BeyondReady's Journey to PornFreedom

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by BeyondReady, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    I can't remember when it started but I was young. During high school it virtually disappeared as I don't really remember looking at porn. Got married at 21 to an amazing woman. Things were great. Then a few years later we had kids and life become very stressful. So porn slowly crept into my life. It wasn't bad at first but as time went on it seemed to increase. These last three years it got out of control. Sadly after 24 years of marriage and my wife begging me to stop she finally gave up and filed for divorce 5 days ago. I understand her feelings but am crushed. It took her divorcing me to finally find help. Spent a lot of time yesterday listening to the Pornfree podcasts and reading this website and various others. For the first time I am starting to understand my addiction. I have a very low self-esteem due to a father who never said anything good about me but had plenty of criticism, bad body image, and stress. Went to church for the first time in a long while. Never felt I deserved Gods love because of this. I may not deserve it but I'm asking for it this time and am putting my life in his hands. I know this won't save my marriage as she has made it certain she is leaving so she can heal from the impact of this. I don't blame her. I know this is going to be a tough road but it is time to give it my all. Porn free day 5. I don't know where this road will lead but I pray for my wife's healing and my own.
     
  2. Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Beyond...welcome to the forum! So sorry to hear about your D. That's terrible man. I'm going through one myself but my marriage only lasted less than four years and two of them were apart. So hardly a "real" marriage. But it still stings like hell...even now. So I can imagine the pain. It's HUGE that you are accepting responsibility though. The anger will come. But consider it progress (for what it's worth) that you are recognizing that it's your addiction that is the reason for the breakup. P abuse wasn't the chief reason for my divorce but I absolutely know beyond a shadow of doubt that it crippled me emotionally with dealing...and I'm sure she sensed I was a fraud of sorts. P will find you out. I know that now. You can't hide it...even if you're hiding it. Welcome and take care. And, as a Christian, I absolutely believe in the power of forgiveness and I know (it's in the Word) that God is *more* than willing to forgive us. Over and over. It's finding repentance that's key to fully embracing God's love through His Son. Sounds like you might be at that place...
     
  3. Tony74

    Tony74 Guest

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Beyond, just wanted to welcome you to the forum also and let you know that your situation is in my prayers. Like Harvester I went through the D also but mine was 10+ years. PMO got so bad in my life that I felt I was too defective to ever really love or be loved again. However learning to love yourself just as you are and learning to allow God to love you just as you are is a huge step in building a new foundation built on truth and honesty. I myself am recovering from extreme low self esteem and nice guy syndrome, but slowly I'm growing stronger each day. P lives in shame and grows stronger each time we shame ourselves. What you're doing is great. Learning about your addiction is very important as its hard to fight an enemy you don't understand. Having the courage to come forth, admit you have a problem and are seeking help is very admirable. Some things are almost impossible to fight alone. Continue to learn everything you can, there are a lot of great resources out there. I must have read "Your Brain on Porn" about 10 times cover to cover when I first started my reboot. When you get tired or weary I'd encourage you to stay connected on this forum or another forum if you find something else that suits you better, but we are all here with a common goal to get healthy and to overcome this addiction. There are a lot of very knowledgeable and supportive guys on this forum. Keep your head up bro, your not alone in this fight.

    Take it one day at a time... With God anything is possible...
     
  4. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Thanks Musicman. Just reading other people's stories and journeys on here has lifted a very large burden already. Always felt like I was alone in this battle. Your comment about being too defective to really love or be loved hits home very hard. I never understood why my wife had even married me. Never really thought I deserved her. She really is a fantastic woman and I admire her for putting up with it for all these years. I am not sure I would have given me as many chances as she did.

    Like you said, this thing is almost impossible to fight alone. Sadly all these years that is what I was trying to do and it never worked. In the end it only continued to escalate as every time I couldn't beat it I felt worse about myself and the spiral down continued. I do plan to stay very active on this forum and continue with the other things I have started. I need to get control of this for once in my life.

    It's only Day 6 and I know this journey will not be an easy one but I feel very hopeful. I know the coming weeks will be very difficult as I will not only be fighting this addiction but coming to terms with the divorce.
     
  5. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Tonight I fully realized the destruction porn has as I had to tell my two boys that their mom and I are getting divorced. I told them that it was because of a porn addiction because I need to own up to my actions. Hardest thing I have ever had to do. One seemed numb to it while the other one took it hard. I did this to them. With God as my witness I will beat this!
     
  6. Tony74

    Tony74 Guest

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    That took a lot of courage to do. Remember not to blame yourself forever as self forgiveness is very important to the healing process. But with that being said, having a reason to stay committed to the process is very important, and it sounds like you have that reason.

    Standing with you bro. You will get through this.

    One day at a time.
     
    Healed7 likes this.
  7. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    So 6 full days now Porn free. On to Day 7.

    My journal will probably ramble on from day to day. A lot of stuff that I have bottled up as I always had to be the rock for everyone to lean on so tended to bury my issues deep down inside. In order to move forward I believe part of it is to let go of these things.

    I have had zero desire for porn during this time but I imagine that is because my mind has been filled with the divorce. I completely support my wife in her decision as I know how my porn addiction has cut her to the core, how I have destroyed her self-esteem. So I do not blame her for the decision to leave. She deserves better than what I did.

    My Dad:
    My goal isn't so much to be porn free per se but to find what causes the addiction to it. I believe dealing with that issue will result immensely in being porn free. I believe a significant factor was my dad. Not blaming him as I still could have gotten help on my own. It was my inability to deal with issues appropriately that Caused this mess. My dad was a self-centered, physically abusive, alcoholic and I can't remember him once ever saying anything good about me. He was always quick to tell me what I didn't know though. Never once did he say he was proud of me. Never once did he say he loved me. I believe he also had a porn addiction which is what probably started mine or at least provided the access to it as a kid. He passed away 3.5 years ago and I never confronted him. Even as a 40+ year old man he still instilled a certain amount of fear in me. When he died I felt terrible. Not because he died but because I didn't shed a tear or feel any real loss. I mourned the loss of never having a "real" father.

    That's all for now. I want to thank everyone on this forum for reading their stories and seeing their struggles has made me deem less alone in this. It has helped in allowing me to accept this addiction and in a strange way given me some strength to help overcome this.
     
  8. Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Hey man that was a really brave thing to say there about your dad. I just want you to know that you can have an awesome dad too (I did and do) and, family being family, they still find a way to damage you. The human condition and all. I don't blame my addictions/issues on my dad (or anyone) but I know that even as awesome as he is he wasn't perfect and there are some things he did that impacted me in a negative way. I hope you have found or have found your peace with your dad. It sounds like you never got to know the real him. And that's on him, not you. Just sad. But you don't have to walk in your father's shoes either. Remember that.
     
  9. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Thanks Harvester. I think I found some peace with my dad in that what he wasn't able to give me I made sure to give my boys. I was blessed with two amazing boys who I make sure they know how I feel about them, that I am proud of the men they have become. They truly are an inspiration to me as I often have thought to myself that I wish I was the man that they are. Someday I will be. So in a strange way my dad taught me how to be a better dad by his not being a good father.

    This is the end of Day 7 and has been an easy ride as far as staying porn free. Hasn't even crossed my mind. Part of it I am sure is the divorce but it's funny how now that we are getting divorced for the first time in our marriage we have had some really good conversations about things that went wrong. There has been a lot of tears for both of us but I feel like an immense weight has been lifted off my shoulders talking about those things. Combine that with finding the various websites such as this and realizing I am not alone in this struggle has really helped. This is a one day at a time process but am excited for the path ahead.
     
  10. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    So how many people here get help to determine what caused the addiction as compared to just simply trying to stop viewing porn? I have a few calls out to get some counseling as for me I think my issue is deeper than just viewing porn. I feel like it is an outlet for me, an escape from reality.
     
  11. Tony74

    Tony74 Guest

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    My focus has always been going after the root of the problem. Anything else to me is trying to paint the leaves green on a tree with a rotten root... Some short term success is attainable, but until you heal the root of your addiction, you will always return...and each of our roots are different. Until I felt like I got to the root of my addiction (and continually working on the root), my addiction just kept cycling back and forth in my life as I would just substitute something else to numb the pain I was feeling inside, I'd have some success due to my willpower but I would eventually return to PMO as it was always the most pleasurable numbing agent for me. But the internal pain remained because I was broken at my core due to many traumas that occurred during my childhood and after, I could not allow God or anyone else to love me as I hated myself, but it took me many years, many books, many failed relationships and many tears to really understand all that... Alcohol and drugs were never my thing. I went through about 7 or 8 counselors until I found one that really understood me, most importantly spiritually, and in every other major way, she really helped support me and assist in my growth like I cant even explain. I did a lot of work on my own but she was there to guide and clarify things that I just couldn't see by myself. This journey, in my opinion, is not made for us to travel alone and the RIGHT counselor can be an amazing catalyst to propel you forward, just a great coach can do for a player, however the wrong counselor can have devastating effects also. So I would advise praying and getting really clear on what exactly you are needing from the counselor and what your goals are... and if you decide to go that route be quick to let a bad one go and continue looking until you find exactly what you are looking for. My counselor helped me see so many things that I just could not have done on my own... I only see her now maybe once every month or so, just when I feel I need to communicate some things and get her perspective... But its very nice having that as part as my support system. Having a source of unconditional love, support and acceptance without a secret agenda is really nice. Something we all need in our lives.
     
  12. Unkel G-Man

    Unkel G-Man New Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Howdy and welcome! I believe you are in the right place for healing and recovery. Glad you made it here.

    Greetings complete, I feel I need to comment on the title of your topic, as it speaks to me in a way that I can't ignore. I should introduce myself (briefly) so you know we're on the same sheet of music. I am 50, divorced with one child. I know that porn has been a factor in my life for quite some time. I know that my porn usage contributed to the failure of my marriage and I'm damned certain that my abuse of pornography has caused my erectile dysfunction.

    I personally dislike using abbreviations to refer to things like 'porn', 'erectile dysfunction' and 'masturbation' (et al) as I feel this minimizes the meaning of these words and terms. It is for all of these things that we are here in the first place! I feel that if I can accept that my marriage was ruined (in part) by my abuse of pornography, and that my erectile dysfunction was caused my porn abuse, with all of the attendant shame, fear and misery included. If I can accept these things, then I've begun my path to recovery.

    So, I suggest that porn DID NOT ruin your marriage - YOU ruined your marriage through your abuse of porn. No one twisted your arm, no one held a gun to your head. It was all YOU. If you can accept this, then maybe you can see how your words might need to be changed so you OWN the problem yourself. Only you can make this recovery - we can't do it for you.

    Please know that we are all in this together. I can only speak for myself, but I'm here for the same reason you are and I know that my recovery is helped and strengthened by my assisting of others. As I said earlier, you came to the right place!
     
    Healed7 likes this.
  13. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Absolutely agree G-Man. Didn't mean by my title to per se blame porn. My decision to use that as my addiction did. It could very easily have been alcohol or drugs. My wife gave me more than enough chances to make the right decision. Unfortunately for some reason I just wasn't able to. But at the end of the day it was absolutely ME and ME alone that ended my marriage. I have taken full responsibility and have made sure my wife and children all know that the end of our marriage is a result of my inability to take the appropriate steps to resolve my internal struggles. So totally agree with you.
     
  14. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Day 8 complete (yesterday). So far, so good. Have not had any urges to go view porn or masturbate/orgasm. I realize it is only 8 days so a long ways to go yet in this journey but this has been the easiest 8 days without PMO that I can remember. Looking forward to hitting double digits, which is end of tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a challenging day stress wise as my wife moves out. I am having her take the alcohol with her, not that I drink often or more than one at a time, but want to avoid the temptation of using alcohol to replace porn to deal with the pain.

    I am curious what others have encountered in their battle with PMO when their sex life ended. I have not gone more than a couple weeks without sex in years and am somewhat concerned that missing that will lead me back down the path to porn. And no I have no interest in dating/hooking up with someone at this point to fulfill that need.
     
  15. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Welcome, we're here to support you through all the difficult days. Brave man, you're on your way to a much better life.
     
  16. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Hey Beyond,

    "so porn came back in my life" you wrote in your first post. Nice that you recognise that it is related. All addictions, so also porn are sedations of aspects you wish not to face in life, like in your case stress, or low self-esteem caused during stress or whatever. Important to get the nail on this mechanism.

    About your wife and help (which you asked about); when things got out of hand, you should have gotten help (imo). You should get it now. When the iron is hot so to say, cause everything in you now wants to quit. Your urges will come back so deal with them as strong as you can at this point and yes, get help. I did. One on one, no softy group sessions, although they're better then nothing.

    Share about your problem and so acknowledge it fully; make it conscious in your life that you have something you so desperately wish to avoid seeing, that you sedated yourself into even losing your wife.
    Get a good one. Internet/google may help.

    Maybe even get counseling together if she's open to it. There's much healing necessary for her as well and maybe you can do it together. I can provide feedback if you wish; I joined/shared with my girlfriend's problems a lot.
    Her seeing you taking this serious, is a bonus that could help whatever relation you will have in the future.

    Take care.
     
  17. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    Arizona - totally agree. I should have gotten help. At that time I erroneously thought I could resolve it myself but was kidding myself. I am getting help now, first 1-on-1 counseling appointment the 20th. She is getting counseling herself as well to heal from the damage it did to her. I have made sure she understands I completely support her in her decision to leave me and that I am to blame for my problem, not her.

    As I have been telling people about the divorce, as hard as it has been, I am forcing myself to tell them about my porn addiction that was the cause. In a way it is almost therapeutic telling them. As if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

    It will be an interesting journey and appreciate all the support I have received so far.
     
  18. Unkel G-Man

    Unkel G-Man New Member

    Re: Porn Destroyed My Marriage

    For me, acceptance has always been the key to recovery. Acceptance of the condition, the circumstances, the thoughts of resentment and fear and a host of other factors. All of these things drove me to using pornography and I recognize that this began (for me) quite some time ago.

    Now I have to caution myself that acceptance is NOT condoning the behavior. Big difference and this needs to be stressed. Using pornography to get off hurt not only myself, but the people all around me.

    Think of tossing a pebble into a pond. If you just see the splash and then move on, you miss how the ripples cover the entire pond, touching EVERY PART of the pond. You might liken your porn usage as something similar. The thoughts, ideas, biases you carry will affect you in every I interaction you have. You might see a woman who somewhat resembles another you've seen in a video, and your mind will be off and running. You'll start to objectivise women, not seeing them for who they are, but how you visualize them. You may think that they can't know what's going on in your head, but you'll somehow convey to them something other than you purest intention. Maybe it's not something they'll feel outright, but YOU will know, and deep down inside, even though you might reject it, you know better.

    I fully believe my porn addiction started at an early age, maybe 12-14? Exactly why, I'm still working on that. I am sure there are old resentments that I need to release and this will help. I am seeing a counselor who's done me a world of good. I have a wonderful son whom I think the world of and (most importantly) I have the love of a woman who sees potential and ability in me that I never used to believe or recognize.

    It's a work in progress. I KNOW that using porn, masturbating to porn and objectifying women is dead wrong. I've been kicked in the balls with internet pornography induced Erectile dysfunction. I don't like the person I'd become and I know I wasn't living up to my highest potential. I've accepted these things and am working to rid myself of all that dreck. I want to thank you all for helping me to achieve the goal of beating this. I'm going to keep coming back!
     
    Healed7 likes this.
  19. BeyondReady

    BeyondReady Member

    Day 9 complete, on to Day 10.

    I have to admit I am a little shocked that avoiding porn and associated feelings for it have all but disappeared these last 9 days. I think maybe the divorce was what I needed to shock me into finally taking things seriously. Today should be an interesting day as my wife officially moves out. Our house is on the market as of yesterday and our first showing is today. Hoping it sells quick so that I can move on with things as well. I will be telling my mom of the impending divorce today. Have been waiting on telling her to give my boys time to come to terms with it before having others possibly calling them about it. One thing I have noticed is some stirring in my groin area and some hardness without really thinking about anything. I believe I have some PIED so this is somewhat shocking since I haven't been looking at anything or even thinking/fantasizing about things.

    So since I did a post on my dad I will do one on my mom. Understand that I do not blame my parents for my addiction. But getting off my chest some of my thoughts about them I think helps me heal and come to terms with things that I believe may be the root cause of my porn addiction. Ultimately it was my doing for not learning the techniques needed to deal with this or to reach out for help.

    My Mom:
    Overall I think my mom is a wonderful person. Ultimately she does care about me. However, my mom is a very anxious, worry-wart and on some levels very selfish. She also put up with my dad rather than get a divorce which in my opinion would have helped all of us. Growing up doctors knew I had some type of medical issue as I had extremely high blood pressure from birth on but they could not figure out why. Of course they scared my mom by saying that even if I got hit to hard say playing football that I could die. So my mom became very overprotective and wouldn't let me do a lot of things or if I did made sure I knew how worried she was. Sadly, this anxiousness and worrying rubbed off on me and I was very much the same. Even to this day I have to try and catch myself and breath. I did play a number of sports all my life growing up, except for things like football or wrestling (mom wouldn't let me). After high school I tried a year of college/university but wasn't ready for that and was actually able to join the Navy as the doctors couldn't find any reason to disqualify me due to high blood pressure since no one knew why I had it. They just assumed I was nervous around doctors and as a result only had high blood pressure in the office. My mom did not want me to join and I remember her writing a letter to me saying a bunch of crap and how I shouldn't be joining. It hurt because it would have been nice to have my parents support me. However I was on my own. I did end up with a medical discharge as finally doctors said they risk wasn't worth it and I was discharged. My mom told me she was happy and that she had prayed that I would get kicked out. How selfish is that? Both of my sons are in the Army and though it scares the hell out of me in this day and age I support them regardless of how I feel. She told my sons the same thing when she learned they joined that she prayed they would get kicked out. I have had a hard time forgiving her for that.

    Neither of my parents ever gave me direction or ever had any serious conversations with me and I was one that badly needed it. Even to this day my mom doesn't have serious conversations. My younger brother ended up in jail (drug issues) and she didn't even tell me for quite some time. So I don't really have a close relationship with her.

    That is it for now. On to conquer Day 10!!!
     
  20. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Don't worry about the PIED. Worry about your addiction that will come back when you're recovered from the shock of what's happening to you. Erections will 99% for sure be back at the time you'll have a healthy relationship again, either with your wife, or someone else. Can;t see that happen within a few months. PIED will be much less then, if not gone.

    Good luck on the 20th.
     

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