Thursday, December 20, 2018

Daily Inventory from a new perspective

Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
It occurred to me, out of the blue, that my selfishness may run through all of my sexual relationship with my ever-loving wife.  How bad is it?  Do all of my thoughts regarding sex amount to obsession?  Do all of my desires live totally on the side of selfishness?  Do  I really think of our love-live outside of what I get from it?  
It's hard to know.  Some think there is no such thing as altruism.  Anytime we do something that seems to be for another, we can't escape from the fact that we are getting something out of the interaction--and thus our own benefit is always there.
What does sex look like that's giving as well as enjoying getting?  I can imagine being giving by NOT initiating sex, by NOT expecting it.  But how do I engage and enjoy our love-life in a less selfish way?  I guess being easy-going about whether it happens or not is one thing.  I guess when we're into it, if I'm focused on her and her pleasure and desires and preferences.  I do that, so maybe I'm not completely as bad as I feared.
But it's an important question I want to ask myself regularly:  'Was I selfish in my love life and attitude toward my love-life with my Bride?  How can I exercise the opposite of my character defect (selfishness) in this context today or tomorrow?  I guess I can ask my Higher Power to help me to not expect sex, take it or leave it, and be 'easy' about whether it happens or not.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Here and Now

Learning about Smart Recovery, I'm liking some of the tools and having a love hate relationship with the psychology.  I am drawn to understanding how we work and very much want to take this knowledge to help others and myself.  But I see the humanistic philosophy that we can be understood with the assurance and completeness of science as childish and naive.  I am embracing mystery and I sense we experience a lot of life and truth through art.  It's so much more than just ideas and facts.  There needs to be a lot of space for nuance.

Anyway, last night was a very tough time again.  I didn't want to 'act out'.  But I was gutted and angry because I'd slept badly the night before and got another no that was very disappointed about.  The SMART stuff says it's not the action that upset me, it's my belief behind it.  So, my tiredness warped my perception causing me to have less long term perspective thus I obsessed about the short term.  I was aghast that I couldn't have sex (again!).  I was unable to see that I'd get sex in a few days.  There was even a hint that in about three days we'd have some time.  But I only saw that as a slap in the face.  It seemed a world away, a lifetime away.  It seemed it might as well have been never.  So I got out of bed and eventually was hungry enough to eat (although I didn't want to give-in to that urge).  I ate more than I wanted.  I felt a compulsion to fill my stomach, hoping it'd make me feel better, maybe help me sleep -- although it never does.  And I guess I got some pleasure from the taste (very short term).  Doing the Cost Benefit Analysis, it's sobering to see how the benefits of acting out (I'm using eating sugar, especially in secret) is all short term and the costs are all long term. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Control & Saying No



I love the feeling of power and control when she's really turned on and really wants me.  I know I'm going to climax, but what's thrilling is feeling like I am in a position to give her what she wants, which is what I want (orgasm).  Guilt free sex is when she (seemingly) enjoys it just like me.  I want the moment of her desiring me to last. I want the moment of me having this power continue.  It's the fantasy of being desperately desired.  I wish I could experience that every time I'm sad or anxious or bored, but instead it's a small gift that comes unexpectedly--occasionally.

As the months since I've looked at porn or masturbated approach one year, my unreasonable expectations are fading.  My obsession is still waiting to surface, but it's not as strong either.

I can sleep now most nights, and if I don't, it's never due to not getting sex.  I can contemplate not getting sex tonight, and grapple with getting it tomorrow or soon--without too much distress.  I can wake up after not getting sex and not be angry or resentful.  I can interact with her throughout the day without being driven to withdraw in anger or resentment.

Making SAA phone-calls still helps me hugely to see the improvement and my good actions.  I still gloss over my progress and focus on my weaknesses and selfishness if left to my own perception.  I need someone else to remind me I'm doing well.  Plus helping them helps me immensely.

Two nights ago I said, 'let's go to sleep, it's late and we're tired'.  Which is unusual enough, but it was after she'd touched me intimately.  That's not happened for over fifteen years of our marriage, probably more.  The lie that I 'NEED' sex permeates to thinking that if I'm touched there, turned on, then I MUST find completion and resolution and satisfaction.  But that's not true.  She was flabbergasted and amazed that I said that and that I followed through by not being upset or unable to live with my decision.   One thing that made it easier is that I had decided I'd do that hours beforehand.  My motives weren't great.  Silly of me to imagine I'd be punishing her by saying no to sex with her, just because I'd hate that.  She doesn't mind.  But as we touched and hugged my anger eased and I did think of going with the flow, reversing my plans and enjoying the sex that was available.  But I managed to stick with it, stubborn if not angry anymore.  It was so much easier to be the one in control and with the power.  Still not fun to turn down sex and an orgasm.  But I think it showed her I'm not quite the slave to it that I was, even though I haven't yet told her of my silly childish motives that I started with.


Connecting the dots

My friend is amazing.  She is an author and a public speaker.  She gets paid to teach therapists.  But more amazing is that she was severely traumatised as a very young child--yet she helps therapists to help people who's story is like hers.  She was abused.  She was raped.  She was even used in the production of pornography when she was very young.  Horrible, but she is a real inspiration now.

Learning a bit about her story has made me think differently about my own porn addiction.  She has made real the victims and survivors and abused who are the fodder of porn.  I can say I've never had anything to do with porn involving children.  I'm not attracted to violent porn either.  As a matter of fact, before I gave it up for good, I was finding more and more of what's out there follows a theme that disturbs me:  aggressive, demeaning, suggesting violence.  What is this shit about choking?  Who gets turned on by that?  And girls gagging is supposed to be a hot?  Anyway, today I made the connection between the 'innocent' porn that I spent years using and the children who are abused--like my friend was.  And she was three years old!  It's the same industry.  It's all the same world.  The free porn on those websites "everyone" uses is getting more and more horrible.  Plenty of people use that then find they need more aggression, more violence.  They get turned on by 18-year olds in cheerleading outfits, but then some must move on from women to high school girls.  By participating in the "legal" and "bonafide" porn industry, I was still contributing to the bigger world of pornography--the one that abused my very good friend when she was only a three year old!

I'm so sorry, I don't know how I avoided seeing this before. I knew intellectually that stripping and prostitution and porn are all linked. But I guess I felt better justifying myself saying that looking at mainstream porn had no connection to illegal porn.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Exposed Pain and Brokeness

It doesn't matter if I know I'm going to get what I want tomorrow.  If the fact hits me the wrong way that I can't have it tonight, I'm screwed.  We talked about making love, like a mature couple with many years of marriage. We planned it and agreed.  This doesn't match my fantasy preference for unbridled passion that comes from within our gut, or heart, our uncontrollable instinct!  No, it's a planning and diary-ing exercise like budgeting our weekly shopping bill, competing for time like washing and ironing and cleaning chores.  The furthest thing from fantasy or desire driven impulsively being wanted.

Anyway, we were shattered (again) and so we would make love in the morning. She would wake up early and make time. I was to wake her up at 8am.  So I laid beside her hearing her breathe and sleep so deeply.  Does she need the sleep more?  Is that the kinder thing to do is let her sleep?  I feel myself morphing into a martyr--poor me! She doesn't really want me (again, still).  The lie that I'm all alone, unwanted, not desired, in the way, an inconvenience and annoyance.

I morph into someone donning sackcloth and covering my head with ashes, saying, 'woe is me!'.  Look how much life sucks for me.  That's self pity and self absorption-emerging automatically from the idea of letting go of the idea of our planned lovemaking time. Damn my selfishness (addiction) is shrewd and sly and quick and devious.

All these ideas, that bring me down and turn my head inside out.  The program helps me with actions.   I will pray.  Thanks God for keeping me sober yesterday, and  please help me to treat her well today and not use her or be selfish toward her.  Thanks that I don't need sex.  I give it over to God right here, right now.  These typed words are prayers.  Please help me to be selfless, or at least a little less selfish.  Please help me to be willing to talk as I don't wanna withdraw in a huff and sulk from something that I've generated in my own head.   Thanks for a good relationship, for not being alone or lonely.  Thanks for a blessed sex life.  Adult and real, not fantasy.  Thanks for communication and connection and vulnerability--which is really better than orgasms.

 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ageing



What a fun title: ageing.  Sigh...

But I think working the 12-step program is helping me to let go, not only of my never-ending obsession and expectation for sex.  But it's helping me to find grace and acceptance for my situation, my lot in life.   I think I'm accepting the fact that I am ageing.  And, more related to my obsession, that my wife is ageing. 

Any painful change looks different once I've adjusted to it and accepted it.  My sons growing up and 'leaving the nest' was painful.  It's hard to describe, because I have words for thoughts and ideas but not so much for feelings.  If felt hard.  It hurt.  It wasn't easy or nice.  Then, about a year later, the situation was the same but the feelings were different--better.  Purely because I'd adjusted to the change.  I'd talked to people about it a lot, I'd gotten my mind off it and focused on other things some too.  And time had passed.  Now it's fine that our nest is emptying.  We can even see the good in it, although all those things that made it hard are still there.  It's perspective that matters.  New perspective comes as a by product, not something that can be conjured.  My perspective has changed and makes this loss okay because I spent time considering it.  And I knew that it was right, and I kept that in mind while I felt it wasn't.  My feelings were gently and patiently guided toward what I knew.

So how does all this empty nest adjustment relate to my adjustment about getting old, especially my adjustment to her getting old?  It's the same.  I felt it too much to bear that she was getting wider and saggier.  It hurt every time I was reminded (just like it hurt when I thought about my sons leaving to lead their own lives).  But I talked about the fact that it was natural and right for my wife to age.  I talked about how I prefer her to anyone else I could visualise.  I let myself feel sad and robbed, but I reminded myself what I knew, that I am fortunate and have a wife to be thankful for.  Eventually, the talking (and praying and reflecting) carried me through the change until most of my feelings eased and I wasn't sad or feeling robbed by time anymore.  I was freer to live in the knowledge that I'm fortunate. 

I used to resent getting older and I didn't want to be associated with middle aged folks.  I wanted to run with the cool kids but just didn't belong alongside them anymore.  When on long hikes it frustrated me to see so many wrinkled and grey grandparents there as I didn't want to be in their club. I wanted to be in with the younger ones. 

This was strongly linked to me feeding on the visual stimulus of young and attractive women.  I've done it since I was a kid and I wasn't just addicted to it, I was drawn to it.  Looking at a younger woman made me feel better and made me want a chance to look again for more exciting or comforting feelings.  I was about eighteen when I had a crappy camera and would drive around with a friend aimlessly.  But it wasn't aimless as I was looking out for attractive women and I'd snap their photos like a creepy stalker.  I'd try to smile and flirt to make some sort of connection with them and reassure myself it was all good clean fun.  But it was part of my obsession and fantasy of objectifying and drinking in the pretty faces, long soft hair, and young shapely figures.

More than thirty years later I am trying to break the deeply ingrained habit of objectifying women and visually drinking them in. I have a fantasy of a perfect young woman who is out there somewhere to make me happy and somewhere deep inside me I'm still automatically assessing them all to feel a little better while looking out for my nirvana.


Saturday, September 08, 2018

Fountain of Youth & Drying Up




Got my 9 month chip last week.  So I must keep in perspective that things are going better than ever regarding my addiction and sobriety.  But as I adjust to one degree of change and accept and let go of my obsession and expectation for sex... There's more of the same over the horizon.

We're getting older.  Will her interest in sex wane after menopause?  Will her ability to orgasm, or even have sex drop like a boulder from the edge of a cliff?

My obsession since a teen was looking at attractive women.  I was looking at women in their twenties thirty five years ago, and I'm still doing it now.  I fight against it with some help, thanks to the 12-step program.  But as I shopped for a perfect body to 'consume visually' through porn, I have always been clocking and noting thin waists, nice shaped rears, etc. Same when in public as when browsing porn.  As my ever-loving wife and saintly patient bride of 25 years gets older and larger and saggier, I geet angry at the growing difference between her and those twenty-something-year-olds' everywhere.

My ideal is to see beyond her sagging skin.  My aim is to appreciate the woman inside the flab and fat.  The most satisfying lovemaking is face to face, connected and synchronised emotionally and even spiritually.  I promised to have and to hold in sickness and health.  While young and as we grow old together.  I need to kill the fantasy that those young women hold the key to my happiness.  That drinking in their youthful beauty will satisfy my thirst.

Cigarette packs have more explicit and shocking warnings trying to try to scare addicts away from killing themselves.  The fountain of youth is a archetypical fantasy with a warning label saying, 'don't be tricked, you'll loose the life you have pursuing an immature hope for eternity'.  See how enjoying the good (but imperfect) real life in front of us is smarter than throwing that away for an untouchable fantasy--like the allure of mermaids and the way they drive sailors to the rocks, to insanity, to their death. 

These young women, in reality, are just women with their own flaws and humanity.  They poo and menstruate and have their own insecurities and are selfish.  Besides, they are going to be sagging and wider around the stomach in twenty years, like the rest of us all.  Their beauty and youthfulness is just a snapshot in the never ending march of time.

I don't really want a younger wife.  I don't really think sex with someone younger would satisfy or fix my problems.  It's my midlife crisis and my sex obsession trying to get me to do something destructive.  The ego screaming out in pain for a drug that won't satisfy the itch.

I really want to accept my amazingly loving bride, with her trajectory of ageing.  I want to accept my fate that I'm in the last half of life and teen fantasies don't suit me anymore.  Maturity means putting others first and I can do that, while I unsubscribe from this ego driven self absorbed fantasy channel that I've been running in my head since I was a teen.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Streak

How long has it been?  Four days?  Been tired, mostly my decision.  Mostly angry annoyed or resentful.  2 days ago it was her having her haircut So Short!  Really got pissed about all that.  12 steps say I can get rid of that redentment.  Talking to guys about it helps too.

Now she is downstairs at 9am on a Saturday.  When I suggested we go to sleep (without making love) yet again last night I thought we'd have this morning.  Damn.  Now I can go seek her out, stay here.  I wish I didn't feel needy and in a way desperate.  I wanna keep saying no, until she finally initiates it.  I'm pissed that she can live without it so flippantly.  Am I jealous that I can't be easy like that?