Addressing the underlying problems

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by ronin667, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. ronin667

    ronin667 Fapstronaut

    Hello everybody,

    I've been thinking a lot since I've joined this community, about my MO addiction and its reasons.
    In my opinion, addictions don't just come out of the blue, they are, in most cases, only the tip of the iceberg, a symptom caused by some deeper rooted problem.

    At least for me, that is very much the case.

    For those who don't have the time to read my journal:

    I was addicted to masturbation long before I had access to porn, so my problem doesn't concern porn so much as masturbation itself.

    I started masturbating because it felt good.
    I continued because felt lonely and thought I couldn't get a girlfriend.
    And I'm still doing it because I got a girlfriend (later wife) before addressing the issues with my personality.

    I've come to the conclusion that my MO addiction, my anxieties, my lack of self esteem, the fact that my wife doesn't want to sleep with me, and the general way she treats me are all sort of connected to each other.

    It's pretty clear that my wife isn't attracted to me any more, but she herself isn't aware of that.
    Women are into self-confident, assertive guys. It's my theory that self-esteem is an even more important factor in a man's attractiveness than his looks, but that they perceived it only on a sub-conscious level. So if a man is a wussy, she won't be attracted to him, no matter what qualities he has otherwise, but she won't know why.

    My wife probably learned pretty quickly that I'd put up with however she treats me, and that I'd do whatever it took to please her. Meanwhile she probably has lost any respect for me, which makes me sexually unattractive for her. All of this happens on a subconscious level for her, so from her perspective, she just doesn't feel like having sex any more, while in reality it's my personality that fails to "push her buttons".
    I'm convinced she still loves me, but she probably loves me more like you love a pet dog than like you love a husband.

    It could also be that she deliberately chose an insecure man like me as a partner, because she can be a pretty dominant person herself. If I'd stand up for myself more, we'd probably do nothing but fight.

    Anyhow, as I said in a different thread, the main reason why I want to quit MO is that I'm ashamed of myself for doing it because it's a childish behavior. However, as long as the actual issues in our marriage (which are the real cause of my addiction) remain unaddressed, the fact that I don't have a sex life won't change. So, if I quit MO, I'll be left with no kind of sexual relief.

    This means that in order to save my marriage, I'd not only have to quit MO but also somehow get a grip on my personality issues. Otherwise I'd accomplish nothing.

    My question for the community is: How do you address the underlying problems that are cause to your addiction?
    What is the cause for your addiction and what do you do to get rid of it?
    Or do you mainly address the addiction itself and hope that getting out of it will give you enough strength to solve the actual underlying issue?

    I've read some posts and journals here of people who are in the same situation I was in when I was single: Insecure, shy, and having a hard time talking to women or getting a date. What do you plan to do about this? Or are you convinced that, once you've overcome your PMO habits, you will become self-confident enough to overcome that problem as well?

    I look forward to reading you opinions!
  2. KrmGrn

    KrmGrn Fapstronaut

    The reasons why I started and why I continued are very similar to you. I was a shy, insecure kid and I had just moved to a new town. I didn't know anyone and didn't know how to make friends. It was an escape for me. For me, it was a way to hide from my problems rather than working on them in a more constructive way.
    And even though I don't think I'm as shy or insecure as I was, I think that issue still negatively impacts my life daily.

    For me, I'm just taking one thing at a time. For the last few weeks, I haven't done anything new besides work on my PMO addiction. But now that I'm over 2 weeks in I'm feeling the need to do something else, working on another thing. So today I went to a yoga class. Now, I am not in good shape, but I went anyway and felt great afterwards. I want to make that a new habit and go as many times a week as I can. After the class today I felt calmer, clearer and more confident. It may not be addressing the underlying issue, but it definitely feels like a step in the right direction.

    I'm not necessarily advocating yoga (although it is great, it combines meditation and exercise). But I guess my thought is: one thing at a time. And if you don't know what to do next, try out different things.

    I was a shy kid who fell into acting and improv classes as an adult and eventually I wasn't so shy anymore. Thinking about my problems and wishing I was different didn't help me in the end. Doing something did. In my case, acting, improv, exercise...

    But that's just me. I tend to overthink everything and get nowhere, so for me being active, doing things, getting out of my comfort zone, and challenging myself all seem to be helpful.

    Wish you the best!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  3. BlackVelvet

    BlackVelvet Fapstronaut

    I started the same way as well. I was a shy, insecure kid who got bullied. But, as I progressed through my life it became not having a girlfriend. PMO was a great release; no problems just ecstasy. Just like you said change is necessary in yourself. Chip away at that insecurity everyday. Everyday do something out of the ordinary for you. Step out of your comfort zone. Pick up a hobby you enjoy and do your best at it. You'll feel that much better.
    Au revoir,
  4. Cojax

    Cojax Fapstronaut

    I only have one advice for you. Read NoMoreMrNice! You sound alot like me, and this book goes to the bottom of why we act like we do towards women, and gives a proven plan to follow to get you masculinity and self-confidence back! I would truly recomend you to read this book!
  5. Rewired

    Rewired Fapstronaut

    I started watching porn when I was a teenager, but it was only a thing of curiousity until my early 20's and had to deal with the fallout from an unhealthy relationship - then PMO became addictive. It flared up again when my parents separated in my late 20's, and continued through to my mid 30's when I moved to a new city. There was heavy emotional stuff going on that I couldn't face, mostly loneliness, and PMO provided escape. It was self-medication.

    Now if I feel the urge, chances are I've felt or realised something that I don't want to deal with. The urge reminds me to examine what's going on internally (mentally/emotionally) and discover the true reason behind the need for relief - and deal with it.

    In my case, it helped to learn what emotions mean, and how they indicate what action needs to be taken. If this sounds helpful for you, I recommend The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren.
  6. beauty

    beauty Fapstronaut

    I don't know if there ever was an underlying problem to begin with. I assume, for myself, that I used porn and masturbation just to escape. Escape difficult emotions, times, periods in my life, etc. So I suppose I was masking all those elements, and in turn they manifested and created a whole lot of turmoil inside of me. Get rid of masturbation, and these emotions will surface, and you will be able to deal with them face to face. It's sort of the same as any other drug addict will use a substance just to escape for a little bit.

    Cheers buddy
  7. ronin667

    ronin667 Fapstronaut

    Hello Cojax, thanks for the advice. I've heard of this book and I'm definitely going to read it, however I'm a bit sceptical that a book will solve the issues that have been deeply rooted in my personality since I can remember.
    I don't know, I tend to be a bit pessimistic about myself.
  8. Cojax

    Cojax Fapstronaut

    ronin667: A book can never explain everything. But there are forums for recovering Nice guys, and that´s where the magic starts to hapen! Read it, you have nothing to loose, and trust me, it does explain alot!
  9. EternalWaves

    EternalWaves Guest

    One of the underlying problems are FEARS AND DOUBTS. They are unbelievably enormous blockers in your life. You want to do something, but you are held back by fears. Fears of being rejected, fears of being judged, fears of failure, fears of doing errors, etc.

    Fears often go hand in hand with extreme perfectionism. You want to make everything absolutely perfect, because you fear the slightest failure. But since being so perfect costs you enormous energy, you OFTEN DO NOTHING ! Instead of doing anything, you PMO !!

    So the only way to overcome these fears is to actually "jump into the cold water".
    Fears go away by training.

    Learn to live with mistakes. Learn to live with criticism.

    Also, it is possible to "make friends" with fears. You can begin to see them as "boosters" which can give you the incredible strength. For example, if you are frightened to speak in poublic, you can see it the other way round. You can "overact" during your speech, and thus, you will feel an "extra kick" which will energize your audience.

    For me, the way out of PMO basically was ACTING. Whenever I actually DID something which I was already holding back for a long time, it brought me one step further.
    Heráclito likes this.
  10. Ekhangel

    Ekhangel Fapstronaut

    Well, a book can not solve anything itself - it can only suggest ways of trying to do it. Either way, I do understand the "underlying reason" concept, like most of us here here, probably. Although be aware that there always is an underlying reason for everything - including the will to improvement. There is even an underlying reason for seeking an underlying reason...

    ...but in the end, the breakthrough you want in your life, the personality shift - I'm not sure any rational enlightment can trigger it. Some switches in your brain must be switched, but these most likely have nothing to do with logical analysis. Happiness itself (or self-estesm for that matter) is not logical.
  11. EternalWaves

    EternalWaves Guest

    The way to happiness is to get away from thinking, and foreward to DOING.

    When we are stuck in our emotions, and when we begin to have fears or doubts in our planned actions, then we begin to think, think, think ... instead of simply DOING what we want.

    it is well-known that great geniuses and great leaders do not think very much. They decide very quick and they act. They do not hesitate.

    Karl Lagerfeld even said: "I avoid thinking, because i want a pleasant life".
  12. Ekhangel

    Ekhangel Fapstronaut

    Well, this might get confusing, since any conscious action requires a thought (the 'idea' to do something). What I wanted to warn against is thinking that peace of mind may be attained through rational/logical analysis.

    These are all vague, philosophical issues though, and there's certainly much more to it.

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