Since the last time...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by bike-wrench, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    (I just noticed how long this is. Forgive my prolixity; and now you know why the 140-character limit on Twitter will never work for me.)

    The title of this thread doesn't make any sense for this first post, but it's my intention to keep posting here about my experiences and progress. With a title like this, I'll feel responsible for coming back.

    This isn't my first time. I've been cleaning up my house, the desk at which I was using porn (same desk I'm at now), and the stuff in my computer. I came across a notation that shows my first attempt was in 2012, five years ago. I've been found out again twice since: once a few years ago, when I had no intention of really stopping and just wanted to look good, and this time, when I'm serious, at least for now.

    I used to refer to this computer as "the porn computer". I'm using it now for two reasons: the first, because it has a real keyboard, with springs under the keys and clicky sounds; not like the membrane keyboard on my laptop (and WAY not like the "keyboard" on my phone). The second, though, is because I want to reclaim this computer from its old use and re-purpose it into a tool of my recovery.

    I'm 62 years old and married (for the second time, 20 years ago); no kids. My wife brought this up as a problem years ago, and I promised to get better; and then a few years ago she found out I was still using PMO, and we had another argument and my empty apology. Then, a little over a week ago we had One Of Those Talks, and I realized how close I'd come to losing her over PMO. There were tears, there was anger (on both sides); it's been uncomfortable in the house.

    I hate it that I hurt her so much, and, despite my self-deception about how porn isn't infidelity because it's not a flesh-and-blood partner, I hate that I've been unfaithful. I've posted in a couple of other places how the talk about being healthier and porn being unnatural didn't resonate with me. The thing that did was this: in the words of the old Quaker wedding service, I promised my wife, "...to be unto thee a loving and faithful husband, as long as we both shall live." I have not kept that promise. I hate that. I resolve that I will take of my wedding ring before I use porn again... and I NEVER take off my ring.

    I'm sure more will come (can you tell how much I like to write?), but I had to tell this last bit. Over the last day or so, there's been a thaw in diplomatic relations between me and my wife; there was even a bit of small joking last night (which has been absent). This morning, when I got up earlier than my wife (as I always do; it's a scheduling thing), I had a thought of using porn. Just like that, all the misery I'd gone through went out of my head, and I was that ready to be right back where I was a couple weeks ago*, with all that misery and thoughts of dying.

    I've got this thing worse than I thought I had.

    *The counter is off by a few days; my last use of porn was at the end of October and I set the counter at November 1, because it's easier to remember.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  2. 57yrold

    57yrold Fapstronaut

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    Good luck! You've got a good reason for making a change.

    My wife is the love of my life. She's my soulmate.

    I'll never watch porn again, and I intend to only orgasm with her. (And not my hand.)

    Stay strong! You can do it!
     
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  3. Colin75

    Colin75 Fapstronaut

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    Go for it sir! Wishing you every success!
     
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  4. Brooklyn Jerry69

    Brooklyn Jerry69 Fapstronaut

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    It sure is a nasty addiction. How do you think I feel knowing I watched porn and jerked off while my wife was lying next to me dying of cancer. That's pretty low
    even for an addict like me.Fight the urge.
     
  5. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    I'm not going to say "...never again"; I've said it before and it didn't stick. I'm not today... but I was close today; closer than I like to admit. and it is also my intention to only orgasm with her. There may be a way to masturbate and to keep my marriage together as well... but I sure don't know what that is.
     
  6. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    And thank you for checking in, and for your support.

    I was going to say "I've tried this on my own...", but I'm not sure I ever really tried it. I am this time, though. And I'm going to try to post here about whatever happened since last time.
     
    Colin75 likes this.
  7. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Since the last time I checked in: I'm in substance-abuse recovery over 30 years, and have a coworker who's also in recovery (with substantially less time). He's young enough to be my son, and our relationship takes on aspects of that father-son thing. I had been reluctant to risk anything (mostly my pride) by telling him about my porn addiction. I'd told him that there was trouble between me and my wife. He wants us to stay together, partly because it's in his mythology that, with as much clean time from drugs and alcohol as I have, things are just supposed to work out (and partly, of course, because he's a genuine friend and wants the best for me).

    I told him about my porn addiction today. He knows about a number of others who have had the same problem, and was most supportive. He's involved with 12-Step meetings, and, when I told him about this forum and what I get from it, we started comparing it to 12-Step fellowships and pulling out the similarities.

    I'm glad I was honest with him. I'm less on a pedestal with him now (pedestals can be fun, but they invariably hurt somebody when, inevitably, one falls off). We have more to talk about, and we're on a more even level with one another.

    My wife and I have made a plan to spend some time in bed, not being sexual (yet) but just spending time together. The times we've set, for now, are Friday afternoons (I'm usually home by 3:00-3:15. She's not home as I write this, but I expect her soon. I'm nervous about it; we got under the sheets clothed last week and the time was a bit tense. I know we've got to get used to one another again, but it's not easy. I hope it will come easier some day.

    We have a date later, to go to a choral concert at Princeton University. We've done less and less together, as time went by, and fewer and fewer different kinds of things. She wants to do more, and I'm just saying "yes" to everything I can. She's said she wants to "err on the side of yes", and it sounds like a good plan - it's certainly less limiting than hours of porn and separation and silence.

    We'll see what comes. More next time.
     
  8. 57yrold

    57yrold Fapstronaut

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    Dude, your writing is seriously inspiring.

    I root for everyone on these forums, but none more than you.

    Best of luck my friend. May you find happiness, and success, and meet all your goals!
     
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  9. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Thanks for your support. I wouldn't have gotten this far without the support I get here. I'd be slipping back into bargaining and rationalizations, like last time.

    Anyway,

    Since the last time I checked in: My wife and I did the time under the sheets. We were both clothed; she had her socks off, which was her one concession to physical intimacy. But the only touching we did was that we held hands for a while. At this point, I ask to kiss her goodbye when I leave for the day; that's the stage we're at. The time under the sheets isn't pleasant; it brings up anger for her (can you blame her?). But we've decided to keep doing it; we think it we keep doing it, it's got to get better.

    Later, I told her about telling my coworker about my addiction, and while she was a bit concerned (mostly about whether he could be trusted about confidentiality), I think it was another sign for her that I'm serious this time. We both have some experience with 12-Step programs, and she knows about the uses of telling the story to someone, and how if I "tell on myself", if I talk about my rationalizations and schemes with someone I trust and who won't support my dishonesty and manipulation, I'm less likely to actually engage in the behaviors I tell about.

    Later, we went to the choral concert, which was both good musically and fun. We're making plans for future stuff to do. As I noted in an earlier post, we're trying to do more different things. We'd fallen into a routine (which, frankly, included a lot of time we WEREN'T doing things together; much of that was PMO opportunity for me); we're trying to break the routine by doing more things. Some of them will be fun (as this was) and some of them won't, but we've gotta try stuff. (My wife and I are friendlier, at this point, when anything sexual is removed from the picture, for reasons that are probably obvious to anyone who comes to this forum. She is concerned with how I'm doing, but my progress is so slow at this point that I think it's disappointing to both of us.)

    I've been doing some homework on PMO recovery and skimming the posts on this forum and reading some. It looks like some of the PMO addicts get into affairs as the PMO fog starts to lift. That's a bit scary to me; I came here to save my marriage, and nothing would break it up like that... but I haven't exactly shown myself to be a model of self-restraint, now, have I? I'm concerned that as I start to recover, some hot young mama (I'm 62; she might be, say, 52 or so!) will catch my eye, and we'll get to chatting, and before I know it, I'll have made some stupid decisions and will be breaking my promise with a real, live human (one of my rationalizations about PMO was that it wasn't with a real person).

    Maybe if I tell about it here, I won't do it out there IRL.

    We'll see. More next time.
     
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  10. Colin75

    Colin75 Fapstronaut

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    Very encouraging reading! I like your pure honesty and sharp, attentive attitude. Best wishes to you! Colin
     
  11. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Since the last time I checked in: I just saw something that has me triggered. It would be easy to slip back into PMO; I'll have opportunity tomorrow for one of those hours-long sessions. I'm not going to do it.

    The picture was something I probably should have guarded against; I probably should have guessed it would be what it was. I wanted to see it; I looked; now I'm paying for it.

    I'm NOT going to engage in PMO. I've come far enough in less than two weeks; my wife is counting on me (and starting to trust me a little), and I've made a promise to myself that I wouldn't break my promise to her: the one I made at our wedding.

    I feel the urge passing just as I write this.

    A week ago, I could not imagine writing a sentence like "...I've made a promise to myself that I wouldn't break my promise to her: the one I made at our wedding." It would have sounded so hokey. Maybe I'm getting better in spite of myself. (HAH! Don't put the mortgage on it!)

    Well, I won't lie on this forum. I'll let youse know how I'm doing when I check in next time.
     
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  12. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Since the last time I checked in: I had porn dreams last night.

    As I noted a few days ago, I'm in recovery from substance-abuse for decades. I'm also a substance-abuse counselor, with letters after my name (and the irony of having all that, and then having to come here because of my PMO addiction, my relapses, and my manipulations, is not lost on me). I know from my substance-abuse recovery history and my training that, for substance-abuse addicts in recovery, drug dreams are normal. I also know that they can be scary and realistic; I've awakened in the morning with shame and fear over what I've done, to be replaced by relief when I realized that my "memories" were, in fact, dreams. It's been decades, as I stated, and I still get them occasionally.

    These porn dreams (it seems to me there were two) weren't as vivid as the drug dreams, and weren't as detailed. I remember the shame about slipping, and relief when I realized they were dreams. I don't remember engaging in masturbation in the dreams, but I do have visions of my computer screen with porn on.

    In early recovery from substance abuse, I was told to tell someone about the dreams and move on. So that's what I'm doing here; I'm telling all of youse-all, and, after I finish this, I'm going to move on.

    I also make the connection between the events in the last post and the dreams. I got triggered yesterday, and I think there's a possibility of a correlation (other than just the coincidence) between the triggering and the dreams. I'm not ready to say it's because of the trigger (because there doesn't seem to be any cause-and-effect relationship with my drug dreams), but I'm also not ready to say the trigger yesterday was not part of the cause.

    The one thing that is abundantly and inescapably clear this morning is that I'm an addict and I need to keep managing the addiction. I eat way more greasy salty stuff, refined sugar, and white flour than I ought, and sometimes sneak a little extra (like the Pringles can when I'm driving home in the car). But I don't plan my junk food binges; spend hours over a collection of pecan pies; decide that this chocolate brownie is not really what I want and switch to lemon meringue; or any of the other behaviors that are similar the way I use PMO. And I've never had a dream about finishing a whole carrot cake, and then snuck down to the kitchen to see if the empty box was still in the trash. My PMO behaviors are definitely the behaviors of an addict. It's going to take more rationalization than I can do today to try to make believe my PMO behaviors were normal.

    Let's see if I still think that way next time.
     
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  13. MerseyPhoenix

    MerseyPhoenix Fapstronaut

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    Hey,
    I enjoy reading your posts because they are written with the wisdom of an older guy. I am also doing this in order to reconnect with my spouse, so I'm rooting for you (two).
     
    57yrold likes this.
  14. D . J .

    D . J . Fapstronaut

    I love the flow of your journal.

    There will be many guy (single and married) who will benefit from your journey.

    Here are just a few men who I know who are married that come to mind who have been on this journey for awhile who may give you encouragement and help you overcome pitfalls they have encountered:

    @JohnQ3369
    @phuck-porn!
    @ILoathePorn
    @FreshStartJames
    @i_wanna_get_better1
    @Scruff
     
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  15. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Since the last time I checked in, there have been a couple of things. First. @Colin75 , @MerseyPhoenix, @D.J. - thanks for the words of support. It's partly because of folks like you that I keep coming back (real life, though, is part of the reason I keep coming back is: where the hell else am I supposed to go?).

    Also, I'm having a hard day today. Between the trigger yesterday, the dreams last night, and the fact that I have hours alone today, I felt like I was getting close to relapsing back to PMO (and yes, I think it would be a relapse, as opposed to just continued PMO behavior, because I'm really trying this time, unlike last time).

    I asked my wife to give me a call today from the place she's visiting just for a bit of extra support. I did some chores that I'd normally put off to be out of the house for a while, and I've been on this forum as a reminder of what comes along for the ride if I go back to PMO.

    One of my chores was at the local Target, where there was a woman... well, let's say she wasn't ashamed of her cleavage. It got my mind racing. Now that it's later and I'm out of the situation, I can see how stupid and funny it is, but at the time, feeling weak and close to PMO, it was uncomfortable. I'm better now.

    One more thing: I got my avatar picture approved. I didn't think that you'd need to have approval for an avatar picture... but then, we're not folks to be trusted blindly with photos on the computer, now, are we? Made me smile when I thought about it. I'm thinking of changing my picture regularly just to have the mods have to approve the pictures. Do you have ANY IDEA how many bicycle-related pictures there are?

    Naaah, I'm not that mean. And besides, I really need this forum.

    We'll see what happens next time.
     
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  16. D . J .

    D . J . Fapstronaut

    Continue to keep In Case You Didn't Know in your view for strategies and tips which may help in the rough times.
     
    bike-wrench likes this.
  17. Colin75

    Colin75 Fapstronaut

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    Hang in there Bike Wrench! I m greatly encouraged actually by your honesty, and foresight of danger. Keep fighting! Colin.
     
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  18. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    That's great. And now it's linked here, I know where to find it. @D.J., you may want to consider putting a link to that post into your forum sig.

    Since the last time I checked in, I've been out to dinner with my wife for her birthday. I told her earlier today that today was being tough, and asked her to give me a call when she finished a visit with a friend, before she drove back. Later she asked why I'd had her call, and I reminder her about the trigge r yesterday and the dreams last night. She doesn't want the responsibility of carrying my recovery (HAH! Who would? I don't really want that responsibility either), but she's willing to offer support. I'm grateful.

    That trigger yesterday was something; it's only now fading. Between that and the cleavage-unashamed gal, I think that my brain, which has been so overstimulated by sexual stuff, is reaching for anything it can get. There's a reason the recovery programs suggest 90 days for any recovery at all. I'm certainly not in any kind of shape now to manage my PMO recovery alone.

    Soon to bed, though. (I'm an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of guy; I usually get up at 4am. Some of my regular PMO sessions used to start at 3am if I woke up early)

    We'll see if it's any better when I check in next time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    Nugget9 likes this.
  19. ILoathePorn

    ILoathePorn Distinguished Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for the mention. I am honored and humbled.
     
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  20. bike-wrench

    bike-wrench Fapstronaut

    Since the last time I checked in: while I'm not still triggering over that one incident from a couple of days ago, I notice that I have an increase in generalized sexual preoccupation. I'm using thought-stop techniques when it comes to thinking about porn, but I notice I'm sexualizing every woman with whom I come in contact, the way I did years ago.

    Imagine that: a porn addict has a problem with sexual preoccupation, huh? Well, the issue is, I DIDN'T notice this when I was up to my ass in PMO. As I noted in another thread to which I replied elsewhere on this forum, I suspect the situation is that my sex-stimulation-satiated brain, used to a regular supply of sexual stimuli, is feeling the loss and is trying to make it back, the way that some people will hallucinate in those sensory-deprivation chambers.

    I suppose this is part of the reason for the various 90-day challenges: to give ourselves time to achieve an equilibrium again. The path to equilibrium has hyper- and hypo-responses along it, I guess.

    While I don't think most of the people around me know how crazy I feel right now (and most of my friends and coworkers know about my substance-abuse history and some emotional problems I've had, so maybe they just allow me broad leeway), I'm sure I can tell youse-all it's not a lot of fun being inside my head today.

    But for today, I'm not engaging in any PMO, I'm going to be good to my wife when she comes home, and I'm goinmg o find something useful to do with the next hour or so. (It might involve a nap.)

    Check in next time. Maybe I'll be a bit more stable. But don't put the mortgage on it.
     
    D . J . likes this.

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