Need advice: What to tell my girlfriend

Caravan7

Member
Dear all,

The moment I met my current girlfriend, I immediately stopped watching porn. So, to this day, I haven't looked at any porn since I met her (and I don't plan to do so even again, whether with a partner or single).

I did mention to her I had a problem in the past, but after that single mention, have not raised the topic again.

However, I still check people out in public, other women. I'm learning slowly to bring that under control, but only slowly...

What would you advise?
1) Tell her, be transparent, that I feel bad for looking at others, I'm rebooting, working on it, but haven't fully recovered yet
OR
2) No need to add this burden to her. I should deal with it myself, it's my problem, and one day I will be over it, meanwhile I shouldn't make her suffer for no reason

I'm really not sure...

thanks for any insight!
 

Jlied

Member
In my opinion, if you see any kind of long term involvement with her you should be upfront about your struggles. You may not need to go into detail but she should be aware especially when it comes to triggers. I think too that this would be respectful to her so she isn’t surprised by anything in the future as it could have a negative impact on the relationship.

I tell you this from my own experience. I’m married but never disclosed my porn/chat room habits with her until one day she found out. It’s been 2.5 years since she found out. Things are getting better but there are still trust issues that we are working on. I know it may not be easy to disclose to her but long term it may be beneficial.
Good luck!
 

Larrymagoo

New Member
I dont think you should tell her you're checking out other girls. It's one of those things girls know we all do but to just point blank admit it wont go down well. I do the same thing and worry that I'll continue to do it even once I've completely kicked porn (which I haven't managed to do yet). How long have you not watched porn for? And do you find your girlfriend more attractive and therefore less likely to check out other girls after you stopped watching porn. I've been with my gf for nearly 3 years and I have noticed less desire for her over time and I'm hoping that by quiting porn I'll rediscover that desire for her which she deserves. What are your experiences with lust for your gf after quiting porn?
 

Caravan7

Member
Thank you folks,

Yes I debate the issue in my mind. I haven't seen a single porn video or image since January, though I still have images in the brain I MO to. So I have no illusions I am free of sex addiction of some kind, though it's not acted out.

I would say that I am with my girlfriend, since the beginning, mostly for the warmth of the relationship, the mutual understanding, and the companionship. Perhaps I love her. On a purely aesthetic level, I find many women more attractive than her, and that is why I glance at them: I idealize and I overly sexualize every woman body. That is conditioning from porn. So yes, I lust tremendously, continuously, and often about pretty much everyone I see as long as sufficiently young and good looking. If I bump into a particularly sexy woman on the street, my internal world almost collapses. I can't take my eyes off her, or I can with EXTREME effort. It's sort of torture really.

I came up with a technique, R.E.L.A.X., to calm the urges (see other post) and it helps somewhat, but it's still a long journey ahead.

I have also worked on the issue through therapy: the desire for an idealized woman, without imperfections, is rooted in a low-self-esteem issue, as often is the case = If a hot woman likes me (or if I have sex with a hot woman), that means I AM valuable (handsome, or what have you). So I long and lust after women largely for that reason, worsened by the neural conditioning due to porn addiction (dopamine and shit, as we all know).

This "intellectual" awareness of my problem is essential but does not solve the matter by itself. I hope that the two-pronged approach (therapy plus behavior change) may eventually stop me from lusting after everyone I see.
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
This may not be popular but it is my opinion and you can take it or leave it. I too was a porn addict. My wife new I surfed porn before we were married and even during our marriage. She could not care less. What she didn't know was that I was outright addicted. I chose to quit porn for my own reasons. All she knows now is I don't bother watching it anymore and that's the end of it. She also knows I check out other women on the street beach etc. and again could not care less as she checks out other guys but only on rare occasions. She has a very specific standard of what she likes. It seems you have given up porn for almost 7 months. Excellent. You are getting things under control and discussed it with her and I don't believe you need to discuss your porn addiction with her. Its becoming a part of your history. As for checking out other girls I have to ask does she ever check out other guys? If so than I dont think it needs to be discussed. If not you have to ask her if it bothers her. If it does you may want to put serious effort into cutting out that behaviour. And one of the worst things you can do is compare your woman with all other women No good is going to come of that
 

Caravan7

Member
Thank you for the message.

She does not check out other guys at all! She's marvelous, completely committed to me. She seems completely unfazed by the sigh of the most handsome men. I tried to ask when a good looking actor is on screen, "isn't he handsome?" and she would say "eh, yeah" or "eh, not that much" She doesn't care.
I am putting serious effort into controlling my behavior, and I agree with you on that. I don't think I want to give her the stress to worry about that now. If I am successful, I will be able to change my behavior in time until it disappears. At that point it should all be good. There are chances this woman is going to be my partner for life, so it's a long haul. And yes, comparing her with other women is wholly detrimental, though for now I can't stop that. But I have a therapist and I know the roots of that mental mechanism, so I'm working on that too.

Mostly, I have a very idealized image of a woman, so any imperfection of my gf (and everybody has imperfections) gives me an excuse to look for someone more "perfect" in the world. This actually hides a fear of closeness, as I learned.

So I'm using R.E.L.A.X., psychotherapy, and other strategies to slowly learn to diffuse these thoughts and behaviors. I notice a minor change so far, but any change gives me hope, no matter how tiny.
 
Dear all,

The moment I met my current girlfriend, I immediately stopped watching porn. So, to this day, I haven't looked at any porn since I met her (and I don't plan to do so even again, whether with a partner or single).

I did mention to her I had a problem in the past, but after that single mention, have not raised the topic again.

However, I still check people out in public, other women. I'm learning slowly to bring that under control, but only slowly...

What would you advise?
1) Tell her, be transparent, that I feel bad for looking at others, I'm rebooting, working on it, but haven't fully recovered yet
OR
2) No need to add this burden to her. I should deal with it myself, it's my problem, and one day I will be over it, meanwhile I shouldn't make her suffer for no reason

I'm really not sure...

thanks for any insight!
Talk to her about it. Talk to her about girls you find appealing, what appeals you...what you find attractive in them. Talk to her like you'd talk to a friend. You'll laugh at things which seem like a big deal right now once you realise that those things are really small. In our minds we make them a big deal. And to make them small, talk your heart out. Tell your girlfriend of the actresses you like, of the girl you like, and what you like about them. Communicate like a friend.
 

Caravan7

Member
Talk to her about it. Talk to her about girls you find appealing, what appeals you...what you find attractive in them. Talk to her like you'd talk to a friend. You'll laugh at things which seem like a big deal right now once you realise that those things are really small. In our minds we make them a big deal. And to make them small, talk your heart out. Tell your girlfriend of the actresses you like, of the girl you like, and what you like about them. Communicate like a friend.
Well, that's a very different perspective! Interesting take. I must admit in the past, I used to think that if two people in a couple can freely talk and joke about the famous people they find hot, it's a good sign. It means they realize a relationship is a choice, not the end of the natural instincts of our species. With my current partner we have in fact made such remarks on a few occasions.

That said, I have a larger issue: noticing that someone is hot is fine per se, but I actually find myself tempted to make a masturbatory fantasy about someone else, or even desire them as partner, and it makes me doubt my current relationship. So that's a problem, to the extent that I risk to leave someone I actually love because she doesn't meet the "standard." I lost a dear girlfriend in the past precisely because of that, and I regretted it bitterly for several years. Gotta be careful now.

But you still got a good point.
 
Well, that's a very different perspective! Interesting take. I must admit in the past, I used to think that if two people in a couple can freely talk and joke about the famous people they find hot, it's a good sign. It means they realize a relationship is a choice, not the end of the natural instincts of our species. With my current partner we have in fact made such remarks on a few occasions.

That said, I have a larger issue: noticing that someone is hot is fine per se, but I actually find myself tempted to make a masturbatory fantasy about someone else, or even desire them as partner, and it makes me doubt my current relationship. So that's a problem, to the extent that I risk to leave someone I actually love because she doesn't meet the "standard." I lost a dear girlfriend in the past precisely because of that, and I regretted it bitterly for several years. Gotta be careful now.

But you still got a good point.
"tempting to make a masturbatory fantasy ..." Yeah that is an issue. Drop a message if you feel like on the edge. We can talk until the feeling wears off.
 
Tell her everything dont feel afraid to be rejected i tell allways everything and i dotn care if she laugh or something it will be easier for you then to hold everything inside
 

CoolBreeze

Active Member
Well, that's a very different perspective! Interesting take. I must admit in the past, I used to think that if two people in a couple can freely talk and joke about the famous people they find hot, it's a good sign. It means they realize a relationship is a choice, not the end of the natural instincts of our species. With my current partner we have in fact made such remarks on a few occasions.

That said, I have a larger issue: noticing that someone is hot is fine per se, but I actually find myself tempted to make a masturbatory fantasy about someone else, or even desire them as partner, and it makes me doubt my current relationship. So that's a problem, to the extent that I risk to leave someone I actually love because she doesn't meet the "standard." I lost a dear girlfriend in the past precisely because of that, and I regretted it bitterly for several years. Gotta be careful now.

But you still got a good point.
I believe you can find someone attractive fine or hot but you don't have to act on it or act out on it as in a masturbation fantasy or approaching that person if you are in a committed relationship.

Attractive women are definitely a trigger for me but I'm learning that I can acknowledge that she's hot but I don't have to act on it.
The trigger of a hot woman would make me want to act out with porn. I'm having to reevaluate my perception of women in general especially attractive women. In a nutshell I would replace my porn addiction with a real women. Having her replicate what I see on the screen. I have to build healthy relationships even if it's not a committed relationship. Porn and sex addiction have inhibited my from healthy relationships most of my adult life.
 
I believe you can find someone attractive fine or hot but you don't have to act on it or act out on it as in a masturbation fantasy or approaching that person if you are in a committed relationship.

Attractive women are definitely a trigger for me but I'm learning that I can acknowledge that she's hot but I don't have to act on it.
The trigger of a hot woman would make me want to act out with porn. I'm having to reevaluate my perception of women in general especially attractive women. In a nutshell I would replace my porn addiction with a real women. Having her replicate what I see on the screen. I have to build healthy relationships even if it's not a committed relationship. Porn and sex addiction have inhibited my from healthy relationships most of my adult life.
i saw u on day 90 how is the reccovery do you get spontanous errections, do u have higher libido?
 
D

Deleted member 23018

Guest
However, I still check people out in public, other women. I'm learning slowly to bring that under control, but only slowly...
Trust me, all men do. Don't think you need to make a fuzz over this. Not like you need to hide it, but we know you guys do this and most women I know are okay if their men do.
 

Caravan7

Member
Thank you Sophie, that helps.

Well, the quick check out is probably natural, but the part I want to change is that I fret about the sight, the woman I just saw, and it becomes a fantasy, as if I need that woman to be happy sexually (rather than my girlfriend). It risks to ruin my relationship. I think the intensity of my reaction to the cue is too high, probably due to conditioning over several years of PMO (which I have now stopped since January, but it leaves traces).
 
D

Deleted member 23018

Guest
You know, if you feel like it's bad for you and think you do it too much do something about it. But trust me, most guys do a lot more than just a quick check out. Eyes drift off all the time.
 
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