How is it going to be different this time?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Odiebear, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Odiebear

    Odiebear Fapstronaut

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    Is what my wife asked me today. After another relapse. I had a very long streak (year and a half and have now broken it a couple times in the last 3 months.

    How am I gonna change my behavior this time to get back on track?
    I feel like I've tried everything.
    I feel like I know every trick in the book.
    How do I get her to trust my behavior is improving or changing. I know my actions need to prove my promises and words.
    Dragging her along in this difficult process is breaking my heart and I hate seeing her so hurt by what I'm doing.
     
  2. Meshuga

    Meshuga Fapstronaut

    You don't appear to have a journal here on NoFap, so I don't know your background, complicating factors, what "everything" is that you've tried and what "every trick" is, what "relapse" means to you, etc. I see you're a relatively young guy, newly married, and you've had a year+ streak, for whatever that meant for you. I think if I knew more about you I could offer an opinion on what you could do differently, based on what has worked out for me. Without that, though, it'd be a shot in the dark.

    If you're looking for input, say more, please.
     
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  3. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    Have you tried a CSAT therapist? SAA groups?
     
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  4. Odiebear

    Odiebear Fapstronaut

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    It's been a pretty long journey and I could probably write a book about it by now.. but to summarize it all. Most of my recovery has involved me lying or hiding a relapse until my wife finds out. Like we both said I had a really good streak of about 500 days and then 3 relapses in the span of about 4 months since then. Most relapses have been a result of laying off my recovery and getting lazy with it.

    So yesterday she asks what will be different this time. And it won't be the first time I say "I will be more consistent and on top of my recovery techniques " and at this point it's made me feel pretty lost and discouraged. So that's where I'm at.
     
  5. endthecycle90

    endthecycle90 Fapstronaut

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    I'm in the same boat. One thing I did today was write down a list of things I need to do to make myself better and more accountable.
     
    ICE :D likes this.
  6. dude, go check out [email protected] [email protected] (@=a, 0=o, 3=e). super great book, i think it'll help you immensely.
    surround yourself with a grp of men who have the same goals as you do, i'm very inexperienced but i think dragging your wife along is a very very bad thing.

    go to youtube, check out: Mark Queppet, Elliott Hulse and Bulldog Mindset (anyone who has more great channels to recommend, please do). start SSMS too: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL38uJEf-kRcaI0d2I9M_IjGWMFkHk8qCC
     
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  7. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    Is it really recovery if you're lying or hiding a relapse? Maybe I'm reading the bolded part wrong?

    If you have not talked to a professional - or a group - targeting and fixing the underlying reasons is really hard to do
     
    ICE :D, used19 and Psalm27:1my light like this.
  8. Meshuga

    Meshuga Fapstronaut

    First I want to be sure about language. Roughly 90% of the people on this forum confuse "relapse" with "reset." If you are fully relapsing during most of your recovery, that's indicating a lack of commitment, and the conversation would have to go in a harder direction. If you're resetting and lying about it, whether by commission or omission, that's indicating fear and shame leading to lack of honesty. I get it. It's especially hard when your wife doesn't understand the addiction, and I don't generally recommend using your wife as an accountability partner unless she's in a good place with your addiction and volunteers for it. There's a high chance she's traumatized by it and that means multiplying the trauma with resets, which will happen. She's not in a position to help you, nor should you expect her to be.

    My recommendation is that you first get an accountability partner you feel comfortable enough to admit a reset to, but will not let you get away with resets without making an assessment of why it happened, what systems failed, and what to do on the next streak. This leads us to the next portion:
    You can't expect to get through on willpower alone. Willpower is important, but it is just one part of your arsenal against addiction. You need systems, and you need strategies to use. This hopeless, shrugging gesture of "I got lazy with it" cuts no mustard. Why did you get lazy with it? What can you do next time to ensure you stay active?

    I credit my sustained interest and motivation to quit P with journaling, using the community/forum, and actively thinking about replacing P and sex when sexual thoughts come up.

    First is the journaling. I recommend noting how many days into your streak you are, how you feel, how much you are struggling, with what triggers, and what you are doing to combat them. This provides a record for you to look at later, to see patterns. You'll be able to say, "Oh yeah. I feel like a failure and I will always be addicted, because despite having a collective 100 days clean, I still feel heavily triggered. However, I can see here that I always feel intense withdrawals, up to 2 weeks after a reset. This is normal. If I hold out it will get better." It also reinforces your strategies, reminding you of what you have not been doing. Leading up to my current streak, I had a patch of days where I reset every day, and every day it was the same thing; I didn't do what I knew I was supposed to. I questioned my commitment to NoFap, several times in this stage. I understand how that happens. I probably stuck with it long enough to get back on this streak because I was committed to journaling every single day of my recovery, and the evidence that I was not taking it seriously enough was staring me in the face. I got tired enough of typing "Day 0" that I got satisfied with typing "Day 1," even though I wanted to be typing "Day 30." Now I get to type "Day 75," but that experience reminds me, because I specifically journaled it, Day 1 is worth something. Every day is worth something. I knew that in my head before I went through that, now I know it more completely.
    You say you've tried everything, but you've never even started a journal as far as I can tell. Could be you've done one privately. Or, it could be you have tried just enough to tell yourself you've tried, then declared it didn't work and there's nothing more you can do, because deep in your subconsciousness you dread giving up the addiction, because it's become a part of you and it's still doing something for you, and your body can't accept a life without that reliable dopamine supply. Or I could be projecting. It's hard to say since you haven't provided much information. You say you could write a book about your recovery. So write one. Make a journal, make that history your first entry. Then get an accountability partner willing to read that journal and get personally involved in your recovery.

    A second method for sustaining interest in quitting P is in browsing the NoFap forum. It reminds me that I am quitting, and why. I feel a sense of affirmation and support, as well as gratitude, as I see what other people engaging in reboot are feeling and saying. In the Rebooting and Porn Addiction sections, I see guys talking about how difficult quitting is and see their resolve, and their regret over mistakes. In Problematic Behavior I see where P can take a person, exactly how bad it can get, and while I'm grateful I'm not there and have never been in some of those places, that's where I could be. I am reminded that P absolutely has jacked up my life, just in slightly less dramatic but no less damaging ways. Success Stories reminds me that defeating addiction and getting strong, beneficial distance from it is possible. Sometimes there's useful things in Off-Topic, more often it's just guys talking about whatever, peppered with random hate for P. I don't look at much else, except for Rebooting in a Relationship, which reminds me of how viciously P damages a relationship in ways addicts are typically blind to. I see the pain, confusion, anger, betrayal, and trauma from all of the SOs, and I know my own wife carries some of all of that herself. It reminds me of the stakes. Of course, when it seems pressing, if I feel like I know the answer, or when my impulse control slips and I want to interject into an asinine conversation about why "The Hobbit" films suck, I respond. I can see by the stats next to your name and avatar, you haven't done a lot of posting so once again I have to ask; have you really tried everything? How hard?

    The last element is in active redirection of my thoughts whenever a trigger, external or internal, shows up. First, I have something pre-loaded. You can choose your own self improvement endeavor, your own religious, philosophical, or ethical journey, or you can plan your day, establish your long and short term goals and your plan to achieve them, whatever you want. The key here is, when you see an erotic advertisement or you get stressed, or bored, or you overhear a sexual comment, and your mind springs to P and you think about how you'd like to look at it, or you get hard and a specific erotic scenario starts playing in your mind, or you see an attractive woman and start thinking about what she looks like without the clothes and wondering about the lucky bastard who gets to touch her, recognize those thoughts as your addicted brain asking for dopamine, find a way to give it dopamine from an non-erotic source, and immediately derail that erotic reward process by thinking about your other thing instead.

    Last, and finally, consider hard mode. Or call it a fast, call it a detox, however you want to frame it. Four years ago I made a concentrated effort to quit, but my best streak ended at 80-some days and most streaks didn't get past a month. Even though I was trying all the right things, like you say you are (and you very well might be, I know I'm basically accusing you of a half-hearted effort but that might not be the case), I wasn't seeing the success I thought I should and on retrospect, I believe it was because I was not on hard mode. The longest I went without O was about a month, at the beginning. After that I had frequent S with my wife, and I thought it was okay because it was my wife, but I don't think my addicted brain made that distinction. I think my brain made her my porn, my access to dopamine overdose. Since that wasn't completely in my control, my brain would get impatient and that led me to reset. This time around, I decided I had to train my brain to be able to live without the dopamine burst, indefinitely. That resulted in about 2 months with no O, I hope enough to retrain my brain to not think it needs O. It's a complicated situation, this is your thread, and I've already rambled too long. Regardless, I credit the change in mentality and the extended time with a better reboot.
    Hard mode while married is difficult. There's you, the addict, who would be happy for any excuse to O. There's your SO, eager to help, like my wife, and she also has her own libido to look after. Then there's the fact that, about a month into reboot, you start acting more yourself, more emotionally observant, kinder in your interactions. Your SO feels safer in your presence and more attracted to you, and wants more connection. Most couples "fall off the wagon" at about 2 months, even when they promised one another they'd do 3, and maybe that's enough. I hope it is, for my sake. But if you're looking for something to tell your wife about what will be different, float this option. She might not be willing. On the other hand, she might appreciate being given something to do. Or not do, in this instance.

    I really have rambled too much, apologies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  9. p1n1983

    p1n1983 Fapstronaut

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    From my point of view, the best way to fix any addiction is figure out why you started consuming it. Normally is because you are trying to avoid reality. Trying to avoid feeling bad about something in your life.

    In my life was so true, after getting my shit together the urges to fap were a lot less strong. I'm so busy and after my goals that I forget about fapping for days/weeks. Only when I'm stressed i feel the need of fapping, but since I have a girlfriend I can channel all that energy to her.. and of course she benefits from that.
     
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