10 Months of abstinence, then relapse

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Moses1991, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    You guys are right, I will talk to her about her coworker, but I will first calm down and get myself centered first.

    and I also wanted to say thank you to those of you that consistently like and comment on my posts. It helps more than I let on.

    Here's what nobody else will tell you about jealousy. In its essence, jealousy is nothing but a perceived threat to your relationship.

    Pop culture pseudo-psychologists will tell you it's just insecurity, but that's another definition we have to explore.

    Insecurity is when something is not secure. So, what is not secure? Well, your relationship. You don't perceive it to be secure. This doesn't mean something is wrong with you. In the middle ages, if men didn't feel jealous of their partners, others would wonder if they loved those women at all. Jealousy is an emotion, just like anger or sadness. It isn't good or bad, it's your brain signaling you to do something. In this case, jealousy is signaling you to make your relationship more secure, or telling you to do something about it.

    And, I read books about jealousy. I read enough to know my deal. The fact is, I do feel unworthy at times. Let's face it, i'm on a board for porn addicts. That doesn't exactly make me feel like a catch.

    On the other hand, I've been cheated on. And I know enough about cheating to tell you that it has absolutely nothing to do with your value. And, I have stories, but they're a bit long and not so useful. But the point is, cheating can happen in a loving relationship, and it can happen in the rough ones also. Cheating is not as spontaneous as some might think.

    --->and that is why I haven't spoken to her. Because I know that the relationship feels not-secure to me. At least part of it is that I feel unworthy.
    although she is a sweet and loving person, her compulsive behavior and love of being sensual concern me at times. It has concerned me for months before even hearing about this coworker. And that's where i'm stuck. I don't have an objective 'ruler' I can hold up to her personality to gauge her likelihood to cheat. Maybe i'm overreacting. Maybe I'm in the middle of porn withdrawal and can't think straight. Or, maybe I have a point.
     
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  2. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 36 - Success.

    So, I finally calmed down enough to talk to her about it. Thank goodness I did, because that would have been a huge fight if I had approached it feeling the way I did a few days ago.

    And, sidenote.. I have been doing well with the smartphone. I have been feeling urges, and having a lot of temptations outside of the phone, but strangely no urges with the phone.

    Day by day.
     
    igrow likes this.
  3. Really responsible of you to wait until you were in a better place before broaching the subject with her. Apologies if this is prying, and feel free not to answer, but how did the talk with her go? Was she receptive to your concerns?

    Also props on resisting the phone temptations. I've got a smartphone, and I understand how hard it can be having internet access in your hand all day long.
     
  4. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member


    She was mostly upset that I looked through her phone before talking about it with her. Which, I understand. I didn't expect most of the talk to be about that, but she had a point.

    In regards to the coworker, she explained that she had made it clear to him that those jokes weren't funny, and he has since ceased. It actually stopped a while ago, but I never asked and instead let the issue fester in my mind.

    Which, is an old habit of mine. To hold it all in until I can't handle it anymore and then in the height of emotion I do or say something regrettable. So, that's why I just let it all out on this forum, and i'm trying to be more vocal in calm moments when something is bothering me.
     
    TimeToActuallyTry likes this.
  5. That's wonderful to hear! She's definitely right about you going through her phone and how that sucks, but I think you know that.

    That's a great outcome from that talk, imo. If anything, it just goes to show you that you can trust her to take care of herself and your relationship, which is awesome. Remember this outcome in the future if you start to get paranoid about the status of your relationship again. She loves you and respects you/herself, regardless of any invasive thoughts you have that may say otherwise.

    I'm kind of the same with with my emotions. I let things fester a lot, so I get where you're coming from. I'm always really careful, though, to not let myself explode over little things (or really anything). It's not healthy, but yeah at least you've found an outlet for them and an opportunity for honest introspection at the same time.
     
  6. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 37 - Success.

    Igrow is right about the positive attitude thing. It's partially why I posted that mess. Because even though all that stuff was going on in my head, do you know what I was actually doing? Going for walks, and staying real damn quiet. Been doing a lot of cleaning, too.

    This porn thing.. I don't know if I even want to call it an addiction. That makes it sound unbeatable. It's more like potato chips. It's just bad for you. You can eat a few and be fine, but if you're eating them for 6 hours a day for years, you're gonna get messed up.

    So, can you defeat a bag of chips? Then you can defeat porn!
     
    Ccman123 and igrow like this.
  7. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    I've always been reluctant to call it an addiction though it certainly shares some of the traits for those who were very entrenched: withdrawals, chemical changes in the brain, mood swings, etc.

    But seems like you've swung around back to the right side of the equation here as it relates to your personal life and challenges. Good to see that! Glad you were able to talk with the GF about the situation and that she was also on the same page. As long as she doesn't focus in on the phone searching (which you should avoid doing in the future - you need to build trust in a relationship) you should be okay moving forward.
     
  8. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    It's true that I get heightened anxiety during this withdrawal period, but I have to admit the phone thing was a separate issue and a separate struggle. I've had a lot of trouble in past relationships, and it's why I got so interested in psychology. I was dating people that were deliberately violating my boundaries and eroding who I was as a person.. and then labeling me as the abuser. So, I needed an objective standard to set up my own boundary and sense of self. And I wanted to screen out people with these tendencies before they could do any real damage.

    Unfortunately, I still have some trust issues left over from some of those people. Largely, I handle it by simply speaking to my partner, but that is where I struggle with my current partner... She doesn't like talking about difficult topics and she isn't much of a comforter when i'm down. I mean, she listens.. but she just stays silent the whole time. And I think in the 6 months we have been dating.. I have needed her support on two topics... and she was good for one of them?

    now i'm doing some self reflection and checking if i'm just being needy or expecting too much of her. Or maybe she just isn't that comfortable with emotion. Her mom certainly isn't.
     
  9. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 38 - Success.

    This time i'm going all the way into the triple digits.

    Unconditional positive regard.
     
  10. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 41 - Success.

    An athlete must nourish the body, for good performance. So, we also should nourish the mind, for performance.

    So, that's why this suddenly became easy. I just pursue the things that are good for me. Healthy friendships, a small amount of time alone, hobbies that I like, and just keeping it all positive.

    I'm pretty sure i'm past the anxious phase, so that's a relief. Just gotta make sure I don't fall back into this again next time.
     
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  11. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 42 - Success.

    Upon closer inspection, it would seem that "cheap" dopamine seems to trigger weakness in willpower.

    What I mean by that is junk food, compulsive cell phone use, and notifications seem to set me up to crave porn. I know that sounds insane, but I downloaded a phone game, that is not sexual in nature at all, and yet after like a week i'm now having strong cravings.

    To test this out, i'm going to stop playing the game and see if it gets easier for me. Maybe some research is needed here.
     
    UK Don likes this.
  12. UK Don

    UK Don Active Member

    Interesting point. I'm at a similar stage of the reboot and have also experienced stronger cravings over the past couple of weeks - in those 2 weeks I've been doing lots of partying and indulging in junk food. I hadn't considered that this would have an impact on cravings yet when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. From Monday I will also try this theory out by returning to a cleaner lifestyle.
     
    Moses1991 likes this.
  13. igrow

    igrow Active Member

    This is true.
    Be careful and wise my friend. If you're going through all of this pain and stress, go through it all. Anything that numbs the brain or takes it into that 'negative flow state' where you're just switched off and numbed, will bring about that weakness and make you more susceptible. I've experienced this first hand in the past attempts.

    Try to make all your breaks and rewards and 'fun time' things that are engaging and conscious activities rather than the above. At first and during the time you're at it will be hard and you'll want to switch off, focus may not be there or you'll get restless and cravings will kick in even more. BUT, *WHEN* you get through all of that, your focus comes back and you've created 'fun' thats healthy and engaging. Your mind is much healthier and set up for long term success.
    This is my experience.

    You got this Moses. We started together in this and I'm rooting for you same as I root for myself.
     
    Moses1991 likes this.
  14. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 43 - Success.

    Uninstalled all my phone games yesterday. Feeling less temptation already.
    Although, finding myself compulsively looking through memes.

    Determined to do a lot of reading about CBT today. (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
    Psychology has basically become my hobby lately, along with weightlifting.

    Maybe I should just aspire to be a buff therapist.
     
    TimeToActuallyTry likes this.
  15. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 45 - Success.

    Almost at day 50. I'm doing well without the gaming apps. Staying busy with lifting, reading, and family.

    I think this is the flatline.

    I think i'm depressed, actually. I was reading a book about sleep a few years ago, and it mentioned that people often do not realize they have depression and that it affects their sleep. Depression can also cause ED or premature ejaculation.

    I totally passed the depression test in that book. A book about sleep, of all places. It seems to come and go, I think it is situational.

    But anyways, I was supposed to be getting married this fall, and she postponed until next year. I think she is having second thoughts. And, that stings.

    I'll be making attempts to generate my own sense of satisfaction, but this could also be my fried dopamine receptors. The only way is the march forward.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  16. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 45- Success.

    It looks like i'm going to be buying Igrow a cake.

    I remember the first time I got to 100 days, I went out and got sushi.

    I'll do that again. In 55 days.
     
    Battlesword1, igrow and UK Don like this.
  17. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 48 - Success.

    We live in odd times. I go on other websites in my free time and there is no shortage of people that genuinely believe that porn is "sexual liberty" and that it is a "healthy sexual expression of women"

    and it is so strange to me. What would I say to these people? Imagine someone in chains, that is being whipped daily, and they laugh and snicker while you walk by as a free man.

    As far as my own journey, it seems I just needed a listening ear and a warm heart in my life. It's obvious I don't get too far without others' help. I don't get too far without prayer either. These last few days have been easy. Though, I admit.. I look at memes a bit too often.
     
  18. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 49 - Success.

    Almost day 50, so that's cool.

    Life is going good, because i'm making it that way. Staying busy, lifting, keeping up with friends.

    Big changes are coming my way, the winds of change have picked up once again.

    Urges will come and go, but i'm far too tired to give in.. I simply tell myself I do not have the energy. This is not a retreat, but a pursuit. I'm not running from anything, i'm chasing the good things. And, they're already here.
     
    igrow likes this.
  19. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 50 - Success.

    October 22nd will be day 100 at this rate, and that's pretty close.

    It really does get easier the more you try.

    All that is left is to keep trying. Today is another great day.
     
    catchingup and igrow like this.
  20. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 51 - success.

    For the last 6 months I have been using Viagra to have sex with my gf.

    I tried going without it tonight, and was quickly reminded that I still have ED.

    And, I kinda just feel defeated. Even 10 months into abstinence when I first met her, I had ED. Am I just never going to get over this?
     

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