Did I do the right thing?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Trying4love, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Very new here. Hoping it is okay for me to be asking this...

    My partner decided to do a 90 day "hard mode" reset after realizing his porn addiction was a big part of our sex/intimacy problems (eg his PIED and anorgasmia). I was (and am) supportive and have tried to be conscientious about not triggering him in the process.

    He is on day 28. Tonight he asked me to have sex and made it clear he has been thinking about it all day. While it felt good to feel desired and I was proud to have him think of me instead of porn, I was also very conflicted. Hard mode means no sex and I agreed to that for 90 days. However, now he is saying he wants it and wants to change the rules and that the rules are kinda flexible.

    A BIG part of me felt like this was his addiction talking and saying yes would be enabling him. Like giving an alcoholic a drink. I feel like this is exactly what makes hard mode hard and maybe tonight it was my job to be strong for the both of us.

    But then he accused me of denying him sex and I suddenly felt very hurt. Like I was the bad guy. The bitchy frigid girlfriend. He started talking about how this was his promise and his commitment, so he should be able to change the rules of he wants...was he right?

    Ultimately, I said no. And can only hope he will see things differently in the morning. But I'm anxious that I made this a bigger deal than it should have been and now it's MY issues messing up his "sobriety" and potentially damaging our relationship.

    So....did I do the right thing?
     
  2. I am new but I know I couldn't do hard mode at least not for that long. Maybe a shorter goal and build from there. I find if my wife isn't available I get angry and turn to PMO. I seem to be recovering well while having a normal sex life.
     
  3. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Thank you Braveheart. We're currently in therapy and I told him I'd be willing to renegotiate the terms he had set, but I needed it to be with a neutral third-party… Not was when he was horny because I couldn't trust he was thinking clearly. I can't help but think in terms of addiction and I feel like you'd never let an addict tell you they're sober enough to go to a bar right after they tell you they've been craving a drink.

    Honestly, I think part of my reason for taking this so hard last night was for the first time I felt like I couldn't trust my partner. They didn't have any self-control. They were so focused on fulfilling a primal need it was consuming them. When they say things like "rules are meant to be broken" it makes me think about the rules in our relationship and our future vows. I got scared for him...and for us. I felt like it was my job to protect us and our relationship.

    Maybe that's too strong of a reaction...but that's definitely how it felt.
     
  4. seventyniner

    seventyniner Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for being considerate and trying to do everything that would help your partner regain control over his life. Many people here would gladly have someone like you at their side.

    Frankly, I think you have done just the right thing. He decided to embark on the 90 day ride, and bailing out at day 28 won't get him the distance. Of course he didn't sign any legal contract binding him to his decision, but the problem remains to be solved, no? 28 days just isn't enough to overcome PIED, let alone a porn addiction. 90 days isn't proof either, but it's a good start.

    I have done a 90 days hardmode reset, and i got through it thanks to my supportive wife. I was glad that we didn't have sex during those three months, because I couldn't have handled the so called chaser effect if we had. I wasn't strong enough to resist the pull of repetition afterwards. Sex releases dopamine, and since my misuse of dopamine through porn was still programmed in my brain, I would have most likely returned to porn when my brain signaled that it wanted more and fast.

    Don't brush him off (guys are very sensitive when it comes to rejection on that matter, but so are women, I presume), but rather encourage him to stay strong. Do other stuff together you enjoy. And the closer you get to day 90, you can start making untainted plans for how you intend to celebrate.
     
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  5. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for the encouragement 79er....it helps. I know this will just be a bump in the road, but it helps me to stay strong (and explain to him why) if i feel like i have the support of HIS community in doing so. I want this for him- and for us. I'm trying to remain optimistic that this will make us stronger, but today...it just feels weak and fragile. Thanks again for the support. Nice to know girlfriends/spouses can find support here too :)
     
  6. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    I just found out that he relapsed last night. I feel so guilty and terrible- like it is my fault for not "helping him out" or something. He said he was triggered by a social media thing...but I still feel like it is my fault. Does this still mean I did the right thing?
     
  7. seventyniner

    seventyniner Fapstronaut

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    I had a feeling that something like this might happen.

    But why would it be your fault?

    Let me just get the facts straight.
    HE decided to do a reboot because HE realized that he is addicted to porn and that damages your relationship. You rallied behind him. On day 28 he got all wobbly and asked you for a shortcut. You denied. He couldn't take it anymore and relapsed. I don't see where any of this is your fault.

    Of course it is arguable that sex is better than a relapse. But first of all you don't know if sex had led to a relapse the next day, and second of all, you are not responsible for his recovery! Please educate yourself on co-addiction. He needs to find out now where his defenses were weak and what he can do to reinforce them. Does he have an accountability partner? Does he keep some form of journal? Does he read stuff on addiction? Is he aware of his triggers and consciously steering clear of them? Does he keep busy? Has he taking up exercising? Does he talk to anyone about his feelings? Ergo, what is he actually doing to make the reboot work? Or is he simply relying on his willpower?

    If you can, support him. Ask him all the uncomfortable questions. Make it clear to him that you want to see him succeed. And what is at stake. Tell him to get back up, dust off and try again. But don't feel responsible for his work. It's his work. You've got yours.
     
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  8. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Thank you 79er. This post helped me step out of my shame spiral. We're trying to get an emergency session with our therapist. I feel like we can bounce back from this. But we need help. And I'm glad we BOTH have the support of this group. It's kept my head above water today.
     
  9. The Eleven

    The Eleven Fapstronaut

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    @seventyniner said it best. This is not your fault. You are doing the best you can under difficult and confusing circumstances. He is responsible for his own recovery, and he is responsible for his relapse. He may want to make you feel otherwise, since that's easier than accepting responsibility, but that doesn't change the facts. He got himself into this mess, and he's going to have to get himself out of it. All you can do is try to support him the best way you know how, and it sounds to me like you're being very thoughtful about that.

    I do want to offer a counterpoint on the initial question you posed, however. When I first started my journey back in February, I intended to do 90 days hard mode to try to (at least) resolve my ED. (I did not announce this plan to my wife. Sadly, we have sex pretty rarely, so it might have gone unnoticed). We had one of our exceedingly rare opportunities during what was supposed to be my hard mode, and I decided not to pass it up.

    And it was just what the doctor ordered. I had no ED issues at all, which gave me the encouragement I needed that I was doing the right thing and on the right path. That fueled me to make it another almost 60 days before I relapsed, and was encouraging enough that I didn't give up the fight altogether. So, there can be some value in having normal sex during a reboot, especially if ED is the main culprit. Clearly, there can be risks to this as well, so I can't tell you for sure that it is the right approach for you and your partner.

    I hope you are able to get together with your therapist and talk this through. I also hope your partner knows how lucky he is to have such an understanding and supportive partner in this process. It should give him a significant advantage over those of us who are not as fortunate.
     
  10. Handzfree

    Handzfree Distinguished Fapstronaut

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    Both 79er and 11 gave you great advice, plus with the numbers I think that gave you a Bingo on your card, right? jk...

    Right now you are both probably trying to figure out "how's this going to work. - sex or no sex"

    IMHO - I think your husband was going through withdrawals if he was thinking all day about sex. His lapse wasn't your problem. There will be times when you are either not in the mood or unable do to physical abilities... period, yeast infection you name it.

    Personally, I believe that communication works wonders if you can open up to each other. I'll bet your counselor would agree. I probably would have asked him if he could wait and you guys would make it a very special 90 days. Ask him what happened to trigger such a heavy urge. You could have reminded him that he wanted the 90 days to begin with and you want to support him. In the very end, maybe offer a compromise... "Look, let's get through today and talk tomorrow, if you can't hold out then let's do something."

    I don't see a "right or wrong" here, I see a "what's best" for both of you. So you don't feel like you let him down and he doesn't feel deserted. I can also agree with 79er in the fact it was the right thing to do to.

    Believe me, he feels a bit "out of sorts" right now. He's decided to give up the "cuddle blanket" and he's insecure.

    OK.. final thoughts. The previous posts were correct. This is something he has to deal with. If you had sex with him every night of the week and threw in some morning sessions too, it still wouldn't fix his issue. Why? Because it has nothing to do with the frequency of intimacy with you, it has to do with his addiction. Many wives are high desire partners, yet their spouses ignore the opportunity to meet their needs while using porn.

    Your husband failed. This isn't uncommon. Really what's more important I think is how he handles this situation. He needs to learn how to manage himself long term. There will be plenty of time in the future for some "real loving" intimacy. Meanwhile, I would encourage him to get back on the 90 day reboot. Don't worry about right or wrong, take care of yourself.

    Best wishes - HF
     
  11. snazzy

    snazzy Fapstronaut

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    Sorry Handzfree but I find your post and opinion invalid:

    1) You assumed that our original poster is married. That lack of attention to detail represents a lack of exactness in life, therefore not adhering to a strict 90 day plan with no opportunity for wiggle room would make sense to you, therefore he "failed" according to you.

    2) At what part in the post did our original poster say there was a lack of communication? I would assume if the partner is also on this website, that he is very much in touch with his struggle and is very committed to her and open with all of his struggles, therefore telling her that he has relapsed. No lack of communication there. No lies. No cheating. No other women to satisfy the urge.

    3) Your counter says 1 day since last PMO. Hypocritical much?

    As for everyone else's posts on the matter, I would agree with your suggestions and applaud your insight.

    BTW, Trying4Love and I have been together for a year and half. Here is my journey: http://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/can-a-navy-veteran-kick-the-habit.51108/
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  12. Handzfree

    Handzfree Distinguished Fapstronaut

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    Hi Snazzy,

    1. You're right, I did assume the OPoster was married. No where does it say that. It is a relationship.
    2. There is always a debate whether to have sex during a reboot or not. I could go either way quite honestly. I think the decision is between both people in the relationship. It was wrong of him to attack her for not having sex. But it might have helped if she asked him to sleep on it a night and let him know that she would be there, but wanted him to see if he could work it out. It may have saved him from relapsing.
    3. no argument on the counter, it reset after a 140 day streak, but like everyone, I'm vulnerable.

    Finally, I appreciate your comments.
    Cheers, HF
     
  13. Trying4love

    Trying4love Fapstronaut

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    Well that was not where I wanted or expected the post to go. I appreciate you ALL offering your insight and support. It has meant a lot to me today.

    Sadly, snazzy and I have some things to work out still and therapy may not be an option this week. It is times like this I am grateful for our strong communication skills. It won't be an easy road, as you all have illustrated. But I really do appreciate you listening to me today and offering your kind words. Thank you.

    To be continued I suppose....
     
  14. seventyniner

    seventyniner Fapstronaut

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    Snazzy, nice little introductory twist at the end there. I liked it!

    Now that you're here, too, I get to congratulate you on 28 days hard mode! That's something I forgot in my other posts. Don't see this journey as a fail/pass-journey only. This is the journey where you will learn heaps about yourself! Every relapse will teach you something, and every victory will, too. And from what I read, you are eager to learn.

    Go for it. You've got a great woman at your side. Dust yourself off, try again and you will see that you may be starting at day 1, but not at square one. You're smarter already.

    Sending both of you strength.
     
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