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Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Browns4life, Nov 22, 2019.
Just sounds cool! Like you're a Jedi! Lol. I love you!
I had a big meltdown last night. :-( IT decided to come out to play in a big way. I didn't reset or anything just acted like a two year old.
My wife and I started to talk last night, she had a rough day and I wanted to try and be there for her. I didn't do a great job. We were discussing her feelings about my addiction and I let IT out in the middle of the discussion. IT couldn't handle the things she was saying. I was listening to her talk about how I made her feel and I just couldn't help to think she was talking about someone else. Surely the man she was talking about wasn't me! I tried to talk to her about how I loved her through all of this and that my addiction had nothing to do with my attraction to her. She said she heard me, but said she didn't care, it still hurt. At some point in hearing how I acted during my addiction period I just withdrew in. I get into a mode where I just stop talking. I stare at my lap. I am still listening but, I am not there. I am trying to protect myself.
GID sensed this and decided to end the conversation. This pissed me off for some reason and we yelled at each other. I then screamed "I hate myself" and kicked a bag that was on the floor. Luckily I didn't break my foot. I then just lost it and couldn't control the emotions. I sobbed for 15 minutes, and when GID started to try and comfort me, I told her she should get as far away from me as possible because I am only going to hurt her again and again. I was hysterical at this point. I was finally able to calm down and go to sleep.
I am not pleased with the way I acted. I need to learn to control IT and not let him out to roam free in my head. This is my goal of this 90 days. I feel it is integral to my success.
Lol, even without an addiction I sometimes act like a baby!
I like the fact that when we do fight we always try to resolve it. Even if it isn't right away. I was mad at you but I still wanted to comfort you and I always will want to do that if I see that you are upset.
Don't beat yourself up about how you think you acted. I'm glad that we are not a couple who NEVER fights. You know, from your first marriage, that that is not a good thing!
96 days!! You're awesome! I love you.
Buddy of mine once said the secret to his long-lasting marriage was that he and his wife learned early how to fight efficiently... big kaboom, decision made, make-up sex or whatever and on to the next thing.
It's always better to fight for something you want to keep alive and healthy than to give up for something you consider death. You seem like a nice and smart couple, please, keep fighting. I'm sure your love is stronger than this issue.
101 days! I know we aren't counting the days so much but I just wanted to point out that you've done something that you probably never thought you could do. I'm proud of you for that.
Wow its been a while since I have written. It's not for lack of wanting to believe me. Things have gotten crazy busy. At work the training wheels have come off and I have more work than I can handle. If I leave by 5:30 or 6pm I'm doing good. It's also basketball season, which means 3 of the 5 kids in our house have practice and games almost every night. This causes lots of schedule changes and running around. In addition I am tutoring our Freshman in math almost every night. All of that leaves little time for myself.
I have resumed my meditation practice which I really do enjoy. I need to make sure that stays as I think it has been one of the main keys in my recovery so far. The other key, my lifting routine has been sidelined for a few weeks due to tendonitis in my knee. I should be back to lifting in a few weeks after some physical therapy. The third pillar of recovery, but definitely the most important is repairing my relationship with @GID2020 and that has gone well...well with some hiccups.
Last Saturday after GID courageously revealed her troubled past with her stepfather to me, I figured it was time to release the last secret I had about my addiction. The events that happened, which we now refer to as the "Full Disclosure" happened about 13 years ago and was one of the main drivers of guilt and poor self image that was left over from from this addiction. It was the last chain holding me down. I am not going to go into detail into what it was here, this is between GID and I, but suffice it to say it was something I promised I would take to my grave. I wrote her a letter and in a remorseful tear soaked read confessed my deepest and darkest secret to my best friend. I was scared it would change everything, even the way she looked at me. I was right, well at least for a few days. Saturday night, Sunday and Monday were tear soaked mostly miserable days. I tried to listen to her pain, I tried not to go into "protect" mode. I think I did...OK. I wasn't perfect. However, through this confession something amazing happened. After each day, I felt lighter and lighter. Each day, GID and I got closer and closer. We started kissing more, and over the last few days our love making, which I keep saying can't get any better has become "transcendent". Getting rid of everything, having everything out in the open for both of us to see has been amazing.
In further healing I am starting to see the reason why I hid the addiction side of PA from GID. GID knew I used porn, that was never an issue, what she didn't know, and really I didn't either if I am being honest is that I had a huge problem letting it go. I also didn't like the way it made me feel. I want to quote something here that a member of this site, whom I have not talked to, but have read much of their writings. @Strength And Light wrote something on another thread that was key to helping me come clean and bear everything:
I have never read a more clear and concise description of what it feels like to be a good person addicted to porn. Its almost as if he were talking to me. Forever I have been the "good guy", the guy that is everyone's friend, the guy you can always count on. I remember one time when I was 17, I was over a girl's house that I was friends with. I had many more girl friends than guy friends at the time. Lets call my friend Mary. We were alone in her room just talking. Mary's mom was not home when I got there, but came home later and heard my voice from her room. Her mom yelled angrily: "Mary!!! You are not allowed to have boys in your room!!!" Mary yells back: "Mom its just, B4L!" and her mom replies: "Oh ok!!! Hi honey (talking to me)!!! Can I make you something to eat??" lol That is the guy I was, but I had that little secret and these types of pressures to be "that guy" just pushed that addiction further and further into secrecy. How could I reveal how flawed I was when I had this reputation to uphold? That's why it was so hard for me to leave my first wife. I was an "upstanding" husband, father, and citizen, surely I couldn't be flawed enough to have a failed marriage right? The incidents of the "Full disclosure" happened during the peak of misery in my first marriage. It was the ultimate secret rooted around my feelings of rejection from women from as long as I can remember.
I feel like this all goes back to what GID and I call a "choo-choo" moment. Let me explain what I mean by that. There is a cartoon called Phineas and Ferb that my kids watched...ok I admit GID and I loved it too. Anyway, there was a "villain" (who was really a nice guy) who talked about his "horrifying" back story. In the story he had toy choo-choo that was his favorite toy, then one day he woke up and it was gone. From that day on he was a villain. LOL So whenever someone makes a big deal about something small in their past we call it a "choo-choo" moment. LOL
So there I was in 8th grade, a little bit of a dork, but was friends with everyone. There were only 28 kids in my class One day some girls, who weren't even the pretty ones in class decided to rate the boys, 1-10 on "hotness". I saw the sheet and saw my rating "1". I was devastated. I mean I didn't expect a 10 or anything, but a solid 5 or 6 would have been warranted. It sounds so stupid now, but for a guy that has a hard time remembering what he had for lunch yesterday, this memory is as clear as the day it happened. It had a profound impact on how I see myself. I mean how could people that said they were my friends think that way? It must be true. So at the pivotal point of self image development, I learned I was Ugly. My confidence was shot and never would return, well until I saw GID that warm June night
This was huge for me to realize and put it all together. I objectified women because I always felt rejected by them. Then I continued porn use after I met GID because I couldn't admit my flaws so I pushed them down deeper and deeper further ingraining the addiction side of porn use. Until I release that feeling of rejection, I can never fully be healed from this. Now the question is, how do I heal from rejection that happened so long ago?
My past is similar to yours. Always the best friend of girls but never kissed one until I lost lot of weight and regained some self-confidence. Do you think you're the same person? Because to me it's like ...that's a part of my story ... but it's an old old old me ... I don't need to heal from that.
If you needed that kind of "full disclosure" because it prevented you from being happy, I'm glad you did it and I'm also glad you feel now closer to your wife. I have also done things in my past I completely regret today. I also hope to take them to my grave. They don't define who I am today so I don't need to tell anybody something I did wrong when I was a teenager because I'm not that kid/young adult full of sexual confussion, guilt, remorse, shame and because I can't change it. I have learnt to accepted.
You know, they're different paths we can take that lead us to our healing and not every one of them works for every one of us, we must find our own. Mine worked for me, it's great to know yours ... is working for you.
Sometimes ... inner peace is undervalued.
When I look in the mirror, I do see that same person. That is part of the problem. Logically I know I am not that person, but emotionally I still feel that way. I never healed from that, and my experience in my first marriage exacerbated that problem.
Some of the things happened when I was in my 30s, but the causes of them stemmed back to my early adult hood years. They were definitely part of who I was. I know that, because everytime my wife told me what a good person I was, I would think of these events and say "I am not, I am a bad person." Now I that I have disclosed them, I feel like I deal with them and heal from them. I can realize that it wasn't me...I don't think I could do that with out disclosing it to SOMEONE. Sometimes saying things outloud is important.
Word. My wife asked me the other day what I wanted from all of this. My two wants are:
1) A life unburdened with @GID2020.
2) Be at peace with myself.
What I am finding is the two of them are like a circle, I need to have one to have the other.
I had a good conversation with @GID2020 this morning. We were talking about addiction and how we had a hard time reconciling the feelings and events that happened with the PA with the people (us) in the situation. We were talking about how PA makes her feel like she is not enough for me. That because I had her, I shouldn't need P, and she is right. I shouldn't have. Unlike some here, my wife and I had and do have an amazing relationship. We are truly best friends. Our sex life is amazing. What PA did however is prevent us from giving ourselves fully to each other. It made me shameful and reminded me of a time in my life where PMO was my only comfort. It reminded her of a childhood trauma where porn was watched in the middle of the living room during a marriage that saw her mother hurt. It was a wedge in between us, and just like a wedge will split a piece of the hardest wood, so will the PA wedge fracture a good marriage if enough pressure is applied. So, she asked with all that we had going, why did I keep going, why wasn't she enough to break the addiction?
This is what made me think. The short answer I did a really good job with compartmentalization. I was able to keep the P in one place, and my relationship with GID in another. I remember the time we fought after the first time she discovered that I spent an inordinate amount of money on some P material. When we discussed this, she asked what I was thinking, that didn't I think of her? (I had recently told her we didn't have money to go away together). I looked her straight in the eye and said with full honesty, "I didn't even think about you, I just wanted it". This was before either of us understood how porn was an addiction. Looking back on that, I meant that with as much meaning as you can read into it. Of course, there is the surface meaning, as in I was a selfish bastard and didn't think about her and her desire to go away together. In addition, I didn't think about her because I was keeping my addiction as far away from her as possible. Finally, because I was in throws of a full on "Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee" dopamine moment, I really wasn't thinking about anything other than what I wanted at the time. As I thought about it, I thought of it like two houses. My house with GID was warm and comfortable, the house where I went for P was messy, ugly and drafty. My goal was keep GID as far away from that place as possible. I love her so much, I think she is beautiful, so why would I want her anywhere near that place? So I told her imagine the two houses were on tracks. The closer her and I got, the further away I wanted my P house from her. So I began to push it away from her. The only thing I didn't realize is that the tracks the houses were on were in a circle. The further I pushed the P house away from GID, the closer it got to her. The two worlds would collide, at some point. For me that day was about 2 years ago.
The thing I should have done, is once my "house" with GID was built, I could have demolished that other house, the P house. It just seemed like so much work at the time. It seemed easier to just nudge it a little. Push it away. The problem becomes over time the strength required to push it away far outweighs the strength it would have taken to just demolish it in the first place.
Our brains are wired to conserve energy. Quitting an addiction is hard, hard work. It's much easier to conserve that energy in the short term, than try and quit. The toll, however, the addiction takes over the long run, takes SO much more energy than quitting ever could. Our short term brains don't see that however. We just see the mountain of work it takes to quit, and we say...eh...not today. That is why the day to day thing is so important to keep in mind. Taking our addiction one day at a time, gives our brain the illusion of progress, the illusion of less work than dealing with addiction. We can trick our brain into completing the hard work of quitting, one small piece at a time. This has been key for me. Its the reason I am here on day 108 and not resetting my counter. I didn't do 107 days of work. I did 1 day of work 107 times, and that has been far easier than dealing with the wedge the addiction was placing on my marriage.
Congrats on your 107 days, that is amazing! You and your wife should watch:
It's a nine part series on childhood trauma and how to heal from it. It has a wealth of great insights into ourselves and how to recreate our childhood experiences.
I watched this same video 4 years ago and found it quite interesting. Thanks @IWillBeMe .
Well, I guess because you used PMO to avoid certain feelings or states. When I was a teenager, I used to think everything was going to be fixed when I meet the woman of my dreams. But you know what? I met her ... and everything stayed exactly as always (at least, not worse). When you have that mindset ... sometimes it's hard to get rid of the mantra "this is part of who I am". Nobody can make us break the cycle, because that's an inside job. We have to find the path ourselves (with or without external help).
I think you're doing a pretty good job ... keep working on that!
Where is that statistic coming from? I haven't researched it fully but I would love to see the actual data on that, as I have seen many people say that on here. I found this: https://healthresearchfunding.org/39-shocking-sexual-addiction-recovery-statistics/
and it said : It is believed that only 5% of addicts who go into therapy will be able to succeed in beating their addiction, although this figure is disputed. That is also for sex addicts and not porn addicts. I'm not saying they aren't similar but I think there are some differences. I'll have to read more. I just don't trust statistics like that or at the very least I question how they came up with those numbers. I think that it says to people that it isn't worth it for them to try to stop.
@Browns4life , thought you might be interested in what I did find on addiction. Seems like there is more than one school of thought on whether or not anyone can be in recovery.
A PHD wrote this: "Some practitioners might say that, like alcoholism, sex addiction is a chronic condition requiring continuous treatment for life to prevent relapse. I don’t think this is always the case. As I have argued elsewhere I believe that sex addiction recovery is possible and lasting. At some point people can say “I am a recovered sex addict”."
I don't think you are a sex addict, @Browns4life . I think we discussed the difference between the two addictions. Although, I suppose porn addiction would be classified as a sex addiction, but I think you understand what I mean. I think maybe you could escalate from a porn addiction to a sex addiction (ie. acting things out in real life) There is dispute about whether or not it is a compulsion or an addiction as well. If you get a chance to read some of those articles I would be interested in what you think. I love you.
I will try to this weekend. Thanks, love.
I found the stat ( wish I’d saved it) from a medical research group when I first started looking into this addiction. I had joined the btr.org Facebookgroup (which I don’t recommend if you want to remain hopeful, lol). They had it linked. I left the group after about 3, months, because honestly, it wasn’t helping and was only making me lose hope. I completely agree that I too, think porn addiction is a bit different than sex addiction although could escalate. My husband is one who has been addicted for 40 years. Although his genre of porn escalated, he never paid money or went to cam sites or interacted with people in real life. To him, actually interacting was “ cheating” whereas porn to him was not. I tend to agree with the stats only from the perspective of the fact that porn addiction is always easily accessible, available and anonymous, easy to hide. Plus it taps into a natural urge. However, I do believe that for the person who really understands the problem, addresses the problem and wishes to be free, then they will get into recovery. I’ve seen amazing changes in my husband. I know it can be conquered, but I also know that it is most likely a life long battle.
I also want to say, I don’t use the stats to try and deter anyone, quite the opposite. I think most people are survivors and competitive. Those stats only show that it’s difficult and half a$$ efforts won’t cut it. Use that for motivation! Everyone on here is already ahead, they are facing a problem and learning and trying. To graduate from my college with a 4 yr degree everyone had to pass an “ exit exam” I must’ve had a 100 people, professors included tell me that no one passes on the first try. Lol, I was dammed if I was going to take it twice. Not only did I pass the first try, I got the first ever perfect score. You can let it defeat you or let it challenge you... every single addict can be in recovery! Every one. What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.
I didn't say you were trying to deter anyone. In fact all I said was :
Meaning that I want to see the scientific data on the 5% statistic and I thought you might know where I could find it since I saw you mention it in my husband's thread here. I did a quick search on here to see if you mentioned where you found those stats and this is what I found :
In that thread you've found exactly what I have above. A page on sex addiction that I found above where I said this:
There are a lot of qualifiers in that sentence. Firstly that "it is believed"...believed by whom exactly? Then there is the "addicts who go into therapy". Okay so I'm sure there could/should be an actual study of these 5% of Sex Addicts then, and I want to see it. I don't think my husband is a sex addict anyway, so there is that. lol. The final qualifier in that sentence is "although this figure is disputed."... Ok,again,by whom? And where is that "figure" coming from? I think that saying only 5% of people recover from this addiction is a specious argument. Especially because there seems to be NO real data to back it up.
In fact this person said in that thread I found:
THIS is my point. This 5% stat means nothing if there is zero studies on it to back it up. I don't even know how there could be legit studies on this to be honest. Given the very nature of the shame felt by people who have sex addictions or porn addictions..I think it would be difficult to do a legit study on it.
Again you said:
I'm not saying that it is your intention but how does that stat NOT deter people? It certainly gave me pause when I read it but mostly because I wanted to know where it came from. I can be like a dog with a bone sometimes, especially when it comes to my husband/family. My first thought when I read the 5% "statistic" was:
"Never tell me the odds" (Star wars reference) Lol. Meaning that I don't care. 5% of a chance with my husband is better than any other percentage with someone else. I'm sure that either sounds incredibly stupid or incredibly romantic. I like to think it is the latter.
Ugh not sure what happened to my response. I hate my phone... like u I’m a dog with a bone too. I’ve spent the last year trying to find better stats and only found 3 sites that quote the 5%. How’ve both my husbands counselor and mine said they would look into it further for me. On a positive they both agreed that they thought it was closer to 20-30% that they’ve experienced and once someone is in recovery 12-18 months clean the chances of relapse are minuscule and far less than an addiction to drugs or alcohol! Maybe they’re just really good at their job? Like you, I agree 5% is better with my husband than a sure thing with anyone else. Maybe I’m just super competitive, tell me I can’t do something and I will make sure I do, lol.