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Topics - chiefmitch88

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Success Stories / 7 months, No PMO
« on: April 30, 2019, 03:58:15 PM »
Update: I am currently 228 days clean from acting out with porn. Just wanted to pass along my success. It's been over 5 years since I admitted porn was a problem in my life. I'm now over 7 months clean from it.

To all of you fighting, it can be done. The best piece of advice I received came from a member here who informed me that I needed to buy Breaking the Cycle by George Collins.  It helped me to deal with the underlying negative thoughts that led to my acting out.

It's not easy, but it's worth it. I am determined to continue because I am desperate to revive the wonder I used to feel in my life before I fell down the rabbit hole. Desperation is a gift.

I'm interested in changing the title of my journal but I don't know how to do it. Can someone walk me through this please? Is it even possible?

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Resurrecting Sex - Dr. David Schnarch
« on: October 24, 2014, 09:35:51 AM »
I have been reading a book called Resurrecting Sex which my marriage counselor recommended. It's by a man named Dr. David Schnarch. I have been particularly interested in the section where he summarizes the various ways that people avoid anxiety in their relationships. I'm sure all of us, at some point, can recall a confrontation where we manipulate or accommodate our partner just to keep the peace. This inhibits growth in the relationship and leads to "emotional gridlock" as he calls it.

There are probably dozens of examples of behaviors that can get us into that gridlock but they all stem from our fear of rocking the boat. We feel we should try accept the condition of our relationship as is even though we can't tolerate it. Resentment builds up to a point where our partner either confronts the problem or seeks companionship elsewhere because a new relationship can't possibly be in gridlock.

In the case of my wife, she operated with the notion that people will change given their own space and time. She had discovered that I was chatting with people online and gleaned that the content of those messages were quite lewd. She didn't even confront me about it until months later while we were in the middle of an unrelated disagreement. She harbored that feeling that she was "not enough" for months! Even after that I couldn't stop myself, I continued to go back to PMO/chatting. Of course, with me being the addict I didn't want to rock the boat. I wanted to continue doing the things that made me feel warm and fuzzy. She tried on multiple occasions to awaken me to my problems with jealousy, lack of empathy, and unrealistic sexual expectations. She asked for us to go see a marriage counselor several times. However, because it was usually directed at me in some form of rage or emotional withdrawal, I didn't care to listen. I merely tried to manipulate her by flipping the script and making the whole thing about her "anger issues" or her "lack of effort" in the bedroom.

She wanted to avoid my wrath because she despises being told how to "fix things" that never seem to solve the root problem. She beams when she is given praise and encouragement. I was giving her none. She wanted to continue having the things in her life that made her feel warm and fuzzy. She wanted the touch of someone that truly desired her. And she could tell I was not showing up. In an effort to spare my ego she would not even mention the performance issues I was having. I, once again, blamed it on her "lack of effort." She carried this burden for so long until someone finally gave her a taste of what she had been missing. Even then, with all her strength, she still managed to avert a complete affair. I didn't discover that it happened until after it was over.

My ego still nags at me about this infidelity, making me wonder "how could she let it go on so long, how could she not say something?" All the while, I had been engaging in PMO since I was teenager, and I picked up chatting again when our relationship became gridlocked. Sin for sin, tit for tat. Her only fault is that she would rather avoid confrontation than stand up for herself when she knows she's right. She allowed me to steamroll her on so many occasions, but that was during a time where my porn use was "natural" in her eyes. However, now that she has this new knowledge about my addiction and the symptoms of emotional detachment that it causes I think we are both starting to see a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Writing it all out like this helps me see what a fool I have been and I better understand the undiminished love she still has for me. The fact that she is even here is a testament to that. Her love is deeper than mine. My love was conditional and I must break free of this addiction if I ever want to experience what unconditional love truly means. I think I owe that to myself and to her.

Moral of the story to partners of rebooters/PMO addicts: STICK TO YOUR GUNS when you know there is a problem. Also, when you approach the problem, approach your partner from the best in yourself. Trying to awaken them in the same old dysfunctional ways only causes your partner to react defensively. The interesting thing about people is that they all have a different mechanism for emotional self defense. In my case, I am a man who uses words and logic to cut others down when they rock my boat. My wife, when confronted, simply retreats to a place of self deprecation where she believes that she is not worthy or incapable of a truly loving relationship.   

Be warned that this transition takes time and slip-ups are bound to happen. Be patient but firm. Try your best to understand that the habits of an addict are NOT because of your shortcomings.

Finally, I suggest that you both evaluate the reasons that your partner wants to reboot. In my first reboot attempt I was doing it from the worst in myself. I wanted to fix my libido so that I could continue having the brand of sex that was fueled by my years of porn fantasy. This works for a while. Until you come to realize that the hole you're feeling can't be filled by your partner. I was relying on her to validate me as the center of her sexual universe and she felt validated as a beautiful woman when we made lustful love. The problem here, as we all know, is that this sort of co-dependence is not sustainable. The lack of novelty in the bedroom will inevitably lead to sexual dysfunction when we are doing nothing to cultivate an emotional bond with our partner. It's as simple as the difference between sex rooted in love versus sex rooted in lust. It MUST come from a place of love on both sides if the wounds in your relationship are going to heal.

Partners of Rebooters and Addicts / Slovenly Love Making
« on: September 13, 2014, 03:11:07 PM »
Just wanted to get a woman's perspective on this subject.

Is it wrong of me to expect my wife to make an effort as far as being sexy is concerned? I feel as a man that I have a standard to refrain from being a slob, hygiene and dress are ways that we show others we respect their senses. I try to dress appropriately and wear an outfit that is visually appealing so that my wife can look at me and feel some sort of pride because I am looking good. If there was lingerie for men that she enjoyed I would probably don it just to put a smile on her face  ;D I make romantic gestures, I buy sincere and heartfelt gifts. These sentiments are rarely reciprocated back to me I might add.
Most times, when it comes to her propositioning me for sex I am lucky if she has showered and she is usually still wearing her PJ's and her night cap. She doesn't make an effort to maintain any sense of mystery (i.e. talking to me with the bathroom door open while she's doing her business). When I say something about it she complains that I should love her the way she is. While I do agree with that, I would still enjoy it if she made the effort to clean up and make an attempt at being physically appealing. Especially if you want to take the time to sooth each other and escape from reality for a moment. I just feel like my lovemaking must be scheduled and that it must fit into the allotted time of her demanding itinerary for the day. Are my needs being neglected or am I just being a whiny baby? Or should I just give up on this idea of any form of lust existing between her and I?

Ages 30-39 / Craving Normality
« on: August 11, 2014, 01:44:35 PM »
It's time to fess up and leave it all on the table.
I'm Mitch, I'm 30.
 I was introduced to porn around the age of 8 by a neighborhood cohort. I was enthralled the moment I saw that penthouse even though I likely had no clue what was occurring on those pages. Around the age of 12 I would often raid the porn stashes of the people I knew that had them. My older brother, my uncle, my grandfather, friends, etc. I would steal their magazines and keep them under my mattress. At the age of 15 we finally got a home computer with dial up. It was intoxicating to have that much porn just a click away. By the time I was 16 I was lying about my age and engaging in cyber sex. The themes became more extreme by the time I was 18. Mostly dom/sub & bdsm fantasies were being played out.

Then I went off to college and encountered high speed internet in the dorms. If I wasn't studying I was PMO'ing. That went on through my entire college career, I neglected personal relationships and social opportunities to get my fix without all the drama that was occurring back at home between my parents who had their own marriage issues when we all left the nest. I remained a virgin until the age of 26. I didn't want to give myself to someone who didn't live up to my ridiculous standards.

Finally, out of the blue, I met the woman who would become my wife. Katie. I think I started to understand my problem on our first date. We had a wonderful night, we were so intoxicated with each other that we attempted to have sex. Needless to say, I failed miserably from PA and PIED. I had even PMO'ed before the date just in case a sexual encounter would happen so I could "last longer." But we liked each other, she was patient with me and we tried again, I lost the v-card a couple days after my 26th b-day. Our courtship was great, even despite the fact that I couldn't perform with a condom. She had an IUD put in to accommodate me.  I cut out the cyber sex and significantly reduced my PMO'ing. We maintained a strong relationship even when she moved a few hours away. I would visit often and we'd use the phone and video chatted every night to stay in touch. 10 months after our first date we got married.

I would try hard to keep myself away from porn but I would always relapse. When our relationship got bad and I was trying to cope with stress I reverted to the cyber sex again about a year ago. She was dealing with anxiety and depression herself and I work two jobs. So I self medicated with porn and hoped she'd figure things out on her own. Turns out she felt alone in the relationship and she felt me being emotionally distant. Right around the time I was starting to understand that I was numbing myself with porn, marijuana and alcohol she was seeking comfort from another man. She ended up kissing him and they discussed the possibility of an affair but thankfully her conscience saved her from making that choice.

Some days I feel like giving up, but her love inspires me to try again. She has stayed when most people wouldn't. October will mark out 4th anniversary and I am so concerned we won't make it. We have been seeing a marriage councilor and I am beginning to own up to my mistakes. I am humbled everyday by her strength and her ability to love in spite of all the hardships in her life and her past.

I want so desperately to experience what life is like without this crutch I have been leaning on all these years.

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