Married: Rebooting, PIED, DE, and SSA journey

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Keeping it in my Calvins, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Thanks @Psalm27:1my light! I feel like I've done an awful lot of personal development in the past year. I know how bad my actions in the past have been and am glad that I can use my experiences to try and help others.
    SequinHistory likes this.
  2. Hey @Love2LongBoard, I am encouraged by your feedback, and appreciate your advice.

    I pretty much agree with everything, except for your opinion on the #1 source of desire for intimacy with spouse. Let me just start by completely agreeing with #2 - #5.

    While at times, yes, there is a deep desire to please my wife, especially during intercourse, (I obviously want her to equally or greater enjoy it) the desire behind initiating or requesting sex is often NOT because I just want to selflessly give to her. It comes from a selfish desire within myself to have sex. I’m just being really honest here. If I’m wrong for this, then I guess I have some things to work on.
    The same is true for her, when she requests sex. We both are committed to give to the other.
    Now, when she asks for sex and I’m not particularly in the mood, then I engage with HER in mind and much less of myself.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, in reference to your note on reframing my thoughts, my best idea is to reframe them into thoughts and desires towards intimacy with her and nothing else. When that healthy, sexual outlet is not available, it seems there is nowhere to turn and the old outlets become more and more tempting.

    Now I’m a grown man, I can control myself. I’m not about making excuses and claiming that it’s just so difficult when sex is un available to abstain from PMO. However it does lead to those thoughts.

    I do believe that even just once is hurtful. 100% There is no rationalizing or justification that is okay.

    I guess another reason is that the urges often come on stronger for me, the longer it has been since O. If we’ve just recently had sex, I have no desire to O in the near future. I am set. We both are. Thus my correlation between recency, and difficult urges. Does this make sense?
  3. Love2LongBoard

    Love2LongBoard Fapstronaut

    I understand what you mean here. What I meant is that when sex is done correctly the act becomes selfless. That is my opinion. When both partners are focused on each other it becomes a more powerful and intimate experience. Of course we desire intimacy with out partners, that is a good thing. I guess I was trying to say that we can act selflessly even if our original motivation was to connect (which still isn't necessarily selfish).

    Yes, I would agree that any thoughts of desire can be reframed with true intimacy as the goal, understanding that intricacy doesn't have to be sexual. I think a lot of men feel entitled to sex. We feel that since we have the urge, we deserve sex sometime soon. This is what drives a lot of men to PMO even when they are in a committed relationship. When we can identify and reframe that entitlement we don't have to fight the desire to PMO if our spouse doesn't want to be intimate. Once we recognize that O is not a right, it is a great gift, than we can reframe how we feel.

    I feel like we sometimes believe that our feelings are just there and we need to deal with them. Kind of like a big gorilla that jumps into our house, all we can do is react. I used to believe that. Now I believe that our feelings are a function of our thinking, both conscious and unconscious. If the gorilla does jump in, it's because I invited him. I can control my feelings by owning and controlling my thoughts. I have found this to be true in my life. I do not desire PM anymore. I have changed how I think, so it's not a battle anymore. It isn't a fight anymore. Too many of us enter the arena ready to fight this terrible enemy called PMO. I just don't enter the arena anymore.

    My point is, by reframing your thinking you won't have to worry about being tempted when you go a period of time without intimacy in a relationship.

    This does make sense, but can also be changed. Can you imagine a day when it doesn't matter when you last were intimate, that you know you wont feel the urge? I think many of us believe that is a myth. It isn't for me. It can be achieved.

    I recently had a long bout (about a year) with no physical intimacy. I never felt the urge to relapse. I didn't even have to fight it.
  4. This all makes sense and I appreciate the clarifications.
    I want to get to that point where it doesn’t matter how long it has been, or “not entering the arena” as you said, but I’ll be honest, at this point, I can stay out of the arena, (I think) but going weeks and months without intimacy would seem really difficult.
    It seems I would either have to completely turn off my sex brain with zero exceptions, or have an every day battle. I’m not sure that I know how to toggle the switch.

    I commend you^
  5. ctjohn

    ctjohn Fapstronaut

    I would say it's a slippery slope. In a similar way, I've considered masturbating without porn; however, I truly believe in my case that will lead me to masturbating more frequently like in my past, which will ultimately lead me back to porn. Long story short - I would say to stay away.
  6. Love2LongBoard

    Love2LongBoard Fapstronaut

    For me there is no switch. I just have realized that having any sexual thoughts, even about my wife, are not helpful. It doesn't help me be the man I want to be. It's not that I do not have physical attraction or desire. It is that I am choosing to own my thinking and I choose not to think about sexual things. My life has been remarkably better for it. I used to wait in the grass like a cheetah waiting for its prey, looking for any sign that my wife would want to be intimate. At the first sign I would leap out. I didn't really feel bad about that because I was "encouraging my feelings for my wife". But I realized, its not helpful. And it was still objectification. I was feeding the desire to orgasm, not connect.

    My shift in thinking is about emotional connecting. I desire, more than anything else now, to be available for emotional connection. My wife doesn't always want to connect emotionally, I am okay with that now. My wife doesn't always want to connect physically even if we have a strong emotional connection, I am okay with that now.

    I don't think about sex. It is far from the most important thing in my life. I do not let sexual thoughts enter my mind, if they do they get reframed. I don't try and "nurture my sexual feelings for my wife" (I had heard phrases like this on other posts). It doesn't need to happen. The connection is there and I would be fooling myself to think I needed to give it anymore space than it has.

    I don't think there are only 2 options: turning off the sex brain or fighting the battle.

    I think option 3 is: reframe your relationship with your sex brain. It could look something like this: First, use intimacy instead of sex. intimacy is about connection, sex is about orgasm (in my mind at least). Second, PMO is not intimacy. It doesn't belong in the same category as connection. For this reason it wont matter who long it has been since you were intimate with your spouse, because it doesn't feed the same craving. It would be like craving a banana and drinking motor oil. There are 2 different acts completely unrelated to each other. Third, emotional connection is necessary for a humans healthy development, sex isn't. This is where entitlement pops up. Lots of men think we need sex.

    Those are a few to get you started. But everyone is unique and will have to do this for themselves.

    When I am using "you", I don't mean you specifically, I am trying to speak in general terms as I don't really know you personally.
  7. Day eighteen update.
    18 days no PM today. And 14 days hard mode. Hard mode hasn't been intentional, but I suppose it's been good for me. This is probably the longest streak I've had since I've been married. I can't say it's been easy, but I will say it's been easier than I expected.
    There are times when I find myself fantasizing and the urges are strong, and then there are times when my lack of libido worries me. My wife has not felt well, and still doesn't. Sometimes at night in bed, I find my self wondering...If she wanted to, do I even? Could I? This troubles me. Am I experiencing a flatline? I don't think so, because some days I feel a strong desire. But other times, nothing.
    I would hate to find myself unprepared or unable to perform at the time when she is ready. Especially after this time of no PMO.
    Some days, I just want to MO as a way of self expressed masculinity and arrogance. To puff my chest out, to myself, if you will. I realize that this is a misconception of masculinity likely stemming from porn. Other days, the retention of my "energy" has me feeling very :cool: alpha, and I want to continue to save it. It's a motivator to abstain, but a trigger at the same time.
    Rationalizations like, "M every now and then is healthy" continue to arise. While this may be true, I think I only want it to be true for me, for selfish reasons. And I'm not sure it would be healthy for me. At the same time, the thought of spending 14 days of hard mode on my hand sounds like a huge waste.
    I suppose that's is all for today.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  8. lunarlanding91

    lunarlanding91 Fapstronaut

    Hey man, I just read your journal and wanted to highlight this part that really resonated with me. If your wife is like mine, even when I failed to perform, she was extremely supportive and cool about it. This, of course, made me feel even worse afterward. Occasionally, she would ask me something like: "Was it something I did? Something I said? Did you smell something unpleasant?" I would feign ignorance, but I knew the truth.

    Stay strong,
  9. TronPie

    TronPie Fapstronaut

    This Also makes me Feel bad !
    lunarlanding91 likes this.
  10. Exactly, man. Her being so supportive, not knowing what my real issue is, was heart breaking. I OWE it to her, if not myself, to do better.
  11. Today is Monday. One of my more difficult days of the week. I am home alone after a nice weekend spent with my wife. While it was wonderful, I enjoy some alone time.
    I feel like I have a lot to say, but my mind feels scattered. And a bit foggy.
    25 days today no PM. A record for me.
    My accidental hard mode streak ended after 19 days on Friday, when my wife began feeling more well and more like herself. We made love three glorious times over the weekend.
    I am happy to report that sensitivity was good, hardness was great, and we both very much enjoyed ourselves. We experienced emotional and physical connection that seemed to even further solidify our marriage. This is the gift of sex in marriage, and I am grateful.

    My hang up. My... bubble burster. My seriously, WTF! if you will....
    This morning, I feel horny. Why?:emoji_neutral_face: I do not know.
    It's as if this weekend wasn't enough.
    I do not deserve more. I am not entitled to more. It WAS enough. It was phenomenal.
    Is my brain confused? Is my ego trying to fool me?

    What further frustrates me? I want to just watch some P and MO. I say "just" like, casually, nonchalant, no big deal, typical quickie with myself. WHY.

    What further frustrates me? I have the desire to watch gay P.
    I just had the most intimate weekend with my wife, and now I want to see naked guys??? WTF
    WHY is the word, going through my head over and over.
    My SSA will not relent.
    I am determined to overcome. I know that I can. I know of the power that is within me.

    Despite my urges, I will not submit.

    This journal has been a great help. As has the encouragement and community with all of you.

    Thank you,
    JamesTheSquirrel likes this.
  12. Hey Calvin, I'm glad that you were able to spend some intimate time with your wife and you've seen improvement in that area.

    I assume you've heard about the chaser effect and that's likely what you are feeling right now. The important thing to focus on is that you've enjoyed having sex with your wife and that's what you want more of not just an easy route to O. It's going to take time to disconnect those two things but it's an important part of the process.

    Regarding the SSA, have you sat down and had a proper think about your sexual orientation. This might also be something that it's worth talking to your partner with as well. It's perfectly okay to be bisexual and it took me far too long to accept that. Its also completely possible to be happily married to a woman. I watched gay P but always maintained that I was straight and denied it when asked. Since accepting that I'm bisexual I realised that nothings actually changed, I'm just more accepting of myself and my wife is happier that I'm being honest. You shouldn't feel extra shame about having those thoughts. If you go into this expecting to be "cured" of your SSA then you might end up being disappointed.

    Stay strong and keep on going!
  13. I slipped up. I don't have much to say except that it wasn't worth it and I am quite disappointed in myself for numerous reasons. Here's to starting again... :emoji_beers:
  14. lunarlanding91

    lunarlanding91 Fapstronaut

    I really relate to what you just wrote about having sex and then wanting porn. And I think it's actually pretty common, and not just for us who have wives but developed habits of watching gay p. As @JamesTheSquirrel said, the "chaser effect" is part of our biology. It doesn't necessarily mean that we're confused, unsatisfied, etc. I think of it like momentum. When I have sex, the brain wants more. Porn is the easiest way to satisfy the momentum.

    As an addict, I exclusively watched gay p. I thought about the possibility of identifying as gay or bisexual, but I just know in my heart that it's not me. That's not my identity. About sexual orientation, the American Psychological Association says that:

    Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as if it were solely a characteristic of an individual, like biological sex, gender identity or age. This perspective is incomplete because sexual orientation is defined in terms of relationships with others. People express their sexual orientation through behaviors with others, including such simple actions as holding hands or kissing. Thus, sexual orientation is closely tied to the intimate personal relationships that meet deeply felt needs for love, attachment and intimacy. In addition to sexual behaviors, these bonds include nonsexual physical affection between partners, shared goals and values, mutual support, and ongoing commitment. Therefore, sexual orientation is not merely a personal characteristic within an individual. Rather, one's sexual orientation defines the group of people in which one is likely to find the satisfying and fulfilling romantic relationships that are an essential component of personal identity for many people.

    The explanation laid out here is short but defines exactly why I'm not gay or bisexual. So why do we watch gay porn? For me, it's almost a compulsion or an obsession -- something I've developed a concrete habit over years and years -- and I find it more related to pornography's propensity to cause us to seek out more extreme and "taboo" forms of porn. I found so many posts here that I completely relate to:

    It's completely up to you how to interpret your experiences. I considered both possibilities (identifying as bisexual or seeing my gay porn use as a compulsion), and the second possibility just made more sense to me.

    Stay strong,
  15. lunarlanding91

    lunarlanding91 Fapstronaut

    Hey man, I am interested to hear exactly what happened (whenever you are ready to write about it). Anyway, it's not about how often we fall but how quickly we get back up. Start strong and you'll be back to where you were in no time.

    Stay strong,
  16. Hey @lunarlanding91 I appreciate the encouragement very much.
    This has been particularly frustrating to me, because I am a firm believer in mind over matter, and doing what ever it is that I set my mind to.
    I'm not one for making excuses, but I'll explain what happened.
    I struggle with depression from time to time, and yesterday was tough. I woke up depressed and could find no motivation for the day. I had the day off, and time to do things at home, gym, etc.
    I found no interest in anything, no desire, and no joy. The things that I did accomplish were done out of discipline and not out of joy in spirit.
    After all day of feeling nothing, I made the decision to watch porn and masturbate, just to see if I could feel... something.
    It was a conscious decision in which I placed my values and goals aside. This is what disappoints me the most.
    Being depressed, is not an excuse. It is not a cop out and it is not a reason. I failed in my mind to make the decision to continue to work towards my goals. I intentionally quit.
    Today I have to deal with the dissapointment that comes with failure, but rest assured, I will get back on my feet.
  17. lunarlanding91

    lunarlanding91 Fapstronaut

    Thanks for sharing that CK. You did it once; there's nothing stopping you from doing it again. Stay strong and stay on course!
  18. lunarlanding91

    lunarlanding91 Fapstronaut

  19. Hey @lunarlanding91 From a PMO point of view, it's going well. It sucks to see my counter at 5 days now though, when I would have been over 30. It's too late to look back now, though.
    As far as other areas of life, I am having some difficulties at work, and emotional difficulties, but things are mostly going well. Thanks for asking! I appreciate it.
    My libido has felt a little low lately, which in some ways is nice as the sexual urges are less. My wife and I did manage to have successful sex last night which I think was really good for both of us, on an emotional level.
    Free time on my hands, work stresses and mild depression continue to be my biggest triggers but I am fighting a good fight.
  20. It seems as though I want to give up. I always think that I can control myself and my urges but every opportunity to relent has risen. I am so tempted to do it. I just want to feel the pleasure. I know the alternatives, I know that I don't have to. I know that I could walk away, right now, but I don't want to. In the beginning, I was so motivated. I had made the decision and stuck to it for quite a bit. After that first failure, I want to fail again, and again. Have I changed my mind? Have I lost sight of the damage done, and the end goal? I do not know. All I know is I am "hungry".
    JamesTheSquirrel likes this.

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