42yo, first extended stint of nofap, and made it to 90 days. (I had a 23-day streak last fall, but didn’t know what I was doing and relapsed.) I started NF with a few goals: curb my ED, get my sense of control back, and start mending my marriage, knowing that my P distractions weren’t helping our relationship.
So, here’s my report of what worked for me, what didn’t, and where life is at:
- when I tried to stop last fall, I kept looking at porn, edged, etc., thinking that as long as I didn’t M-to-O, all was good. Wrong. This time around, I deleted all my browser bookmarks, deleted my tumblr account, etc. cold turkey. Super helpful, if scary at the beginning.
- this board has been my salvation – when I start feeling urges, I come here to read/reply to threads, and it helps tremendously.
- a trick for stopping urges dead in their tracks: ice water, but not as a shower. Let me explain: I had a day where I was raging with urges, really wanting to throw in the towel, etc. Really, really bad day. So, instead of a cold shower, I threw a few ice cubes in a bowl of cold water, climbed in the tub and squatted my boys into the bowl. Killed the urges FAST. For days. Hugely helpful.
- I only had a flatline period of about two weeks, if that. I wish it was longer, because fighting urges stinks. My ED isn’t 100% done, but it’s pretty much gone.
- I told my wife I was doing NF about a month into it. I think she was happy to hear, once she understood what I was doing. We hadn’t had sex in about six months, and about 55-60 days in, she offered, which was great. It was more emotionally intimate than I’d felt with her in years (and the sex was great, too).
So, all good stuff, yeah? Kinda.
The kids were gone the other day, so I brought up the subject of sex again with my wife, offering to give her a foot massage, whatever she wanted… and she said what she wanted was a divorce. Talk about a kick to the jimmy. I thought we’d been making progress, and I thought we were on the road to a better place in our relationship, but I guess I was wrong. This happened almost a week ago, and it has been rough since for me – we haven’t talked about it again, and she said she’s not fully decided, but I’m pretty sure we’re done.
Can I tell you how badly I wanted to fap again? I had thoughts like, “Dude, it’s over, you should just do it. You’ll feel better.” And, “Why keep NF’ing? It’s not helping.” And while that’d be true—if I was doing it for her—it’s just more b.s. from the voice in my crotch trying to derail me. Because ultimately, I’m doing this for me.
It would’ve been/will be great if I can save my marriage – I love her, I love my kids, I hope it works out – but realistically, it’s probably not going to. And I don’t want to be an anti-social hermit who faps to my computer and can’t do any better. F- that.
So, if anything, I’m more pumped to continue this journey of self-improvement and getting my life back, because what I’ve tasted so far I know is just the beginning. I’m more present with other people, I’m less anxious, my dick works better, and I don’t feel like a slave of the mind to the P industry. I’m on a journey to be fully human again, and NF is a distinct part of that. Where I end up, who knows – but I want it to be on my terms, and this community has been, and most likely will continue to be, a big part of that.
So, thanks. Thanks for being there, for sharing the road, and continuing to show up for others. I plan to keep doing the same.