

As for the "I'm not good enough" it's only natural to feel this way when you know your husband would rather look at porn than have a sexual relationship with you. But once you know it's an
all-consuming compulsion that's driven by some weird feedback loop in the addict's brain, it doesn't seem so personal. My husband said he always felt attracted to me, that he never lost his desire for me but he was overtaken by this compulsive need. Although we partners might say "how weak, how pathetic" he had described the period immediately after acting out as if he had become his normal self again, thinking "WTF? What am I doing? Why am I watching this?" I've read that in other peoples' accounts too. My husband assures me that he likes my body as it is and wouldn't change anything about me. I know he is sincere. At the same time I know what he has been exposed to, perhaps there were some porn-induced preferences or fetishes.

People who watch porn for years get habituated to the way porn serves up certain ingredients and if porn is "normal" then all these porn conventions also become "normal". Things you'd never see in porn in previous decades, or would be considered extreme are just another category on a tube site. I know my partner has seen stuff that he's just clicked out of because it was unpleasant but that's what happens. The ordinary vanilla stuff becomes too boring. He's told me and I think even these porn sites can actually disgust some porn addicts because there's so much unpleasant stuff right there. I can at least be grateful that he's never suggested we do anything bizarre and he's never made demands or had expectations that I do certain things or wear pervy outfits.

So there's a lot of good in our relationship. I want it to work. It was good before porn and even throughout his addiction other parts of our relationship still worked. It's not easy. Partners do find it tough. We don't have a habit to give up. We have wounds that need to heal instead.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

stillme

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2016, 06:16:48 AM »
I have no intention of leaving, I am actually happy now about 85-90% of the time. I think the reason why our experience as partners is so different from that of rebooters is because we don't have to get our brains "rewired". You all literally begin to see the world differently - your shots of dopamine start coming from different places. You actually get to change your brain. So, while you all a recovering porn addict get to start seeing the world in an entirely new light - that doesn't happen for us. We see the same old world. The only thing we have to go on that anything has changed is hope and trust. And we have to trust the person that lied to us for a long time, for some a significant number of years. I was completely floored when I found out about my husband's porn addiction because I literally had no clue he looked at porn at all. I began to question everything about him and our marriage. While he is feeling joy and refreshed about his new look on life, I am simply choosing to trust.

Being on the forums is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because I get to know that I am not alone. It is a curse because I constantly see many rebooters counters start all over again. That means they went back to porn. I have to force myself to again believe my husband, that he truly is one of those amazing few that can reboot without have a relapse. I have to put my trust in a liar. I am between a rock and a hard place because I have to trust him because honestly, I know "I" can't handle a relapse. It was one thing 'losing' to pixel princesses when I didn't know about them, it would be quite another 'losing' to pixel princesses when I am doing everything I can to help my husband beat this. It would feel like the ultimate betrayal. He is stuck with being perfect or losing his wife, because the reality is there is no way I could stay if he went back to porn - even for just session.

I watch a lot of reboot success stories and it is encouraging to hear them spout off about perceived 'super powers' like more focus, loving life, smelling roses more full and even having the intensity and satisfaction of their sex lives increase. Guess what? There is no such super powers we get from being the partner of a recovering addict. The only prize we get to hope for is to have the spouse that we were supposed to have in the first place - one that was faithful and committed, one that wanted to and could actually function sexually in the bedroom, one that respected us. So, my best prize is simply my husband being the man he was pretending to be while he was lying and leading a double life.

I know it can seem like we as partners are 'stuck' and believe me, if feels that way to me sometimes. But, I think this is because our 'recovery' is completely different.  We don't get a brain boost, there is no set program for our recovery, there is absolutely nothing out there that I could find outside of this small forum. Out of all the things dedicated to porn addiction recovery - the only thing available to us, as partners, is a small and not really all that active forum. Sometimes I don't even know what I am recovering from. Is it betrayal? Is it recovering from living in a fantasy world? It is recovery from learning that my husband isn't who I thought he was? Is it getting back the self esteem that I lost? You guys know when you are recovered. There is physical and emotional signs that all tell you that you are moving in the right direction. I don't even know when I can consider myself 'recovered'. Is it when I don't think my husband is lying when he says he is no longer interested in porn? Is it when I no longer feel like an old frumpy turd of horse poop when compared to air brushed pixels half my age? Is it when I stop trying to be a little bit thinner, a little bit more attractive and just accept time marches on and I am just going to have to trust my husband continues to find me attractive as the signs of aging begin to increase? Is it when I no longer care whether or not he is looking at porn? When exactly am I done? When is my victory lap? Where is my cake and ice cream and pat on the back - "Congratulations, you no longer feel like a disgusting piece of crap because your husband would rather jack off to the computer!"

And then there is the constant sacrificing of my 'recovery' for his recovery. My husband is, at his core, a good man. He feels like crap for what he did to me by getting himself addicted to porn. That means, when I talk about my self doubt, and pain, and lessened self esteem - he feels like crap even more. I don't want him feeling like crap, which would open him up to a relapse. So, I put on a happy face. I try to warn him when I am having a crappy day so he knows to brace himself and not take it personal, but most times I just power through and pretend all is well.

Oh, and then there is surviving things like the flatline. As frustrating as the flatline is for you guys, it is not only frustrating, but scary, for the partner. Just when things are going well in the bedroom and you can finally perform again - bam, gone. And I have to tell myself that that limp penis isn't about me, it is about recovery. However, to me it feels like the exact same limp penis when he was jacking off to porn. No libido as a result of the flatline. Yup, same no libido he had when he was jacking off to porn. Guess what? My husband is like the vast majority of recovering addicts I see here, and that is selfish in recovery. What does that mean? Women have sex even when they are not feeling 100% into it all the time. Men? Nope. "Woah is me, I am flatlining, I have no libido, guess I will just sit here and act like there is no such thing as sex for the next week (or month or year)." Really? Being addicted to porn caused us spouses to be denied sex for months and sometimes years and now part of your 'recovery' means we still don't get sex? So, how is the recovery experience for us any different from the addiction experience? And again, I can't say - "Hey, suck it up buttercup, I want some action tonight!" because I know too much pressure and failures in the bedroom again can lead to a relapse.

Basically - being the spouse of a recovering porn addicts sucks, it absolutely positively sucks. It even sucks for people like me, who are happy 85 - 90% of the time. It even sucks when I have a spouse doing everything he can to recover and being 100% dedicated to getting better and being the man he promised he would be. It still sucks. So yes, you will see us vent because the truth is - the feels like the only place in the entire universe where I can vent, and I still don't vent as much as I would like.

Edited to add: And leaving isn't really that easy of a decision. After doing my own study on porn addiction - it is so vast and so rampant that finding a man not addicted to porn seems like a long shot. Porn addicts can also cover up and lie until you make it to the bedroom. I am not a 'prude', but am also not at all interested in having a bunch of sexual partners doing test runs to see if some guy that appears nice and normal is really an undercover porn addict. Add to that having children and my house can't be a revolving door and sexual partners. And I am not interested in becoming a nun and living a sexless life for the rest of my days here on earth. And yes, I see that as a very real possibility. Not because I am unattractive (I am not), but because I don't know if I could trust another man ever again. So the reality is, heal this relationship or get ready for a lonely life. I am really not at an age where I want to walk through life alone. My husband isn't abusive, he isn't unkind, and he is really trying hard to recover and he is doing a great job. Now granted, if he goes back to porn he is getting kicked to the curb, but there is no reason to cut off my nose to spite my face at this point in the game.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 06:39:58 AM by stillme »

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2016, 10:40:11 AM »
The last thing I want to convey on this, your forum, is that you aren't entitled to your pain - nor that there are not valid reasons for it. Indeed feeling your pain is what motivated me to ask the question - why do you stay? Would it be better to leave? I appreciate the honesty of your replies and I see that it's a totally different equation for each one of you. You are smart women, you have done your pros and cons for staying, or are constantly reevaluating the benefits of staying versus leaving. I guess all I can do is hope and pray that you find your way out of this and reach some peace and trust with your partners if you do stay together.

Just so you know, it may not seem like it when you read a lot of the male posts which seem to have a huge emphasis one the function of their genitals - but there are some very sensitive and thoughtful guys too. We know the ramifications of this addiction. I am fortunate in the sense that I have never been affected to the point of being unavailable sexually or emotionally to my partner. She was aware that I watched it sometimes - and she watched it too. We've always had a fabulous sex life, still do. It was actually my own awareness of tracking my thoughts and behaviours which lead me to think, "I wonder if P is not good for me?". P had started to become an intrusive element in my life. It was distracting when we made love, it made me think of things I don't like or agree with, and I didn't like it. If I allowed that to continue, where does it stop? and will it give me PIED and cause a distance with my partner?

I started to google around on the issue and eventually found myself at YBOP and read many articles. I could recognise that I had the early symptoms of some of these articles. I became concerned that my brain might be on a slippery slope which might begin to affect my relationship. This is the last thing I want - I value it too much. I also have a beautiful little daughter not even 2 years old, and I began to think about what the P industry represents. The more i've looked into the issue, the more I've seen the danger it represents to my life and to my relationship. I've also become thoroughly disgusted at what the P industry does to the lives on vulnerable young women - many of whom don't even survive that period in their lives. I couldn't in good conscience go back to that when I've got a daughter that I would lay down my life for to protect.

So, even though my counter appears very modest and nothing to be proud of, I am at the start of a lifelong commitment to leave P behind. I hate it, it's vile. It's ruinous, it's criminal and even deadly.

I know that I have issues from my childhood that damaged me severely and made P an option for me as a means of coping/processing what sex and intimacy are, but I have resolved to meet that challenge head on - not use P to medicate. For the last few weeks I've had no desire to see P ever again. I see only vile, degrading images in my mind now. And I think that's a good thing. It's better to remember it vividly as something terrible, than to still see it as exciting but just trying to use willpower to overcome the temptation. I'm grateful to have found the resources I have which changed my perception of the industry. A big thanks goes to Shelley Lubben - an ex pornstar who has written a book called, "The Truth Behind Porn" and she has her own website. Whenever my will dips even for a moment, I go to her site and read a few articles and it hits home hard. I can't go back to this stuff.

So, my covenant with myself is to respect the women in my life, namely my partner and my daughter and not be a consumer of something that defiles women. And to bring myself back to present, real world - not this fantasy world where nothing's ever enough.

I hope that the men in your life will have a lifelong commitment to leaving this behind and being ever-present with you hereafter. I hope you will regain the trust and security you once felt for your partners. It's a process, I know, but I really hope for a great future for all of you. I'm sorry if I have hijacked your forum for my own agenda here. I didn't mean to do that. I guess in a way I'm trying to offer support for you as a representative of the male gender. We support you, we know you're hurt, you're angry, bewildered. We don't want to let you down. We want to be there for you and to appreciate you fully. That is my aim in being here: to learn and get stronger so I can do just that.

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2016, 10:40:23 AM »
Wow! Stillme, what an amazing account of what it feels like to be a spouse "in recovery". Reading all that is actually making me question whether "recovery" is an appropriate term for what we go through. Like, WHAT exactly are WE "recovering" from because we're not the addict with the compulsive habit. We don't go through this mind/body reawakening. We don't wake up and smell the roses wafting through the room. We don't suddenly find the meaning of life. And no, we don't "flatline" and obsess over our dicks and post updates about our "morning wood". Our recovery is about what we didn't see, about coming to terms with being blindsided and coming to terns with the loss of a relationship which we believed we had but was just a sham. There's no happy clappy signs of our recovery and as stillme says, there's no recovery program or process for partners.

Unlike stillme, I was aware of my partner's porn habit. I had failed in getting him to quit. Nothing changed. In one sense, he had to progress through all the stages of addiction until he realised that it was causing problems for him. PIED wasn't enough. He just quit having sex. It was back to porn. Problem solved. And even then he had to go through a few more years before he realised that porn was becoming a lonely and miserable experience but couldn't quit.

Partners are divided over whether porn amounts to infidelity. To me, it's not the same as a real-world sexual infidelity but it is definitely a betrayal of trust. I get that if you show heterosexual men explicit images of women's bodies putting on a very obvious sexual display then they are almost certainly going to respond in a specific way. They become aroused, they get physical pleasure, so they begin to associate these images with a pleasurable outcome. So they become inclined to seek out such imagery. That's why women, the female partners, don't see it in the same way. I've seen images of naked men and although I can enjoy looking at the male body, I don't find such images arousing and I don't feel inclined to masturbate. For me it's an aesthetic pleasure, not a sexual one. So I think it's fair to say that women don't share the same response. Men look at porn because it's there, because it's easy, because it's free. And yes, they do like it because of the physiological response. But in the case of the porn addict whose brain has mapped itself to porn, they are chasing after that physiological response. They are driven to do it. So in that sense, it's not like an infidelity. It's just a mindless mechanical process. But the effects on an intimate relationship can be devastating.

As for our "recovery", we're just trying to feel good about ourselves again. When PA is in full swing we don't know WTF is going on. All we feel is absence and loss. Our husbands don't want sex with us and when they do they have erectile dysfunction. What exactly does that tell us? Our partners don't notice us even if we're stark naked in the same room. Hmm. We have our hair done and they don't notice. We can't recall the last time we heard a compliment from him. All these reminders. So we hide ourselves under our clothes and trip the off switch on our sex drive. All we hear through their actions is "I've lost interest in you. I don't want to have sex with you." And when you KNOW he's using porn, or you suspect it, you know he's still interested in sex but just not with you. When you live with that for years, just how do you recover? There's no set procedure. No "reboot", no "flatline", there's no "morning wood" for us, just a whole lot of coming to terms with what was missing and what we lacked.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2016, 01:47:48 PM »
Malando,
Thank you for such a great heart and attitude! I think its is inspiring to hear from PA's of varying degrees with good attitudes. That is very encouraging. Something I am hearing as a trend from some of the women and men is that lack of focus on relationships. I do agree I see a lot of talk on PIED and things like that. Weather or not they have morning wood yet and so forth. When I read success stories they all have one thing in common they are not longer seeing women as objects but rather as people. I read that men want to do that but they are focusing on their objects(their dicks, lol)

Confession, when I was 16 I auditioned and was in a porn. I experienced the behind the scenes. My husband at the time was my best friend, we weren't even dating. I had no idea at the time but he was addicted even then to P. He was the friend that told me not to go down that road. When I discovered his PA I asked him about what he was watching. He admitted that when he was M'ing he wasn't thinking of these people as people. He is pretty grossed out by P now and it makes him sad. He has no desire to watch it ever again and he mentioned one of the reasons why was because I had pointed out that the ladies he was watching could have been me. Those images are people. They are daughter and sons. They are wives and mothers. They are scared confused 16 yr old girls who just wanted some cash and have made some terrible choices. Some of them are sex trafficking victims. They could be your sister, mother or even daughter some day. Seeing it from that angle changes everything about it.

My question is this. Do you think discussing this aspect of P on the other forums and allowing guys to see P from that angle would be helpful? I don't see anyone talking about that in the other forums. I am wondering if it would be good for them to understand that or if it would just make them feel terrible and shame them? I really have no idea I just know that seeing people as people is so important.
Thank you everyone for they great conversation and support!

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2016, 05:22:08 PM »
Malando, there are definitely some men who see their PA in the context of their relationship and other areas of their lives. It has crossed my mind that many guys find it easier to talk about erections because it's a sort of macho thing, and those counters can be a bit like a competitive sport – another guy thing, lol. It's not easy for some men to be open about their emotions and insecurities, their fears, etc. So perhaps "morning wood" and such is an easier way to communicate for some guys.

Like the others, this forum has a valuable and supportive role, but sometimes it's a downer because the issue is in your face and it's quite upsetting. I tend not to read too much of the men's sections because it can make for distressing reading. Some guys are inspiring to others who are struggling, I'm sure, and there's a lot of mutual support and recognising each other's struggles. So it's not all bad.

This forum is such a rare resource for women. On so many forums, when a woman posts about her partner's porn habit causing problems for her, the responses are: all men watch porn, get over it/why don't you watch it together?/buy some lingerie i.e. compete with porn/make your own porn or selfies so he can look at that instead. Or "you must be fat/ugly/frigid/religious". I don't care if some couples watch porn together or dress up in kinky gear or whatever, if they're both happy that's fine. But in my relationship porn was a solitary and secretive activity that eventually replaced our sex life. And like M, my partner had underlying issues going back to his early life and his porn addiction probably had its beginnings when he was growing up. He used porn as an escape, a way of self-medicating. Not everyone who looks at porn will start watching it compulsively and not everyone will replace their real world sexual relationship with porn. So all the advice to "get over it" and try dressing up like a porn star isn't going to address someone else's porn addiction. This forum is one of the very few places where we are free to tell it like it is. So we vent and express the anger and the fears. We don't necessarily feel that way 100% of the time but we all go through the same shit and it's reassuring to know we're not crazy or mad. Especially in a world where we're expected to suck it up and have people tell us that WE are the ones with the problem and NOT the guys compulsively getting off to porn to the extent they can't have sex. Sorry but an adult man in reasonable good health who can't have sex isn't normal.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Emerald Blue

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2016, 06:09:52 PM »
aquarius25, although I agree that the porn industry is very unpleasant business for those who enter it, there are always the "porn stars" who know what they are doing and are making money from it. There's always the excuse of "they're professionals, they're consenting adults, they're getting paid". I know my partner had reservations about the porn industry even when he was hooked on porn, but he could justify it by believing nobody is getting hurt. Only me, and I didn't even figure in his mind. So I'm not sure. Porn addicts can override their moral, ethical or political beliefs when they're in the zone. It's like their rational, thinking brain switches off for the duration.

However, anything that makes people think about what they are doing is worthwhile. If someone has quit, and wants to stay that way, I think it could be a good thing to read up about the darker side of the porn industry. Another reason to avoid it.

His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2016, 06:22:09 PM »
Malando,
Thank you for such a great heart and attitude! I think its is inspiring to hear from PA's of varying degrees with good attitudes. That is very encouraging. Something I am hearing as a trend from some of the women and men is that lack of focus on relationships. I do agree I see a lot of talk on PIED and things like that. Weather or not they have morning wood yet and so forth. When I read success stories they all have one thing in common they are not longer seeing women as objects but rather as people. I read that men want to do that but they are focusing on their objects(their dicks, lol)

Thankyou, A25. That's what I was hoping to accomplish my reaching out to the ladies forum - to let you know that many of us are desperately trying to make amends and recognise your experiences. I'm no hero here, I know that! But it's important that you are hopeful is not disillusioned if your partner is really trying.

Quote
Confession, when I was 16 I auditioned and was in a porn. I experienced the behind the scenes. My husband at the time was my best friend, we weren't even dating. I had no idea at the time but he was addicted even then to P. He was the friend that told me not to go down that road. When I discovered his PA I asked him about what he was watching. He admitted that when he was M'ing he wasn't thinking of these people as people. He is pretty grossed out by P now and it makes him sad. He has no desire to watch it ever again and he mentioned one of the reasons why was because I had pointed out that the ladies he was watching could have been me. Those images are people. They are daughter and sons. They are wives and mothers. They are scared confused 16 yr old girls who just wanted some cash and have made some terrible choices. Some of them are sex trafficking victims. They could be your sister, mother or even daughter some day. Seeing it from that angle changes everything about it.

Wow, what an experience. This is exactly it - you just don't know the truth behind what you see. I never considered that some of the people I'd seen depicted were actually underage - that's really disturbing. I hope you didn't suffer too much trauma from that experience. You seem like such a nice and genuine person. Thank god you got out so early.

Quote
My question is this. Do you think discussing this aspect of P on the other forums and allowing guys to see P from that angle would be helpful? I don't see anyone talking about that in the other forums. I am wondering if it would be good for them to understand that or if it would just make them feel terrible and shame them? I really have no idea I just know that seeing people as people is so important.

That's interesting you mention that. Recently I've posted repeatedly on this topic - I've really tried to inspire the men to read the material I've read, I've posted links and made strong statements about the evil of the P industry in the hope that it will help others to quit. It has neutralised the lure of P for me. I can never look at it the same again. But the reaction has been strange - strange in that very few have commented on it at all. There have been a few that have chimed in with support, but they were mostly guys who already knew the truth. I have felt that people have given my posts a wide berth on this issue, by and large. Like they don't want to hear it or know the truth.

Now it could be that they feel guilt or remorse for what they've participated in, but I would have hoped for more. I think some of them are protecting it for future use. They might be deluded enough to think that they just let their usage get out of control and that after they reboot they might be able to return to it in a moderated form for their enjoyment. I think they are kidding themselves if they believe that. I'll still keep posting on this issue where appropriate because I think it's super important that the message gets out there that P isn't just some benign thing we all enjoy in these modern, enlightened times. It's a danger to our lives and it can consume our young people. The idea that my daughter could be involved makes me absolutely sick.

I'll keep trying to engage them in this discussion.

stillme

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2016, 06:29:39 PM »
That is one thing I brought up to my husband that he had never even thought about - he had NO proof the people he was viewing were of age. AND - if he downloaded pictures and/or video of underage girls on ANY electronic device - he could be in jail and "I didn't know" is not an excuse that will fly in a court of law.

He also didn't know about the level of sex trafficking that took place or that many of those young girls that 'appeared' to be doing it willingly were being controlled by someone else, mostly some slimy guy - even via lies that they would be paid a lot more than there were, drug addiction, or violence. The reality is - there is really not a mentally healthy person that will willingly do a lot of what is seen in hard core porn and most men are rebooting because they found themselves viewing hardcore porn and could not believe what they were attracted to.

I don't think men realize as they get older, being able to guess who is 14 versus 16 versus 18 gets extremely blurry. The fact that so many men are willing to risk going to jail for possession of child pornography is mind blowing to me. The amount of men who are funding the sex trafficking/sex slavery industry is mind-blowing - all just to jack off.

My husband told himself that is was all for fun, but I asked him how he would feel if our daughter was doing the things he was watching 'for fun'. How much of a failure would he feel if that was her up there. What would he want to do to the men that were watching his little girl, regardless of whether she was up there willingly or not. Even though my husband willingly gave up porn to save our marriage and himself, I constantly remind him that those are real women, many hurting, and not just objects.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 06:39:33 PM by stillme »

aquarius25

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2016, 11:03:04 PM »
Malando,
That is exactly what I hope men can see. These people are people. I am ok now, counseling helps...a lot! I will say I was a wild teenager (obviously). I had good parents and came from a good home. We had our issues but nothing out of the norm. I was just very rebellious and made a few friends with the wrong crown at 13. By 16 I had moved out was living on my own and had rent, utilities and a party habit that included lots of drugs. P was something that I had always thought was no big deal. I enjoyed having sex so why not get paid to do it? The experience was completely not what I had expected. I will also say that when I told them I was 16 they provided me a fake ID and said not to talk about it. They assured me that is was no big deal and very common. I think you would be surprised how many ( I feel like we are calling them women but lets be honest they are girls) are underage. I was not the youngest "18 yr old" there. I did my audition wich included a blowjob because you have to prove that you can preform. I felt sick the entire time. I was trying to mentally talk myself into being ok with it. I had tears in my eyes and they took pictures of it because that is "good stuff". Men who like to watch women being degraded will like that.

I am telling this so that people can see that I am a person, I am real, I am just like those women. Its ironic that I married a PA unknowingly but I am sure somewhere in my subconscious I probably know maybe. Do you think posting something like this story on a the other forums would make a difference or just make everyone uncomfortable. I am not about shaming these men who are working so hard to improve. This is not something I tell everyone but i am not ashamed of it. Its part of me, my past and my history. It has had an effect on my life. When people as questions I have not problem being honest. It was a while ago (I am 33 now). I was just wondering if maybe allowing them to meet on a forum, ask questions and realize the other side. Do you think it could help? If in anyway it is going to be upsetting and cause a negative effect I wouldn't do it. But if it can help even one person I am more than willing to do anything I can to help someone suffering this. I am so proud of the progress my husband has made and I want to be able to help and encourage others as well.

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2016, 05:26:16 AM »
aquarius25, thank you for being so candid about your experience. The fake ID is quite shocking. You offer a very valuable insight into the porn machine. First hand experience is probably more potent in making people think about what they are doing

M, I am not surprised that you have experienced a sort of non-reaction on the forum when you have raised the ethical and political aspects of the porn business. Like I said, my partner could override his principles when he was in front of the screen. In fact, I would say his views were changed by watching it for so long and he was prepared to drink the Kool Aid and believed that he was watching professional people who were being well paid, that nobody was being hurt or exploited because they were choosing a "career" in porn, that the producers were abiding by some code of practice and so on. So he lapped it up so he could watch it with a clear conscience. It was only after he quit that he began to rethink his principles. I don't think a porn addict cares too much about these things when they are acting out though. It's a selfish activity and selfishness is by definition a state of mind that doesn't take other people into account.

I've also noticed that some guys just want to "cure" their PIED by the magical 90 day abstinence period and then they'll miraculously become some super virile stud. It's like when they expect that women are somehow going to find them irresistably attractive just because they've quit porn. Those are still selfish outcomes, so those guys are probably not going to be interested in ethical issues about the porn industry.

It would be interesting to see the reaction (or absence of) if this topic was posted in the men's forum. I'd like to think that there are men of principle who do care about the exploitation of girls and young women in the porn industry. Boys and young men are also exploited.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 05:28:28 AM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2016, 10:26:49 AM »
Malando,
That is exactly what I hope men can see. These people are people. I am ok now, counseling helps...a lot! I will say I was a wild teenager (obviously). I had good parents and came from a good home. We had our issues but nothing out of the norm. I was just very rebellious and made a few friends with the wrong crown at 13. By 16 I had moved out was living on my own and had rent, utilities and a party habit that included lots of drugs. P was something that I had always thought was no big deal. I enjoyed having sex so why not get paid to do it? The experience was completely not what I had expected. I will also say that when I told them I was 16 they provided me a fake ID and said not to talk about it. They assured me that is was no big deal and very common. I think you would be surprised how many ( I feel like we are calling them women but lets be honest they are girls) are underage. I was not the youngest "18 yr old" there. I did my audition wich included a blowjob because you have to prove that you can preform. I felt sick the entire time. I was trying to mentally talk myself into being ok with it. I had tears in my eyes and they took pictures of it because that is "good stuff". Men who like to watch women being degraded will like that.

I am telling this so that people can see that I am a person, I am real, I am just like those women. Its ironic that I married a PA unknowingly but I am sure somewhere in my subconscious I probably know maybe. Do you think posting something like this story on a the other forums would make a difference or just make everyone uncomfortable. I am not about shaming these men who are working so hard to improve. This is not something I tell everyone but i am not ashamed of it. Its part of me, my past and my history. It has had an effect on my life. When people as questions I have not problem being honest. It was a while ago (I am 33 now). I was just wondering if maybe allowing them to meet on a forum, ask questions and realize the other side. Do you think it could help? If in anyway it is going to be upsetting and cause a negative effect I wouldn't do it. But if it can help even one person I am more than willing to do anything I can to help someone suffering this. I am so proud of the progress my husband has made and I want to be able to help and encourage others as well.

You know, it's really hard for me to say what effect posting it on the other forums might have. I don't think it would be a negative reception or harmful. I think these guys really need to know what they're supporting. So I'm all for it, if you feel like reaching out to them. I just don't know how responsive they'll be. But I do agree that reaching even one person is a good thing. If you change the mindset of even one member, that mindset might permeate through their "friends" on the forum. I do think it needs to be regularly mentioned because there is too much of this attitude that P itself is not a bad thing, just being addicted and getting PIED is the problem.  I think anyone of that belief is in dreamland. I actually object to P on principle now, and your experience only confirms this. Once you realise it, you don't want P anymore. I'm done with watching people have sex. I want to focus on my own sex life, not the disingenuous, fictitious rubbish that is depicted in P.

So, if you want to do it, you have my full support. I'll back you 100%

malando

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Re: Why should I NOT feel good about myself?
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2016, 10:37:19 AM »

I've also noticed that some guys just want to "cure" their PIED by the magical 90 day abstinence period and then they'll miraculously become some super virile stud. It's like when they expect that women are somehow going to find them irresistably attractive just because they've quit porn. Those are still selfish outcomes, so those guys are probably not going to be interested in ethical issues about the porn industry.
Yes, and it annoys the heck out of me, to be honest. I have to restrain myself not to tell some members what arrogant idiots they are sometimes, when they talk about feeling like an irresistible Casanova after quitting P for a month. It annoys me because they are in some self-induced euphoria about feeling they've changed something about themselves, and they are looking for positive confirmation of that change far too prematurely. I think it's self-suggestion at it's finest, and the reality of their recovery is only apparent months or years later. I think it's counterproductive to the forum because it sets a benchmark that newcomers try to emulate, and invariably fail to match. Which in itself is demotivating and leads to loss of belief, hope and application in conquering the problem. I'd like to see all those "alpha" traits vanish from the forum and have it be more real and more measured. And more circumspect about it relating to the whole person and their personal development and awareness, not just the functioning of their member.

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It would be interesting to see the reaction (or absence of) if this topic was posted in the men's forum. I'd like to think that there are men of principle who do care about the exploitation of girls and young women in the porn industry. Boys and young men are also exploited.

There are a few who are certainly aware of it - more the older members who have spent longer on their recoveries. For newcomers to quitting P, it seems to take a while for the full picture to emerge in terms of what they were involved with. It's not that surprising really: P is discussed like a virtually mainstream form of harmless entertainment these days. It's no wonder people don't believe it's bad when nobody has ever told them why it's bad.