My first post - just confessed to my wife

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Rael, Mar 6, 2022.

  1. Rael

    Rael New Member

    Hi everyone,
    First let me say thank you to everyone who posted their stories; it is really a huge help to know that others are going through the same crap!
    So, I'm 45 and have been doing the PMO routine pretty regularly since I was about 19 and first got internet access. I've struggled with ED my whole life to some extent, but it was only occasional and I always chalked it up to anxiety.
    I'm married to my wonderful wife for 12 years, and we have a 9-year old son together. Our sex life has always been OK, nothing too exciting as both of us are shy in the bedroom. But sex slowed down when our son was born and then came to a screeching halt when the stress of the pandemic hit. We were just always busy and never prioritized sex and fell into a sexless marriage. My porn use continued, but I wasn't happy and my wife seemed to have lost all interest.
    Then a few months ago, I overheard her orgasming in the next room by herself (probably to that Shades of Gray movie but I'm not sure!). I never said anything about it, but it lit a fire under me and a few days later I sat her down and openly told her how I wanted to have a healthy sex life with her, let's schedule sex for once a week, no more being shy & prudish, let's spice things up and try new things, etc. She was pretty receptive to it and I felt like our sex life would be better than ever, but then I found I had some serious ED. Even ED meds weren't doing any good, and I knew it wasn't anxiety, so I went to see a urologist. All this time my wife was very understanding and supportive.
    Then my internet searches led me to find out about PIED. Man, for the first time I finally realized what damage I'd done. This was about two weeks ago and I have gone without PMO since then. Once my tests came in and the urologist confirmed there's nothing wrong with me physically, I knew I would no longer be able to keep things a secret. A few days ago I confessed my PMO addiction and PIED to my wife; I expected her to be mad but she was in utter shock. Since then, she has spoken very little, but told me "I don't know you" and "I don't want you to touch me". She made reservations to stay at a local motel for a few days just to get away. She leaves tomorrow and I'll be home with our son all week. I encouraged her to seek a psychologist or support group for help, but knowing her she will probably sit alone and get drunk.
    Honestly, going hard mode and beating this addiction seems like the easy part right now, compared to fixing this marriage that I f'd up. I never touched another woman, but regardless my wife is going through some major betrayal trauma right now. I can handle her being angry but it kills me to know she is disgusted by me, like I am some perverted creep.
    Anyway, I wish I had something more optimistic to say in my first post but thank you for reading! I'll update soon.
  2. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    welcome, my brother. all you can do is clean your side of the street. as for me i have PIED but i never told my wife about my porn use. it would not change my ED and i feel it would make it worse between us. now it is currently very difficult to convince her to have sex, if i disclosed my use it would give her more of a reason not to. i believe sometimes she doesn't want to because she knows what will happen-i can't perform. i don't blame her. so the only thing i can do is work on me. can't control her, can't change her. cant' force her to do anything. but i can do everything to improve my self. that is my goal everyday. of course the first agenda on the recovery road is no PMO. no matter what, if she stays, goes, fucks or not. no PMO for me. in this short time clean that i have i have noticed she is treating me different seems like more caring more respect. she has changed-or is it me that changed. i will continue on this daily trudge. hang in there my brother. i am not promising you things will get better if you abstain from PMO, but i do promise you things will get different. it's up to you what to do with the change. don't quit before the miracle.
    realness, TrueSelf and Living like this.
  3. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear your story. I think telling ones partner is a bit of a paradox. At least it was in my case. I remember when I just found out about porn addiction I thought it would be the best idea in the world to come clean about it all. Diving into the story behind porn addiction I saw how I had been quite dishonest towards her and since I thought honesty was one of the most important things in a relationship I thought it would be best to tell her. While in theory I still agree with that, I forgot she is a human being too with her own issues and her own imperfections. And that really is a mistake. In my case my GF didn't leave me, but I know it hurt her a lot and that she has problems with it. And not even so much with the porn itself, but the fact that sometimes porn was (at that moment) more important to me than her. What makes it even more twisted is that these days I would say I never had a porn addiction in the first place. Don't get me wrong: I have very serious issues with porn and these are issues that I need to deal with, but no matter how problematic this is I don't think I ever had the symptoms one associates with an addiction. And the thing about that is that this would probably have been easier for her accept. It would still have hurt her, but it would have been easier to understand. Anyway, looking back, no matter how much I value honesty I would probably not have chosen to tell her.

    But yeah, what's done is done. I totally agree with Badger that all you can do and probably should do is cleaning your side of the street thoroughly. And not just when it comes to PMO, but getting your life back in order in general. Put the time you spend on porn or wasted in other ways in things that you really value. Start with a list. Find out what you find really important and become the man you want to be. And that probably isn't a smooth and straight path and you should expect to stumble and fall down over and over again, but always get back to your values. No one can tell you how to stop your wife leaving, because she is the only that can make that decission. All you can do is give her a good reason to stay and the best reason to stay, in my opinion, is when she has a man at home that has his act together. Well, most of time at least;)
    realness, Mozenjo and TrueSelf like this.
  4. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Well-Known Member

    In a way she seems to be doing her own form of pmo if she was watching movies.
    Maybe there could be some form of common ground upon which to work. you both may be using similar forms of release and
    as partners you could then seek that healthy relationship you both desire

    Maybe I'm off base...just a thought
    CleanBootsBaby! likes this.
  5. Rael

    Rael New Member

    Thank you guys for the replies. I know what you mean about telling her versus not telling her, I did hesitate to tell her about my PMO but I knew that she'd blame herself for my ED, thinking she's no longer pretty enough, skinny enough, etc. and I didn't want that. And Boxer I think that she only MO'd because I had really retreated into my porn and denied her sexually. During the pandemic we were both stressed and she was an emotional mess and we became distant from each other. At any rate, that's in the past now and I think neither of us plans on any masturbation for the foreseeable future.

    So, my wife came home after leaving for a few days. She is still brokenhearted and not ready for kissing, let alone sex. But I'm OK with that since I plan to stay in hard mode for at least a few months. We had a long talk and I thought back about how I first got started with porn. I know with a lot of guys it starts off with plain vanilla porn and then escalates into more extreme stuff, but my experience was a little backwards. I never much got into vanilla porn; I always was interested in kink and fetish stuff and just too shy to share it with a real woman, so porn became my outlet. I think it helped my wife a little when I explained this to her. She had had the impression that I was trying things in the bedroom with her based on what I'd seen in porn, which was not the case.

    So far it's been about 3 weeks hard mode, and surprisingly my craving for porn isn't that bad, even though I've had triggers (being home alone and sitting at the computer are big ones for me). The hardest part so far is being patient, I feel like "when are my erections gonna start coming back already?" but I think I'm a pretty severe case and it's going to be quite a while. In the meantime like you said Badger and Living I'm going to try and improve myself, exercise more, drink less, etc.
    Boxer17 likes this.
  6. Rael

    Rael New Member

    Hey guys, so I just wanted to give an update. I’ve made it 60 days no PMO and things are looking better. I am actually questioning whether I truly have an addiction, because I made it this far. Well addiction or not, I’m happy with my progress. Still unable to get an erection though, not that I’m trying to. I have a hunch it will take quite a long time, so I’m trying not to get discouraged.
    My wife hired a marriage counselor for us to work with. I figure that can’t hurt, and it may help. She says she still loves me and wants to work things out.
    Anyway, what prompted me to write is that she gave me a real passionate kiss tonight, and I did feel some tingling down there (no erection, but at least something!). It was the nicest feeling I’ve had in a while. So things are looking good so far.
    realness, Mozenjo and Saville like this.
  7. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Hang in there, Rael. I'm sure your mojo will return in time. We spent decades nurturing our habit, so healing our brains doesn't happen overnight. So glad to hear your wife wants to work things out. I'm rooting for you.
    Saville likes this.
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member


    This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Your wife wants to fix you. The reason I don't like women deciding on what the intervention will be is because that puts them in the driver's seat. In other words, it can steal a man's power. By power I mean our agency to decide what's best for us. Our lack of agency led us to PMO in the first place and it is this agency which we must fiercely protect. You already know what the problem is. You have already initiated the greatest, the best, the most substantial change you needed, which is to stop using P! Don't be afraid to tell the wife that you would like to hold off on the counseling. Yes, your PMO habit has affected your wife, but it has affected you more, much more. Claim the right to heal yourself.

    This is also amazing, but not at all unexpected. Touch your wife a lot. Go in for hugs and small kisses. Do not be afraid of being rebuffed. Laugh a lot, whether your wife is in the mood to be amorous or not. Smile more than you laugh. You are on a great and wonderful journey. You don't have ED. You had a PMO problem. Once you ditch the PMO the brain knows what it has to do and so does your pecker. You're on the right track!
    realness, Mad Dog and Libertad like this.
  9. Brokenpieces

    Brokenpieces New Member

    I promise you as a wife, we do not want to fix you! We want you to fix your self, cause only you can fix your self. Also to one stated that you ‘he’ hurts n is in more pain than his wife or gf, u r very mistakenly wrong. As long as you have that mind set you can n will never be able to allow her to heal from the pain you inflicted on her.
    I’ve joined group try get understanding my husband mind n issues with himself. He has had this addiction since marriage that I didn’t know til after 1st year. Now 27 years later I guess u say he went to far $1400 n a month n yet getting caught again n the involvement of internet sex VR, n me finally saying enough is enough n telling him I’m done (those u who choose to hide it I promise better come out cause either she already knows or has that gut feeling u r into what u shouldn’t, n I had that feeling again n sure enough) if you come forth instead been caught things be easier on both. Honestly is better even though it causes lot hurt n beginning.
    Because he finally admitted after all these years he has problem, n that he hasn’t been a good husband to me n wanted to change n started to go to church with me, am I allowing him maybe still a chance in our marriage. If he didn’t come forth n denied his addiction our marriage now would have been over, so to come out n b honest is best cause she already knows something

    I was type set watch for a time even when I knew 100% what he was doing n let me sink himself. So to let u know we know more u think n let u sink your self n watch to SEE aid u r going to do the right thing.

    we r month out n things going slow but better, do I still have periods anger, hurt obviously yes n will for some time. Our-my healing depends greatly on him to assure me that I do matter, that I am desired, that he is going put me above his desires for his screen hores. Cause he has in his eyes to me , cut me down low as a spek dirt, a piece of meat to him, took my sexuality from me, turned the words ‘I love you’ to meaning of nothing but everyday words of no meaning. As long as I c he is trying to turn from this darkness n truly attempt to change in his addiction to way he treats me (to acknowledge I exist n form I guess like to start dating all over again) I will continue try. Just thought give u a wife point of view at some things said here.
  10. newcool

    newcool Member

    Thank you for your words coming from a woman its quite appreciated. i am a man and my wife knows about this habit of mine i did not need to confess to her she only asks once in awhile if i still do it.
  11. newcool

    newcool Member

    At the poster....whats going on with you and your wife now? has she moved back in? i will never recommend confessing such to one's spouse except if you can atleast predict a little bit how she will respond. i dont think its okay to confess everything, some things that if they know could end the marriage or could change things for ever then its better you dont confess it.
    Libertad and path-forward like this.
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    @newcool , he won't be back unfortunately. He overshared and his wife felt it incumbent upon herself to visit his place of safety. A place that should've been just for him, where he would not be judged, and where he had the freedom to say whatever was in his mind and heart, was blown to smithereens. It's too bad, really.
    Libertad likes this.
  13. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    i can only clean my side of the street. i can not change or control anyone else, including my wife. have tried for 44 yrs. not happening. AA did not keep me sober but taught me to live life on life's terms. one of the twelve steps talks about this-step 8. look into that. i have never confessed to my wife about my porn addiction. it would not help the marriage. as i take care of myself, clean my self up. stop indulging in such filth, she notices. i am not angry all the time, i am not hiding. i am not spending hours on the computer-more time with her. i can look her in the eye now. i can see she reacts differently now. for the first time in our marriage she has a man in front of her. not some disgusting, degenerate, spineless weakling hiding something from her. after 44 years she knows me better than i know myself. i did not have to tell her i stopped. she knew by my behavior, actions and words that something is changing, just more of my old man ramblings. hang in there. don't quit before the miracle.
    realness, Libertad and Saville like this.
  14. Rael

    Rael New Member

    Hey guys I am back finally. Thank you again everyone for the support and advice; I definitely didn't intend to be MIA this long. I honestly think that to some extent, reading and posting on here was making me think about PMO more, and I needed to put that out of my mind and try to focus on the positive. I get now why they call this "hard mode" - it really is hard to avoid having sexual thoughts when sex is pretty much everywhere. For instance sometimes I'll be browsing YouTube and randomly come across a sexy video; it's very tempting to click on it but then I remind myself that it's basically soft porn. "Don't do it!"

    Anyway, I'm happy to say I've made it pretty close to six months now with no PMO. It helps that I've been exercising more, getting outdoors more, and drinking less. My anxiety is not as bad as it used to be. For a while I was having recurring dreams (nightmares?) where I relapse, but those are getting fewer and further between. Overall I just have a feeling like I am a better man. I don't want to sound cocky but I'm never going back to the way I was. I can look in the mirror now and not feel ashamed.

    Letting go of the "shame" part was a really big step for me. I really did a lot of thinking these past couple of months about what had driven me to PMO in the first place. I came to realize that the sexual fantasies and fetishes that I've always had were rooted in childhood experiences and traumas. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean sexual trauma, and I was not abused as a child. I mean certain childhood experiences that made me feel terrible, and once I hit puberty these experiences manifested into sexual kinks. Maybe some of you guys might be able to relate. Coming to understand all this helped me to forgive myself and not see myself as a "pervert".

    Speaking of forgiveness, my wife has forgiven me. I still don't know if it was best to confess to her or not, but it does me no good at this point to second-guess myself. The marriage counselor stuff didn't last long; she was a bit cookie-cutter in her approach, but I do feel some good came out of it. She recommended that I start journaling, and that turned out to be good advice. She also told me I should see a psychiatrist, and I refused. Seville, you are right with what you said about protecting my agency. Basically I took the parts that were helpful, and left the rest.

    In case I'm starting to sound like I've got all my shit together, let me finish on a humbling note: So after all we've been through, tonight my wife and I finally had sex for the first time in six months. And when I say "sex" I don't mean intercourse, because I really can't remember when I last had an erection. There's been no morning wood, nothing. So we nervously fooled around like a couple of high school kids. I was totally limp the whole time, and even though we tried, I could get nowhere near orgasm (but she did). Is this what flatlining feels like? It's not like I expected to miraculously get my erections back tonight, but there was not even a tingle, it was like I just got out of a cold swimming pool. :( To be fair, we were both nervous. But I guess there's still A LOT of rewiring to do.
    Saville likes this.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yeah, there's probably some rewiring to do, but you also were traumatized when you confessed your addiction to your wife. Part of trauma is being filled with dread and fear and this takes some getting over. You will get the tingle back in your in dingle. :) Keep doing what you're doing and you will start to see some amazing results.

    Well done!
    path-forward likes this.

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