Age 45 - Husband, weak erections
How did I get here? Exposed to Playboy as a teen I've been hooked for my adult life. An at least 2-3x week habit progressing to video for as much as 8 hours straight while home alone.
The long sessions are relatively rare and I've been trying to manage myself to quit. For the last two years, I have had some spiritual awakening via Christian experience that has been really helpfully supplemented by ideas borrowed from Buddhism. Byron Katie and The Work as well as resources listed here http://aflourishinglife.com/books/ have been incredibly helpful. With these methods, I have gotten down to the thoughts that drive my compulsive PMO. Thoughts that I am worthless and unloveable and that sex is my biggest need. After realizing these thoughts are not true through inquiry, I have been trying to kick my habit via tapering down and switching to sex with my wife. Well, funny thing, my wankey doesn't work. I was baffled as to how to fix. Frustrated, I gave in to porn again a week ago and went for 4 hours. Porn is the only way I was able to ejaculate.
How did I get here? This question started running through my brain as I realized there is something I am missing. I found "Your Brain on Porn" and it read like a reflection in a mirror. OK, I get this. Tapering doesn't work because the addiction pathways are so strong...light bulb moment.
So, I am cold turkey on day 7. So far, so good. Mild head aches and irritability but not too bad for me. The big difference is all the unbearable weight of shame and guilt is feeling lighter and my personality is expressing a little better. I've managed to hide all of this over the years as my wife would be devastated.
I cannot thank you for the valuable information on Your Brain on Porn. I have two sons and want them to know the truth and avoid my mistakes.
Day 14 and feeling good. Anybody else out there have significant muscle soreness in shoulders - like due to stress / tension but much worse without the dompamine drug supplied by PMO?
Busy week with travel and out of the office...lots of work challenges that look like some nasty dragons to knock out. Puts the stress factor into the whole equation and makes those carvings for release seep back in. Posting here is a nice way to acknowledge the feelings, let them be and then move on without acting out. Focusing on the positive feeling that I get from being under control...working to build a virtuous cycle.
One question to the group, what is the average time most guys need in reboot in order to get all the equipment back in working order to be with their spouse? I've been reading that it appears to be about 2 months but seems to vary.
Compulsion (PMO) for me was a drug that I turned toward to escape from pain, hurt and stress. This book teaches us that compulsions are not negative impulses that can be controlled. Instead, compulsion is the surface of an iceberg of pain. By meeting our pain with love and acceptance, the compulsions can be turned into a signal that alerts us to the ice below that needs healing and attention.
A key concept is that we treat ourselves unkindly by trying to control compulsions and that the act of controlling actually hides the wisdom that compulsions impart. It is in meeting compulsions with awareness, curiosity and acceptance that we open up to what they have to teach us; and in this opening, they reveal to us a way out. Pain seems scary at first but is really more like a whimpering puppy rather than the monster I was avoiding. I've learned to accept the pain and realize it is just a passing emotion that softens when I meet it with curious acceptance. At first it seems to pull you out like a tornado but eventually in meeting and accepting it, you learn not to get lost in the emotion. In this process, I saw the root causes for my thought-pattern. I saw the mechanics of the thing that was driving me as it was happening. No amount of self-control or self-analysis could be worth that one insight. I am not out of the woods yet but I now have an approach that's really who I am.
Day 27 and I woke up with a severe case of blue balls. These are especially rough on me as they last for days. Going to try some of the remedies from YBOP.
Read some great testimonies of people who toughed it out and am going to hold steady through the pain. My first default in the past has been to immediately masturbate to remedy the problem.
The downside is I don't know what caused this? I had some thoughts about my wife undressing yesterday which caused a major erection but tried to stop that thought process. Not sure if that was the cause because the thoughts lasted no more than 10 minutes... Maybe that abstinence from orgasm makes one more susceptible or maybe it just happens more as one gets older.
I did the cold water treatment for like 30 seconds and the improvement was significant... as good as an orgasm if not better.
What a relief!!
Today is day 35 with no PMO. I am feeling like I have this one by the tail and am not going to turn loose!
Was able to enjoy Saturday night with my wife and see that everything is again working properly. The numbness, the delayed or nonexistent ejaculation... all remedied! Did not experience a major chaser effect so far.
What PMO robs from a person is so not worth it. The guilt, the inability to have an intimate relationship with your spouse etc is way too high a price to pay for essentially nothing. The information at YBOP is AN INCREDIBLY VALUABLE WAKE UP CALL TO REALITY!
Here is a short link on a helpful post from Zenhabits. Topic is not PMO but it really applies for me.
Post written by Leo Babauta.
I’ve learned a lot about changing habits over the years, and have taught thousands of people how to do it.
The hardest habits to change, by far, are the ones people can’t seem to control. They want to change, but can’t seem to find the “willpower” (a term I don’t believe in).
For me, some of the things that seemed out of my control: smoking, eating junk food, overeating during social occasions, procrastination, anger, patience, negative thoughts.
I learned one little secret that allowed me to change it all:
When you are aware, you can change it....
Wow this week has been a tough one. My boss was fired at work and though I never thought I would think of that as stressful, boy it was.
No doubt the stress is a major trigger and I've been struggling since I woke up early. Did not sleep good.
Going to meditate now which seems to be the best help for me.
A couple of key points on my reboot:
- did this without my wife knowing that I was ever hooked on porn.
- worked through reboot period just not having sex until more than 5 weeks in. (amazing everything worked in the physical department with just a little soreness in the testicles)
The problem was mainly that I would withdraw from my wife when we would have a disagreement and then give myself what I thought I deserved...PMO.
The withdrawal away from my wife to PMO is a long story fueled by my unconscious beliefs and habits that had to become conscious for me to overcome them. Long story on how to get there as it took me years but the technique that opened my eyes was inquiry via Byron Katie's method - 4 questions. http://www.thework.com/index.php . I went through the 4 questions to the turnaround and realized that I was judging her as much or more as she was judging me. It blew my mind. Shortly after I came to this realization, I found YBOP and the two resources have powered every bit of my change.
The benefits have been:
-Elimination of withdrawal to myself, which has been an absolute key, has dramatically improved intimacy- it reminds me of our early dating days when I had the flutter in my stomach for her including missing her when I am away on travel etc.
-Motivated to maintain and increase bonding behaviors to improve intimacy even more.
-Sex has been fixed- before my erections were getting weaker and weaker and I could not get to orgasm and could go on for hours trying to no avail. (I searched all over the web and literature trying to figure this out and YBOP was the only place that had the answer!)
-10X+ increase in attraction to my wife
-She is feeling more attractive because of my response to her asking me from time to time where has all this enthusiasm come from.
-She is kinder, gentler and much less stressed out since I am no longer driving her crazy with my moody emotional withdrawals.
-Much higher confidence in and respect for myself as I suffered really badly under guilt and shame for the secret hidden life I was leading.
-Greater generosity and caring for others
-Confidence to share hugs and friendship with women. Previously I was just too ashamed and felt embarrassed.
I am considering myself complete on the basic reboot. Not that I don't have to keep up my guard for relapsewhich was recently a major temptation because I could not line up time with the wife. But, keeping in perspective is the key to managing the emotions and not letting them turn into poor me thinking.
I was lost in this dream believing thoughts that were not true. Thoughts like she doesn't really love me, I am not desirable etc. The whole time she cared and put up with my emotional withdraw into what I thought was the safe haven of PMO. What a lie. What a trap. What destruction to our relationship. YBOP was like looking behind the curtain in the Wizard of OZ to see what is really happening. I think how could I have been lost in the dream that PMO was a good thing?
The key is to remind myself that my relationship with my wife is on a whole new plane and is continuing a second relationship reboot of our own.
Last weekend was tough as my wife turned me down for sex the second time (she had good reasons). While I know that she loves me and really cares, there is this deep insecurity in me that is part of my core addiction. When I feel like someone lets me down, I spiral into false thoughts of how I must be unlovable.
Well I worked hard to beat those thoughts all week long with meditation, inquiry and made some progress while away on business. But, when I got back, she knew I was still not right. My wife can read me like a book. I kind of emotionally and physically withdraw from her. And, the whole time I am feeling like a needy, selfish slob for resenting the turn downs. I know too that none of this is helping but I still cant quite turn it.
So we finally had some time together after I came around and admitted that I was a little hurt. We spent some time together and I had what I would call a partial orgasm. This left me feeling quite sore in the testicles. In the past, I have applied the cold water right to the balls and that does the trick. This time however I pulled up facebook on my phone and used the assistance of not a porn image but bikini clad.
Since then it has been Katie bar the door with the most massive chaser I've ever dealt with...like a hurricane coming back. The radar was up like NORAD looking for women and ringing to just peek some more on facebook and I know where that will lead.
Home alone all today. Surfed facebook for about an hour holding out and keeping it together but the intensity built to an almost unbearable level. Shaking I left the house for the gym to lift weights and ride the exercise bike.
Settled down tonight to make sure I don't lose consciousness. I think I am back under control but what a challenge.
There was the slip up on Facebook (deleted that shit application off of my cell phone.)
Hey...kicked in the bonding behaviors last night....what fun I've been missing!