Accepting Responsibility

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

  1. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    That's a lot to process, path-forward. As we age we tend to look in the rear view mirror more, especially when life isn't going the way we would want it to. I have always found that when the chips are down that walking is as good an intervention as anything. The other day I felt out of sorts and so I walked the hour into town, went to the library, then to my favourite coffee shop - after that I felt pretty good. When I'm struggling mentally I don't think of the stuff that needs to be done. I give myself a break from thinking. After quite a few years on this planet I know that not very much was ever accomplished by me stewing about it and conclusions are never reached. Happiness, or at least feeling okay, is a by-product of what we do. Sweeping the floor, cleaning the garage, going for walks, having a coffee while we read or write in our journal, are the ways to climb out of a funk. Climbing stairs takes effort, but our legs are more than capable of ascending hundreds of floors; plus, there's that view. :)
    realness, Gil79, Libertad and 3 others like this.
  2. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Sir Saville. I am truly humbled by your wisdom sometimes. It’s always so very direct and well targeted.

    Not going to lie. I really needed it this morning. As last night - evidenced by my post - was a low point.

    I read your text and literally felt the weight of the world lifted.

    You provided both great insights and well focused “action items” as well.

    I truly can not thank you enough for your strong support and encouragement. It’s means the world to me!

    After I read your post, just coming of the shower, I passed my wife still lying in bed.

    I got into bed and softly kissed her back and neck as I gently massaged her shoulders and neck. She literally purred with happiness. It was the most intimate physical touch we have had in a while. While not sexual - it felt incredibly loving to both of us. And helped to make the world feel even lighter.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

    heading forward myself.
    Gil79, StarWarsFan, Libertad and 2 others like this.
  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Well it was very turbulent last 24 hours. My wife and I had serious discussions about divorce, which was not the first time. Whenever our arguments involve my kids (all from a prior marriage), I experience incredibly intense emotional pain and act impulsively - a strong relationship with them is incredibly vital to my mental stability.
    But this is not the first time we have gone to the brink, and these discussions, while incredibly painful (lots of tears for both of us) - have a way of forcing ALL issues between us to the surface.
    And while my wife is a generally a very sweet loving person - I fully admit our age gap (15+ years) and the amount of time we are apart - puts a lot of pressure on our relationship at times.
    She also has been very depressed lately, as her health issues have worsened, affecting her quality of life materially.

    But happily we “reconciled” this afternoon and had very loving make up sex. And while she was not able to have penetrative sex - we still had a fully naked session that provided a release for each of us.

    And while I have had 2 relapses the past month, thankfully my dick responded well - which was also very encouraging.

    One of the points my wife emphasised during our arguments - is that she has been very supportive of my on going porn addiction and ED (almost 3 years of not being able to get it up most times until late last year).

    She did not emphasise it in a judgemental way. She just made the point that most women would not try as hard not to judge me. And be as understanding of the underlying reasons. And I had to agree.

    To be clear - it was 100% me thinking of leaving her. She respects her commitment to her marriage vows in a very religious manner. I fully admit I don’t and am capable of very impulsive behaviours both regarding my relationships and of course unhealthy sexual behaviours as well.

    Some of my wife’s significant health issues are related to HPV - which I gave her from very risky behaviour prior our dating.
    I also very much understated my risky behaviour prior to dating her. And while I was tested for STDs prior to having unprotected sex with her - there is no easily performed test for male HPV.

    this is the first time I ever discussed this with anyone. And feel a bit vulnerable putting it out here.

    But I need to deal with my strong guilt regarding its affect on her. And of course her underlying anger at my misleading her.
    Though she only throws it out at me, when I voice frustration with our overall marriage and life style.

    It kills me inside, that my risky sex addicted behaviours, has physically harmed my wife so much.

    But it’s something that of course impacts her much more than me.

    Today’s relationship traumas with my wife have made me even more understand how important it is to keep my porn and sex addiction fully under control.

    took a lot out of me to share all this. There are some other details that make my relationship with my wife more challenging than typical. But that’s for another day.

    thanks for listening my Brothers.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2023
    Mozenjo and Saville like this.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Well done, my brother, at getting all that off your chest. I have more to say, but I have an early coffee date with a friend.
    path-forward likes this.
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    path-forward, I'm sure that was difficult to share. It is hard to bare our souls to anyone; especially to ourselves sometimes. I'm glad your discussion with your wife ended well, but there are obviously some issues that will need continued work. The addiction being at the top of the list, I'm sure. From what I've read from you over the last year or so, I'm gathering that guilt probably had more to do with your feelings of wanting to pull the plug with her than maybe other things you're dealing with. Only you will know if staying in your marriage is right for you. But you've said many times how much you love her, and she obviously loves you back. So if wanting to let her go so she doesn't have to deal with your problems anymore is what drove you to talk about divorce, do know that your guilt can be a useful tool, as painful as it is. You are doing well on this struggle. I know you can take the successes you've had and build on them. I've seen it happening, and it's very encouraging to me as a fellow addict. I wish you the best, my friend.
    Saville likes this.
  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I find this an interesting phrase. A strong relationship with one's kids is important just because it is. We never need to justify why we want to be close with our children.

    Intimacy, in all its myriad forms, is vital.

    Yes, but she did bring it up, which means it is totally a sore point with her.

    Guess what, one's behavior doesn't have to be risky in order to contract HPV. My wife had to deal with that and so did my daughter. Did I give it to my wife or did she get it from a partner before me? I think you can stash any guilt in that regard. It's something that is ubiquitous and that's just our human situation if we want to have sex.

    Absolutely! These mini-crisis shine a light on what's important. The past is not important, in so far as it relates to guilt, shame, or any other negative emotion. We all fucked up. None of us had great life-skills. What we do moving forward is all that matters. Holding on to one scintilla of a negative past (unless it informs something affirmative) is useless and empty.

    I love what @Mozenjo said about guilt and how to build on your successes, of which you've had a few.
    path-forward likes this.
  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Moz. Thanks so much for your heart felt and encouraging response. And my desire for a divorce was more about conflicts with my kids and life style challenges. The life style challenges related to her work, our differences in social life needs, and admittedly her health as well - though I do feel very guilty for feeling that way for the latter life style challenges. As ofc her health issues are not within her control.

    thank you so much for your friendship and support. Means so much to me my brother!

    I feel like our issues with PMO over lap a lot and it’s great that we are able to provide support and inspiration to each other!

    let’s both keep fighting hard to conquer this demon!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2023
  8. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Sir Saville. As always, thanks so much for taking the time to offer very direct and at times "tough love" advice and analysis. You are a very good man to make the time to offer your insights and wisdom here to so many appreciative brothers.

    And I value your friendship and supportive more than you know! You have been incredibly helpful to me on my journey fighting porn addiction!

    And as you say, there is a lot to unpack in your very thoughtful response to my post.

    In regard to the HPV, my wife virtually always used protection before meeting me and the overall fact pattern, without getting into a lot of personal details, makes it glaringly obvious it was from me.
    And even if she somehow caught it from someone else despite all factors to the contrary - she deserved to know much more of my sexual history before having unprotected sex with me.

    But overall - it was good to put it out there - and yes Moz's comment about my guilt being one of the reasons to want to pull the plug on my marriage was very true.

    But my wife and I have a lot of moving pieces in our marriage conflicts.

    But when it's good - it is truly great! But our life and marriage sadly has some embedded conflicts that raise their head every so often - despite my love for her and her love for me

    In regard to my porn addiction - of course she does not like it and wishes it was not part of our relationship dynamics. But she does try very hard to not make me feel judged - accepting it is part of my personality make up related to child hood trauma and other factors she has accepted and been supportive of about me. She also tried to be very creative in getting me turned on and builds from each prior successes - to offer a relatively unique sensual dynamic in the bed room. And I have always felt incredibly blessed for her natural sensual instincts in the bed room.

    And regard to my children, you are 100% correct! Needing to be close to our kids is like a need for oxygen. It's as natural as any part of our lives and feelings. And without that feeling of closeness to my children, I am very emotionally unstable at times.

    Overall - Based on feedback from partners, friends, and even co-workers - I know I can be a bit complicated in my personality make up. I love intensely and am even more a connection addict than a porn addict. But I also have tendency to be impulsive (hence asking for a divorce so quickly in the midst of a big argument with my wife that I love) and spiral down to very dark places.

    Sadly, despite trying with about 6 different ones, I have never found a therapist that was effective on a long basis in helping me.

    Interestingly, my two best therapeutic experiences have been with my wife and this forum - with of course you being one of my vital sources of wisdom and insights here.

    Thanks again for all your time and direct feedback in providing me much needed support and encouragement on my journey to conquer PMO and also have a more stable life overall

    It's deeply appreciated!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2023
    Saville likes this.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I get that you gave it to her, but HPV has been around for a long, long, time. Someone gave it to you without their knowledge, after all. You didn't consent to contracting the virus. Yes, it sucks that your wife is having issues because of it, just as it sucked for my wife. I just don't think we should blame ourselves, and feel guilt over, something that we have almost no control over. Unless both people are virgins when they meet then there is risk involved.

    Also, stop beating yourself up about your sexual history. The guilt has to be over at some point, right? I write this to myself, too, because I can sometimes still fall down a hole of despair because of my past behavior. But I always remind myself that nothing happens in a vacuum. I own my behavior, but I'm also aware that I was never taught good life-skills and married someone who also had shitty life-skills. I make up for the past by being the best I can be on any given day.

    I've scoured my soul so many times but have never come up with any satisfactory answers. The way forward for me, path-forward, is to be a man of small actions. Sweep the floor, do the dishes, go for a walk, read a book, practice piano, drink a coffee, do some yard work, help a neighbor, listen when members of my family are speaking, etc. The big gestures are usually meaningless. It is in the mundane tasks where we find the strands of gold.
    path-forward, StarWarsFan and Mozenjo like this.
  10. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Saville. I very much appreciate you sharing so openly and the strong Encouragement to let my feelings go regarding the past. But without getting overly clinical or personal - my wife’s HPV situation is not curable and materially affects her quality of life and is potentially life threatening. So a lot going on.

    And I can’t get around that I materially lied to my wife on something that affects her very much.

    I assured her she was very safe having unprotected sex with me, despite a very risky sexual past.

    I need to live with that.

    But she does her best to be forgiving about it. She is not perfect in regard to judging me overall, but light years better than my ex wife and most other women. She is very religious and believes nothing will come from being angry at someone.

    And despite being very religious - she is also very open minded sexually!
    She literally dreamt last night that she was my secretary. And I insisted on oral sex for 10 min before each of my business calls to have “better focus” - with her secretly under my desk servicing me.

    To find a very beautiful, sweet girl like that - combined with perfect SATs haha - is worth the guilt most of the time!

    But unfortunately we have a few “hot button” issues in our relationship that are not easily resolved and emotional triggers for both of us. But hopefully we can find a good “resting place for them” emotionally most of the time. Just going through some particularly tough times between us.

    And just to be clear - I very much appreciate you always having my back man! Means a lot and is never taken for granted.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2023 at 1:06 AM
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I know it's not easy to share the things you have, my friend. It's cathartic, I think, but can leave us feeling vulnerable. There's no judgment here, rest assured. I truly hope your wife finds her way back to full health, she's sounds like quite a find.
    path-forward likes this.
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    As always Sir Saville - I appreciate all the kind words. You are a great friend!
    Saville likes this.
  13. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    As I mentioned on @Mozenjo journal last night, my wife and I are having very serious divorce discussions. Our issues are not really related to porn addiction, more her feeling that I don’t value her feelings enough in issues and situations related to my kids and some of my friends wives acting rudely to her over the years.
    And I fully admit I have taken the easy way out in all these situations, avoiding any confrontation or changing my plans - at the expense of her own feelings of self-worth.

    And just to be very clear, she has done more than most second wives would do to keep the peace and improve the relationship between her and my kids and ex wife.

    but we recently had a situation come up where she was going to feel uncomfortable in a situation involving my kids and ex wife - and I chose the easy route again. It has been a last straw for her - particularly given how distraught she has been feeling about her health situation.

    she moved out about 6 days ago to take some time to think. And it has seemed pretty dire.

    But we spoke for literally 4 hrs by phone last night. She called me btw. And there may be some light.

    Our discussions have surfaced a lot of issues about the rage I can direct at her, when I am unhappy and how cold I act towards her. It’s a side of me that I am not proud of. And had similar issues with my ex wife.

    My wife is a good person and has tried very hard to make our marriage work well and to have a good relationship with my kids, ex wife, family and friends.

    But sometimes she just needs to know I put her first in my life. And I have not shown that most times.

    But hopefully I get it right this time, as new family situation has come upon us.

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