Looking for answers

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Hanging by a thread, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    I'm new to this forum, trying to get insight to what the actual recovery success is, I know each person is different but I'm hoping for some enlightenment from those who have recovered and can answer questions honestly, as probably most of us who are so of an addict feel we can not get real answers from the addict. My question pertains to outside from the pprn addiction, have any of you addicts or recovered addicts had the symptoms of objectifying women in real life? Is this a side effect of watching porn and does and will it go away if the brain is rewired and he stops watching porn? This issue has been something that's making me uncomfortable lately and making me not want to go out in public because it creates a awkward situation. My addicted so seems to be unable to not objectify women he sees in real life that may be attractive or dressed scantilycor suggestive. I see he tries his hardest to not look to respect me but we know it's the elephant in the room. I try to play it off as well as to not make it any more uncomfortable but obviously it is a major problem because it's making me feel insecure about myself as well as wondering if he does this all the time when I'm not around. Is this a side effect of watching porn or a separate issue I have to worry about? Will objectifying women and being unable to not stare at them ho away if he stops watching porn and reboots? I know my so loves me, he only realized he had an issue a few months ago when he moved in with me and I started to see the compulsive behavior, he has since started seeing a therapist and we read books together and I encouraged him to join support sights ( this one included). The effort is there, I will need to see the actual work put in but wanted to join this sight myself to get some support and understanding from others who have suffered as well as recovered. Thanks
     
  2. TheWife

    TheWife Distinguished Fapstronaut

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    Hello @Hanging by a thread

    A good question and one I think all partners ask themselves. I am yet to get a good answer for the question what does recovered look and feel like. Will the addiction always be there lurking in the shadows waiting for the difficult times so it can reappear? Is it gone forever after a certain time? How do you know when they move to the next step? Some of these questions I still don't know the answer to.

    I do know that it is a slow process. For my husband, he started to think less about the addiction and eventually it was not on his mind at all and is Easy to resist. It is obvious to me now that he has made some major changes. His outlook on things has altered. He is present. There are still issues we need to address but it is not the disrespectful mistreatment of before.

    I have seen a change in the way he think about women. He doesn't gawk like he used to. I still see glimpses of the objectification but not like it was. Sometimes I wonder if this is the addiction, the result of how he was brought up or if it is in his personality. I must say that I really do not like this trait at all.

    Perhaps some of the men can give a better perspective on this one. I myself would like to know if anyone has some other insights.

    Good luck to you and your so.
     
  3. jamesrobert

    jamesrobert Fapstronaut

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    Hi
    I'm a married man, with an occasional porn habit (every few months) that I've recently acknowledged as an addiction and am totally committed to quitting for good. Since finding this site, I'm on a 90 day full celibacy challenge for starters, with the support of my wife.

    So, my experience, which may or may not relate to your husband:
    - it wan't that I objectivised women. I've certainly never actually wanted to have sex with anyone apart from my wife
    - for a couple of years I used to look at sex cartoons and comics so I wouldn't actually be looking at other real women, but then, somehow, I found myself looking at real women too (consistent with all the research on gradual de-sensitisation)
    - and the fact is that when you spend any significant amount of time looking at naked women, or men, in cartoon or full flesh form, doing whatever it is they're doing, you simply can't help but experience your brain being flooded by similar images or suggestions when you're seeing real people out in the real world.
    - even worse, it doesn't actually stop there: where a child might see fluffy elephants or whatever in the clouds, someone with a heavy porn habit will be seeing people having sex. It worms its way into your senses, and somehow infects the link between your sight and your brain.
    - so he may still find you the most attractive women on earth, he may not wish to fantasise about other women, but until he gets a grip on himself, he will almost certainly be unable to have "clean eyes" and a clean mind, whether he likes it or not.

    The good news it can most certainly go away, through a) stopping consumption of porn and b) developing the mental discipline to look away, banish sex images from the mind, think of something else etc. After time (over several months), the images and suggestions will start cooling off, and can eventually disappear altogether. I know this, because after a 15 year porn habit that started when I was about 13, I did get rid of it altogether for nearly 10 yrs until I foolishly thought it had no grip on me, and I could safely look at a sexy looking comic.

    Anyway, that's what I'm most looking forward to getting back - clean eyes and a clean mind.

    Get him signed up to a PMO free challenge asap, along with committing the time to reading and research on this site and others. That's what helped me big time to realise I actually have an addiction, and urgently need to get it sorted. Like you say, the work has to go in now, and there's an awesome support community here to help it happen.

    All strength to you
     
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  4. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    Hi, thanks for sharing. Are you not having any sex at all with wide or sig other during your 90 day challenge?
    My sig other has been laying off porn but we gave been sexual, I wonder if this will reverse any rewiring that should occur with no porn. I wonder if having sex ID going to hold back his recovery because it's still triggering sexual thoughts? I know everyone has their own way to do it and for some having actual sex is not a problem but I'm not sure if my sig other can be truthful to himself if its hindering his progress or not because he needs the release and canycgivr up both porn and sex.
     
  5. jamesrobert

    jamesrobert Fapstronaut

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    yes, that's the plan.
     
  6. kk76

    kk76 Fapstronaut

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    I no longer "perve" at women, certainly not in the way I used to. I can only imagine how uncomfortable I may have made them feel when they were the focus of my staring!

    This changed as I stayed away from the addiction more. I began to see it wasn't a nice or respectful way to behave for them, for my wife and for myself. It also does me no good to indulge in behaving that way.

    Do I occasionally notice a pretty woman? Of course I do. Do I fixate and stare and behave disrespectfully? No.
     
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  7. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    I'm guessing most men with sexual addiction objectify, some more then others in public with the gawking and each person probably knows it's wrong and while some have the ability to stop themselves from gawking, others don't. I wonder if the difference might be how far into the addiction each person is, like if they stop watching porn their mental state becomes more aware when they do objectify because the brain is rewiring as opposed to if you are continuing to watch sexual images everyday it would be harder to not just view women as body parts in a sex scene that's just played out in your head. Like why were you unable before to process the disrespectful nature of gawkibg until now? Because you stopped watching porn and it help clear your mindset as yo what you were doing?
     
  8. jfromcr

    jfromcr Fapstronaut

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    Hi Hanging by a thread,
    I appreciate your question. I know my SO felt the pain of my eyes not belonging to her alone. But, that has changed. It took some time and some significant steps on my part to take control. One thing that I do to help me is take off my glasses in a public place where the temptations are high (supermarket, fairs, beach). This may not be an option for your SO, but it dulls the impact of my environment so that I have less temptation.
    I will say that while there is a chemical process that needs to be reset, we are not robots either. By that I mean we don't have to obey every little stimulus that comes into our head. I know that it hurts not being his "one and only", but you said he is trying. What my wife would do occasionally for me was: stop me, grab my hands and look straight in my eyes and say "I know you want me to be the only woman in your life, can you show me that by not looking at other women?"
     
  9. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for that answer, I would like to know what temptation you have when seeing a attractive women in public? By temtptation does that mean to "fantasize" about sex and sex scenarios with them? I guess most women here are wondering what actually is the thoughts of a man who is in love and attracted to them but when seeing another attractive women they can't help but gawk and fantasize about a stranger? Is it the porn scenarios in your mind and the brain needing to search for a different face, body part to get that high? While you may still be highly attracted to your sig other, is the desire for them less because it's the same scene in your mind and not giving your brain a dopamine blast? THe only answer I can come up with is that porn has distorted the brain and desensitized to alot of things such as emotions, intamacy, or "normal sex" and instead created fetishes and its damag has created the habbit to search for a way to get the next high, it searches for a new face and body to excite it?... Your wife is a really good women to do that, I think it would be hard for me to get to a point where if I had to say and do that to my husband all the time while out, I would feel so insecure and hurt that I don't think I could live a future like that. I can probably do that for now during the reboot/rewire period but not for life. Hopefully with time you will be even more recovered and not objectify and able to go out with your wife, appreciating only her beauty. I've heard a few guys say they were able to so I'm hopeful. Thanks again for sharing.
     
    lfromcr likes this.
  10. jfromcr

    jfromcr Fapstronaut

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    Hi again,
    I didn't have a huge fantasy life while I was in porn. What my wife and I did decide is that it is like an alcoholic taking sips but not getting drunk. There is a "visual hit" that looking gave me. So, I didn't necessarily need to go very far with the thought to have a porn substitute.

    Now, my SO and I talk about the "Ticker Tape", what was going through my mind as I saw another woman and it went something like: I like that view from the back and now I am curious to see if the front is good too, yeah she is still nice looking, I wonder what she looks like naked ... as so on.

    Talk to your SO about the thoughts going through his head. Then bring him to reality the way that my wife did, "Now go up to her and ask her if she wants to have sex with you." Reality is the friend to the addict. There is a chance this other woman would say yes, but ewww if she does.

    One other consideration is to avoid places that have that type of temptation: the beach, the mall, the amusement park. Give him some time to get cleaner and then have a plan before you go to these places.

    As far as the request to be my "one and only", my SO only does that occasionally now. It gets better, but if you want to have a great relationship it may come at the cost of some pride and hard work. I think that you are willing to do that.

    BTW, I have shared your response with my SO to she what she has to say.
     
    lfromcr likes this.
  11. lfromcr

    lfromcr Fapstronaut

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    Hello Hanging by a Thread,

    I am Jfromcr's wife. To answer your question (is this a side effect and will it go away), I can't speak for all men, but I've heard it is a consistent theme. This is what I noticed with my husband. When he was sober from 2000-2006, I noticed he didn't have a real problem with checking out other women. Then when he began leading a hidden life again (PMO), I noticed he'd check them out more often.

    After he got sober again in 2010, it would come and go, and sometimes it seemed worse than ever before. It seemed like he was looking, thinking, "Is she pretty? Should I not be looking at her?"

    So that's when I started saying,
    "I know I am attractive to you. May I be the only one?"

    Usually this was enough to get him to stop looking. Sometimes it wasn't. But over time we found other tools that worked for us, and he began honoring me On. Hi.s Own.-- consistently, diligently, and fully, and (after a long healing process) now I really DO feel like his one and only.

    Something interesting, though. (And I think this is the purpose of our guys 'only having eyes for us.') When he stopped looking at other women, even when he was on his own, he began finding me even MORE attractive. I really do feel he only has eyes for me now.

    I have more I'd like to say, but will be tied up tomorrow. I'll try to post on Friday.
     
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  12. lfromcr

    lfromcr Fapstronaut

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    BUT, just know y'all are on the right track, especially since HE is motivated to change.
     
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  13. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the response. I'm glad you both were able to come to a compromise to what you both could handle and how you would be able to handle it, most of all I'm happy you feel truly lived by your spouse. I guess for each person the boundaries are different, I don't expect for this addiction to completely ever go away and poof tmrw my bf will have only eyes for me but my expectation is that he will work the steps to the fullest, first and foremost trying to reboot and see what happens from there, perhaps rebooting will not change much and this is just how he is normally chemically engineered and I will have to except that. But the only way you can honestly give someone a chance is if they work the true steps to get better, this being to first cleanse and heal the brain of the imbalance. My bf has started this habbit from childhood, not only is it a porn issue but a child trauma issue I believe, I think he was exposed to these inappropriate behaviors as a child to objectify women and that's all he ever known to do. As a man now coming into a relationship with someone who's actually made him feel feelings I think he's awakening from the grips of his sex distortion and wondering why he feels more then just sex for me, this is my only assumption. He's been in many relationships, all ending with him fleeing when he lost interest I guess, he said I'm the first person to show I truly care, I think that's what most addicts are looking for, a real emotional feeling to which they may be scared shitles* to but to which fills that emptyness in their souls. It's so sad to see people, men and women, who have problems due to the traumas and misteachings we learn throughout life, even today's society is sex ridden. Do we need to sell Doritos with a girl in belly button shirt, its just all the wrong messages. Love is the most amazing feeling in the world, it last more then a minute of O but I understand that if you've never felt it or was given it, you don't know what your missing. I am trying my best to understand this addiction so that I can soldier in so I appreciate everyone's input. I know ultimately each person is different, some may never recover, some do and find a more fulfilling life, I hope this for all.
     
  14. lfromcr

    lfromcr Fapstronaut

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  15. lfromcr

    lfromcr Fapstronaut

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    Hanging by a Thread,

    I was able to get away for a bit today… For what you wrote above (1): Yea, my husband's "looking at other women" didn't go away immediately. And sometimes he'd go through seasons of having to remind him each time we went out. It was a mess for some time.

    It just went away much more quickly when he quit taking the 'visual sips' he and I wrote about. And it all but disappeared when HE started becoming more aware on his own, HOLDING HIMSELF TO THAT STANDARD, even when we were apart.

    Something interesting though: Before he really got a handle on it, HE WAS USUALLY UNAWARE he was doing it (that whole desensitization thing.)

    Today we just talked about those times when I'd let him know he was looking at another girl, and he said, "It wasn't the most pleasant of feelings (when I'd let him know what he was doing), but it was helpful, and I was thankful you were there to point out things I didn't know I was doing."

    (I wish he'd been able to have an accountability partner around him that often so it wasn't me reminding him, but in the end it worked out for our good.)

    But again, you're right. It won't go away overnight.

    --

    On what you wrote above (3): I KNOW!!! I love how one of my favorite authors, Don Miller ("Blue Like Jazz"), put it: It's like advertisers say, "Buy our product, and women will want to have sex with you." And, "In Canada, it's just dish soap, but in American commercials, it's a spa for your tired and aching dishes, and if you use it your husband will start being affectionate and wanting to have sex with you again."

    So frustrating how sex is used, but Advertisers are just using brain science to their own advantage. (frustrated sigh)

    Oops, I'm out of time. I'll have to come back to address the other numbers later.
     
    jfromcr likes this.
  16. lfromcr

    lfromcr Fapstronaut

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    Hey Hanging by a Thread, You've commented that your bf started this as a child AND had childhood trauma issues. You probably already know this, but that doesn't preclude him from getting free of this.

    My husband had similar issues (started VERY young and also had childhood trauma.) He may have linked his story on one of his comments so far.

    Either way, though, just know THERE'S HOPE for both of you.
     
  17. Bucklord

    Bucklord Fapstronaut

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    I'll be honest about the first question. Yes I believe our hyper awareness of women's physical appearance is primarily caused by porn, but it's also a biological function. After 8 months, for me, I still catch myself doing it, but not in the same way.. I'll look at a woman for her beauty, I'll look at her in the face more often than not, I'm not gawking nor thinking about being with them, I just enjoy seeing beautiful things and that's what women are.. didn't use to be like that..
    after awhile seeing a girl that is attractive won't feel any different, it's hard to notice that you act differently because it happens so many times out of the day.. but when you see how other men do it, how people that don't care about porn use look at women, you'll think woah wtf this ain't right.. It's crazy how we objectify other people like that's all they're good for.
    99% of the time it's a dude soo far underneath the value of that woman, saying things he has no business saying like he's some alpha dog. It's ridiculous, and quite disturbing when you take a step back and watch from a different point of view.
     
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  18. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for your honest input. When did you realize you were one of the gawkers? Do you feel you need to take extreme effort now notcto do the same or the rebooting has naturally made your brain go back to normal visual appreciation of women. So far the responses ive gotten are about the same in regards to time frame of objectifying becoming better in 7 to 9 mos.
     
  19. "So far the responses ive gotten are about the same in regards to time frame of objectifying becoming better in 7 to 9 mos."

    About 10 months or there abouts for me. I realized it at work one day when they paired me with an absolute wanker who was eye-humping women and talking arsey all day. Bloke was so annoying, I was clenching my teeth throughout the day in disgust. I kept thinking, I used to be this troglodyte. Pathetic. By the time I got home that evening, my jaw ached from tension. Swore to myself, never again. Seeing, really seeing, without a porn clouded brain what that drooling idiot looked and sounded like was enough to put me off for good.
     
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  20. Hanging by a thread

    Hanging by a thread Fapstronaut

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    It's just so crazy so many things that are obvious to a lot of us remain oblivious during these robot like stages for addicts. The brain truly is so powerful. My bf still believes with all his might that he does not gaze at every women who has some skin showing or has stockings on or a big butt, which I guess may be some of his fetishes. He vehemently denies it, yet I'm the one that has to try to ignore the fact so it isn't so magnified and awkward when we are out. Might it be better to call him out? I feel doing this will only bring us further apart. Someone gave me the advice to leave him be and let him find his way. That most men need to figure things out and that's just how some men are, it's a "male ego thing" they do better not feeling they need to be helped which I think has some truth to it. I've found that it's been easier for me to speak with other addicts on here then my own bf, perhaps the subject is too shameful and embarrassing to be able to share with a sig other. Either way, I appreciate all of you who've taken the time to help us sig others what could possibly going through their minds. It's helpful to try to understand them and try to figure out what's most helpful. So thanks!
     

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