There is always hope. Communication. Not hiding anything. Accepting the blame. Understanding that not every day can be a perfect step up from the day before. Saying goodbye to pornography forever. Very little (I am aiming for zero) masturbation.
Those are my commandments.
It’s not always easy but the benefits are extraordinary. I feel more masculine than I have ever felt. That doesn’t mean I want sex either. It’s just a very lovely feeling and I wish everyone else could feel it.
Just going to correct something I wrote above. I described feeling more masculine than ever but said I didn’t want sex. Hmmmm. I think what I mean is my abstinence is not making me champ at the bit for release. I am serene (right now). The test comes when I am 45 days or so without MO which will be roughly 4 weeks from now. I SO look forward to the challenge.
Now you may all know this but it explains a lot to me. This is what my therapist said:
We all have baselines of dopamine. They vary from person to person, but we addicts (not just porn) need our level raised. We do this by indulging in something like porn, fast food, chocolate, drink, gambling, drugs. Then we get a massive dopamine spike. We need more porn or dirtier porn as time goes on because we like the spikes and the spikes aren’t as high if we stay watching the same thing. So we add more things to give us a hit. Meanwhile our base level (sort of our resting level) drops. So we need more hits and we’ve also got to use more imaginative (kind word) porn.
When we stop, our brain itches for us to give us the highs because we’re stuck down at a lower bae level. And when we stop watching after a while, our base level of dopamine goes back up a bit. And then a bit more and then gradually it goes way past what we were used to and the need for the highs diminishes - these can be the by products of the reboot. We will possibly drink less alcohol. So we’ll feel better and look better (and have more money in our pockets) and the cravings should be more slight as time goes on.
It makes sense to me. Reboot is about getting your baseline dopamine level back up. I think MO hinders the speed the level goes up but I realise I am a little bit outspoken about the monk mode reboot.
Persevere. And keep writing. I am nothing without your help.
Good information GBS. Although I have been keeping my misguided "lust for dopamine" under control, I ask myself: what could I do instead that would give me the same pleasure? Yes, going to the gym is healthy, and going for a walk is nice, but I'm talking about a dose of dopamine that wouldn't feel wrong or sleazy.
I just Googled that. The answers are all (possibly) not what you’re hoping: eat the right food, exercise, sleep more, meditation, listen to music. I get the feeling it’s all about a raised dopamine base line rather than getting a free pass on a spike. All the spike pleasures are obvious aren’t they - I suppose one can get a spike from some sporting activity like playing a really good round of golf (not relevant to me I can assure you). I imagine the gym addicts get dopamine rushes. They do talk about it as being addictive.
Sorry. I was going to suggest you started smoking but that’s probably not what I should say
131 days. I think I am 20 days no MO. Relationship flourishing but intimacy is still very small. The move forwards we had seems to be a one time thing. We’ll it hasn’t been repeated yet, anyway. No worries just managing expectations.
Visiting family coming in from US about to arrive. Tension levels have increased. Not mine. Although this is a little test. They won’t hear about this all. I shall try an be good.
an interesting weekend with in laws and so crazy busy. That didn’t mean I didn’t have to fight urges to MO because I did. I am sure in the past I would have sneaked off somehow because I deserved it. But not the new me….although the monk mode is getting to the tricky 30 day stage that is your first serious test.
Had chat with wife later yesterday. Just said I was slightly struggling with no intimacy. She said her issues are all about her body image and so we had a ridiculous argument where she said you don’t want to see my body and I said I would pay thousands for just one glimpse. I don’t think we’ve moved further forwards but we haven’t gone backwards.
I still need to give her an indeterminate amount of time. She threw the “but you searched out more beautiful women and masturbated to pictures of them” argument which she hasn’t used for a few weeks actually. Tricky one if that’s her default line. I get it. I just say I am waiting on the other side of gorge and if she wants to leap across I will catch her.
How can you explain that you can be attracted to your partner with all her wrinkles (real and figurative) despite the fact that you seek out "perfection" online? I love my wife for so much more than looks - I really do - and almost in a separate compartment of myself I seek out the fantasy of porn. That's hard for a partner to make sense of I think. I guess putting myself in her shoes I'd feel like that too if I knew that she's been salivating over "hot" guys. I'd feel inadequate for sure. All we can do is keep showing our love and appreciation for the beautiful women we have and be patient.
Thanks @SimonM . I could have written what you said word for word. There’s no easy explanation for what we’ve done. I have gone down this road with my wife and I got cornered in the discussion (it wasn’t an argument thank god). My wife is pretty savvy though and says she realises men are wired different and we just need to cum pure and simple and online porn wasn’t around 50 years ago so the problem is just worse because it’s right in front of us. That’s nice that there’s some understanding, but that gets followed up with ……I don’t want you to see my body anymore. I am revolting. You want something younger clearly.
I think being 130+ days sober from porn and also my new proclamation that I am saving myself for her by no MO’ing all helps and backs up my argument but patience is what I Need most. I am blessed with some of that. It helps that I am otherwise feeling on top of the world. Have lost weight, look better, have a feeling of masculinity and empowerment. Wife loves this but also says more women must be looking at me. You can’t win. Shrug. You
All good. Wife looks at me in generally different way these days. It’s so refreshing and wonderful. My patience can continue when she looks so happy. Downside is that her looking happy is so sexy, so I am mentally undressing her a lot. Not really a downside just hard to live with although there is much pleasure in the pain.
134 no PMO and 25 no MO. Feeling great. Wife connecting slowly but surely. It’s a slow process because connecting slowly still means nearly zero intimacy and boundaries are in place e.g not allowed to touch her arse. This kills me. I am 60, and I sound like a kid. I enjoy the pain in an odd way and am looking forward, strangely, to the no MO numbers getting higher and the tension that brings within me. Maybe I am a masochist.
Thanks for your ongoing support gents. I would not be here if it wasn’t for you (plural). You know who you are.
Nothing major to report. Was treated to nice hug from behind from wife. Very comforting but immediately made me think about sex. I could genuinely have a one track mind. I am a reasonably intelligent man of 60. I have responsibilities and leadership roles. My wife hugs me and all I want is intercourse. Is it lust addiction? Or masturbation addiction? Or am I normal?
We are Getting Better Slowly. Keep going my friends.
You are normal. It's been quite a while since you've had it, and you are focused very much on when your wife can fully move forward. Her willingness to be sexual with you again really is the signal you are waiting for. Not because you're a sex addict, but because that's the ultimate sign that you two are good again.
... And ... Yes, you're a man who wants sex. That's normal and healthy. Because of our porn addiction we also learn to identify sexual energy as something shameful. It shouldn't be. Not if it's focused on a real person we love.
Your patience with your wife and perseverance with your reboot are an inspiration. Stay strong!
GBS, same exact story, except was not caught, but told several months ago no chance of resuming sex, result of me loaing that emotional intimacy due to porn. 57 day no P, day 3 no MO. Without prospects of sex makes commitmnet tough to MO, P has been remarkable easy. Any words would be great
Nothing is "normal", we are unique individuals.
Every one of us has specific reasons for the struggles we have. Mine was a fucked up childhood. Why are you living with a woman? Sex? Companionship? Don't want to be alone? Important questions to ask.
I just wanted fucking mainly, but I know now that the lust for fucking was a cover. A cover for what? For the need for intimacy. But fucking doesn't ever cure that need...orgasms don't fill the emotional needs. There is a difference between healthy sex and "fucking" in my opinion.
You mentioned the word addiction twice....do you think you're an addict? What is underneath the addiction?
Perhaps addiction is "normal" these days......
@SimonM have to say today has ended badly. I misread a signal (you’re getting the short version!), I made some inference that the speed of her recovery could be faster (understatement), and we went back a month. Depression lasted a few hours then we talked again and we’re back although my expectations are managed. The boundaries still exist and haven’t moved since March. I am not being flippant if there are recovering partners reading. Just had tied to wrong ends together. I thought my recovery and being a better man made me more attractive to her and hastened her progress. The two are unrelated. And thanks for your kind words. I don’t feel very inspirational. In fact I could rename my thread “is this alone story or a tragedy?” I genuinely don’t know.
@NYC - welcome. Second best thing I did coming on here. Best was kicking PMO. There’s no magic trick, but testing my resolve on no MO has been a fascinating exercise and when the battle gets intense (30 days +) you’re in unchartered territory so it’s incredibly exciting as well as being chew arm off frustrating. I do honestly think my dopamine addiction decreased hugely because I refrained from MO. That’s controversial and not backed up more than a sample of one. But the brain changes from no MO are astonishing. This is the challenge I face, because I think whilst I was addicted to porn it was a means to an end because I think I am actually addicted to is M. So (I got there in the end) be a bit tough on yourself and try some hard core rebooting. I hope your wife notices your changes and desires you more as a result. Good luck -start your own thread….maybe you have.
@Aeodh Dan - you write so well. I wish I could think more, and as Mark Twain said….write you a better shorter letter/response. Addiction is an overused word, so I may laid that on too thick. But I am prone to overdoing things or obsessing about them. Was (past tense) a gambler. Have an ego the size of Italy. Need to impress. Need validation from everywhere. Have only been single for about 6 months in 38 years. So I crave friendship and love people to fall in love with me (my feelings seem to be secondary).You know what they say: “Safety third…after thrills and fun”.
I always wanted to be my wife’s hero. I am right now. I wasn’t for awhile. I used to look forward to sex so I could get off. Now the Thing I most look forward to is giving my wife pleasure. That’s what I am now “addicted ‘ to!
Perhaps you coul start with non- sexual touching. For me and my husband we started sitting together on the couch. We held hands. We kissed good bye and hello. Real kisses not pecks. We shared affection. It helped me because during porn time the only time he did any of this was when sex was the goal. When he was horny. This was something we mutually agreed to. It helped a lot.
Thanks @Gracie - I will see if that’s possible although she did say absolutely not to kissing the other day. Other than a peck. I think it’s too associated with sex in the past. I was re-asked absolutely to respect the boundaries - I had gone over them by touching her hips. She said that wasn’t right and it made her feel nervous and then we argued, then it all unravelled. We got it back together but it’s still like we’re on day one of recovery.
progress is sometimes so slow you have to forget about it. Wife is telling me I just have to be patient. That’s the simple truth. Is that easy? Up to a point it is, because I like the new me and I am hoping she will too. Actually she says she does but there is suspicion and distrust in her eyes. Any female partners of addicts reading this will probably say this is standard and I shouldn’t read negativity into it. Just suck up the pain after all I did cause it.
And so we carry on. I am sometimes climbing the wall with frustration but that’s the price and I am paying.