Day 0/new member

I'm impressed with anyone doing monk mode with a wife...I did it myself for 90 days once but then went right back, so the 90 day thing is not a universal fix. Now, I am close to my initial 3 month monk mode once again, but this time I am living alone (my wife left this year after a 30 year long marriage)
Monk mode or "hardcore" mode is potentially an enlightening experience. It has taught me so far that I can distance myself from my sexual appetites and still function day to day. Yes, the emotional part can be rough no doubt: anxiety, depression, self doubts etc. but it's all worth it.
The writing is a big deal for me, it's such a release!
I still have an obsession with fantasy about romantic involvement with women, not sexual so much, but more emotional. But again, I am allowing myself to observe this rather than act on it in some way.
Confessing a porn/sex addiction to a wife is a big deal! I did it twenty years ago, and it didn't go well. She probably would have left if it wasn't for the kids. Well, now the kids are adults and she's gone.
The wife being gone is obviously a big plus and takes some of the sexual tension away, she could never measure up to the porn actresses in my fantasy life anyways, the poor woman.
Anyways, onward to recovery and hopefully sobriety!

well.. i think monk mode is a necessity unfortunately. For one, my wife took my disclosure very very hard. It will take time for her to heal. Knowing that I easily looked at other women on porn is a form of cheating to her so she feels betrayed. For that reason she is not ready to have sex with me nor should she until she feels ready. Honestly i think knowing what i know and where i am emotionally, I am not ready to have sex with her until I get myself right, she gets better, and we are better together.

Despite no PMO and no sex, its still easy for me to fantasize which is frustrating. This could be with my wife, or people I know. Fortunately I am not fantasizing about old porn scenes i know.

So yes maybe its impressive so far.

And the other thing is I'm still in a phase where this whole thing is really affecting me as well. I'm in a flatline of sorts still. I can get erections but they're not that often. I'd been dealing with performance anxiety prior to my disclosure too.

Like you, we are together right now for the sake of the kids. She did tell our therapist that she wants to work it out but what that endpoint is, I have no idea whether we can get there or what it will look like.

It pains me to say this, but with my wife having been on the low libido side even before all this, I'm really not sure what a post recovery sex life would look like. I know it seems selfish on my part, but the thought of not having sex again scares me as well.

Its easy for others to say things like "things will work out in the end" but that's where I struggle most. What does working out in the end look like? What if things don't work out? Starting over as a single man 40+ sometimes seems like maybe its better for her, and maybe for me as well. But when I see my kids it tears me up - our kids love us and to see us apart would tear them apart and that's not what I want to do to them.
 

Aeodh Dan

Active Member
It's a dilemma for sure.
My primary reason for living with the girl who became my wife was sex, but unfortunately that's not a good enough reason for a committed relationship with children. We were not compatible and the children suffered because of it.
That being said, they turned out OK I think and most people have some form of dysfunctionality in their homes of origin. But still, it pained me as well to see my kids frightened when we fought, it was heart breaking...
The separation was inevitable nonetheless. It was a unhealthy co-dependency.
In your case, it sounds like it could go either way, but if I were you, I would focus on self cultivation, because ultimately you will be in a better position to be a healthy functioning Dad and husband if you are conquering your personal demons.
I also suffer(ed) from performance anxiety, primarily premature ejaculation. Being in "monk" mode now, I can see that this problem is totally in the mind, and it seemed my life revolved around the sex act, my priorities were way off! I anticipated it so much that the anticipation caused the performance issue. Now I consider that "love making" may be more appealing than "sex". It seems that sex only revolves around the "climax", whereas making love is perhaps a more relaxed approach with no expectations and just letting things "flow" in a sense...I don't know.
 

SimonM

Active Member
I totally agree with that @Aeodh Dan. I have tried avoiding O when having sex in fact, and that's helped me focus much more on the journey than the "goal". It also helps to focus attention away from my own gratification and expectation of a climax to just enjoying being with someone and making her feel good too.

I would say if you have performance anxiety or issues of any kind (such as ED) during sex a great way to start is to consciously just decide to NOT go for O for a while and instead just enjoy what is going on and trying to learn and explore what your partner enjoys. We are NOT porn stars putting in a performance - which is such a distortion of true "love making" - It is terrible that so many of us look to porn for lessons on how to have good sex...
 
It's a dilemma for sure.
My primary reason for living with the girl who became my wife was sex, but unfortunately that's not a good enough reason for a committed relationship with children. We were not compatible and the children suffered because of it.
That being said, they turned out OK I think and most people have some form of dysfunctionality in their homes of origin. But still, it pained me as well to see my kids frightened when we fought, it was heart breaking...
The separation was inevitable nonetheless. It was a unhealthy co-dependency.
In your case, it sounds like it could go either way, but if I were you, I would focus on self cultivation, because ultimately you will be in a better position to be a healthy functioning Dad and husband if you are conquering your personal demons.
I also suffer(ed) from performance anxiety, primarily premature ejaculation. Being in "monk" mode now, I can see that this problem is totally in the mind, and it seemed my life revolved around the sex act, my priorities were way off! I anticipated it so much that the anticipation caused the performance issue. Now I consider that "love making" may be more appealing than "sex". It seems that sex only revolves around the "climax", whereas making love is perhaps a more relaxed approach with no expectations and just letting things "flow" in a sense...I don't know.

i too have had this problem. Not full out PE per se but our sex tended to be rushed or quick. My wife was never the most into sex so she didn't mind but it always bothered me. I think like you the problem is when a man is too focused on his own needs then the problems start -- erectile dysfunction, premature ejac, delayed ejac, etc.

looking back how wrong i/we were. the focus should have been on enjoying our company as a couple, in an intimate setting. whether that led to our release or not should not have been important.
 
Day 38

Remain PMO free.
I had been wondering a lot during this time (as some of you know I am married but still in monk mode while my wife processes her feelings and we repair our marriage), how long could i possibly go without a release before i was driven wild by the need to orgasm.

Well that question got answered last night as I was woken up in the middle of the night with an intense orgasm, and the tail end of a dream where I was having sex but I had no idea who it was with (probably a good thing). Result being a large wet dream.

So, what happens afterwards? Well in some sense relief. Not just physically but also mentally at least temporarily. And while dream sex is not like real sex in terms of satisfaction its certainly much better than MO release. MO release looking back is such a fleeting feeling of satisfaction. It literally only feels like one part of our body gets released and that's it.

But my point in all this is despite the release, I still in some ways felt incomplete, empty on waking up in the morning. Also it had been real hard to go back to sleep too. And when I told my wife this morning as I loaded up the laundry, what happened, she gave me a big hug. And that was what I was missing.. not just the orgasm release part but the connection part. Even without having sex with her, just being close and knowing that despite all the hurt, that we are still together trying to work through this storm made me feel good.

Another way its been explained to me, is that orgasm hits the dopamine parts of our brain. But real intimacy and connection uses oxytocin, a different hormone.

So if we're only focused on the O part, whether PMO, MO, or sex, we just want it again and again but its only what a few seconds long? Chasing over and over is not good for us.

So all the years, and quick, secretive sessions of PMO just hits a short fleeting dopamine rush, and I meanwhile totally underappreciated the real relationship I had in front of me. Sigh.

Instead of making me more down, as I've been down a lot this week, I feel a bit rejuvenated in staying on my path, and working on me, and us. Reading others and having support here on 40+ is really helping me and i suspect helping others too. The road is long but it was going to be long and hard anyways.

Oh and to wrap up this post... if anyone reading this is struggling with the physical aspect of no MO/PMO, just know nature has its own way of dealing with things. Either a man will find release some way some how, or a wet dream will happen. I also personally feel there's a stigma against wet dreams... nobody wants to wake up with stickiness, or, want others to know. But its a natural thing and if it happens let it happen, just let go. If anything, for me at least, wet dream orgasms tended to be rather intense and pleasurable.
 

Aeodh Dan

Active Member
It's interesting what happens in dreams because we don't have a customary awareness...
The subconscious or unconscious state has been explored through dream analysis and also by measuring brain function in clinical settings. It's actually a very significant part of our lives and I think can give us a sense of "completeness" if we incorporate it rather than ignore it. I dream a lot about different people in group settings, even though I live a very solitary life; I am not afraid to engage with people in my dreams. So, for me, how can I use this experience to help me be more sociable in my waking state?
Wet dreams are an indication of what is happening subconsciously and can be analyzed to enhance the recovery process...I had a lot of these for a while, but they have subsided now, because I have entered another stage of recovery.
I would encourage you to learn what you can from these nocturnal emission experiences....
 
Day 60

Remain on track on hardcore/monk mode. No PMO and no real desire to break into porn. The good news for sure.

the hunger and desire for sex are coming back though. Yesterday on my drive back I was consumed with a strong desire for sex with anyone really. Fantasies and desire were pulsing through my head. Clearly I have a strong sex drive still , the porn and shame of PMO clearly were what was causing my ED problems earlier this year.

my wife and I slowly heal. No telling when we will become intimate again but at times I despair thinking that it may never happen again. And/or I will be punished for the past by her withholding from me. I know.. jumping to unfounded conclusions but that’s what abstinence in the face of breaking the worst habit/trait about me does.
I suspect I’m in a phase where I will have to work extra hard not just to not PMO but to remain serene in the face of my fight. Today I’m watching my kids at a practice and there’s an attractive mom close by.. I don’t know her at all.

what I feel is a deep sense of frustration… not just of my urges but also how badly I screwed up my life. In my head I think of this woman’s husband being so lucky to have her and to have a normal healthy intimacy. Something I clearly never cultivated since I treated my wife as a task list for meeting my needs.

anyways posting here today. Trying to remain stoic in the face of adversity.
thanks to all who read .
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
My sense dear @GrateClips is that 60 days is amazing and in hard core I take my hat off to you. BUT 60 days is only 2 months- sorry to bring you crashing down. I think because we focus on this reboot and you get this 90 day badge of excellence that we somehow expect our wives to be on the same timeframe. As my wife says, I maybe a new man and she loves him very much, but she’s not a new woman. She’s still the one she was when I was being useless. So I think your wife adores you and SO wants the new you, but she needs to get vulnerable again and 2 months may not be enough to set a nice precedent and platform. Persevere. You inspire however frustrated you may be.
 
Day 64

Urges for sex/release come in waves and when they do feel strong. Still sober, clean, and proud of self so far. It would be so easy to just give in. But I won't do it. A wet dream release would feel like rain on a drought but despite wishing for that outcome no erotic dreams recently. I've told myself I can't control my dreams so I need to be realistic and just continue my journey. If/when a wet dream happens it will.

Also listening on a book about trying to repair the damage a husband inflicts on a wife from affairs/sex addiction etc. Its from a Christian viewpoint which I don't really identify with but its ok so far. So far big takeaways are being honest with my wife... like 100% honest. Agree with this; disclosure of my sordid past was one of the hardest things to do and has certainly rocked the boat but I think can only make our relationship better should we survive. Not disclosing and only working on my self eliminating PMO would have been good but not being honest.

The line, its better to lose her than lie to her is mentioned. Its hard and harsh but its true. Whether it is with her or any other woman on this planet, no relationship be solid without 100% transparent honesty.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
My wife said to me that in order to reconnect with me she has to accept she will never “know” the truth. I agreed with her but said that when/if she gets to the point where she can reconnect perhaps whether I am honest or not becomes irrelevant. So she sort of needs to believe me or not. Humans do tell lies or untruths. But as we change our brains we wake up to the reality that only the truth is right. That was my logic. Seems tortured on re-reading it.

Your urges are so normal. I get them too. We both have wives who aren’t playing ball at the moment so I completely identify. You’re full monk modeI recall and 64 days without ejaculation is not territory I have ever been in. Did you tell your wife you were doing this. Mine sort of likes that I am, and sort if doesn’t care. We’re still miles away from resuming anything sexual so it’s quite an ordeal. I can’t give advice for coping with urges except to say that I very slightly enjoy the agony. As for wet dreams: maybe I am weird but I have never had one. I wonder what it’s like. I am guessing it’s fucking great!
 
My wife said to me that in order to reconnect with me she has to accept she will never “know” the truth. I agreed with her but said that when/if she gets to the point where she can reconnect perhaps whether I am honest or not becomes irrelevant. So she sort of needs to believe me or not. Humans do tell lies or untruths. But as we change our brains we wake up to the reality that only the truth is right. That was my logic. Seems tortured on re-reading it.

Your urges are so normal. I get them too. We both have wives who aren’t playing ball at the moment so I completely identify. You’re full monk modeI recall and 64 days without ejaculation is not territory I have ever been in. Did you tell your wife you were doing this. Mine sort of likes that I am, and sort if doesn’t care. We’re still miles away from resuming anything sexual so it’s quite an ordeal. I can’t give advice for coping with urges except to say that I very slightly enjoy the agony. As for wet dreams: maybe I am weird but I have never had one. I wonder what it’s like. I am guessing it’s fucking great!

Yes, my wife knows. In fact the therapist i'm working with tells his new clients he wants them to start a 90 day abstinence period kind of like a wash out for the body and brain. My wife I think differs than your wife in the sense that she's probably much less sexually forward than yours is, but on the other hand I also think/hope (now that I'm thinking objectively) that resuming sex will happen hopefully in the near future. Having said that its up to me to get better too before I feel its right we should have sex. Again, similar, but different situations.

I'm sorry you're far apart on the sex thing. But like you I take solace knowing that whatever happens this experience is making me/us a better man.

As far as a wet/erotic dream.. yes they tend to be intense/good. I've only had a few in my life time. Maybe 10 or so at most. They literally feel like having sex. The kind of off putting thing though is that they can be with just about anybody you know, even people you don't necessarily find/thought you were attracted to.

For example, I will always remember one where I was having sex with a woman who was serving as my preceptor/chief at work. She's probably 15 years older than me and I was never attracted to her (even after having the dream). But in the dream we were having real consensual sex. Its not that she was bad looking - she isn't, she's just not someone I thought of in that way. Yet in my dream she's who I had sex with. Weird huh? I could never draw any conclusions from that.

What is so weird is that the brain will literally be telling the body what to experience all the way up to orgasm. It literally is crazy how powerful the brain is that it can create this, albeit in a dream. Yet all the while its just me alone in a bed, no other person.

Finally these things never really happened if I was having sex/MO.
 
Day 65

In a writing mood so here goes. I should probably write more but I like to have things to write about even if nobody reads them, its therapeutic.

Anyways today I wanted to journal about thinking back to how I behave at work and boundaries when it comes to women. I had always prided myself on being the guy that was always home after work (never went out with coworkers w/out my wife), never had a physical affair. Only problem was that I allowed myself to be drawn into huge crushes on a few coworkers over the years, and even if I wasn't looking at porn, a fantasy of my coworker could lead me to MO. That is a form of cheating I realize and I am glad that being abstinent from P/MO has allowed me to see this for what it was.

Also I realize I need to impose stronger boundaries at work. I don't touch women, don't ask them to go out for drinks and whatnot. But I have over the years got into situations where I sat with a coworker in an office and talked for long periods, getting into more personal business such as their own marriage and what not. That can't happen anymore. I feel stupid for not realizing this earlier. Its how emotional affairs happen.

Today a woman at work who is on the touchy side, and married came up to me put her arm around me to greet me, and it was kind of tight, like enough to feel her breast in my side. All guys know that's a thrilling feeling for woman to press into a man, but I also knew it wasn't what I needed - that's a trigger and if I wasn't mentally stronger like in the past I'd *for sure* be MO and acting out tonight thinking of her. In fact, as I alluded to above, she is someone who has pulled this before on me and I have MO'd to her in the past (pains me to say this).

Its awkward b/c I have always felt she's had a tiny thing for me and she really is a nice person, she just doesn't have her own great boundaries herself. I know my wife wouldn't have liked it, and for sure her husband wouldn't have liked the thought of his wife giving side hugs to other guys like that, nor would I have liked my wife to do that to another guy.

So I'm going to be more careful in the future w/ co-workers at the office. Most importantly I'm staying on the program, no acting out over this, and raising awareness and committing to myself and to my own relationship.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Wow. That is SO me as well. Been discussed with therapist and wife. My propensity was seemingly to ensnare some woman (often not necessarily the most attractive women) such that I was such a good listener they would tell me of their home life woes. We’ll there were at least two or three of these. I always just argued that they were friends only, but that’s a cognitive distortion and I obviously liked the friendship for something else. I don’t think I acted out much to the thought of this last woman (a couple of years ago) but a porn related fantasy did possibly include her.

This behaviour is definitely in my inner circle and strictly forbidden. I am clean from that behaviour for a good 6 or 7 months but it wasn’t until I started my program that I realised it was destructive behaviour. And as you point out, it’s not hard to see how bad it is if you just turn the tables and say would I mind if my wife did this. Sure I would. I think I used to so warp my mind that I would think my wife was thinking “damn he’s so cool, off helping out other women that he obviously has no interest in. X probably thinks he’s so sexy and yet he’s mine….all mine. You can’ have him and you’re now jealous of me”. Truly I thought that.

This is how our brain is. Did porn do that to our brain or were we always going to be this way but porn made it worse? Luckily the reboot highlights more than just the porn addiction. I am a sex addict. I know that now. Actually I think I can say I am a recovering sex addict.

You’ve done 65 days in hard mode so your brain is definitely changing and partly fully changed (tortology) so I imagine you see this al so clearly now. That clarity doesn’t mean we find avoiding it easy. But our real skill now should be our perspective and how we can do a 1000 foot helicopter look at ourselves and see what the more subliminal horror show looked like.

Keep going pal, and keep writing. You’re really good at both.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Interesting observations, @GrateClips and @GBS. Did porn make us think about women so much, or are males hardwired this way? Generally speaking, I think men are taught the wrong things by society. That's a number of things, but generally too many men can't take "no" for an answer, think that an interest in a woman should be reciprocated, that it's impossible to be just friends with an attractive woman, that women are generally there for the taking, and dozens of other things. Porn can make that worse, since it objectifies, commodifies, and fetishizes women: they are just sexy creatures that will do our bidding. Ugh!

I certainly hear what you are saying about boundaries with co-workers and the weirdness that comes with MO-ing while thinking about an attractive colleague. But I don't know if a side hug is as serious as you make it out to be, Grate! Some people are just more expressive than others. My own experience is that men often tend to see any expression of affection or friendliness as proof of a woman's attraction; in my experience, if a woman is truly drawn to you, she will make it obvious.
 
Wow. That is SO me as well. Been discussed with therapist and wife. My propensity was seemingly to ensnare some woman (often not necessarily the most attractive women) such that I was such a good listener they would tell me of their home life woes. We’ll there were at least two or three of these. I always just argued that they were friends only, but that’s a cognitive distortion and I obviously liked the friendship for something else. I don’t think I acted out much to the thought of this last woman (a couple of years ago) but a porn related fantasy did possibly include her.

This behaviour is definitely in my inner circle and strictly forbidden. I am clean from that behaviour for a good 6 or 7 months but it wasn’t until I started my program that I realised it was destructive behaviour. And as you point out, it’s not hard to see how bad it is if you just turn the tables and say would I mind if my wife did this. Sure I would. I think I used to so warp my mind that I would think my wife was thinking “damn he’s so cool, off helping out other women that he obviously has no interest in. X probably thinks he’s so sexy and yet he’s mine….all mine. You can’ have him and you’re now jealous of me”. Truly I thought that.

This is how our brain is. Did porn do that to our brain or were we always going to be this way but porn made it worse? Luckily the reboot highlights more than just the porn addiction. I am a sex addict. I know that now. Actually I think I can say I am a recovering sex addict.

You’ve done 65 days in hard mode so your brain is definitely changing and partly fully changed (tortology) so I imagine you see this al so clearly now. That clarity doesn’t mean we find avoiding it easy. But our real skill now should be our perspective and how we can do a 1000 foot helicopter look at ourselves and see what the more subliminal horror show looked like.

Keep
Interesting observations, @GrateClips and @GBS. Did porn make us think about women so much, or are males hardwired this way? Generally speaking, I think men are taught the wrong things by society. That's a number of things, but generally too many men can't take "no" for an answer, think that an interest in a woman should be reciprocated, that it's impossible to be just friends with an attractive woman, that women are generally there for the taking, and dozens of other things. Porn can make that worse, since it objectifies, commodifies, and fetishizes women: they are just sexy creatures that will do our bidding. Ugh!

I certainly hear what you are saying about boundaries with co-workers and the weirdness that comes with MO-ing while thinking about an attractive colleague. But I don't know if a side hug is as serious as you make it out to be, Grate! Some people are just more expressive than others. My own experience is that men often tend to see any expression of affection or friendliness as proof of a woman's attraction; in my experience, if a woman is truly drawn to you, she will make it obvious.

yeah I think you are right. My coworker probably wasn’t meaning to trigger me to act out. But … pick a sample of 10 female friends I have and how they would give a hug hers was by far the closest. And this is not the first time she’s done something like this. I think she just doesn’t have the greatest boundaries . Most women I know are fairly conscious of how close their body is pressing into another man’s.

regardless my point is she doesn’t know I’m a sex addict and the effects this can have. SA meetings very clearly tell members not to give hugs for this reason.

back to the main point though… her hug was a huge source of later thoughts.. some fantasy , but more just reflection on my past , my goals to move forward. I hope for a day where I can move past this much easier. But for now I’ll settle on not acting out as a nice goal.
 
Top