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

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by trying33, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. SequinHistory

    SequinHistory Fapstronaut

    I can honestly say that my wife is the perfect partner and any issues that have arisen have come from me. I am not a narcissist like you, although when I was an active addict I was. I have seen the errors of my ways and I’m happier now than I’ve ever been.
    I hope the women you meet have the same standards and steer well clear of you. I have a hunch you keep your NoFap activity and self-professed sex addiction a secret and don’t share this with your friends or potential partners.
    Again, this is a clear sign you’re a narcissist. You won’t ever be in a fulfilling relationship with a misogynist mindset like this. A relationship should be an equal partnership.

    @StarRider I’m not going to waste my time with you anymore. I hope one day you wake up and lose all that hate and bitterness. You’re going to have an empty existence until you do.

    @trying33 I’m really sorry your thread got derailed like this.
     
  2. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    I replied in the sos forum.
     
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  3. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the reply. He said the reason he likes porn is for the variety. He said it doesn't matter who he is with (for example he could be with the most objectively attractive woman on earth and he would still desire watching it), the variety is still appealing. He says that doesn't mean I'm not good enough, just different. I don't really know how to accept that...
     
  4. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    I understand that people will always find others attractive, that's part of being human. Ultimately his answer to why he likes porn, regardless of who he is with, is because it provides variety. He finds me very attractive but he says that has nothing to do with it. It's not about other women being "better" than me, they're just different. I know that I should see that as a good thing in that they don't mean more to him than I do, but the variety thing makes me feel really anxious. Basically there's nothing I can do about that because obviously the longer we are together the more familiar I will become, and the more he will crave that novelty, right? Makes me feel really weird and I don't know how to accept the existence of that craving. And doesn't wanting something different mean you're kind of bored with what you have?
     
  5. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    He told me at the very beginning of our relationship, before I had even brought up my issues with porn, he recognized that his porn use was causing PIED and cut back on it himself. He didn't stop completely, but said that reducing solved the problem. I think in his eyes that meant everything was fine and the negative effects had been managed. That's why he thinks that he would be able to watch a "responsible" amount of porn and not let it affect our relationship. My worry is that the effects porn has are subconscious and may be more subtle in a relationship. So I'm not really sure what "behaviours" to look for.

    I really don't want to buy into the narrative that he's been just doing it anyway. I want to believe that it is possible for people to be honest about things like this, and he's never given me a reason to mistrust him before. So I don't know. I realize in relationships people make compromises. How do you differentiate between a healthy compromise and "stuffing down some part" of yourself?
     
  6. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for that.

    I definitely have betrayal trauma, I used to post on this forum a lot in my previous relationship with someone who was much worse, as he was entirely unable to give up porn and there were many cycles of deceit and lying surrounding it. It's not the same case with my current boyfriend because to my knowledge he hasn't lied to me and I do believe he has stopped. I found out about his porn usage simply by asking him.

    He doesn't understand why I'm upset because he has stopped. So he's not sure what more I want. I want the urges themselves to go away, but he says that they are normal urges and that it's not something he can control or get rid of.
     
  7. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    LOL yeah he sounds like an asshole, but he's probably just too far out of my league for me to get it :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
     
  8. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    My case is different from your boyfriend's: I'm older (54), married, and I always knew that my porn use was wrong even though I couldn't stop it until my wife told me I needed to stop in order to protect what little was left of her self-esteem. I am in a long sobriety streak now, I have not used porn for 1,439 days. I have some bad news: I am still tempted by porn. I am good at resisting the temptation, and it only flares up infrequently (typlically when I am stressed) but it does still come. I also have good news. You ask if it is OK if the urges do not go away. I'd say yes, that's fine, my marriage is better than it has ever been.

    Your post is interesting and different, I'm not sure I can get all my thought straight but here goes ...

    Why do you both see masturbating to porn/images/erotica/fantasies of other women as the same? Some involve actual other women, some don't. For me porn is way worse than the others because porn is bad for the world, personal imaginative fantasies are not. Those are real women in porn and for many their lives are hitting a real low, we are watching their explotation for pleaseure. And the widespread acceptance of that in society affects the way all women are thought of. It's just so wrong, I'm so glad I am out of it and no longer a hypocrite.

    I know it is an odd thing to say here, but I agree with him.

    I don't really get this bit. It was affecting his relationship, it was making you feel "extremely uncomfortable".

    I agree with him on this, but your story is even more powerful because he feels this way. Despite what he thinks and his views about fantasy and masturbation he has still stopped becuase you need him to. I don't know him, and I may be reading all the wrong things into what you wrote, but he sounds like an honest man who loves you dearly.

    If he's a porn addict, like most of the men here, then yes, he needs to be doing this for himself, even if you were the initial catalyst, or he will resent you and relapse. But he doesn't read like an addict.

    It took me a long time to believe this, but I do now believe this of addicts. The early days of giving up porn were incredibly difficult, if he's reached a year clean already perhaps his use was more casual (or he's lying, but the way you write makes me think he is not).

    I think it is delusional, but it is the goal of many men (and women) here, so what do I know?

    It's a bit disturbing, but have you read up on The Coolidge Effect? https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/ybo...rn/porn-novelty-and-the-coolidge-effect-2011/

    No, but don't underestimate what that means. Given what you have told us about his views I think his abstinence tells you how much he cares about you.

    No, your expectations of each other can change and grow. You already seem to be communicating at a deep level, so that could go on. You may have expectations that he cannot meet, and then you may need to compromise, but have the conversation, think it through together.

    Fundamental disagreement is not unhealthy, do you want to spend your life with a clone? Let me give you an example. When we had kids we had the conversation about smacking them (we were both smacked as kids ourselves.) I thought smacking was a good thing, a quick chastisement and then you can move on. My wife was dead against it. This was a fundamental disagreement but I could see how much it meant to her so we agreed that I would not smack them and if discipline broke down we would discuss it again. I am so glad I followed her lead on that. Our kids are in their late twenties now and I am so glad that I have never smacked them.

    If you disagreed on everything, shared nothing, and found it impossible to compromise then yes, the relationship would be doomed, but some disagreement, real disagreement, is inevitable when two people spend their lives together.

    Perhaps I am being too cynical, but I would take an honest disagreement over dishonsest obsequiousness every time. Perhaps men do exist as you describe, and perhaps one is waiting for you, but before you found him you would encounter many more liars who were just pretending in order to keep you quiet. This forum is full of men who lied about our porn use and hid it from our wives and girlfriends.

    Who knows, it is a gamble. He is clearly willing to invest in you, do you feel the same?

    (P.S I'm a Moderator Assistant so I moved this thread from Abstinence, Retention, and Sexual Transmutation to Rebooting in a Relationship, I think it fits better there as you discussed at the start of the thread.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  9. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    He claims he thought my issue was purely with porn and not other mediums like images/erotica. Who knows, but I've made it very clear now that my issues lies with all of those things, so he can't really use that excuse moving forward.

    Yeah I agree. At some point society drew an arbitrary line that the only "real" infidelity is physically cheating on someone. But I don't think it's that black and white. I guess at this point he knows where I stand, and in behaviour at least he is respecting my boundaries. Right now he considers it a struggle he is willing to deal with in order to be with me. I can only hope that over time those urges fade for him or become less and less important, and he personally sees how it benefits our relationship. It's funny that some posters have told me "don't control him", because my entire concern here literally lies in that I would like him to make this change for HIMSELF and not just for me. I don't WANT to control him because I don't think that is sustainable. Anyway, the time until I eventually find out if that is possible is just a bit terrifying for me since I don't know what's going to happen. How long does it generally take for people to "reboot/reprogram" after quitting the use of porn/images/erotica/other external sexual stimulation?
     
  10. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Yeah the Coolidge effect sounds like one of those studies that is used to excuse all kinds of shit behaviour. I am skeptical of arguments based on evolutionary biology in general because though yes, we are animals, the reason humans are special is because of our higher functioning brains that have the power to overcome natural animalistic instinct (for example, we have formulated a moral code saying it's wrong to go around killing people). So to blame all your issues on the fact that you're a mammal is a pretty lame cop-out in my opinion.

    I definitely get what you mean with the coping. I've sort of asked him about that before, and he says the reasons he watches porn are for the variety (there's some Coolidge effect right there) and simply to "relax". I mean yes it is a physical release so literally in that sense it is relaxing. It would almost be easier if it was due to emotional problems because then he could address those and the urges may go away. But it seems that they are independent of that, which is why he considers them normal and doesn't see them ever going away.

    Also wow sorry this guy is being such an ass. He doesn't really know anything about you or your marriage. Hope that didn't get to you because it sounds like you're on a great path!
     
  11. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Wow I really appreciate this very thorough response. It actually is good to know that you have urges but are still happy in your marriage. I read a lot of posts on here about how after people quit porn their desire for it just goes away, and that if that desire doesn't go away relapse is inevitable. I guess that's the reason I'm scared.

    I also think it's interesting that you don't see him as an addict. I guess I thought that if something was really hard to give up, you were addicted to it on some level. And porn works on your brain in the same way that a drug does. He doesn't see himself as an addict because he thinks that in order to be an addict it has to be an obsession and connects that with people who are watching porn a million times a day and letting it destroy their life. Even though he has stopped for me now, he thinks that if I gave him some "leeway" he would be able to use it responsibly and in a way that does not negatively impact our relationship. I guess the disagreement is that I think ANY amount of use is negative, wheres he only thinks "excessive" use is negative. I think even once weekly use is bad, but he thinks that's perfectly responsible especially if it's not causing PIED or something like that.

    I see porn/images/erotica as being in the same category because they are all about deriving sexual pleasure from someone who isn't your partner. I think relationships between people are much stronger and more intimate if they focus on eachother instead of constantly looking at what else is out there and imagining themselves with other people. That just seems obvious to me. But he's told me that he would want to watch porn/do these things regardless of who he is with, because he likes the variety. He says it's not about the other women being "better" than me, they're just different. I guess that's the Coolidge effect right there. But just because it's a thing, does that mean it's healthy? Are your urges to watch porn because you are in some sense bored with your wife sexually and want something exciting and new? On a deeper level are you not really satisfied with her? I don't know how to not be hurt by that.

    I definitely think some fundamental disagreement is okay. He and I certainly don't have the exact same view on everything, including things like politics. I guess it's about figuring out which disagreements are "deal breakers". Some people who are very religious simply cannot date someone who is an atheist. That is their hard line. I guess my whole struggle here is deciding if this is a hard line for me or if it's something I can compromise on. My extreme discomfort with it worries me. The task is seeing if I can accept that he will have these urges forever, even if he chooses not to act on them. Even if I accomplish that, I worry that over time he will resent me/become dissatisfied with me because of having to suppress those urges. I imagine you don't resent your wife for wanting you to stop because you had already wanted to stop in the first place, she just helped you get there. It's not the same case with him so I don't know if it's going to work out.
     
  12. StarRider

    StarRider Fapstronaut

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    You are a male feminist.

    A man who shows weakness, is a threat to a girl's life. So a healthy woman avoids weak men by nature. And incels complain about it all day long.

    I'm fine, thanks.

    These words mean the man has to submit to the woman, which is exactly what you do.

    A relationship is not a transactional business "partnership". It's one company, not two. You completely failed to understand marriage.

    Yeah, it is because your wife lost all respect and already cheats on you.

    That doesn't mean I think your wife is an evil person for doing it. She has the right to cheat on you at any time granted by feminism. As you subscribe to that ideology, you waived monogamy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  13. p1n1983

    p1n1983 Fapstronaut

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    Is not sustainable. He is doing it because he fears loosing you, not because he feels that is something he wants to do for himself. If you weren't together or you wouldn't say something about it he will be consuming porn right now because he enjoys it.

    Basically you think A (every PMO is bad) and he thinks B (Controlled PMO is OK). Neither of you is right or wrong, you think A is right, he thinks B is right.
    I agree with him in this one. He is free to do what ever he likes to do, and you have no right to make him do what you want him to do. Not only with sexuality, with everything. The same apply from him to you, he cannot make you do what you don't want to do.
    You basically said to him.. I'm firm with A, or you do A or we are done.
    A man that stand up for what he wants in this case would be firm with B. He loves to do B, he never though about stop doing B. He was weak and cave under your demands to do A. The fear of loosing you was bigger than doing B, but at the same time he didn't want to stop doing B.
    When a man go against his believes, this happens. he struggles. He is not doing it for improving as a human been, he is doing it because you demand it. It wasn't his idea so is really difficult for him to quit doing B.
    Love is about freedom, do you want a guy that is happy to M thinking of you or a guy that is trying to do it.. forcing himself to do it to make you happy?
    Exactly! he is not doing it for himself. this is going to create resent over you because you are not letting him do what he likes to do or at least decide what he wants to do.
    Agree with this. they can even lie to you that they are doing A but behind your back they are sill doing B.
    He is doing what you want and still you know this isn't going to work. Your man is not acting like a real man that stand up for what he wants. He is doing what ever you want to be with you, it doesn't matter it goes against his wishes. That's weak.. and you as a woman are going to feel that and make you wonder what's wrong.
    No is not and you answer yourself what is going to happen when he can't handle it anymore.
    Why? you knew he liked to do B, now he is not doing it. Of course he is going to miss doing B. Is delusional to think that he is going to forget something he really liked to do.
    For him, sex with you and B are two different things. He enjoys both, but you denied him to do one of them.
    I'm sure he is satisfied with you, but is not satisfied with the fact you are not letting him do B. He did B before you, and is going to do B after you. Sex is not a replacement for B for him.
    It shouldn't be an effort at all. But maybe he enjoy sex with you and when he is alone likes to fantasies with other woman, but because you don't let him do it he force himself to think about you.
    Nope..
    As i said, i think sex and B are two different things, so there is no way that sex with you is going to be enough for him. Maybe i'm wrong but for the moment he really miss to do B. One year is a lot.. how many years are you going to wait feeling bad about it? what if this never changes? what if he suddenly decide to start doing B again?

    Closure: you want a guy that only think about you when it comes to sexual fantasies. A man that doesn't use porn or any other kind of fantasy outside your relationship. You said that you were firm with this... unfortunately.. he is not that guy...
    You have to choose..
    1: Be content with his effort and hope that someday he start to think like you that A is what he wants
    2: break up with him and find a guy that is convinced that A is the way to go and desire you in a way that he only thinks about you when he wants to have sex or masturbate.
     
  14. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    My wife recently told me that she feels more loved now than she ever has, and we've been together since 1983! I think quitting porn is way more important than experiencing urges, but it's for you two to navigate all this together.

    I have a layman's definition of addiction
    1. A behaviour is causing you harm,
    2. You sincerely try to stop but
    3. You find you cannot stop
    I realised that I had to quit porn, really quit porn, in Autumn 2010 and I hit my current streak in October 2016, so what was I doing with those six years? Failing. I had some long streaks but they always ended in a relapse and me throwing myself back into porn. If he's telling you the truth that he has stopped using porn for the last year because he knew it was a boundary then I do not think he is addicted. I do not want addiction to be some kind of badge we wear with pride though, it just sounds to me like he has more control than I did. Perhaps control is the wrong word, perhaps he has more mettle than me, or perhaps he is just more self-aware than many men. Whatever the reason deciding to stop for your girlfriend and then not looking at porn for a year is impressive. The addicts here could not do that, I couldn't. He's impressive.

    You do not have to persuade me that porn addiction is real. I suspect I will be a porn addict for the rest of my life.

    He's got a point (the destroy your life bit, not the 1,000,000 times a day). If you hang out in the younger sections of this site it is full of young men with erectile problems. In the married bits it is full of older men like me who almost destroyed their marriages. Those are big things, those are life destroying. When your boyfriend saw a potential problem, even one he didn't agree with, he stopped.

    It might not negatively affect another relationship, who knows, but it distresses you. He's just going to have to put up with that. Or he could leave, or persuade you to change your mind, but from what you write he is not doing all the nasty things men do to pressurise their partners.

    I think any porn use is wrong. But that's less important than what you both think.

    That is one category where they sit together, but there are countless other categories where they do not.

    If I replace "constantly looking at what else is out there" with "occasionally day-dreaming about other lives" is it still obvious?

    Here are the reasons I enjoyed porn (at least these are the reasons I came up with a while back, I'd probably write this differently now.
    None of those reasons are because I was bored of my wife or because she was second best, those things are not true.

    Why not worry about those things when they arrise and deal with them then? You may be struggling to fix hypotheticals when you could be enjoying the love of a man who has given up porn, erotica, and fantasy because of what you mean to him. If he was some sullen uncommunicative idiot then I would agree with you, get everything worked out up-front, but he's not (at least he's not if I'm reading what you have written correctly) so you can afford to invest in the relationship now and trust that together you will work through future difficulties together and fix them. If in a few years he finds resentment bubbling up then he can talk it through with you and get help, maybe sign up here even.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
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  15. StarRider

    StarRider Fapstronaut

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    And OP's "boyfriend", who doesn't even post here, because he doesn't see any problem, is dating OP for a few months now. So what is he going to do with all your marriage advice - if he doesn't even read this forum?

    You mention 1983, OP hasn't even been born at that date. You might be even older than her parents.
     
  16. OhWhenThe

    OhWhenThe Fapstronaut

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    So you don't have a sex drive?

    I don't know how to say this without sounding patronising but I really don't think women will ever understand how strong the male sex drive is, when that urge strikes it's like nothing else matters and logic goes completely out of the window. Think how it feels when you have an itch that you really need to scratch, now multiply that by a thousand.
     
  17. Ahiphena

    Ahiphena Fapstronaut

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    I don't think its as linear as that. I obviously don't want to speak for him, but for myself, I can crave "novelty" and still be excited by something I'm familiar with. Or in other words, desire for novelty doesn't always coincide with boredom.
    He's always going to crave some novelty, but it will likely return to a healthier level if he decides to stay on NoFap or at least no-porn. You say that you can understand him being attracted to other people, and this is the same thing. If he values you, and you're working with him, I doubt it will be an issue and it will only become easier if he stays on NoFap.

    I don't mean to come across as rude, but you really need to be talking to him about this stuff. No one here knows anything about this guy, and we don't have a magic "one size fits all" answer to your questions that will make you feel better. Just keep talking to him about it (not nagging, but an actual two sided discussion) and I think you'll find out where things are headed.

    Sometimes you just have to take a risk and trust someone. If he says he's going to stop, and he's shown that he's putting in effort, the best you can do is be supportive and deal with any problems as they come.
     
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  18. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    Yeah I guess you're right. It just makes me feel so uncomfortable. But I guess I'll just try not to think about it. And I have communicated all of this with him and talked it out, I just thought I'd come here for some other thoughts and honestly to try and find a way to accept these urges he has as normal so that I don't have to be as afraid of them. It helps to hear other men say that they have urges too but still love and feel attracted the woman they're with...maybe I shouldn't be seeking that kind of validation but it does make me feel a little bit better.
     
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  19. Love2LongBoard

    Love2LongBoard Fapstronaut

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    If he knows that acting out, viewing pornography, etc. causes you real pain, he shouldn't want to do it.

    In a healthy relationship if one partner is doing something that harms the other, even if it is not intentional, the partner that is harming the other will stop and never WANT to do it again. When you love someone you lose the desire to harm them.

    I have been married for over a decade. I do not want to view pornography ever again. I do not feel the urge to. I once thought I that the urge to view pornography was biological. It isn't. Emotional and sexual intimacy are biological. Pornography leads to neither emotional or sexual intimacy.

    If he doesn't want to change for himself it is likely that the changes he is making are surface level (I could definitely be wrong, but that has been my experience).
     
  20. trying33

    trying33 Fapstronaut

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    When you first tried to quit, were you resistant and had urges? And then they went away over time? Or did you start off thinking you were an addict and that you had to stop for yourself?
     

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