I’ve just hit 90 days, a month better than my previous best which was in 2013. Here’s what my experience has been like:
1) I feel noticeably better, but I’m not a different person or anything and that’s OK, my life was pretty good to start off with, it was just tainted by porn use and porn shame. My wife hasn’t commented on a change in me or anything but I think I’ve gone from being a good husband and dad to being a great husband and dad. The times when I used to not be 100% there because I was thinking about porn are over.
2) I’m noticeably more confident, not like I’m suddenly the life of the party or anything but I do feel more social, funnier and just generally happier to talk to people.
3) As a porn user I never completely lost interest in my wife or suffered from ED but I do feel more interested now and more willing to do the work to create conditions where we can be intimate.
4) I still have urges fairly regularly, and I’m OK with that. I’m starting to learn when I’m most likely to be tempted and anticipate urges. I feel confident that I’ll be able to stick with it this time but I’m not taking anything for granted.
5) It really is great not to have the shame any more. After a couple of months I really noticed that I felt a lot less bad about my former porn use. I feel like by doing my best to beat this I’m earning the right to put the past behind me.
6) Also great, choosing how to spent my rare free time alone. It used to be a foregone conclusion, but now I can cook, read, go for a drive, play games or whatever. All much more fun than what I used to do with those times.
Things that have helped me:
1) The day counter. I do find this a huge incentive to stay clean.
2) When I had my worst urge I sat down and wrote down all the things that are better about life without porn and it really helped. I have to say that rereading the list didn’t do nearly as much for me, the process of going through doing the writing was a lot more powerful and I plan to do it again next time I feel like I’m really about to throw in the towel.
3) Being super disciplined about not seeking out any material whatsoever to get aroused. I will not avoid watching a movie or whatever just because it has some nudity though. I have learned that seeing boobs in a movie will give me urges later but I want to learn to live normally without porn and for me that means learning to deal with the urges rather than trying to avoid them.
4) Masturbating whenever I wanted (subject to privacy! 🙂 ) The two camps on this forum will never agree on this but I personally find it comforting to know that it’s always there for me.
5) Visiting here, participating in monthly challenges etc. I find posting, even short updates in the monthly challenge threads, especially helpful.
6) A really big one for me – having realistic expectations. I gave up a good attempt in 2013 because my life didn’t seem much different. I’ve learned to appreciate the small improvements now.
7) I’ve found it really instructive to see how many people here have fallen off the wagon after maintaining streaks of a year or more. It’s a great reminder to stay vigilant.
That’s it, good luck everyone wherever you are in this process! And I’ll just note, I’m 38 now and I’m at peace with the fact that I used porn for 20 years but if you’re young now it really is the best time to quit. There’s all kinds of better experiences out there for you.
LINK – My 90 day experience