My boyfriend quit porn for me but still has urges. Is it sustainable?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by trying33, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Overview:
    1. My boyfriend quit porn/images/erotica because I wanted him to and I'm worried it's not sustainable.
    2. It hurts me that he still has urges, even though he doesn't act on them.
    3. Is it possible for the urges to go away? Is it okay if they don't?


    I have been with my boyfriend for nearly a year now (I'm 25, he's 29). Over this time, we have had many discussions on how I think masturbating to porn/images/erotica/fantasies of other women is unhealthy in a relationship at any frequency, and that it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. He does not agree with me on this. He agrees that "excessive" usage of these things can indeed be unhealthy, but that a "normal/controlled/occasional/weekly" usage is perfectly fine. He says that if I used porn/images/erotica it wouldn't bother him at all. He thinks it is natural and healthy for people to desire/fantasize about someone other than their partner and to masturbate to them. He feels that he would be able to use his best judgement on how much to do these things, and that if he felt it was negatively affecting our relationship he would cut back. He thinks that controlling someone else's sexuality is wrong.

    I told him that my boundaries on this were fixed and that I couldn't accept any level of usage, because I have read a lot of research that the negative effects are sub-conscious and cannot be controlled, even if it's not "obsessive" or "daily" usage. Moreover, him getting sexual pleasure from other women makes me feel disrespected, and makes me feel that I am not enough. It feels like a form of infidelity.

    Because of how I feel about it, he told me he would stop, and he has. He said that it's not easy for him, and that he still has urges, but that he will not act on them because he knows I do not want him to. It has been about a year since he quit porn, 5 months since he quit using images, and 2 months since he stopped using erotica. He told me he also no longer masturbates to fantasies/thoughts of other women, and that he has made an effort to only masturbate to thoughts of me.

    I used to think that this is all I wanted. That all I wanted was for him to stop. But now I can't shake the fear that because he is doing it just for me, and not for himself, his resolve will eventually either break down or turn into resentment towards me. And that ultimately, I'm still not enough. Something will always be missing for him. If he agreed that porn was unhealthy and that stopping it was best for the relationship, I wouldn't be as worried. But that fact that he is doing it purely because I want him to concerns me. I have been told by many people that if someone doesn't want to change for their own reasons, they will never truly be able to.

    I asked him about if he resents me. He said no. He said that even though he would be "more satisfied" in the relationship if he was free to use his own judgement and control his own usage, he is still happy with me and is willing to stop entirely in order to be with me. That sounds good and all, but my question is... is it sustainable? If this is something that is actively difficult for him, isn't it just a matter of time before he can't resist the urge, or starts to hate me for stopping him?

    I've asked him if this is something he can do forever. He said he doesn't know and that he can't predict the future. Not exactly the reassurance I wanted. It makes me so scared. I feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop--that suddenly one day he will wake up and realize that he doesn't want to fight the urges, and tell me "I can't do this anymore". That he will realize I alone am not enough to sustain him. Especially when I'm older, no longer beautiful, no longer able to compete with the women in these videos and images. Especially when time makes me too familiar and boring and he is craving novelty. Maybe that's a pessimistic view of things, but I don't know how else to think about it.

    It hurts me to know that he still has these urges, even though he isn't acting on them. The desire to consume other women is still there, and that makes me feel like I'm still not good enough. Even though he is "happy" with me and we have a very good sex life, he still wants to watch porn/look at images/read erotica... he just doesn't. Doesn't that mean he's still unsatisfied? Masturbating only to thoughts of me is an effort for him, and I feel like if he truly loved/desired me it would just come naturally and not have to be forced. Is that normal? Can that ever change?

    The hope I hold on to is that over time, he will realize he doesn't need it and his urges for porn/images/erotica use will fade away. That he will be satisfied with just me. Is that realistic or delusional? He has said that over time it has gotten less difficult. But like I said, the struggle is definitely still there.

    Should I just be content with the fact that he has stopped for me? Is that all I can realistically expect from him? Is it doomed because of our fundamental disagreement on these things being unhealthy? Is it possible to make this work long-term, or can this only work with someone who feels the same way I do or doesn't have these urges at all?

    Any guidance from people who have quit and/or their partners would be very appreciated. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  2. ZeroChill

    ZeroChill Fapstronaut

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    Wow this is one hell of a question. But from what u stated, porn doesnt seem to be the real problem here. Its more of a relationship problem and you are looking for straight answers for your relationship. Thats difficult my dear.

    From what i read he is changing for you but you are still worried. All u can do is be patient and slowly work things out with him.

    I know that you are worried about the future of your relationship but that is what everybody's facing and its plain normal. Nobody knows what happens next. He might changed for you but at the end both of u might end up in separate ways. U might be able to compromise and let him pmo and end up together till the end. Who knows?

    In a relationship there has to be a lot of trust, understanding and support. Its not easy you will argue alot until u reach certain agreement.

    Be patient and supportive and focus on improving yourself more. You must balance your love life and your career which is your best insurance.
     
  3. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    Tell your boyfriend to visit this website

    https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/ybop-articles-on-porn-addiction-porn-induced-problems/

    And you can read up about the addiction, too.

    If your boyfriend is anything like me, that relationship with drag on for 4 years with a dead bedroom. And finally you will pull the trigger and dump him. Then he will continue to relapse for 2-3 more years on his own before getting his shit together.

    The problem I am noticing for women is that 99.99% of guys look at porn. So, let's say you start dating again, pornography and PIED are going to continue to be an enduring problem you might come up against.

    If your guy doesn't quit porn after convincing him it is an addiction that causes brain damage, then dump him. Ironically, the trauma of a break-up might be the only thing that helps him. Just remember that full recovery for PIED sometimes takes months.
     
  4. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Fapstronaut

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    It sounds like you're doing very good, you're just having doubts, don't we all?

    The fact that he's not watched porn for a year and has since quit all other types of erotica despite not fully being on board with the idea of abstention is a real positive. It's natural that he still has thoughts and urges about other women, but doesn't mean he doesn't care for you any less.

    My ex-partner tried to help me but she struggled to keep communication with me, this meant that when I did relapse I would keep it a secret so Communication is Key, if he doesn't tell you ask him and if he tells you he did relapse, it's not the end of the world the most important part is that he doesn't get back into the cycle. Maybe he will resent you (I can't say not knowing his character) but it will pass you both just need to keep on supporting each other.

    So in answer to your questions

    Don't get caught up if you think he still has urges for others, it's about controlling them not vanquishing them. All the hours of porn and other sexual imagery the brain consumes it's hard for the modern man to masterbate without breaking into fantasy. I think you are being too hard on yourself.

    If you truly believe in him quitting for the sake of the relationship don't just be contempt if it still concerns you, which it looks like it does. Remember it's a marathon not a sprint.

    Your relationship is not doomed, you've both come too far for it to be doomed. Many couples have come through this whether it's porn, alcohol, drugs etc. My relationship didn't survive but I've seen others who did and they are all stronger because of it.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel I wish you both the best of luck.
     
  5. g2stop

    g2stop Fapstronaut

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    I think in a relationship some things Are fundamental. Like you both should have the same beliefs about sex ideally. If he doesn’t believe it is a problem I agree that he is more likely to relapse. The more he stays away from porn he may see the benefits for himself. It is difficult to advise without knowing you or your bf. I think you should read/watch educational material on porn addiction and sexuality together. Maybe stuff where the emphasis is on a better sex life, but there is also something about the negative impact of porn.
     
  6. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    I've showed him the site. He doesn't seem that convinced. He thinks all of that is based on men who watch porn "obsessively" and he doesn't put himself in that category. He agrees that excessive use can have negative effects, but he doesn't see his use as excessive (that being once a week).

    We don't have a dead bedroom either. In fact our sex life is really good. I guess that's part of why I don't understand why he still has these urges and desires for other women when I am by all standards fulfilling his physical needs. It's what leads me to believe that what I have to offer will never be enough.
     
  7. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the encouragement.

    What I struggle with is you saying that it doesn't mean he cares about me less. How does that work? I understand the concept of having a fleeting thought about someone else. But to actively desire the ability to fantasize about other women or see pictures of them naked seems different to me. That seems to imply that I am in fact not enough, and that he needs more.

    I'm getting more and more hopeless about that as I read all these posts about people who relapse after 5, 10, 15 years of being porn free. It seems that the danger is always there and that failure is inevitable. Ultimately I don't know how any relationship survives that.
     
  8. Srisurya

    Srisurya Fapstronaut

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    Well try to be with him and do together if possible when he is under urges.
    Show him the reality of the pornstars...how they suffer...their deaths...their shitty lifes they face.
    There are documentaries out there.
    I am saying all this because coming out of pmo is not something a person can do for others...it is something which will be successful only when he understands and does for himself. This push should come from internally and not externally.
    Make him do nofap like this for a while.... If he can see the benefits ...he will change without your concern.
     
  9. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    Guys want to have their cake and eat it too. He is emotionally attached to PMO because once a week is still addicting. He is delusional to think it needs to be 5 times a day to be obsessive compulsive behavior. There is nothing natural about masturbating to digital pixels on a screen. But not many men agree with that sentinent due to the normalization of pornography in society. So you are always going to be vulnerable to men gaslighting you about their porn usage, unless they they truly get the big picture. I can't predict what will happen to you, but I wish you the best.
     
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  10. cardinal biggles

    cardinal biggles Fapstronaut

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    Desire is different, you two clearly have something stronger, don't let impulse emotions undo that. It's different for you but it's also different for him, you can make it clear how you feel uncomfortable about him thinking about other people while masterbateing but don't get upset if he admits to doing so. He clearly cares about you don't let some impulse thoughts during sexual desire make you think that he doesn't, it might be upsetting for you but it's not worth the emotional pain of letting it undo what you two have already achieved.

    Reaching +5 years is an achievement, if somebody relapses whether it's after 5 years or 1 it's not a failure it's a setback. If he relapses after one year aim for two. You and him are human and there will be mistakes along the way, I'm worried that you are showing a defeatist attitude by saying "failure is inevitable" it's not inevitable.
     
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  11. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    He's been completely porn free for about a year and he said he hasn't really noticed any differences. Granted he only quit masturbating to images/erotica a few months ago. But still he says he doesn't think it's affected how he sees me or our relationship at all. That makes it way harder to convince him that quitting is important. Plus to be fair, a lot of pornstars are perfectly happy and are doing it because they want to. Sex work has become a lot more accepted and even celebrated, so it's hard to make that a main argument.
     
  12. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Yeah. So I guess it's hopeless then.
     
  13. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    The fact that he’s even debating that he should be able to use porn and masturbate when you have told him your hurt, fears, values, leads me to believe he definitely is an addict. As an addict, when they get into recovery, the changes in them are huge. How they view you, treat you, how they interact with others. It changes. I only know this from experience. Each addict may have different changes but they will be there. Your boyfriend may or may not have been porn free for a year, but he has not abstained or gotten into recovery. he’s using porn substitutes to get his high. This will always lead back to pmo. Once they are actually working recovery, you will know it and feel it in your gut. That insecurity, it leaves. You begin to have peace again deep down. You won’t trust him, that takes years of hard work on his part, but you trust yourself and know your value. I’ve been with my husband 33 years, when he’s clean he’s a different man.
     
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  14. Srisurya

    Srisurya Fapstronaut

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    Ya being clean makes me different person. But when I relapse from huge streaks I start to behave irritating. That's not me who I was when I was clean.
     
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  15. OhWhenThe

    OhWhenThe Fapstronaut

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    I don't think we should be so quick to label anyone who enjoys watching porn as an addict, much in the same way that someone who likes a glass of wine or a cold beer at the end of a hard day doesn't have to be an alcoholic. Ask those same people to give up their drink and they'll probably say no I'd rather not thanks, I'm sure they could if forced to but if they like it and don't feel it's harming them then why would they go without it for the rest of their life? It's only really an addiction where you believe something is having a negative impact on your life but still feel powerless in quitting.

    Given this guy seems to have given it up(albeit reluctantly) fairly easily and hasn't noted any real difference since quitting then it would seem that he's not addicted, it's just something he enjoys - which obviously the OP finds upsetting. That or he hasn't really quit.
     
  16. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    I agree to a degree. If you’re with someone who has asked you to stop a behavior because it hurts them, causes them distrust, makes them feel less than, and you care for them, then quitting should be easy. You may very well not think that behavior is having an impact ( most porn addicts think it doesn’t if no one knows) however it is having an impact on your partner. Any relationship has give and take. A healthy relationship talks about these differences and agrees what is and isn’t acceptable. Some marriages are open and both parties agree to this, some are not and adhere to monogamy. I asked my husband 2 years ago to quit drinking. He didn’t drink when we were dating, never drank until about 5 years ago. Well, i didn’t think he had a problem, but it made me uneasy that it could turn into a problem. I talked to him about it and he stopped. He didn’t think he had a problem either, but he said if his drinking made me uneasy then he would stop. If you cannot agree then you need to decide if it’s something you can live with or a deal breaker. Some women don’t care if their partner looks at porn, others it’s a deal breaker.
     
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