What matters to you most?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by RecoveringLion, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    In porn addiction(like all addictions) one the best ways to recover and move forward is discover and pursue what matters to you most.

    If you are struggling with addiction, the reason why is because your pleasure mattered to you most. It mattered to you more than anything else. Why does your spouse feel betrayed? One of many reasons is that satiating your sexual needs mattered more to you than she did. It mattered more than her sense of feeling loved and protected by you.

    As I recover, and see more clearly everyday, what I am learning is that protecting and nourishing the heart and the spirit of my wife is what matters to me most.

    Example: Just this morning I was at the gym, and there were several women there who are very attractive. Like many women at the gym, they treat themselves cheaply. They put themselves on display with skin tight clothing that doesn’t always cover much to begin with. They are by and large hurting little girls in women’s bodies trying to seek the affirmation and acceptance of others (this is not a problem unique to women). Was I tempted to look at them?

    Not really. This is a new things for me. Why wasn’t I tempted when it was such a problem in the past? Because protecting and nourishing my wife’s heart matters to me most. It matters to me more than selfish indulgence. I want her to flourish more than I want to satiate my own sexual desires. I want her to prosper and feel love and adoration more than I want to jack off in the bathroom. I want her to prosper, so I serve her.

    This post is not meant to exalt myself. Lord knows I am a weak, foolish, child, who by the Grace of God is learning how to be a man for the first time. The purpose of this post is to show you that the other side is WORTH IT. Seeing my wife flourish revitalizes my soul. Seeing past all the lies this world shoves in our faces and seeking lasting value does pay off. Its almost impossible to fathom when you are in the thick of withdrawal, but keep pressing forward.

    Men. Our temptation is to feel weak and helpless. We are not. Just like we have the power to choke the life and joy out of our relationships, we also have the same proportion of power and influence to make our marriages and relationships life giving and enriching to our woman. Do not believe the lie that you are helpless. You are not.

    I am going to post some recovery tips in the comments.
     
  2. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    Recovery tips for men:
    1. Your SO is not, and should not be your accountability partner, therapist, or primary source of recovery. She should be part of your WHY but not your HOW.
    Reason: You need a qualified, sex addiction therapist who has helped others walk this journey. Your SO, no matter how strong or capable is not the person to oversee and guide your recovery. It is not her role to critique, manage or control the process of recovery, that is ONLY for a qualified therapist. Having her overly involed (which I see way too often) is not much different (other than scale) than asking the mother of a murdered child to oversee the recovery of the murderer. Your SO is deeply wounded by you. Don’t put the burden of recovery on her. Don’t make her the first person you go to for processing your journey. Get a therapist and trustworthy accountability partner. Some SO’s feel an entitlement around getting way more involved in your healing process because you hurt them. Because of the guilt and shame you feel, you just might feel and overwhelming inclination to let them do this. You want to do the right thing, you have let go of your ego, that is good, but DO NOT let her her take over or control your recovery process, it will only cause long term problems. In the chaos and hurt, any rational person is going to want to gain a sense of control over what hurt them, they will rationalize this as care and compassion, but its not. Its control. Its an understandable safety mechanism, but just because it is understandable does not mean it is best. You need to build your own control mechanisms around this. You, as a man, need to own it and manage it for your own sake. If it is owned and managed by somebody else, it will build a feeling of helplessness, resentment towards your SO, and guarantee you to fail.

    2. Write as much as possible. 95% of what you write is for nobody other than yourself. Don’t share it all on a forum. Don’t share it with your SO, accountability partner, anyone. Its for your personal processing. You are allowed some personal space in your journey.

    3. Believe in something bigger than yourself. For many of us, it is God. If you dont believe in God, then believe in the best possible good you can be for the sake of yourself, your SO, your family, and the world. Make your mission to care for those you are responsible for and to make a the world a better place in a small yet meaningful way.

    4. MAN THE HELL UP. This does not mean strut around pretending to be some idiot macho domineering dumbass. It means take responsibility for your actions, your life, your family. Work to kill every selfish inclination. Serve others. Work hard, be emotionally present. Fight for those in your care. Thats what it means to be a man. To serve selflessly and lead your household in a way that encourages everyone to flourish. Make yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger. Do your best job at work, strive to bring order to the inherent chaos of the world and existence. Be a man!

    5. Ask for forgiveness. During your recovery journey, you are going to make mistakes. I dont mean jacking off in secret mistakes, although we wont rule it out. I mean your going to be a moody asshole. You are going to say rude things and be a dick sometimes. You are going to screw up and not be perfect. This will continue into the rest of your life. Its okay. Ask forgiveness. Set the example of transparency and humility for your family, friends, and the world. Don’t try to be perfect, just try to be better than you were yesterday, and when you fail, ask for forgiveness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  3. TryingHard2Change

    TryingHard2Change Distinguished Fapstronaut

    @Wade W. Wilson: a couple quotes to use as ammunition in your battles against ogling.
     
  4. TryingHard2Change

    TryingHard2Change Distinguished Fapstronaut

    Excellent posts -- both this one and the follow-up. Such good reminders. Thank you!
     
  5. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    Thank you sir.
     
  6. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    I love this so much.
     
    RecoveringLion likes this.
  7. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    This tip stood out to me more than the others, and I really appreciate it. My SO knows about my addiction, and she knows about my recovery. I talk to her about it, but I am well aware that she cannot be my accountability partner. I don't want my addiction to become a burden on her. Sometimes I will talk to her about my feelings surrounding my recovery, and I will give updates to her on how things are going with me (for example, I was really excited to tell her I had made it a whole month without porn, and she was really proud of me), but I never want to give her more than she can handle. I've realized it's important for me to communicate with her about my addiction and my recovery, but it's also equally important for me to check in with her about how she is handling it, and to make sure that I'm not placing more responsibility on her than she's capable of dealing with.

    Thanks for your post. It was inspiring to read. I wish you the best during your journey.
     
  8. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for the kind words! You are very welcome. Best of luck to you as well.
     
  9. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    Since you posted this I've been thinking....So I was being my PA's accountability partner at first, but I quickly... well not so quickly.... realized how much damage it does to me and I've scaled back a lot... I still want to know that same day if he has a relapse, and I want to know if he breaks sobriety. Here's why, and I'm not saying it's a good thing for me, but.... my PA has broken sobriety two times, and both times he didn't even recognize that he broke it, but it was OBVIOUS to me... and it's only AFTER the conversation with him that he realizes and admits to the sobriety breech and he would NOT have set his counter back the two times he should have if it weren't for me showing him. That's how out of it he is... doesn't even recognize his own sobriety breeches... So what do you have to say about that RecoveringLion? The goal is to get him to recover as quickly as possible, but he will take FOREVER if he goes at his pace of not realizing he's even doing anything wrong.... and don't get me started on how the HELL he couldn't recognize that watching Netflix Series that is rated Mature with scenes of orgies and girl on girl (which he loves)... can't even talk about it right now, it's spinning me up again....
     
    Torn likes this.
  10. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    Tough issue for sure. I had the same problem as your SO for awhile. Not self aware enough to recognize (aka not wanting to recognize) when I had relapsed. If he relapses, he has a 24 hour window to confess it to you or else it’s a lie and there needs to be a clear consequence (sleeps on the coach for a week, or a month, etc). You coaxing it out of him counts as him lying. It’s also important that what counts as a relapse is clear.

    As you know, feeling struggle, temptation, desire, etc is not wrong, it’s part of the healing process, it’s how he responds to it that matters. Watching sexually explicit stuff on Netflix intentionally is relapsing, even if he didn’t M to it. Stumbling upon an explicit image or video (truly, accidentally, unexpectedly) is not a relapse, so long as he abides the 3 second rules and aborts as quickly as possible.

    It’s a dichotomy. Just because you aren’t his accountability partner doesn’t mean you aren’t involved! You still are. You have a dog in the fight with him. He has to want to improve for himself and for you, and if he does, he’ll grow in self awareness. I don’t tell my SO when I struggle most of he time unless it’s going to affect us. If I relapse, she knows within 24 hours. If the struggle goes beyond minor and into moderate or severe, I talk to a male accountability partner who helps determine if it needs to be shared with my SO or not, usually the answer is no.

    Is he seeing a qualified and licensed sex addiction therapist?
     
    hope4healing likes this.
  11. Beautifully articulated! Thank you for this and encouraging men to step up and put their best foot forward. If this doesn’t get people pumped and motivated I don’t know what will!
     
  12. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    yes he is. It's so frustrating that he doesn't even recognize porn when he sees it... how is he supposed to ever get better? I'm just so hopeless right now.
     
  13. TryingHard2Change

    TryingHard2Change Distinguished Fapstronaut

    I am going to try hard not to come across harsh or mean or condescending or like a prick ... but how quickly did you think he was going to become magically "better"? HOW MANY YEARS has your SO had this porn addiction problem? It's been 2.5 months, right? These things take time to learn and discover about PA and recovery; come out of the fog; learn the right way to think; etc.

    Now, I know every time there is a slip-up or a mistake, it rips your heart out--because you love this man, your husband. And I believe that is what you are feeling / that is what is bringing you to this place of hopelessness.

    ..

    I read so much about PA's not rushing their SO's / not putting pressure on their SO's to heal...I believe SO's also need to realize the path to recovery for a PA is long. And you need to expect it to take some time until they are better.

    ..

    I am sorry for your pain; I am sorry that you have to go through all of this--none of it is your fault.
     
  14. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    TH2C- I was hoping for the magical time line of NOW! Ugh... you know you can tell it like it is with me... I'd rather have it like that. Thanks for your honesty and candidness... you're not sounding like a prick. I know you care.
     
  15. Joe1023

    Joe1023 Fapstronaut

    These are excellent points, @RecoveringLion!!! Especially the parts about manning up and asking for forgiveness.
     
    RecoveringLion likes this.
  16. RecoveringLion

    RecoveringLion Fapstronaut

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    Take heart then. 2.5 months is very early in the process. I am 8 months in and was just starting to wrap my head around this stuff around the 5 or 6 month mark. If he is dedicated to change, and doing the right things to make progress, and messing up and facing his immaturity along the way, and trying to (maybe even poorly and inconsistently) try to pursue you, then he’s a good man. Continue to hold him to a high standard. Men need that. We operate at our best when the bar is high.

    Do you and him have a faith background at all?
     
  17. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    He’s in professional sex addict counseling. He’s trying. I won’t let him “pursue me”... we immediately separated because I needed to protect my daughter (his step daughter he lusted after for a year) and my self from his 27,000 debt that came out after DDay.

    He leaves flowers and makes me food in tuooerware... (he knows I haven’t been eating much) when he comes to the house to do laundry and get the house ready to sell.

    He’s Christian- his dad is a Pastor- he knows the Bible- he’s “strong in his faith”.... what good did that him? He read his bible every morning.

    I am... I can’t even tell you right now I am hanging on a thread believing in God. Spiritually shattered- I find little solace, and there’s a huge history there. I used to belong to a strict religion until I left that about a decade ago- then I was “plain” Christian, now I’m nothing.
     
    TryingHard2Change likes this.
  18. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    Yeah? It’s disheartening to me too!!! I’m scared- and every time I’ve been scared I run to God.... except this time. I am in Spiritual crisis. Nothing is real anymore. Praying feels empty. The only thing that Brings me even close to spiritual well-being is being out in the nature. And that’s where I’m going right now- hiking. I went to an S -Anon group (for SO’s) and the Scriptures and prayers just made me mad. I’m not in the mood for any kind of stuff like that. What used to give me solace and tranquility now places a deep angry fire inside me. I probably need help but I’m resistant because of my pain.
     
  19. TryingHard2Change

    TryingHard2Change Distinguished Fapstronaut

    Keep fighting, keep moving forward, one baby step at a time. Nature is an amazing place where God can reach you and you can reach out to God.

    Keep dialoguing with yourself, keep writing in your Journal, keep wrestling through the pain.
     
    BetrayedMermaid and hope4healing like this.
  20. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    I’m not interested in religion- been there done that-
     

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