This thought may be familiar to you:
I should have known better.
Some of us have maybe even accidentally let it become part of our identity.
Turns out, our wives do it too. Particularly when we've kept porn a secret from her and then we tell her. She will often think the same exact thing:
I should have known better.
She may feel betrayed. Or that she was duped.
Whether it's her thinking it or you, it's all based on the idea that you should have done it differently than you chose to do it.
This idea seems helpful. It seems like it will help you to not do it again and to make better decisions in the future.
Time for a reality check.
When we bash ourselves for decisions we made in the past, we can unknowingly extinguish the confidence and trust in ourselves that we could be accessing now.
Confidence and trust that would help you make better decisions now and in the future.
We expect to be duped again.
We buy into the idea that we must just not be cut out for this.
We practice this story that our decisions were poor, or "not enough."
So then no matter what upcoming decisions we make, it's never enough. You never get to experience having made a "good decision" or a decision that was "good enough." Because of this story we've practiced.
This may not help as much as you think it does.
This story does not have the intended effect of better decision-making.
This story keeps you stuck. Rinse and repeat.
It creates distress which can literally shut off the creative and problem-solving part of your brain. The parts of you that are crucial to making the best decisions you can.
When we are willing to view our past selves through the lens:
That was the best I could do with what I knew at the time.
It better allows us to do the best we can do at this time.
Do you want to be able to make the best possible decision in this moment? Then stop shooting yourself in the foot with "I should have known better."
Trusting your best effort from the past will help you trust your best effort in this moment.
If you continue to gather new information as you go, your best effort will help you get where you want to go.
I want you guys to know that if your wife is somewhat traumatized from the way she views your porn use, first of all this is totally common.
Secondly, she doesn't have to be your only person to confide in. She might even be telling you to only confide in her, while at the same time being terrified that she can't handle you confiding in her.
Even if she is telling you to only confide in her, you have other options.
Lindsay and I wanted to keep it to ourselves at first. The best thing we did was to choose other confidants. I highly recommend choosing a coach as one of your people to confide in.
Your past happened how it was supposed to. How do we know this? Because it happened that way. If it was supposed to happen differently, it would have.
This is not cheating. This is not a cop-out.
It actually helps you to take fuller ownership of your past. It helps you access power to change.
This is for real!
What if you could be less obsessed about making the right decision and more focused on making the best decision you can.
Turn off the doubting and 2nd guessing.
Turn on the creative and problem-solving part of your brain.
Do you want an experienced person to confide in?
Need help learning what drives your decision-making process?
I have a coach. It speeds everything up for me.
Maybe you DO want a coach to help walk you through this process.