Please help - first time I've ever admitted to anyone

Submitted by confusedashamed on
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I 've never mentioned anything that I am writing here to another living human being.

I have a loving wife and a couple of great childeren. I work hard to provide for my family and I keep busy doing charity work and continued education. I am also an abuser of porn for the better part of my teen through adult life. I masterbate maybe one to two times a night and look at porn on the internet whenever I have a chance. My greatest fear is the anxiety of being discovered and what my family and friends will think of me. I constantly worry about getting brought up on some kind of charges (maybe stumbling across a site I shouldn't even though I actively try not to, but with so many popups and varied content on a site, who knows what you will get) or someone walking in on me at the wrong time. I have masterbated in public bathrooms and but never have been caught. I've tried to stop more than a few times as I want to lead a clean life with no secrets, but I keep getting drawn back in for whatever reason. I feel like such a hypocrite as some of the things I claim to be morally above, I feel that I am guilty of. I struggle with telling my wife even though I am fairly confident she will understand. I truly do no want to hurt her, as she is the love of my life. I also can not stand the thought of her looking at me differently, which I think she will regardless of what she says. I also worry about affecting our relationship because of the effect it will have on my kids as I believe that kids are smarter than people give them credit for and they can sense when there are problems. Is it possible to recover on my own without assistance from anyone who knows me? Is this even a healthy way to do it? What steps should I take? I feel so ashamed. How can I ever look at myself in the mirror?

Welcome

Hello ,

1) Don't feel ashamed: Marnia would say that it makes solving the problem harder.

2) Take the time to familiarize yourself with the content of this site. There is a lot for you to read. And the time you spend reading all those articles is time you won't spend watching porn [ok] .

3) Browse through the member's blogs. Interact with them by posting comments on their blogs, so that you get a better feel of the whole community here.

4) Check the resources section, and especially this: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction

5) I have enabled your own blogging account. Check this: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

Good luck and Blessings!

At the risk of sounding repetitious...

I too understand the feeling of looking in the mirror (both metaphorically and literally) and wondering what the hell I am coming too, but as others will no doubt agree, take the shame and guilt right out of it. It just makes the stuff even more addictive (ie 'my guilty pleasure...'). You are not the only man hooked on internet porn, and hiding it from his loved ones! The internet is absolutely flooded with porn and there must be millions of blokes out there doing the same (including myself sometimes, though Im really trying to give it up- more about that later).

Yes there must be millions who look at the stuff, much less who actually question whether this is ok or not, and surely even less seeking help for it. So actually, well done! Thats a good minority to be a part of.

So first things first- there is nothing wrong with you!!! Porn is naturally addictive for us men, it hacks right into our neurochemical circuitry. Please read up on the site about all this, its all there already. I also just wanted to mention, you are not a hypocrite, and I would see no problem in healing this issue without having to tell your spouse. Even good-hearted people can have prejudices or take things the wrong way. If she is the love of your life, why risk it? There are ways to heal without having to involve her (Im sure some people are going to disagree with me, but in my experience it can be this way). Except in the case of physical infidelity, I see no reason why you 'have' to 'confess' every detail of your life...after all, she is your wife, not the parish priest. (Im not religious, btw...but was baptized a Catholic, hence my intimate understanding of shame and guilt regarding physical pleasure).

Remember, you are not an angel or a saint, and are not meant to be. You are a human being, with perfectly natural drives that have got a bit out of balance, thats all. Breathe a moment of peace, things will turn out ok. If you want to heal, you will heal, in time.

Ash.

Comming out as being a masturbation addict

[quote=confusedashamed]Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. It sure makes me feel better (yet a bit more vulnerable) writing that out and also knowing that I am not alone.[/quote]
I was in a similar position though my frequency of masurbation was considerably less. Non the less it was, without realising it, causing great harm to my relationship with my wife and children. The main difference was that I was found out. I always convinced myself that if my wife found out she would be angry but eventually understand. How wrong was I? She was mentally wrecked and it is taking a long time to get any form of confidence back. One good thing is that I have virtually stopped masturbating and certainly without porn. My feelings for her have increased many fold and the orgasms I have had whilst enjoying the limited sex life we have had TOGETHER have been much more intense than "on my own watching somebody else have sex". At least we are having a sex life together now. It had been dormant for a number of years. I now know why. We are trying to work through it but I am having to break down barriers that are constantly being rebuilt with her understandable anger.

For those who are still "going it alone", stop now. Give it up, walk away from it. The pain of emotional anguish is pretty dire and it hurts like hell. If I had been aware of what lay ahead, abstanance would have been immediate and unquestionable. The primeval brain has destructive powers when hit with the power of porn. It was never designed for such a hit and it puts the brain into overload. Don't let it blow your mind completely.

I love my wife passionately and always have. The onset of Porn with masturbation, and I have masturbated since I was able to and am now in my late 50s. has denied both me and my wife the emotional and close relationship we should have had and we can never get that back.

Stay optimistic

Look at it this way...you couldn't get to a truly satisfying relationship with your wife with the porn in the picture, because it was desensitizing your brain...even though you didn't know it.

So the only way out was through. And the saga may not be over yet. Hopefully some of the women here will have ideas on what would help them forgive a spouse in a similar situation.

Thanks for your courage in overcoming your habit. Blog if you like.

*big hug*

I think the time will come

to share with your wife, but you can *pick* that time.

Women often feel like they are competing with porn images as if they are other real women. They don't understand that the Coolidge Effect just makes novelty a turn-on, or that "hot" images can set up an addiction that is surprisingly close to drug use or gambling. In short, they don't realize that they're competing with the equivialent of beers (for an alcoholic).

In other words, it can be hard to predict how a woman will react. And before then, you need a really clear understanding of what's going on...so you can explain it to her. Smile

If you have time, you may find this chapter from our new book helpful: http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/Cupid-Ch6.pdf

Meanwhile, your wife can really help you a lot with your recovery...even without knowing the full story...if you start to employ these bonding behaviors on a daily basis. They are really soothing to your nervous system...which can ease withdrawal discomfort...and she'll probably like them too! http://www.reuniting.info/lazy_way_to_stay_in_love

Welcome! Good luck with your recovery.

Hi Confusedashamed

Maybe you didn't see this, 'cause it was in another post I wrote on one of my own blogs but your post here made me think of this that I had written.

Daffy's Post Said:

"Tonight I was reading a book and it was such a touching message. I wish for everyone here to read Max Lacado's book *You Are Special* I thought the other day when I was reading on here (as I always do, daily) "God. These are brave, courageous people here." I think I even said BRAVO! and smiled a big smile. I feel proud of everybody. I really do. I appreciate all of the words that people write on here. This IS a very accepting community and I'm thankful for it.

Max's book ...is a childrens book... But... it's precious. Just like all y'all are."

I know you didn't specifically ask for what I thought... Wink

People like you are why I like being here so much on Reuniting. Your honest is very much appreciated and I wanted you to know that I heard you.

Daffy

Just checking in with you

Just checking in with you today --- how are you doing ? Have your spirits lifted a little with the support from here? And, just writing it out and being here with us. Please stay in touch. Hands reaching out through cyber space can reach back to you.
Giraffe

I'm feeling better today,

I'm feeling better today, thanks. I'll be here. So far so good. Staying busy and then going to bed early seems to help. Thinking of all the people on here that don't even know me that are supporting me is a huge help, too. I can't thank you all enough. It's good to know that there are good people out there.

Good luck

Hi confusedashamed,

I've just seen your post and your situation is very close to my own. I'm also happily married with children, and have been hooked on masturbation since teenage years and increasingly on porn since the internet arrived. I worry about what people would think of me if I got discovered... all the more because I'm a family guy, generally kind and helpful and I think people would be shocked if they knew, as the "porn addict" side of me is in such stark contrast to this.

I don't want to tell my wife. I don't think I ever will. Although I know it might help *me* to have her support, it would also hurt her a lot (as I've seen other women on here hurt by knowledge of their partners addiction). If I can, I want to beat this without her knowing.

If you do decide to tell your wife, I would follow the advice above and only do so once you understand the addiction well enough to explain it to her.

Asher's post is spot on. "If you want to heal, you will heal, in time." - that's a line worth remembering, it's the big picture, and when you're caught in the nitty gritty daily battle it's something to hold on to.

Good luck,
time_for_change

More info...

Hi there,

What type of porn do you like looking at? Is there something common to the porn you are addicted to? For example: Blondes, big breasts, certain sexual positions, etc? I'm just curious, because this may provide more insight into root causes. Sometimes a root cause can be a complex thing. What is it you feel you gain from porn that you cannot get from your wife? Would you rather masturbate to porn than make love with your wife? Do you find your wife more or less attractive than the individuals in the porn you like?

Maybe try this: Don't masturbate, don't look at porn or even have any type of sexual relations for 1 week. Then once the week is up make love with your wife. You'll notice that the orgasm you experience is MUCH more intense than usual. That's your reward. Do this for a couple of months and see what happens. I tried this type of "reward training" in the beginning and it worked very well for me. But then again everyone is different.

I wish you all the best. You are the ultimate creator and designer of YOUR reality.

Study

Dear Confused,

Nothing I can say will add much to all those who have shared already.

But, 2 more cents........go ahead and let the shame drive you but soon, the longer you go and walk away from these actions.....the shame will dissolve and you need to let it do so.

Also, POUR over the material on this site, the excerpts from the book. The science helped me SO much understand and recognize what is going on. I can't say I felt "off the hook" for what Ive been doing but it did help give me "a break" and start to forgive myself.

Clarity and calmness will enter in as soon as you get some distance from acting out..........BELIEVE this. You will also start to dig deeper and understand what else is going on besides the addictive stuff........maybe even understand the reasons for all of this. It will take time. It will involve mishaps and stumbles. But you / we will succeed.

Stay tuned in brother,
crow

Well, made it over 3 weeks

Well, made it over 3 weeks this time. I'm starting to think stress is my trigger. Upset with myself as I was doing so well. Need to find better stress releases. Work in progress I guess.

Congratulations on making it past three weeks

Congratulations on making it past three weeks, that's great! I think, even better, is that you're finding what your trigger is... stress is a big one for me too, boredom also can do it... I've been to 3 weeks before several times and I'm back here at day 9 today... but every period of abstinence has strengthened me and every relapse has taught me something about myself (if I care to look)... try not to feel too upset with yourself today as it can feed into the relapse and prolong it...

Glad you're still hanging around here - keep posting.

time_for_change

No, sadly, I did not stay

No, sadly, I did not stay away from the porn. I really want to stay away from the porn. I felt stress and let my mind wander too much, I think. It's not good for me to stay up late. As soon as I'm done with my studying, I'm planning on becoming an early to bed guy.

thanks

for sharing your experience. You're not alone! Foregoing porn is like turning down dessert when you're hungry. But try to stick to "health food" even if you orgasm. Smile

Stress

That is the big trigger for me also. Way to be observant and realize what one of your triggers is.

As time-for-change mentioned, get back on the horse and use what you've learned eh? Find a better stress release.

Marnia mentions all the time.....give back and help others, exercise, get out, etc.

Time to lay new pathways down.

I am saying this to myself as much as a reply to your post.

Thanks,
crow

four days

Heading into my fifth day without p/m. This is the first time I've posted anything to these forums. I think stress and loneliness are two of my biggest triggers. I am a single parent, have a demanding professional life, and have a somewhat isolated office situation. It is so tempting for me, when the pressure ratchets up, to escape into the seemingly blissful world of porn with all its excitement and allure. The seeming promise of freedom and relief. Of course, it's a false promise and just compounds all of life's problems, but the addict part of mind finds it very easy to ignore that fact.

I feel so grateful to have found this site and community and to be witnessing the sharing taking place here. Based on what I've read, I've resolved to go 60 days without porn or masturbation. I'm excited about this journey. I'm keeping a log. I hope to restore my brain state so that I can experience again a normal libido and erectile function. Both of these have trailed off noticeably within the past couple of years. So far withdrawal hasn't been too bad. I find myself a bit more relaxed, outgoing, and creative. The main negatives I've been experiencing are difficulty concentrating at work and a tendency to obsess about a particular person in my life (complicated story).

Yes, I agree

Those are very helpful. Lots of invaluable experiences and info. One thing I'm facing right now is an obsession with a person. I believe it's interrelated with porn addiction. I think she lights up/lit up my brain in much the same way as porn. Just a very stimulating person, always a roller coaster ride. My intention is to give her up during these 60 days as well, and that's the biggest struggle for me right at the moment. I'm curious whether or not others on this site have encountered a situation like this--haven't seen anyone mention it in my readings so far.

Good observation

We can obsess over people, relationships, and fantasy in the same way. These things are connected for me as well. Awareness is the first step to getting at this thing that is causing you misery. Good luck with your trial, its an ongoing journey, but its great to slowly watch this addiction lose its power in our lives.

Hiya

Hi Daffy:

Nice to meet you, too. Sure, I'm up for a friendly competition. As long as it's mutually supportive. Good luck with your path. I'll watch out for your updates!

Hey There, Audiberti...

Yep! I can be "mutually supportive"!

But, I don't look at it like a real "competition" anyway, ya know?

Well, I guess I did say "wanna race?" but... I think my emphasis was really on having someone to race with. (?) (!)

Oh well... sometimes 'words', for me, don't always say how I'm feeling. So! Thanks for the "good luck with your path"...and ... watching for my updates!

All's I gotta say is... if ya stick around here... people tend to 1) reach their goals 2) have REAL growth and experience transformations and 3) deep inner realizations 4) and have a very safe place here to experimement and be themselves along the way.

I was just saying I was happy to 'race' ya. I think the massive changes here ... for me... have been because there's always somebody who'll come out and play.

Good luck to you and I'll watch for YOUR updates too. And... no matter what phase of the experiment you're in... it's allright with me.

*High Five*

Have a good day, Daffy