I had been masturbating to internet porn for over thirteen years and married for two years at this time last year. I was never too happy about my need to fap as a single man, but I hated it as a married one. I’m convinced that it affected our relationship, as I could already sense a decrease in intimacy even though we were still newlyweds. Sometimes I would be waiting for my wife to fall asleep or go to the store so I could masturbate, and I’d be irritable with her while she was still around.
Any time that I wanted sex and didn’t get it I would treat as a blank check to service myself. It’s an awful way to treat someone, but it’s also a really unhealthy way to approach your own sexual desire. It’s an unspoken ultimatum: either you’re taking care of this boner or I am. It reduces the intimate, physical aspect of your relationship to the level of an oil change. Whether I take it into the shop or do it in my driveway, the result is the same (I really like to stretch a metaphor for all its worth).
The tipping point came when I was traveling alone for a couple weeks, and–predictably– masturbating pretty much nightly. I was bored and unhappy and was probably searching for some porn on reddit when I ran into this place and started researching. After watching some videos and (most importantly) reading up on people’s experiences, I was fired up and decided to join in. Here’s what I’ve noticed in the last year:
-Things got a lot easier when I told my wife. The first month or so I was on my own, and it was agonizingly hard. I didn’t want to tell her until I was confident that I could keep going, because I didn’t want to have to tell her about a relapse. But I think opening up to her at the very start would have made it so much easier. She was very supportive, and from time to time would ask me how it was going and express how impressed she was.
-With my wife on board I had a very powerful anti-relapse weapon: I would just imagine the next day after masturbating: waking up knowing that I failed, resetting my badge, admitting it to her. That will get you to close those tabs on your browser pretty quick. You can also try this whether or not you have a SO. Picture yourself in the sober light of the next day, writing your relapse up to post on nofap.
-As far as physical/mental/personality changes: I think that a lot of what people attribute to nofap is really the placebo effect, but I have noticed some things that I can’t explain. I’m horny all the time, but not in an unpleasant way anymore. My mind was conditioned to expect release any time it experienced desire, but gradually I’ve reached the point where I can be (relatively) comfortable with arousal that isn’t consummated. It really does give you energy that can be applied to other aspects of your life (like school, currently).
-Sex is more frequent, longer, and better. At first I think my wife made a conscious effort to have more sex with me as a sort of support mechanism (another benefit of telling your partner about nofap), but I also think that we are both more attracted to each other now. There’s something in women that responds to being fiercely desired. Instead of the desultory requests for an “oil change” she used to get, she now has a husband with the constant libido of a teenage boy directed only at her, not at “getting off” by whatever means necessary. It’s like I’ve become more masculine and she’s become more feminine as well, with the result that we are both increasingly attractive to the other.
-I realize that everything I’ve written so far has been very positive, but I’ve also had several near-relapses in the last 3 months. Sometimes I’ll run into a picture online, or a scene on a TV show (I’ve decided not to watch Game of Thrones for this reason) or even just walk past a girl in yoga pants and it’s like my blood pressure shoots up about 40 points. Nofap does a lot of things, but it certainly does not make you numb to temptation. I think a lot of single people do nofap precisely for this effect, but it’s pretty rough on the monogamous.
Good luck, brothers and sisters.