How Not To Be a Horny Jerk

One of the reasons why my porn addiction has been so hard to beat is that the tangible consequences are quite hard to see. My general day-to-day life is fine – I have a good job, a loving wife and kids – things are pretty good. When I act out, I might stay up late so therefore I’d be a bit tired the next day, or maybe a bit distant for a day after, but those things don’t add up to a set of negative consequences that mean I just have to do something about my addiction.

There’s one consequence that is tangible, and is the thing that caused me and my wife the most stress and negativity, and that is how I act when I’m horny!

One of the purposes regular porn use serves is to be the primary form of sexual satisfaction for me. It means my urges don’t really grow as I can simply use porn to satisfy them – it is instant, easy and my brain has been programmed over the years to really love this hit of dopamine.

However, as I start to have a sober period, those urges slowly (or not so slowly, as is usually the case) grow and grow, and I start to need the release I have become accustomed to. As I am trying not to get that fix from porn, I look to my wife, and this is where I’m pretty dysfunctional.

Essentially, when the urges hit, I expect her to give me sexual gratification. I fail to appreciate the difference between a computer and my wife – my brain simply says “I’m horny, I demand satisfaction”. It is unable to balance this physical desire with the emotional and human aspects of a healthy physical relationship. So sometimes with only body language, I try and have sex, or other sexual activity, with my wife. Sometimes this is fine, but what if she’s not in the mood? Well, this is where I act like an entitled, addicted fool. I’ll get annoyed. I’ll give her the silent treatment. I won’t tell her what’s wrong if she asks me. I generally become pretty crap to be around. Just because I can’t have sex. Sometimes of course this leads me to go and get my release through porn, thereby hiding the problem until the next time we go through this charade.

So what to do?

I understand why I feel this way. I’ve programmed my brain to expect this instant sexual release, but my challenge / goal now is to reprogram it. And that means fighting through these urges and controlling how I react to them. I have a few journal entries I can read in certain situations, and today I wrote a new one about this particular scenario of sexual demand. It reminds me that recovery is going to make me face the imbalances in my sex drive and expectations. That my wife is an incredible person who in no way is required to ‘serve me’ sexually at a moment’s notice if I’m in the mood. It reminds me to think of all the wonderful things about her, and given that knowledge, how I think I should act now. Instead of demonising her completely unfairly, how about showing her I love her, and maybe just explaining I’m having a hard time and that it will pass and saying I’m sorry if it is making things difficult for her.

I am not a victim here – I am an addict who needs to take responsibility for my actions. Recovery is hard. Really, really hard. But while I can’t control my urges, I can control how I react to them, and how I treat people who are caught up in the process.

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