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I would most definitely show it to her. In fact, I would encourage her to post here too, to start her own thread, just to talk about stuff. smile

Eric, there is nothing wrong with you. You're a normal young adult. But the key word is YOUNG.

I tell everyone I meet to NEVER marry before you're at least 25 (either of you), and NEVER marry until you have lived out on your own for at least a year, if not 2.

You both need to learn what that is like. You need to grow from the experience, learn how to deal with things.

Sure, you could try to learn it together. Many people do. But you are HERE, getting answers on how to do things better so you and Beth can have a better marriage - long-term!

If you are going to be together for the next 50 years, why can you not wait 2 more years? Is this all just because you don't want to be embarrassed or deal with the cost of postponing it?

Isn't that a sad sad reason to be choosing to get married?

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[quote=eric292
The only thing that is really confusing me, is the doom and gloom you all paint...While I am finding it, hard, I still have a positive expectation of my marriage with Bethany...I want to work out these issues...I wnt to be happy with her. Is that immaturity as well? *sigh*


[/quote]

No, wanting to be happy with your spouse is not immaturity.

Addiction, left untreated, leaves much doom and gloom in a person's life. Go to Barnes and Nobles and look in the addiction section. How many books do you find about alcoholism that say "AA is full of crap. I'm the wife of an alcoholic and I'm mentally and emotionally fine."

My husband and I were together for 5 years before we married. Even the first couple years of our marriage were pretty good. Our marriage began to fall apart when we created a family. This happened rapidly.I went from enjoying my husband to doing everything I could to not spend any time with him. I was happy that we could vacation for two weeks and not kill each other. I could completely tell, in our marriage, when my husband's addiction escalated. Our marriage got worse and worse.

And then I discovered he had an addiction he "forgot" to tell me about. And yes, my friend, that's a big fat lie.

I wouldn't wish our journey on anyone. It has been very painful. It's like recovering from an affair. I wasn't sure we'd make it. It has been worth it. We are now mentally and emotionally healthy people (most of the time.) We are now fit to raise kids-healthy kids..

But, I much would have preferred to deal with this before marriage. I had NO idea what I was getting into when I said my vows.

And I watched porn with my husband. So I don't hate porn. I hate addiction. I hate dysfunction.

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I would also suggest, that figure out how to tell Bethany about your addiction.

She will have lots of questions. You know, there's lots of myths out there about sex addicts. Most of which are unfounded.

You might want to consider telling her during therapy...or give her resources..for her there's COSA and S-Anon. Recoverynation and no-porn have support forums for SO's of SAs.

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Please listen to inrecovery. What you do is just as destructive as an alcoholic to a marriage. It doesn't seem like it because you're functioning. Now. But in a year, when Beth starts seeing you head for the basement or the bathroom - yet again - you can bet you won't be functioning for long.

Find a professional who will help you deal with it.

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Originally Posted By: inrecoverynow
YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE AWAY THE ABILITY OF YOUR SO MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT MARRIAGE. YOU ARE PLAYING WITH HER LIFE. IT IS SELFISH AND INEXCUSABLE.


There is no point in asking for forgiveness in you...LOL...But holy frick I had no clue I was such...I know not a 'bad person'...But I do not like doing things that are inexcusable...Bethany is coming over this evening...I will show her this thread IMMEDIATLEY.

Edit...Some of this seems so odd to me...Like I am a really screwed up person. I am viewed, by peers, as a generally okay dude. It really freaks me out to find out how screwed up I am...Not that I allow outside opinion to make me feel great..I am just saying; I didn't realize I was so...Nevermind that is being in self-pity...I just need to start medicating myself? IN proper healthy ways...I am not one of those people to be like; "okay, i'll get right on it...and quit two weeks later...frick that".

<3 to you people...

<--scared crapless...*sigh*

To be honest...I am fricken SA...Oh gawd...

I am in such distress, I can't stop checking this forum...lol...I will post again after this evening...I have also given this URL to my therapist.

Last edited by eric292; 04/14/09 12:49 PM.
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Originally Posted By: eric292
Originally Posted By: inrecoverynow
YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE AWAY THE ABILITY OF YOUR SO MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT MARRIAGE. YOU ARE PLAYING WITH HER LIFE. IT IS SELFISH AND INEXCUSABLE.


There is no point in asking for forgiveness in you...LOL...But holy frick I had no clue I was such...I know not a 'bad person'...But I do not like doing things that are inexcusable...Bethany is coming over this evening...I will show her this thread IMMEDIATLEY.

Edit...Some of this seems so odd to me...Like I am a really screwed up person. I am viewed, by peers, as a generally okay dude. It really freaks me out to find out how screwed up I am...Not that I allow outside opinion to make me feel great..I am just saying; I didn't realize I was so...Nevermind that is being in self-pity...I just need to start medicating myself? IN proper healthy ways...I am not one of those people to be like; "okay, i'll get right on it...and quit two weeks later...frick that".

<3 to you people...

<--scared crapless...*sigh*

To be honest...I am fricken SA...Oh gawd...

I am in such distress, I can't stop checking this forum...lol...I will post again after this evening...I have also given this URL to my therapist.


Nope, don't ask me for forgiveness. But it took me 18 months for me to forgive my husband.

You are not a screwed up person. My husband has a ton of pluses going for him:he volunteers selflessly, he's smart, he's caring, etc etc. He's just made some poor choices.

There's no need to medicate yourself. CBT is all my husband needed to STOP medicating himself.

I personally do not believe that mentally/emotionally women choose to marry using addicts.

You marriage will be easier if you can deal with this stuff before you get married..

You likely have no clue about lots of things outside of you, because, addictions are a very selfish thing.

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You are getting terrific advice here, Eric, from Cat and IR. Take time to read and re-read what they say...slowly...a sink-in process...because they are speaking to you from their passion, their core. What is in you sparks in them. Mutuality.

My DH (dear husband) is a SA. He's struggled with it his whole life, much like IR's has. He had some of the same experiences you did in dating relationships in high school, then college. It wasn't until five years ago that he began to address this in himself, through counseling. I fully support you obtaining counseling from an expert in SA. Makes a world of difference, I believe.

Some of the side effects of SA are affecting your relationnship with Bethany. One, as you said, SF becomes an outlet, a physical cure to a perceived ailment...not an intimacy. Utilizing a bodily function like a tool...getting a fix. Translates, symbolically, into humans as tools...increases intimacy distancing and distracting...seeing other equal, whole human beings as two-dimensional objects...and the objectification affects all your human relationships...creeps in...and sates your fear of intimacy...of truly knowing and being known...of accepting and being accepted...hits your core self and distorts your life and how you experience it.

It is really tough partnering an SA. We have our own experience, our own reason for being drawn to someone with an addiction...which is our own, in a way. Understand this about Bethany, too. You're not the problem...you share this problem.

Side effects, not causation. Just to distinguish.

At the seat of SA there are a lot of parallels to alcoholics...like you cleaning out your cache of porn and then procuring (perusing) it again. Every broken promise to yourself hurts...depresses...saddens...increases distrust in yourself. Often, you will perceive yourself acting radically honest with others and continuting to lie to yourself. Tough way to live. Understandable. Been there, done that. Understand that Bethany's boundaries in this regard, each broken promise to herself, also creates that self-betrayal pain, too. You guys share that.

Thank you for your comments on my post to you.

Originally Posted By: eric292
I trace my emotions back to as far as my mental conscious can reach. I never make it to a solid answer.


Trace your emotion in the moment to the belief it is coming from. Takes awareness and commitment. "I feel sadness welling up right now. I'm thinking about <blank>. Comes from my belief about <blank>." Approach without judgment...when we investigate to know, we cannot judge the path as we are on it. Stand back and listen to the belief you're perceiving or viewing something. Hear yourself. You speak.

Be prepared to hear beliefs which may baffle you. A friend tells you someone plowed into his bumper and didn't leave a note. You may feel your friend's anger, fear...his emotions...you may experience a reinforcement in your beliefs that people are bums, selfish, out for themselves...and you may experience feel more virtuous, good, better. From your beliefs.

Or you may experience sadness (which is a healing emotion, btw), a wistfulness, wishing car accidents never happened, ever.

Get to know what your thoughts are, focus on being aware of them, and hearing your beliefs behind them. Write down those words you hear...don't focus on where they came from (where you heard them)...understand as you write them down, this is what you're believing right now.

Again, they are choices we made, even before we knew we chose what we believed. You're investigating, not judging.

Listening to ourselves increases our skill at listening to others, btw. Can't go just one way. Some may consider that selfish, negative...denial of self is a constant source of conflict...so we experience conflict with others. Self-understanding is important.


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I am the type of person who doesn't invest time and money into something that doesn't provide a return...This I think is my primary character flaw. My fiancee knows this. I think I only feel loved and act upon the love when I feel the relationship is on even ground...But I've been told that in marriage, it is like BOTH sides have to give 90% (not 50%)...


You are not alone. We are taught to judge our actions in the outcome...therefore, to control the outcome through our actions. Crucial flaw...we control our actions, not outcomes. It's a shell game to believe otherwise. There are consequences within our control...you steal a car, you'll most likely get caught and go to jail. There are consequences which continue, throughout our lifetimes, from one action, outside of our control. You have both. Know which is which and don't fool yourself into believing you actually control any outcome.

That's radical honesty. So you don't act from love by stating admiration to Bethany--you state your admiration of Bethany to her because you admire. Getting our intent aligned, our premise set, is the first step. We've been taught backwards...and Harley has it correct...because you act to meet that EN, you will have loving feelings...you aligned with your intent, did not deceive or sacrifice...you connected.

If you make up stuff to admire her for to get her to say she admires you...then you're controlling, manipulating and lying from the get go. Not an act of love, your choice to do it. When you state your stuff (your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perceptions and perspective), you are acting from intimacy and will experience intimacy. Your job is to know your stuff (and I hear you're stuck on that step) and to share it. And the other half is to know her stuff (what she shares), to know her right now.

Tougher than it sounds...and I think you know this. Your emotions are signalling you that what you doubt most is yourself...and it hurts.

As it should. There's not a thing wrong with you, Eric. You are a whole, complete, wonderfullly made human being, from love. Bethany is your equal in every way. She's complete, too. We don't have awesome marriages by eliminating all our defects...we have awesome marriages because we go through life together. We have experiences we like and dislike together.

Marriage doubles your life experience, deepens, widens, expands it.

Only works if you work it.

Please read Harley's article on The Giver and The Taker...again, acting to your commmitment, even when you don't feel like it.

You can honor The Marriage, even when you don't feel like honoring your spouse or yourself. Do it, anyway.

Quote:
--LA, i really think reading your words made me realize that loving Bethany is something I have to continuously choose to do...All time, no matter what. And even if I...cannot...I still must act on notions of love. Can you please provide feedback on this?


I believe so, as well. We choose so routinely, so often, it becomes seemingly an automatic choice...your thoughts have dwelled on her, your experiences together, and the feelings follow. You've made her your treasure, a part of you. Doesn't seem like a choice. Good to remember it is a choice...that if you made something/someone else your focus, dwelled there, stopped treasuring Bethany (for instance, dwelled on what ifs/if onlys, focused on fear, lived in fantasy), then you would not have the connection, feel the love you do now. Which is why porn addiction kills relationships.

Like any other addiction, consumes our focus, our energy, becomes our treasure.

Know this about our human design...about yourself...build trust in yourself to redirect your thoughts...and focusing on others, excluding yourself isn't real or healthy, either...awareness of self...listening, understanding, knowing...is your job. Our inherent human responsibility...and sharing yourself is part of it. Whom you choose to connect with, the depth of truly being known and knowing...is for your spouse. That's intimacy. Doesn't depend on the spouse, compatibility, etc...because you've chosen, haven't you? When you choose unreal visuals to do this with, then you are telling yourself you want to disconnect from intimacy.

When you may actually want to disconnect from fear, frustration, pain, anger...something else entirely. Which is essentially saying you want to not exist, not get information from yourself.

Explore your passions...check yourself for passionate gratitude, passionate acceptance, passionate peace...see if your beliefs are precluding you from these experiences. Or boxing them away from your entirety because you've decided they can't be where you find them...we trick ourselves in many ways to "cope"...we learn coping skills first, then living skills...and I think you experienced these in reading posts on this board, at family gatherings, in ways which disturbed you, felt foreign to you.

Quote:
I know...But I am the one who has created the doubt in her, It was like I wanted to do it...It has taken quite a bit of work to put it in there...While I didn't feel like i was putting it their in objective. I think it happened in result of me communicating, honestly, mine.


You believe you're powerful enoough to create doubt in other people...can you also make them love you, be in love with you, hate you, drive them away, feel happy, make them lash out at you?

Would you consider Bethany doubts, believes, allows your influence, even to what degree? Which means you cannot make her anything but a sandwich. That's it. Your human limit. Hers, too. She cannot make you doubt.

You doubt.

You allow her influence, how much, how little, as well. You control the door, how wide or narrow...and it may fluctuate. Which is why you cannot be controlled, nor can you control her.

That's the essentiality of respect. Understanding and choosing to believe in our human design, embracing what is only ours (responsibility) and our limits (what is not) is acting from and experiencing respect.

She feels. That's hers. She believes. Those are her beliefs. And I think you fear her controlling you because you act on your urge to control...want guarantees of behavior, perceptions, feelings which are not yours...because you can't guarantee yourself your own.

Welcome to our human journey, Eric. You've been on it...experiencing it...by your own choices in what you believe, how you perceive, where your thoughts dwell, resulting in what you feel.

And there's a reason we confuse others influence as under our control...because part of our self-understanding comes from our reflection..the mirror others hold up for us. When it's all...we abandon ourselves and fear abandonment and intimacy (being taken over); when it's part, we're in balance. Others are part of our self-journey...ironically, no one takes it alone...we can't. Not in our design. And wonderfully...the two become one union is part of our self-journey, too...sharing our lives (plural) rather than two having one life, one experience.

Quote:
But, since I have already caused this pain...Echos of her words radiate though mine and it nearly destroys me to have put doubt of me in her mind.


This guilt and shame are signals you are over-reaching your real power and going into fantasy power. You cannot make her experience. That's grievous from what we believe. Grieve it.

Now embrace the privilege to share her pain...to understand and be there, experiencing, together, exclusively...and grateful for her choosing to do so with you, too. All things come to pass. Emotions deliver the information...they come and go...our relay from our beliefs. Not forever. For right now.

Not a write-off...not a "doesn't matter"...truth of existence...if you abuse someone, you do pound a nail into their wood...and when you amend, and remove it, leaves a scar, a place where something happened...and you make sure you know what, why you pounded that nail...and that you knew it was impossible to undo. We are in this world together. We are going to bump into each other to connect...we are going to hurt, thrive, sorrow and fear. Intentionally and unintentionally...we connect in many ways...through conflict, happiness, one breath or in agreement and commonality. We connect.

Quote:
Is it possible to get past these silly...But strong (in me) things and fulfill each other's emotional needs?


Find your beliefs...do you believe there is only one person that's meant to be your wife? Do you believe that if you pick wrong, your marriage will fail? Do you believe some humans are truly better for you than other humans? Do you believe your love bank is solely dependent on her actions? Do you call her fears/doubts/questions/investigation silly? Do you discount, deny or dismiss your own emotions? Is that one of your strongest coping skills?

Sadness is healing...you may experience intense anger turned inward, which is depressed, not sadness. You may have to sort out one from the other...the wistfulness, wishing, expectations, identifying your "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts". Identifying what emotion is part of tracing it back to what belief.

"I fear most her leaving me in 20 years." Real fear or manufactured emotion to get you to not do something, hiding another fear behind it?

"I fear she'll control me like my mother" "Replace me like my father"...or

"I fear I will make her leave me...control me...replace me."

All for nothing...not the outcome you want...not what the outcome you strive so hard to control...Find your fears...listen to them...write them down...hold them like the small children they are...do not strike, discount or dismiss them. They are part of you. Not to foretell your future...they come from your past.

Quote:
One more thing to note...She is a rock; it almost makes me think she doesn't care...but I know she does. If i did not cause relationship problems, there would not be any (or a lot less).


Follow the Golden Mean...anything to an extreme is harmful. Too much of a rock means rockhard resentment. Too much of water, boundaryless, and you drowned in confusion. You are attracted to each other for what you deny and don't see in yourself. You, too, are a rock...and water...wind and sand...so is she. You are both new every single day of your lives, because you make new choices.

Humans are extremely complex...so relationships mean they are twice so...understandable to think if you got just the right fit/combination, no issues...just bliss. Not real. We are all made from the same hand, same material, equally. Diverse, complex, exponents...no issues, no growth...no new...no experiencing each other as new. The journey is the thing.

Quote:
"and the answer you're looking for...is being one."

what do you mean by 'being one'?


The saying is, "It's not finding the right partner...it's being one."

You are half of every relationship you have on this planet. Your half matters. Choosing intimacy is scary...within and with others. Choose it, anyway.

LA

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eric292 Offline OP
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Thank god for blessing people with intellect such as the people on this thred (Cat, LA, IR)

And thank god for blessing you with the kindness and selflessness to spend your time on other people.

I feel that the advice you all have provided is coming to a close:

I will respond once more tonight to your posts after Bethany and I have gone through the post.

LoveAnyways, your concepts are somewhat advanced and I can tell is spoken from someone of great intellegence. I will do my absolute best to interpitate and positivley reflect your lessons. It is hard to figure some of the things out you are talking about.

I don't want to be a bad spouse...I love us so much. *tear*

I can't say it enough; how absolutley amazed I am at the will of you people (saints) to help strangers. Further showing how selfish of a person, I am...*sigh*...

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lol, LA, how's it feel to be one of the gifted ones?

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You are gifted too catperson.

However, the way in which LoveAnyways writes is...not to trivilize it...from an experienced English writer and from an experienced relationalist.

The true gift that is produced is the willingness to publically display these positive experiences to help another person.

I again thank you for the time.

Bethany and I did review the entirty of this forum last evening, and did not come to any startling conclusions...She still kissed me, told me she loved me, and she thinks that some of the points made here were mis-interpitated (sp..). She agrees that I need to wean myself off a 24 hour habit...and she, again, stated that if I did not watch porn; it would make her feel more confident about herself, with me, in the bedroom.

There is a bit of a ... ?push and shove? ... between being thought of as a SA and just wanting SF as an EN.

Bethany said that she doesn't mind what I do, espcially currently, because she thinks she cannot keep up with that EN...because we are not married and living toghther...and only see each other once or twice a week.

I countered her ...self-pity... with the fact that even right now this thread has opened my eyes to the fact that our SF is typically focused on me and I want to work at ensuring that I am not listening to the 'evil' SA in my mind...At least a lot less... and ensuring that our SF is a circle of energy; not a one-way pounding.

Additionally, I have stated that we need to work on not just 'fulfilling my SF' through intercourse...But through other foreplay activities...Which, IR mentioned is nearly impossible with the way i've accustomed myself to respond to my own touch...Very true.

I am not going to watch porn for a week...And I think that even is a bad goal...Once that week is over, I am sure I will compound it with a further exention of NOPORN.

My removal of my archieve and diving back into the addiction; was not viewed as a horrible thing in my mind...Mostly becasue I did not view what I was doing as a 'problem'. I understand, more so now, that it is...And i will take the steps to become a better spouse to Bethany.

In the end it kinda made me feel stupid, wondering how SF could be an 'addictive' substance...I've heard of 'sex addicts' before, but also thought that meant of Men who try to conquer as many women as they can, sexually. I did not realize that SA could be internal as well.

This world is really screwed up then(men)...Cause I don't have any guy friends (that I know of) NONE HEAR ME...that do not participate in MBing.

That includes friends with signifigant others.

This thread has really made me feel like these problems that have been plauging me for months...are finnally starting to come out of the woods...I can feel the happyness that i've been missing for months inside me again.

Maybe I am just a farsh...Only time will tell...But for once, I don't feel the:

"yep we just had a fight about this...lets have sex and feel better for awhile"

I feel:

"Wow, I am really understanding these things in a different light...I really need to make some reforms inside of me, but Bethany is by my side and supporting me. We can do this."

Talk is cheap...and its been 48 hours.

Thanks again everyon...WoW, mid typing my fiancee calls me and tells me that her Leo engagement ring was 'stolen' while in for repairs.

I'm out...Life's stuff calls.

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Eric, please realize that nobody can diagnose you over the Internet with addiction and such. The posters may see you through the filters of their own stories. It doesn't mean that what they think about their partners is true for you.

"Normal sexual frequency" is different for everyone, especially in your age, being 23 years old. If you and Bethany are still confused about regulating your sex life, it would be good to see a sex therapist as a part of premarital counseling.

A trained sex therapist would ask you about your ideal frequency, ask your partner, and would assist in finding an appropriate solution that would work for both of you. A trained sex therapist would also assess your behaviors and feelings about sex and would help you determine if you need help with restructuring your attitudes toward sex.

Dr. Harley has a great book with an outlined plan for newly married or engaged couples, "I Promise to You." You may want to follow his plan in the book, complete questionnaires, discuss important topics about married life, and find solutions you both are enthusiastic about.

Marriage is a serious step, an ultimate change in one's life, and the fear of unknown can be paralyzing. Dr. Harley's book will help you fill in the gaps and hopefully will reduce your fears about the future with Bethany. It wouldn’t happen overnight; it’s a process with a very rewarding outcome.

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eric, great stuff!

I have real hope for you guys. You take this information and run with it, and look at how much it has already helped you two be more open and honest with each other!

I would hate to tell someone to postpone a wedding just around the corner, so since you guys are being so honest about everything, I think you can really make things work.

Just promise me that you will look into some more 'learning' in whatever way works for both of you, on how to make and keep a great marriage, since you're both so young. Keep up the communication, never stop telling the truth, and you'll be fine.

Oh, and I highly agree that you need to learn more about SF and how it should be about both partners. My H is amazing for me, always - always - takes care of me first, and doesn't give up til I can't take any more, then we take care of him, if you know what I mean. Take the time to learn what makes it good for her, because she'll likely have the lower drive and you'll want to make it something she looks forward to, long term.

btw, I was just teasing LA; we go way back, and she gets that 'you are amazing' thing about once a month because she's so much more...prophet-like than the rest of us, lol.

frown I hope she finds her ring!

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Originally Posted By: eric292

This world is really screwed up then(men)...Cause I don't have any guy friends (that I know of) NONE HEAR ME...that do not participate in MBing.

That includes friends with signifigant others.


The world IS screwed up because most people never get to experience what a great marriage can be. People are so hung up on getting what THEY want that they don't realise that they are treading all over someone else and ruining any chance of their marriage being the source of incredible happiness that its possible to be.

I watched my Dad refuse to "be controlled" by my Mum, I saw his huge porn collections and the way he stayed out drinking all the time whether she liked it or not and how he considered his friends to be "pussy whipped" if they even called home to let their wives know they were going to be late.
He very quickly destroyed any love my Mum had for him, and they lived in a miserable sexless marriage, both of them unloved and bitter until she left.


Me: 32
H: 35
Married 9 years, together 12.
Two little girls, 7 and 3.
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ERIC-

It's a really good point that marriage is CHOOSING to love for the rest of your life. I had major doubts before marriage, and cold feet. The only regret I have is not working through them before I made my vows.

The confusion/doubt I had was because I was trying to base my vows on how I felt. I kept asking myself how I felt about my husband thinking that was my answer, but really I needed to ask myself am I willing to make a vow to CHOOSE to love him for the rest of my life? The answer was yes, but other thoughts kept interfering.. like are you really 'in love' (which is what our society says is the basis of marriage)?

I went into it thinking I didn't love him, when really I was CHOOSING not to, because I was waiting for my feelings to take over and MAKE THE DECISION FOR ME.

If you have cold feet, that's ok. If you have serious doubts about loving your future spouse, take time to figure out why now. When you say your vows, they are decision you are making, not a feeling you are professing.

Only a hundred years ago marriage based on 'being in love' was a new concept. Being in love is definitely NOT a bad thing, but it needs to be taken for what it is- a biological, emotional, sexually-driven experience that indicates you want to mate with someone.. how's that for romance smile. We are to the point now where society says the 'in love' part trumps everything else, as if that's noble. The problem is, that it's ripping apart marriages. In reality, God's plan, keeping your holy marriage vows is noble.. not following a feeling.

Again, being 'in love' is a good thing, and I you should have affection, but marriage is not based on that. Especially now, since love and sex are separated in our society... it's tragic because the passion that is supposed to be exclusive to marriage no longer is. No wonder divorce is so frequent.

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