Moz journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Mozenjo, May 22, 2014.

  1. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    First, the good news. Doing well with the abstinence. Not a whiff of pixels of any kind.
    Now, the bad. I still had ED last night with the gf, and as we were talking about it, she asked me if I was doing porn. The first time we've talked about it since we started dating. I was not going to lie about it, and told her about my struggles, and how I'm making progress, but that I am not there yet. She was understandably devastated. Two of her exes had sex addiction issues, and she feels betrayed by me for not letting her know. This may be it for us. She now knows why I've had performance issues, though anxiety and alcohol have also played a part at various times. I don't know how things would have gone if I admitted my problem at the beginning of our relationship, but I didn't want to risk it. I've seen guys here have some bad fallout after confessing, but also some others who have had understanding partners. I chose the path of hiding it. Now she is faced with deciding if she can trust me, and if she even wants to bother trying.
    I feel like shit. I texted her this morning and told her that I will continue to work on my issues regardless of what happens. I'm going to get a different counselor, as the first one didn't really resonate with me.
     
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You had a trauma when you and your gf broke up. I would say this has more to do with your ED than P. It takes time to get our mojo back after such a thing. Some people can just bounce back, but others, like us, need time to process it all.
     
  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    How much did you reveal? Did you say it had been life long, or just a recent thing? Just seeing if there's room for you to backtrack a bit.
     
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  4. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I very much agree with you, my friend. These last two times have been tough, because the desire is there, but my brain isn't ready.

    Well, I'm afraid the cat's out of the bag, Saville. We talked today on the phone. She just wanted to know if I had anything else to say. I talked a lot, but since I spilled my guts last night, it was mainly repetition. She's no dummy, and now is not the time to try and parse things to make it sound different than what it is. The bottom line is I told her the truth about how most guys start looking at pictures at puberty -at least when we were kids; now they go straight for the never-ending supply of smut. And that I've had stretches without it, but that it's so tenacious because it is so omnipresent and easy to access. I also told her that I've made good progress and that I'm committed to putting this behind me for good. All true, though my progress needs to progress faster. She had a rough day today, and though she is profoundly disappointed, I think there is still hope. I let her know that this is really the only skeleton she doesn't know about. I do feel a sense of relief at being painfully honest, while letting her know that I love her very much and still want her. We'll see how things go. Wish me luck.
     
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  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Moz, you are a catch. Even with your one bad habit you are still an intelligent, thoughtful, and sensitive man; it sounds like your gf doesn't want to abandon that just yet.

    Now that you've let the cat out of the bag she's in charge of the relationship. It's up to her now what happens. I would stop talking about the P issues from now on. You are 10 days clean and you will continue to bag the days. If the woman is in control then the relationship isn't worth it, anyway. Shift the paradigm. "Since being with you, the only picture in my mind's eye is you. Period. Full stop!" You will figure out the best way forward, but the worst thing you can do is continue talking about it. The only reason my marriage survived was because I ended the conversation about my cheating. I let her have her say, her full say, and then it was time to move on. I also decided, once I found this place, that I would no longer allow her to bring it up in a passive/aggressive way, and I also wasn't going to feel sorry for the rest of my life.
     
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  6. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Thank you Saville.
    It is very likely over. She's absolutely devastated by my admission. She wants time without seeing me before making it final - or trying again. For this to happen after our recent problems is overwhelming to her. To me too, but I'm the one who kept the secret, not her. So my pain is different. I know you know what I'm talking about. The questions of "what else aren't you telling me? How do I know this is the only thing you've kept from me for 2 years?" are hard ones. I can't think of any other significant things I haven't already told her. But that doesn't matter now. This one thing is more than enough to have shattered her trust in me.
    I could have lied when she asked me if I was looking at porn, but that just didn't occur to me in the moment, and even if it did, I would not have been OK with that. I think part of me has been aching to admit it to her for a long time, and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Or maybe this is the best time. I don't know. I just know I screwed this up royally.
     
  7. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Hey Moz, just wanted to check in and offer my perspective on things. Saville has been coaching you on a “less is more” approach towards sharing information about your PMO struggles, and based on how he has described his relationship, this works well on keeping things as is, as in the status quo. Relationships without honest disclosure of the good, bad, and the ugly from both partners, never have a chance to grow, evolve, or end. Relationship growth is not for everybody.

    If a relationship is to grow, evolve, or end (to make room for something better), there always needs to be some degree of transparency with what we’re struggling with. This is simply because fear of abandonment is what keeps us secretive of what we’re really struggling with.

    In order to grow beyond these same fears, we need to face our fears of abandonment directly through being open and honest with ourselves and our partner. Keeping our struggles secretive only further abandons ourselves, and does the same to partners.

    We may not need to spill all the beans, and we will need to spill at least some of the beans, and on a regular basis. This allows us to work through our fear of abandonment, and release the shame that keeps us held hostage. This also gives our partners an opportunity to face head-on their own abandonment issues.

    What our partners do with their feelings is out of our control. They may leave, and they may stay. Either way, you will become stronger, more whole, and less held hostage by your fear of being honest with your struggles. This will also free you up to discover more great things about yourself, that otherwise would have remained hidden, simply because you were hiding.

    They say that the truth hurts. Not true. The truth exposes what’s hurting. And if what’s hurting is allowed to see the light of day, the truth will eventually set you free.

    I think you’ve done the right thing here, and especially if you want to grow. Whether your partner/ex-partner is open to this same growth on her end, remains to be seen.

    The best you can do is feel what you feel, and let go of beating yourself up for it.

    This is a let go and let God moment. There are no royal screw-ups here...:)
     
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  8. ZeeBawn

    ZeeBawn Active Member

    Great journal, I read the last few posts and they add to my journey. I don't comment a lot on the forums but stopped by to lend some encouragement that things do get better, even if it takes 7653 attempts or more -- something has to give.

    Life is indeed full of addictions, it is our craving for dopamine and pleasure. I believe the key is structuring our lives in ways that we begin to receive more dopamine hits from activities that build us up positively daily. If possible in more areas than the negative activities we are used to, and during periods/settings where we would otherwise indulge in those negative ones.

    Over time, we should be receiving a stable dose of happy chemicals while also pursuing our goals and things that serve us and our families.

    A self help book I once read said if I have a "bitter task" that I need to do, to combine it with something that gives me pleasure.

    If I need to do an assignment for my therapist or step work for my sponsor in a 12 step programme, rather than doing it in my dark room, I can take my pen and pad to a beautiful park or in a jaccuzi and write there...

    Anyway, wishing you the best and thanks for reading this far.
     
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  9. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    This is probably not terribly helpful to the discussion but my first thought is that if porn in a relationship was a deal breaker it is something she should have brought up much sooner.

    Also I find it interesting that if a man has erection issues it's assumed that it is something that he is doing (like PMO) that causes it. If a woman is having sexual difficulties it's again assumed that it's something that a man is doing wrong that causes it (like not enough foreplay). I've never heard of a man asking a woman if she is using her vibrator too much or watching porn if she is having arousal problems.

    And now I'll get off my soapbox...
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Hmm, this seems like a not-so-subtle bit of character bashing. @NCBob , we are, none of us here "coaching" our fellow comrades in arms, we are simply giving our opinions, just like you've done. Moz, as a capable man, no doubt has the capacity to disseminate our opinions and decide on the best course of action to follow for himself. I guess the fact that he "already" disclosed his P addiction alluded you. So, my expressed opinions are about moving forward and mitigation, should that be a desirable course of action. I am, like everyone else here, an anonymous traveler, trying to make sense of things.

    This!

    Nah, you're human. I read a quote the other day, and I paraphrase: "Every man is a damn fool for five minutes a day. Wisdom is not exceeding this limit."

    Here's why I am not for full disclosure on the issue of a P addiction: we don't know ourselves. Often, we confess to things that we only dimly understand ourselves. Until we've been off of P for a good long time, our brain is still in the fog. When we disclose a P addiction we are also sharing our shame, our humiliation, our regret, our sorrow, and our fear. What the woman has heard is: "I don't desire you." Then her brain quickly believes the following: "you're cheating me! You are a bad, bad, bad person! I can never trust you again! I'm humiliated! I knew there was something wrong! You've ruined my life!" Now we have to unpack all that that means, while at the same time we are feeling intensely vulnerable from our penis going soft. So, while the shame editor in our brain is raking us over the coals for failing, the woman is berating us with all of her hurt, all of her baggage, and all of her undealt with issues. In general, I agree that it's best to be honest. To be a person of integrity we must tell the truth as we see it and be as transparent as possible. However, like in everything else in life it is not just a simple matter of black and white. In certain cases the truth, imo, does not always set us free. Indeed, it can further enslave us.
     
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  11. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    I think we should be honest but not tell everything especially to a women. Most women will use it against the man as soon as she is emotional and angry during the next fight or emotional discussion or wants to control you. Most women can´t handle a mans problems. Her world is totally different and she never has to understand the masculine struggles because men come to them and they don´t have to think how a mans brain works. Like the saying don´t ask a fish how to fish, ask the fisherman.
    I decided to be honest in what I say, but be very carefull to whom I tell the truth about myself and my problems. Problems with PMO are better dicussed with other men who can understand it in my opinion. But as Saville said, the cat is out of the bag now and also just my opinion, the way forward now is to be indifferent to her opinion. This masculine traid is attractive to most women. And if it is not in her case, you did not waste your time and can concentrate more on yourself and how to deal with your issues. Just my two cents for what they are worth.
     
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  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Thank you guys for your perspectives. I will survive this, and I really do want my relationship to survive it too. A few days after my disclosure, I'm still in the haze of grief. But I'm also feeling good for finally letting her know what's going on.
    I agree with you, NCBob. One of the reasons I gave her for not telling her about it earlier was that my fear of rejection kept me paralyzed due to my unwillingness to risk losing her. The longer we go, though, the riskier it can be. At least if no progress is being made on removing the behavior you're hiding. I told her that I wanted to spare her from my struggle because all it would do is hurt her. She disagreed. She said she probably would have been supportive and helped me deal with it, and that true intimacy means dealing with problems together. That's easier to say than do, of course. At least for me it is.
    Yes, I have related to her what I've said a few times here: giving up smoking pot was easy, once I realized it provided no real pleasure for me. Now when I smell it (which nowadays is often, since it's legal), I recoil in disgust. Now, I don't want to be disgusted by all images of women, but porn images, yes. There have always been ones I happen upon accidentally that make me sick. And I am reaching the point where anything that smacks of the "industry" of porn does disgust me. They just keep churning this stuff out because of the demand. But now thousands of people are hurt creating it (mostly women and girls, of course) and millions of people are hurt consuming it (people of all stripes). My point is that I've reached my "something has to give" moment.
    Well, she says she did mention it right at the beginning. I remember us talking about the problems her exes had with it, and that she was disgusted by it and the things the industry does to women. But I don't remember a clear "this is a dealbreaker" conversation she says we had. But I can't use that as an excuse. I knew she'd be devastated if she knew I was doing this.
    Yep, we are different creatures, for sure. But part of it is that women's orgasms are usually few and far between compared to ours. They can be much more intense, or so I've heard, but women are jealous of our consistent ability to come, ED issues notwithstanding.
    Agreed, Saville. The results of my disclosure produced feelings of betrayal for her, and exposed some of her own insecurities as well. But she brought up a good point. Let's say women (and some do) looked at porn and got off thinking about other people all the time. We (or at least I) wouldn't be OK with that. But regardless of the differences between how we're wired, and how we can try to convince our mates that the pictures mean nothing (because that is true), having the conversation about this is rarely going to end with her really understanding that. So the balance of what to say and not say is tricky.
    Yeah, the lessons in "No more Mr. Nice Guy" have lots of truth to them. No matter how enlightened we can be, our biology is still there. Those lizards in our brains are pretty tenacious. Tarzan wants Jane, and Jane wants Tarzan.


    Have a great day all, and thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2022
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  13. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Woke up in very poor spirits. Yesterday was generally good, due in large part to the support I received from you guys. But I talked to her last night while driving home from work, and though it was pleasant and light enough, she is still reeling. This has hit her hard. As this sinks in, my stages of grief are going to run their course, as are hers. Today I am grieving what was lost. Her trust.
     
  14. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    I'm not quite sure if I follow you here, Saville. How is applying the term 'coaching' character bashing? Every comment made by anyone on anyone else's thread always has an element of wanting to positively influence the outcome of the challenges faced by the person being communicated to. I was just stating the obvious.

    I'm a bit confused by this comment as well, especially in light of the fact that you followed up with the comment "How much did you reveal? Did you say it had been life long, or just a recent thing? Just seeing if there's room for you to backtrack a bit."
    Please help me connect your dots:cool:
     
  15. CleanBootsBaby!

    CleanBootsBaby! Well-Known Member

    Moz, all I can say, is that I wish you all the best! Hopefully, whatever wound is between the two of you will be mended.
     
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  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    We're talking about honesty and I have always been honest on the forum and honestly the word "coaching" pressed my button. It seems to indicate more than just an opinion. You went on to state the way I've described my relationship is that it is in stasis (status-quo). Your last sentence says "relationship growth is not for everyone." As you were just talking about me it seemed, as I read it, a pointed barb toward me. I even thought "what's up with NCBob? What did I do tick him off?" So, there is my honest reaction to what you wrote. Having said all that, if I'm just being sensitive and it has nothing to do with me, I offer you my apology.

    Fair enough.
     
  17. ZeeBawn

    ZeeBawn Active Member

    Hey Moz, just wanted to share some input here regarding ED.
    Early in my journey, I came across a book called "The Porn Trap".. towards the end, they offer some really cool tips and exercises on how to get feeling back. Basically it is about how we train the brain when it comes to the overall experience of touch, and our level of presence when we experience it. Of course, meditation, aerobic exercise and kegels are other practical things one can do to improve the cardio vascular system and physiological structures down there.
    Ultimately we in this fellowship end up losing sensitivity due to the pressure we use on ourselves in the solo act, and this unfortunately takes time away from m and pm in order to naturaly resolve and gain sensitivity again. I personally find it better to get to know someone for a while before engaging in intimacy as trust is a huge aspect of being able to be at ease with someone and get to know their body and their desire for me. Pardon the rambling, wish you all the best.
     
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  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey Moz, I hope for you that it will end well with you and your girlfriend and that you can establish a basis of trust again. You seem to be a good guy.
     
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  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You have been doing well. Yes, you've slipped a few times, but overall, things are moving in a great direction in terms of PMO. When my wife found out about my cheating it fed into all the things I believed about myself, which can be summed up in the statement: I'm no good. I still have moments where I look back on the terrible moment where my devastated wife confronted me and feel shame and embarrassment. However, I quickly dismiss such thoughts now. It was a moment in time, not a lifetime. We're all trying to learn better skills and we're allowed to feel good about that. :)
     
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  20. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Thank you ZeeBawn, I just looked "The Porn Trap" up on Amazon. Looks great. My gf also recommended Patrick Carnes' books, so I may get both. I've read quite a few already, but even if I get just one more insight from someone else, it's worth it! Yes, learning how to be intimate with your partner is a challenge for me. Being vulnerable sometimes makes me feel physically ill, like when I confessed the other night. It's something I definitely need to work on.
     
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