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Does Having a Hobby Help Your Reboot?

Does Having a Hobby Help Your Reboot?

Today I’m bringing you another question from a brother in the group. He said:

“Hey, J.K., as I continue to improve for my reboot, I notice that I go about my days doing work, studying for certifications, and looking for entertainment options, but I realized that I don’t have a consistent, fulfilling hobby that I’m good at. 

Sometimes I think I’m not good at anything or that I can’t do anything special. I know you’ve talked about having a purpose as being a luxury, but what is your take on how to discover hobbies or interests? Is it better to focus on controlling my behavior and sticking with things that feel boring or mundane for the time being? Or do you recommend seeking out hobbies?”

If you’re struggling with an out-of-control sexual behavior or porn addiction, chances are some parts of your life are suffering. Maybe your marriage is failing, your career is backsliding, or your friendships are nonexistent. There are at least one or two things that drove you to finally address your compulsive behavior.

This means your reboot should consume most of your attention, time, and energy. Managing your behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation must take the front seat if you truly want to change your life. You can’t address these difficulties in your life if you don’t dedicate yourself to fixing the thing that’s causing them.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any fun, either. The Porn Reboot system is a structured approach to controlling your behavior but it doesn’t mean that you have to live a miserable life after learning how to stop porn addiction. If life were boring and unfulfilling without porn, men would never be able to leave their compulsive behaviors behind.

You can find endless amounts of excitement and fulfillment in a porn-free life. It’s not a dull, unbearable way to go through life. In fact, cutting porn out of your life allows you to reconnect and re-engage with life in a way you haven’t been able to for years.

I fully support you going out and finding hobbies you enjoy. Although your reboot always needs to come first, there is plenty of time in your day outside of your reboot routine and activities that you can fill with interests and hobbies.

I’m sure you have some things you enjoyed before you sunk into an ever-worsening cycle of porn addiction. You had hobbies as a teenager or young adult that you enjoyed. Start by getting back into some of these things. Join an adult sports league in your community or find a local meetup for outdoor activities you loved in the past.

If you can’t think of any past hobbies you enjoyed, use your spare time as an opportunity to explore all the possibilities available to you. Think of things you always considered trying but never found the time to get around to doing. Maybe you’ve wanted to run a Spartan race, try your hand at an open mic, or take cooking classes at a local community college. You have the freedom to try these things today – make use of it!

I believe having a hobby helps immensely during the reboot process. When you quit using porn and masturbating multiple times throughout the day you’ll find that there’s likely a lot of time to fill. Your addiction consumed much of your days, nights, weeks, and months; take that time back and use it to your advantage now.

If you need some ideas for hobbies to try out or to share your hobbies with some of the porn addiction recovery brothers, check out our free Facebook group. Let us know what you’ve been doing with all your spare time and find some brothers who share the same interests and hobbies. Or maybe you’ll find an activity you never thought of trying before. Come and join us today!

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Does Your Reboot Need to Be a Priority?

Does Your Reboot Need to Be a Priority?

I recently had a one-on-one with a brother who brought up a very interesting point I want to cover here today. This brother is in the middle stage of his reboot. He’s doing well in most aspects of his reboot but still struggles to control his behavior with porn and masturbation. 

However, he’s so focused on his slips that he can’t see all the progress he’s making in other areas. No matter what positives I pointed out, he couldn’t recognize the improvements in his career, his relationship, and his finances. He firmly believed that unless he was completely and totally free from porn, no other improvements mattered.

As we talked, it came up that in the past he came across Gary Wilson, one of the early greats in the realm of porn addiction. If you aren’t already familiar, he’s the one who developed concepts like “Your Brain on Porn” and “NoFap.” While I have great respect for the work he did to bring awareness to the detriments of porn, he and I differ in a few areas of thought.

One of the primary differences between our views on porn addiction recovery is his abstinence-only approach. His programs focus so heavily on a man’s porn  addiction problem that they neglect to see the importance of simultaneously building up other areas of your life. They didn’t talk about things like relationships, social life, financial well-being, physical health, and mental health.

This led our brother, and thousands of others like him, to view his slips as meaning his entire reboot was a failure. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t blowing his paychecks the day they arrived, that he wasn’t neglecting his girlfriend, or that he was finally showing up to work on time. No, the few slips here and there meant the whole reboot was unsuccessful.

I don’t adhere to that thought. I’m not saying that you should continue watching porn, jerking off, and having compulsive sex during your reboot. The whole point of the Porn Reboot program is to rewire your brain so you can separate from these out-of-control behaviors. I am saying that putting all the emphasis on porn and ignoring progress in other areas is a recipe for disaster.

Yes, your reboot needs to be a priority. But when I say your reboot, I mean the whole reboot process. I mean building physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual reboot capital. I mean your morning routine, meditation, journaling, and getting to the gym. I mean spending time with your partner, being a good employee, and checking in with your accountability partner.

All of these things are just as important as whether you view porn or not. Do you know why? Because if you only based your success on whether you slipped or relapsed, you would destroy your self-esteem.

You’re here because of your problem with porn, sex, and masturbation, brother. You won’t end those things all at once right away. You spend years developing those habits and it will take at least a few months to end them. As I often talk about, even though I don’t support “counting days”, it takes at least 90 days to reboot and up to two years to fully rewire your brain.

Men with high self-esteem are less likely to act out sexually than men with low self-esteem. If you don’t measure success in these other areas alongside your compulsive behavior, you will feel like you’re a failure. We want to build your self-esteem, not tear it down. And incorporating your reboot capital as a benchmark of success is a crucial way to do that.

There was no Porn Reboot system when I worked to end my out-of-control behavior. My experiences were the original case study for the program. While I couldn’t quit watching porn and jerking off, I knew there had to be other things I could do in the meantime. Trying to measure my success by my time away from porn made me feel worse and worse.

Instead, I first focused on building my physique. I was 21, tall, and lanky. I felt weak. I didn’t feel attractive. But I recognized that there were more resources on building a strong physique than quitting porn, so I started there. I stuck to a meal plan, lifted weights progressively, and within 90 days my body began to change. Within a year I put on some significant size. And the reactions from people boosted my confidence. I still struggled with my out-of-control behavior, but I finally had something to feel proud of.

Then I shifted my focus to my social anxiety. I was so uncomfortable around people in public, both men and women, and knew it was something I needed to overcome. So I began the process by interacting with people at the bar to learn to hold conversations. As I learned to converse, I started asking some of the women I talked with on dates. It was a slow process but my progress was as evident as it was when working on my physique.

I didn’t stop working on controlling my behavior with porn during this time. I still dealt with slips and relapses, but they became less frequent as I gained confidence. I realized that by focusing on things other than porn, porn naturally became less of a problem. This led to my concept for the Porn Reboot system that thousands of men use today.

So again, brother, yes, your reboot needs to be a priority. Your compulsive behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation brought you here. Obviously, things are not going well and you want to control your behavior. But I encourage you to make your entire reboot a priority, not just the aspects that have to do with your porn problem.

I watched the process work for myself and the many men I’ve worked with during the years. You’re far from alone in dealing with this struggle, brother. You’ve landed among a community of men who know exactly what you’re going through. If you haven’t already, I invite you to join our FREE Porn Reboot Facebook group. Start there and read through some experiences. You’ll find others rebuilding their lives, from work to relationships to their physique and more.

Come join us on our Porn Addiction Counseling as we make our reboots a priority in all aspects of our lives.

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Does Your Husband Have a Porn Problem?

Today’s blog post might come as a surprise.

The majority of my writing deals with men who are addicted to pornography or have out-of-control sexual behavior. At the same time, I know some women read these posts because they’re concerned about their husbands or long-term partners.

If you’re a woman in this situation, today I want to write to you. If you’re one of the brothers in the Porn Reboot system, though, this post will be helpful for you, too. You may learn a thing or two you never considered before.

I know women read this blog, watch our YouTube channel, and listen to our podcasts because these women reach out to me. They feel devastated, defeated, and betrayed when they discover their boyfriend or husband is addicted to porn. Their sense of certainty in the relationship feels shaken and shattered.

At the same time, these women also insist their partner is a good man and most other things about the relationship are fantastic. 

Does this sound like you?

Signs of a Porn Problem

When you care for someone it’s natural to justify their behavior, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. But it’s that justification that keeps you in a dysfunctional cycle and gets you hurt over and over again. Porn addiction symptoms, just like any other addiction, affects not only the porn addict but everyone else in his life.

Here’s the thing – no matter how great of a man your partner is, he’s still struggling with an addiction. And that addiction is destroying you, it’s destroying him, and it’s destroying your relationship together. 

How can you determine whether pornography has become a problem for your husband?

Lack of Sex

How often do you and your partner have sex? If sex in your relationship has lost its quality or disappeared completely, there’s a problem. You may feel a lack of connection with him during sex or maybe he doesn’t feel present at all.

Your first instinct might be to look at yourself. Women often blame themselves for their partner’s lack of attention. They think they’re not attractive enough, they’re not adventurous enough, or they’re enthusiastic enough. The list goes on and on. In reality, he may have a problem with porn which has nothing to do with you at all.

Spends a Lot of Time Online

Do you notice that your partner spends a lot of time online? Men who struggle with pornography addiction often isolate themselves and spend a lot of time at the computer. When you go to bed he stays in his office or another room of the house browsing online.

Again, you might think it’s something you’ve done. You worry he’s upset or mad at you. He won’t come to bed when you do and it even becomes habitual over time. Eventually, it probably feels like he’s choosing the internet over you. But it’s difficult to pull away from the computer when you’ve got a problem with pornography.

Increasingly Judgmental

Watching a lot of pornography skews a man’s view of women. It portrays women in negative circumstances and removes all empathy from the sexual experience. Guys who are addicted to pornography tend to objectify their partners and become very critical about various aspects of their partner’s life. 

For example, he might say negative things about your physique, your lifestyle, or other things he never gave any attention to before. His criticism leaves you feeling hurt, overlooked, and uncared for. No matter what you do, though, you’ll never be able to overcome these criticisms; they’re the result of a much bigger problem that has nothing to do with you.

Develops New Sexual Interests

As a man’s pornography addiction progresses, he starts watching different types of pornography. This tends to translate into the way he wants to have intercourse with you. Maybe he’s suddenly become rougher in bed or introduced the idea of new sexual acts he’s never seemed interested in before.

These interests could be things you aren’t comfortable with or even have no interest in participating in. Some men pressure their partners to participate while others withdraw to their online world where they can fulfill their newfound fantasies.

Becomes More Private or Secretive

Once men realize their problem has progressed they start making attempts to cover their tracks. He doesn’t want you to see his browser history, his text messages, or other things on his phone. Your partner puts a password on his device or refuses to leave it around you. You notice inconsistencies in the stories he tells you.

If you point out these shifts in his behavior, though, he becomes irritated and refuses to talk. He’s overly defensive when you express your concerns and might insist that you’re overreacting or making a big deal out of nothing.

Increasingly Detached and Cold

Over time you probably noticed that your partner is a lot more distant than he used to be. The connection feels like it isn’t there anymore. It’s difficult to recognize, though, because he won’t acknowledge it or he’ll blame something else for his being emotionally unavailable.

When you reach out to him and ask what’s going on, he’ll flip it on you and accuse you of being needy, overly emotional, or something along these lines. Don’t allow him to make you question yourself, though; you know who your partner is and you know when something’s wrong.

The Endless Cycle

Porn addiction tends to follow a familiar cycle for most men and their partners. First, you find out that he’s keeping secrets from you about his porn use. When you confront him, though, he reacts by blaming either you or something else. He’s defensive, angry, and sees something else as the cause of the problem rather than taking responsibility.

What happens next is usually one of two things. He’ll either apologize for his behavior and tell you he wants to quit, or he shuts down and refuses to communicate. You can work with the first reaction but there’s nothing you can do about the second. Men who shut down typically try to manipulate you afterward, too, either by keeping you around or pushing you away.

After the confrontation, he may try to reel it back in for some time. Your relationship seems to return to normal again. He’s in what we refer to as the “dormant stage” of his addiction style. He might even quit for some time which gets him reengaged with you and the relationship. It feels like things are turning around and you’re on the way back to a good place.

But then he relapses. He watches porn or acts out on his behavior again. Then everything goes back to square one and the cycle starts over.

Does This Sound Like Your Partner?

I’m going to assume that women still reading right now answered yes to at least a few of the behaviors above. If you notice these behaviors in your partner, he likely has a problem with pornography or another compulsive sexual behavior. So what do you do next?

There’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is you cannot make anyone “just stop” or “overcome” their addiction. You also run the risk of trying to help him and failing over and over again. I see women doing this regularly and all that happens is your relationship becomes an unhealthy, codependent mess. You are not your man’s mother. Controlling his behavior is not your responsibility. 

The good news is that nothing is wrong with you. The problem lies with your partner, not you. His pornography addiction is not a result of the way you look, of something you did, or of any other excuse your mind comes up with. It is his problem that he needs to work out for himself.

What Can You Do?

I’ve watched couples go through this cycle dozens of times. It leaves women like you feeling emotionally exhausted, traumatized, and devastated by the repeated betrayals. If this sounds familiar to you, there may still be hope for your partner. Sit down with your partner and try to identify the cycle with him. Bring his behaviors to light and discuss how this cycle is destroying your relationship.

More importantly, though, it’s time to focus on yourself. You might have spent the last few months or even years invested in his porn addiction cycle. It’s worn you down over time and you’re still left with nothing to show. So you need to shift your focus to yourself and begin building your self-esteem and confidence back up.

Again, it’s ultimately up to your partner to change his behavior. No amount of pressure from you will force him to change. You don’t need to be his accountability partner, you don’t need to treat him like a child, and you don’t need to police him. 

Instead, spend more time with your friends, join some classes, and read uplifting material that you enjoy. Try to remove stress from your life and strengthen yourself along the way. If you reach a point where the pain is too much, reach out to a professional. You can even reach out to us. While we don’t work with partners yet, we can connect you with a great therapist or group.

Once you shift your focus to yourself, your partner’s behavior becomes secondary. As you strengthen your mind, you put yourself in a position to better determine how to move forward. It’s not your responsibility to save your partner and if he refuses to make a change, it might be time for you to move forward without him.

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