Working towards an honest intimacy - my reboot log.

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Nicko Stretch, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Married and trying really hard to change my sexual thinking and behaviour so I can start building a loving intimate relationship with my wife.
    I first talked about the impact on me of porn,masterbation and ejaculation with my wife 4 years ago and I have been trying to change habits since then with some success but also several relapses.
    We set off again on a slightly different tack at the end of September this year. We had been keeping a 'love journal' over the last 4 years but the sporadic writing and reading was not a great way to communicate with us not really knowing if each other had read it or understood its content.
    This time I write in the journal everyday, even if it is just a few words, then I read it aloud to wife in the evening. This gives us a structured opportunity to talk about our thoughts and feelings.
    This has worked really well so far and I am discovering all sorts of unhelpful thinking patterns and beliefs which have been barriers to us forming a close and mutual intimate relationship.
    So I am 37 days into our new regime and feel like a total novice to intimacy! I am learning though, and have had some amazing sensitive experiences which have felt so much more wholesome than the sexual sensation driven intimacy of the past.
    We are avoiding ejaculation while love making and are not being orgasm driven.
    I have had one nocturnal emission which messed with my head some what but we managed to talk through it. That was 27th Sept so 10 days ago. I feel I have recovered the energy and sensitivity I lost through that ejaculation and have recognised that the perceived frustration I felt on previous attempts to not ejaculate for a period of time was just that - perceived, and by reframing the feelings and changing the thought patterns i have been able to see a way forward without ejaculation being this essential thing I need or I will become agitated, or angry, or explode! I see it more now as a positive harnessing of energy.
    I am feeling really positive about this journey at the moment :)
     
  2. romeolima

    romeolima Fapstronaut

    226
    347
    63
    Good luck with your journey.

    I am in a similar position in that I am cutting porn out of my life in order to restore a more loving and intimate relationship with my wife. Not that we ever stopped having sex but it was like I was leading two separate sex lives, one with my wife and one on my own (with porn).

    I don't know anything about the effects of removing orgasm from the equation. My wife and I consider it to be a key component of sex. That being said we have become more intimate at other times, away from sex, and also that we can have a sexual experience, touching etc. that doesn't have to lead further.
     
  3. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Taking the O out means we can focus on the subtle feelings and sensations that, in the past for me, have been totally overpowered by the drive for orgasm/ejaculation. I am starting to experience feelings and sensations while making love I never knew were there.I am starting to actually feel connected with my wife. I am starting to feel a release from the dopamine craving cycle I have been a slave to for 35 years.
     
  4. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Loving the book Cupids Poison Arrow. So many points where I go "That is exactly what happens to me!!" I definitely want to bond better and this book seems to make sense.
     
  5. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    My first attempt at semen retention was 4 years ago and I managed about 40 days. I had wet dreams and aggressiveness.
    That first time I saw it as a great way to last longer in bed and give my wife more pleasure. I was still edging while having sex and was edging without p or o while alone. This behaviour was still sexualising my mind, and what goes on during the day, generally is reflected in some way during dreams, so it is no wonder I was having wet dreams.
    The aggressiveness I was experiencing I put down to attitude. In my mind I was going to go a couple of months between ejaculations. My monkey mind grabbed onto this belief but has no concept of time. The extra energy I gained from not being high on post orgasmic neurotransmitters all the time was translated by my monkey mind into "I am ready, lets go get some!" But my conscious mind was saying " No no last a bit longer". So there was an internal battle going on that manifested itself outwardly as aggression.
    This time I have a different attitude. I am approaching the issue using an addiction model. I am looking at all the behaviours that lead to the craving for O and changing them. So last time I was basically like an addict who had stopped using but hadn't stopped looking for drugs, buying drugs or prepping them up to take them. No wonder I was mad and ended up relapsing! This time I have no target for abstinence, I am not edging alone and am trying really hard not to edge when intimate with my wife. I am trying to recognise when my mind is fantasizing about sex and changing the subject. I am only 40 days in and still feel right at the beginning of this process but it is like someone has lifted a veil on my thinking and I can suddenly see all the daily thoughts that have been fuelling my sexual craving.
    I am currently swinging from unconsciously incompetent, to consciously competent. My goal is to be unconsciously competent . In practice this means no automatic sexual thoughts. I believe I am on the right path. I even had a dream reinforcing that behaviour last night. I was dreaming about some kind of sexual fantasy and in my dream I told myself it is not helpful to think that way. I then had a feeling of success and well being.
    I feel like I am finally growing up!
     
  6. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Great day yesterday. On top of sexual thoughts throughout the day. Not free of them but they are definitely habits which I am recognising and consciously choosing not to engage with. When SO came in the evening I literally laughed with joy! Our embraces yesterday were deep and loving, and I could sense a subtle energy rising between us. Our ritual of long kissing when in bed in the evening is really helpful and enjoyable. I guess I am tuning into the gentle wellbeing generated by an increase in oxytocin, rather than the sledgehammer hit of dopamine!
     
    meditateelevate420 likes this.
  7. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    A couple of busy days at university and I am tired. I am still enjoying our embraces and kissing,but they don't have the energy of the days before, just part of the cycle of life.I can also sense in the background a historical desire to get high on sex to alleviate the tiredness. Nothing that is difficult to manage and definitely something that in the past I would have associated with some other unhelpful addictive behaviour like eating sweet stuff, alcohol or something else. Interesting to acknowledge I would have used some kind of sexual activity in the same way. So my goal is to use sexual activity specifically to celebrate and improve my close relationship and dismantle any thinking patterns which use it for anything else.
     
    hope4healing likes this.
  8. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Wrote in our book last night and then sat up talking for a while about all sorts with SO. A lot about history of P use starting from a prepubescent age. It is refreshing to feel able to talk about everything. We touched on how there are so many triggers out there in the media and generally in western society. I know my eye may be drawn to something automatically but I can then choose to dismiss or linger. The more I dismiss hopefully the less my eye will be drawn.
    As well as working on the sexual side of our relationship we are looking at other areas. We are working through the book " Eight Dates" which we are finding very enjoyable although hard work at times.
    I feel this last few weeks have been the first in my life where I have been able to let go the belief that I need sexual gratification daily/ often. I know my body and mind is normalising after years of over stimulation in terms of dopamine receptors and that didn't happen the last time we tried because i didn't address the issue holistically.
     
  9. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    I feel amazing. My wife just bought me a wedding ring to replace the one I lost 15 years ago. So grateful for her love in my.life
     
    RealMe, mrtumnus and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    `Lovely intimate touching this morning . I am becoming so aware of how my mind can get attached to chasing sensations rather than staying connected. Not totally competent in changing my mind but definitely becoming more aware.
     
  11. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Feeling good today. Enjoying engaging in meaningful activities.
    Interesting how having a bit of a cold and feeling tired can dull sensitivity to affection though.
    I do feel like I am getting closer to my wife.
    The bonding activities we are doing - the kissing, hugging, talking, eye contact, messages, smiles, kindness, understanding seem to have a momentum.The more i do them the better they feel. This is explained in the book 'Cupids poison arrow' by the fact that the more oxytocin released, the more oxytocin receptors grow,therefore the more bonding we do the better it feels. With dopamine, the more dopamine released the fewer receptors there are.
     
    VanGuy and Lilla_My like this.
  12. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Great chat with wife this morning about de sexualising my daily thinking. I didn't realise(or thought it a problem) how often sexual thoughts are in my head during the day. I am working hard to change that...
     
  13. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    I had an interesting chat with my wife about the influence on men of the sexual objectification of women by the media. She was worried i might acknowledge the extent of it and think, whats the point? I am never going to get away from it. I was once told by a very successful advertising agent that adverts work through repetition. So the volume of times our brains get stimulated by sex throughout the day, the harder it will be to kick the habit.
    There are thousands of images of 'sexy' women in the environment, not to mention the real 'sexy' women in our communities. We are not going to avoid seeing them but we can definitely control our focus and intent.
    My intent when I see anyone close enough to make eye contact is respect and reassure. If I can smile and get a smile in return then I have been successful. Thats is for everyone of any gender or looks.
     
  14. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    I have discovered I attempt to solve problems by hyperfocus and research, then experimentation and evaluation. Not bad strategies. But emotions still play a part and changing attitude is the first step with habit change dragging its feet behind. So rewarding though when I observe a specific strategy working after putting consistent and sustained effort into implementing it.
     
  15. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Really interesting building positive references to desired behaviours. Using psychology on myself and giving weight and meaning to things that support my ideal. Kind of like the way I used to justify PM or O. The thing that has changed is my goal. I want to be in control. I don't want to feel like an animal with urges that manifest in my behaviour(even though I am an animal!). I want to be able to not have sexual thoughts in my head at random times throughout the day. I want to save the sexy stuff for when i am actually with my wife IRL.
    I have found reading and listening to info about how habits form,how they can be broken, and how relationships function in general is really helpful. It is keeping me on task in my reboot. I feel excited o be going through this process.
    This is the first time in 40 or so years i have not entertained sexual thoughts on a daily basis and i feel i can hold my head up high when walking down the street.
    As Gandhi suggested i am feeling happy because finally what i think, what i say, and what i do are aligning.
     
  16. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Feeling like I am able to try and be more physically intimate . Not chasing sensation but looking for a deeper connection with my wife. Definitely don't want edging or O. I feel i am getting a grip but will also take things very slowly and abort if I find I am over heating or am losing control.
     
  17. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    2 hours of discussion around being more intimate with my wife. Really productive. We have concluded that after 23 years of making love, we don't really know much about how we interact sexually because we have not spent much time experimenting, observing, and talking about how things make us feel. there has always been insecurities blocking our communication and affecting our behaviour.
    We are going to try a different approach this time. We will set aside time every week to explore physical intimacy without limits, with the rest of the time reserved for bonding activities like kissing holding hugging snuggling but without a sexual dimension. We will try to be as aware as possible of our own and each others feelings and behaviour and talk afterwards or the next day about positives, negatives and interestings. We are both really excited to be on this journey together :)
     
    Lilla_My likes this.
  18. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Date for 'deep intimacy' this evening. As communication during love making has been poor in the past we are planning to be quite open about our feelings and thoughts. I have had a bit of performance anxiety but have rationalised this by recognising there is nothing to perform. It doesn't matter if I do not get aroused or my wife doesn't and we just talk, the results are what they are. We are just making a space to get closer physically and explore each others bodies. We are trying hard to get away from 'feeling horny and chasing sensation,' and moving towards 'wanting to be connected and exchanging energy'. If I feel frustrated if nothing or not enough happens, then I am not ready for the process.
    It's really exciting because, now i have changed my thinking habits I make love with the whole of my body, it is not just sexual. I feel we are making love when we hug and when we kiss. Tonight will be an opportunity to take that love making further and deeper if i feel i can do it without slipping back into sensation seeking habits...
    Use of language is so important for us. It totally reframes the activity of love making
     
    Alex 623 likes this.
  19. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    The deep intimacy date last night was interesting. The conclusion was that my wife is not ready yet. She felt sick and anxious so not a great response to the thought of being more intimate with me! I think the main issue was that I made the intimacy the focus, almost like I was forcing things even though I said I had no expectations whatever. It is so hard to look beyond my conscious beliefs sometimes and see if I have ulterior motives. Thinking about it maybe the whole deep intimacy thing was a craving response after two nights last week when my wife didn't come to bed until i was asleep, so no real bonding time. It came from a place of scarcity rather from a place of plenty.
    In general we have been doing really well kissing, hugging and bonding, at night in the mornings and during the day and we think it may be better to carry on with that and if things develop from that then fine. I can totally see though, how in the past I probably have used love making to relieve feelings of insecurity.
     
  20. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    518
    410
    63
    Interesting few days. I realised my desire for deep intimacy was my limbic brain tricking me into initiating sex due to insecurities. As it happened I recognised this and instead of trying to get it on, I discussed my pain and insecurities. So liberating. The next day we had a rerun of the date but instead of sex we focused on learning a new card game(my idea) It was really good and we both felt so comfortable. Back on track now with bonding behaviour regularly.
    I am building a theory that the way i know that i am working too hard or am under too much stress is that i do not want much bonding activity. Sometimes i wake and am straight into thinking about what i need to do that day, and when i get into bed all i want to do is sleep. Other times I am focused on my wife when i wake, and feel I have energy to give before sleep. I will work on the theory and report back...
     
    mrtumnus likes this.

Share This Page