Day 90 - Posted for the 17th July 2012
I was on vacation during this milestone so I did not get to do a post. So here it is.
I have reached 90 days and wanted to do a little review of the pros and cons of eliminating pornography and masturbation from my life.
Pros: I have developed a much healthier and happier relationship with my wife. I have learned a lot about this addiction and factors that contribute to its impact on my life. That knowledge and its application in my life has resulted in a greatly reduced level of desire to act out. It is quite remarkable to have gone from a several times a day addiction to not even considering it for weeks on end. It option to act out is ever present and I am aware of that but the addiction no longer has a sting. I am no longer hurting myself and my self image and self respect for that matter has improved. Though my wife knows absolutely nothing of all of this struggle, she has been her ever faithful self and unknowingly has lifted me up and supported me in many ways. I do believe the very worst aspect of my porn and masturbation addiction, way ahead of the damage it did to me, is the way it changed my outlook on my wife. That has changed now and we are getting as solid old friends. I am particularly grateful for her and her kindness to me.
Cons: At one stage I was thinking of holding a funeral service. My old way of life had to die and a formal ceremony seemed a good idea. But to be honest I have had to give up an emotional high. Even though its off the menu, no one could deny the beauty and attractiveness of other females (real or images) its natural to acknowledge this. It is unnatural however for it to control ones life or to interfere with important relationships like a marriage. I guess that defines the fine line I cross as an addict when I engaged in this type of behavior. It then becomes a matter of sacrifice for the greater good. Unhealthy sexual stimulation with its numbing addictive consequences must then be killed off to make way for heightened integrity. The temporal must give way to the lasting. Deceitfulness to honesty. A man's strength is not a count of how many times he can jerk off in a day, but how many times he can use his strength to bring love and integrity into all his relationships. The 'Con' therefore is that something is sacrificed and in my case, it is my real challenge now. I was attempting to satisfying my own need for sex by turning to porn and masturbation. I was in control. So as P&M is eliminated from my life, I abandon that control. This is not an easy thing for a man to do as my wife has nowhere near the sexual needs that I have. I have seen though that my 'sexual needs' have, to a large degree, been amplified by my accessing porn and acting out.
Conclusions at 90 days: Allow for and lovingly attend to my wife's sexual needs at her point of need and not at mine. I am trusting her to look after me and I really have nothing to worry about. She is truly a loving and caring person and in a very long marriage has never given me a singe reason to doubt her.
Over confidence in my present success will bring danger and I must keep my recovery plan in full effect or I will revert over time.
The past 40 years (-90 days) of addiction is testimony to my inability to kick this habit. The only difference this time is knowledge of how this addiction works. Measures that I can take to fight back and change my addicted brain. Journaling here and supporting my friends at FTRW and their support and encouragement.
What the future holds, I don't know? Will I be able to maintain the sobriety that I desire?
This however this I do know. My former approach to sexuality, with its deception, lust and extreme temporal highs has never ever yielded me a single, real, valuable, lasting, benefit ever! I will no longer sacrifice my future for this and pledge afresh to remain sober, love and be honest with my wife with all my strength. What I lose is worthless. What I gain in priceless.
Kind regards, CSC
"I wished for nothing beyond her smile, and to walk with her thus, hand in hand, along a sun-warmed, flower-bordered path. (Andre Gide)"
Been a NEW MAN since: April 16, 2012