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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:17 pm
Posts: 10
Hi,

I have an addiction with porn and self stimulation that goes back to my early teens.
I've since become married with a beautiful wife but our relationship has soured into separation.
We see each other on weekends but our relationship is somewhat tenuous.

The most I have gone without acting out was 2 weeks during a year of rehab for drug use (which never found out about my sex problem).
I had wet dreams during that period which I had never let myself have before. This adds to my anxiety.

Ive stopped watching porn and "acting out" this weekend and I am waiting for this weekend to spend time with my wife
My idea, and my wife agreed, is to do things with her instead of myself, as a couple.

I do understand that initial self abstinence is important but my wife is struggling with the lack of intimacy we have been going through because of my actions and neglect.
I'm not trying to eradicate all sexual behavior but rather trying to live a healthy relationship with my wife and myself.

Ive started on my personal workshops and maybe we can register as a couple to start working together.

I appreciate advice on how to live the next few weeks, I'm sure there are things both of us are not considering, or letting ourselves consider.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Hi there, insane2170,

Welcome to RN!
insane2170 wrote:
I'm not trying to eradicate all sexual behavior but rather trying to live a healthy relationship with my wife and myself.

This is the goal of recovery: healthy living, not just in the sexual area but in all aspects of your life. The recovery work is meant to make you aware of your values, help you connect with them and use them in your decision making process instead of relying primarily on emotions, as it is the case in early recovery.

insane2170 wrote:
I had wet dreams during that period which I had never let myself have before. This adds to my anxiety.

You should try to relax a bit and put your actions and anxiety in perspective. Once you've committed to recovery ... (meaning that you are doing this for you first and foremost and you are willing to do whatever it takes) ... you are sincere in your efforts and you will forge your way ahead. There will be setbacks, obstacles, slips, but as long as you are committed to learn from your mistakes and move forward, you will be making steady progress towards health. The idea is to use each opportunity for learning something about yourself, your behaviour, your inner thoughts and processes, thus turning negatives into positives instead of focusing on never allowing yourself any mistakes as that is unreasonable and not very realistic. What I'm trying to say is ... try not to increase your anxiety by putting too much pressure on yourself, for example, having wet dreams might be out of your control. Shaming yourself for not being able to control something uncontrollable will only be damaging as it will shake your confidence and trust in yourself and your abilitities. There are specific skills to be learned and practiced, coupled with a lot of insight work and the workshop will guide you through. Slowly but surely you will be leaning on your new skills instead of old ingrained patterns of acting out but it's a process and sometimes you will get frustrated ... accept that as normal and move forward.

insane2170 wrote:
My idea, and my wife agreed, is to do things with her instead of myself, as a couple.

This should be addressed in your vision exercise. Your relationship should have a healthy place in your life, it's probably going to be one of the recommended minimum 7 or so areas which should provide you with enough emotional stimulation on a daily basis. If it's important to you (and I bet it is very important ...), you should be working on it and you should construct actions plans around it ... However, make sure you devote enough time and energy to develop the other areas in your life as well. There should be a healthy balance in your life, it's not good to become overdependant on any of your pillars.

insane2170 wrote:
I do understand that initial self abstinence is important but my wife is struggling with the lack of intimacy we have been going through because of my actions and neglect.

This is a delicate issue to deal with. Self abstinence is very important because at this stage you are not in a position to discern what is healthy and what is unhealthy in your sexuality. I was objectifying my H unknowingly, I was using porn images stored in my head to be able to function and enjoy sexually and I was more focused towards performance instead of connecting intimately during the act itself. I did not even know what that is ... sexual intimacy ... and I'm still working on it as I go along trying to discover, adjust and define what that means to me. Abstinence helped a lot to reboot the way I was perceiving and acting sexually. Abstinence coupled with learning the skills the workshop teaches and with the personal insights and realisations you will have doing the work is invaluable, it clears the terrain for setting a strong and healthy foundation.
I can understand your wife all too well as I've been in her shoes more or less. Healthy people (like your wife) are able to connect intimately while sexually engaged so she craves for that kind of connection. However, for you it would not be the same as you would not be able to meet her at that deep level just yet, not without having some good progress under your belt. Luckily, sex is not the only way to achieve intimacy as a couple. I suggest you take time and effort to build non-sexual intimacy until you are ready to discern what healty sex means to you, what are your sexual values and what boundaries you can put in place to protect yourself and your partner.

insane2170 wrote:
Ive started on my personal workshops and maybe we can register as a couple to start working together.

I see many couples doing the couple's workshop but not proceeding to do the individual lessons. If I'm not mistaken, the couples' workshop is not finished ... there is only an initial number of lessons after which each participant is encouraged to follow the individual workshop. I would strongly encourage your wife to become a member and benefit from all the wisdom and support they have on the partner's side. She might find a lot of value in doing the lessons or at least skimming through. The partner's side is a safe place to express how things have affected her and find compassionate suport and solidarity from others in the same position. Understanding better the nature of your struggles and how others have dealt with it can be invaluable not only for you both as a couple but for her as an individual. I believe RN has a lot to offer to you both.

All the best to you both,
Ursula

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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