Accepting Responsibility

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

  1. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    If you've got yourself a catch then brag away. :) However, don't lose sight of the fact that you are also a catch. It takes two to tango. I always like to reemphasize what we are doing, because for too long we've taken a back seat when dealing with our own lives.

    Yes, this! Journaling and posting on the threads of others has been critical for me. Every time we write, we reinforce our commitment and desire to heal.

    Peace, bro'.
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  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Path-forward, your hard work :D is paying off! Great news about your wife. I'm sure she slept soundly too, knowing you two are connecting the way you were meant to. Really happy for you. Keep going!
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  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville and @Mozenjo thanks so much for your very gracious posts! They truly mean a lot to me - and your strong support, advice and encouragement has been incredibly helpful to me in this journey. I can not thank you enough!

    And ofc - many thanks to the other brothers on the forum who have offered their encouragement and support to me.

    We all need each other to find the strength to beat this demon and live fuller happier lives.
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  4. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    My wife had a minor procedure last Friday that sadly put our sex life on the shelf for a bit until things heal. Been playing "peeking games" - seemingly daring myself to relapse. Thankfully I am keeping the time peeking limited and not touching myself. Still ofc a behavior that needs to stop. Tho its like I OCD over a particular girl and only the peeking makes me stop.

    Thankfully - I am still finding it relatively easy to walk away from the peeking. Taking things a day at a time - with a short term goal of 60 days NO PMO or MO - and ofc hoping for longer from there.
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  5. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I can relate to that experience of obsessing over a girl until you peek. All the best with that. I think we need to mentally file that lingering thought under the same category of "creating the void" not fulfilling it. One of two things can happen when we peek. We can decide, "oh, she's attractive, but that really wasn't worth me obsessing about," or, worse, it can open a rabbit hole where we want to act out, it goes in the direction of full-blown PMO and we lose all our progress. Not worth it either way!

    Also lately I've been trying to apply that minor "OCD" into better pursuits. Imagine we could "obsess" over something that will actually improve our lives & our wives' lives. And pour that mental energy into something amazing.
  6. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Rudolf Geyse thanks for your thoughtful response. A lot of truth and great advice!
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  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Wow! Had some very encouraging events last night.

    We are blessed with a 2 person shower. And my wife for the first time in 3+ years - imitated sex by simply positioning herself against the shower wall in a very “inviting manner.” While I still initially felt some stage fright - I thankfully “rose” to the occasion! And my wife finished me off with oral in the shower - for the first time also in about 3 years. As I’ve said, she has recently admitted that she stopped initiating sex because she felt it was making her feel bad about herself.
    Later on I reciprocated with pleasuring her orally in bed and she actually started “exploring” if I was up for more fun. Shockingly - I got aroused enough for penetration a second time! But my brain sadly started to question if things were working right - as my sensitivity understandably felt less. And once doubt entered my mind - things stopped! :( But it was ofc still a huge feeling of encouragement! And my wife assured me things were feeling great for her - until my mind played tricks on me.

    But we both agreed keeping things to at least a day of down time right now was a smart approach for both my situation and her own feminine health issues.

    While I am almost 62, my wife is in her late 40s. And she has also admitted she put her own relatively strong libido in “hibernation” because of my PIED.

    So it’s been a deeply intimate feeling - reawakening that part of our relationship.

    btw. Just to remind my brothers - I do take 5 mg of cialis each day - which I’m sure has been helping - especially for trying for a second round!

    Despite all the encouraging events, I am still fighting peeking lately. My life has had some very challenging personal issues - and I admit the peeking is becoming its own form of self-medication. While thankfully it doesn’t seem to be causing any PIED right now - I fully realize I’m playing with fire. Need to work much harder on stopping that behavior!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2022
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  8. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Very encouraging news, path-forward! Except for the peeking, of course. I'm really glad to hear that things are progressing well for you. The sex you both want is there, and getting past the addiction's pull will get you there.
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  9. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    thanks as always for the encouragement Moz. Very much appreciated.
  10. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Things still going great with my wife in the bed room. Bizarrely I have gone from PIED and before that severe DE - to fighting not to come too fast! Lol. Haven’t felt that way since the 1990s!

    I recently came inside my wife twice in 36 hours! And am now finding it shockingly easy to get hard as we commence sex. Feels like a dream sometimes!

    BUT I still peek at times and fully admit I still miss PMO. The urges are mainly during mental lows regarding my wife’s chronic health situation.

    While I fully realise the occasional peeking is a slippery path and overall very bad behaviour - thankfully it has not affected my performance. So I removed my peeking date and am just focused on tracking MO or PMO. I know it’s a bit of a cop out and takes away a source of self-discipline - but I know where the ultimate focus needs to be.

    I have also learned a relapse is not a reason to go off the wagon. If I relapse - I need to analyze why I did it, learn from it, and make sure it is not the beginning of an all out binge pattern.

    I know my addiction is likely a life long struggle. And I fully accept that challenge, as a necessity for my mental and physical well being.
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  11. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Great post, path-forward! So encouraging to hear of your successes in the bedroom. Hope some of that mojo wears off on me :D
    My tadalafil arrived yesterday. Going to take one today, and probably again tomorrow. Thanks again for the tip.
    But, like you, I have to keep my eyes on the other priority, which is to eliminate the pixels.
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  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks brother! Have truly appreciated all your encouragement.

    With the tadalafil - I had mild heart burn for about a week, but then it went away. I take 5 mg every morning along with vitamins and a few other supplements. I love the spontaneity taking a small dose daily provides.
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  13. StarWarsFan

    StarWarsFan Active Member

    Yep, ran into the same thing. Congrats on your successes and insights!!
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  14. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks SWF! Much appreciated and back at ya!
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  15. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Well, the last 5 days I had by far my worse relapse period, since I started working on abstaining from PMO and MO on June 1 of this year. Had had only two PMO days in 5.5 months and had been on a 43 day clean streak.

    But I have been in a very dark period recently, as my wife's potential for serious long term health issues has materially worsened. And her health may affect both our lives at many levels.

    I have never felt such a strong NEED for the self-medication provided by PMO until this period. I had "PMO sessions" Thursday, Friday, Sunday and tonight. Had friends visiting on Saturday - which likely kept me clean that day.

    Oddly - Being very honest with myself - I do not feel as badly, as I thought I would about my behavior. My dick was rock hard each session (which helped with my fear of relapsing in regard to PIED) - and I had a definite frame of mind throughout “most” of my relapse, that this would not be the beginning of a download spiral. I just needed to calm myself emotionally and did not want to use meds or alcohol to do that. I even admitted to myself on Thursday, that I would very likely PMO on Friday and Sunday nights. Pretty much scheduled them.

    Tho I totally admit tonight (Monday) was a chaser affect - which did bother me tremendously and likely provided the warning that I needed - that I am potentially deluding myself and playing in very dangerous territory.

    But I know I need to get back on the horse now and focus on staying clean again. But I also feel calmer and happier. I do not have the feeling of self-loathing, that I have had in the past with PMO relapses. I suppose it comes down to having confidence in myself to stay relatively clean going forward and having a sense of forgiveness for my actions. I also recognize, that I needed some form of medication to garner the strength, that I needed to be the supportive husband my wife deserves. Hopefully this is not all rationalization! lol

    And I am by no means advocating PMO as a form of self-medication. Just like I would not advocate alcohol, drugs etc. But for me - it was a very very challenging emotional situation, where I simply felt I needed "something" to feel calm enough, so that I could be a very supportive husband to my dear Wife. Btw - she was also away during this period - which ofc made the situation even harder not to rationalize PMO for myself.

    I reset my counter and I am focused on looking forward again. I will also focus harder on not peeking as well.

    In the end, none of us are perfect. And I hope I am truly being honest with myself in regard to my ability to get back on the horse - and do not create a new pattern of bad behavior or significantly increase my vulnerability to relapses.

    Only time will tell whether I am deluding myself- but I know I need to stay clean now - and not to risk PIED and DE coming back into my life and my marriage.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    It's great that you are not experiencing self-loathing and that you have forgiven yourself. This is key to long-term health in all ways. However, you are totally rationalizing your use of PMO. Your wife's illness is a convenient excuse to run away from who you are. I'm not casting aspersions here, just laying out the facts as I see them.

    Let me retrace things a bit. I believe it is a man's job to honor, protect, treasure, encourage and be there for his SO when the chips are down. These aren't just words, they are part of our character as a man. When we fall for the self-medication trap of PMO (which I have before) it means we have left our watch. When we leave our watch the hordes come over the walls and defeat us. We have invited the enemy directly into our home and so how is that "being there" for our SO?

    Rollo May said "the opposite of love is not cowardice, it's indifference." Why? Because there is no energy in indifference. At least when we are cowering we feel enough energy that we might do something courageous. I have felt what you're feeling. "Oh, that was a nice release. Now I can get on with things." However, this has always been the slippery slope, the lack of faith in myself to be a man.

    I applaud your honesty, but part of being honest is remembering that PMO is the devil incarnate.
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  17. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    path-forward, I don't think you're deluding yourself, since you know you need to stay clean in order to truly be there for your wife. However, as one who still struggles to be clean the way I should, meaning NO PEEKING, I have been failing to be there for my SO as well. So, my advice would be to not allow peeking anymore. It erodes our resolve, and if we don't change that habit, we will fall into PMO again and again. Saville's words about being there when the chips are down rang true for me. My SO may not be having severe health issues right now (though she is having some issues), but that's beside the point. We need to act as if the chips are down every day, no matter what. Because they are!
    Have a clean day, my friend.
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  18. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville - as always, I deeply appreciate your candor and directness. It makes your role on this forum more valuable than I can truly articulate.

    And I hear you loud and clear on both being there for my wife and the extreme dangers of rationalizing PMO. I have been a moderate user of weed and alcohol for many years (can stop either for weeks at a time with little effort) and sometimes I harbor thoughts that PMO can be a similar vice. But I know deep down it has a much stronger power over me than alcohol and pot.

    I am not making excuses about my situation, but for the sake of privacy - I have not fully explained all of the details of my wife's health issues on my life. But suffice to say - it has also put significant pressures on many other aspects of our life, including even simply hanging out with other couples. But in the end, those are all excuses, as I am sure you know as well.

    I am back on the horse today and hope to ride well going forward and be the husband my wife deserves!

    Thanks again for being a great friend!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  19. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Moz - thanks also to you for your strong support and encouragement! I know we have similar issues with the fight against PMO and are able to learn from each other.

    The peeking def has to stop and I need to go back to the mind set that helped me overcome PIED and DE.

    Had a rough long weekend and did use rationalization to facilitate my relapses.

    I am trying to be fully honest with myself, but also not beat myself up too much while doing it.

    Thanks so much for your friendship and support!
  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You've really done amazing work, my friend.
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