"I can stand taller as a man, a husband, and a father" (I stopped using porn)Sep 07, 2022
I've got a letter from a married man with adult children who for most of his life has used porn. Only recently has he decided to leave that behind once and for all, and he's already enjoying the benefits!
Anon's words are in italics. My comments and responses are in bold.
Noah, let me first of all start by saying that YOU ROCK! I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for all the emails you have sent me over the past 51 days. You have put a lot of hard work into making sure that I succeed and I am so grateful. I have not only read every single one of them but I have saved them so I can go back and re-read them. Your emails have been an incredible source of encouragement, direction, and support for me as I start putting in the hard work to recover from my porn addiction.
It always means a lot when I see that this work is helping people! If you reading this haven't signed up to my email newsletter, it's a great free way to kickstart your knowledge and progress. You can sign up here.
Again, because you created such a strong foundation for yourself you have helped me begin to create a strong foundation for myself. If I ever meet you I would give you a strong handshake, a cool fist bump, and a heartfelt hug. I hope it's not weird to say but I might even cry on your shoulder as a way of saying "Thank You" once again.
I find it a little ironic that in your last email to me you encouraged me to tell my significant other, my wife. I have been so reluctant to tell her for so many reasons but last night I tore down the defensive fence and I did it.
If you're in a relationship and trying to keep your attempts at recovery a secret, you're likely doing the both of you a huge disservice. You're depriving yourself of the chance at having the support of the person who can help you the most through this. You're depriving her of the chance to accept and love you as you are. And you're both missing out on the opportunity to enjoy a deeper, more intimate and open relationship than ever before. Check out this video on how to tell a partner about this.
Here's the short story, if I might... several years ago I was able to go for about 6 months without porn. I was using the ReBoot forum and things were going well. I was very proud of my 6 months recovery and told my wife about my porn addiction that had been going on for decades. Unfortunately, some kind of stress hit me and a lot of my triggers took me for a spin and I relapsed. The embarrassment, defeat, and guilt came rushing in like a flood, and once again I was all alone with my struggle with porn.
I just shake my head when I see people saying that a porn addiction isn't a "real" addiction. I know better, because I've seen this same pattern repeat in so many men's lives. They truly want to live pornfree. They're even able to go for many months without using. But then life sucker punches them in some way and they spiral out of control back into their ingrained addictive behaviors. That loss of control over a behavior that you know is harming you is the very definition of addiction.
Fast forward to May of this year... we are in the midst of building a brand new farmhouse on 56 acres of beautiful farmland in NE Iowa. At the same time, we are doing a full kitchen, dining room, and hallway remodel of our current house so we can get it ready to sell. New carpet in four rooms and this week we take our youngest son back to college. I've been handling most of the contractors and managing the behind-the-scenes stuff. There has been a lot of high-level stress for me, but... since I started connecting with other men on the Reboot Nation and Your Brain Rebalanced forums, journaling, reading my daily devotions, going through the REMOJO app, and listening to, and writing out the answers to the Action Step questions for the lessons, I have begun to create a strong foundation for myself. I also need to mention that I have been able to connect with an Accountability Partner and it's like we are two peas in a pod. We have so much in common and we support each other daily in our journey.
So, last night I was able to share with my wife all of the things I have been doing to set up a defensive plan for myself so I don't give into the triggers once again. She was actually very impressed with the steps I have taken. She also thought it was really good that I have an AP and how we have been connecting. She stated, "You have really needed that and I'm glad you were able to find someone."
Well look at that! Once you opened up to your partner, she was supportive and happy with your progress and honesty. ;)
The bottom line is this... once again, because you and so many others have gone before me and laid the foundation I can now stand a little taller as a man, a husband, and a father. I can now look my wife in her beautiful eyes without feeling guilty or like I'm hiding something. I can now lay my phone on the table and walk away knowing that if she picks it up to see what I've been doing, I don't have to worry.
I've said it before and I'll say it many more times: Being able to just live your life knowing that you have nothing to hide is one of the best unexpected benefits of this journey.
I feel more confident and stronger to mindfully engage each new day, finding the good things in it and trying not to sweat the little speed bumps that pop up. Yes, I have been able to laugh more and interact with friends and family more. Spend more quality time with my wife. I have also taken care of some major resentment and bitterness problems I had with several people. I have learned about my triggers and how to manage them so they don't manage me.
Addiction of any type prevents emotional growth and maturity. When you're active in your addiction, you're quite literally training yourself to be controlled by or to run from your emotions. You're practicing impulsivity. Reinforcing self-centeredness.
When you choose to grow out of that cycle, it starts an impressive cascade of changes in your inner and outer lives.
So, you're kicking me out of the nest and forcing me (highly encouraging me) to fly on my own. I'll try not to take it too personally, lol.
Anon is responding to the fact that he'd just received the last email in my automated series :)
I hope I do you proud. I'm thinking that sometime down the road I'd like to try and help other men out in their recovery from PMO. I know I need more time under my belt but hey, I can dream, right?
Thank you again, Noah.
I think your story will already be helping other men, Anon! And if you decide you want to do more, the world needs it.
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