New and lost

I’m 49, soon to be 50 and am starting my path to ending porn addiction! First off I’m new here, been porn free for over two weeks now with little to no urge to look again. I’m on the verge of possible loss of my wife and daughter, and I think that has made an impact on me to want to quit on my own. Now mind you I am going to meetings in my area to get help. Along with that I am as of next week starting the process with a therapist so that this will not happen again!

The path I’ve taken to lead me to this point in my life is not one I’m even remotely proud of! As a matter of fact I’m so hateful of myself right now!! If I could kick my own arse I’d do it! I feel ashamed, feel as I’ve let everyone down, hurt everyone as well.
I started this crap about two years ago just casually looking online. One thing led to another and like any addiction I started looking for the “more” factor as looking at pictures wasn’t enough. It then went to videos and then to different fetish’s. Finally ending up in one that I am the stupidest person to end up there! It was an incest site, at first I didn’t realize it was, just thought it was another porn site. It was a couple days later that I realized what it was. I made comments and asked questions about what others were doing. Started a conversation with one of the ladies on there and she asked if I was active with a family member. One thing led to another and like someone needing a bigger need I went with it. I would never do anything of that nature in real life but I wanted to see where the convo would go. When she asked about my daughter I had second thoughts about continuing the chat. I told her that I never could, for one it wouldn’t work and I should of said for the most reason is I never could do that to my daughter!!! I thought of chatting with her again to explain that I could never get into that lifestyle but that night my wife confronted me about time on my phone and went through everything and found that convo! As a result and I don’t blame her but she is horrified and has left with our daughter. Again I don’t blame her but I’ve tried to explain that I would never do anything of that nature to our daughter. But she has lost trust in me and said that may be so but I want to hear it from a professional before I can start to eliminate the idea from my head.
My wife is wanting to see if we can work this out. We are going to legally separate for a year or so and work on getting things figured out. I can only hope as being without my family is tearing me apart! I’m lost without them here, I hurt, saddened, wishing like hell I wasn’t so stupid to put us in this position!
I’m having a tough time trying and hoping that someone, therapy can get me cured and allow me to be with my family again!
I’ve had thoughts of not wanting to live during this, feeling like I’m not worthy to go on after what I’ve done! To have my daughter cry and ask when I was moving out hurt like hell! I have a feeling it’ll take me awhile to stop hating myself for this!! Hurting her by not having me around is what makes me the most hateful! The one person I never wanted to hurt and I did just that!
I’m hopeful that I can turn this around and make ammends with my family! It’s not going to be an easy road but I’m ready for it.
The porn, infidelity, lies, and just plain stupidity of me needed to stop!!
If anyone has any ideas on how to help in anyway please give me advice on where to start! I hope a therapist is a good place to start but if there’s anything outside of a therapist that you know please clue me in.
  • 124 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I know how it seems and how it reads! That’s why I hate myself so much right now for even going down that road to begin with!! To even “talk” about it was the lowest damn thing I could of done and it wasn’t so much about my daughter but hers. I would never do anything of the sort to mine! I’d shoot myself dead before I’d do anything like that to my own!!
    I can only figure the reason why I said anything of the sort is I was looking for something new. I should of woke the hell up and realized what stupid acts I was doing.
    Trust me you can’t say anything worse than I’ve already called myself!!!
    I would never do anything to a child! Main reason why I talked with the lady was I wanted to “fit in” in the convo. Should of just said what was wanting to be said that night and told her I’d never do that to my daughter and then left the site for good!!
  • Hi @WonderingOne I tend to be the porn addiction guy on here because I've been through it, along with a cross-addiction to alcohol. If you'd like to spend a lot of time reading about porn addiction, you can check out my website at There's also a resource page there although it sounds like you're trying to get things straight.
    A few things about your story jump out at me. First, like @AlwaysAlex mentioned, you really skim over a lot about the addiction. That's OK. It's hard for me to think you just started looking at porn at 48. Is that just when you feel like it entered an "addiction" stage? I had a very manageable addiction for 20 years...until it wasn't...but I don't pretend I wasn't addicted prior to my downfall. I wonder if you've been really honest with yourself about your addiction. Addiction aside, if you didn't look at porn in your 30s and 40s, you're in the minority among men. Porn addiction usually doesn't develop this late in life since over 90% of porn addicts suffered some trauma in their youth and it's a go-to coping mechanism. I'd urge you to really examine your use going back to your days as a kid.
    Second, have you really gone two weeks with no feelings of needing it? For an addict to have quit cold turkey and feel this way, it's very rare. I also want to point out that you probably weren't considering stopping your behavior until you got caught. I can appreciate the immediate shock that comes with being found out, but sooner or later, you're going to feel that urge and pull of the dopamine receptors wanting a fix. How are you going to hold off?
    Third, I believe you that you have no interest in incest in real life. There's been too many studies to prove that what people look at on a screen has little to no bearing on your real life. Only you know if you have those feelings, but I believe you when you say you don't. In the thick of it, you're acting on behalf of your addiction. Your addiction is about coping with real life by escaping. Obviously, I can understand why your wife is very shocked and there's little you can do to assuage her fears. Perhaps once your therapy gets going there will be a chance for a group session. I hope that your therapist is either a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) or have a speciality in addiction. If not, you're going to someone who really isn't trained to deal with your issues and may be wasting your time.
    I don't know your situation, but I can tell you that for me, inpatient rehab was the best thing I ever did for my addiction. I went to regularly therapy twice a week for about 8 months before attending. It really helped me unlock the keys and understand why I was using the pornography. If you have the time or the means, I'd urge you to look into dealing with this in an inpatient setting. Just getting
    You're in the very beginning of a long process. Don't question the process and don't think that you're the unique snowflake it doesn't apply to, because that person always fails. Your use of pornography is about something else. You need to figure out why you used pornography before you can really start putting the pieces back together.
    And just as a final thought, I appreciate the self-beating you're going through, but you've got to recognize, had you not been discovered, you could be looking at that pornography right now. Your reaction is about being found out. That's going to die off. You'll settle into whatever the new situation is. Life will become the "new" normal again. Getting shocked and scared into action isn't a bad thing -- it worked for me -- but I've busted my ass keeping this top-of-mind for almost five years now. This shock is going to wear off for you. You must develop the tools to not go back, not for your wife, not for your daughter, but for you. This is YOUR addiction, not theirs. You may have lost them or you may not have, but you will have to live with yourself either way. Who is that person going to be in 6 months or in a year? Will that person be on the straight and narrow or will they be succumbing to their addiction. Good luck and I hope you'll keep us updated.
  • Alex, no alcohol involved. My family doesn’t know all the details. My wife and I want to keep it to ourselves as much as possible but our moms both know a little of the situation. My mom more than hers!
    I’m not upset by what you’re saying either! Just more mad a myself for doing what I did.
    As for being on the net I have no desire whatsoever to go on anything porn or close to it anymore! I know that may seem unobtainable as I haven’t had therapy but the emotional torment of possibly losing my daughter has left a huge footprint on me!!
    Nothing is posted on social media other than here.
    My daughter and wife are at the in laws until I find a place to move to while we take time and both go to therapy to find a resolve.
    I don’t drink at all, only had 12 drinks my entire life.

    Gonna read your post Josh!!
  • Josh..
    I was into looking at magazines when I was young but I’d look at them and wouldn’t pick them up for months on end, sometimes a year would go by. It wasn’t until three years ago that I started really looking and watching it online. Since then it’s escalated and pretty quickly. I’ve been chatting with people online and having “fun” doing that but it was starting to get old quick and I started tapering off on chatting and started closing out different accounts and on my way away from most of them. I have A.D.D. And even chatting and looking at videos was starting to get old with me. This why I say I was getting close to saying forget most of it. I was chatting with some ladies and guys on the sites but mostly was chatting about work, life and other stuff or people on the sites. Yes I was flirting and saying stuff to the ladies. I know I shouldn’t of been doing so but I admit it happened!
    Sorry I skimmed over a lot of stuff, trying to type everything out before I lost what I wanted to say and I still may not of said it right. As for being on the net to like you and Alex wondered about I am allowing my wife to check my phone and I don’t delete anything out unless she’s there watching. I want to rebuild my trust with her so I am going by her rules in this.
    I’m honest in saying that I quit two weeks ago and haven’t had a want or anything to look or anything! Like I say the impact of emotional hit this has had is enough to cure me but I still want to go to therapy to find out why I did in the first place and make sure it doesn’t happen again!!
    My therapist is trained in most all of what I’m looking for in what I need help with.
    Online pornographey
    Anger Management
    Behavioral Issues
    Bipolar Disorder
    Borderline Personality
    Domestic Abuse
    Domestic Violence
    Internet Addiction
    Marital and Premarital
    Medication Management
    Narcissistic Personality
    Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
    Self Esteem
    Sexual Abuse
    Sexual Addiction
    Suicidal Ideation
    Testing and Evaluation
    Trauma and PTSD
    Weight Loss

    The hate and beating isn’t so much from being caught, it to me is the fact that I was stupid and did this and the damage I’ve done to my family and the added strain I’ve put on them! I’m almost relieved in the fact I’ve been caught! Now I have the fear of pushing my ass to getting help that I desperately need!!! I called my old neighbor the other night and chatted with him! He’s a Pastor and was ours until his family moved away. He’s certified in psych and I asked him a lot. He doesn’t judge and wants to help as well so we are doing weekly calls so he can help find the root cause as to what started all of this and why.
    I’ve also started and will continue to go to Smart Recovery meetings! I’m finding it useful to use the tools they offer as well to help me on my journey!
    Thank you for the help and ideas @JoshuaShea and @AlwaysAlex I know I can’t do this on my own to sustain where I want to be and want to see a therapist so that I can learn and stay on the right path in life! To be honest and to make the right choices in my life! For me and my family!
  • @WonderingOne this is a wonderful site to get support!

    I think you let a situation get out of hand. Whether it was because you were bored and it was something new giving you a turn on or what... it was a mistake. You can’t hate yourself for that and you need to focus on yourself.

    I would really suggest engaging your wife in relationship counselling. It sounds as though this situation came out of some kind of boredom trip, maybe things with your wife were a little stale? I don’t know. But I do know you need to build your trust with your wife and work on your relationship with her.

    I dated a sex/porn addict and his issues stemmed from childhood abuse and trauma. He explained the need for sex/porn as bad as needing air to breath. He felt like he would die without it and he masturbated numerous times a day, before he went out socially to try and curb the urges. Total mess and not anywhere near being able or wanting to stop.
  • @WonderingOne I just urge you to be very open to the process of recovery, not for your wife or daughter, but for you. I hear a lot of minimizing and deflection in your responses, but I'm not sure you'll be able to pick it up at this point. There were some breakthroughs I made that took years. That can only happen when you are honest and stick with it for yourself.
    You were caught looking at incest sites by your wife. That's a big deal. You say you were getting tired of it, but you were still there nonetheless. Something in your mind said it was OK to be there. You're only going down the road of recovery at this point because you were forced. You seem to want a gold star for admitting it happened. You're only admitting it because you were caught.
    Don't jump to conclusions about being "cured". If you actually have an addiction, it doesn't get cured. It's like diabetes that way, not a broken arm.
    You've got a long road ahead of you. The less conclusions and rationalizations you create now, the easier that road will be.
  • Thank you @Vicbrenan and again @JoshuaShea!!
    Appreciate you talking with me and offering help! Help is what I need in a lot of ways! I’m wanting to get started on my road to recovery and get myself straightened out and on a better road in life! I know it’ll be a life long process from here on out!
    Josh, I’m not trying to minimize anything and if I’m doing it I don’t realize it! My wife says I do the same with her and I’m not meaning to do so! I admit fully I messed up and admit that I do need recovery of any kind! I’m ready for a new better me! I know I’ll always have to be aware and continuously work at keeping my choices in life on the good side!
    And trust me I don’t want a star or pat on the back or anything for what I’ve done!!! I don’t deserve any accolades for the crap I’ve done!!! I just want to get help and make myself a better person! My birthday is next week and I’ve told Everyone that I do t even want to celebrate with what I’ve done! I don’t deserve it after putting family into this position!! For that @Vicbrenan is why I’m hateful of myself right now! I don’t deserve a lot of anything right now, at least I don’t feel I do! I am grateful for my wife to be willing to give me another chance and hopefully one day she will be able to trust me again!
  • Thank you @AlwaysAlex
    I know all of the situations are the same once they are broken down to the base of the matter!!

    I hope to be here five years from now saying what you just said and you are right I need to start looking for the positive in stuff. I know in time I’ll ease up on myself and start to turn the corner!!! Hope you have a great weekend too!!
  • @WonderingOne hello and welcome. so glad you're here and sharing your story. the others have given some excellent insight and advice.... i really like how @JoshuaShea said "

    You need to figure out why you used pornography before you can really start putting the pieces back together." and "Your addiction is about coping with real life by escaping."

    A good therapist will be able to help you start digging in regards to this. And, if you can, think about going to treatment. Talk to Joshua about that.... Doing that intensive work now... (regardless of why you're here)... can help you out immensely for long term. And yes, check out Joshua's site... he's the real deal and has a lot to offer.

    Know that you'll have us here too for your journey. You're not alone...and we won't judge you. We might call you out on some things , because that can be helpful!!

    I DO want to affirm that YOU are not bad. This behavior... yeah, it's not ok. But you....underneath all of this (addiction, thoughts, behaviors)... nah, you're not bad. LIke many therapists said, most addictions began long ago as a wee little one who was either getting abused or neglected or just for whatever reason mom and dad couldn't meet their emotional needs....

    So, let me remind you that you are a good soul that has a lot of potential. This is an opportunity for growth....for finding truth...for finding YOU at our core, and God if you're a believer...

    Remember, an opportunity for GROWTH...

    get the shit kickers on and start digging.... the diamonds are in the rough :) i do feel therapy and perhaps a coach who specializes in this area will help you dig!!
  • Welcome to the community, @WonderingOne. I'm sorry you're struggling with the things you are, but I'm glad you found us and reached out. That shows me that you want to better yourself, and that's a great thing.

    I think you've already gotten some great advice and insight from folks here--especially @JoshuaShea, whose presence we truly appreciate. Like @dominica said, you are not a bad person. Yes, you have a problem, but you can overcome that problem if you commit to kicking its ass and are willing to do the work required.

    I'm happy to hear that you've been "clean" for two weeks. That's terrific. And yes, definitely go to therapy. Getting to the bottom of the root causes of your behavior will help you avoid going back to it.

    We are here to help you however we can. We are a caring, supportive group, and we will always listen without judgment. You are not alone and you are safe here.

    Sending you lots of encouragement and hope.
  • Thank you all for helping so far you have all given great support!! @dominica and @DeanD many thanks for saying what you have!! I’m normally a decent person who will help anyone that needs it. I’m glad I have someone in my moment of needing help! I don’t have anyone to “talk” to, all I do is sit and stare and think about the crap I’ve caused! Then I get down and get to thinking stupid!
    I’m seeing my therapist for the first time on my birthday! 50 years, thinking it’ll be a good present to myself to roll my sleeves up, pull on my shit kickers and get ready for business!!!
    I have started to check out @JoshuaShea website and want to more when I have time to watch the videos there! Been working overtime to keep my mind busy and get money for an apartment!
    Thank you all!! And @dominica I’ve already started my quest to seek higher!! My old Pastor and good friend had helped push me in that department!!
  • Seeing your therapist is a GREAT birthday present to yourself, @WonderingOne. Please try not to be so hard on yourself, too. Remember: You are NOT a bad person. And Lord knows we all have some issues

    Have a great weekend, my friend. And come interact with us anytime.
  • Thank you @DeanD Went to the ski slopes with my wife and daughter last night and watched her ski! Had a great time! Hurt to watch her go though!! I know it’s not going to be easy!!
  • Sounds like fun, @WonderingOne. I'm glad you were able to do that. You're right that it's not gonna be easy, but I can guarantee that it will be worth it.

    Hope the rest of your weekend goes well. Remember: We're always here if you need us.
  • Thank you @DeanD
    Hopefully the weekend goes well here!
  • I’m glad you were able to spend time with them! I believe you have a chance to make things right with them and it’s going to be a lot of work and time. But you can do it! Keep supporting them and being there and showing your love and shame and everything you need to. Your wife deserves that and so does your daughter.
  • @WonderingOne great about therapy....and that you're seeking a new and deeper relationship with your higher power. :)

    such a great opportunity here for you to address various things...and use this as an opportunity or springboard for a deeper, better relationship with god, yourself, and others.... that's a great thing!!

    i hope your weekend is going well.
  • Thanks again @DeanD and @dominica Doing pretty good this weekend!! Went out with my wife and daughter to the ski hill and watched our daughter ski! Had a good time chatting and hanging out with them! Hurt to come home alone though!!! I’m trying to keep things small and simple and not crowd my wife too much. She keeps saying small comments about being a single mom and such but hopefully after I start therapy and begin to make a change for the better that will change! I don’t want to be without my wife and daughter!!
    Saturday I worked, YAY? Ugh, not!!
    Today I went to a friends shop and worked on one of his semi trucks! Then came home and my wife was here doing some laundry before going to her mom and dads. I started cleaning the bathroom while she watched tv. Again! I left her be so I’m not crowding her too much! Giving her space as I know she doesn’t want me around to much!!
    To be honest! I’ve been having a tough time over the last few days. Keep getting the feeling like the world is trying to spit me out, like it’s saying it doesn’t want me here! The feelings of not wanting to be can be overwhelming at times but then I think of my daughter and I snap back to a saner mind set!
  • @WonderingOne Hey there. I'm glad that you got to spend some time with your wife and daughter. I understand life is different right now. And I'm sure it's challenging. I'm sorry that you're not feeling as if you fit right now, but I think in time you'll be able to work through that. Especially once you get into therapy.

    Are you a book reader? Maybe find one good, encouraging book to read right now and spend some time reading it everyday. I think this can help with the thoughts that are swirling around in your mind. Just like we feed the body for nourishment, we need to feed the mind with encouraging things for nourishment. Perhaps joshua recommends good books on your topic on his site. It's worth taking a look.

    Of course you can come here and we will be here to cheer you on. We're not going to lie and say it's going to be an easy breezy route to recovery or a restored relationship with your wife. It's going to take some work and it's going to take some time. There will be days when you might feel like it's not worth it or it's just too overwhelming. or the restoration isn't happening fast enough or going as you plan. It's those days when you may want to lean on someone for some support and encouragement. Change is a process and it certainly takes time. But you're on this journey toward change and that's commendable. You have the desire and that's the first step.

    I hope that you're having a good day.
  • Well! Tomorrow is my first meeting with my therapist!! I can’t wait to be able to talk with him and get started on my new path!!!
  • @WonderingOne yay! let us know how it goes! (if you want)

    have a great day!!
  • I will @dominica
    Few hours to go then I have my recovery meeting later tonight too!!
  • Great that you're meeting with your therapist today, @WonderingOne. AND going to your recovery meeting. That's terrific and it shows me that you're really working at improving yourself. Good for you! Definitely check in with us and let us know how things go, okay?

    Always here for you!
  • @DeanD and @dominica and everyone else too! Well just got home after both my therapist meeting and my local recovery meeting!! Had a hour and half talk with my therapist today telling him everything that has led my wife and I to where we are today! Talking with him and he said even though he just met me and with all his years as a therapist in both civilian and penitentiary counseling he doesn’t think I’m a risk to my daughter and/or my wife other than trust and infidelity issues which are bad enough! He feels we can save what we have in our relationship with one another and there will be doubt in the future but we have to find ways to communicate with each other when the doubt arises!! We have to learn to be open and talk with one another! He also said it’s up to my wife if we continue or not, she is still unsure about our future. Hopefully therapy and such will show a new me and we can make ammends! If not we will still have to be parents to our daughter!!
    With my recovery meeting I was a bit late brothers as my therapy ran late but it was good! Talked there about communication and being open and honest with one another! Also talked about ways of coping in the off times when it is hard to deal with stuff.
    All in all I’m feeling good about things with each day! Whether it’s from folks here or my meetings. I’m finding ways to make better choices and learning how to implement them! Now tonight my homework is to make goals and set them in a manageable time frame so that they are obtainable and when I reach them, set another one right after it!
    I didn’t have a “happy” birthday today as I wasn’t with my family! But I felt it was a birthday of me!! Today starts the path to a new me!!
  • You are definitely embarking on a path to a new you, @WonderingOne. Big kudos to you for being proactive. I hope your wife sees that you're really trying. I'm also sorry that you didn't have a happy birthday yesterday, but perhaps down the road you can celebrate it belatedly with your family.

    Sending you tons of encouragement and hope for better things going forward.
  • @WonderingOne hey you! feel free to let us know how you liked the therapist and such... hope it went well!
  • Thanks @DeanD for the positive thoughts! I hope she sees it as well. My only fear is it may be too late to save what we have.. I can only hope for the best in that part of my life as it hangs in her wants and wishes!

    @dominica I did like the therapist! He’s a pretty good one. Not sure if you saw what I wrote yesterday about the visit but I felt it went well. I have another appointment set for next Wednesday with him to get started on the path!!!
  • @WonderingOne hey there! i did miss that post yesterday, but i just read it...glad therapy and the meeting went well. so proud of you for hitting the recovery ground running!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! i'm glad you were born :)

    of course, we all hope you and your wife can work things out... it is possible!! stay focused on you... and trust..... that no matter what happens, you are "doing the work".... and this will impact the rest of your life... keep on, keeping on!
  • Thank you @dominica I told my therapist yesterday that after it all hit the fan so to say that I didn’t know if I’d need a therapist as it knocked it out of me. Like I also told him I wanted to see one so that I could find the root cause of all of it and prevent it from happening again!! Like my former Pastor and good friend said there has to be a root cause and to know what it is would be huge!! I agreed totally with that!!
  • Hey, @WonderingOne... How are you doing, my friend? I hope you have a great Friday and weekend. Keep working on making yourself the best person you can be!
  • Doing good @DeanD
    Just going through my recovery book and reading some more! Came on here to see about where I could ask a couple questions on a few things I’m finding out in the book.
    Now I know the human body gets excited (using that term to keep it low key) and when in recovery it says to distract yourself when the urges come about?! When they or anyone says “urges” in porn recovery, is that the urge to look or watch porn? Or does that mean the act of doing while thinking thoughts or I guess it could relate to both now that I’m thinking about what they wrote here!! I know the act of taking care of oneself is mostly natural but didn’t know if it was Viewed the same during recovery?!. I’ve been avoiding both ways and anyway as much as possible!
    My weekend started early! Woke up with a headache from turning around in the garage yesterday and taking a handlebar to the forehead above my right eye. So I didn’t make it far yet today! Going to the ski lodge tonight with my wife and daughter!! Be fun to see them both! They surprised me yesterday with stopping by the house and went and picked up Qdoba for dinner.
    Tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with the guys building model cars! Then Sunday I’ll be hanging out in the shop working on trucks with a lifelong friend of mine! So yeah! I have a pretty good weekend stacked up on my end!! Hope yours is a great one to Dean! And everyone else too!!!! Be safe everyone!!
  • Sorry you conked your head, @WonderingOne. But I'm happy to hear that you got to have dinner with your wife and daughter last night. And that you're going to do some skiing with them tonight. Sounds like fun! Just keep showing them that you're doing everything you can to become a better human.

    As far as your question about urges go, I'm not sure I can answer that. I would defer to someone with more experience. I hope @JoshuaShea can take a minute or two to check in and give you his take on what you're asking.

    Go forward, be brave, and keep the faith!
  • Had a good night last night!! Have fresh snow falling and made for a nice night of skiing..
  • @WonderingOne Based on your questions here and the information you presented in the past, I'm wondering if you're addicted to porn or addicted to masturbation (it's OK, we can use the M word here).
    In any of the guides you read, or with any advice you get, you have to tailor it to your specific situation. I've met people who thought they had raging porn addictions when it turned out they were addicted to masturbation, not porn and vice versa. For myself, I would have said I was addicted to both, but when the porn left my life, I didn't have even 10% of the desire to masturbate. For me, masturbation was just a finish line telling me it was time to be done looking at porn.
    While you may not be able to run this experiment at this time because of your situation, I always tell people who have decided they want recovery to try this: For a week to 10 days, go ahead and masturbate....just don't use any visual aids, including but not limited to pornography. During that same time, feel free to look at pornography. You just are not allowed to masturbate when you're looking at it. When you pull these two things apart, you're going to find that you are addicted to one or the other, or confirm that it is both. Once you know what your true addiction is, it's easier to plot a strategy to address it.
    As for urges, I've always defined them as moments of weakness begging me to engage in any behavior that may be detrimental to my recovery. They are the thought that happens before a behavior triggers a relapse. If going to the beach and ogling girls in their bikinis is something that gets you going and you're faced with a hot day and have the desire to hit the beach for the girls as much as the water, there's an urge. If you actually go to the beach, that's a trigger. Urges are mental. Triggers are physical.
    If you watch football for the cheerleaders or foreign films for the "artistic" nudity or simply get excited taking too long of a shower...these can all be urges.
    I could sit at the beach all day and it did nothing for me, but I know people who couldn't. It's very individualized. My urge would be to see a movie with nudity. The triggering behavior was finding a movie on HBO or Showtime I knew had nudity in it. A further triggering behavior was actually watching.
    Here's the thing: We don't just relapse. There's a series of thoughts and behaviors that lead up to the relapse. By the time we hit the relapse, we're done for. What you have to do is recognize that those urges are the thoughts and behaviors are the triggers that deliver a relapse. By the time I was watching that movie on Showtime, it was almost impossible for me to stop. But there were plenty of places to stop after I had an urge or trigger. I just couldn't.
    Early on, you'll get urges and triggers from places you never imagined. Keep a record of where those come from. If it turns out that you drive past a park on your way to work where girls wear skimpy clothes and you get a little excited, you may have never realized that was an urge and/or trigger. Find a different way to work.
    This is why I think cognitive behavioral therapy is an important part of the recovery process. You have to get to the point where you are constantly thinking: "Why am I having this feeling? Why do I have this opinion? Is what I'm doing healthy?" When you can actually analyze your own thinking, identify the faulty thinking, and make changes, you'll be on the road to recovery. It takes a lot of repetition, but eventually, muscle memory builds and you don't have to be a conscious thinker. You won't have to think about taking the new way to work, it will just be what you do.
    Again, remember recovery is very individual. You're the only one who can actually make the changes necessary and you'll hear a lot of advice along the way. Take what works and don't feel bad leaving some behind if it's not right for you. Between 12-step groups, therapists, message boards like these, other addicts, books, etc., I've heard all kinds of advice that never applied to me, but I know applied to someone else and I'm glad I heard it. The more education about addiction, and more modalities of recovery you can be introduced to, I think the likelier you are to create a program of recovery for yourself that works.
  • @JoshuaShea wonderful insight and advice....

    @WonderingOne hope you are well and have a wonderful weekend!
  • Thanks so much for weighing in, @JoshuaShea. We're so lucky to have you here in our community. I am very grateful for your prescence!

    @WonderingOne... Glad you had a good night last night! I hope Josh's words help you find answers to the questions you had.
  • @JoshuaShea many thanks on the advice you offer!! I too think I was addicted to both and one worked off the other. Now that porn isn’t a part of me I don’t have the urge to masturbate either. I know my mind is hyper focused on making things right and working in both therapy and recovery to worry about the lack of what I was doing before. Let me tell ya, so far it’s an awesome feeling!!! It’s a good feeling to have time to do stuff that matters and not nonsense like before!
  • @WonderingOne way to go.... so glad you're doing this... and i bet it does feel good!
  • @WonderingOne Remember, this is a marathon that never ends. Not a sprint with a finish line. Be careful of Pink Cloud Syndrome. I've seen it take down people who were doing extremely well. Obstacles are to follow. Be aware and prepared for them.
  • Sorry if I made it sound that way @JoshuaShea I just meant that I’m focused on starting so it’ll help make me better. I do realize it’ll be a life long focus for me but having the tools that I’m gaining now it’ll help keep me focused on the right choices in life! I know it’s going to take awhile to turn the corner and heal what’s been done!
  • Glad you're doing well, @WonderingOne. One day at a time, my friend. Happy Monday and have a great week!
  • One day at a time is right! Having a rough day today! Missing family big time! Wife texted me today, was rear ended sitting at a stop light with our daughter in with her. Luckily it was a light hit but makes a person think about how much I’ve screwed up and not being with them is heart wrenching!! Hate not having them near and knowing I’m the one that has created all of this makes it even harder!! Still hating myself for the crap I’ve created!!
  • @WonderingOne... Don't hate yourself. Don't blame yourself. Just keep working diligently at improving yourself. The past is gone and you can't change it. But you CAN work at being the best person you can be in the here and now. And that will help determine your future.

    I'm glad your wife and daughter are okay after the accident. And I know you're going to be okay, too.

    Sending positive juju in your direction!
  • @WonderingOne I'm glad they are alright too. You not being there gives them an opportunity to work through this on their own. They know you love them...and you'd be there in a heartbeat if they called.... They know this, and in time... they'll be able to witness you changing from the inside out.

    The anger you feel toward yourself will not be productive. It's ok to feel anger... but "hate" is a strong emotion that please don't allow it to destroy you.

    guilt over past decisions can motivate us to be better. do better. work harder in therapy...and outside of therapy. i think we can all relate to guilt...or regret. But we can also use those feelings to be a springboard toward personal and/or spiritual growth...toward emotional healing....and better relationships.

    Maybe you're just where you're supposed to be in life right now.... maybe if you can embrace where you are (and even the past)... you'll feel more free and hopeful.

    Stay motivated. Feed your mind and soul each day.... good stuff. encouraging stuff. re-train that brain! :)

    Hope today is going well for you...and that you are in better spirits.
  • Hey there! @DeanD an @dominica, yes today is better! In the emotional state anyway! Work is another issue where nothing seems to go right today! Blah!! It’s kind of weird for me in a way, I have a feeling like the universe is trying to spit me out of it and hard to understand why I have the feeling in the first place... that and trying to cope with everything else is a bit overwhelming some days so I have the days like yesterday! I don’t think I could ever end life as I’d probably f that up too so why try!? Lol I just get down for awhile but it’s nice knowing I have people like you all that kick me in the ass and put the positive perspective back in focus!!! Thank you all!!!
  • You're very welcome, @WonderingOne. And I hope any kick in the ass you feel from me is relatively gentle. ;)
  • If not maybe I could use more somedays @DeanD. If I do feel free to kick harder!! Lol
  • @WonderingOne There will be a lot of days you want to kick yourself. I still have those to this day. I think that's just part of being human and having regret and shame over your mistakes.
    Have you begun therapy yet or looked into other modalities of help? I think when you can start to unravel why you felt the need to partake in the behavior that you did, you'll start to really understand yourself at a level you didn't know was possible. There will be a point in the future where, while you'll always not like how you ended up in therapy, you'll be so thankful you pursued it.
  • Thanks @JoshuaShea! Was having a good day until tonight.. Having a bad snow storm in our area and my wife and daughter are staying here for school and doctor appointment tomorrow. My wife is tired and upset and I can’t blame her. She was making comments about being tired of living like a nomad and taking care of two places, along with other things. Just makes me feel more like shit!! If it wasn’t so damn cold I’d stay in my car somewhere, looking back on my life all I see is a pattern of screwing up!! Makes me wonder if I can be fixed!
    Hopefully tomorrow will be better, I start therapy tomorrow Josh!
  • I've read some of your story @WonderingOne . Try not to think so much on what you might have screwed up way way back when and stay in the moment. As a woman I can tell you that although this might seem unbelievable, we women can get pretty cranky sometimes too. I would simply ask her if there is anything you can do for her tonight to help. She is probably a little bit stressed. Maybe she would like something warm to drink. A foot rub always calms me down. Just be patient with her and at some point this will all be a distant memory. And make sure you set an alarm and get up earlier than her and have her car cleaned off. And get it warmed up for her too! Lol
  • @JoshuaShea... I love this:

    There will be a point in the future where, while you'll always not like how you ended up in therapy, you'll be so thankful you pursued it.

    @WonderingOne... I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of human beings--myself included--can look back on their past and make a list of things they've screwed up. Life isn't perfect. Neither are people. It's all a learning process. We do the best we can with what we know at any given time, and we learn from our mistakes. And we try to do better as we move forward. The past? That's water under the bridge, and dwelling on it isn't really constructive. Focus on today. Just today. And making yourself the best human you can be TODAY. Go easy on yourself, my friend.
  • @WonderingOne i hope therapy goes well.... great that you're going.

    if there's one sentence that has helped me the most in my relationship, it's this:



    memorize them lol. and use them. it really does help... then, you're not left trying to "fix"....(and they don't want fixed normally. just want to be heard.)
    this puts the ball in their court and leaves room for open and honest communication...

    and she may come back with "NOTHING!"

    and that's ok. i always just say, "ok, well i'm here if you need support."

  • Thanks @DeanD!! I know it’s an emotional roller coaster for both her and I. Had therapy session last night and that helped!!

    @JoshuaShea the therapist is doing the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, just thought you’d want to know..
  • Good to hear your therapy session last night helped, @WonderingOne. Also, FWIW, I think CBT is a great thing. Happy Little Friday!
  • I’m glad too!! I know it’s going to be a rough and tough road to repair what had all happened! Take it day by day!!
    Bit surprised after the other night! My wife and daughter stayed at the house, albeit we slept in separate rooms but hopefully it’s a sign of better days ahead!!
  • @WonderingOne yes, indeed!! I’ll believe that with you!
  • @WonderingOne Glad to hear it's CBT. Be very honest or you're wasting everybody's time, especially yours. All of those secrets, skeletons and thoughts that you may not want to share with others...that's the place to do it. Take this as the rare opportunity to get your head on straight that few people ever get. You don't need to go into that room proving you're "not THAT messed up." It's not a contest. You don't have to prove you're anywhere on any spectrum. Learn the techniques to analyze your thought processes, and be honest with yourself about what those thought processes are even, and especially when, you are most disgusted or ashamed.
  • @JoshuaShea I have found that just the first session as he asked questions, stuff I hadn’t thought of in years. My wife also told me that I have to “click” with my therapist or I may not be as open with him. I’ve found that I do click and feel comfortable with him and for me that’s a plus!! I plan on letting everything out that needs to come out! I WANT in the worst way to find out what’s going on in my head! He’s already saying that my ADD is playing a part in what’s going on but feels there is more to it!!
    Thanks again to everyone for keeping me focused on being positive!! It means a lot to know people care in this world!!
  • @WonderingOne Just pace yourself, dude. Maybe it's the overzealous use of exclamation marks, but I keep getting the vibe you're running at this 1,000 miles per hour. The problem with running 1,000 miles per hour is that you get winded and have to stop much quicker than if you're running 10 miles per hour. You'll eventually get much further at the more reasonable pace, even if it doesn't feel like that at first. Marathon, not a sprint.
  • Sorry @JoshuaShea, I know I do that. A lot of the use of exclamation marks is my personality. I’m usually an outgoing person and I’ve used them to get my personality out to others. I know I need to control and keep them at bay.. I’m not going at this as if it’s a race trust me on that..
  • @WonderingOne glad to hear that... rest. breathe. go inside.... i find healing on all levels comes from inside.... and outside, of course...

    i hope your day is going well!
  • Been doing a lot of thinking and searching lately. Days have ups and downs, trying to stay positive but it’s not easy. Today is going ok, thank you @dominica
  • Happy Friday, @WonderingOne. Glad it's going okay. Hope you have a lovely weekend!
  • @WonderingOne This may seem hard to believe now, but the days that you're down are sometimes far more important and crucial to recovery than the days that you're up. Some of the best therapy sessions I've had left me completely down and wiped out. It's hard work sorting through all of your shit sometime, but you're glad you did once things are straightened out.
  • That's a great point, @JoshuaShea. I remember many times leaving my therapist's office in tears, feeling like I'd just gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson. But you're right: Those are the productive sessions. They hurt so good.
  • I’m having my days but in a way I’m glad I am! It makes me remember to stay focused on what needs to be done. Had a better day today, cold as h. e. Double hockey sticks here. Supposed to be -10 overnight... working all weekend, 6 hours both tomorrow and Sunday. Got a model car friend coming over tomorrow to chat about projects and picking up a few things he bought from my old neighbor.
    I’ve been doing a lot of reading both in Smart Recovery book and online. I’ve also been shown a website that talks a lot about adhd, my wife sent the link to me and has some good info in it.

    My therapist also told me the other day that my adhd has a good influence on my addictions and that there was more yet behind that. He said we just have to dig back and find out what “it” is..
    Hope you all have a good weekend @JoshuaShea @DeanD @dominica
  • It's cold as **** here in Michigan, too, @WonderingOne. It's a good weekend to hunker down in front of a fire with some good books.

    I'm happy to hear you're educating yourself by doing some reading. Keep doing that. Education is power.

    Have a great weekend!
  • Just as cold in Wisconsin too!! Right there with ya!! I was looking at some books from the library but the thought of going to the counter with books like them kind of made me think again. Only reason being is I know most of the people that work at our local library and don’t want to be judged.. There are some good books on Porn Addiction and look like they’d be a good read to help me understand more of what I’m facing.
  • @WonderingOne I'm glad you like your therapist. Once ya'll get in there and start digging, I think you'll uncover some things that need healed...processed... (talked about) and you'll progress so much!

    i hear you about the library. tough call.... so do what you feel comfortable with. there are many free online resources in dealing with addiction recovery... so just keep educating yourself and "do the work"...

    and know we will be here to support you however we can... :)
  • Thank you much @dominica
    My wife and daughter have been here since Sunday with the snow and cold temps coming in. Nice having them here, they’ll be going back to her moms by the weekend but it’s a start to heal what I’ve done!
    I can’t wait in a way to dig in and find out stuff with my therapist. Figure out what went wrong and how to fix some of it. I know it won’t be a true and complete fix but to have the tools to work through stuff..
  • As with most mental/cognitive issues, things tend to go hand in hand, so people with adhd tend to also suffer with OCD type symptoms (I know, right? Not being able to concentrate but having obsessive tendencies? Opposites attract lol)...

    It’s important to know this and work towards gaining the insight and tools to deal with this.

    My son has an array of issues too and I am well aware of the nature to gravitate towards addiction. I do hope I will be able to handle what comes. He’s 8 and on an amphetamine and anti-psychotic already and the risk for drug addiction is higher.

    I’m glad your wife and daughter are supporting you and connecting. That’s just as important in all this as is going to therapy and doing your self help!
  • Thank you @Vicbrenan and hoping all goes well with your son! I can only imagine... My wife and daughter have been there for a couple days and will be for a couple more. Then they’ll be going back to her mom and dads. She isn’t totally supportive, not as much as I wish she would. I can’t blame her though for what I’ve put her through and what she’s going through now. I know she’s greatly upset and has moments she’s like to beat me to a pulp. I just hope things get better.
  • @WonderingOne... The recovery--for everyone--will be a process. It won't happen quickly. So just give your wife time. And space. And keep working on yourself. Also, maybe you could find cheap used copies of those books you saw at the library online? Amazon has used copies of books. Just a thought.

    @Vicbrenan... I'm glad you're aware of your son's potential risk for addiction. I don't think 8 is too early to have discussions with him about it. (And maybe you already have.) There's a great new book out there that's designed for tweens and teens called High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction. It's written by David and Nic Sheff (of Beautiful Boy book and movie fame). It might be a book you'd like to pick up and read so you can talk to him about the subject. The information is presented in a very accessible, digestible manner.
  • @WonderingOne things will get better. i really do feel that... as you continue to grow and heal.... and if your wife does the same... deep transformation can occur.
  • Trust me, this old boy isn’t rushing.. giving her time and space the best I can.. She has a lot of figuring and such to go through as well.
    Missed my recovery meeting tonight, cold weather has a lot of things closing today and tomorrow.
    I’ll have to check into books on Amazon!
  • How are you doing today, @WonderingOne? Just checking up on ya. ;)
  • Doing ok. Cold as heck! -40 wind chill today. Missed both my recovery meeting and my therapy this week due to the cold weather. Been having some rough moments here at home but giving my wife as much space as I can. She had a bad day yesterday and is doing better today it seems. Have some books ordered at the library for adhd to get a better idea on it.
  • Glad you ordered some books from the library, @WonderingOne. And I know all about that cold weather. I'm in Michigan and we're having a heat wave today. It's 6 degrees!!!

    Keep giving your wife the space she needs. And keep working on yourself. Remember we're here for you, too. Always.

    Happy Friday! Hope your weekend is a great one!
  • @WonderingOne that sure is some cold weather for sure! Bless your heart! I hope you get an early spring LOL

    Wonderful about educating yourself. I wouldn’t be where I am today without doing a lot of that. And I happen to love the library. It’s like a natural high for me LOL

    I’m sure that you will have your ups and downs and your good days and not so good days. It’s all part of the journey. Know that we’re here for you through it all!

    I hope you have an amazing weekend!
  • Hello @DeanD and @AlwaysAlex we have a heat wave today too.. 42 degrees today..

    Having a touchy weekend this weekend. Had fun skiing on Friday night with my wife and daughter. My wife and I talked about stuff in general. Nice to talk about general stuff to keep a conversation going. Then Saturday morning I got a text from her saying she sees me not changing and going back to the way I was before. I told her that my therapist and I haven’t really started anything yet as he’s finding out the info on me, and that even if I’m not going to change overnight. Since then she’s been really short and not in a good mood with me. It’s hard to go through with all of this with everyone telling me to stay positive and such when it seems I get kicked in the gut when I think something is getting better. I know it’s gonna take time and wounds need to heal with all of us here.
    It’s tough as she wants us to be apart for awhile but we can’t afford to make it happen. I know it’s going to be a tough adventure for us to get past all of this and I know we may not get past it and still be together, at least that’s the feeling I get..
  • @WonderingOne... We're having a heatwave where I am today! It's 52 degrees and sunny!!! Unbelievable!!

    I'm sorry for the recent development with your wife. All I can tell you is that you can't change what people think/feel. The only person you have control over is yourself. I recommend that you keep working hard on yourself. In time, perhaps she will see that you can and WILL change. And if not? Well, then that's just something you'll have to deal with.

    If I had a magic wand, I would send it your way so you could wave it over yourself and your wife and daughter, so that you could all live happily ever after. But magic wands don't exist. And you just have to try your best to cope with life on life's terms. Just try to stay positive and take the best care you can of yourself.

    I'm sending you positive energy and hope. And lots of encouragement.

    I'm also wondering... If you don't mind me asking, whereabouts in Michigan are you? I'm in Grosse Pointe.
  • Thank you much @DeanD for the positive energy! Much appreciated here.. Be nice if life was that easy to use a magic wand and poof.. But yeah, they don’t exist.

    Actually I’m in Wisconsin not to far out of Milwaukee.. On the other side of the pond.. LOL
  • Sorry about that, @WonderingOne. For some reason I thought you were in Michigan. Got you mixed up with someone else here!
  • She will be talking with a therapist at the same place I’m going to. My therapist works with others and they have one lined up for her already @AlwaysAlex. We just have to deplete our deductible so it’s covered. Which sucks for her as she doesn’t really have anyone to talk to. I know I’m a lucky man to not have been kicked to the curb. I know the fact she can’t talk with anyone is a big reason why she gets upset and mad quick. I can’t blame her as I’d be pissed too! That’s why it hurts me so much as I know it’s hurt family and friends as well.. my stupidity has impacted a lot of people and for what? Me being selfish and one sided!
    And hey! If ya win the Lotto can I split it with ya?? Lol

    @DeanD no problem there! Heck we’re still neighbors to some extent.. I make it over your way once a year to Cleveland for a conference for kids and families that have the syndrome like my daughter.
  • @WonderingOne i'm glad she will have a therapist too. it helps a lot to be able to get everything out!!! i know you feel really bad... and you're willing to do what it takes to make amends... repair the connection. surely she can take this as an opportunity to maybe work on some issues she may be having.... i hope she can see that this can strengthen your relationship....rather than destroy it.

    years ago i watched a movie called Fireproof. i think that's the name, with kirk cameron. great hope that marriage can be restored. the guy in the film busted his butt to re-win his wife...from a good place...a good heart. super good movie FYI.

    i hope your weekend went good!
  • Thinking of you on this Monday and hoping you're having a good day, @WonderingOne. One day at a time, my brother. One day at a time.
  • I asked about going to a meeting as the Doctor there said she could come in. She just said not right now, maybe later she would go to one.

    I let her check my phone whenever without problem just so she can see what I’m doing and not doing on it.

    Today was a good day, long day at work but a good day! Thanks again @DeanD and @AlwaysAlex for the positivity!
  • Glad you had a good day yesterday, @WonderingOne. Hope today is good as well. Keep working on improving yourself, my brother!
  • @WonderingOne Try not to worry too much about including your wife on your journey, especially in these early days when you have no idea where the therapy is going to take you. You're not going to find answers to your questions by looking behind Door #1. You need to go through that door to get to Door #2. A lot of these early doors will be more signposts directing you and clues to larger questions that may not have even been considered, much less asked, yet.
    If your wife hasn't seen a difference, that's because you're so early in the process. I think you may want to specifically ask what difference she's looking for. And how were you before? I have a feeling this is far less about looking at porn and more about the relationship prior to discovery. There is likely connection to the fact that you used pornography and having issues in your marriage, but that's a two-way street.
    Try not to beat yourself up too much, it's not going to get you anywhere. You made a horrible mistake in judgment and need to unravel the reasons why it happened. What you did doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you one that needs help figuring out some stuff.
  • Very good info @JoshuaShea. We talked about something very similar to that in our recovery meeting tonight. Look out for yourself first and the path is yours to follow. Everything else will fall into place as you go!
    I know the issues she has with me are before the porn and have stemmed from years past. ADHD is one of the biggest, among other issues too. Finances, communication etc.
    going to therapy tomorrow afternoon, looking forward to it!!
  • @WonderingOne Wisconsin! Wow... bet it's beautiful there! (and cold)

    hope your day is going well. :blush:
  • Hello @dominica Beautiful yes! Cold, oh yes! Had an ice storm last night. Bit slippery today around here...
    Day went good, had therapy today and that went good..
  • Glad things are going well, @WonderingOne. We got hit with a bit of that ice in Michigan, too. Winter is always an adventure, isn't it??
  • My wife is still unsure of the future with us but I’m not giving up. Hoping when she starts therapy things will turn around for her, if not then I’ll understand and have to live with it. I am the one that’s caused the hurt in her...

    More rain and ice here today.. yuck!
  • Like I've said before, @WonderingOne... You can't control how someone feels. That's just the way it is. So keep working on yourself and do your best to show your wife that you can and will change. Actions always speak the loudest.

    Happy Friday, my friend!!!
  • @WonderingOne do you like to write? journal? if so, perhaps you can start journaling... even things you'd like to say to your wife, but don't feel it's time... you can write it all down... and, your journey in particular. it can be therapeutic.

    happy friday!
  • Happy Monday, @WonderingOne. I hope you had a good weekend. And I hope you have a good week this week. One day at a time. :)
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