Time to heal

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

  1. badger

    badger Active Member

    hey realness,
    for me it's not so much dulled me down, but more of a loss of intimacy. My wife stays in her room and i in mine. i feel she knows or senses my "secret". especially with my failed attempts with PIED. i don't even try to initiate sex anymore knowing the result-ED. i feel less than. rejected. after 42 yrs of marriage she says "it;s okay" "sex isn't the only thing in a marriage" but i know she is like any other woman and has needs. so i keep holding on. hoping someday, don't know when, i will resensitize and be able to perform. sometimes this very thing is my excuse for PMO. which sets me even farther back on the road to recovery. vicious cycle-hallmark of a potent addiction. my 2 cents worth.
     
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I was thinking much along the lines of @realness. The only way to bridge the gap is for you to do it. It is a weird contradiction that we don't reach out for precisely the thing that we want. Crucial to my success was reaching out to the wife whenever I had the impulse to do so. When I read the book "I'm OK, You're OK" it spoke of precisely this thing. It gave me a little courage to realize that this "holding back" is a common state that modern humans find themselves in.
     
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Spot on folks. I need to take the initiative in order to try and re-connect with my wife.

    I read a comment posted by @wintersturme on OTB's thread about how pathetic it is to feel as if you're "missing out" on porn. I can relate to what he's talking about in multiple ways. Firstly, during the act itself, there's a never-ending search for the 'perfect' image or clip. Secondly, I often think about my favourite sites or adult stars and wonder what new content might have been uploaded during the days/weeks I've been clean. There's that sense of missing out. I need to recognize this is a total lie - a massive self deception. The truth is, this feeling of missing out is keeping my brain wired to porn - and consequently trapped in a loop of addiction and shame.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
  4. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    There's no such thing as "missing out on porn". By indulging in it, the only thing I'd be missing out on is an opportunity for growth.

    So I reached out to the wife, offered on 3 separate days to take her out to dinner to a nice restaurant in the city.

    “I’ve got a headache”, “I’m starting my period”, [insert other random excuse here].

    In fact, today she just shook her head. Zero interest. She has zero interest in doing anything beyond lying on the sofa watching rubbish on TV.

    Shortly after the head shaking rebuttal she probably sensed that I felt rejected. She walked into the study where I was working and made some light conversation - probably testing to see if I was upset.

    Anyway, probably best I have a little rant here than bring it up and cause an argument. I’m going to stay calm, connect with my feelings and handle things in an emotionally mature way. I will respect her choice and not take it as a personal rejection.

    Since it’s a beautiful day I’m going to head into the city and will go for dinner on my own.

    Have a great weekend all.
     
  5. badger

    badger Active Member

    smart man Forlorn, after 42 years of marriage i have learned to pick my battles. most of them are not that important in the long run. i figured out they used to be excuses, rationalizations for me to watch porn. " i'll show her". the games i play to indulge in filth. hang in there. i am.
     
  6. Sebs

    Sebs Member

    Reading you im very proud of this man sensitivity...i like to read you ha e feelings and thats fine...my wife dont go for it...she just dont care if im sad or worried...may be she thinks i have a lover....i chat to other men but nothing real...hope she want me but my Fantasy is to be with guys...so that is sad to me...
     
  7. True Change

    True Change Member

    This is exactly my issue too.

    We are addicted to novelty not porn. Old scenes that I've already seen do NOTHING for me. It's the new content and updates that draw me in.

    Latest. New content. Novelty.

    Realizing this removed some of the shame for me.

    I'm not a pervert, I'm just addicted to new and novel information. Humans are wired this way. It kept us alive through evolution. But curiosity can turn on us in the digital age.
     
    NCBob likes this.
  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Well said @True Change - the way we're wired can indeed be problematic in the digital age. When we're looking at porn, it can seem like we're surviving, reproducing and getting rewards. In reality we're just masturbating in front of a screen. Part of our brain doesn't know the difference.

    I had a wobble over the last 2 days, felt off course, had a minor slip and basically gave up on recovery. I stopped doing the fundamentals - those little acts of self care. So my focus today is to return to the present moment. To bring back those acts of self care and also to allow myself to experience the insecurities and difficult emotions, rather than trying to hide from them.
     
    NCBob likes this.
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Some of you may have noticed my counter dropped from 25 days to 2 days. Had a pretty spectacular relapse that turned into a mini-binge. Now I'm on the other side (back on the horse) I'm trying to reflect to see what went wrong. I cannot pinpoint a particular reason with certainty. More a combination of factors - a feeling of not being good enough, some strained relationships and a sense that I'm failing to live up to my potential career-wise. This is a big one because it forms a huge part of how I spend my time and it links back to how much I earn. It's a vicious cycle because I'll never live up to my potential while being addicted to pornography.

    I'm the type of guy who loves to learn about recovery strategies but fails to implement those strategies into his life. Just knowing things isn't enough. Right now I feel kind of low and deflated - as if all the feel-good chemicals have left my body and there's just a sense of emptiness. But it will pass......in a few days I will feel better. I need this relapse to mean something. I have to learn a lesson so that the same mistakes aren't repeated again and again.
     
    Old Tom Bombadil and realness like this.
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I agree with this statement. Paralysis by analysis. There are lots of reasons why people get hooked on P, but we stay hooked because of chemicals. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Once we break the chemical addiction it is SO much easier to keep our resolve.
     
  11. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Paralysis by analysis. That's the lesson I'm taking away from this relapse - and my recovery approach in general.
    I'm constantly consuming new information, discovering new strategies but failing to take the necessary action to effect real change. Without action, all this 'knowledge' is meaningless.

    Got a busy period coming up, both with work and social engagements. This is not such a bad thing for me - these busy spells offer less opportunity to act out and when I'm surrounded by friends I feel less of a desire to escape from real life.
     
    Thelongwayhome27 and -Luke- like this.
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    The busy period with friends was great, it was nice to socialize, but I fell ill towards the week. Kinda used it as an excuse to relapse hard. And even as I write this, I know the binge isn't over. It's been going on for almost a week.

    I'm going though a bad time folks. Sneaking around, engaging in mega compulsive online sexual behaviour. Much of it is degrading to myself.
     
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    If you tell yourself this is true then it will be. Come on, forlorn, you change the narrative this minute. There is so much you have to offer.
     
    forlorn and -Luke- like this.
  14. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Forlorn I am really sorry to hear you are having a bad time right now. I know you can and will get back on the horse. You will feel so much better when you. do. Best,
    Tom
     
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  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey forlorn, I'm not in a position to give freat tips, since I'm in a pretty bad place myself right now. But I agree with Saville. Remember this old quote: Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.

    Sometimes it seems like the situation is hopeless. But staying clean for one day is always possible. Let's just start with one day.
     
    forlorn likes this.
  16. realness

    realness Active Member

    Walking with you @forlorn . I hope things are better for you than they were last week. Much like you I have been degrading myself and doing things much against my values in secret.
     
    forlorn and Gil79 like this.
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    When I was young I assumed everything would just fall into place. You settle down, get married, have kids, a steady job and lead a fulfilling life. I thought maturity was just something that happened as you get older - a natural progression.

    Now I’m in my 40’s it’s painful to come to the realisation that I’m still not capable of processing my emotions properly. Of course I’m more mature in some ways, but much of my thinking (and my traits) are still rooted in adolescence. I’m still that frightened, sensitive boy that I was all those years ago. I don’t feel equipped to deal with certain aspects of grown-up life - relationships, resentment, the processing of uncomfortable emotions.

    I’m like a child, blocking out or resisting anything that my fragile mind can’t cope with - struggling with the fundamentals, how to connect, how to allow myself to feel vulnerable or rejected…and to be OK with it.
     
  18. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You've done a lot of soul searching, forlorn. Recognizing these things is a great step and creates change all by itself. I've found, however, that one of the things that kept me stuck was that there was a pay-off for me acting the way I did. In my case the pay-off was that so long as I was powered down not much was expected of me. So long as I did just enough around the house, brought in just enough money, I was left alone. I was miserable, but I was miserable in a way that felt comfortable.
     
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  19. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    forlorn, I'm in my 60's and still wonder when I'm going to grow up :D It's normal to want to block out the uncomfortable realities of life and live in a cocoon. When we push out of our comfort zone, it's so easy to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done and then fall right back into our "norm". The work we are doing here is developing a habit out of doing the uncomfortable things so regularly that they aren't nearly as uncomfortable anymore. More specifically, NOT using PMO as a coping mechanism, and letting it fall out of our toolbox. We don't need that monkey wrench!
     
    Saville likes this.
  20. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Hey Forlorn, Good to see you posting here again. Im older than you and not much younger than Moz and still find lots of aspects of life terrifying. I also find confronting and beating these monsters bit by bit enormously satisfying. This rubbish has plagued us for decades its so great to leave bits of it behind at a time in life were much of society regards us old has beens stuck in our ways. For me these are small, intensely personal, often unshareable victories but they are victories all the same. Hang in there matey,
    Tom
     
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