I am unsure of the time period it takes to consider yourself free from porn and its affects...but know I am not there.
I am looking for those men who are years away from it to chime in, though I welcome all comments.
It appears to me that Porn Addiction is primarily a "man issue" and that the close relative "love addiction" is primarily a "womans issue". I see them listed in the same context, filling the same brokenness....but different.
My question is not to debate the validity of definitions or to split hairs on which label fits.....I KNOW my porn use destroyed parts of me, my wife and our marriage.
My question to put out on this post is....what was your path away from the use and the healing of the destruction it caused?
My journey started when I saw what I was doing as a relationship blocker between me and God. I am a Christian and see how, fundamentally, my journey away from it could differ than the aetheists.
I read EveryMans Battle, followed by EveryMans Marriage. I also read pretty convicting statements scattered throughout the many infidelity books I read....as porn is a form of infidelity. Some of my IC sessions focused on my porn use, what it meant to me, what it did for and to me, how it was my "teacher" of what sex was, what it did to my wife and my M. Keep in mind I was also discussing and finding my way through the pain of my wifes affair....so my focus with my therapist was split.
I put into practice what these books speak to, what my therapist suggested.....breaking patterns, habits, addictions through a series of steps and process's.
No porn use is a given.
Other highlights are.....4-6 week initial phases. 4 weeks to break the "habit" and replace with constructive activities, 6 weeks to reset chemical imbalances, admitting and confessing my activities, accountability partner establishment NOT my wife, and being aware of situations that would normally preclude my use of porn or cause me to want to reach for it.
Very formal steps....all agreed with me and feel healthy.
Then I read two more books. Healing is a Choice and am now reading Undefiled.
These two books take a different angle then the "12 step" process. They pull no punches, do NOT call it a disease (and actually fight society's common view that porn addiction and alcoholism are "diseases"). The put the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the person committing the sin. No FOO issue searching, no unmet needs blaming....just a firm attitude that "you have done wrong. You have free will. You must open your heart so that God can change it."
Last night I joined "Recovery Nation" and ordered the book "Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction". I have not received it yet but it, plus the web community I spoke of, look to appear to be in the "12 step vein".
This is why I am posting.
BOTH process's resonate with me.
I was NOT miraculously cured of my addiction. I needed 4 weeks to break habits and felt very different 6 weeks into no-porn-use. I also know that God is at work within me...so even with "mans' steps"....I need Him and am grateful for his grace and mercy.
I also know that I have free will and that God gave that to me for a reason. He also calls us to call sin....sin. My pastor has told me before that sexual sin is a sin to not stand around and ponder its origin (its as old as the bible)....it is one to turn and run away from and don't look back. He is also a strong proponent of fellowship....so he is not proposing to "white knuckle" any of this.
So since I am struggling to come to terms with which path has the highest probability of success, I am looking for others who have gone down this path before.....hoping to perhaps marry these two different healing paths together (a challenge for my black and white thinking pattern), or try and determine which camp I am in and follow the one that is best for me.
Longish post.....but tried to summarize.
Pray for me. I still struggle with the pain of my wifes affair. I need courage to face what I need to face and not reduce my motivations because of pain and fear.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:32 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]
Too much of her suggestions fell in line with how sex was in our M pre-A. She also was pretty light handed on her views of masturbation and porn use. Thought I was compulsive and habitual.....but she was turned more like society than my wife or I were comfortable with....encouraging me in an IC session to be a little more gentle on my views of this part of me. Like other BS.....fixing the broken parts in me are complicated by the additional stress of adultery. Perhaps the therapist was going to focus on this at a later date. We weighed our experience after 7 sessions and determined it was not our path to follow. She did suggest we try "affair like" sex (just fun and nothing more) and other suggestions were similar to what we did pre-A.....which had ties to how I learned sex from porn (my source for this....not an adult).
We are going to see a licensed Christian counsellor this week....phone interview indicates her own M wrestled with sexual sin.
I am hopeful .
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:31 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]
*Away (Flight response)
*Against (Fight response)
Keep up the progress Toward Intimacy.
Your experience supports behavior theory:
"I listened to a professional trainer describe how he had taught African crested cranes to stop landing on his head and shoulders. He did this by training the leggy birds to land on mats on the ground. This, he explained, is what is called an "incompatible behavior," a simple but brilliant concept. Rather than teach the cranes to stop landing on him, the trainer taught the birds something else, a behavior that would make the undesirable behavior impossible. The birds couldn't alight on the mats and his head simultaneously."
IMHO, Porn and Intimacy are incompatible behaviors.
But I do agree with you in the two very different approaches to dealing with the "addiction" I have the two sides in debate on one hand I have s.a.a. saying that I need to accept that I have no control and relinquish the reins to god as I understand him. Then the belief that I do have control that its not addiction but obsession and its my choice to continue or not. Like you I was about 6 years old the first time I was introduced to pornography and tracing back over the years I can see where it has stunted my development and slowly killed me off inside and made me numb. I look to the controversy of addiction or not and cast it aside. I feel that trying to define it will help me not heal so I just accept that its a problem whatever they want to define it as and try to beat the odds. I refuse to be one of those people go to the s.a.a. and therapy and make no progress . So I fully agree with you to get as much information as you can and identify with what hits home the hardest. I will keep you in my prayers and wish you the best in healing and happiness. Sorry for thread stealing and I hope I didn't ramble on to much
IMHO, Porn and Intimacy are incompatible behaviors.
My opinion as well....which why I view this very different them alcohol use.
I look to the controversy of addiction or not and cast it aside. I feel that trying to define it will help me not heal so I just accept that its a problem whatever they want to define it as and try to beat the odds.
I get this. I am not fighting or denying my destructive choices where just that.....destructive. And, like you, can see how I lacked development because of it.
Thanks for chiming in. I will add you to my SI prayer list.
I was NOT miraculously cured of my addiction.
There are several different paths you can take to fight your habit and change your thinking, but the best that I know of is being truthful about what you are fighting and getting help from a CSAT (an addiction specialist is nice, but you are fighting a sexual addiction. While some things are the same for all addicts, sexual addiction needs to be treated differently.
She did suggest we try "affair like" sex (just fun and nothing more) and other suggestions were similar to what we did pre-A..
No masturbation. No porn. No Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Nothing that gets your sexual thoughts moving, except your wife. And the 2 to 3 month respite from sex is important, as it gives you time to work on rewiring the parts of the brain that have become habituated to looking at sex as a way to escape, release emotions, and objectify others. Porn gets the dopamine in the brain all excited. You have to give your brain time to get back to normal levels of dopamine and relearn that sex with real women (your wife) can be satisfying. It will take some time. Don't freak out if you can't climax for a while. That is totally normal. Don't focus on that part. Focus on the intimacy. A good CSAT will help you with that part.
Also, per your question on which path to take? Whichever one works for you. Try several and see what resonates with you the best. 12 step programs have saved lives but they don't work for everyone. Patrick Carnes and Recovery Nation has helped many but again, it isn't for everyone. You will have to just try several things until you find what fits, but if you are dedicated to this, you shouldn't have a problem finding something that will help you.
Gently here...you are STILL not miraculously cured.
So very true Na´veAgain....sorry, I didn't mean I was cured. What I meant was that since I was not miraculously cured by God....I have much work to do. I needed a process lined out for me from which to start. I have started that work but, like learning to R, really have only a small idea what lies ahead. And just like R I can chose to move forward or keep repeating the same cycle....I am choosing to break some cycles here. Cycles that span more than just my generation.
What you speak of is what I am learning...and it IS unnerving.
To a man.....each man I have shared my battle with has responded that they TOO are battling this.....save for one who is LOVING porn. He was in an open marriage and is now going through a dreadful D.
My sample size? 6 men so far.....all of which appear totally normal and more accomplished than I am....ages from 25-47. One is my go-to accountability partner who I did not know wrestled with this until I told him about myself and what I needed him to do. One reason I chose him was I believed he was stronger than I, that he could teach me how to do better. Now I actually think he has struggled harder than I have with this battle. We are working on this together, but his struggles are what also have me reaching out to other men in real life and here on SI....and soon on Recovery Nation.
If it is as published....that a mans hard wiring gets messed up due to porn use in his formative years......it is very unnerving. Each and every boy I grew up with used porn and shared porn. Keep in mind I was a child of the 80s. My formative years porn use was relegated to Playboy, Hustler and books of erotic letters. I saw some VCR and Beta tapes but 95% of my porn use was printed material during my years.
What chance do boys of today stand really? Not to be fatalistic....but boys of my era found porn and it took considerably more work and was not very diverse.....get months of use out of parts of the same magazine. NOW with iPods, smart phones and such.......porn is easy and free and quickly concealed.
I have two nephews, one of which is hardcore gaming and online stuff....he is 13 almost 14. I have given his parents Every Young Mans Battle, told them briefly of how destructive porn has been in my life and marriage, and offered to share more, all if they are ever interested. His Dad and I were in college together.....he had porn then, he also ran harder in high school than I did and are more liberal in their views.. They are also atheist....I suspect the book turned them off because of the Christian tones.
Sounds like you are maybe a professor or researcher or therapist. If that is so, what percentage of men today used porn during their formative years where the rewiring occurs?
I also agree that porn use is no longer an option for me for life.
It sounds as if your opinion is all processs work to move away from porn....but each man must find which one fits his style?.
Do you subscribe to the theory that porn addiction is a disease?
The book Undefiled has me rethinking what defines disease. The book even denounces the term to describe alcoholism.
Thanks for your detailed and specific response. It is what I was looking for.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:59 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]
She is listed as a Sexual Addiction Specialist...which is one of the justifications I used to choose her...she also had expertise in adultery and other sexual sins. She is not the typical anxiety, family issues, social worker type of therapist.
I filled out a sexual history questionnaire for her....took about an hour to do so. I listed all of my past sexual experiences, filled in as much of the 12 previous months of therapy that pertained to anything sexual related, etc...
I was radically honest with her from the beginning....we had already spent $5K with the other therapist by then (not a sexual addiction specialist nor an affair specialist) and I was getting tired of dancing around issues....being asked to talk about feelings and how I felt when my wife said that....and how my wife felt when I said this.
Our next therapist is a Christian therapist. I was very direct and to the point on my 20 minute phone interview with her....talked about my long history of porn use, wifes affair, and what we had done since DD. She knows about Retrouvaille and Weekend To Remember (a first for our therapist to date), she knows about EveryMans Battle and Undefiled, she says they have wrestled sexual sin in their own marriage 15 years ago.....I am hopeful this therapist will be more aggressive and not as dismissive of this issue as much of society is.
Perhaps I got a bad CSAT....they are human after all.
Right now my next steps are to continue fellowship, see this Christian counselor, finish the book Undefiled, start the new Patrick Carnes book, and actively engage Recovery Nation....as well as pray and work on my relationship with God.
Beaker....if you ever want to PM me...I have a couple men on SI that are battling this as well. Sounds like you might feel a little isolated. I am new into this battle....but have read a considerable amount. Fellowship has been key for me and I would welcome another man into this. I am sorry to read the pain in your post.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:23 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]
To a man.....each man I have shared my battle with has responded that they TOO are battling this..
I believe it has just been recently that the damaging effects of porn are being realized. Back then, everyone did it, so it was normal and "healthy" and acceptable for men. Now, as we are learning more about how the brain reacts to certain things (I love that they now have the ability to do brain scans and see how certain areas light up when certain processes happen), we can see what truly happens when someone ingests certain chemicals or behave in certain ways. And the reason I am convinced it is an addiction (or at the minimum, a dependence)is because it has the same effect on the brain that alcohol and certain addictive drugs have. Lights up the same areas, and for those susceptible (which is a huge majority of people because we, as humans, are hardwired this way), causes certain "cravings." For me, since I view it as an addictive behavior, I tend more towards addiction-based treatments, but there are those that conquer this in other ways. Whether those ways lead to a lasting success or not I am not sure. I do feel that white knuckling is not the way to go, and if you don't get to the core of what led you down this path and bring EVERYTHING into the light, you are much more susceptible to relapse.
My original WS is a SA (which is what started me researching this specific area). He is not in recovery so I had to leave. I talked with his mother last week and he is still heavy into his addiction and has actually started showing bad signs of paranoia.
Sounds like you are maybe a professor or researcher or therapist.
I believe you are looking more for a faith based treatment, and the way I think of this in a faith based way is that demons like the dark and tend to run from the light. So when you expose all the shame, guilt, ugliness from your past, when you bring those demons to light, and you find a loving place to be able to confess your past discretions where you know you will be loved and accepted no matter what, that is a HUGE step towards healing and recovering from addiction. Those that believe in a higher power can usually find this from their higher power. Sometimes we are also lucky enough to find other humans that can make us feel safe enough to be completely vulnerable, but being human, sometimes that is a hit or miss type of situation.
Just a piece of interesting data: Did you know that the porn industry spends millions on research on how TO get people addicted to their product? They know what they are doing. That is why it is easy to find and free. The free stuff is what draws people in, but at some point, your brain starts telling you that you need something more and that is when you get caught up in throwing your money at the stuff. Put bluntly, boobs are exciting the first thousand times you see them, but somewhere after that, you start looking for something else, because you've already seen them a thousand times. In some cultures where the women are topless all the time, men don't get sexual stimulation from seeing the women topless because they always see the women topless so it isn't a novelty. They get immune/desensitized. That is what porn does. If you look at it enough, you become desensitized and that is why it is very difficult for regular porn users to reach orgasm with real women unless they take their porn images to the bedroom with them.
I've seen porn cost people relationships, homes, careers, and with one of my family members, he committed suicide because he couldn't deal with his addiction.
I also wanted to say good for you, that you are educating yourself about this and taking steps to heal your soul. It is unnerving to find out what you are dealing with, but there is power in knowledge, and it is a manageable addiction if you are dedicated to overcoming it. I've seen people do it. From your posts, you seem to need to attack this from the more intellectual side of what you are dealing with, so I do think it is good that you keep getting educated on this issue, but also, part of the treatment is just behaving your way out of it. Sometimes, the behavior has to come first and the emotions will follow.
OTOH, when working with your partner on this, she is going to need to see the more emotional and vulnerable side of you, to rebuild her trust so she feels "safe" being sexual with you again. Have you both read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. I suggest reading it together and taking your time with it (while you didn't have an affair, you can still substitute EA for the porn and look at it from that direction; even though you didn't have an AP you were still running FROM your partner and the intimacy, and since she is a WS, it can help her with her side of it also). This book will help you both see each other's point of view, which I feel is crucial to rebuilding. I know for me and my current partner, it has done wonders for us as we generally only get through a few sentences and it opens up dialogue between us and helps us to relate our feelings to each other. Something like that can help you both build the bonds of intimacy again.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 8:59 AM, March 10th (Monday)]
though you didn't have an AP you were still running FROM your partner and the intimacy
sadly, this is very true. Porn is infidelity. Though my wife used it too, it is my problem to own and I brought it into our marriage. I also agree that it was terribly destructive in my life even before meeting my wife.....and admit I don't know just how damaging it was nor how to totally seek out the boundaries of the damage. I DO have choices and am making those now. I have faith that, just like the pain from my wifes affair, I will heal from this destruction....and that my wife will be able to to.
The major hurdles in our marriage are not my porn use nor my wifes affair....those are symptoms....as horribly destructive as they are, they are not the root cause of our marital strife. We both were choosing coping skills well before we even met that are NOW the primary wedges and walls in R our marriage. Problem is.....both of our choices surrounding porn and adultery have consequences and real pain associate with them. So even though they are not root causes, they still demand attention. KWIM?
I see my root coping mechs being used by my Mom as well as both of my brothers....dont have much of any relationship with my Dad....but I see lots of intimacy blockers in behaviors of the rest of my family.
My older brother has divorced....instigated by his wife (very dysfunctional drug background in her family and her too). Since then my brother has openly admitted he has no desire to enter another relationship with a woman....he "can take care of his needs" by himself. He is referring to porn and sex. He is embracing his fears rather than facing them...KWIM? It is with much sadness that I realize and write this. I see his daughter having to ask for hugs, I see my relationship with him being limited by his fear. I love him and reach out to him as firmly and compassionately as I can.....but he will have to choose for himself if he wants to leave porn. Our relationship is changing too due to my changing.......
Wife and I once again talked about our FOO issues this weekend. We now see clearly how ours worked so nicely together......her fear of conflict and denying her feelings combined nicely with my abandonment fears and being vulnerable to be hurt.
I didn't ask much of my wife because doing so would put me in a position to be rejected and abandonend. Porn did not cause this...it provided a comfort for this disposition.....my FOO coping skills are the root of this disposition. Was safer to use porn then to reach out and risk rejection by developing mature intimacy with my wife.
She didn't within herself acknowledge the depth of her feelings nor share them with me because she didn't want to be in a conflict-stance with her husband. Her dating experience did not cause this disposition in her.....her A was not the cause of it, it was a symptom of it. Was safer to push her feelings down and ignore then it was to face them and risk confrontations with me, which would afford us the opportunity to develop mature intimacy.
We were quite comfortable....almost proud....of how well our marriage was going.....all the while simply ignorant that our actions where the exact things that were keeping our utlimate goal of mature bonding from taking place.
Two become one......
As we learn in scripture this does NOT mean loosing ones own identity and uniquness....it actually means being fully aware of yourself (strengths and weakeness's) then coming together and sharing ALL of you....then, through your vows (which far exceed the "contract" level of agreement) committing to a lifetime of experiencing all that life has to offer. The "dying to oneself"? We are starting to get this too....it does not mean "cease to exist" rather it appears it means "facing the broken parts inside you, letting pride die and admitting you don't always know what you should do or how to do it".
See my "growing up fast" post for more thoughts on this.
Our own fears, which we really developed during our formative years, are the very thing that has prevented us from our growth.
I could see why you are drawn to this field of expertise.
I have said from early on that if this trial was not so damn painful....I could actually find it enjoyable and exciting. Scripture also instructs us to "rejoice in all things"....not just the fun things.
Too bad I am such a faulty Christian. But God gets that.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses which obviously took some time to put together.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:35 PM, March 10th (Monday)]
Beaker.....will PM you.
Our own fears, which we really developed during our formative years, are the very thing that has prevented us from our growth.
So the coping skills we learn as a child, though adequate to get us through childhood, tend to be a huge impediment towards mature, adult relationships. Problem is, it is much harder to change when we are adults (still possible though!)
Bit of a catch 22, huh?
From what you are writing, I believe you and your partner are well on your way towards a beautiful, strong, loving relationship, as long as you both remember to push the boundaries of vulnerability and intimacy towards each other, be compassionate (because you are both just learning to walk,) and support each other when you fall.
BTW, I am somewhat on the same path as you, my WSO and I are both relearning how to communicate with each other and have a healthy relationship, how to be vulnerable and intimate with each other, and how to trust. Wish they taught this stuff in school!
Self growth can be painful, but it can also be hugely rewarding and interesting. I think you are finding that out also.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 10:07 PM, March 10th (Monday)]
Although sexual sin doesn't come in just the form of naked women where ever you may find it. I've also found it to be in the women I'm around daily How many times have you checked out a woman on the street, Billboards, Newspaper adds, Or how about on the TV in commercials or stupidly placed woman in TV show's (If you watch the walking dead, the new chick with the military guy... you're in the zombie apocalypse, you don't need a cut off shirt and daisy dukes!!!) I hate society for this. Does everything have to be about sex? And I'm including men and women in that question. I know a supply and demand nature of humanity but come on!!!! when will it end? Sometimes china is looking like a great place to live.
I've since been able to not check these women out and I'm not cured by any means. I still have to consciously keep myself in check. But as each passing week goes by it becomes so much easier. I've found other tings that keep my interest. Healthy, non relationship hurting things.
I'm glad you can speak with people Blake, I have realized 99% of my friends are toxic and have very bad tendencies and I can no longer allow myself near them and don't want to be near them. I'm even staying away from my brother because of his life choices. and like you I'm doing it because I'm changing and my friends and family can be toxic. I view it as quitting smoking. And everyone you hang out with constantly lights up around you. It doesn't help the healing process.
I have realized 99% of my friends are toxic and have very bad tendencies and I can no longer allow myself near them and don't want to be near them
Thank you for your honest response nogoodap1.
I am sorry your circle of friends are so toxic. I really reached out to my closer male friends as I thought they were healthier than I was....could mentor me on this area I am lacking. Was surprised to see them wrestling just like I am. One friend I would call "toxic ".....he loves porn and will not give it up, sees no reason. I still interact with him but have firm boundaries.
I get your point about how even in zombie movies they put mid cut shirts on women. I get trade magazines that do the same thing and I am in a traditionally "conservative" line of work.
I have lost track of the many business contacts I have had to ask to stop sending me inappropriate emails. I have done this for decades. Shameful....but I had boundaries with porn at work but not in my marriage.
I know you mention China in jest....but this is why we need to seek out and identify our "whys" so that we can fix or retrain or whatever the appropriate expectations are to changing our ways.....just like WS do. We must do this because just like my wife can find another AP, I can find porn in china.
Thanks again for sharing.
I am gaining knowledge on this addiction, but lack real wisdom. It helps me to that goal by discussing it and then taking action....
"We do the best we can....then we learn better, and we can then choose to do better."---Maya Angelou (pretty close to word for word)
My twisted mind is ill equipped to get me out if the mess it got me into. So reading, prayer and honest fellowship is needed. 7 sessions with a "sexual addiction therapist" left me discouraged.....she more or less rolled her eyes when I stated I believe masturbation and porn are destructive to my marriage. My wife was there....she confirms what I saw . Therapist also suggested we have "teenage like sex" as well as "affair like sex".
This was our second therapist.....50-70 sessions thus far.
We see a third this week.....
God help us all.
I like that quote. Thanks for sharing. I agree word for word. One day I'm doing my best the realize it's not the best because I learned something different. And then I choose to do my best to exceed that expectation.
I know porn can be found in China. But only if you are looking for it. Which I'm not. Just like I'm not looking for a beach commercial on tv with women in bikinis that make me look away or change the channel. At least over there they hide it so it's not shoved down your throat like it is here. But I'm also smart enough to know that avoidance of a situation isn't "you handling it" so I see it as a game.
"Hey I see you watching tv here's a half naked chick wanna look?"
"Nope" *turns away*
There's no half naked chick anywhere for temptation and I say "I'm cured! I don't look at half naked chicks at all!"
But while I'm good in normal situations but I still have to stay focused. I think I would be caught off guard if some random chick came around a corner completely naked. While I would turn away as fast as I could I feel it would be hard to shake and get to a normal mind. And that's how I know I still have to work on myself.
As far as porn and mastrubation go. I got that nipped in the but and it's great. It builds a whole new level of attraction for your SO that I've never experienced before. Because my whole life I've used porn or mastubated. And sometimes up to 4-5 times a day if I was that bored. Technology has made it so simple I can view it on my phone which is so much faster than pulling a computer out. (I've since told my girlfriend to put a parental lock on my iphone for her peace of mind that I don't know the password) So for me it's creating a whole new bonding that is incredible.
[This message edited by nogoodap1 at 6:08 AM, March 12th (Wednesday)]
I see more clearly what you mean by toxic friends. I am sorry are in the sitch you are. My friends that I hang with appear to be pretty mild compared to yours. Appear being the key word. I really don't know them as well as I thought.....really thought they did not wrestle with porn.
I do work with one girl.... Open marriage and has a very inappropriate relationship with a guy at work . I have picked up in he " tones" since I startedy job.....kept pretty firm boundaries w her. Recently she appears more "friendly" towards me. It also appears my work knows about my marital struggle....... my wife's A or my porn use or both?
Doesn't matter. Boundaries are needed.
I also know that clarity and calm you speak of by being porn free.....feel it too.
Boundaries in Marriage are two great books.
Undefiled deals head on with sexual sin. Challenges that it is a "disease" and speaks pretty strongly towards your role in stopping.
Boundaries in Marriage really should have been titled "how to pour a foundation for your marital home". Our pre-M counseling fell apart due to the pastors fall into sexual sin.....so we never completed it. I believe this book should be a part of pre-MC.
Keep the faith.
We all do have things we must do to ensure that R can take place. But we also have to engage in the marriage. It's not all about us.
You may well be doing that. Your posts indicate otherwise. I have been left thinking that the focus on porn has become a new form of mental masturbation to avoid intimacy. I do know that I may be wrong, and hope i am. I hope you're putting the same effort into reestablishing emotional intimacy as you are into rolling your past porn use over and over in your mind. If not, the porn is remaining the barrier to intimacy it's historically been.
Point well taken. Thank you.
I can't answer your points conclusively. 50-70 therapy sessions, a weekend to remember experience as well as Retrouvaille experience (part way through the follow up sessions) and we have done some marital work.
Wife and I talked about what we are doing last night.....did MC, sex therapist, and a first time meeting w a Christian counselor this week.
We have joined Recovery Nation and have lost track of the number if books we have read....and have several to get to. We are in a sexual fast now, and increasing intimacy exercises.
We are also trying to just "be still" and try for a normal " how was your day honey?" Interaction.
That "all about me" stance? Wife and I can now look back on our M and see string examples where we both had that attitude.....not in a directly selfish, "I want what I want" way (though my use of porn and my wife's affair where absolute selfish actions), but in a "she is struggling....must be my problem" and a. "He is struggling must be my problem".
This is the cycle we are breaking. Retrouvaille has been HUGE in giving us skills on how to be interdependent....... Not codependent or independent.....which is what our FOO issues influenced us to do.
Regardless......was good to hear from you. Haven't seen much of you. Thanks for taking the time and tact to get me to be still.
One of my main concerns is replacing my use if porn with another "false intimacy" replacement. I believe your point is focusing strictly on this singular issue COULD morph into an. "Escape" of sorts,,,,,,an intimacy blocker all on its own....right?
God help us all.