Still caught in an addiction cycle....

Submitted by Ryan on
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OK, my wife and I finished the book quite a while ago, but we are having...technical difficulties. As of tomorrow we will be starting the Exchanges for like the 3rd or 4th time. I can't even keep count any more.

Please note, that I am a self proclaimed porn/masturbation addict and have been battling this addiction for many years.

When my wife and I decided to try the exchnages we both abstained from orgasm for 2 weeks before starting the exchanges. But, for whatever reason, on day 14 I looked at porn and masturbated.

I was honest and told my wife. She held my heart with compassion, bless her soul...

So we started the 2 week period again. Then we went through to Exchange 13, but then I masturbated (but did not ejaculate) when I was out of town. I must note that as we went through those Exchanges that first time, we were very close, very trusting, and really connecting through our hearts. We were still feeling ourselves out with the healing phase, but the nurturing phase was just great for us. So it was a big blow to lose ground since we had made it all the way to exchange 13.

But I was honest and we started again.

This time we started on Exchange 1 again but were not as committed to doing them by the book every night and within 10 days I had masturbated with an orgasm.

Honesty again but starting to wear thin. Basically at this point my wife and I both know that with this new system I'm still an addict but now we don't have ANY sex and she never gets an orgasm. Hmmm....not ideal.

But we trust and we try again.

This time we make it to Exchange 8, but this time I masturbate and have 3 orgasms on 3 different ocassions. Now we have a big problem. Honesty and trust is starting to lose the battle to guilt and fear. However, I have been so miserable at work, and so low...that I cry and confess to my wife what was going on. In her invinite compassion she forgives me and opens her heart. But we both know that we have taken a blow in trust.

So hear we are again. We are running on steam here. We are both very committed loving people, but I can not seem to get past that 2 week mark. Porn has always been my escape from reality when things have been to much for me to handle in real life. Well real life is still hard for me, but now that I don't have my escape, I have been finding that I run out of "will" after 14 weeks. I want this cycle to end so badly.

If anyone has any advice or can even offer up some hope it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening.


Marnia --- is there something we are missing here? Or is there any specific advice you can offer?

And oh yeah --- my wife is 6 months pregnant. Questions that arise from this?
1. Do her pregnancy hormones through this process off?
2. Does her inability to lay on her back (which many exchanges call for) affect our ability to channel energy between each other?
3. Our first baby is arriving on this Earth - so you can understand our sense of urgency to find peace in ourselves and in our relationship.

thanks for sharing your experience


First of all, thanks for sharing your experience.

About the pregnancy, it is certain that it would change the dynamics within the couple. Unfortunately, I don't how and I do not have specific advice. Marnia does not have much more practical experience in that field, either. What you could do is start another thread in the forum with the title "Advice for the couple during a pregnancy" or something similar: this way your post will be noticed by couples who have had relevant experience.

About the porn addiction problem, it is a topic I can speak with more authority as I do have some experience is that field! Beee (I am this web site's "Senior Porn Addiction Expert" (Which reminds me of the skit in the "daily show with Jon Stewart", during the Michael Jackson trial: the correspondant covering the trial had the title: "Senior Child Molestation Expert" and he resented that because "it didn't look good on his business card"! :) ).

Anyhow, for good or for bad, I know from experience how addictive porn can be.
Here are a few comments on what you wrote.

You said you experienced the closeness and the bond created (or enhanced) during the exchanges. Me too: I have both experienced the orgasmic sex and a few forms of sexual addictions AND the more loving, easy moments we have when we apply the knowledge shared in this site. So, it didn't matter for me how many times I "fell" and returned to my former addiction, I knew that a much more blissful alternative existed and I wanted to go back to it. I always thought that those who succeed are those who rise up one more time than they fell down. So, don't feel bad nor guilty: I can empathize with what you're going through. If you "fail", just try again.

Another thing, is what you said about falling again after two weeks or so. Yes, again I know what you mean. After two weeks, it's easy to get tricked into thinking that "we've made it". For many men (and women, too) spending two weeks without having masturbated nor had an orgasm is an achievement of some sort. "Finally, we've made it!", and all of a sudden, it seems easy. At this stage, it is easy to think that "just taking a peep" or "ogling at some pics" and "not even xxx pics, just mildly erotic" is ok.

The fact is that a recovered alcoholic never ever goes back to the bar or the pub again and he doesn't buy a bottle of red wine "just for dinner, one glass a day". Recovery is a life long process and never stops: same with the former porn addicts: just do NOT click that link that promisses a few mildly titillating pictures... It is always easy to fall back. The exchanges may and do help, and a supporting and loving wife can make a huge difference, but remaining "clean" requires a life-long commitment and we should expect of ourselves to be able to walk past temptation whenever they appear in our lives.
Being "clean" or porn-free is not a two-week process, but a life-long endeavor.

Now, if you or I do fall again, it is not necessarily a failure. It is also an opportunity to understand more of the dynamics at hand. What thought process led us to that web site again? What chain of actions? What mood were we in just before that? Use every opportunity in life ("good" or "bad") to deepen your understanding of yourself.

What I noticed a long time ago is that, not so unexpectedly, I felt tired just before going back to those web sites I should not have visited again. Everything this web site says about the "Reward Center" (see Science section) is relevant here: we feel down a bit and (un)consciously we know that viewing some exciting pictures will make us feel better (... until we have an orgasm, that is!). What is needed instead is acknowledge that we ARE feeling a bit down and that we probably DESERVE a rest, but that going down the same slippery road is not the best long-term solution. We need to remain lucid enough at those times to seek an alternative way to have a rest.

I work for hours on end on the computer. I am never more than 10 seconds away for my formerly favorite porn web sites. I do get tired working all day long. Now, when I do feel down, instead of finding solace online, I learned to get up, go away from my computer, and lie down on my back, arms alongside my body, and use visualization techniques that I enjoy doing, maybe even sleep a little, until I feel better and I am ready for more work.

We are beings of habits and patterns. We have to recognize and understand our habits, identify those that are not helpful and ever harmful to us, and replace them with new habits that are more beneficial. You need to plan now for the next time you'll be tempted to masturbate again: what can you do instead that will give you some rest and make you feel good over a longer period of time? If you are out of town and in your hotel room, maybe lie on the bed face down, arms alongside your body, and relax your body, bring your attention to your "third eye" and the blackness there and if you can get some sleep. Or whatever else works for you. You already know you'll get tempted again. What you can do NOW is visualize what you'd rather do at those times.

I am sure you will be able to "make it" and avoid temptation over the long term. I am sure you'll have the courage not to give up.

Since you seem so willing to share so that people who come after you will be able to benefit from your experience, I would like to offer you what I offered others recently: would you like to have your own blog set up in this site? You could keep a kind of public diary of your progress, "failures" (if you learn from a "failure", then it is a success) but also insights you gain as you go along. Just keep enough details out so that people who know you in person would never be able to identify you. If you are interested, let us know and we'll upgrade your account.

Blessings to you, to your wife and to the baby on its way to Earth! :)

Sorry I haven't been around

I've been on the road most of December and it will be another couple of weeks before I'm fully back.

I wish I knew more about how this system mixes with pregnancy. I'll ask a friend who has used it throughout her pregnancy to respond. It may be a few weeks, though.

Meanwhile, good luck. I'm sorry you've been having trouble.

Thanks for your help

I look forward to hearing from the "pregnancy perspective".

An update: I am now again closing in on the 14 day no orgasm period and have felt pretty good. My wife and I are not "doing" the exchanges but have still focused our attention on giving -- to ourselves, each other, our friends, our family, and strangers. We are both feeling much better.

However, because we are closing in on the 14 day period, we are both finding that our dreams are again becoming sexual and I find myself (again) fighting the lusty thoughts and quick glances to women I meet during my day.

We will likely start the "healing phase" after the x-mas break and prepare ourselves to make love and heal.

Have a wonderful holiday season all.

Peace and Love


The Addiction

I am not sure what causes the dream orgasms or the sexual thoughts and feelings related or unrelated to Pregnancy. In response to what seems to be more of the issue, the battle against any addiction is grueling in the strongest of terms. As you are well aware, porn is a killer. It is especially insidious as it is known to burn deep tracks in the mind of the user that are not easily eradicated. One must create new pathways and tracks for the mind to traverse. The long road out must be traveled eventually and can only be traveled successfully with the support of those around you and the help of a Higher Power. I salute you for your amazing efforts, your strong intentions, and honestly. God be with you as you climb the inner Mountain of Everest in an effort to protect your life, your marriage and your new family.