Needing fresh perspective after DH's porn confession

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Re: Needing fresh perspective after DH's porn confession

Post by LBD »

My wife and I went through 60 some odd days of total abstinence (no sex, no masturbation, no nothing) several years ago. It was proposed to be a time of reboot and reconnection in non-sexual ways. I had been on a porn recovery journey for a long time prior to it. None of it was easy. She was unsure if it was a good idea and was hesitant for a while, as she saw her duty of sex toward me as part of God's design to help us both avoid temptation (in this case me, she has no temptations in this area.) Yes, she believes 1 Cor 7 means what it says. She was worried the abstinence would make things worse. And the truth was it did....for a little while.

I was already on the downhill side of the porn battle. But my brain still held vestiges of the old pathways and they had tentacles reaching into our normal sex life. Basically, I still had some unhealthy connections between sex and love. Lots of reasons for them, most dating back to my youth, but they had been solidified with years of porn and other bad behavior and bad learned relationship skills. The first month was total hell! I kept a journal in those days and my counselor had access to it. It was about the 30ish day mark when I had the first release via a nocturnal emission and I wrote how it was the best I'd slept and the best I'd woken up feeling in a month. The next month was some better. In hindsight, we would have probably benefitted from another 30 days if DW had've been willing to join me for more than one joint counseling session. But she wasn't. It was decided I had gotten what I needed from it and we proceeded back with sex, for the most part, normally.

What I did learn from that period is that I would not die without release. Surprisingly, this can be a big thing. The dopamine addiction in your brain is powerful and that has to be broken. One has to learn how to control it - or it WILL control you. But also, one must learn and understand (which takes willingness to see) that there is underlying reasons that set you up for this weakness. Yes, there is biological and chemical things going on, but there is/was an emotional cause at the core. During this time, as the chemical clarity started to evolve for me, the mental clarity began. I had to learn how to forgive, specifically my father. It is an ongoing process because we never forget anything really. We just file it deeper. I had to bring it back up and deal with it differently than before - which in my estimation is the crux of forgiveness, but that's another post for a different day.

I can tell you this - that until a person does the hard, nasty, bloody, painful work of looking deep into their soul and digging out the thorn that festers inside, no accountability partner can save them. All that will happen is they win a few battles but lose the war of attrition. One has to admit to themselves that they are broken. Then and only then can they begin to rebuild themselves in a healthy way. For me, that started with a grieving process. I don't know what it will start with for anyone else. I had to peel away a lot of scabs upon scabs to get to the original wound. Then I had a lot of rebuilding work to do. Now, several years later, about a decade in fact, it is no longer a rebuild, it is simple maintenance. And now, finally, after all the years of locust eaten crops, my wife is fully engaged in a joint effort. ::pray She has had her eyes opened to her own wounds and her own dysfunctional habits. I feel better about our future than I ever have. I still have to do my part though, and at times it is hard work. But I now have full faith in the greater values I pursue.

I know you are not there yet Pearl (and I pray you will get there one day), but when you get a chance to talk to your husband in an unemotional, calm time, ask him this: "When the high from using porn subsides an hour or so after you've done all you can do, and you think back on it, how does it make you feel? Are you proud of yourself? Is that fleeting high worth the cost? Compare that to looking back on a good sexual encounter together, which is more valuable to you? Which is more fulfilling? Which is lasting?"

It took me many (too many) times of feeling the guilt, the pain, the anger at myself, the unfulfilled emptiness and then thinking "why am I doing this? I'll never do it again!" - but then I would, because I was not skilled at making the connection between the bad feelings and the bad actions. The temporary high was too high and too overwhelming. It offered a painkilling jolt that I could not see around. But finally I became skilled at seeing the train wreck coming far enough ahead to avoid it. Then I began disassembling the tracks altogether. Now my DW is helping me not only stay on the right track, but build new, better ones as I help her stop her own train wrecks.

I share all of this with you to simply offer you a little hope. Maybe you don't need it, maybe someone else reading here does. In my opinion, the original question of biblical authorization for sexual refusal, while a good idea to consult scripture for everything, is really just addressing symptoms and not the disease. I can give you many scriptures that address how we should love and bear with each other, offer grace and bear each other's burdens, but I'm sure you know those. I'm sure you've done your part in those. I only encourage you to not give up doing good, whatever that means in your marriage. Fight for it, because Satan is fighting to tear it down.
It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance. -Thomas Sowell
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