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User Topic: What is wrong with me? (Adult Themes)
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For the past two years or so, I have sowed, reaped, and enjoyed the benefits of a loving, sharing, respecting relationship with HeartinaDustpan. Tonight, she is rather under the weather, and our DS is driving us both nuts with his incessant chattering and jumping around, so I am in the living room and doing work which I brought home to work on over the evening.

Between the change in antidepressants and the therapy I went to (both IC and MC) with and without Heart, I have placed a new respect and privilege in the relationship that she and I share. I spend almost every waking moment I can with her and/or with DS, because they are the world to me.

And, yet, while I'm waiting for files to finish processing on my computer, I am stupid enough to open pornography and be looking at it when she comes into the room.

Why do I do this to myself, to her, and to our relationship? I mean, I understand why I used to do it all the time: I would masturbate to it (something I absolutely do not do now and haven't done for almost two years), and the feeling of getting off would give me a pleasure high. I could (and would) do this almost to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis while at work, and would come home and ignore Heart completely. It was a contributing factor in the destruction of my marriage, and I'm well-aware of just how dangerous an influence it is.

I know I don't think about it in the same way as I used to; I used to associate porn with orgasm, and I used to seek both for the sake of pleasure. I used to revel in it, and it consumed me from morning until night, seeking every next bit or morsel I could extract from it.

Now, though, I barely even give it another thought ... unless Heart isn't feeling well and I'm bored. I don't even derive "pleasure" from it in the sense of getting off, because I don't allow myself that kind of access any more. If I'm not having sex with Heart, then I'm not having sex. Period. End of story.

I think FOO is another contributing factor here, and part of it lies in the fact that I'm not much for reading any more. I don't particularly go out of my way to read, and so I'd rather play games or look at artwork. And, I guess I rationalize it that if I'm going to be doing those things, adding "nudity" to the mix isn't "so bad."

And, yet, I'm recovering proof that it is bad ... it's disruptive, it hurts feelings, and it helped me damn near kill my marriage.

So, why do I feel this need to seek it out? I no longer derive pleasure from it in the sexual sense, and I no longer spend the kind of hours and dedication that I once had to it. I just don't understand why the specter is content to remain in my closet when I don't really want it there.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
ThoughtIKnewYa
♀ Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 8:44 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think it's a remaining part of your "rituals". You get emotionally uncomfortable and start reaching for your old, outdated, harmful coping mechanisms. Fantasy is the first step. You say you aren't taking it any further than that, but there will be a time when you do, if you keep up this behavior.

If you haven't already, you can do the free recovery program at recoverynation.com and rebuild your coping mechanisms from scratch. If you HAVE already done the program, you could use a refresher.


Posts: 11686 | Registered: Mar 2008
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 9:10 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Something I got to thinking about while I was lying down with DS to help him go to sleep:

I've started into a regimen of testosterone shots lately. While I've no doubt that the "old, familiar habits" of passing my time are acting as a comfort to me, I am also curious as to whether or not having added hormones in my system could be playing a minor role in why my brain feels somewhat compelled to re-indulge in those types of habits.

As I said before, it's not that I'm using them for any sexual gratification means. I haven't masturbated in such a long time that the thought of doing it and any once-associated "good feelings" I would have felt for having those thoughts are gone. I'm not doubting that they could make a resurgence if I let them. Lots of things could help me destroy my wonderful marriage if I let them/actively sought them out.

Definitely going to check into that website, TIKY. Any other suggestions along the same lines would be greatly appreciated.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Skan
♀ Member
Member # 35812
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

FWIW, my FWH still has days that, when things are going badly at work and he's not feeling competent there, that he wants to go to a strip club. He tells me that the urge rises up again, his mind says to him, boy, I want to stop off and watch some dancers! All part of the "ritual" in his pattern. Now, he acknowledges the thought, tries to get to the bottom of what it was that triggered it (work problem, disrespect from a co-worker, deadline that is getting close fast), and acknowledges the emotion (fear, anger, helpless) that brought up his old coping strategy, and moves on (and tells me about it). And we both talk it over and put it behind us.

Porn used to be part of his coping strategy too. It was his gateway away from our marriage. He has a journal now that he logs into when that urge hits to try to get to the bottom of the reason that he feels the urge to "go there." He used to sneak trying to see it as well, figuring that if he was staying out of the clubs, etc., then this wasn't so bad. That's what I nearly divorced him over. Because I see it as his electronic mistress. Catching him watching on private browsing was the final nail being driven into what was left of the marriage. Watching him choose "her" over me. Because he used it as you did.

So, what are you going to do about this? Try a journal? Net Nanny? Because just sitting here reading your post drove a knife through my heart.


Imagine a ship trying to set sail while towing an anchor. Cutting free is not a gift to the anchor. You must release that burden, not because the anchor is worthy, but because the ship is.

D-Day, June 10, 2012



Posts: 4857 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: So California
ThoughtIKnewYa
♀ Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 9:43 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lots of things could help me destroy my wonderful marriage if I let them/actively sought them out.
Absolutely. You need a life plan- you need to know what you're going to do in every situation and stick to the plan. RN will help you write the plan.

Posts: 11686 | Registered: Mar 2008
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, March 31st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Skan:
I'm sorry what I wrote drove a knife through your heart. If it did that to you - someone who barely knows me from Adam - I can only imagine the impact it's had on my lovely wife, who deserves so much better.

As far as what I plan on doing about it, I need (at least in the short-term phase) to have a way of being accountable to someone other than just myself. I don't trust myself right now, and I have no evidence to support why I should trust myself again so soon.

That's why ThoughtIKnewYa's advice was so good that I already put it into action: I've already applied to be put into Recovery Nation.

What I've done has hurt everyone around me, including myself. It's not the thing I want to be known for, nor is it what I want my life to be about.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
NaiveAgain
♀ Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 7:33 AM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Addiction is a tricky thing, and anything that makes those pleasure sensors go off in the brain can easily become addictive.

I think Recovery Nation will help you also. Having an accountability partner can also be very productive (has to be a male in your case )

You wrote something about your FOO issues, so things that happen when we are children get hard-wired into the brain and take a LOT of work to correct. Also, it sounds like porn may be your "go to" for pleasure, comfort, boredom, uncomfortable emotions?

I dated a guy that was a recovered alcoholic. He had been 9 years sober. Any time he started feeling any of his trigger emotions (boredom, anger, sadness, hunger, etc...) he would make a refresher visit to an AA in his area.

When you learn what is triggering you towards this behavior, then you can start to identify it and immediately take a more healthy path, such as calling your accountability buddy, getting on RN and posting or chatting with someone who is safe, or you may find other behaviors that work for you (some people like meditation or prayer, some like to write or journal, etc.....)

It's a work in progress, but good for you for recognizing the problem and seeking help!

ETA: Oh, forgot, for porn habits/addiction....one thing that can help some is to remember that those women you are looking at...they are someone else's daughters, mothers, wives. When you start looking at these women as humans with families, the pleasure of looking at them as objects tends to disappear......

ETA: Sorry, I keep finding more I wanted to comment on!

I could (and would) do this almost to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis while at work, and would come home and ignore Heart completely.
Compulsive masturbation is something that is addressed in RN. Doing this to the point of exhaustion (and some even do it until they injure themselves) means that it is the type of habit that you are using to cover up some other type of pain. Getting to the core of that pain will help curb this behavior.....otherwise, you are probably just white-knuckling and will end up going back in a moment of weakness in the future (and we all have those moments!)

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:38 AM, April 1st (Tuesday)]


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15241 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 4:07 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, NaiveAgain. Lots to comment on.

Addiction is a tricky thing, and anything that makes those pleasure sensors go off in the brain can easily become addictive.

I think Recovery Nation will help you also. Having an accountability partner can also be very productive (has to be a male in your case )

I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen any sign of it yet, but it seems to be very positive, and I think it will help me discover the reasons behind why I return to porn.

You wrote something about your FOO issues, so things that happen when we are children get hard-wired into the brain and take a LOT of work to correct. Also, it sounds like porn may be your "go to" for pleasure, comfort, boredom, uncomfortable emotions?

I dated a guy that was a recovered alcoholic. He had been 9 years sober. Any time he started feeling any of his trigger emotions (boredom, anger, sadness, hunger, etc...) he would make a refresher visit to an AA in his area.

When you learn what is triggering you towards this behavior, then you can start to identify it and immediately take a more healthy path, such as calling your accountability buddy, getting on RN and posting or chatting with someone who is safe, or you may find other behaviors that work for you (some people like meditation or prayer, some like to write or journal, etc.....)

I'm pretty sure you're right. I know that part of it was acting out against my mother; she hated it, but I knew my dad watched it, and I didn't understand what the problem was.

Friends and I bonded over it. I discovered it at a time when the Internet was brand-new, and these kinds of pictures were still novelty. It was a better alternative than the attitudes of several girlfriends I've dated.

At times, it's been extremely difficult-if-not-impossible to acquire it, but I still went out of my way because I felt entitled. It was my social outlet, and it was my reward to myself for surviving whatever-it-was that I was dealing with.

It didn't matter that there was a major social stigma, or that I could get kicked out of the computer labs ... I was entitled to it, because it was free, it wasn't "really hurting anyone," and because I had a bond of sorts with it.

Now? I've struggled with my ego and I no longer feel "entitled" to it. It's not as if "I've worked, I've sweat, and I've earned this" drives me.

These days, it's entirely a boredom/comfort thing. I have other things that can suffice in times of boredom and comfort, but I always perceive a social stigma in any activity I do. I can't play iPhone games at my desk any more than I can look at naughty pictures, so that (in my mind) sets up an equivalence class between the two.

The mental gymnastics would suggest that there's nothing I can do to pass the time when I can't otherwise be productive or useful (ergo, the "why not?" problem). But, I know that's not true. There are plenty of things I can do that don't interfere with things: artwork, poetry, planning other activities, checking bills, and so on.

The trick, I think, is ultimately not just to quit a bad habit, but to replace it with something much more productive, fruitful, and beneficial. My initial inclination is to draw random pictures (fractals, other mathematical constructs and patterns) instead.

It's a work in progress, but good for you for recognizing the problem and seeking help!

ETA: Oh, forgot, for porn habits/addiction....one thing that can help some is to remember that those women you are looking at...they are someone else's daughters, mothers, wives. When you start looking at these women as humans with families, the pleasure of looking at them as objects tends to disappear......

ETA: Sorry, I keep finding more I wanted to comment on!

Compulsive masturbation is something that is addressed in RN. Doing this to the point of exhaustion (and some even do it until they injure themselves) means that it is the type of habit that you are using to cover up some other type of pain. Getting to the core of that pain will help curb this behavior.....otherwise, you are probably just white-knuckling and will end up going back in a moment of weakness in the future (and we all have those moments!)

Pain, yes. Pain comes in many forms: stress, boredom, etc. Stress and boredom have been my two biggest adversaries lately, and I think that's why I really found myself drawn back in, especially in the last few weeks.

The problem has been that my relationship with Heart hasn't been better in recent history before I really dicked things up.

One of the biggest realizations I've come upon in this most recent debacle is that this is, effectively, a "drug" for me. And no matter how many OTHER people talk about it, enjoy it, or use it responsibly, I know that I CANNOT and WILL NOT be able to do that, even if my ego tries to convince me otherwise.

Alcoholics have to deal with friends who can hold their liquor and don't have the same problems. Therefore, there are those in the world who can be perfectly functional with pornography, and they shouldn't have to pay in any way for my inability to control myself once I'm exposed.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 9:20 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sorry to double-post, but I had a bit of insight just now.

Not only is porn something that gives comfort in times of pain/stress, it requires so little effort that the effort/reward balance is heavily skewed in favor of the reward, even when risk is taken into account.

Now, one option is to hamper the "effort" component; make the material harder to acquire. While I can do some of this, I can also rationalize how to get around it, so the best I can manage in this case is "make it an inconvenience to access."

The better energy would be focused on reducing the "reward" component. My ADs have already had some effect on that, and my self-imposed non-masturbation rules have helped with more. However, there was still enough of a relaxation/comfort "reward" that I went ahead with it.

So, I have been using aversion tactics to try and further reduce the reward. Think of something that would comfort me, and then immediately think of something absolutely heinous and/or disgusting. I won't go into graphic details here, but I've almost made myself throw up a few times tonight with some of the images I could conjure up to try and replace some of the pleasant-er feelings I remember having.

tl;dr, since I can't really increase the "Effort" required to access the material, I have begun reducing the "Reward" by associating appalling thoughts with any wayward thought I might have toward porn.

I have also started eating healthier (to avoid binge/comfort eating), and when the weather finally cooperates, I will start walking again. I have also decided to sketch/write ideas for role-playing games and/or novels when I have a spare moment at work or at home, in place of fixating on a need to look at such material.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
NaiveAgain
♀ Member
Member # 20849
Default  Posted: 10:20 PM, April 1st (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You sound like you are using a type of aversion therapy to stop yourself from looking. That may work for a bit in the here and now, but long term, you still have to work on the core issues (sorry, there is just NO way around getting to the core if you want to really deal with this). Also, making it more difficult to acquire may work a little bit also, but it won't solve it and when you do get back to it, the reward will be greater because the harder you have to work for something, the more we value it.

I know that part of it was acting out against my mother; she hated it,
Have you explored this with your therapist? I think that may be worthwhile....

Also, there are other ways to go if Recovery Nation doesn't work for you. Is your therapist trained as a CSAT or are they trained in porn/sexual addiction? Other therapists don't always understand this particular issue if they are not trained specifically on it and I've seen some awful advice given that may be valid in other cases but for someone with a porn/sex habit...no.....

Out of the Shadows/Patrick Carnes is a great book to read with a lot of painful but beneficial insight by the author who is a recovering sex addict (you don't actually have to have physical sex with others to be a sex addict, but if you use porn or superficial sex with others to avoid intimacy with your partner, then porn/sex addiction is a good thing to look into.)

Not only is porn something that gives comfort in times of pain/stress, it requires so little effort that the effort/reward balance is heavily skewed in favor of the reward, even when risk is taken into account.

So instead of making the porn harder to access, maybe work on building the bond with Heart. You said you are enjoying the benefits of a loving, sharing relationship right now. Next time you feel the urge to "act out" can you talk with her? Let her know how you are feeling, what your emotions are at the time, what is triggering the discomfort, and yeah, intimate human bonds are so much more difficult to navigate, people are weird and relationships are messy, but so so much more fulfilling than the empty pictures on a screen. Scarier. But much better.

I think as you work through all this, you will find that sometimes what you are really needing is someone to hold you and understand/validate you. Getting bored easily can also be a way to avoid intimacy (sounds strange, but true!) If you get bored easily and always have to have some type of action going on, you never get to "sit" with yourself, understand yourself, think deeply. You have to learn to be intimate with yourself first, sometimes, before you can be truly intimate with others (not intimacy in a sexual way! )

If I'm not having sex with Heart, then I'm not having sex.
That includes in your head, too, right? Because sex starts in our mind.

How does she feel when she finds you fantasizing about other women? I am not sure what you are doing in your mind for an aversion tactic, but maybe, a picture of your wife pasted in the corner of the computer screen may help you remember what is important, the pain that it causes her when she doesn't feel she is your priority or the one you desire, and maybe it might help remind you to seek her out instead....even if it is just a brief moment of waiting for other files to load....just get up and find her. Let her know you need the connection for a moment.


Original WS D-Day July 10, 2008. Kept lying, he is gone.
New WS (2 EA's, no PA) 12-3-13
If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

Posts: 15241 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: Ohio
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 6:31 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think as you work through all this, you will find that sometimes what you are really needing is someone to hold you and understand/validate you. Getting bored easily can also be a way to avoid intimacy (sounds strange, but true!) If you get bored easily and always have to have some type of action going on, you never get to "sit" with yourself, understand yourself, think deeply. You have to learn to be intimate with yourself first, sometimes, before you can be truly intimate with others (not intimacy in a sexual way! )

...

How does she feel when she finds you fantasizing about other women? I am not sure what you are doing in your mind for an aversion tactic, but maybe, a picture of your wife pasted in the corner of the computer screen may help you remember what is important, the pain that it causes her when she doesn't feel she is your priority or the one you desire, and maybe it might help remind you to seek her out instead....even if it is just a brief moment of waiting for other files to load....just get up and find her. Let her know you need the connection for a moment.

I think this is probably the bit I was missing.

I understand the aversion will only work to a certain extent, but it was something I didn't even bother trying before.

And I never thought about it as seeking some kind of intimacy/avoiding intimacy with myself. You're right! In the times when I would seek out porn, it was to avoid thinking, avoid discovering anything new about myself, avoid doing any kind of personal maintenance or work. It was a way of avoiding the harder road.

Escape and avoidance. That's what it is. Thank you.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
sodamnlost
♀ Member
Member # 37190
Default  Posted: 9:55 PM, April 2nd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

With my WH being a SA, I've done my homework. From what I have read, the dopamine hits start before the porn is watched, before you touch and when you finish. It's not just M&O that are the addiction. Why watch porn if it's not sexually stimulating? It's not for the story line. This seems to be a common way PA edge back into their addiction. Starts with fantasizing about a woman or even heart in a porn way, then noticing suggestive parts on TV etc. until eventually your back in full blown PA mode.

Much like an alcoholic who's drug of choice was Jack Daniels, he can't say he is sober because he drinks beer and doesn't get drunk.

From the BS point of view, weather you use porn to just watch, to M or to O, it HURTS. It's turning to another woman, usually several. They are usually younger, thinner, fake boobs, perfect hair and make-up and make no demands on you. How Cana. Wife not feel like she's not enough?

It's a rough one for sure. Besides RN, pornaddictioninfo.com, yourbrainonporn.com and yourbrainrebalances are all good sources with many recovering men being rather honest in their struggles.

Hugs to you both!


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's not a fluffy pink unicorn squirting liquid rainbows, complete with pots of gold out of it's ass.

Posts: 766 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Nowhere pretty
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 6:29 PM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, sodamnlost. You're right, of course. It starts way before M&O.

That's why, when I noticed that I was far less creative during my relapse, I made note of it. One of my favorite pastimes revolves around my creativity, and not being able to perform in THAT department was just as bad as not being able to perform in the other.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 800 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Topic Posts: 13

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