Welcome feedback for a married PMO journey

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Deleted Account, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. I welcome all feedback to help me to be a better partner.

    I have always had a relationship with porn and masturbation. I am very new to rebooting and am currently journeying towards a 90 day hard mode. I have gone without P for 3 weeks. Deleted all questionable apps and such. I feel that I was using M as a way to hide from my own issues with being a poor husband and father. I blamed my wife at every turn and descended into a once sometimes 2 a day M habit for the last 5 years. I know P and M are linked and have started reading brain on porn to learn, but I feel that P for me is not a driver. Yes I used it to M, but I was hiding from my marriage.

    I have not used P for 4 weeks and just started here. I may be totally surprised to learn new things, but I feel I do not miss P at all. This is not the norm here and it scares me. Yes I used it as a tool to masterbate, but I dont feel urged to use P, I feel urged to M and get that release.

    I got by in from wide to do PMO for 90 days and felt that hard mode was best because I know that the chaser will be one of my greatest issues. Imagine my utter surprise when she was 100 percent on board and even accepted the challenge herself. I know this is not the norm of partners please do not take it as bragging.

    My question is
    1. Is this fair for my wife or do I need to find ways to be intimate with her and give her the benefit of the O. What are the pitfalls and tips or absolutes that I need to prepare for to reboot but still be the best husband I can learn to be?
    Professor Abraham likes this.
  2. mcgrim

    mcgrim Fapstronaut

    One thing to keep in mind is that the lure of P may come back to you at some point down the road so don't get complaicent and think you've got that beat otherwise it will creep back in.

    You will always have to be mindful and when the temptation comes (and it will) focus on something else.
  3. Check in with your wife. She'll let you know what she needs from you. That she is being supportive of your 90-day hard mode reboot is outstanding! Knowing you are doing this for your marriage and for her has got be a good feeling for her.

    Many find MO a much more difficult habit to break than viewing P. But they are all tied up together. That is why we commit to no P *and* no MO. Wishing you success!

    Note: I am also married to a supportive spouse.
    kropo82 likes this.
  4. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Exactly what @Tao Jones said:
    Back to your post ...
    For me it has been all about honestly looking deep into myself and really using the insights and support of the people around me, i.e. my wife at home and the people whose posts I read (and who read and post on my journal) here. Then, when I was further into my sobriety, a therapist.

    I don't know if this happens to everyone, but as I got further into my reboot I found I could really listen to my wife. Whereas before there would have been fear lurking in my mind, now I can hear her without my protective (and aggressive) walls going up. Before I needed to argue her round to my point of view (and she hates arguments, so it was easy to do), now I can own the hurt I have caused and just listen to her. It is painful, there is so much in the history of our relationship that I would do differently if I had the chance to go back and do it again. I sometimes imagine that this has been a dream and that I wake up as my seventeen year old self and can woo her and build a family together all over again. I would not turn to porn and there would be so many other ways (little and big) I would be present and able to own the consequences of my actions. But I guess it's like Sansa said in Game of Thrones recently: it is sometimes our mistakes and troubles that make us who we are. Perhaps it was both inevitable and important that I spent so many years without really knowing myself. But I do now.

    That's amazing. My experience was different. During the early days of my sobriety porn had the gravitational pull of a black hole! Keep strong, you can do this.

    We cannot answer this, she can, but make sure you listen without fear and without trying to argue back, that's just hiding from our true selves.

    (N.B. I ought to answer about what I chose too, I did not go for hard mode, I just gave up porn and soon afterwards masturbation as well. At the time that was because I saw sex as an important part of what renews intimacy in our relationship. Looking back I wonder if I also had a sense that my 'reboot' would be so much longer than 90 days!)
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    Deleted Account likes this.
  5. I struggle with allowing her to support me. I feel I am moody to the point of 3 different people that are struggling to come together and walk the same direction.
    I am doing nothing to support her only cause more pain.
    I am starting SA and maybe those first steps figuratively will help to stabilize my emotions, or at least help me to lock them in place and not be so "flippy" as my wife puts it. I work on a farm and long hours, tryi g to do a list of tasks at home to help out more and doi g a daily list of personal stuff, trying to read at least 30 mins, walk, self care and spend time with the wife and the kids. Everyone does this I get it, I am just struggling with making it all fit in, much less work and be effective.
    I will not give up on this, I will control this instead of it me, and it will be for me, i desperately want her to be a part of that new me though.
    Tao Jones likes this.
  6. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I can understand the moodiness, giving up our porn addiction is so much harder and goes so much deeper than we imagined. But I cannot relate to the struggle with her. I have always known that my porn use was wrong (wrong for me and wrong for the world, it is a damaging thing) but I could never find the strength to stop. It's only when I had destroyed my wife's self-esteem, to the point that she had felt she might need to leave in order to protect herself, that I started to quit in earnest. I am so grateful for that, although I am ashamed of the hurt I caused.

    Do you mind if I push you on this? What is it about her, or the way she expresses her pain or expresses her support that makes you struggle?

    Why? What pain? There's something I do not get here. I remember when I started trying to quit porn in 2010 I kept relapsing and sometimes not really trying hard (although in theory I was). This must have hurt my wife. Is that the kind of thing you mean?

    It is great that you are starting this, but I suspect it will cause the opposite to happen! Statisticians are fond of berating people for mistaking correlation for causality, and I feel a bit of that quandary with the relationship between my recovery from porn addiction and diving deep into my psyche to face my weaknesses and find out who I really am. I'm not sure which caused which. Is my recovery what fuels my self-reflection or the other way around? In any case it now feels like a gift.
    1. My wife's 'threat' (it wasn't a threat, she was desperate to save herself) was the catalyst for my efforts to stop using porn.
    2. My efforts to stop using porn took me deep into myself to understand why it had such a hold on me and how to escape that hold.
    3. My self-reflection taught me about myself, helped me to see what I wanted to change to be a better man, and helped me realise that—with the support of my wife and of people here—I could change.
    That little cycle is a real gift, and it is a gift that starts with my wife.

    Not everyone feels like this about going deep into ourselves. One of the site rules is that we should not quote people's journal posts in other threads without prior consent. I'm about to do that, I hope @vxlccm forgives me.
    That's taken out of context, he's talking about the financial cost of psychotherapy, but on its own like that the quote is the opposite of what I am trying to get across: to beat our porn addiction we have to dive into those dark corners.

    Careful with this. One of the things I have realised is that part of my recovery is doing less and not beating myself up about the things I do not find time to do. Sure, giving up porn means filling one's life with positive alternatives, but it also means (at least for us married guys) spending quality down-time with our wives. If watching TV with my wife means I don't get time to do X, Y, or Z I don't get anxious about that anymore.

    I've found your wife's thread.
    This resonates with those two points you made earlier:
    It is so hard to own the pain we have caused and to really listen. @Queen_Of_Hearts_13 and others talk of a fog us porn addicts are in, whereby we cannot empathise. The trouble is we got so use to manipulating our wives that it becomes second nature. It takes a while in recovery for us to see that fog lift to the extent that we can actively listen without our defence mechanisms kicking in. Perhaps I should move away from "we" to "I". One of the conversations I had recently with my wife revealed a manipulation I was barely aware of but I now feel very ashamed of. I'm a professional software engineer. I have a doctorate in computer science and I work in a famous research lab. One of the triggers for my porn binges was stressful late nights working on a looming deadline. (Am I being honest there; was it a trigger or a welcome opportunity?) I would tell my wife that she should go to bed because I had to work late. That's only a little lie, right? It is almost true, and seems entirely natural. But now I've heard how it felt from her side. She suspected that I was staying up to watch porn, but the detail of my job is way beyond her knowledge and so she felt powerless to challenge me on it. I now see that the 'little lie' was me manipulating her, I was preying on her ignorance.

    Look at some of the other quotes from your wife's opening post, like these
    When we try to stop using porn (or whatever your sex addiction is) we realise we are addicts. I was floored by how hard I found it to stop using porn. I have willpower but I could not keep it turned on. I needed (you need?) every drop of motivation I could find. This site finally marked the turning point for me and one of the things that helped me here was the testimonies (my poncey word for posts!) from the wives here. We can see the way we are destroying them. It is utterly heart-breaking. I am not going to be part of that anymore. Can you see your wife's words in the same way? Sure, they make us feel terrible and that can trigger all sorts of defence mechanisms, but as we grow in our recovery we can lay those mechanisms aside and really own the hurt we have caused and use that to become the men we can be.

    I'm an idealist. Love will win out. You will both fix this.

    (N.B. I'm sorry this post has ended so long. I wanted it to be all about you but it has ended up more about me! If you don't mind I'll keep a copy in my journal too, here.)
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  7. Thanks for the response.
    I want to think on your words before i respond.

    It was a hard night and even harder morning. I have ignored my wifes profile so that she has complete freedom in here, so I can not answer to any of those facets.
    kropo82 likes this.
  8. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    There's no hurry, I've been here since October 2016 and I'm not planning on leaving soon :)

    Actually the quotes I used from your wife's post are in a thread that you post in afterwards, so I think you have read that post of her's already. But what I was asking about also applies to whatever she says in real life, away from these forums.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  10. The hardest thing for "do-ers" like us is realizing that we must start life in Christ *at rest* in him. We cannot move forward under our own steam. It must be full reliance on him or nothing at all. There is no middle ground. And the longer we try to strive with our best efforts, the longer we stay stuck -- and shame is the result.

    The more self-sufficient we are in life, the harder this lesson is to learn, and the longer it takes to build the trust with God that it requires. Fortunately, he is very patient. :) I know from experience! It took me 25 years to turn over the keys to him.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  11. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

  12. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    Ramble away :)

    Don't worry about the time frame. As long as you are focussed on your recovery and your wife's happiness it should all come right. It does not matter how long it takes.

    Great. Own it.

    That's one of the things I love about recovery. It will give you the lens, the tools, to tackle other things you want to fix too. But first do what you need to do to quit porn, that's hard enough.

    Yes. Relax into it.

    You have. The things I particularly wanted to know about were these:


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