So I Told My Crush How I Feel about Her, And…

In the comments to my last few posts, I received a lot of great advice about whether or not I should share with my crush how I was feeling about her.

Some said, “definitely not”, because if she liked me too it could lead to something.  Another reason I shouldn’t tell her was that if she didn’t like me now, she might start to afterward because girls are drawn to affection.  Another reason was that she might start to feel uncomfortable with me afterwards.

Some advised me to go ahead and talk to her if I felt comfortable doing so.  They said it could take away some of the mystery and “what ifs”.

Some said I should just stop talking to her altogether.  I was “having an emotional affair on my wife and I’m an ass!”.  I was advised to end this friendship completely.

Finally, some said I should ditch my wife and go after this friend since I seemed to have fallen out of love with my wife and have a kindred spirit with my friend.

So, as you can see, I received advice from one extreme to the other and everything in between.  As a result, I took all of the advice very seriously and pondered each angle and decided to act according to what was on my heart.

My friend and I have a very open communication.  That’s kind of what was drawing me to her.  We are able to talk very freely and openly.  We have shared some of our deepest secrets with each other (which I now consider to have been a mistake).  However, with this easy channel of communication, I knew it would be very easy to talk to her about the feelings I had for her.

But, why did I want to talk to her about them?  Many in the comments wanted to know the answer to this question.  Was it because I was hoping that something would spark up as a result?  Was it because I still have feelings for her?  Was it because of my ego?  These kinds of questions made me think and I had to really search my intentions.  The answers I came up with were… because, basically, the curiosity was going to kill me in the future.  I didn’t want to spark up anything.  I wanted to put an end to this.  I felt like having this conversation with her might be a good way for me to put it to rest in my own heart.  Plus, I knew that I was starting to change how I interact with her and I wanted her to understand why.  She was already noticing that I was starting to treat her differently and she had asked me if there was a reason.  I hadn’t been straightforward in answering her and I felt that I at least owed her an explanation, out of respect.  I also felt that by talking to her, we could once again define how the relationship should continue in the future.  We had talked about this early on.  We had a conversation about guys and girls being friends and how these relationships need to be treated a bit differently.  But, it had been awhile since we had talked about that and a lot of mistakes had been made along the way.  That topic needed to be readdressed with the mistakes in mind.  Another reason I wanted to talk to her was because I was very curious about whether she had developed feelings for me in the same way I had with her.  I just wanted to know for myself.

Even though I was strongly considering the idea of talking to her about all of this, I was still hesitant and a bit fearful of opening that door.  But, then the other night an opportunity came along that almost seemed providential and I just spilled it!

I have been tutoring her and another friend from school for the past year and a half now.  So, we were scheduled to have a study the other night.  For the first time ever, the other friend didn’t show up–leaving the two of us at Starbucks alone.  I was really feeling uncomfortable with this, even thought this wasn’t the first time we had been at Starbucks or some other restaurant alone (another past mistake).  This time it was different, because I was trying to change and correct my past mistakes.

So, we studied for awhile and the whole time I was starting to think that maybe this was the opportunity I needed to talk to her.  But, I kept putting it off.  Later, we were talking about something and the subject of my wife came up.  I told her I was feeling uncomfortable about us being alone together and that my wife would absolutely kill me if she found out.  This led to her asking me about how my wife was doing and I told her that she was going through a time of extra sensitivity about this particular friendship.  She asked why my wife was so upset.  I hesitated.  (I knew the reason was because my wife now knew that I had developed some feelings, but she didn’t know this.)  She sensed my hesitation and asked “what is it?” with that tone that meant she knew I was holding something back.  I told her it was nothing.  She persisted–she knew I wasn’t telling her something.  This was the moment!

I basically told her that I wanted to share something with her but that I didn’t want it to harm our friendship.  She confirmed that it wouldn’t.  So, I started with the conversation we had had a long time ago about whether guys and girls could be friends.  I told her that it all started out fine and that I didn’t have any feelings other than as friends.  But, along the way, I felt we had made some mistakes that had opened the doors to a deeper relationship.  I talked about our summer clinical rotation and how it had really been a “perfect storm”.

Let me explain the summer clinical rotation for a moment…  We had 45 days of clinicals in a row over the summer.  She and I were assigned to a site together for the summer.  It turned out to be the rotation from hell.  We both hated it.  The people there were making it miserable for us.  We were also commuting an hour there and back every day and the traffic was a nightmare at times.  At the site, we were given segregated chairs for students.  As a result, we were constantly together and mostly alone together.  We had to depend heavily on each other just to make it through with our sanity!  As a result, we got really close during this time.  We shared a very difficult experience together and it drew us close in a way that only the two of us could understand.

So, I talked to her about that and told her that, during that time, I began to develop feelings for her beyond friendship.  I explained that I didn’t WANT to have those feelings, but that I just couldn’t seem to shake them during that time.  I went on to explain that after the summer was over, during the break, I spent a lot of time reading “The Love Dare” and another book about midlife crisis.   I was focusing my attention on my wife.  I was shaking off the feelings that had developed during the clinical.  I was re-evaluating, searching my heart, and making new decisions.  I had a new resolve to change how I was interacting with her (and other girls).  I kind of went through a period of mourning and loss during that time–almost like I was breaking up with a girlfriend.  But, I felt during the break that I had severed those feelings and was ready to do things right now.

After the break, we started a new clinical rotation at a new facility.  Her and I both worked there as well, but we were on different schedules which lessened the amount of time we were together.  We were also having less class time together.  Plus, I was putting my new policies in place as to how I would treat her.  As mentioned before, she had noticed that and asked me about the way I was treating her.  So, I brought that up as I was talking with her and told her that when she asked me about that, I hadn’t been completely honest.  I told her, now, that the reason I was treating her differently was because I knew I had to change things between us.  I needed to cut out the flirtation, the alone time, the clinging, etc.  I needed things to return to “just friends”.  And this time, I needed us to be more careful about what that entails.

She took it all in and responded very gently.  She didn’t seem shocked.  She wasn’t belittling.  She understood.  She agreed that we should change some things–especially for my sake.  She was very easy to talk to–just as I had expected she would be.

So, then I asked her the question I had been wanting to ask her…  “Along the way, had she developed any feelings for me?”  Her answer was, “no… not more than ‘friends’.”  I was a little bit surprised, to be honest.  There were signs along the way that made me feel like she had.  But, there were also clear signs along the way that had made me feel like she hadn’t.  I was unsure.  So, I just asked her again.  I told her that she could be completely honest with me and that I just needed to know.  She, again, confirmed that her feelings for me had never gone beyond close friends and, this time, I completely believed her.  I told her that it was kind of surprising to me because of the experience and time we had had together over the summer, but I also realize that girls seem to be able to be friends with guys more than guys seem to be able to be friends with girls.  There just seems to be a difference between us in that way!

She dropped me off at home and I felt a great weight lifting off my shoulders.  I now knew the truth and so did she.  And, we were both okay with that truth.  We were both willing to work it out.  We were both committed to correcting the mistakes we had made and there didn’t seem to be any awkwardness.

The next morning, I woke up and read my daily quote for the day.  It said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  Wow! How appropriate!  I now had a new opportunity!  I had done it!  I was now free!

I went to clinicals that next day and she was there.  It wasn’t awkward AT ALL.  We both got along just fine, but we were more appropriate with each other.  It seemed to be that, overnight, everything had been made right between us.  No more mystery.  No more questions.  No more fantasies.  Nothing!  Just friends.  And it truly felt right again…

Some may not agree that I should have spoken with her about this.  But, I know it was right for me.  Should there be consequences from it in the future, I will let you know.  But, I followed my heart and, this time, it seems like I finally may have done the right thing.

For the first time in a very long time, my wife finally has my whole heart.  I’m free of porn and I’m free of wanting another girl.  It feels amazing!  I love my wife so much and couldn’t appreciate her more for sticking with me through all of this.  I am committed to honoring her by changing my ways in the future.  I intend to apply the intelligence I have gained through this.

In my quote for the day book, my wife had slipped a little note note.  It was in the page of the quote I just shared above.  That morning, the morning after talking to my crush, I found her little note.  It read:

“You don’t need to thank me for being patient with you.  LOVE is patient! And I love you no matter what.  And that’s enough.  Because you’re worth it.  There are so many reasons why I love you.  I can think of 52.  The first reason why I love you is because you care about me.  I can feel your love for me and I really appreciate it!  That makes me love you right back!  Have a great day.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how that note touched me!!!  I was in tears!  In one of the comments I received a while back, one woman called my wife a “superstar” because most women would have left me a long time ago.  I couldn’t agree more with that comment!  My wife is the most amazing woman I have ever known.  She truly is a SUPERSTAR.  I now have the opportunity to be completely faithful to her and I’m so excited for the new “us”.

I’ve been running into a lot of good information about guy/girl interaction and about loving your wife and midlife crisis’, etc.  So, I think my blog is about to take a new direction…  Thank you everyone for your input and support and prayers.  Truly, even though I only know you from this blog, you are a big part of my life!

–Justin

Posted in breaking up, crushes, marriage, midlife crisis, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Should I tell her about my feelings and my need to separate?

So, I’m looking for some quick advice from this post.  Here’s what’s going on in a nutshell if you haven’t been keeping up with my posts:

1)  I’m married (20 years now) and working on trying to make my marriage better and more exciting.

2)  I have a female friend from school/clinicals who I developed feelings for over the summer because we were spending a lot of time together.

3)  I decided to create some distance because I can’t afford to have those feelings in my life.

4)  She noticed I was being different and kind of distant–at least that things weren’t the same.  She asked me about it.

5)  I sort of fibbed a little and told her that it was just because of our new semester and new clinical rotation and that I haven’t changed.

6)  I realize now that I need to create a lot more distance than either one of us might feel comfortable with.  I feel like it could hurt her.  I know it will be difficult for me too, but I think it’s important.  I owe it to my wife.

7)  I was thinking about telling her about the feelings I developed over the summer so that she understands the reason for what I feel like needs to happen.  Otherwise, I feel like she wouldn’t understand if I just start giving her the cold shoulder for no apparent reason.  We’re still going to school and clinicals together.

8)  I realize she might confess she had feelings for me too (or maybe not).  I think I would be okay with that because that is just more reason for both of us to create some real distance between us.

So, I would really like to hear from those who have had this sort of experience.  What did you do?  What would you have done differently, if anything?  Would you recommend I do or do not do what I’m thinking?  I need to hear some learned wisdom gained by experience.

Posted in Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Creating the Distance Between Me and My “Crush”

In my last three posts, I have begun to share the story of my friend who I’ve developed a crush on over the last year.  I want to talk a little more about that because these posts have definitely stirred up the females who have been reading them.  The comments that they have left have been very helpful and almost punitive.

The clear advice that I have received in the comments has been that I need to create a distance between myself and this girl and give my complete affection to my wife alone.  In fact, they go so far as to say I need to stop talking to her and not even care about her feelings.  Well, that would work I suppose.  I go to class with her twice a week and work in the same hospital department with her three days a week.  So, I’ve felt like this would be somewhat impossible.  Someone else added that my conversation with her should not extend beyond talk about work if necessary.  That is a bit more realistic, but also difficult.  Perhaps I do still have feelings for her.  Okay, I do.  She’s been a very good friend.  We have a lot of history now.  Like I mentioned in, “Breaking up is hard to do…” it’s not easy for me to just give that up.  But, the comments I’m getting are that I have to.  And, I appreciate those comments.  I can see the truth in them.  And I thank you all for telling me the truth openly and honestly.

So, I’m seriously chewing on that advice and trying to figure out how to go about it.  One thing I’m thinking is that I might want to talk to her openly.  I’ve never shared with her the feelings that have grown over this year.  I’ve always tried to keep it “friends”.  I would imagine she has noticed that it’s been more.  But, it’s never been spoken.  I feel like I want to talk to her about it because I still have so many questions about how she felt.  And I feel like she at least deserves to know why I’m planning to distance myself.  I think she would understand and probably would be okay with it.  I also think she would be willing to help me keep that distance.  She would back off more.

Does this seem like a bad idea?  Is there a better way I should approach this?  Is there any danger in this plan?

Posted in Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Breaking Up is Hard to Do…

In my last couple posts, I started talking about a female “friend” I have.  She became a struggle for me because what was supposed to remain a friendship started to get messy when I began to have some feelings for her.  As a married man, I don’t want that–especially considering I’m right in the middle of my mid-life crisis time.

So, I set out to change things.  It’s been a little over a month now and things are going okay.  The other day, she wanted to ask me a serious question.  She was wondering if I was trying to distance myself from her.  She said she felt that things were different.  I was surprised she noticed!  I was trying to act like I usually did but just tone it down a little with the flirting and spend less time together.  She apparently has some kind of amazing intuition or something (girls are scary that way) and put her finger right on it.

I kind of made up something on the fly and said that it was mostly our new schedules and stuff.  I also told her that I was feeling less “clingy” now and maybe she was noticing that.  I played it off–not that well…

So, now it’s a little bit tricky.  I didn’t want her to notice me changing.  I don’t want her to feel like I don’t like her anymore.  I do like her.  But, I’m trying to be back to just friends again.  And that means some changes have to take place.

I’m also kind of confused about her question.  Is it because she had become so accustomed to my flirtation with her and she’s not getting the same high from my new attitude?  Or, is she concerned because she had feelings for me too?  The only reason I’m wondering is because I’m curious about how much this is really affecting her.  If it’s the former, well, she’s probably not taking it that hard and will find her attention from someone else.  If it’s the latter, then her heart might be broken.  That would be very sad!

Posted in Addiction, lust, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Can Guys and Girls be Friends?

This has been an interesting question for a long time.  It was popularized by a viral Youtube video that asked that very question to college students in mixed friendships.  You can watch the video here.  The answer you ultimately get from the video is that girls seem to have no problem having friendships with guys (almost naively) while guys struggle with wanting more from the friendship.

I was determined to overrule this outcome when I started some friendships last year with some girls in my class.  I figured I had the upper hand with the insight I have on guy/girl relationships.  As I got closer to one of them, I even had a serious conversation with her and we talked about this type of relationship and how it needs to have proper boundaries and cautions.  We both agreed we were happy with just being friends.  I know that’s all I was looking for and I’m genuinely certain she felt the same.  We became close over the year.  We did things I probably shouldn’t have now that I’m looking back.  We had gone out to eat together several times since we had the same lunch hour.  We had gone on a couple hikes together as I was trying to help her lose some weight.  (I was also counseling her on her diet.)  We were carpooling to clinicals together.  I would often drive her car home while she slept in the passenger seat because she was working night shifts on top of full-time school.  We had experienced a lot together.  We had become REALLY CLOSE.  I knew a lot about her.  She knew a lot about me.  We even knew some things about each other that nobody else knew.  I was feeling really good about having a friend like this that I could be close to.  They seem to only come along every so often.

But, then there was the problem with my wife.  Understandably, she was not into this relationship.  She was really hurting–feeling like I was sharing my heart with another woman.  I continually denied it.  I always maintained that we were just friends.  But, as time went on, I was finding it harder to draw the line between the friendship feelings and the feelings of a crush.  I didn’t find myself very sexually attracted to her because of her weight issues.  But, she is pretty and has a nice smile and beautiful eyes.  I found myself wanting to be closer.  I was tempted by the thought of a kiss.

I knew it had come to far.  How did this happen to me?  I thought I was going to be able to manage these feelings.  After all, I should be able to push away my feelings, right?  So, I tried to do that.  It didn’t seem to be working.  I was becoming more infatuated with her than I was willing to allow and needed to do something.  But, I didn’t know what to do.  Well, I kind of did know what to do buy I didn’t want to do it.  I needed to back off of this relationship!

Thankfully, as I mentioned in my last post, I started reading a book on marriage and started to focus my attention on my wife instead.  My school situation also changed right about that time.  Instead of having clinicals with only me and her, I now have clinicals with five other students.  We no longer have the same schedule, the same lunch hour, and we don’t have time to study together like we used to.  So, providence has been good to me in that way.

We still see each other often.  We have class together two days a week.  We still carpool occasionally.  We see each other at clinicals a little bit on the three days we’re there.  We’re still friends.  But, I’ve been backing off a little in how I interact with her.  I’m intentionally touching her less, flirting less with her, and trying to keep my head focused on other things instead.  It’s helped a lot.  

Interestingly, although I believe she finds me attractive and enjoys my company, she has seemed to be able to manage this friendship better than me.  She seems able to just be friends.  I haven’t noticed any “crush-like” signals coming from her like I was giving her.  I don’t know how we spent so much time together and she was able to hold herself together when I was kind of emotionally unstable.  

My conclusion through this experiment is this:  I think girls might have the ability to be just friends with guys.  I don’t know how they do it.  I don’t understand it.  It’s an absolute mystery to me.  But, I think I’ve seen that they are somehow able.  Guys, on the other hand, I’m not so sure of.  In my experience, I don’t think it’s wise for me.  I’ve learned my lesson.  This friendship, although exciting and fun and free, has brought me pain I didn’t expect.  It really hurt.  I was tempted to want something I couldn’t have and it was very difficult.  I never want to go through that again.  For that reason, I’ve learned it’s better for me to keep my distance better.  I’m learning to keep better boundaries, to hold back my flirtation, and to be more careful.  It’s all fun and games until someone gets their heart torn out, right?  I’m learning that!

So, guys…  have you ever had a close friendship with a girl that you never developed feelings for?  If so, how did you do it?

Girls…  can you explain your unique ability to be in close friendships with guys if that’s a reality?

Posted in Pornography Addiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

“Just When You Think it’s Over!”

It’s been a couple months since my last post.  I continue to do well with my porn addiction.  However, there have been new difficulties that have sprung up in my life that I feel like I should talk about.

Over time, I’ve come to realize that my porn problem was more than just a porn problem.  I have some kind of a love addiction.  I need girls in my life to make me feel better.  At least I always have in the past.  When I first got married, I did fine.  But, it wasn’t too long before porn started filling my need for more.  Now that I’ve given up porn, I’m finding that my need for girls is showing itself in new ways.

At college last year, I made several friends who were all of the female variety.  I thought it was a good thing.  I thought I was being free to make healthy relationships with females now that I was over porn.  At first, it all seemed very innocent and healthy.  But as time went on, I started to develop some feelings for one of those girls in particular.  Feeling that I was mature enough to deal with it, I continued the friendship but just kept stuffing my feelings away.  I rationalized that feelings were nothing more than emotions that could be controlled.  I reasoned that they were chemically based and would eventually go away if given enough time.  But, my relationship continued to grow in my mind–and became larger than I wanted it to.  I had some deep emotional feelings for this girl.  It was also causing tension with me and my wife because she didn’t approve of these friendships and I felt that she was just being controlling.

After a while, I realized that I really did need to face what was going on with these relationships and my marriage problems.  I started reading the “Love Dare”.  I started doing the dares.  I started to take it all really seriously.  It’s been about a month and a half now.  I’m almost finished with the 40 day challenge and plan to start over again when I’m finished.  The book has been really good for me.  I realized that I didn’t unconditionally love my wife and that is what I needed in order for my love addiction to be properly addressed.  I’ve been focusing a lot more on my wife instead of other girls and that has been helping a lot.  I’m still tempted, but I’m finding that I have to keep working.

I’m learning to give my wife the attention she deserves.  I’m giving her gifts, doing favors for her, texting her at work, etc.  I’m also thinking differently about her, being more patient with her, and learning to love her more.  This has served to alleviate some of the pressure but it hasn’t been easy.  I have had to pull away from some of those relationships with other girls.  That’s been hard because I really grew to love them too.  But, I’ve seen the emotional damage it has caused me and how it has effected my marriage and I decided it was worth it.  It left kind of a hollow feeling, but I’m trying to fill that space with my relationship with my wife.  That’s all I got!  I’m really thankful for my wife’s commitment to me.  She has been amazingly faithful to me through all of this and I will always appreciate her for that.

 

Posted in Addiction, Pornography Addiction, Relationships | Tagged | 6 Comments

Living Without Porn

Free-Yourself

I look back at old posts in my blog and I remember the terrible struggle I had with porn.  There were times when I wasn’t sure I could ever live without porn.  I often thought I was a hopeless case.  My addiction was so strong I seriously thought it could kill me–because of the depression and instability it was causing in my life.

Today, I feel free.  I am not struggling with porn in my life anymore.  So, what happened for me?  Well, I’ve thought a lot about it because it almost seemed to easy to be true.  Basically, I did not attend any 12 step programs, I didn’t go to a rehabilitation center.  I didn’t go through any online programs.  I didn’t do any of the hard and time-consuming things that I always thought you would have to do.  I didn’t even have to go to counseling to dig up all those dark corners that had caused my addiction in the first place.

The main thing I did was give up masturbation.  That, in itself, wasn’t all that difficult.  I just decided to stop doing it.  And, when I did, everything started to change.  I would look at porn sometimes but it seemed to have lost its power.  I really had no more reason to look at porn anymore.  It didn’t have the same payoff as it did when there was an orgasm involved.  Over time, I was looking at porn less and less because it just wasn’t as exciting anymore.

But what about my addiction?  Didn’t I need something to fill that void that porn had filled before in my life?  Umm…  I don’t really know.  I seemed to start finding more positive things to do just kind of naturally.  I didn’t really think that much about it.  I just started finding more joy in things.  I started hiking a little bit.  I went surfing more.  I started writing in my journal more.  I went to coffee shops.  I was doing all kinds of things and enjoying them.  This was new as well, because porn has a way of stripping all the joy from your life and you usually don’t feel like doing much of anything at all.

Wasn’t I tempted a lot to masturbate?  Not really.  Every once in a while.  But, It’s easier to resist masturbation than it is to resist looking at porn for some reason.  I think because it’s so easy to open up the computer and just kind of veg out on porn.  Then, the next thing you know you’re masturbating.  But, when you decide to stop masturbating, the whole thing kind of gets the rug pulled out from under it.

So, I feel free in my life.  I feel that porn has lost its power over me.  I’m so happy because I can still remember all the sadness.  I’m so thankful for the change that I thought would never come.  Seriously, for over ten years I felt trapped.  If I could just convince some of you to try what I’ve tried I think you could find the same freedom.  Give it a shot and let me know…

Posted in Addiction, Pornography Addiction | Tagged | Leave a comment

“How to Give up Porn, revisited”

So, last time I talked about giving up masturbation as a great way to begin recovery from porn addiction.  I don’t know that everyone would agree with me that masturbation is a bad thing, but I want to revisit how this all works.

Porn is like the fuel that feeds the furnace.  It usually doesn’t seem to be an end in itself, but rather, a means to an end.  The orgasm from masturbation is more of the reward being sought.  I think if you spend some time contemplating this, you will acknowledge that the orgasm tends to be the end of the cycle–which then begins again at a later time as stress or whatever triggers you builds up.  But, it always seems that new resolutions to quit porn come after the orgasm.  So, then, the masturbation is a part of the equation that needs to be thought about.

What I’ve found to be true is that when masturbation is no longer in the equation, porn is no longer necessary for me.  There is nothing to fuel.  If I were to add the fuel of porn in my life and not practice masturbation, I would feel very dissatisfied because the porn would fall flat without the reward of the orgasm at the end.

Strangely, once I got rid of the masturbation, my porn addiction became much more manageable.  You just have to make that decision that you will no longer practice masturbation to see what I mean.

So, with that said, how complex is all of this?  Some will say, you need therapy.  Some will say you need a group.  Some will say you need to turn off your internet, etc.  I’ve not found these things to be necessary in my own recovery.  In a previous post, I discussed the research that seems to show clearly that MOST people will quit porn on their own without a group or without therapy.  I found that truth to be a very freeing concept. That doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a group or from therapy.  If you feel you would, then go for it!  But, I’m not sure it’s absolutely essential for everyone.  

There ARE other complex issued that go along with this as I mentioned.  It’s not only porn that is the problem.  I’ve found in my life that I have issues with how I relate to women.  As I’ve shared in my personal story, girls were the center of my life from a very young age.  I think I learned to cover up my anxieties and hangups with relationships.  Even now that I’m married, I still feel like I try to create relationships with females in a flirty way that makes me feel “better”.  That is probably an area where therapy could help.  But, I’m also finding that just learning about having healthier relationships with women has been helping.  Learning about boundaries, appropriate conduct and conversation, guarding the heart, etc. are all good things.  

I currently have friends from school who are female.  We spend a lot of time together studying and hanging out.  It has actually been good for me to learn to manage my emotions with them.  Before, porn had so skewed my ongoing thoughts about women that I found my emotions going everywhere when I interacted with women.  Now, I’m finding I can actually sort them out better and kind of rebuild what so many years of struggling with porn destroyed.

As far as lust goes.  Well, hot girls are everywhere!  That can’t be avoided.  It’s important to try to tame the wandering eyes and to manage the thoughts.  I’ll probably address the thought thing in a future post, but for now I just wanted to stress the importance of taking steps forward.  You CAN overcome porn–it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think!  Start taking steps today.

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“How to Overcome Porn”

Porn is no joke.  But it can be overcome.  It can seem overwhelming because there are so many things usually involved in giving up porn.  It’s not just porn that is the problem but also masturbation, lust for women in general, crushes at work or school, social anxieties and the list goes on.  Giving up porn is much more than just giving up looking at sex online.

So, rather than just take the whole thing all at once, it can be helpful to break it down into pieces so that it becomes a little more manageable.  I would say step one should be to give up masturbation.

Why masturbation first?  Well, it seems to be the most tangible.  It is also the end product of porn–often the motivating factor.  It is the primary physical stimulus.  So, give up masturbation and porn seems less desirable.  Try it for a while and you’ll see what I mean.  Then, it becomes much easier to give up the others (as I will discuss in future posts).

So, how do you give up masturbation?  It’s not really too hard actually.  But, you need to make a firm decision.  You need to decide that you are not going to self-stimulate any more–no matter what!  Then, carry it through.  It is easy to track your success.  You either did or you didn’t.  Start right now.  Make the decision and stop.

Masturbation is unnatural and rather self-serving (see my post called, “Is Masturbation Natural?”).  It promotes porn addiction and does nothing to serve you well.  You might wonder if it is necessary to release the sexual tension you have building up in you.  But, it isn’t.  Your body has a natural response to take care of that.  It’s called a “wet dream”.  If you stop masturbating and are not involved in sexual intercourse with another you will have wet dreams occasionally.  You don’t need to take care of that yourself.

So, work first on quitting the masturbation and you will find it much easier to work on the other things.  You will also start to find that viewing porn tends to make you want to masturbate.  But, since you have now stopped masturbating, the porn becomes a hindrance and sexual frustration to you.  It becomes an enemy to your efforts to stop masturbating.  You start to actually not want porn in your life any more because of the pain it causes you.  Once you try this you’ll see what I mean.

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“Our Time to Live is RIGHT NOW!!” (before it slips away unlived…)

Had an interesting thought today that kind of stuck with me all day.  While riding my bike to my carpool, I started thinking about all the drivers on the streets.  I started to think about how in just a few decades every one of us will be completely gone from all of this.  While everyone is on their way to work and I’m on my way to school and others are doing this or that it will all be over for each and every one of us in a relatively short amount of time.  And a turnover will take place in which new generations will come and take our places and do the exact same thing as we are.  They will attach the same sense of importance to their mundane existence that we did as well.

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As I rode in my carpool along the freeway, cars were backed up with people going “who knows where” doing “who knows what”–all feeling that what they were doing was of some kind of extreme importance, most likely.  I shared with my friends in the car that someday soon everyone of us (including all the other drivers around us) will be completely gone.  We will all be dead.  So, It just hit me that our time to live is RIGHT NOW!  It’s not in the future.  It’s not at some point in the distance where things are all in place for us to live our lives.  That time is now…  That is sooooo heavy!  It’s so easy to get trapped in the future and allow the present life to slip away unlived.

After school, I met with my study group.  Again, I brought it up.  School and studying can get so filled with anxiety as you study from one test to the next and worry from one week to the next.  Grades, the future, graduation, national boards all weigh heavy on the mind.  But, again, time will slip away if we are willing to allow it–and so easily too!  I mentioned that the time we are having together in school could be some of the best times of our lives and we just don’t realize it.  Our time to live is RIGHT NOW!

This concept has smacked me in the brain in a very powerful way.  My time to live is RIGHT NOW!  If I don’t live it now, it will pass away and then one day (relatively soon) it will be too late.  I, like everyone, will pass away and it will all be over.  So my question to myself and to you is, “What are you going to do with the life that you have RIGHT NOW?  What are you going to do with your time before it slips away unlived?”

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