It worked out in the end

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Low Tide High Tide, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    I've been wanting to write something for a while now. Things have been going really well for me personally for the last 8 months. This time last year I was in a really bad place, I was afraid that I was heading for break up with my wife. But now our relationship is stronger than ever, and I'm 227 days PM free according to my tracker. So without further ado, I just wanted to share what worked for me:

    • Counselling. I did about 40 counselling sessions, 1 hour a week, and tried to follow my counsellor's guidelines. It cost me €60 each time, but the investment in myself was well worth it. I still have many unresolved issues, but the ones around porn have been pretty much eliminated. The main change for me was to start being emotionally honest with my wife.
    • Journalling. My counsellor got me to write down my thoughts and feelings. I've filled about 5 notebooks in the last year with this stuff. It has really helped me to think through my feelings instead of just avoiding dealing with them. I have realised that a big part of PMO for me was just a bad coping mechanism for feelings I didnt know how to deal with. Putting my feelings into words on a page was a big step in understanding myself and what I was/am going through.
    • No masturbation. All my previous attempts to quit involved just trying to quit P without quitting M, it took me a long time to come at it from the other direction, and decide to quit M first. One of the thing that prompted me to do this was reading the book mentioned in this post. What I took from the book was that lots of people who think they have a porn problem, have a masturbation problem. And as it turned out, I was one of those people. This was difficult for me to accept at the start, but it turned out to be great move, with lots of positive benefits:
      • The no-M rule meant that even if I did relapse and look at P, the relapse would not last for as long, and would not end up with the usual self-loathing, depression and covering-of-tracks that used to always happen with a PMO relapse. So the next day I would be back on track and determined to try again. Previously it used to take me a month to get over a relapse.
      • My sex life with my wife is waaaay better than it used to be, both in frequency and intensity. This was a total surprise to me but it makes perfect sense in hindsight. Instead of wasting my energy on internet fuelled fantasies, I'm investing in my actual partner who can actually respond. It has really improved our relationship and made us closer as a couple.
    I hope this info is of use to somebody else.
     
  2. The Dustbin

    The Dustbin Fapstronaut

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    Awesome post. Always encouraging to hear suchess stories like this!
     
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  3. Well Done on the write up congrats on the numbers very well written>
     
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  4. Jlsl98

    Jlsl98 New Fapstronaut

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    congratulations for you achievement!!!... how did you manage the topic of porn with your wife ? thanks
     
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  5. TheManDude

    TheManDude Fapstronaut

    Well done man, it's really amazing to have such an incredible recovery and i'm really glad that you could work on your relationship with your wife, I have a journal here and you're right, the more time I invest on writting there the self aware I become so it really helps with my urges.

    Thank you for your post man!
     
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  6. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. I love how supportive this site is, even for someone like me who posts very rarely.

    Well it has been very tough on my wife going back over the last few years, many times I promised to change my ways and would relapse. She would notice the change in my behaviour and would challenge me on it, and I would own up to being back on porn. She was very hurt by the many betrayals. I honestly believed she was going to leave me at some point but she never did. I have never pushed her to find out why she didn't leave me.

    Since January when my life turned around, I have at times told her that my progress is good. She doesn't appear to be hopeful about it, but she's been hurt many times before, so that's completely understandable. We probably do need to discuss it sometime in the future. But right now, things between us are very good, so I'm in no hurry to get into it. Maybe next year we can look back on it and I will get to hear her side of the story.

    I hope that answers your question?
     
  7. Hey man awesome post. Im really encouraged by your progress and I am working towards attaining a measure of freedom as well. I can really relate to being down for a month after a screw up. I have tried to "masturbate healthfully" without porn over the last 6 months or so. Hasnt worked out. I believe that is a HUGE component for me. It was hard for me to admit as well. Ive been told my whole life from boyhood that its ok and natural. I dont take what you said about porn to mean its justifiable but I appreciate that perspective of removing masturbation first. If you dont mind me asking, do you have any advice for how to find a therapist or what to look for in a therapist?
     
  8. Puretim

    Puretim Fapstronaut
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    I never heard that before about quitting m before p.Ive only been into porn since I stopped gambling close to 3 years ago but have been masturbating regularly since a teenager. Sometimes I would maturbate not long after having sex. I have a problem with both . Just getting ready to look at porn starts my heart racing and a slight euphoria gets hold of me. Then comes the wasted day the shame and the rest. Thanks for your post. The more success I see the more I see that I can do it too.
     
  9. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    Not really, my first therapist/counsellor was one that I got through work. (I had a job once where you could claim 6 free counselling sessions per year). Then when I moved, that guy recommended someone else, and the next one recommended the counsellor I have now. So it was luck really. But I did notice that counsellors/therapists know what to look for in each other. So if you get talking to one, ask them to recommend another one who works near you or whatever. My current counsellor has a couple of Masters degrees in Psychology and has written books on Mindfulness. She has been really great to work with. I hope this helps!
     
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  10. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    Some more thoughts about making the quitting of M the priority, before P:

    All I know is, I've been using porn for the last 20 years, and trying to quit about the last 10 years. And this is the first thing that worked. That really worked. I couldn't tell you whether it was the no-M, the journalling or the counselling that made the difference.

    I realise that quitting masturbation was somewhat easier for me, as being in a relationship meant that I had another outlet. (My goal was abstaining from PM rather than PMO). Also in order to improve our sexual relationship, I need to initiate more with my wife, and tell her more about how I feel. This is stuff I realised during counselling. So porn & masturbation was absolutely getting in the way of my doing that.

    But, there have been times when there is no relief in sight. We just had a baby a month ago and so we haven't had sex in about 7 weeks. (If any of you are parents, you will understand why this is!). There was a time when the idea of going that long without some kind of relief would terrify me. But not any more. All I can say is, it's easier when you get used to it. I don't think about sex as often as I used to. And I don't need to prove to myself or anyone else that my equipment works. When sex is available, I don't experience any reduction in libido or stamina or whatever. If anything, the opposite is true. It actually feels like, the less I think about sex, the more of it I have.

    However, now that I've gone down the no-M road, there is the occasional unusual situation to deal with. For example, my wife and I discussed having our latest child be the last in our family. So, being a responsible partner, I am considering getting a vasectomy (aka "the snip"). I researched it and found out that, after the procedure, you need to ejaculate a certian number of times (I think it was 20) and then go back to the clinic and provide a "fresh sample" which they can then check to see if there is any sperm remaining. This puts me in a conundrum - do I rely on my wife to get me off these 20 times and then maybe have to bring her to the actual clinic to help me provide a sample? Or do I temporarily break my no-M rule just to get the job done? I'm nervous about taking the latter option. It might not be a problem, but on the other hand there is a risk I could just fall back into my 20 year habit of PMO. And I definitely don't want that! So I haven't decided yet what to do about that. But this is a good problem to have!
     
  11. Freiheit

    Freiheit Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for sharing! May I ask you a question: did u have sex with your girlfriend from the very beginning of your abstinence from PM? I observe that when i had sex with my wife i always want to watch P the first days after...does it vanish someday?
     
  12. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    Hi Freiheit. I did; however at that point my wife and I were having sex around once a month, no more frequent than that. So it could have been a month after my period of abstinence, I can't remember. Like you, I did have the urge to watch P near the start of my first no-PM attempt, and I did have a slip. However, at this point I recognised that I was in the never ending cycle of relapse, depression, try again. So this time I made an extra effort to not masturbate even though I was watching porn. I was surprised to find out that it was much easier to try again, starting from the next day. Probably because avoiding M meant I wasn't providing my brain with the usual dopamine hit, so the cycle was broken, and I didn't fall into a weeks-long depression. So basically I was able to 'fail better'. I think this happened 2 times at most in the early days of my PM attempt, and the 3rd attempt got me to where I am now.

    And yes, the desire to watch P did vanish someday. I can't remember which day it was though!
     
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  13. Freiheit

    Freiheit Fapstronaut

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    Okay thanks a lot. I actually think also that M is the devil an P the Devils little helper...cheers!
     
  14. jianpip

    jianpip Fapstronaut

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    Awesome post, thank you. I actually have a question. I just finished 60 days of NoFap. But I relapse PMO, what advice can you give me to start asap? I really want to start tomorrow but Im very afraid of not having the strength to do it. What would you recommend?
     
  15. Low Tide High Tide

    Low Tide High Tide Fapstronaut

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    @jianpip, first of all 60 days is an achievement to be proud of. You have proven what you can do if you put your mind to it.

    I don't think I or anyone here can tell you when is the right time to try again. It's really up to you.

    But if I could suggest something, try to analyse what caused the relapse this time. Is it something that can be avoided the next time? In my case, after a few cycles of trys and fails, I realised that my relapses all happened late at night when I was really tired but still up. So, after one relapse, I made it a policy to go to bed early every night. I was not getting enough sleep anyway so it was helpful overall. If each time you relapse, you change at least one thing that makes you vulnerable, then you will eventually remove all the major risks to you achieving your goal. This is the 'fail better' idea.

    Personally, I find that identifying the risks and taking steps to remove them is what gives me the motivation to try again. I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  16. Jlsl98

    Jlsl98 New Fapstronaut

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    Thanks a lot for the answer, I think I am in the same situation with my girlfriend, but the problem is that i can not quit porn but well I am trying that's something. Thanks and good luck with your wife
     
  17. Rey Rey

    Rey Rey Fapstronaut

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    Really informative and I am glad your life turned out amazing man
     
  18. jianpip

    jianpip Fapstronaut

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    It is really wise. Thank you. I think Im learning a lot from this relapse in particular. And also trying to be patient with myself.
     

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