I’ve been wanting to write something for a while now. Things have been going really well for me personally for the last 8 months. This time last year I was in a really bad place, I was afraid that I was heading for break up with my wife. But now our relationship is stronger than ever, and I’m 227 days PM free according to my tracker. So without further ado, I just wanted to share what worked for me:
- Counselling. I did about 40 counselling sessions, 1 hour a week, and tried to follow my counsellor’s guidelines. It cost me €60 each time, but the investment in myself was well worth it. I still have many unresolved issues, but the ones around porn have been pretty much eliminated. The main change for me was to start being emotionally honest with my wife.
- Journalling. My counsellor got me to write down my thoughts and feelings. I’ve filled about 5 notebooks in the last year with this stuff. It has really helped me to think through my feelings instead of just avoiding dealing with them. I have realised that a big part of PMO for me was just a bad coping mechanism for feelings I didnt know how to deal with. Putting my feelings into words on a page was a big step in understanding myself and what I was/am going through.
- No masturbation. All my previous attempts to quit involved just trying to quit P without quitting M, it took me a long time to come at it from the other direction, and decide to quit M first. One of the thing that prompted me to do this was reading the book mentioned in this post. What I took from the book was that lots of people who think they have a porn problem, have a masturbation problem. And as it turned out, I was one of those people. This was difficult for me to accept at the start, but it turned out to be great move, with lots of positive benefits:
- The no-M rule meant that even if I did relapse and look at P, the relapse would not last for as long, and would not end up with the usual self-loathing, depression and covering-of-tracks that used to always happen with a PMO relapse. So the next day I would be back on track and determined to try again. Previously it used to take me a month to get over a relapse.
- My sex life with my wife is waaaay better than it used to be, both in frequency and intensity. This was a total surprise to me but it makes perfect sense in hindsight. Instead of wasting my energy on internet fuelled fantasies, I’m investing in my actual partner who can actually respond. It has really improved our relationship and made us closer as a couple.
I hope this info is of use to somebody else.
LINK – It worked out in the end