Being a woman

Submitted by creepycriature on
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Hi, everybody.

Recently Marnia asked me whether I wanted to be happy or right on the porn-issue, since I was (and still am) devastated because I discovered my boyfriend´s addiction. The way Marnia posed the question already led to the 'best' answer, that is: everyone wants to be happy, eventually. What I am afraid is that one might not be happy just choosing happiness. Hapiness demands other considerations in the long-run. Let me give an example quite related to the issues discussed in this forum.
I have seen many cases of women helping their addicted fathers/boyfriends/husbands. Now ask me if the opposite is true. If I can see men who are caring and helpful to women. What I have seen is a great amount of cases were a sick woman was abandoned by her 'loving' 'male'.
In the case of porn addiction what is expected from women is that they are compreehensible with their partners. And I ask myself if the opposite would be the case, if men had to handle a situation were a woman is a sexual addict, and sleeps every night with another partner. How many loving husbands would we see then? What is the meaning of again sliping in the traditional women´s role? Does it mean we are again ready to help and will again be ready to be despised/ cheated/ missused?

I have the impression that the world is looks like this: mostly men do whatever they want (clayming it is theirs sacred right), and there is always a humble female wanting to clean up the mess, to love, to embrance.

I expect your comments.

Hi,

I do not necessarily think you should stick around. However, I *do* think you should see the addiction with compassion and forgive, so you don't chew yourself up with resentment (however justified). That's what I mean by choosing to be right...or happy.

I know this possibility of leaving AND forgiving may sound contradictory, but I think it's often the best course with addiction. Sticking around an addict who is not addressing his addiction is not helping you and could be slowing his recovery. Maybe check the oracle and see if it helps you understand "where he is" right now on this issue. http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/inner_wisdom_oracle

Good luck!

Male/Female

CC: I am sorry you have been so hurt by men. Our friend Steven nursed his wife through 3 years of fighting pancreatic cancer. His level of care and committment was on the level of a saint. I don't wish to call up images of abusive, self centered women. I just wanted a chance to sing praises for a remarkable man. There are many. Set your standards high and don't settle for less.
Marnia: Yeah! as usual you get right to the core...and the heart
Best Wishes

feelings

I can feel your hurt and sense of having been betrayed and let down by someone who you trusted. That hurts.

I am a man myself, and I can tell you that while actual physical infidelity is hard to tolerate for anyone whether male or female, that I certainly was tolerant of all kinds of difficulties in the relationship I had with the mother of my children. While she had post natal depression her mind sometimes would almost unhinge, she sometimes threatened to kill me etc. I stuck by her because after all she had just birthed me a beautiful child and it was just a temporary illness. Which is where I am leading to...

Your boyfriend has a sort of 'illness', ('imbalance' is more accurate, but it feels like an illness), I know about it because despite my better nature and all my efforts at breaking free of it, and despite my disgust with the whole porn industry, I am still struggling to completely let go of it. Here is an example of what I mean. Yesterday morning I used my 'connect with the emotions/love' technique to not sit down at my PC. It was tough but it worked, and as I connected with what is REALLY going on in there, I cried and cried for the dishonouring of myself that is the state of not always being attuned to feelings. Then I turned my mind to my 'favourite' images, and cried even harder, right from my guts, in my heart apologising to those beings, that I could have ever looked at them in a sexual way, when they are really poor vulnerable young women who don't understand what they are getting into. After that experience, I got on with my day, happy that I had reconnected with how I really feel about it. Safe from porn I truly felt.

But much later that day...night time...alone...a bleak feeling comes over me...my ex had yelled at me earlier, or something...and addictive mind beckons like some sort of trickster, "since you are about to give up all this pleasure, I know you intend to and that's very noble, but do it just one last time and you can forget all of this pain for tonight.' I know I should not even let the voice speak, but in that particular moment it feels as if after wandering through a desert suffering, that someone in a mansion is opening a door and inviting me inside for food and drink and luxury. I wish I could have just kept walking.

Similarly, and I don't know him personally, but your boyfriend might at heart be a really noble character, but I can tell you this addiction to porn is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, I wish I had known what I was getting into when I first began. The more you do it the harder it gets to break free. You can be a good-hearted person and still get hooked on this sh*t!

I don't advocate any man OR woman being anyone's doormat. Physical infidelity is beyond the pale for most. But mental infidelity...I don't see it on the same level, though I can feel your pain just the same and I would certainly insist that he be getting help and being honest about where he is at from now on. If he genuinely wants to heal, he can do so, the resources are there, but it does take time... I hope my 'insider's' perspective on this insidious addiction has been helpful in some way.

CreepyCreature - I can

CreepyCreature -

I can identify easily with the feelings of hurt and injustice that you are feeling. FEEL them. These feelings can turn into anger, resentment, and other poisonous forms of self-inflicted misery if they are not simply felt, simply felt.

Eventually tho, you are right. As a woman, you have to decide what to do with this situation.

The feminine has been downtrodden, denigrated, insulted, abused, etc etc etc. for so long, and continues to be, that some form of ourtrage is only natural. My sense is that both women and men have been suffering from this for a long time and they are each coping with it in their own individual ways. I actually do believe that porn addiction is a symptom of man's deepest yearning to understand and engage with the divine feminine (as are most forms of drug addiction). However, since the masculine and feminine principles have been historically out of balance for a long time, this new evolutionary stage in human development is especially demanding and rocky for everyone. Perhaps your partner has been deprived from his worship of the divine feminine for so long (so many lifetimes), that he is not even aware of this and expresses his sadness and frusteration in numerous immature and destructive ways/rituals/private ruminations?

My sense is that if your husband's actions are so wounding to you, then the only healthy recourse you have if you cannot forgive him is to move on before you poison yourself. This is liberating, scary, also painful, a bummer to have to do to an otherwise (I hope) decent person (dump him, that is).

I am in a phase right now of "cutting threads", which is taking responsibility for how I want to live. I have only recently noticed that mixed in there with pain, tenderness, dissapointment, etc, is a feeling of fierceness, which is Kali. She who destroys/breaks through all illusions. This too is a manifestation of the divine feminine.

Kali is a necessary if not unavoidable part of womanhood that gets manifested in many different scenarios.

I say, acknowledge it. Not break up with him per se. But you do have to take a definitive stand with what feels okay to you or not within a "romantic" relationship. You may not be able to control what he does, but you are still the one who determines what you will and won't live with.

Can you accept this as part of him and where he is right now at this point in his development/struggle as a male human?

Is there a way to do that that is both as kind as possible and also still faithful to your feelings?

BTW, I do not like to think of you as a creepy creature.
Where did the name come from?

Porn addiction is not my issue, but . . .

. . . I have had significant problems in my relationship with my wife. I battled depression and it was a long fight. But you know, when I talk to her now, she doesn't see it as an unbalanced relationship. She stuck by me when I needed her and I stuck by her as she battled her own demons. We have been married for over 20 years now.

If you see value in your relationship with your boyfriend, if you think that underneath it all he's a worthy human being, then you should stick it out. If not, then go. But your anger is just getting in the way. It is clouding your judgement. It does not let you see things as they are. Don't make your decision to go or stay when you're in an argument or have just slammed the door and stormed out. Make it when you are both calm. Tell him what you're doing and why. If you're leaving the door open to a future relationship tell him.

I'm speaking as someone who had to learn a lot about anger. Here's the problem with anger: when you're angry, that's all you feel. The anger masks the other emotions. Often, though, there ARE other emotions underneath. When I looked underneath my anger at the world, I found a layer of disappointment with myself that I didn't want to face. That made my anger burn all the more brightly. You're the only person who can determine what you are really feeling, but I suspect that if you examine your emotions calmly, you will find there is something underneath.

It took me several tries to find a counselor I could relate to, but in the end, counseling really helped.

P.

Men can be caring

I must admit when I experienced an ectopic pregnancy 3 years ago I don't know where I would be if it weren't for my husband. He never left my side during my recovery, bathed me, dressed me, washed my hair. In fact whilst drying my legs after a bath as I stood stomach bloated, bruised & stitched it was then he looked up at me looking mhy most unattractive & asked 'honey can we arrange our wedding this year' I was amazed, touched emotional but above all realised then he loved me no matter what. The issue with his porn usage although I find it hurtful has not destroyed me, maybe this is because I do feel loved in many other ways. We have this week taken a week off together & it has been great we have spent all of our time together & I have felt I am the object of his affections all over again. Creepy Creature may I suggest & please this is only a suggestion but is it solely the porn usage destroying your relationship or are there other issues that need to be addressed that his porn usage is taking the blame for?

If I am way off mark I apologise

thanks

Thanks for everyone´s comments. Especially for those who see (as I do) the relation between gender issues and porn addiction. Although you also see the relation, you can still work on it and be calm. This in turn helps me to calm down a little bit.

Adora, trying to answer your question. I think rather the opposite. We both (husband/boyfriend and I) have faced already so many deals... and now I start to see they were most probably linked to his addiction. Tell me if this is not true, but I can mention premature ejaculation for months, for example.

In many other aspects of life I think we do great togheter. But everything seems like made of plastic, just artificial when I regard the porn issue. The porn issue is especially hard for me (no doubt it is very hard for every spouse), but maybe in a different manner because since years I reagard myself as a (happy) feminist. My partner knew this perfectly well. So it hits me as a spouse and hits all the talk about gender relations I have had with him in years.... makes me seem also foolish, dumb, stupid, I don´t know.

does it give you a picture of the situation?

Creepycreature

"Forbidden" things

light up the brain because they are espeically "risky." Think of someone who was raised in a sexually repressive household. Viewing porn would be fraught with all kinds of extra brain chemical excitement (for example, fear produces adrenaline, which jolts and more quickly wires the brain). So the "edgy" feeling from risking his relationship with you, could actually give the porn a more drug-like effect on his brain...making the highs higher and the lows lower (and the experience that more addictive).

Really, the content itself may be irrelevant...except for it's power to register as "dicey." In this sense, it is not a slap in the face to your cherished values. It's just his primitive brain seeking comforting oblivion.

Have you tried daily bonding behaviors? Might soothe you both.

OK

What's the plan? What concrete action is he going to take? How can it be verified? On what level are you going to be involved?
I wish you all the strength, courage, and support you need to get through this

Intention

Dear CC,

I have never written to you before but have been tapping in to this site for several months now.

I would never try to say I understand your problem or his for that matter. But I can only relate to what Marnia has said above.

I too have been addicted to this stuff for a long time....well before I met my current wife. She did not find out about it, rather I could not hold it in anymore and let it out.

Now, I have been working my ass off to clear out of this darkness. My wife is awesome, beautiful, and a great partner......and i STILL looked at the stupid stuff from time to time......in our home!

I would never choose any of these images over her and yet I still spent time doing just that. Now that I have been working towards and abstaining from this habit, I can see so much more clearly the effect it had on me and my relationship.

I will continue to walk away from this past. I can only believe that your partner would do the same if he could get the jolt of knowledge that either a support group and/or this site can provide (i would suggest reading this site first before a group meeting......but that's just my style). Once I saw the science behind this and the spirit to lead out of it.......it made so much more sense to me. I would definitely suggest reading Cupid's Poison Arrow together. ESPECIALLY the section entitled "Road to Excess". It will help to understand a lot of whats going on.

I tell you, once he stops for a week or two......it will occur to him what he's been involved in.

This can be corrected.

It is not an overnight process and will require, as Marnia put it, patient perseverance.

I pray and wish the best for both of you.

crow

my experience

CC,

I understand the pain you feel. My wife said similar things to me when I was using porn. She felt like I had been unfaithful...repeatedly. It caused withdrawal on her part and resentment on mine. I tried many times with good intentions to quit but my eventual fallback would be perceived by her as lying since I would not typically say anything to her but my porn habits would re-establish themselves again until at some point the problem would rear its ugly head in our relationship again. I was aware that it was furtive, secret behavior on my part and for that alone something I was ashamed of.
You haven't said whether your boyfriend is practicing orgasmic continence. My experience was that until I did, I could not ultimately resist porn. Now I seem to do so relatively effortlessly. It's a good feeling. Whether my relationship to my wife will heal is still a bit uncertain but good signs are happening.
If you accept that we are designed on a biological level to want instant gratification, there is no more instant gratification rush than porn for men.
If your boyfriend had sources of bonding and nurturing throughout his life, perhaps he would never gotten the porn habit (may being the operative word).
If he fully understands the information on this site, wants to change, and is willing to try continence, he can successfully change. At least, that's my experience.

Thanks for posting

I've enabled you to blog, in case you care to start a thread.

It's interesting how understanding the effects of the orgasm cycle can really help with this issue. It's not just about porn. This is why I see The Giant Hand at work in this porn epidemic. It can be a great wake up call that is very far-reaching in terms of benefits throughout one's life.

I'm glad your goddess is coming around...however slowly. I really should write an article addressed to women about "Why Porn Is Not Infidelity." The readers will be very disappointed when I say that porn is still not a good idea because of its potential to hijack the reward circuitry. Wink

But hopefully such an article will help women forgive men more quickly. My husband is a recovered addict (alcohol), and he constantly amazes me with his clarity, his healthy humility and willingness to forgive others, his sense of humor, his wisdom and his appreciation of our relationship. Wrestling an addiction to the ground can be an amazing gift. But we women need to do the work on our side to open up again after a porn chapter. We'll be missing something really beautiful if we don't.

I'm rambling.... Smile

Keep rambling, Marnia!

I know that my brush with depression opened me up to understanding how my mood was affected without my being consciously aware of it and how my mood was coloring ALL my perceptions. The very last person to understand how porn has affected him is the porn user. As you've said elsewhere, people blame the dopamine low on their partner. When you understand the science, you see how inevitable that is. But it isn't until you've experienced it yourself that you can begin to understand how others feel.

Better Days Ahead

Marnia I could not say it better - missing something beautiful if you fail to re open.

The past few weeks have been amazing between my husband & I, we have spent many hours talking about his problem & he has listened to how it has affected me. He has stayed clear of porn & for the first time I have felt it to be true & believed in him. Our sex life for 1 has proved this & love making rather that sex has been brought back to life. I am sure that reading others comments particularly from men have helped me to swallow my pride and be more understanding of him & I believe from my reaction to him has helped him too to talk more openly (this has been hurtful at times, but I managed to be calm & not fly in to a rage or cry like I used to - just listened) I thanked him for his honesty & he thanked me for my patience. Right now I am in a happlily married & vey much in love & for once feel complete trust. I thank all of you on here for your openess which has assisted me to gain a much clearer perspective from a man's point of view. Of course I cannot guarantee we are out of the woods yet but I certainly feel we have made the first & biggest step together.

That's really encouraging

Good for you, opening your heart again. No point in throwing away a perfectly good man who just needs to rewire his brain a bit (again...) and is willing to do so! Smile

Thinking long-term for a moment...how does he feel about trying a different approach in the bedroom? It's looking like too frequent orgasm (even with a lover Wink ) can contribute to subtle feelings of anxiety, which make "using" (whatever stimulant offers a big "hit") more likely.

For another approach, see, for example, "Another Way to Make Love"
http://www.reuniting.info/another_way_to_make_love