Lavrans' Reboot Story: My Wife and I Abstaining for 90 Days

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Lavrans, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a mid-thirties software engineer in the southeastern USA, who has struggled with porn and masturbation since puberty. I've had limited success over the years, but nothing decisive that hasn't ultimately come back. I'm married with four sons; the oldest is 13. My wife and I make a great team, and love each other, but our sexual intimacy has left a lot to be desired for many many years. We're deeply religious people, and our walk with the Lord has led us to life overseas in Asia for seven years, and we've recently returned with our strength deeply spent and our faith quite shaken.

    There's a ton I could write, and no doubt will on this thread. But to summarize, I am attempting the recommended hard-mode 90 days with no PMO. This will be hard, as it will mean abstaining from sex as a couple. However, I have hopes that it will be good for us, as sex has become a source of a lot of bitterness and frustration between us (I want it more than she does, she gives it guardedly and reluctantly out of fear that I'll slip into porn, I crave the emotional connection of true passionate lovemaking, I resent her for saying no and pushing me away, even before she does, etc). I'm hoping that 90 days without sex, without her fearing that I'm slipping back into porn, will help us reboot our own sexual relationship, in addition to helping me truly kick this thing to the curb. She joked that 90 days might make even her grumpy about not having sex, but that she'll support me in anything I need.

    I'm terrified of relapsing. It's one thing if I'm just doing this on the sly, but this feels awfully public. I'm signing up for the course, because I want to hit this with all I can. I must say I'm really encouraged by the stories on this site. But I've had my hopes up before.

    I'm also strangely encouraged by the diverse nature of this NoFap, and its founding by non-religious people. Even though I'm a Christian, I've become rather suspicious of Christian-brand solutions for problems like this (Jesus is the answer - what was the question again?). Too often we seem to feel like pious assurances or scripture quotations are enough to solve the problem for someone, when my experience says otherwise. Here I see a more scientific approach - that is really concerned with practical results and finding out what actually works. If this succeeds where other approaches have failed, Alex and Mark will have my lifelong gratitude.

    If you faithful Christians will pray for me, and you principled atheists will offer me your cold disenchanted insights, I will also be deeply grateful.

    By the way, the name Lavrans comes from the book Kristin Lavransdatter, one of my favorite novels of all time. It's a historical novel set in medieval Norway. Lavrans is a minor nobleman, and the absolute model of a devout virtuous man of the time. He honored God, was respected by all who worked for him, loved his daughter and wife deeply, was generous to the poor, self-disciplined and spartan often himself, while ready to host rousing feasts full of wine and ruckus for everyone on his homestead, full of joy, and earthy wisdom. I felt like I knew him as a person in that book. Anyway, one interesting thing I found in the book was that they were expected to abstain from sex all through Lent, and Lavrans did it - 46 days every year. If we make it to 90, that will be twice what Lavrans did! I'm no Lavrans; God help me. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  2. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The third day.

    For module 1 in the course, I need to write some thoughts on the science behind porn addiction - particularly anything that could be useful for the reboot. In addition to the course video, I watched "Your Brain on Porn".



    I was struck by several things.

    First, the assurance that rebooting really does help guys who have developed crazy fetishes get attracted by vanilla sex. I haven't gone down that route to truly terrifying stuff, it's a persistent attraction to spanking I've had since my teenage years. My wife was never remotely interested in that, and so that craving is only acted out through porn. The idea that these tastes can change, and coalesce into something more natural, is really encouraging. Sort of alongside that is the report that genitals become more sensitive after a reboot, as masturbation is harder and more intense than vaginal sex. This is truly something I never thought of. I've almost always enjoyed foreplay more than coupling, as it just isn't all that stimulating. No problem with erections, and I can orgasm fine during sex, it just doesn't feel all that intense. It really didn't occur to me at all that masturbation could be contributing to this. The hope of these things seriously changing is a lot better than I expected.

    Also, the science behind seeing porn as an addiction and the challenge of withdrawal. I knew I often eventually slipped up when I'd try to quit, but I always chalked it up to lack of willpower, or eventually letting my guard down in a weak moment. I didn't think of it being genuinely, objectively, really harder with hugely more difficult cravings as you go into withdrawal. That helps somehow - it's more motivating and less discouraging to rise to an external challenge.

    Furthermore, I'm fascinated by the idea that giving into porn weakens the areas of the brain more generally associated with rational control and willpower. I must admit, I'm far more driven by passion than I should be, and can be pretty lazy. I often do what I feel like, rather than what I know I should do. I'm not very disciplined. I've always thought of this as a temperament thing - an unfortunate one, to be sure. I've even attributed my difficulty to kicking porn to this more general lack of power to easily "do what I don't feel like but know I should". I never thought that porn might be a serious cause of this, and not just an effect.

    Finally, I'm really fascinated by the idea of charting my own moods and strength of cravings throughout. It was neat to see some graphs the other guys put together. I started today.

    Thanks for reading. I'll keep moving forward.
     
  3. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The seventh day.

    So, I've finished module 2 of the course, and really looking forward to getting into the practical advice for how to survive that scary second phase. I'm not out of the first two weeks yet, but I don't anticipate that being too bad. It's the wave of cravings that follow that pretty much always defeated me in the past. The longest I've ever stayed away from PM was a four month stretch that followed a confrontation by my wife (I'll call her Ragnfrid here - that's Lavrans' wife in the book). But we did have sex during that time, so not really the recommended reboot method. As far as no porn, masturbation, and orgasm at all? I don't think I've gone for more than a month since, well, before puberty. I've got high hopes that this will be a real turning point for me.

    In the third video of module two, we were asked to decide how we'll track our streak. Besides the counter on the website, I decided to make a chart. I can fold it up to just focus on the week I'm in, but also keep a sense of the whole story here. Maybe Ragnfrid and I should make arrangements for the kids and book a hotel room on the 20th - maybe the same place we had our honeymoon? Who am I kidding, counting my chickens before they hatch - I'll probably relapse and humiliate myself and hurt her again. But, no, I'm not going to. I need to believe that.

    nofap.jpg

    The fifth video in module 2 mentioned the need to talk to your partner about all this. We did, and she's very encouraging, though I don't know how painful it is for her to be reminded of all this mess of mine. I did spend some time reading the forums for significant others here, and I broke down in tears seeing how deeply hurt so many of the women are. I know it hurts Ragnfrid as well (though of course I compartmentalize that knowledge to rationalize my addiction). But I gotta say, I'm deeply grateful to have her beside me, and rooting for me here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  4. AlmostRosey

    AlmostRosey Fapstronaut

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    Hi Lavrans, great journal. Your love of reading comes across in your writing - you write really well. Good luck in your journey, I'm rooting for you.
     
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  5. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    Thanks man! Really do appreciate the feedback and encouragement.
     
  6. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The eighth day.

    So the first video of module 3 talks asks us to write about what negative effects porn is having on your life, so that you can be fully bought in.

    1. The most important thing is that my addiction to porn has really hurt my wife. It’s made her feel guarded with me in bed, it’s made her feel insecure about how she looks, and it’s made her more frightened in general about where things might end up. It made her go through some of the same emotions she would have gone through had I had an affair. I didn’t mean for her to feel any of this - I truly thought it was a private vice. Now I’ve come to accept that this was wrong.

    2. I think porn has influenced and confused what my sex life could be otherwise. I’m really grumpy and take things really personally if she isn’t in the mood. I also don’t find vaginal sex that physically stimulating - and I wonder if too much M has given me that. Some of this is just normal stuff I suppose, but porn makes it worse.

    3. It’s kept alive fantasies that don’t really have a place in our relationship (the whole spanking thing). Juvenile to start with, I suppose, but they still just capture my imagination and arouse me, and it’s not the approach to sex that reflects my values (expressions of dominance, control, and power, rather than love and tenderness).

    4. It has weakened my self control and discipline in other areas of my life.

    5. It supports a corrupt and exploitive industry, and puts me in a position of compromised integrity.

    6. It’s weakened me morally, such that I don’t feel able to confront my wife when there are things she’s doing that are hurting me. Not standing up for myself isn’t actually loving her well either.

    That should be enough to go on!
     
  7. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The ninth day.

    In this video of module 3, we are asked to be honest, and talk about the positives of porn use. While I was thinking about this today, I was hit with some waves of cravings. I tried to use these as best I could (while resisting a relapse) to analyze what seem to be the positives of giving in. The problem of course is that what seems so compelling at the time falls apart when rational analysis is applied. But there you go.

    1. It feels really good and exciting. The part of my soul that's tempting me is just giddy with excitement at the thought of giving in, and this seems to get more rabid as I stay away longer. The more I stay away, the more it seems to almost feel like I'm a teenager again, peeking into enticing forbidden delights that I've never seen. It's a rush like no other.

    2. It lets me change my mood quickly. If I'm tired, PMO helps me sleep. If I'm grumpy or distracted, it seems to help my center myself. If I'm stressed, it helps me relax. I suppose people with substance abuses could say the same thing about drugs, tobacco, or alcohol. But when I'm deprived of it, I sure feel the opposite of the relief it would give me!

    3. It gives me an outlet for sexual fantasies that my wife isn't interested in engaging in. One might of course counter, why do these things need an outlet? Isn't keeping them alive and active ultimately just a recipe for either frustration or infidelity? Are these fantasies a deeper part of me than my desire to be an honorable husband, lover, father, and man? But in the moment, it feels like absolutely everything.

    4. Mark points out that it lets you escape from whatever you're going through. That's very true indeed.
     
  8. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The next video is a challenge to look at the disadvantages of trying to quit porn.

    1. It's going to be really tough. I'm going to be driven to distraction, trying not to give in. It's going to add stress, and make me irritable and probably a good deal less productive in the process. Even physical pain. I can't imagine I'll be much fun to be around.

    2. It's a lonely struggle. You can't really talk to that many people about it. That builds up resentment and frustration, of which there are already plenty.

    3. I'm terrified TERRIFIED of relapsing! I know I've relapsed plenty before, but I would do it silently, without all this fanfare on internet forums, a chart I'm keeping by my bed that my wife sees, and my honest updates to her in the process. To relapse means to say to her "I failed. I failed me, I failed you, and I failed us." I would be so ashamed, and asking her to believe in me again would be so humiliating. And this isn't a far off possibility - it's actually very likely going to happen.

    So what about the good things about quitting porn. What sort of ramifications might it have?

    1. I'm really hopeful that a reboot combined with quitting porn will begin a reboot of our sexual relationship. We're in a serious rut, full of reinforcing negative patterns. Sex doesn't feel safe for my wife. So to have a long period where we take a break from it could really begin some healing.

    2. I would love to be in control of my sexual urges. To be able to be OK with my wife not being in the mood, and not feel like it was a cruel blow to me. To not HAVE to have it, but freely let it come out when its fruitful.

    3. I'm really excited about the superpower that increased motivation, discipline, and willpower could give me. I desperately need this in all areas of my life. I'm way too driven by passion. This could improve me as a father, an employee, and open up fresh new projects in my free time.

    4. Integrity. To know that I'm fundamentally in line with what I say I believe and who I say I want to be.

    5. Love. I just don't want to hurt her anymore. I want to love her, all the time.

    So, here we go. I mean, it's obvious that I need to do this. It's obvious that the benefits outweigh the costs. I'm just really scared and not confident that I can pull it off. But, my God, I'm ready to give it my absolute best. So I'm making the official commitment here:

    I promise to quit porn and live a more awesome life.

    Name: Lavrans Date: July 30, 2018
     
  9. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The tenth day.

    Not so bad at all, though yesterday was a bit brutal. It was the first real wave of urges since we started. It centered around fantasies of stuff that I know my wife isn't interested in, so that the clear message is "do you really want to go a lifetime without thinking of this - it's just how you're wired"? It seemed so enticing, and even innocent, almost as if I'd never been exposed to it before. It was a hard day to get through. Interestingly, I didn't bike to work yesterday, since it was raining. Today I did, and had almost no trouble. I'm not positive that one caused the other, but I'm willing to bet on it. No more days without exercise!

    OK, on to the next video of module 3. It's a list of your current activities and values. The values are derived from actions.

    In a given week, these are the sorts of things I do:
    • porn/maturbation (before I started this NoFap reboot)
    • looking at NoFap forums and videos (now)
    • work that I enjoy and is challenging
    • playing games
    • looking at twitter on my phone
    • watching Jordan Peterson videos on my phone
    • watching shows with my wife
    • reading Lord of the Rings to my 9 year old son
    • hanging out with the family at my parents farm
    • spending time having a beer with friends
    • doing home improvement projects
    • playing with our new puppy
    • going to Church on Sunday
    • drinking tea and talking to my wife.
    I guess there's some values in there:
    • escape / personal relaxation and gratification
    • self improvement
    • meaningful and fulfilling work
    • time with family and friends
    • investment in my home
    • faith
    Not too bad, I suppose, but the priorities are off. I'll need to spend some proper time on the next one - my ideal self.
     
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  10. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The last question of module 3 is a powerful one. I'm to imagine the ideal version of myself, and try to see that person living my life. I'm trying to see that person, who is exactly myself in some ways and infinitely different in others.

    I enter a room, with both humility and confidence. I hold my head up, I'm dignified, but without a hint of putting on airs or superiority. I know who I am, but I also want to know who you are. I have a sense of otherness. I truly care about the people around me. I'm proactive, rather than reactive. I think before I respond, but when I do, I do so forthrightly and without fear.

    My job is really the part of my life that is going quite well at the moment, but my ideal self has a better routine. I start the day by going over priorities, and make goals for that day. For the young man who reports to me, I set out clear goals for him, and make a plan for his improvement. For those I report to, I think before I bother them with the things that are on my mind. I present my concerns carefully, without too much of my own mental clutter, in ways where they are given all the information to act without distracting threads. In a crisis, I focus on the most important thing, decisively putting other things aside. Even then, I remember that panicking helps nothing, and I stop and think before acting. Put simply, I am mindful. But for all that, I'm not a slave to routine or ponderous. I'm cheerful and willing to help as coworkers have needs. I'm friendly and fraternize with them. I do not become irritable if something doesn't go the way I think best, and carefully weigh whether I should let it go or rethink the way I communicate if its more important.

    At home, I make time for each of my children. I come home and relax for a bit, but then I engage with them. I ask each of them a meaningful question at dinner. After dinner, I clean up, and don't leave the dishes to my wife, but call the boys cheerfully to join me in easing her burden. I relish that evening time before bed. I'm happy to read to them - it's not a chore at all. I lead them in prayer every night, and I don't rush through it, but we read the Bible several times a week. I'm awake and aware. I've conserved enough of myself for the end of the day that I'm present with my family.

    I have much more than good intentions with my wife. I do more than just help around the house. I pursue her heart. I find what makes her feel really special, and I give her that. I find a way to give her some decompression time regularly. But I do things to be thoughtful. I bring home flowers. I write her cards. I make sure we often have a book to read together, or some shared experience. I don't just wait for her to push for these things.

    When my son is absolutely unreasonable and horribly rude and provocative, I do not react to him. I look at the big picture. I stay calm. I control my anger. I diffuse the situation. I strive to look past what he is doing and saying, to how he's really feeling and what he needs. I set goals for him, and circle back to them regularly. I don't just wait for another crisis, but make the most of the other times when he is sane and reasonable.

    My ideal self has these priorities:

    - my family - my wife and sons, their ultimate good, and their present happiness
    - my home - that it is a place of faith, beauty, rest, creativity, joy, love, and life, and the physical needs are cared for
    - my friends - there are a core group of them that I meet with regularly, and connect deeply, in ways that better all of us
    - my work - I do it well, and with purpose, and have a sense of calling
    - my church - I pray regularly, I know how best to be involved in church, and I have a sense of ministry where I can genuinely serve some people in the community
    - my hobbies & recreation - I am able to devote myself to creative projects that flow from my soul, or bring me joy

    What actions align with these priorities?

    - having established morning and evening routines
    - planning my day
    - practicing mindfulness throughout
    - regular prayer and contemplation

    How does my ideal self think?

    My ideal self is mindful and awake. He's aware, and prepared. He is proactive and not reactive. He really does have the same joys, interests, and personality that I have now, but these things are focused and in order. He's able to go from good intentions to actual results through discipline and persistence.

    My own questions.

    - If what I need and want is mindfulness, and if porn is all about escape, what on earth am I running from?
     
  11. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The fourteenth day.

    Yesterday was difficult. I was hit by more fantasies that my mind would take off in, before I even consciously noticed. I was moody and angry. It definitely corresponded with a lack of exercise. I worked from home so didn't get the 30 minutes of biking (15 each way) that I had been getting. I just don't think it can be an option not to miss a day of exercise - it's too obviously correlated. My wife is amazing. She said "please don't blame me, or shut me out", and held my hand, and told me that she thinks this process will really help to heal our sexual relationship. Hearing her believing that is exciting to me, and helps me believe in myself. I said I'd see if I could fall asleep, and if I can't, I'd go run on my Dad's treadmill (we're house-sitting for them tonight). I did fall asleep, which is great. This morning I will go on a bike ride.

    Today I'm looking at escape behaviors - the second video of the fourth module. What emotions do I try to escape from using porn?
    • Anger
    • Frustration
    • Anxiety
    • Stress
    • Awkwardness
    And then other escape behaviors:
    • Social media
    • Internet obsessions (Jordan Peterson videos at the moment, even NoFap if its replacing real responsibilities)
    • Drinking. I don't drink a lot, but it can be an escape behavior.
    As to what I'm trying to escape from? What am I avoiding? What is causing these emotions? I'm not sure. The other day was my son's birthday. We had a party, and my parents were there. There was nothing bad about it, but somehow I felt awkward and just wanted to be in the other room on my phone. I wanted to escape. But why? These are people I love. I was tired after a long day, but it doesn't really make sense. I need to continue thinking about this.
     
  12. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The eighteenth day.

    Steady as she goes. For the most part, I haven't had much in the way of cravings. I've dreaded this four week chunk after the first two weeks, but so far it's not so bad. Since my last post I haven't failed to exercise a single day. It just seems essential.

    For the next two videos of module 4 (3 & 4), I'm encouraged to reflect on the patterns of escape behaviors, and the feelings that trigger them. Electronic escape behaviors are obvious - computer games, or obsessively viewing stuff on my phone, can make me pull away such that the temptation to go to porn is stronger. Alcohol isn't a huge one, but it does put me in a less engaged mood (unless its in the context of relaxing and enjoying old friends).

    I've been observing myself the last few days, and have been surprised to the degree to which I disengage from my family. I want quiet. I want calm. I want relaxation. I want something easy. And the reality is that I have four young sons. So when I get home from work, I want to relax in my chair, and browse twitter or youtube. I want to listen to a podcast and play a game. I don't really want to go out back and play ping pong with my boys. Or play with the dog. I tend toward moving through dinner fast. You get the idea. I feel unnaturally tired. And sometimes my sense of discomfort is strong, where I feel anxious and irritable.

    I'm just not sure where this all comes from. I really don't think there's much objectively unsatisfying about my life. OK, my sexual relationship with my wife has been suffering for a long time, but other than that, my life is truly worthy of enthusiastic engagement. But they've got me pinpointed to be sure. Somehow I have a pattern of pulling away, trying to escape, and disengaging from my family life.

    The next video (4-5) talks about fulfilling disciplines. This has been very strongly on my mind as I look at my life during this course. What disciplines are I practicing? What ones should I take up? Anyway, here's what I do (albeit often haphazardly):

    - Read good & meaningful books (really sporadic)
    - Read to my kids (not near as often as I should)
    - Prayer/Journaling (More often since I started NoFap, but not as often as I should)
    - Home improvement projects

    - Bike to work every day
    - (Just starting) Eat a packed lunch rather than eating out (to save money)

    I feel good about these, really. I don't feel good about how spread out some of them are. Here are some one's I'd be interested in taking up:

    - Play ping pong with my older boys
    - Take cold (or at least cool) showers
    - Art/Digital Painting (this one has been on hold for a full year)

    I could add these pretty readily, I think. The bigger issue is regularity. Can I get myself to pull towards these disciplines in the evenings, rather than just try to escape? And to what extent is relaxation and unwinding healthy and good, and something to be protected rather than seen as an escape behavior? These things I'll continue pondering in the days ahead.
     
  13. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The twenty-first day.

    Last night was interesting. I fell asleep a little frustrated with my wife not being very physically affectionate towards me - not wanting to cuddle or kiss. That's a big trigger. That night I dreamed that I relapsed, and I awoke feeling completely unmotivated to keep fighting this. I let her know how I felt, and she tried to be sympathetic, but I felt pretty numb.

    Then I got up and turned on the shower. For the past 3 days I've been taking cold showers, after watching Mark's recommendation. And...wow. I let out a yell as I decided to "embrace discomfort" and plunged into the cold water. It's kinda interesting - our bathroom has a mirror and I can see myself in the shower. So, if I'm just straining to just get part of me in the stream, I can look over and see a pretty laughable contorted pose I'm in. Which motivates me to just plunge in.

    After I got out, I was a different person. I don't know if I can even remember such a rapid change in my mood. I just wanted to grab life by the horns and make everything better. My wife and I drank tea, and I was motivated to set out all the stuff we want to get done this Saturday. And once we finished we kissed, and with some passion. It's kinda ridiculous - why am I so fickle? I'm deeply grateful that I didn't actually relapse, and that I have some great tools in my belt, but I hate being so unpredictable.

    Anyway, I'm closing out module 4. Here I'm looking at setting "AIM SMART" goals for fullfilling disciplines. In my case, there are tons of things I want to incorporate into my week. I'm not sure if I'm trying too much or too little, but I'm going to make a chart and keep track of how many times I do each thing. My wife and I will reevaluate next Saturday if this was too much to try, or whether there are some warning signs of weak willpower.

    - End the day reading a book in bed, in bed by 10PM - 3 times
    - Read "Lord of the Rings" to my boys - 2 times
    - Personal Prayer & Reflection - 2 times
    - Work on my landscaping project - 1 time
    - Bike to work each day, barring special circumstances - 5 times
    - Cold showers every morning, except Wednesdays - 6 times
    - Eat packed lunch or at home, except one day out with colleagues - 4 times
    - Play ping pong, or wrestling, or some sort of other non video game with my boys in the evening - 3 times
    - Work on my digital painting - 1 time

    This course really is ending up being deeply helpful for me. It's given me tons to think about, and I'm really seeing where my life needs to get better, as well as a path to making it happen.
     
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  14. jangles

    jangles Fapstronaut

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    Really enjoyed the read to catch up on your journey. Glad there is another person completely abstaining from PMO, and not having relations with the wife. I just started it a few days ago, and it's really hard. I'm not sure I threw myself into it 100% because we still cuddling, and she still playful but not giving in. I don't think it's helping for me to keep pursuing her physically during this time. Bet you have a lot of stories with China.

    I majored in Mech Engineering, and am trying to switch to art. It's a hard journey. Keep it up! I think I bite off more than I can chew sometimes with my excel spreadsheet tracker, but I've been going pretty good the past few days. Keep it up! Your postings are encouraging. I think it'll be a great encouragement to your sons that you beat this beast, and also a blessing on your marriage.
     
  15. Being_Of_Light

    Being_Of_Light Fapstronaut

    Hi Lavrans! I've read through all your posts and I am lost for words at how articulate you are in describing your feelings and thoughts!

    I love how you are not just approaching this in a religious Christian manner, but with an honest approach to heal one's body and mind using NoFaps approach. Your earlier comment regarding "Christian-brand" solutions made me grin because I relate to that so much.

    If it's ok with you, I would like to follow your thread, comment on occasion and maybe send through some private messages overtime to check you're doing ok.

    Stay strong and I'm sure you'll get through this fine. I am keen to see where your journey will take you!

    I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.

    God bless and regards,

    Being Of Light
     
  16. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    The twenty-third day.

    That's a quarter of the way through - pretty big deal, I guess!

    Today was just a tough one. Last night my wife found a tick on me, after a day of clearing brush in the yard. So we did mutual tick checks. Of course I very much enjoyed checking her, and I'm not sure if that's what set me off, but I've been crazy aroused all day today. I was upset about something she said last night (being too cavalier about not wanting to be touched when she's falling asleep - lack of physical affection is a real source of pain for me), and talked to her about it this morning. Not sure if that was good or not - we had an argument, but we've been kind to each other all day.

    But every idle moment I was fantasizing about what we'll do when the 90 days are up and we go off to her family's cabin in the mountains together. Even through church. And it's not terribly helpful, as it just arouses me now and frustrates me. I went on a run to try to work off some sexual energy, and spent the afternoon working in the yard. I was disappointed that we didn't get to go out to my folks' place this afternoon - they have a 60 acre farm and I was really looking forward to that, but something came up for them. So arousal and disappointment is a bad combo. There was a moment at my computer where I was posting something on craigslist, and I was tempted to browse some of the sexual ads, but I wised up pretty quick.

    Anyway, I feel hopeful, but a bit chastened that it's perhaps about to get more difficult. I really deeply hope I can weather the storm of urges and fantasies that will come my way.

    Here's the two charts I've made:

    nofap2.jpg

    We'll see how the disciplines go.

    I did listen to the first two videos of module 5. Mark talks about safety behaviors and fantasy strategies. My safety behaviors will be: Going for a walk (if possible), or making a cup of tea (if not). He also asks the following fantasy questions:
    • In what situations are you most likely to fantasize? How does it change the situation for you?
    • What sorts of non-sexual fantasies do you often indulge in? How do they affect you?
    • What sorts of negative fantasies do you sometimes fall into? How do they affect you?
    I'm going to be thinking about these over the next couple days.

    By the way - several folks have commented and introduced themselves on my threads. Thanks for that! I don't have time tonight to reply at length, but I'll try to tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  17. jangles

    jangles Fapstronaut

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    Oh man, I hate finding ticks on yourself! I'm in the North East, and that's always a freaky feeling. Great job staying strong in no PMO. It sure is hard. It's also nice to see reflections on the course. I started it a while ago but stopped for some reason. I'm currently trying to finish Jordan Peterson's self-authoring, then maybe I'll finish the NoFap course.

    Physical Affection is my #1 Love Language, and it's hard in the 90 days for my wife to find the right balance of not setting me off physically. I asked her last night to sleep a little farther away in bed instead of cuddling, b/c it usually is just me being aroused for 20 minutes while she falls asleep, then me getting frustrated and turning around then finally falling asleep. It was difficult, but for the 90 days, I think it's good.

    Great job staying strong. It's encouraging.
     
  18. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    Hi Jangles,

    Thanks for the note. I appreciate the encouragement and the time you spent reading my stuff (Lord knows I’m long winded).

    It's interesting you're in the process from switching to art from engineering. I'm actually a computer graphics guy, so I straddle that line. For my own part, I find engineering is a better profession to provide for a family, and art is a better hobby. But that's just my path - it's certainly not the only one. But one thing I'm often surprised and delighted by is the overlap between them. They are both different approaches to the same task of creation.

    Yeah - China was crazy, and we're still not sure what to make of all that. Glad you're doing Jordan Peterson's program - I really love that man. The nofap course is super great for me right now, and I hope it stays that way.

    Glad to have you as a companion on here!
     
  19. Lavrans

    Lavrans Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the nice note. Please do keep following and contacting me. There more help I have, the better. I don't think I've ever wanted to kick this thing as much as I do now.

    A friend warned me of putting too much emotional investment into making this 90 day streak. Would if I relapse? The emotional let down would be catastrophic. I'm kinda torn thinking of that. On the one hand it's a totally valid point. But on the other hand, there are sometimes where you can't achieve as much if you're holding back, covering your emotional bases. You can't jump as far if you're making sure you can fall back and grab the ledge on this side if things don't work out, etc. So I'm really giving it all I've got. Hopefully I won't crash and burn.
     
    Being_Of_Light likes this.
  20. jangles

    jangles Fapstronaut

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    I agree that engineering is the better profession for providing for a family. My wife makes enough money, and we saved a lot while in the Army, so if I were the provider, maybe I'd think about switching back, but once I graduated, I went straight into the infantry and never touched what I learned. Are you programming in computer graphics, or using something like Houdini (more of a technical artist). Sounds interesting either way! I'm pursuing the Art aspect more because I want to try to influence the culture. I actually don't know of outspoken Christians or Catholics who are influencing the culture. The closest that gets to what I want is the PragerU videos, but even those feel a little stale sometimes. We'll see how it goes after the 90 days, and how effective I can be.

    I've let down my wife so many times with this, I think I'm skeptical on my own progress. It's a double-edged sword. Give it everything you got! We can do it!
     
    Tryingforfamily likes this.

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