Time to heal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. realness

    realness Active Member

    It's awesome that you faced an urge/temptation and battled through it. Reviewing the list you made of the negative consequences was a great move that took a lot of effort. The wave of urge/temptation came and crested, and I hope a trough is waiting for you where things relent and you can rest when it comes to those temptations. Just before reading your post my wife left unexpectedly with the kids on errands/lunch. My first thought was to PMO, my body shook a bit and I felt my brain go through a rush. Reading your post was one of the things that kept me from relapsing a few hours ago. Thank you brother!

    What do you have to lose in talking with your wife about your sexual relationship? Would she be willing to work on it with you and maybe a counselor? If she has stayed with you thus far I think it's really unlikely that anything bad would come of you acknowledging the issue with your wife, taking away some of its power. What if you told her you aren't satisfied with the way things are, that you want to work on improving things, and even ask if she's willing to help? In fact I think you have so much to gain in her eyes and esteem if you are acknowledging a problem and leading an effort to change things to benefit both her and you. If you begin working on the problem with her, that will also take away the fear of failure. You can plan for the possibility and discuss alternatives of how to sexually please and serve each other. Not as an ultimate solution but a plan to move forward together.

    I'm don't like my kinks either. You're on the right track of coming to terms with them and even learning from them. I read a book by Jay Stringer called "Unwanted", and his unorthodox premise is to follow your lust and it will give you some answers/explanations. For example, my lust for dirty talk in porn likely stems from verbal abuse I received from my mother growing up. It's a relief to have an answer other than me being perverted. From there, I can process it all differently than wallowing in shame or just accepting my fate and PMOing to chicks cursing a lot.
  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I’m 31 days free of PMO. Had a wet dream last night. The dream was fetish-related but I’m not going to get too hung up about it.

    Being porn-free for a month has had it’s benefits. I’ve felt more sociable when connecting with other people. I’ve had greater thought clarity, a renewed interest in everyday things and smoother mood transitions. The plan is to continue with daily YBR reading / journaling as well as working towards my personal goals.

    Great post Realness. Even if it’s something I should be able to figure out myself, it’s helpful to get the viewpoints of others. What you said makes sense, I just need to pluck up the courage to implement it.
    positivef likes this.
  3. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Great progress. Which articles are you reading on YBR?
  4. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    I am also in a multi-year sexless marriage and have decided to just go slow; be intimate with my wife by telling her how beautiful she is, holding hands, kissing and hugging, like when we first met. I feel that this intimate and tender contact will eventually lead back to making love in a natural way when we both are ready. By staying PMO free the natural desire and excitement will return and the sex should just happen when the time is right. Obviously, I cannot validate that this method will work yet, but that is the path I am going to follow and we will see what happens.
    Bilbo Swaggins likes this.
  5. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    @positivef I don’t read articles on YBR , I meant I read other people’s journals. Usually I like to do this shortly after I've woken up, as it helps to focus my mind on recovery for the day ahead.
    @Cali that seems like a sensible approach to me. Keep making the effort to rebuild that intimacy and connection.

    32 days free.

    I skimmed my own journal to compare against this time last year. Am I a better person than I was 12 months ago? Yes and no.

    I don’t possess many skills traditionally associated with maleness. I’m not even confident in my ability to change a car tyre. But my self belief is slowly improving, even through minor achievements. A few months back I felt proud of myself (and saved money) when I built some wooden planters for the garden. A small win, but it did a lot for my self confidence.

    I’m less sensitive to rejection. I used to get annoyed/upset if I didn’t get my way over certain things. I’m better at recognising this petulant behaviour in myself and responding in healthier ways. Evidence of emotional maturity (better late than never I suppose).

    I’m also better at taking action - I’ve got into the mindset of being productive and getting things done.

    On the flip side, I’m drinking too much booze. My sex life has remained non existent. So, while progress has been made, it’s not significant enough. I need to start building more positive habits into my life.

    My anxiety has been off the charts, and I think my wife has sensed it. I’m probably quite annoying to be around at the moment. Last night I had a dig at her about her choice of news. She reads the online version of a tabloid newspaper which is well known for gossip and misinformation. It masquerades as a middle-class paper extolling traditional values, but in reality it’s a hate-filled newspaper with a right wing bias.
    Gil79 and positivef like this.
  6. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    I would not let society or the media portray your sense of maleness. We all have different strengths and weakness, some of us are mechanical and some of us are more creative, artistic, etc. What matters is how we treat others; being honest, compassionate, sensitive, and caring is what is important.
    positivef likes this.
  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Had a shaky couple of days. I get deeply frustrated at my inability to understand certain work challenges and it leads me to seek escape. It’s that feeling of not being good enough, not smart enough. I have to accept that learning can be difficult at times and I need to put in the mental effort required, instead of taking the easy way out.

    Relationship-wise things have been going OK. We’re communicating reasonably well and I’m trying to cut back on my drinking. When it comes to TV, the wife and I have very different tastes. She loves all manner of supernatural and horror type shows. I tolerated the last horror fest because the central character was involved in a lesbian love affair which just about held my interest. We also started watching a cooking show together. It’s not really my thing, but I’m trying to make an effort to be in the same space as her instead of us both doing our own thing all the time.
    realness likes this.
  8. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Is it possible to find something you both like, it could get frustrating tolerating a lot of stuff you aren't really into.
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    After 33 days of freedom I relapsed hard. It's been continuing for a couple of days now. I'm still in that phase where my addict brain is saying, "you already messed up, you may as well carry on like this for a few more days".

    I've spent a couple of weeks trying to win clients for my new freelance business - without much success. I faced a lot of rejection (known trigger) coupled with anxieties that I won't be earning as much as expected. An ongoing failure to address underlying issues and a lack of self belief may also have led to this relapse. I'm still trying to figure out what lessons I can take away from this.

    @positivef Yes, I agree. Quite often if I put something on that I think we might both enjoy she expresses her disinterest by staring at her phone throughout.
  10. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Best to stop as soon as possible and get back on the wagon.

    It sounds like you are learning (and growing) a lot with your new business venture.

    Is it possible she is deciding not to be interested because it was your choice? If she is expressing disinterest you could ask her why.
    Bilbo Swaggins likes this.
  11. realness

    realness Active Member

    How's it going @forlorn ? You're a huge asset to this place and I'd love to see you back here with us!
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @positivef and @realness for checking in on me. I managed to climb out of the pit.

    I'm really busy at the moment so can't write much, but the last few days have been a lot better - I'm resting well, eating healthily, working out and putting a lot of effort into my freelance business (finally managed to get some work from a new client).
    positivef likes this.
  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I faced some crushing rejection when I was younger. I was a nervous, scrawny, spotty teenager surrounded by people constantly talking about boobs and sex. One instance of rejection in college hurt me really badly after a date fell through. I later faced a series of semi public rejections which left scars. All this combined with the fact I was secretly hiding a fetish led me to feel even more ashamed about myself. I felt like a weirdo, an outsider. It knocked my confidence when opportunities for sex later arose.

    During my mid twenties, when I worked at a major company I remember being told by a friend that a girl (FB) had expressed interest in me. “Go for it” he said (most red blooded males would jump at the chance to bed FB). She was really pretty and I was surprised to hear she was into me. I also knew she had a reputation for being promiscuous. When it came to it, I rejected FB’s advances out of fear of being caught out. What if she realised how sexually naive I was and told everyone at the office? What if I failed to perform? I was supposed to be in my sexual prime but still felt like a nervous little teenager.

    When I eventually got married my partner was equally inexperienced. Our sex life was doomed to failure. I struggled with premature ejaculation - something I’ve never addressed even to this day. It wasn’t just with sex. Even during furtive PMO sessions I’ve reached the point of no return before I intended to. If I’m ever to establish a healthy sexual relationship I need to master ejaculatory control, yet I’m in a seemingly continuous reboot where masturbation is not advised - quite a conundrum. The current plan, whatever that is, clearly isn’t working.
    realness likes this.
  14. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    realness likes this.
  15. Bilbo Swaggins

    Bilbo Swaggins Well-Known Member

    Really sorry to hear about all of this. This is the good place to share things like that. I would not want to analyze what you wrote right now, because I believe these matters are very delicate. All I can say is that I don’t think at all that your situation is hopeless. I think it’s common for guys here to feel there is no solution to their problems. I have been struggling with feelings like that for a long time. But I have recently noticed improvements regarding my state of mind and the way I deal with depression and hopelessness, even though I am not healed from ED yet. I believe trying to make peace with our past and starting to try to build new foundations in our lives are as important as staying away from porn. Easier said than done. But I think it’s necessary. We can’t wait until we are healed before to feel better with ourselves, it’s something we should start doing right now. And there are a few things that can be helpful for PE, like lotions, exercises, stuff like that. I really don’t think your situation is hopeless, friend. Hang on.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
    realness likes this.
  16. realness

    realness Active Member

    You're strong and courageous to share your previous pain and current fears. They need to see the light of day so you can see them clearly and so their power is taken away. This is a great place to do that. I want to encourage you that you are most likely wrong to conclude that your sex life is "doomed to failure", because you also stated that you haven't addressed PE yet. You are on the right path in taking action to address your PMO, and I really hope that your building habit of addressing things and taking action eventually leads to you addressing issues in your marriage with your wife. Including PE.
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Bilbo Baggins for your input. You're absolutely right, we can't wait until we're healed to feel better. We should be taking action now.

    Also thanks to @positivef and @realness I appreciate the ongoing support. Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I've had a terrible few days and returned to old habits. At this point, I'm not even sure what's been driving the behaviour. I had a couple of breakthroughs with work and should be happy, but it's almost like I'm punishing myself. I should be open and allowing for positive things to happen, but instead I'm self sabotaging. I need a couple of days to escape from this mental prison and get back to recovery.
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It’s been the strangest year. The restrictions, the isolation and so much uncertainty with the pandemic, career and life in general. Here in the UK we’re now in the early stages of another lockdown.
    In some ways I’ve been ‘forced’ to spend more time with my wife than ever before, although quite often we’re in separate rooms of the house. We have different sleeping patterns (I go to bed 3 hours earlier and wake 3 hours earlier) meaning I still get a whole load of alone time.

    Since 23rd October I have been on a downward spiral. I effectively gave up with recovery and fell back into a pattern of using porn. I wonder, if you try to repress fetishes, do they grow to consume you?

    The content in my 'go to' porn genres has got better (by better, I mean worse). It’s rife, it’s more extreme, it’s so much more readily available. I’ve been on a dopamine-fuelled frenzy for 2 weeks straight.

    I feel wounded. Slightly less hopeful that I have on previous recovery attempts. But here I am, starting over. Trying to reclaim my sexuality, self esteem, my sanity....
    realness likes this.
  19. realness

    realness Active Member

    Sounds like dark times, but I'm so glad that you check in here where there is light, honesty and hope. We're very invested in your recovery and value you here.

    Rather than repress fetishes, perhaps you can explore where they came from? Perhaps a traumatic event in your past, a negative influence or exposure? Maybe journal or explore it here if you are willing? I'm sorry if I already mentioned this in your journal but there is a good book called "Unwanted" by Jay Stringer. It's pretty thought provoking on tracing where things may have come from. It does come from a Christian faith perspective though.

    And rather than work on repression, replace your activities with diving into something else? A new project, something to reorganize, some gardening if it's still warm enough in the UK?
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I always feel a nagging sense that I'm not doing enough. For example, I think I should be trying to succeed and work harder on my business and focus on winning new clients. Prior to my recent downward spiral I went through a phase of having productive days where I'd focus on getting things done. Even it was something fairly insignificant it felt like I had a sense of accomplishment and I'd made the most of the day.

    On Monday I took a day off and did very little. There was no pressure, no expectation. I felt a sense of peace and relaxation that I haven't experienced in some time.

    Thanks @realness for your suggestions. As it happens I have picked up on an art project that I was previously involved with. It's a nice hobby and gives me something else to focus on. It's coming towards that time of year where it's getting too cold to be out in the garden, but of course there are still some tasks that can be done - tying in climbers, a little deadheading, leaf collection and general tidying in preparation for winter.

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