PMO, and as it led to for me, Chat-MO, has severely damaged my marriage, and may yet destroy it. I am currently separated from my wife. I read about NoFap, and tried to do it on my own (without coming to the site, or getting any support from anyone) about a month before she found what I had been doing, and walked out. I lasted four days that time. I began NoFap again the day she walked out, and this time sought out the support of this community. Today is Day 269. My addiction affected how I treated my wife; I mistreated her. At long last we started getting counselling in January, but it has stalled. At the moment, she says that how I treated her during sex is the chief obstacle for her, rather than what I did online with others. I would pressure her into sex with guilt trips, and during sex I would not pay attention to signals she sent with her language and body language. I was selfish. I was hurtful. I now abhor what I had become. She is not sure she can forgive me for these things, and therefore she finds it unlikely we can ever reconcile. I think she has difficulty understanding the effects of my addiction. I take full responsibility for my actions. It is not porn's fault. My addiction to O drove my actions, but that does not excuse them in the slightest. She sees a logical contradiction between me acknowledging the addiction as an underlying cause of my actions, and my accepting responsibility for them. I think that, from her perspective, identifying the addiction as a reason for my behaviour is the same as excusing it. I want her to understand that I do not excuse myself, and I do not want her to excuse me. I knew I was hurting her, and yet I did not stop. In her eyes, I think that knowing I was hurting her is the same as wanting to hurt her, or choosing to hurt her. I have reached a rebooting milestone in the last two weeks, and I now understand this better for myself. I neither wanted to, nor chose to hurt her. In the past, I have used the phrase "let this happen" or "let myself do that." She objected to that language, because I did not stand by and let something happen, but rather actively did it. I understand that; it is logical. My recent, fairly sudden progress has taught me that my original language was more correct than I realized. Eleven days ago, I experienced (what I think is) normal sexual arousal for the first time I can remember. My urges, compulsions, have been weakening steadily over the past months. Controlling them is now as easy as swatting a mosquito, perhaps easier. While they weakened, they had not actually changed. They were still urges and compulsions to be controlled, to be purposefully and actively repressed. Eleven days ago I became aroused, and had a string of sexual thoughts and feelings without any urge or compulsion to action. I suddenly understood what was different about the way my brain has been processing sexuality all these years. In my addicted brain, action was the default response to a sexual stimulus. If I did nothing in my mind, I would do something in the world. In order not to act on a sexual thought, idea, or feeling I had to resist that action deliberately. These urges are not gone, but they are now being steadily replaced by the new (normal?) type of sexual activation. The default response is no action. Instead of having to stop the action or not, I have to initiate the action or not. Let me give an example. For most of my life, if I was walking down a grocery store aisle and noticed a woman with an attractive bottom, my default action would be to touch her as I passed by. Every, single time this happened to me before now, I literally forced myself not to assault the woman. I would also have to force myself not to stare, or leer; I often failed at this part. Now, in the past week and a half, I have been able to notice women, and notice that they are attractive, and yesterday that a woman was wearing somewhat revealing clothing, without having to fight anything off. I do not have to take specific control of my hands, or my gaze. I was looking around a large room yesterday, and noticed a woman's bare stomach. Even two weeks ago, I would have need to force myself to continue moving my head and eyes in the same direction as before. Yesterday, however, that just happened. I saw the woman, and noticed her, but did not look at her. I now understand better what was happening within me, with my wife. I wanted to stop myself, but failed. Sometimes, the compulsion was too strong to resist. Sometimes, I was too weakened by other things to resist it. Sometimes, I tricked myself into thinking I was in control, rational, or justified, when I was not. And sometimes I did not fail; a lot of times I did resist. Most of the time I partially resisted. Sometimes I was able to stop myself during harmful behaviour, after having failed to prevent it. Now I want to help my wife understand this, without seeming that I am trying to absolve myself or responsibility. At times I did not recognize my own pitiful level of self-control, and at other times I ignored it. I did that out of shame and embarrassment, selfishly putting those things above her well being. I am now far more ashamed of my selfishness, than I was of my weakness then. I did not act to prevent dangerous situations from arising. I rationalised my actions to myself. I did not look for ways to improve. I did not look for causes. If she raised concerns, I tried to explain them away, instead of addressing them, and addressing my own faults and failings. For all of that, I am to blame. These are a combination of faults in my character, and weaknesses at identifying/resisting the more pervasive cognitive effects of the addiction. These are a combination of conscious actions, knowing failures to act, unknowing failures to act, and unconscious actions. These are indirect causes of harmful actions on my part. I am trying to think of with a segue here that doesn't sound like a "but," because there is no "but," so I'll just say the next part. What I want her to understand is that when I hurt her, the direct cause was not choosing to act, but failing to stop. I did not decide to hurt her. I did not choose to keep hurting her. I tried, with all the resolve I had, not to hurt her. Sometimes I had little resolve, because of other things in my life. Sometimes I had plenty of resolve, but the compulsion was still too strong. Sometimes my resolve prevailed, but too late. Sometimes, too, my resolve truly prevailed. All the time, even when I was failing, somewhere inside, sometimes locked away very deep inside, I was fighting tooth and nail to protect her, and to be the person I wanted to be, and knew I should be. Every time I lost the battle, or part of the battle, I hated myself more. That, of course, just gave fuel to the other side. This separation has forced me to prosecute the war to victory, not just keep living to fight another day. The enemy is now in staged withdrawal, and I am freeing its prisoners as I advance. But that is not good enough; I will force it into full retreat. I will chase it to its capital. I will burn out its bunkers. I shall accept no surrender. I shall give no quarter. Total victory and total destruction are the only option, and they are within reach. How do I help her understand all of this? What can I do to show that this is real, and the changes are real?