Document the Victory

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by realness, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    It was a very difficult weekend. I was dishonest with my wife in throwing some of her older food away and then lying about it when she was looking for it. I had to work at rightfully apologizing to her while being so disappointed in myself that some of these unhealthy compulsions and behaviors are still my first response to stress and frustration. Thankfully I had some brothers I could reach out to, who could counsel me and remind me that I'm not a piece of shit, that lying to avoid confrontation in marriage actually happens and is not the end of the world if I'm willing to admit that I'm wrong and work on the roots of that. I'm proud and happy about my recovery from PMO, but I view my lying and dishonesty as remnant roots and symptoms that are ripe for me to address. That feels good, that I can do something about it all. I have to continue to forgive myself.

    My wife forgave me but said she is still hurt and these things awaken her distrust of me that was started by PMO use and MO. I have to leave that as her battles and issues to work with. I cannot be perfect, so there is room for her to do some work at how she forgives, trusts, and generously chooses to love me as her partner if in fact she still wants to remain my wife. That is freeing for me, and I've had to hear that from brothers here on this forum and friends in real life. I can only control and heal things on my side of the fence, and being healthy helps me to be available for whatever level of involvement and healing that my wife is capable of.
    Saville likes this.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Nobody is perfect, neither is your wife, and we learn a life long. In a whole life and a whole marriage this is just such a minor thing, isn't it? When the children are grown-up and you and your wife sit on the porch in the evening sun thinking about these times, you'll both smile endearingly.

    But yeah, in the heat of the moment it is something quite different. It is awesome that you reached out to others and that they were able to be of support. It is awesome that you're willing and daring to look at yourself in such constructive way. You're a stand-up guy
    realness and Saville like this.
  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yup, we have to forgive ourselves for not growing up with the right set of skills. I was a huge liar. I lied even when I didn't have to. It stems from fear of people thinking less of us, which is a fear that we will not be loved. When I learned that I didn't have to decide (manage) how people reacted it took a huge weight off my shoulders.

    You're doing great!
    realness and StarWarsFan like this.
  4. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thank you Gil and Saville! I'm grateful for this safe place. It's a springboard to good things and encouragement.

    It has been so strange the last few weeks. Healing from COVID again, the bad mental side effects of the steroids I was prescribed, the passing of a coworker from suicide, and conflict with my wife all put me in a strange place mentally. It's all been good to a degree. All of those feelings have kept me in a low place of humility, questioning, and examining of my faults (conflict with my wife) but also my needs and what's good for me (healthy activities, examining my relationship with my wife and how I can meet needs that she's not able to right now). I rediscovered evening walks, and had some wonderful times and discussions with a few close friends to cover what's been going on. We talked about REAL stuff and our REAL victories and failures and challenges. To openly discuss binge watching porn, intimacy with a wife, drug use, and straight up emotions were shocks of energy and life that I was really grateful for. Once in a while I've felt the pull towards PMO, but with strength and decisiveness I have been dismissing them and will celebrate 3 weeks of no P or PMO.

    The conflict with my wife moved me forward in processing hurts and resentments that have been difficult to resolve. They are long term and need to be worked out. It's a balance of being well aware of my faults and mistakes and moving forward in addressing them, but also coming to realize that my wife isn't perfect and I have failed to stick up for myself as part of a healthy relationship. My first instinct is passivity and avoiding conflict, and I get so mad at myself when I realize after the fact that I failed to confront her and have forwarded on unhealthy cycles in our relationships. A good example recently is when we had family visiting and I was doing a lot of the driving in a full van and my wife was constantly being a back-seat driver. I just increasingly got stressed and flustered and later realized, I could have realized what was happening and calmly asked her to stop being a back seat driver in real time! I really hope that increased growth and health that comes in this recovery journey will get me to a healthier place where I can see more clearly what is happening in real time and be present in the moment. Intimacy is still an issue as well. My wife is not that interested in sex and not capable or willing to initiate much affection in any way, including hugs and kisses. I know one of the tools of recovery and health living is for me lead in this, to initiate affection, intimacy and closeness. Often I do well. But it can often all add up to feelings of continued rejection. My wife is an exhausted mom, and she can be prideful and lazy, which all add up to me being powerless against her couch and her shows and her phone in the evenings. I'm working on the balance of meeting her there sometimes, but when I feel week or rejected, to leave her and go for an evening walk to find my peace and strength.
    Gil79 and Saville like this.
  5. ananoman

    ananoman Active Member

    Hang in there. Life is a journey with many ups and downs
    realness likes this.
  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I hear you! I find that things work best for me when I don't try to work anything out in my relationship. I just concentrate on myself and hope the wife will come around. I've seen great changes in myself, but also big ones in my wife. Positivity is infectious.
    realness, path-forward and Libertad like this.
  7. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    This is so exciting and empowering. It's a theme that shines through your journal Saville and I'm grateful to you for sharing it.

    I've been on a crazy roller coaster the last few weeks and lately there have been some tremendous highs. I enjoyed intimacy with my wife last week after a long break of sickness, her period, and some conflict. It was wonderful. The next morning I got a tentative job offer for a civilian job at a military base in Italy that I interviewed for back in June. We hadn't heard anything since sending references and I had dismissed the possibility and moved on with life. My wife and kids are really excited about the change so I accepted the offer on Friday. I have a few weeks of paperwork and run-around before it becomes an official change with a moving date. Or there's a small chance it could fall through. We're thrilled. But I have some trepidation about this huge change to our lives and our family. There's lots to do regarding vehicles, purging the house, getting it rented, etc. Our kids are young and this seems like a very good time to expose them to the culture an opportunity overseas without breaking up deeper friendships for them.

    I thought this would help with urges but nope, as I approach 4 weeks no P or PMO this Wed there have been strong urges and some P fantasies. This stuff is insidious. So I'm here, I'm Marco Polo'ing safe people, setting up a coffee meetup, etc. I guess sometimes we gotta dig deep.
    StarWarsFan, Saville and path-forward like this.
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Italy? Are you kidding?! Wow, that's amazing! I visited Italy many years ago with my wife and absolutely fell in love with the place. I remember saying to her "how can we ditch our jobs and live here?"

    4 weeks of no P/PMO is also huge. Keep up the great work, realness. Even if things fall through you are building on something great here.
    realness likes this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    That is awesome, congratulations! Hang in there with the urges
    realness likes this.
  10. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Saville and @Gil79 ! It's been an exciting week since I received and accepted the job offer. Despite some questions I've asked I haven't heard anything further from HR so things are moving slowly. Probably a good thing! We're working on getting our house ready for renting and all of the other logistical things. We're so excited for the kids and the culture they'll be exposed to. We can even look into putting them in local schools or an international school where they can be exposed to some Italian. Our 2 year old could go into Italian pre-school and really pick it up!

    Urges exploded this week and Wed was a huge battle day. I didn't dismiss immediately some thoughts about a favorite P star and I just got stuck on it. I was so close to PMO. Thankfully I didn't view any P or binge and PMO. But I did FMO. Thankfully yesterday was an in-person office day and it helped me get back into the groove. It was wonderful to pass the 4 week mark of no PMO, but I made things harder on myself by overthinking things (urges just get worse and worse the longer you go, right? Wrong. Just an addicts excuse). There are times where some serious grit is required in recovery, in between times of action and productivity where our minds are focused on being productive or just doing what we're supposed to be doing as men. One of the major triggers also was a flare-up of my aches and pains that I get occasionally since my vasectomy 16 months ago. This drives a ton of anxiety about it never going away, needing a reversal, etc. That anxiety, and the flawed logic of PMO'ing to confirm that everything still works ok, can be a big driver to PMO. Also PMO is an escape from those pains and anxiety. It's a cyclical thing where I feel fine for a few weeks, and then get achy and really sensitive for a few days or a week. Probably related to cyclical sperm production.

    Things that make you go hmmmmmm...... My wife has suddenly turned the page and is completely devoted towards decluttering and organizing our home! This has been a major issue in our marriage for many years now. She's so excited about Italy that she's focused on that. Because I'm not drowning in PMO and blindness, I have realized that she'll do it when she's excited about moving, but has never been willing to commit to it because it's important to me. I'm not going to make a big fight or issue about that, but I have noticed. Hmmmmm......
    path-forward and Saville like this.
  11. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @realness - good for you to fight the urge to PMO. take it as a strong victory - even with FMO. Better to use your mind than your eyes and computer to MO! Got myself very wound up as well last night - sadly letting my mind drift to a relatively intense fetish porn scene. I swear my dick hurt as much as my mind - as I fought the urge! Thankfully I had recently ordered Wack and read it cover to cover as a way to fight the urge. I very much recommend the book - as I am sure many people on here can relate to it. So exciting with your new job in Italy! I came close to taking a new gig in the UK - when I was around your age. Still remember checking out schools etc - but sadly the job transfer fell through due to some internal politics. I think it will be a wonderful experience for you and your family! Regarding your Wife's new found talents for organization - my advice - encourage her sincerely and reinforce the behavior. Lots of folks including myself loath organizing things - so maybe she just needed the right motivation. IMHO - Its not worth overthinking your partner's faults sometimes. None of us are perfect! Keep on fighting! You are doing AMAZING!
    realness, Saville and Tomato76 like this.
  12. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thank you path-forward, that is wise advise and I will heed it. We are looking forward to the start of the school year and some very good opportunities to get our house in order in general and ready for a move specifically.

    It's been rocky lately with strong urges and some drifting moments into fantasy and touching myself. Thankfully nothing more. Despite that, I'm going to celebrate a big victory today where the house was empty and I did what I should be doing, working and tackling a small house project over my lunch break. I'll continue to put my energies into what I should be doing as well as pursuing intimacy with my wife. Wed will be 5 weeks no P or PMO. And what a blessing. College friends from 20 years ago are in town and I'm meeting them for lunch tomorrow. What a blessing that will be even richer as I enjoy the time with some good distance from PMO.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yes, I hear you. When I was at my lowest there was no helping hand extended. My wife withheld love from me because she was more interested in the attention being on her. Because I was weak, and lacked life-skills, I was easy prey for women who were unhappy in their own marriages. Two broken people are held together by some kind of marital status-quo and this can be a hard, hard, status to break. However, the paradigm can shift on a dime as you see with your wife being excited about moving. She has something to look forward to, aside from the drudgery of the everyday. I'm rambling here, but what a great opportunity for both of you. Your continued abstention from PMO will strengthen the bonds of your marriage in all ways.
    realness and path-forward like this.
  14. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    thanks Saville. I've had some insights into my weaknesses and lack of life skills. Things are changing on a dime and I'm getting stronger and have more and better tools to turn to than PMO or other negative coping mechanisms. Grit, and "no muscles" are on my mind. These have atrophied after so many years of PMO indulgence. But I feel them getting stronger. I can take care of myself better, and this enables me to see things more clearly. My wife does get exhausted from the drudgery. 4 kids under 10 is no joke, and she's often exhausted. But my strength can be contagious during these times, and vice versa for her.

    Yesterday I had to deal with some urges mid-day and I found the grit to power through. I thought this would result in intimacy with my wife in the evening as a reward, but she was too exhausted. Thankfully, I had the mental strength to realize my entitlement to a "reward" is not true or logical. And the urges had subsided. So it was a healthy evening.
    Saville likes this.
  15. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the job offer, I think this change will do you good and it sounds very exciting. And now your wife finally feels as if she has a reason to start de-cluttering, a win-win.
  16. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Almost made it to 6 full weeks of no P or PMO. Regretfully I chose to go back to PMO on 3 days this week. I'm glad that it's Saturday. I'm thankful for new morning mercies each day and the promise of a new week beginning tomorrow.

    I'm not devastated or beating myself. Rather, I'm disappointed that on those days last week PMO ruled me. I felt powerless to do the right thing. I don't want PMO to be a ruling thing over me. I'm thankful that it's claws have been pushed back. It used to be daily and several times a week for months and years on end. I'm thankful for the peace and joy I lived during another long stretch. This is who I really am and it's time to get back to it.

    I travel for work next week. Over the last few years my work travels have been great times of freedom from PMO, adventures in new towns in the evenings, electric scooter rides, park explorations and brewery discoveries. I'm looking forward to those things and being in my hotel room as little as possible.

    This forum has gotten really quiet over the last few days. I'd really like to hear how the regulars and some of the new journeymen are doing!
  17. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I had some productive conflict with my wife. We had it out for over an hour last night. I clearly voiced my frustrations with living like roomates, with me being the only one to initiate almost all affection, whether it's sex or just hugs, kisses, compliments, encouragement. For the first time, maybe ever, my wife sat with silence a few times, acknowledging that there are things that she can do on her side. It felt really good to stick up for myself, to take conflict head on, and to have the clarity and presence of mind to voice my needs. Thank God the PMO Realness of passivity and conflict avoidance was nowhere to be found last night. Still it was difficult to see her pride well up. To see her fishing for a rebuttal when I made a clear and irrefutable point of how I should be loved. There's a lot to untangle. She voiced her needs and frustrations too. There is work that I can do to love my wife better too. I am writing these things down to hold myself and my wife accountable.

    Things I can do:
    1) Look my wife in the eyes and give her genuine compliments and verbal encouragement, daily.
    2) Initiate closeness, hugs, and kisses, not just when I want sex
    3) Listen and acknowledge her preferences (how to hang dry her bras..... fuck, marriage is hard and frustrating!)
    4) When I have made a good effort, and my wife is not responsive, then I need to go do an activity that is good for me. Go for a walk, bike ride, or knock out a chore/work on a project, reach out to a friend, set up or go on a night out.
    5) Stick up for myself. Stop things when I am being treated unfairly and embrace the conflict. Be on the lookout for deflection, minimizing or dismissal of me and what I have said.
    6) Speak up. Ask my wife for a hug or closeness and if she's unwilling, ask her why.

    Things I can reasonably ask of her:
    1) Look me in the eyes and give genuine compliments and verbal encouragement.
    2) Initiate closeness, hugs, and kisses, and initiate sex
    3) Not assign motives to me when I give her affection
    4) Comfort and encourage me
    5) Extend grace for small slights or mistakes

    I'll need to edit this and refer back to it. We can't fall back into passivity. The kids wreck our energy and stability, and it is legitimate that we fall into lazy and bad habits with how we treat each other when we're exhausted. I have agency in this and I can lead my family well.
  18. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I'm finishing up my work trip and it was really wonderful. I had two great evenings of solitude and adventure, exploring the town, finding breweries and historic districts to walk though. I had a big block of time yesterday when a meeting ended early. I really did consider getting a device at the Best Buy near the hotel to PMO for a few hours. But I fought things off pretty well and got out of the hotel room and headed towards a brewery one of the locals recommended.

    The night before I left, and the next day after the productive conflict with my wife, she initiated intimacy with me. I was so grateful for that thoughtfulness and the send off she gave me. I'll take some time and think about that hour of conflict and what needs and wants that she voiced to me, and then act on that. I can love her well. This two night break from the chaos of our family life has been rewarding and energizing. Today is one week free from PMO and it went really quickly. I was really discouraged last week with how I let PMO rule over me so this feels really good.
    path-forward likes this.
  19. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @realness - great to hear you are building such strong foundations with yourself AND your wife! Really good work! Very happy for you!
    realness likes this.
  20. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I'm embracing three things I've learned from others in this forum:
    1) Calling out negative feelings and emotions when they hit me. Examine them and take away their power. Learned from Forlorn.
    2) Not wrestling the gorilla. It's so wise to dismiss the urges early and recognize that I'm being baited into an unwinnable fight the further I entertain thoughts or urges. Learned from Badger.
    3) Do something fulfilling when urges hit, and it's amazing how quickly the urges go away. Learned from Saville.

    Over the last year or so my wife has not been as available as I would like emotionally, affectionally and sexually. I'm working on the balance of being available to her and not with-holding out of bitterness or spite, but also being ready to move on to something that is fulfilling to me so that I can stay healthy. I'm certainly not interested in begging and being needy around her when there's something else I can jump to. And there's plenty to do that I find fulfilling. Lots of house maintenance and medium sized projects as we get the house ready to rent out for a few years. The over-seas job onboarding is moving along SLOWLY........ the local HR is teaching us a lot about European timing. We're very excited for the potential move in the next few months. Oh yeah, my wife and I are finally on the same page somewhat regarding purging and decluttering the house with this going on. So that's a win! Last week a treadmill left our house and I felt a lightness in my inner being hahahaha
    AliveAgain, Saville, Mozenjo and 4 others like this.

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