I don't want to be the "vegetables"

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Susannah, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    My husband is at the very beginning of his recovery from nearly life-long porn/ogling/masturbation/flirting/etc. He is a smart man who seems sincere about wanting to change, but he is in his 60s and has been practicing these behaviors a LONG time. I love him and want him to have relief from the debilitating emotional pain he says is at the root of his problems. I am committed to supporting him if I can.

    But I am troubled. You’d think I would be worried about the abysmally low success rate at kicking these habits, and I am….but I’m also fairly discouraged about what to expect if he succeeds.

    Based on a lot of what I read here and elsewhere, it sounds as if the best I can probably hope for is that my husband, through years of therapy and a lifelong commitment to torturous effort and mindfulness, will eventually decide that he can stomach being with me instead of the young girls he prefers. He will try desperately, and if we’re lucky, succeed in convincing himself that, even though he wants dessert (them), he really likes vegetables (me) because vegetables are healthier for him.

    So he’ll be healthier, but what about me? Is it my highest aspiration to be someone he has to torture his mind into wanting? What if I don’t want to be the vegetables?

    Is there something I am missing? Any words of encouragement for wives?
     
    Katrina Rose likes this.
  2. Test him, see if he's committed. If he truly loves you then you're the dessert not the veggies
     
  3. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Am about your husbands age
    and find by not watching P
    That my mind is adjusting
    and normalizing.

    Leaving my Porn mind aside now
    it will remain there in me.
    I avoid feeding its habit,
    Everyday,
    keeps it,
    if not dormant,
    In perspective.

    My new path is:
    my commitment to my SO
    Along with my recovery work.

    You are not
    vegetable,
    desert,
    Nor meat.

    You are in relationship
    As I am with my SO.
    When we get together,
    I try to be present.

    It’s all so new and sometimes
    I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

    I bought some therapy things from the John Gottman institute to work together with her.

    Also, “Got sex” is a streaming video program that we will open together on Christmas...or sooner.

    From which I hope to learn
    more of each other.

    I could be wrong,
    But that’s my take.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    0111zerozero11 and Jennica like this.
  4. BetrayedMermaid

    BetrayedMermaid Fapstronaut

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    This is exactly how I feel... like he has to FORCE himself to want me instead of porn. I hate it. I want to be the crowned jewel, the apple of his eye, his desire. I don't want to be vegitables either. My husband is trying very hard also, but it's just such a horrible fate for us SO's to settle for being their "healthy choice"... I want him to lust ME... like ONLY me.... and it's such an insult... he says that no, it's not forcing himself... that I AM who he desires....but it's really hard to believe when 1. He lies. and 2. I've been here all along, but he has repeatedly gone to porn... I'm so jealous of wives of healthy husbands that have always only desired them. :(
     
  5. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Agree.... If I'm chocolate... Like, why do I catch him staring at anyone who's half my age?
    Or.... In a low cut top?
    Even 3 years later?
    ????
    I don't want to be carrots anymore...
    How do I become somebodys candy?
    I'm clearly not his..
    Unless..
    Do I like... Have to disrespect myself to get "on the level"?
    Will I have to go get plastic surgery?
    Dye my hair?
    Maybe makeup?
    Change my clothes?
    Seriously.... What is it???
    Why am I... Not enough?
     
  6. Penelope

    Penelope Fapstronaut

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    I often wonder the same. Last time I changed my profile photo on fb, I said to him, maybe I should put the titts out like 90% of your friends, maybe I will also look hot then. He did not like that at all, and mumbled something like, no no that is not what you need. Then why the fuck do you go stare at their pictures and drool over them?? Seriously, while all the guys are looking for that "greener grass" and crankin their necks over some girl on the street, someone is doing that over their women. Sooner or later, all us "vegetables" will actually realise that we are someone's dessert, big time. And it might just be too late for our men to understand their mistake. Much love to all you girls.
     
  7. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Yeah.... Maybe I'll try to be street corn... That looks fancy... Or a LA mango...
     
  8. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Lol
     
    0111zerozero11 likes this.
  9. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    Chocolate… carrots… fruit… vegetables…

    Um, don't you think that this metaphor is unhelpful?

    Women aren't food for men to eat.

    What if we were to change the metaphor?

    What other metaphor could we choose?

    How about thinking of you as an equal?
    Peas in a pod (OK, that one's food, but it's not about eating you).
    Pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.
    Flowers in a bed.
    Links in a chain.

    When I have a partner, I want her to be my equal. My partner.

    I wonder if you could demand that from your man?
     
  10. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    I didn't say that it's wrong. I said that it's unhelpful. It positions her as an uncompetitive choice for her husband to decide, where she has no say. It disempowers her.
     
  11. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    I wonder if the question is really a search for intimacy?

    Newness and novelty are just that.

    Sex addiction tries to sub addiction for intimacy maybe?

    Hard to be intimate with a brownie.

    They taste good though.
     
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  12. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    Sorry, @GhostWriter , I'm unsure how else to word it.

    We frame our beliefs and actions through the power of our words, and when we choose words that remove our power, it makes it more difficult.
     
  13. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Lost in the bakery terms.

    @Susannah
    I hope part of the recovery process is yours to heal and find safety,
    purpose and meaning from here on out wherever that is for you.

    I buy See’s candy ‘cause
    my SO wants it.

    If I have to smear her
    with Dark Chocolate frosting
    So be it.
     
  14. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    That's quite a list of demands...I sure hope a lot of this is a joke. My husband would be sleeping on the couch if he treated me like this.
     
    BetrayedMermaid and Numb like this.
  15. NF4L

    NF4L Fapstronaut

    I’m sure you feel like vegetables right now, especially when he is out looking for cake, or some other delectable dessert with whipped cream on top. I know I’ve treated my wife like the worst kind of vegetables (peas for me). I wouldn’t eat them, or throw them away, unless I was giving no other choice. I’m certain she’s felt like that time and time again. The reality is she was an expertly prepared meal, all courses better than the one before it. It didn’t matter what course I chose at the time, she was still amazing. I still treated her like peas.

    You need to understand that while you want to be the most satisfaction in an addict’s life, while in pursuit of lust no one satisfies. Not one. Not you, not her, not them. None is good enough. That is curse we are living with.

    It can get better, I can’t promise when, or how soon, as we are all different. I do know now that for all the times I would compare my wife to others, and diminish her in the process, it wasn’t how “I” felt. Once I stopped the disconnection and let love in with actual intimacy and vulnerability for the first time in our relationship, none compares to her. Would that hot girl on the street support me in my recovery? Nope. Is that porn star going to give a shit about me? Not at all. Could I trust anyone else above my wife with my darkest of secrets? Never. Sure these are beyond skin deep, but there is more to us than an addiction.

    Just even last night we watched a couple of films with plenty of nudity and sex scenes. She asked how I was with them. Some were young ( a trigger or go to for me), all I’m sure got paid more than I do in years to perform or be naked. I told her I’d rather have a sex scene with her. While probably not the best thing a PA can say, they still didn’t compare to her. Not in the I love her and she loves me way, but in the skin deep way. While they were attractive and chosen because they were, I would have preferred to see my wife that way than them.
     
  16. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    I see this as a deep desire to be desired. I feel that constantly in my relationship, and am constantly seeking reassurance. But in my situation it is different - my wife just isn't interested in "dessert" at the moment, all she is looking for is "vegetables" so I'm just trying to be the best damned vegetable I can be. It still hurts a lot, but I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I knew she was lusting after other "desserts" out there.
     
  17. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    It reminds me of the story where a friend asks a woman what type of man she would like to marry. The woman thinks, and comes up with a long list. The friend goes silent for a bit, and exclaims, "How many men do you plan to marry?!"
     
    EyesWideOpen likes this.
  18. samnf1990

    samnf1990 Fapstronaut

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    Do they exist? I think that all men feel some degree of desire towards all of the people they find attractive. Falling in love does not make someone blind to other beauty. But there is beauty beyond the surface, and we fall in love with a person on all of these layers of beauty. P use makes use of the excitement men can feel over superficial, visual/physical beauty, and the shallow desires that such beauty brings up. Love for another person (which is what you have with your SO) is desire on so many levels. We don't want our SOs because we know they are good for us or healthy. We want our SOs in every way. All of the categories of desire are directed at them. In your analogy, you are the vegetables, the meat, carbs, dessert, wine, cheese course, appetisers, everything. SOs make us happy in all of the ways it is possible to be happy. P makes us unhappy after trickig us into a little bump in a very specific type of happiness. Going through puberty as a single boy without anyone to feel betrayed at our M habit, we seek out images of superficial beauty to enhance our enjoyment as we learn about our own bodies, the bodies of others (usually women) and pleasure. Once we find a partner who slowly becomes everything to us, out M habits, especially P, become counter to our interests and stop being harmless self-exploration and discovery, but rather a shameful betrayal. The boundary of where this happens may not be clear, especially since most relationships do not begin with a frank discussion of P and its place in the relationship. But PMO is a difficult habit to break because it is often very long established. It is fun and pleasureable. No other people are directly involved, so it can be easy for the P user to rationalise it as okay and not cheating. It does not (have to) cost anything. It is quick and easy to achieve the high. Often, a man's desire for frequent sex is higher than his partner's, so again, the rationalisation of just supplementing the partnered sex in the relationship pops up often in the mind of the P user.

    Back to desire. A healthy man who does not use P or rely on solo M of any kind will still feel desire of some kind towards other people who are not their SO. For most women, sex and emotional investment are usually tied together. The attraction/desire that most men feel for people who are not their SO usually have no emotional aspect. The desire is abstract and about aesthetics only. For a regular P user, it will be highly sexualised desire, as they are indulging in those impulses and allowing sexual fantasy to run away. For the healthy, P-free man, this sexual element is lessened, as sexual fantasy is one of the things they no longer indulge in out of love and respect for their SO. The impulses are the same biological mate-seekig impulses, but the P-free man will (at least attempt to) only feel this abstract biological desire, then let islt go. A P user will actively seek images of attractive people in order to experience the little bumps of hormones and chemicals in the brain, and use fantasy and so on to derive further pleasure from the images.

    There is no man that does not botice beauty away from their SO, but if you are honest with yourself, you notice the beauty or sex appeal of other people too. What you can hope for is that he stops using their beauty as a means to derive pleasure, and that out of love and respect for you he will only indulge in his desires for you, which invovle aesthetic appreciation, lust, emotional connection, and desires and needs based everything that you are and everything that you are to him.

    Part of the eppeal of HC porn is that it presents the 'ideal' partner: willing and ready to have sex, of a kind that focuses on the man's pleasure, and seeming to love every moment of it. They do things that are outside of many SOs' comfort zones, and do it without protest. This is a damaging thing for men to want, for two reasons. The first is that it is an unreasonable and unlikely aspiration to have. Most men will not find a partner that always prioritises their pleasure and is willing to participate in any act in order to achieve that end. The second reason is that a desire to please their partner and ensure mutual enjoyment, comfort and excitement leads to much more fulfilling sex than a selfish approach (as taken by most men in HC porn). To want a 'healthy man with no desire for any other woman' is to want to female equivalent of the male's ideal sexual parner depicted in porn: such a thing does not exist. Porn actresses do not behave in their own bedrooms as they are paid to do on camera. And Ryan Gosling is not a singularly devoted man blind to all beauty but that of his soulmate's. Real love exists, and real devotion exists. But the devotion comes from realising that the value of the love of a SO is worth so much more than the freedom to appreciate all of this other beauty in the world by sitting alone in masturbatory tribute to it. The healthy man is better at identifying what is good for him, sure, but there is plenty of sweetness in the diet of true love, monogamy and devotion. Every PMO session decided against, every beautiful woman passed in the street without a second glance, is a reassessment of the value of their SO and the love they share with them, and another assessment where that love comes out on top. Real love is valuable not because it blinds us to other beauty, but because it is worth so much more and gives us the ability to choose one loving partner despite all the other beauty in the world.
     
  19. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    Nor did I, GhostWriter, as you'll see if you read my post again, and I'm sorry that you saw it that way. I merely said that it reminded me of that story, which it does.
     
  20. GhostWriter, I appreciate your inputs but I think you erred here. The female EyeWideOpen said that’s quite a list of demands. Mordobarn only said it reminded him of a story. I don’t think anyone is attacking you.
     

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