Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Saville, May 15, 2016.
That sums it up very well, my friend.
Great post, well said. The practice of PMO really poisons our minds, character and spirit and because of this affect it rubbs of on everything we come in contact with afterwards. I was always disgusted about myself and wanted to hide and do nothing with my life for days after a heavy binge session with PMO.
Wife was feeling better and initiated sex. Cue the astonished double take! O'ing with a partner = warmth and good feelings. It's interesting how we get different chemical responses from real sex, as opposed to MO. Lots of "experts" see MO as good, necessary even. I think if you're an adolescent it can be good practice, but not once one has grown into a man. MO must always lead to FMO, because the brain seeks further stimulation. This means we lose the ability to be and stay in the moment. PMO takes MO/FMO to a new level, where any sense of naturalness is gone.
Yesterday I saw a dog playing fetch with its owner. It was so happy. Even if that owner had yelled at the dog moments earlier, the dog wasn't in that moment anymore. No, it loved playing fetch and that's all that mattered.
All true. I can certainly attest to how MO has kept me from attaining real satisfaction, for pretty much my entire life. The addiction workbook I read a few months ago even lists it as a tool to keep from acting out in more extreme ways. I see what they're saying there, but in my case, it was just a daily habit that dulled my senses and was the problem, not any kind of solution.
Hope all is well with you, my friend.
Kicking MO was as big a thing for me as ditching PMO. Now that I'm older I firmly believe it is even more imperative to keep my hands off the ding dong. I already know that after wanking I'm going to feel at best blah and at worst depressed. MO is like eating a page of music instead of listening to it.
On Moz's thread there was some discussion about how much truth to tell one's partner regarding this addiction. As I've stated many times, I believe a man should know somewhat where his own center is before divulging truths about his PMO habit. If we are not centered then we are victimizing ourselves and in so doing sabotaging our efforts to heal. When we are emotionally swinging between two polarities that is hardly the time to reveal what we've been doing in the dark hours. The feeling to confess is a common one. The Catholic church has made great hay out of the confessional. When we are racked with guilt, despondent, sad, lonely, and not seeing a way forward a confession can seem like the only way out - and in some cases it can be. However, for men who have spent a lifetime feeling guilty for being born, for often doing the wrong thing, for never being good enough, confession can deepen our issues and plunge us deeper into despair. There are no absolutes, just as there is no love that is altruistic, at least not between people. There is always some level of manipulation between partners. We accept certain manipulations because it is beneficial to us in the long run. The love of most parents is often conditional. "I love you because you are a good boy." Saddled with baggage from the upbringing of thousands of ancestors it can feel impossible to know where love starts and subservience ends.
Yes, this is a big topic and I'm not going to cover all the arguments here. Back to truth. What is the truth? More importantly: what is OUR truth? What is it that gives us our center, that ring in our heart that feels right? It's something we spend our entire lives trying to find. It's as though we are looking for a lost loved one, that loved one being ourselves.
Most people lack introspection. So, when we tell our partner "hey, I masturbate to porn, a lot!," what they hear is: "OMG, how disgusting. OMG, I don't even know you! OMG, how could you do this MEEEEEEEE!" Now the responsibility for fixing us is squarely in our partner's corner. Each failure is their failure, each defeat overwhelming. So, now there are two people overwhelmed by this addiction and two people who are disgusted by it. Because this addiction can take multiple tries and has many shades of failure (pictures, escort ads, FMO, and of course PMO) each new revelation (truth!) brings with it tortured feelings. When is the relationship ever going to get a break?
Our partners bring their own set of baggage to any relationship. My wife, for instance, compares my handyman work to her dad. Her dad was a great carpenter, could fix anything, had an eye for detail, and so I am always lacking in that way. Her truth is to tell me "my dad did it this way." Sometimes when I'm slogging away with hammer and nail she will say "let me do it. I learned quite a few things from my dad." In the past I took umbrage to her speaking to me this way, telling her it was diminishing. But, she was never chastened by my protestations. Why? Because she was telling her truth. She was just being honest, after all. In her opinion, I don't measure up to her dad in the sphere of handyman stuff. But guess what? Her view is bullshit! She was brought up in an ultra-critical home and so she's not upbraiding me for my lack of skill, but rather taking an opportunity to criticize.
Lots of people are addicted to their electronic devices. My wife is. When she isn't paying attention to what I'm saying I could ask her "hey, are you still playing Candy Crush on your phone?" I don't ask her that because I know if she's trying to connect with me honestly or not. I'm not her jailer, nor do I want to. Our partners should not be our jailers either. If we've promised to do something, or not to do something, then they should bloody well give us some latitude.
I learned from my mistakes and I'm way more honest than my wife is. She tells little fibs all the time: "I'm too tired." "I'm sorry, but I have an appointment." "My meeting ran late." People, all people, pick and choose what they want to tell others.
Hey, and guess what else. It's natural for a man to look at a naked picture of a woman or look at another woman with a bit of lust. These are natural male instincts that we don't have to feel sorry about. Yes, okay, we've got this penchant for wanting to MO to P, but that doesn't mean we have to emasculate every bit of ourselves. Being a man means knowing when to hold our counsel and when to share. WE decide what's relevant in our lives, not some one else, nor anyone else's code of conduct.
Peace, my brothers.
Great post, Saville. And I totally agree that man and women are not the same and we have different instincts and I like your comparison: MO is like eating a page of music instead of listening to it.
I would like to add a point to think about, not that it matters much in this context, but it is something I thought about over the last few weeks.
It is about the truth and I remembered it ones I read in your post her truth and our truth.
"There is no such thing as your truth. The truth is objective, but our appreciation of the truth is subjective and based on our beliefs and experiences."
What I took from this and I can see it within my actions, that awareness or being able to see small climbses of the truth, changes things without even forcefully having to put effort into changing. Basically there is an objective truth, and our views on it are clouded by our beliefs and experiences and feelings. If we could see the objective truth or at least parts of it, habbits or behaviours that are based on lies just fall off without much effort.
These are just thoughts, hopes, beliefs I am playing with over the last few weeks.
I agree. Habits fall away when we no longer need them to prop up who we think we are. When we see that we are wonderful, amazing, incredible miracles in our own right then there is no need to fake our lives. When we're first born our parents fuss over us and they recognize the enormity of the life force they have had a hand in creating. Over time, as our consciousness dictates that we become an individual, our parents seek to mold us into their expectation of what they have come to believe is "right" behavior. Each culture has its own idea of what this should be. In our present 21st century mindset there is a belief that men are violent babies. On the one hand we are rapists, wife beaters, mansplainers, or tacit enablers of these things. We are guilty because miserable academics have determined this is so with their well-funded studies. On the other hand we are weak. We complain more when we're sick, we grumble about house work, which we never share in enough, and we lack drive and ambition. And, in some senses the latter is true, because men have been defeated in our Western culture, have lost our place. Am I the protector of the family, the one who lays down his life when it's called for, or am I another mom?
I'm not saying it's unfair. Women have gone through huge struggles. In the past men have abused their physical power. It seems that once we left our primitive cultures behind we just never figured out any kind of balance between the sexes, which is what, I believe, has given rise to the non-binary model that is becoming more prevalent. If both genders are fucked up then just be both, or none, or something new that lies in between. What to do?
For me, as a present day man, I believe that men must reclaim their gender identity. We are the rock upon which the family must sit. This places an enormous responsibility upon us. We must go out of our way to be gentle and fair. We must smile more and let humor come to the fore when our partner is unreasonable. Our partners are creating a home, taking more of a share in child-rearing, and so we must be more than willing to take the caprice of a frustrated SO. Yes, the woman is our equal, but our roles are different. We aren't in charge of them, but if a woman has decided to spend her life with a man then it's better that the man be in a position of strength. Why? Because our DNA dictates that men are mentally happiest when they feel they are the prow of the ship.
When anything is explained in terms of us and them it always sounds a bit cavemanish, but they are, after all, our ancestors. The real struggle is for all people to become self-actualized and thereby know how to behave in all situations, but as we meet our lives in this middle-age, having lived thus far without the requisite skills to navigate our lives, we have to look at life in more stark terms...at least at the beginning.
This is why I don't believe in giving away my power. As a man who was used to having my mom, my wife, and then the lovers I cheated with, dictate the terms of my behavior, I can't afford to be less than austere in my approach. This is why I give out only the information I deem necessary for the relationship to function well. My woman doesn't get to steal bits of me, or shape me in the image of what she thinks is best, or best for me. I already know that I was a fuck up and that I was not a good partner before. But, moving forward I'm going to be a man who lets his masculinity be his guide.
When I first got caught cheating I back pedaled for all I was worth, trying in vain to make myself not look quite so guilty. My wife, who had oppressed me our entire marriage, did more of the same. She took every opportunity to belittle and diminish me. I sucked it up, because I was a worthless piece of cheating shit...or so I thought. After finding this forum I came to realize that I was a good person who had made terrible mistakes. I discovered that I could change the paradigm of my life and that, my friends, is a truly amazing feeling. So, the next time my wife said some sideways comment about my cheating and how I was going to break up the marriage for some bimbo I said "we can talk about this one more time. You can air out all the things that bother you for the next hour. After that I never want to hear about it again." Oh, my god, it felt like a big risk, but I also felt like a real man. My wife said "no, it's okay, it's all over." What I didn't realize was that as I lifted my own burden I also lifted hers. Amen!
We have moments where we can be the man of the hour, of our own hour, and we must seize these moments...this is true heroism.
Not long ago the forum was buzzing with men feeling their feels and moving forward. A few voices have fallen off over the last few weeks. Men, write, and then write some more. If you are still moving forward then let us know. If you have fallen off the wagon allow us to support you!
I thought it was time to post an update. I like it when the men here come back and post about what's going on in their lives. We invest a certain amount in each other, become forum friends, and it's nice when we can hear some news. Some people get pulled back into PMO and for whatever reason (embarrassment, lack of motivation, a throwing of hands up in the air) feel they can't post anymore. Journaling is just so important, though. I loved hearing from @A New Man , recently. I find it inspiring and it challenges me to work harder.
So, the update. Having semi-regular sex with the wife and staying off of PMO. I've wanked a couple of times over the last few months and it remains a useless exercise. I just don't get anything from it, not even a decent O. My wife is now in the latter part of her 60's and she just isn't into sex the way I am, partly because she has some health issues. I used to press her, but now I've taken to backing off. I'm giving her some time to find who she is as an older woman. So long as we are sexually active every 10 days then I'm good with that. I have times where I wish I was younger and all the "blah blah blah" that comes with looking in the rear view mirror, but mostly I'm a fairly content older dude.
I love being slim! Why didn't I do this sooner? For the same reason I stayed stuck on P for so long. Food was a dopamine hit, a release, from the humdrum of everyday. Booze was also my friend. I wasn't an "alcoholic" but I used wine, which I drank every evening, as a way to escape how I felt and more important how I didn't feel. Yeah, so being skinning is the bomb. I move better and I sure as hell look better. I still have a sad sack face, which is full of lines, but that's cool too.
Yesterday I struggled mightily with motivation and just felt really down. I decided I would pick one job to do, go to the gym, and the rest of the time would be for lounging. I painted my deck, had the workout, and though I still felt slightly depressed, I knew I had done myself a favor. Today, by contrast, I feel great.
On the topic of telling your partner the truth: I did that and perhaps that is the biggest regret I have when it comes to our relationship. I guess once I thought honesty was holy in a relationship. While ofcourse I made a shitload of mistakes I do value honesty a lot and still do. So when I believed I had a porn-addiction I really thought I should tell her that. Partly out of honesty, but also because I reckoned I needed the support. In theory I still stand behind that decission, but there was one huge thing I overlooked. Like me, my girlfriend isn't perfect. She has her issues just like me. She is insecure about her own things and she has to deal with perhaps even more stress than I do. My girlfriend really had a shitload to deal with in the first place, so when I told her I was addicted to porn that was just something she couldn't always handle well. Of course she tried, but it was really tough for her and it definitly wasn't good for our relationship either. In a perfect world honesty would have been the way to go, but ,alas, the world is far from perfect. The cruel thing is that looking back I would say I wasn't even really addicted, but rather that I used porn to escape from my problems. Which didn't make my problems any less, but I think she might have actually understood things better if I had told her that.
These days I still struggle with porn on and off, but I keep it to myself. While that feels really lonely at times, it's a burden I have accepted.
Saw this quote that echoes your beliefs in your journal:
Never leave undone for a moment the duty of that moment. Never leave undone for a day the duty of that day, or for a season the duty of that season. To do so is to risk wasting your entire life, for a lifetime is made up of seasons and seasons of days and days of moments. They ebb away like the tide that flows back from the beach, like the sun that sinks beyond the horizon until its last rays fade from the sky and all goes dark.
Love that quote @realness
Masturbating sucks! Even though I've been PMO free for quite awhile I was still, up until a month ago, allowing myself a wank now and then. I made a decision after my last post to not touch the dick. It has been a revelation. I am back on track the way I was at the beginning when I first quit looking at P. Back then it was sex with the wife or nothing!
After only one month my dick is harder, more sensitive, and I feel more engaged in my life.
Thanks for sharing this update Saville, as well ofc everything else you have said and shared. Your candid and very articulate posts have been very inspirational for me - as well as others on this thread! Thank you all so much!
I totally agree with striving for only have O with your partner. And not touching yourself otherwise. Because M just leads to needing to intensify it up with P.
I am approaching 60 days with no PMO as part of my reboot given terrible PIED after sooo many decades of PMO. And I feel so much more engaged and alive in all the healthy facets of my life. I am also finally having some days where I don’t even think about P temptation.
My wife says I am much more calm and loving - while also being more “manly and dominant” towards her - as I now feel much more deserving of her love and attention.
we have had some very encouraging results in the bedroom towards lessening the PIED. But we are both focused on taking small steps - so there is not a focus on performance. Overall - my marriage has much more of a sense of partnership in a traditional way - than it has had for a long time. My wife is encouraging me to be strong and dominant towards her. Something she hasn’t done in a long while. She’s extremely supportive of my journey to conquer PMO.
I now know this has to be a lifelong focus.
I'm back after a long absence. Glad to see you are still here fighting the fight!
I read a story about a teacher who gave his students a pop quiz. He placed on their desks a piece of paper with a black dot at the center. He asked the students to write what they saw. Without exception the students wrote about the black dot, it's shape, it's position on the paper, and the size of it. Everyone had focused on the black dot and missed that there was a ton of white surrounding it. The message is that we tend to see the shadow, the small dark spots, and forget that in our lives there is a vast and exciting universe to be discovered.
PMO is a dark spot. Focusing on the other parts of us can be revealing in wonderful ways.
Great insight @Saville!
Yes, there is so much to be thankful for ! Concentrating on the black spot is saying perfection is the only goal we will accept ! Need to rethink this ! Great post Saville you have one of the posts that holds the structure up !
it's really helpful encouragement to focus on gratitude. I get an urge to PMO and if I don't dismiss it quickly, or worse, start to indulge it, I become completely blind to every big and small blessing in my life. Thanks Saville!
Haha I just posted on the same thing on my journal before I checked your journal. Too right. Thanks as always @Saville you're a champ on this forum. The real mvp
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