Another story - probably the same as everyone else

Sammyjo

Active Member
@GBS Unfortunately yes.

I don't know if other partners do this but I've realized I have a mental tally going. 2 columns - "Trust him" and "Don't trust him"
It sounds as though you can't afford more check marks in the 2nd column. For me, he may have accumulated 10 trust him points and he does 1 thing to upset me and all the trust me marks vanish AND all the "don't trust him" things come flashing back. So yes, if you want to save your marriage you have to be patient.

I hope I'm not butting in too much, but I do have an idea for you to consider. You have to find a way to make her feel loved again, and you have to be super careful to not nullify any good you've done (remember the columns!).......So here's the idea - Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? They are: Words of affirmation, Quality time, Physical touch, Acts of service, and Receiving gifts. Everybody feels loved based on one or more of these things. I'm actually a blend of the first 4 - a gift means very little to me, but a tiny kind act will light me up like a Christmas tree! Find out her love language (hopefully it's not touch!) and start speaking in HER love language.

Here is a link to the quiz, you can actually both take it and then you'll be able to better show your love (she may not be ready to show love yet but she would need to take the quiz for you to find out what her love language is.) https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language

Keep up the good work and keep your chin up!
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
And so we carry on. I am sometimes climbing the wall with frustration but that’s the price and I am paying.
Would that be the "price" you are paying or is it punishment. Yes you have hurt her or frustrated her or whatever but now I guess it's your turn. I just never figured 2 wrongs will make a right, Just my 2 cent's 138 days clean you are a man amongst men/

Post often it helps me it helps you
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Thanks @joepanic. My wife is not vindictive I think. After all I am pretty certain she loves sex, so denying me this is also denying herself. I obviously think this runs way deeper than that.

And to @Sammyjo - thanks for writing so much. I am flattered truly. Can I respond? One of the problems of communicating is that if you get into a corner and fight with words, she can always say “x years of hurt….that’s what I endured. So live with it.” And one can’t say anything. You (lovely wonderful patient loyal) partners can control any situation. I could say that’s not fair because up to a point it isn’t actually fair. But obviously I keep some things close to myself.

The trust tally thing, I know I’m also judged similarly. I have been close to being 100% perfect recently then I got a situation wrong and it seems to have wiped out all the good. I am sure I don’t need to be defensive here but I am pretty good on the language of love too. I never used to make the bed but I now do, I help around the house more than I used to, I do gardening (which I used to hate). I have been drinking a lot less (not that I was an alcoholic) and have shed 15 pounds. Though I say it myself I am looking good. I wrote her a song for her birthday and me and the kids performed it. I write the occasional card and give flowers (not all the time…three or four times in 5 months). We talk more than ever as I have just retired so quality time is almost every day. I tell her I sincerely love and adore her every day. I kiss her hand a lot. She sometimes looks back at me with depth but most often I see wariness and fear in her eyes. I am asking her a lot to be vulnerable, but if I didn’t ask her this would effectively be over.

Her barriers remain firmly up. Indeed because I overstepped a boundary it has affirmed where those boundaries are. It’s difficult, really difficult, bite your arm off frustrating, but I caused the pain…..so yadda yadda yadda. Thanks for the quiz by the way. It may take some diplomacy to get her to fill that one in. Anyway if I didn’t know what she liked I wouldn’t be much of a husband.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I think something else that holds us back as partners when trying to recover our marriage is the mind comparison we have. We women are taught if we do everything right: Stay slim, stay young, give our man whatever he wants in bed, take care of the kids he won’t watch porn or cheat. Ie be the perfect wife. And then this surprise hits us or we realize the watching has affected our intimacy with our husband. Either way the head thought is we failed. Then it sinks in who was chosen over us. Young ones. We are not young any longer. Society teaches women we should be a 19 yr old “10” our entire life. Using make up, plastic surgery or whatever. And men are taught they should have that “10” in bed with them there entire life. However it is not possible for women to be that. So we think that was what you chose so that is what you want us to be. And we know we can’t. So we feel second choice to pictures. Pixels. You weren’t choosing us before, why now? Yes sex gets shoved at men in ads movies and shows every day. But why are we not chosen?
 

Sammyjo

Active Member
Would that be the "price" you are paying or is it punishment. Yes you have hurt her or frustrated her or whatever but now I guess it's your turn. I just never figured 2 wrongs will make a right, Just my 2 cent's 138 days clean you are a man amongst men/

Post often it helps me it helps you
Hi Jp, I would guess this is how my husband feels. He has told me that he "understands" how I feel about it but he doesn't see it as cheating. (I'm going to write more about this on my thread so as not to hijack GBS's journal)

From my heart I can tell you (at least in my case) it is not punishment but rather self preservation. The pain I felt when I found out was literally worse than the day my dad died. And the pain that followed was as deep. Sick to my stomach, couldn't eat, literally shaken to the core. It's been a few months now, and it still hits me hard at least once a week. I fight to keep it all out of my head. When I let my wall down I feel anywhere from nervous to terror (literally) because I never want to feel that kind of pain again. Just as he didn't choose to become addicted, I am not choosing to feel this way, rather, I believe it is caused by the innate "fight or flight" reflex. I want to fight for our marriage but I also want to run so as not to be hurt again. The fear that remains now causes me to need consistent reassurance. It is not a punishment, but rather the situation has left me ridiculously needy (and I HATE that! In my mind needy is ugly and frankly the last thing I need right now is to feel uglier.)
Thanks @joepanic. My wife is not vindictive I think. After all I am pretty certain she loves sex, so denying me this is also denying herself. I obviously think this runs way deeper than that.

And to @Sammyjo - thanks for writing so much. I am flattered truly. Can I respond? One of the problems of communicating is that if you get into a corner and fight with words, she can always say “x years of hurt….that’s what I endured. So live with it.” And one can’t say anything. You (lovely wonderful patient loyal) partners can control any situation. I could say that’s not fair because up to a point it isn’t actually fair. But obviously I keep some things close to myself.

The trust tally thing, I know I’m also judged similarly. I have been close to being 100% perfect recently then I got a situation wrong and it seems to have wiped out all the good. I am sure I don’t need to be defensive here but I am pretty good on the language of love too. I never used to make the bed but I now do, I help around the house more than I used to, I do gardening (which I used to hate). I have been drinking a lot less (not that I was an alcoholic) and have shed 15 pounds. Though I say it myself I am looking good. I wrote her a song for her birthday and me and the kids performed it. I write the occasional card and give flowers (not all the time…three or four times in 5 months). We talk more than ever as I have just retired so quality time is almost every day. I tell her I sincerely love and adore her every day. I kiss her hand a lot. She sometimes looks back at me with depth but most often I see wariness and fear in her eyes. I am asking her a lot to be vulnerable, but if I didn’t ask her this would effectively be over.

Her barriers remain firmly up. Indeed because I overstepped a boundary it has affirmed where those boundaries are. It’s difficult, really difficult, bite your arm off frustrating, but I caused the pain…..so yadda yadda yadda. Thanks for the quiz by the way. It may take some diplomacy to get her to fill that one in. Anyway if I didn’t know what she liked I wouldn’t be much of a husband.
GBS - “x years of hurt….that’s what I endured. So live with it.”
I too have thrown something like that out there. More along the lines of "you hid this and lied about it for 10 years (that I know of) how do I know you're telling the truth now" and "you created this, YOU FIX IT!"

To help you understand, after finding out, I removed several pictures from view in my house. There were several pics of us slow dancing, from different occasions over our 30+ years together, where he looked SO in love with me, but now they make me cry. Every time I look at them, or think about our good times I feel like it was all a sham. In my heart I feel like he was "playing the part of the good husband" all the while his mind was on other women. It is truly beyond my comprehension to understand how he could look so in love when all this was going on and it makes me question everything. It is going to take time, and we will need to create new memories.

I never used to make the bed but I now do, I help around the house more than I used to, I do gardening (which I used to hate). I have been drinking a lot less (not that I was an alcoholic) and have shed 15 pounds. Though I say it myself I am looking good. I wrote her a song for her birthday and me and the kids performed it. I write the occasional card and give flowers (not all the time…three or four times in 5 months). We talk more than ever as I have just retired so quality time is almost every day. I tell her I sincerely love and adore her every day. I kiss her hand a lot. She sometimes looks back at me with depth but most often I see wariness and fear in her eyes. I am asking her a lot to be vulnerable, but if I didn’t ask her this would effectively be over.
Ok...having trouble putting this in writing because it's important to remember each of us deals with it differently...I guess I'll say it this way - It would make me SO happy if my husband were to up his game, keep doing what you're doing. I can't say it would fix it immediately, but it would certainly ease my heart a bit and over time build confidence.

@Gracie Boy you nailed it again! I wish I could be so concise!
 

SimonM

Active Member
Are there things you CAN do with her that would feel rewarding but not cross any boundaries? I feel like it helps me when I can look forward to doing something fun with my wife - helps me focus less on what I'm not getting... for us it's often going to the movies, or maybe an outing to a place we both like going to (tomorrow we're going canoeing for a few days). Keep it up!
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
I think something else that holds us back as partners when trying to recover our marriage is the mind comparison we have. We women are taught if we do everything right: Stay slim, stay young, give our man whatever he wants in bed, take care of the kids he won’t watch porn or cheat. Ie be the perfect wife. And then this surprise hits us or we realize the watching has affected our intimacy with our husband. Either way the head thought is we failed. Then it sinks in who was chosen over us. Young ones. We are not young any longer. Society teaches women we should be a 19 yr old “10” our entire life.
Gracie do you speak for all women here in the world i know my wife was never taught that I don't think my mother wasn't either. And i certainly never expected that from any woman I ever dated. Quite frankly the gals I knew over the years who strived for societies supposive "10" in looks were nothing but conceited and ignorant and treated us guys who did not have the long hair and leather jacket rebel looks like shit. I have read so many journals over the last 5 years on this site and over and over again I see the reasons for getting into porn ranged everywhere from abuse as a child loneliness not fitting in alienation ADHD boredom insecurity the list is certainly much larger. It will also of course include a few who have a skewed view on women(lets be real here as in these journals in the 40 plus category porn is a men's problem and women/wives/partners are victims. As for your comment that "young ones were chosen over us" umm i see again you speak for all women.

GBS Please let me know if you feel I am hijacking your journal in any way with my comments
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
Hi Jp, I would guess this is how my husband feels. He has told me that he "understands" how I feel about it but he doesn't see it as cheating.

My wife never thought of it as cheating perhaps because i never hid it from her and she could care less that I watched it

Also...... I too have thrown something like that out there. More along the lines of "you hid this and lied about it for 10 years (that I know of) how do I know you're telling the truth now" and "you created this, YOU FIX IT!" This is something I totally agree with I got into porn and i feel its my responsibility to get out of it. As for the relationship repair job that takes 2 people or one person telling the other what must be done and that person doing it and than it must be left behind
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Hey all. 24 hours and it’s gone on fire this journal. I suppose that’s good for us all. I can’t address all that was written, but did want to pick up on some of the flavour of what @Gracie wrote. Thanks for what you said. I am pretty sure we men get it. We think we understand the depth of the pain but we probably don’t. I don’t think taking you on will advance the ball, but (and I speak just for me here), I have dug deep in my thoughts as to why I watched porn and I can say with my hand on my heart that it wasn’t to chase down some dream woman or the 18/19 year old body. I won’t say much about what I did search for for fear of triggering. Don’t get me wrong, the women I watched did have good bodies but I am as certain as I can be that that wasn’t what I sought. I didn’t want anything better than what my wife could offer.

The question back has to be: so why didn’t you just have sex with your wife, right? Complicated answer but the root problem is mine where I think I could try and initiate sex and get a mild rejection so I take the easy option out and look at porn in my frustration. Very obviously I should have addressed what the reasons were for the rejection- I prob knew the reasons and didn’t want the fight to be honest - so the problem is caused by me and the ultimate even bigger problem is also caused by me. This is not a “poor me” essay, just addressing the subtlety of the reason I turned to porn. Very very hard otherwise to say anything to you patient partners except we can’t change the past but we WILL change the future.

Meanwhile back in my world, I have hit 140 days free of porn, and 31 days monk mode. Relationship with wife is great except it feels like I am dating a women I have a crush on who has just said “can we just be good friends?” Sure, sure……whatever you say. We’re doing a ton of stuff together and we hold hands, but the hug cannot include the hand wandering any lower than the waist band. She reiterated the other day that the boundary is SO important to her and I have to observe it else I can forget it all. She even said I would have to move out if I couldn’t keep to this one simple request. To @Sammyjo and @Gracie and any other partners I want you to know that this is the hard bit for a man. The response of “suck it up dude” would be all very well, but below our collective intelligence actually. I will go out on a limb here and say that we who are doing great things and changing and know how and why we’re changing (neural pathways, dopamine control) deserve some empathy and understanding. A kind response would be to discuss the nature of the patience required to move forwards and see the advances made as amazing progress all heading in the right direction. We are the bad guys, we know that. Thing is we’re not the bad guys anymore.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
For those that feel I think I speak for all women, I do not feel that. If you read through the women’s section, most have these feelings. My goal is to help men understand that we get strong visceral feelings about porn use by our partners/husbands. I was not a porn hater, my husband and I had watched together. Him watching and pulling away from our marriage and sex life was the problem. This is also something that can be verified through reading from the women and some men here in their writing. I personally never had boundaries that excluded sex during our time working through this, nor did he. I knew I loved him and giving up on our marriage was not going to happen. So we worked on it together. I felt he cheated. I had to have a way to get past that. I had to know he wanted us to last. Our comfort phrase was “I’m not going anywhere.” It was not easy. It took a year before I thought we might make it through. A year. I try to share so men know we do not know because we never thought we would feel this pain. We are flying blind too and we have no idea what to do. Geoff Steurer says it best, “You are our band aid for our pain.” And also the cause. We need you to be that bandaid. We want you there with us understanding, but we want all of you. If anyone wants to know the boundaries we mutually set, let me know. They are contained in Hello Gentleman now we Begin. They are mutually participatory. But just know at this time we need you more than ever.

*This is not speaking for all women everywhere in the world. Just a compilation from my 10 year journey both going through and working with others.
 
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joepanic

Well-Known Member
Hey all. 24 hours and it’s gone on fire this journal. I suppose that’s good for us all. I can’t address all that was written, but did want to pick up on some of the flavour of what @Gracie wrote. Thanks for what you said. I am pretty sure we men get it. We think we understand the depth of the pain but we probably don’t. I don’t think taking you on will advance the ball, but (and I speak just for me here), I have dug deep in my thoughts as to why I watched porn and I can say with my hand on my heart that it wasn’t to chase down some dream woman or the 18/19 year old body. I won’t say much about what I did search for for fear of triggering. Don’t get me wrong, the women I watched did have good bodies but I am as certain as I can be that that wasn’t what I sought. I didn’t want anything better than what my wife could offer.

The question back has to be: so why didn’t you just have sex with your wife, right? Complicated answer but the root problem is mine where I think I could try and initiate sex and get a mild rejection so I take the easy option out and look at porn in my frustration. Very obviously I should have addressed what the reasons were for the rejection- I prob knew the reasons and didn’t want the fight to be honest - so the problem is caused by me and the ultimate even bigger problem is also caused by me. This is not a “poor me” essay, just addressing the subtlety of the reason I turned to porn. Very very hard otherwise to say anything to you patient partners except we can’t change the past but we WILL change the future.

Meanwhile back in my world, I have hit 140 days free of porn, and 31 days monk mode. Relationship with wife is great except it feels like I am dating a women I have a crush on who has just said “can we just be good friends?” Sure, sure……whatever you say. We’re doing a ton of stuff together and we hold hands, but the hug cannot include the hand wandering any lower than the waist band. She reiterated the other day that the boundary is SO important to her and I have to observe it else I can forget it all. She even said I would have to move out if I couldn’t keep to this one simple request. To @Sammyjo and @Gracie and any other partners I want you to know that this is the hard bit for a man. The response of “suck it up dude” would be all very well, but below our collective intelligence actually. I will go out on a limb here and say that we who are doing great things and changing and know how and why we’re changing (neural pathways, dopamine control) deserve some empathy and understanding. A kind response would be to discuss the nature of the patience required to move forwards and see the advances made as amazing progress all heading in the right direction. We are the bad guys, we know that. Thing is we’re not the bad guys anymore.
Very Well said GBS especially your 3rd paragraph
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
@GBS in my long journey I found that at the end of the day this journey is ours and ours alone. It is about our independence, because we are doing it mainly for our own salvation.
So focus not if others are supportive or encouraging or not.
Knowing that you are doing your very best is all that really matters.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Hi @TakeActionNow - you are of course completely right. I am doing it for myself. To say that’s all that matters is simply not the case for me. I would still continue if my wife left. But my recovery is for our marriage’s sake as well as mine. That’s my whole focus. I will still be a new man if she can’t cope with this all, but the new man will be devastated.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
@GBS I hear you and understand. Relationship can be complicated, in that what they value and want to see in us may be different than what we think is important. By independence I mean the ability to stand alone.
Not be alone.

The nature of Woman is life. Only they can create and bring life. Their nature is chaos.
Men on the other hand is the rock. We are like pillars. Strong and supportive.
When they see our strength and independence, they will come to love and respect us more.

I recognize that reboot is for rescue of your marriage. I certainly feel that we are much much more attractive as men after reboot. This comes from confidence in ourselves by overcoming adversity and by our renewed love of the world and ourselves.

So please do not worry about how she feels or do. If she is a good woman, she naturally can sense and see the new you and lean towards your strength.

If she does not, you can use your renewed strength and win her over.
 
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GBS

Well-Known Member
141 no porn. 32 monk mode.

We talk about triggers a lot. I get urges certainly. Best thing is that the urges are all wife related. Truly. It’s got nothing to do with porn. I guess I could go back to porn for ease (I won’t of course), but I am not fantasising about porn or make up fantasies related to what I watched. Now if you’re doing the monk mode (no MO whatsoever) this creates a problem. One needs to suppress the urges or one can obsess - but how is suppression of my desire to please my wife a good idea? I even get urges writing this down. She was wearing a dress yesterday……sheesh…..phooooaaaarrr. Trouble down there. I didn’t touch it. I so wanted to. Killing me.

I think these are all good signs. But it’s getting to the really tricky stage.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Here’s what my therapist said today: some men get actually greater pleasure from turning their partners on than they do from being stimulated themslves. So the therapist said that if I think that saving myself but only wanting to please my wife was somehow an heroic act then I am deceiving myself. My wife, so my therapist says, will just put this down as an attempt to get my own erotic pleasure and it will mean next to nothing….or nothing….or actually a negative. So the advice is don’t think that you can say this stuff and somehow induce an acceleration in her trust. She will trust you if you do the laundry when you don’t normally, or you make those calls that you normally put offm or you do 2 hours of ironing, or you cook the meals for a week. That will help her know you’re committed.

It’s all sense.

By the way @Gracie put this on one of her threads. It’s mind blowingly good. https://m.soundcloud.com/loverice/the-science-of-human-connection-with-dr-sue-johnson

It‘s not easy to listen to but everyone should.
 

joepanic

Well-Known Member
Here’s what my therapist said today: some men get actually greater pleasure from turning their partners on than they do from being stimulated themslves. So the therapist said that if I think that saving myself but only wanting to please my wife was somehow an heroic act then I am deceiving myself. My wife, so my therapist says, will just put this down as an attempt to get my own erotic pleasure and it will mean next to nothing….or nothing….or actually a negative. So the advice is don’t think that you can say this stuff and somehow induce an acceleration in her trust. She will trust you if you do the laundry when you don’t normally, or you make those calls that you normally put offm or you do 2 hours of ironing, or you cook the meals for a week. That will help her know you’re committed.

It’s all sense.

By the way @Gracie put this on one of her threads. It’s mind blowingly good. https://m.soundcloud.com/loverice/the-science-of-human-connection-with-dr-sue-johnson

It‘s not easy to listen to but everyone should.
I always get massive pleasure from turning on my wife. To me sex has always been about giving something to someone else and I don't see anything wrong with getting your won erotic pleasure in the process. As for helping out around the house that was just a natural thing for me I am 51 years old and this is not the 1970s anymore. so now a porn addict please see illness because that's what an addiction is to me)must enter servitude with his partner to find forgiveness and trust? This is a real problem in our system. Addictions are still treated with a strong stigma that an addict was trying to hurt others with their actions. Another problem is rebootnation states they help people recover from porn addiction through education and support but many journals seem to turn into a debate about relationships and the damage done. The focus does not seem to be on helping the addict "reboot their brain but rather on the effects on the wife. Seems a little like putting the cart before the horse to me.

post often it helps me it helps you
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Fair point that threads become about repairing marriages. Mine certainly is like that. But the fact is my reboot is saving my marriage so the two are intertwined. The dealing with porn addiction thing is complicated because obviously I have not given up sex. So discussion of how I steer clear of porn but get my sex life back is 100% a reboot issue.

Sorry to be defensive but that’s pretty plain to me. I have learned so much from the recovering partners and there’s a really good chance that my marriage is saved. So coming on here, allied to my therapy and my own resolve, has been one of the best things I have done in my life.

142 days sober. 33 days (the last 10 tricky) monk mode.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
143 days no porn. 34 days no MO.

My oh my I was close to MO’ing yesterday. My faults st the moment are all how I put pressure on my wife. I know I do it and it’s sometimes subliminal, but it’s not fair of me. I am 60 but a total child sometimes. There is an obvious explanation which is that with the no MO thing one does get a bit over focussed on the frustration. I knew at 30+ days it would get interesting and boy has it? I may be a self masochist but I was looking forward to getting here. It’s not unlike the sensation of edging in its feeling of anticipation. You can block out the sex thoughts for a while but they return. It’s not porn, it’s not fantasy, it’s just staring at my wife’s curves. I won’t say more than that because of triggering.

Going to be busy today which is good. Conducting the choir at a wedding, and meeting my nephew this evening and handing over his Dad’s (my brother) dog. All good distractions. Wife is off to movies with my boys while I am out. They’re going to see that new Thor film. Not my bag so no problem EXCEPT that will leave me alone at home. I will need all my resolve. Must keep this going. I did get to around 45 days earlier in my run and I will look back to that. Wonder what to will be like. Maybe amazing maybe agony. Nice rewarding agony. I feel utterly amazing.
 

GrateClips

Active Member
What you are doing is incredibly difficult. Whatever the outcome of you stay on this path you are becoming a way better man.
 
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