Accepting Responsibility

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by path-forward, Jul 17, 2022.

  1. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Hi. This is my first post. I am 61 and am finally trying to conquer the beast of porn addiction and resulting PIED. While my counter is only for PM - given my PIED - I have also now gone 45 days with no PMO. It has definitely been a struggle at times, but my wife's support has been extremely meaningful to me in working hard to maintain discipline. I have also been reading the many incredibly heartfelt and powerful posts in the 40+ group - and they have been super helpful and supportive in my new journey. I want to thank everyone who has posted about their journeys with porn addiction for all the help you have given me! I would never have made it this far without you all. And I finally decided tonight to sign up and not just be a lurker. Tonight was the toughest night for me - as my wife left today for about 2 weeks, which given her job situation happens every month or so. And this has always been a familiar pattern for me to rationalize a huge binge session - as I feel I "deserve it" for being so supportive of her career. And while some of you may suggest she finds a new career with less travel - please just accept that her situation and career is fairly unique and not easily changed. And its something I knew about before we got married and fully accepted (2nd marriage for both of us). For a long time (married 10 years) - it was actually almost a "bonus" situation - as I had so much free time to myself for "my own private vices."

    So first of all - 45 days of no PMO is the longest I have gone abstaining for the past 50+ years, having started masturbating before I could even ejaculate. Even in grade school - I use to fantasize about seeing the pretty girls in class! Given my age - I first started with porn magazines around 12 or 13 - when I saw them in stores etc. I used to shop lift Playboy around 14. and also got a hold of other more risque magazines from friends etc during high school. Without getting into tons of details, this began a continual use of increasingly intense porn (as well as other very compulsive and at times very unsafe sexual activities) all the way to 45 days ago. And with everyone else in this forum - the internet created a myriad of increasingly addictive and compulsive sexual behavior for me. And my porn use finally caught up with me and I lost almost all sensitivity to both physical touch and partner arousal about 3 years ago. Prior to that - my wife and I had a very active sex life - despite my porn use. And while she had generally been aware of my porn use - I had promised her 5 years to stop - as my time to finish was getting longer and longer as I lost so much sensitivity. And I thought I was being very careful to keep my "porn cheating" unknown to her. But she recently confronted me with my "compulsive and bad behaviors" - and said it was killing our marriage. She said it in a surprisingly caring and non-judgemental way. Overall - she has always been a saint in regard to her approach to being a wife. Doesn't nag and doesn't reject sex very often. But there was a look of such pain from her - as she said my continued porn use was making her feel much less attractive and also much less connected to me. She didn't ask me to stop specifically but it was implied as a NEED for our marriage to survive in a healthy manner - as she said sexual intimacy had always been such a vital part of our marital foundation.

    sorry to ramble on here. and I apologize if I sound like I am bragging about my wife. But despite her active career and travel needs, she is very traditional in how she views marriage - and believes a husband and wife should love each other unconditionally.

    And I made a huge promise to her 45 days ago, that I would tell her if I relapse. We tried to have sex about a week ago (her idea) - so around day 38 - and after some patience - I was actually able to get to about 70% of my old self and actually have penetrative sex for a few minutes - as well as satisfy her "manually." I did not orgasm myself nor ask her to try other ways to get me there. I was over joyed simply to have that level of intimacy for the first time in 3 years! and we both agreed to try again after 60 days of no PMO.

    She has also remarked that I seem a lot calmer and happier lately. I think for the first time in a very long time - I am not feeling subconsciously ashamed of myself for the secret life that I have led for sooo sooo long.

    And while I have now gone 45 days without PMO - I admit to having used Instagram twice to look at girls in bikinis for about 5 to 10 minutes each time - including tonight. the other time was also a time of great weakness and temptation. But thankfully - I did not get aroused or feel triggered to go further than that. Both times I stopped myself and started reading this forum. But I will work much harder not to do that again - as clearly that is not a healthy thing to do.

    Overall - I am trying to not focus on a target number of days not to use P or M. but rather to tell myself I am starting a new life style - where P and M are not part of my life anymore. As I am also realizing how much time I have spent wasted and felt self-loathing in my secret PMO world.

    I had worked hard the prior 6 months before starting my PMO streak on getting in shape and losing weight. and interestingly - the discipline from that effort has helped a lot

    But for times of intense temptation - nothing has better than reading this forum!

    I can not thank those people enough who describe their sense of emptiness after breaking their own streaks. That candor has been vital to me to remind myself how badly I will feel myself.

    Sorry again for the somewhat rambling post - but it has been very very helpful to collect my thought here. And hopefully my own situation and explanations was helpful to some others as well.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    path-forward, you have unpacked a lot but you've unpacked it well.

    Even at 61 we can reboot to factory normal. The brain is neuroplastic our entire lives. I am older than you and I still have penetrative sex with my wife. At one point I had lost all sensitivity and it felt like even if I'd MO'd with barbed wire I wouldn't have felt anything. Ditching PMO and MO can be miraculous.

  3. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    welcome my brother,
    if you have a problem with PMO, you are in the right place. you talk about instagram, for me i start "innocently" with youtube videos. then i am up to my ass in alligators in porn filth. an old saying-if you hang round a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut. so i stay away from youtube, unless i am looking specifically for something, usually guitar or piano lessons. take care my brother. welcome. stay. hang in there. praying for you.
  4. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville and @badger. Thanks so much for your warm welcome and encouragement! I have greatly benefited already from the support and candor of your many well articulated posts! Deeply appreciate you sharing both your challenges and victories!

    It already feels much better to be part of this brotherhood - admitting to myself that I can not successfully make this journey without the support of others with the same challenges and goals.

    I am honored to join you all on this journey!

    I didn’t get into many details of my first 45 days PMO - but like others have mentioned - I have definitely experienced both intense desires to PMO (especially when triggered by emotional low points and the need for my practiced self-medication and the associated rationalization), as well as periods of flat line that are very worrisome and disturbing to me. All of the feedback I have read helped tremendously with both my triggers to PMO and accepting the flatline as a necessary part of my journey.

    Hopefully I can help others eventually - like the brothers who have started before me.

    As everyone as mentioned - a key to stopping PMO is building a schedule and life style to replace the many hours previously spent in a porn binge spiral.

    Both my social life and physical activities have materially expanded since I stopped PMO.

    I also feel more self-confident and “deserving” of a happy full life, since I stopped. This feeling of added stature in my social life has been a very powerful motivator for me.

    Also, without getting into a lot of details, I also suffered PTSD level trauma as a teen - and only truly confronted its affects the last few years. In retrospect - my need for “self-medication” and embracing the self-loathing of a very active PMO life style was very much an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with past traumas. But I don’t want to excuse my behavior as being only because of that. As I said initially - I have had a strong sexual interest toward girls since grade school - with a sense of deep objectification even as a very young teen.

    Though thankfully despite those feelings of objectification - I have always found it relatively easy to talk to girls. But in retrospect, I also used that ability to manipulate and at times mislead girls as well - taking advantage of their trust.

    Overall - I know I could have been a much better husband, father and boyfriend than I have been. I am very committed to being the best version of myself going forward.

    Thanks for listening.

    PF (path-forward)
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    This may be an odd one… But sometimes I find myself fantasizing not about detailed porn scenes but about the whole binging experience itself. The intense euphoric feeling of sexual arousal for hours.

    but then I focus on how empty, sad, and discouraged I know I will feel afterward - the sense of self-loathing creeping over me….

    I need to keep going. One day at a time.
    mailboxsam and Rupert Pane like this.
  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is critical. We ditch our bad feelings about the past and embrace our remarkable selves.
    mailboxsam and path-forward like this.
  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Saville likes this.
  8. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    So very appreciative of all the posts/threads of folks sharing their journeys. They are incredibly helpful and comforting - to know I’m not alone in this struggle.

    Inspired me to muster more strength to get through my FIRST 90 days - which hopefully are some of the hardest for no P or M. And given my current PIED - it’s likely to be 90 days of total munk mode!

    I’m feeling so much better about myself. I know this is the journey I need to continue, though it’s incredibly hard during emotional and sexual trigger events. Working hard to keep control and take responsibility for my actions. No more rationalizing I need it or deserve it!

    Best of luck to all the brothers out there working on their own journeys. The key is to reinvent ourselves - finding other much more healthy pursuits for our time and passions.
    mailboxsam, Gil79 and Saville like this.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're right. The wonderful thing is that getting off PMO/MO already begins the reinvention. We can't help but change in many positive directions. :)
    mailboxsam likes this.
  10. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    this is one of the tools in my toolbox against filth. i play the tape the whole way through not just the feel good parts. don't quit before the miracle.
    mailboxsam and path-forward like this.
  11. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks @badger. Thanks great to hear it works for you as well to make sure one focuses on the “after affects” as well. Very much appreciate the advice and encouragement!
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Continuing on a discussion on @Saville’s inspiring thread…

    I have found the key tools for me to stop looking at P or even M - are to limit any P subs and to develop a sense of strong “negative projection” on how I will feel AFTER MO or PMO.

    So when I feel a strong urge for PMO or MO - I focus on how bad I will feel afterwards and how differently I will feel around my wife.

    I NEED to feel I deserve her love and attention - in order to feel dominant around her. And PMO and even MO makes feel weaker around her.

    And she has admitted she likes me being dominant towards her - as this way - she truly understands my needs.

    I know each wife and marriage dynamic is different. But I believe a strong self-confident guy is appreciated by most wives - as it typically makes them feel much more secure and loved.
    Saville likes this.
  13. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    So today is day 52 with no PMO. This is the longest I’ve gone in close to 50 years!

    It definitely has had its challenges, but it feels great to have made it this far.

    Today was a tough day. It was the first time with a lot of down time since Monday.

    i’m also coming down from some great social events with my friends. I always feel a bit melancholy afterwards. Because while it’s always wonderful seeing everyone - it doesn’t provide that intense euphoric feeling that I get from PMO.

    but I keep reminding myself how “ fake and misleading” that world is. As I know I will lose respect for myself if I break down and go back.

    so I’m staying strong. And I’m looking for activities outside my house today.

    I hope soon I can actually go a few days without thinking about it.

    thanks again to everyone for their strong encouragement and support via their own threads and replies here.

    I gain a lot of strength and discipline from reading them.

    it’s so helpful to feel like I’m not alone on this journey.
    realness, mailboxsam and Saville like this.
  14. ananoman

    ananoman Active Member

    It is nice to see you here fighting the fight. Stick with it!!
    path-forward likes this.
  15. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Congratulations on 50 days man. You must celebrate.
    path-forward likes this.
  16. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks MBS! Will celebrate at 60 and 90 days (both dates already on my calendar to create more discipline).

    But I know I can’t drop my guard. Was “sniffing around” on instagram looking at bikini poses for 5 min last night. And then shut it off!

    Tried playing some online speed chess. Actually helped re-orient my mind. Good to know for future. The key is to build up mental and physical tools to stop the PM urge.

    As I’ve mentioned before, when really struggling - I imagine looking at P and then focus on how badly I will feel afterwards. It works well for me.

    I remind myself I am an addict - and need 100% sobriety to maintain discipline. No quick looks etc.

    Plus - while showing some signs of improvement - I def still have PIED. Being cured of that is a huge motivator on its own. I’m very thankful and blessed to have the support and encouragement from my wife. Prior to PIED several years ago - we had a very active and satisfying sex life. She has made it very clear - without making me feel pressured - that she would like to return to that dynamic in the bed room. But we are taking it slow - so that I don’t create a sense of performance anxiety. Sadly we both admitted we started avoiding sex after the PIED became so consistent. And we understand it’s better to “test the waters” slowly. But knowing an active sex life is waiting for me def motivates me a lot.

    But I know even when the PIED is eventually gone, I need to maintain my PM streak!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
    Saville likes this.
  17. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    today was my hardest day so far. Def danced with P subs for a few min here and there today. I feel more agitated lately. I have not PMO for 53 days. I wonder if its simply withdrawal. In particular - going 53 days without MO is def uncharted territory for me - let alone 53 days with no PMO. I find myself less patient with certain friends of mine - the ones who tend to be on the more aggressive side in regard to their personality. Yes - some of my friends can be A holes at times. But ALL of them have good hearts deep down - and most I have known for 20+ years. many much longer than that. Thankfully - the next week is pretty busy for me with family, sports and social plans. I need to keep taking things a day at a time. It will feel great to reach 60 days no PMO. even better to reach 90, 120 etc. This is the journey I know I NEED to embrace - no matter what the cost or pain to myself or my moods. I am so tired and frustrated with all the negative influences associated with a PMO life style - hours spent almost daily in a secret despairing world of shame and self-indulgence..... I will do my best to disciplined and stay strong. Thanks again to everyone on this site who shares their own journeys and ofc encouragement towards me. ALL of it is deeply appreciated. I am very proud to be in the brotherhood of the folks on this forum!
    mailboxsam and Saville like this.
  18. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're putting in the work and that's awesome!
    path-forward likes this.
  19. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Saville. thanks so much for your encouragement!
  20. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    So challenging rn! Heading toward 60 days of no PMO. As I mentioned early on - my wife travels a lot for biz. So I have tons of opportunity.

    Got tempted by seeing a very sexy girl in a store today - triggering desire for at least FMO.

    But called some friends. Read. Played speed chess again

    still sitting here so tempted!

    but going to sleep.

    hopefully it will get a bit easier soon.

    the last few days have been the hardest of my streak.

    wish I understood why!

    but I assume withdrawal affects??
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022
    Saville and Gil79 like this.

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