Making a Better Marriage

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by mrtumnus, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Day 2

    Hello, New Year.

    You may have noticed that I reset my counter. This is not due to any relapse to PMO (free 182 days since Jul 8, 2019). However, over the break I did flirt with some P-subs. I watched an anime movie with nudity, which wasn't exactly gratifying, but certainly not helpful. I also let my eyes linger on a few Steam games.

    The other reason I reset my counter is to reflect a clarification of goals. I want to include my attitude toward my wife as one of my boundaries. So, for clarification, my goals for the new year are:
    1. No PMO under any circumstances
    2. No willful P-sub use (including searching alone)
    3. No resentment of my wife due to perceived sexual neglect
    I think these are boundaries that can be reasonably measured and maintained.

    Furthermore, I'd like to refine the purpose for this journal. I will use this space for recording any significant recovery events (relapses, progress, questions, etc). I will also use it as a way to foster gratitude, which I think is the primary attribute I'm lacking presently. I take my wife and life for granted, and often do not ponder how blessed I am. Furthermore, I then harbor resentment when I'm not receiving what I think I'm entitled to.

    So, with each entry, I will be recording at least three items I am grateful for, for each of the following subjects:
    1. Something positive about God
    2. Something positive about my wife
    3. Something positive about my life
    Finally, I will be more selective in the entries I read here on NoFap. Any posts containing explicit details of sex or intimacy are not helpful to me, they trigger me to feel neglected and resentful towards my wife.

    Onward and upward, NF friends!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  2. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    My wife and i were just talking about how this forum could be used to sustain the habit. I manage to avoid most triggering content.
    I used to suffer from the resentment of perceived sexual neglect you describe. I have found that I got over it by not fantasising about her. As soon as i catch myself thinking about it, I change my focus to something non sexual. That way I never have the chance to build expectations which might not be met.
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  3. That is key. I've been violating that, even here on NF (or maybe especially here - it's one of the only places I know of where real people discuss their real sex lives!).
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  4. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    It is the ultimate challenge in self control because there is no-one who can police your thoughts other than you. I find it a challenge but immensely satisfying and motivating to know that I can mold myself into the person I want to be just by choosing what thoughts to entertain.
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  5. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    I really,really like this. It seems a common area with addicts to not acknowledge or see where they are blessed. Honestly, a common problem even in non addicts. I really believe gratefulness cultivates a contentment and joy from within, even in trying circumstances.
  6. I am super encouraged by your renewed commitment in the new year, @mrtumnus ! I will continue praying for you, cheering you on, and being available for real-time support any time I am awake and able to glance at my phone! Onward!
    hope4healing and mrtumnus like this.
  7. maurice40

    maurice40 Fapstronaut

    This is tremendous! If you permit me I would love to do the same on my journal. Thankfulness is the antidote to sin.
  8. Day 3

    Doing OK; some temptation to engage p-subs, but I've put it out of my mind.

    Today I am grateful for:
    • A patient God who desires relationship with someone as fickle as I
    • A persevering wife, who continues to try even amidst hurt and all her normal responsibilities
    • A job that I enjoy and provides for my family's needs
    @maurice40 I had been doing a gratitude list in my private journal, but given that I haven't been journaling privately, I decided to move it here. Feel free to use whatever is helpful!

    Thanks for the encouragement, all. You guys help keep me motivated and desiring this new, better life. :)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  9. MarckoRay8

    MarckoRay8 New Fapstronaut

    Love is a very powerful and strong feeling !! Thank God I met my love and can feeling all her power!! With my wife we met 5 years, communicated a long time, then we met, fell in love and got married)) Since that time she is my best friend, my soulmate and most beautiful woman in the world!!)
  10. Day whatever (I'm done stating it, methinks).

    Life has had it's ups and downs. My wife is hurting more, lately. It's like she's finally feeling the weight of the past 15 years in light of my addiction. It sucks, but that's what I've sown. All I can do is continue with my recovery and become a man worth continuing to invest in.

    I had another slip with p-subs Tues night. I started watching the Witcher on Netflix. I kind of knew what I was in for, since many compare it to GoT. I shouldn't have "peeked", but I was interested in the story. Or was I? Regardless, I got to a nude scene about 10 minutes in, watched for a bit, then shut it down. I don't need that in my life. In fact, I think I might discontinue Netflix altogether. Do I really want this sort of conduit in my home?

    Easy to blame Netflix, but it was really my heart that reached out for something. What was I reaching out for? Numbness, appeasement, craving connection and sex, all the old lures that pixels can't satisfy.

    I've been doing well (I think) keeping away from resentment or bitterness towards my wife. However, I think I've traded it in for resentment towards God. Which is perhaps better, since it is more telling of what the problem actually is. I don't trust Him to meet my needs (wants). When He doesn't, I get frustrated and bitter. But I'm looking at it the wrong way. He himself meets my needs, but only when I come to Him. He is all that I need. I still on some level reject this and struggle against it.

    Today, I am grateful for:
    • A God who knows exactly what I need, even when I don't think I want it and try and fail to satisfy my desires
    • A faithful wife. She reminded me today that I don't know what it's like to be betrayed. She has never broken my trust. That is amazing
    • My kids. Their childlike love and affection is a gift that I should not take for granted
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  11. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    I really, really liked this. Trusting God.... hard for all of us mere mortals.
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  12. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    One way of looking at God is that God is actually the personification of a perfect you. So you must love thy God with all your heart and all your spirit and all your mind, for this is the love you need for yourself to heal. By loving yourself as you love God, you recognise him in you, and see the potential for being the person you strive to be.
  13. Things are going well. My mood has been stable, even through some strained, emotional interactions with my SO last week. I think it's paid off, as her demeanor has changed for the better. I think she feels supported by me.

    Planning a date night for the weekend. I am looking forward to it, with no expectations of anything except quality time. Letting go of expectations has really been key to my battle against resentment/frustration. It has a twofold benefit: It lets her off the hook (my hook) for doing or performing in a certain way, and it allows me to enjoy the reality I'm in. Why ruin/reject something good for want of something great, especially when greatness will come on its own? It's crazy the damaging mental loops we PA's put ourselves through.

    I am grateful for:
    • A God who is readily available for me to talk to. Not that I take the opportunity often. Can you imagine if he had a queue?
    • My wife's beauty. When she smiles, the room lights up.
    • A warm home. Our furnace had a part break this week, and I'm glad for our back-up wood burner & space heater.
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  14. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    Setting time aside to be focused on each other is really important us. At the weekend we went through the diary and put in dates every week until April
    mrtumnus likes this.
  15. That's a great idea. Only problem is babysitting, but I'm sure we can schedule that in advance.
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  16. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    Even though we haven't had any of the dates yet I am reaping the benefits because when my wife was out the other day and I started feeling a little neglected, I remembered all that time we have put aside to be exclusively for us, and I instantly felt secure and warm inside :)
  17. Faceplanter

    Faceplanter Fapstronaut

    You can turn off all adult level content on Netflix, my wife has done that for us. Not for Psubs really just she won't want to watch anything it omits. I might, but unless I have something in mine I don't usually feel like I'm missing options and if I do, there prime video.
  18. Having a difficult time lately. Suffice it to say that I still feel somewhat stagnant in my recovery. Also, my SO has tried to communicate her feelings of neglect, but I haven't heard her that well. I'm now waging war against negative thoughts and feelings.

    I triggered my SO last night. We were watching a family show (Minute to Win It), and there was this totally innocent part that triggered me (fully clothed females, but doing something that reminded me of P). I left the room, and later was in the bathroom. To be fair, I took longer than usual, and was also on my phone. This triggered my SO. She later told me that she tried to look for signs of bad behavior, which I think is the first time that she's 'snooped'. I validated her feelings, but wasn't really sure what else to do about it. Perhaps it would be prudent to re-commit to leaving my phone out of the bathroom. It hasn't been a temptation for me, but if it helps my SO it would be worth it.

    Things are heating up at work, which might be a good distraction from my personal problems (not to avoid them, but to help make me more focused on what's in front of me that I can actually work on).

    I really don't feel grateful right now. But I have to think of something, so...I would like to think I'm grateful for:
    • A God who reaches out to save his enemies (us) and adopt us into his family
    • A wife who has lots of skills that help other people (counseling, teaching, baking, cooking)
    • A job where I am valued and needed
  19. If no phone in the bathroom would be a help to her, why not commit to that and let her know? Seems too small a thing not to, yes?

    Why does your SO feel neglected? In what way does she feel this? How can you correct it? What is her primary love language, and how are you speaking it to her on a regular basis?
    mrtumnus and Psalm27:1my light like this.
  20. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    Interesting that you left the room when you were triggered and put yourself in a more vulnerable position to relapse, rather than stay with your family and the protection of their love.
    I have had a spate of sexualised thoughts lately caused I think by a change of work location, personel and tasks. They are triggered by all the usual things and I know these triggers will always be in my life. To move on I generally just say 'no' to myself if in the middle of something else and refocus on the task at hand, if i am at a loose end, I have a stock library of images and subjects I turn to to think about(the dog, hobbies etc) after I have reminded myself I do not want to think about sexual things. In your situation I would have made some external or internal commitment of love to my wife by either a touch, word look, or an internal affirmation of my love for her and my family.
    In acceptance and commitment therapy accepting our problems and tuning them out is key to committing to live life by our values as best we can.

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