Don’t think about monkeys!

23 Apr
Monkey in Bali, Indonesia

Monkey in Bali, Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read a post a while ago which mentioned a story about not thinking about monkeys (you’re thinking about monkeys aren’t you?) Its found here and it really got me thinking…and then confused me…and then made sense again so apologies if this post turns into a ramble but I needed to get this written down (Maybe someone can analyse and clarify my thoughts)

From what I understood the point of it was about allowing yourself to think about things which you’re trying NOT to think about- for example a bad break-up- in order to move forward; because if you try NOT to think about it it will haunt you and won’t help you to heal.

A few weeks back while my husband was on nights my gut feeling came back about his… “DIY”. I flat out asked when the last time was and he admitted that it was that morning… In the shower BUT no porn was involved and that’s the first time he had done it at all since shit hit the fan.(high5 for gut feeling)

He asked if I was angry… And I wasn’t (on that occasion)  I GET that he needs a release and to be fair our sleep schedules were completely opposite, I hadn’t been in the mood for it and blah blah blah I was OK with it – that time- and explained the difference between what’s acceptable and what’s not and he agreed. (Before any w*nkers (lol sorry couldn’t resist) jump in and tell me it’s just a bit of fun please read my back-story and then feel free to comment)

HOWEVER after that every time he’s getting in the shower or I’m leaving him alone I will say don’t wank” to which he replies.. “I won’t”… Which brings me back to those monkeys… “if you force your mind to travel in a certain direction, it will go the other way.”…Isn’t it like reverse psychology? Aren’t I tempting him with the idea every time I say it? On the flip side I can’t imagine ever saying “have a fiddle today darling” or “knock yourself out baby” -like you would if using reverse psychology- because I genuinely believe he would take it as bible and go to town without feeling any guilt – and I simply can’t take any more knocks to my confidence.

So what’s the solution? Why do I keep torturing us both by saying it at least once a day? I think it takes me back to an ex of mine who was the biggest wordsmith EVER. He was charming, he was friendly, he lied through his teeth in every conversation (are you starting to see a pattern?) he would find loopholes in the simplest sentence to continue a lie:
‘Did you sleep with her?’
‘No’ (because instead of sleeping we did X Y and Z)
He would never admit to twisting my words but in time I learned to ask him anything in every variation of question in order to get a truthful response and consequently we didn’t last.

Wise monkey

Wise monkey (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Now that I know about my husbands impulse lies (and masturbation secrets) the old me has resurfaced but this time instead of asking I flat out dictate my expectations… And it’s horrible… But what else am I meant to do? I really want to trust him… (about this) But I don’t (about this) and it’s not surprising is it? In my head if I state the “rules” there is no confusion.. There is no loophole and there is no excuse… But its not healthy is it? However somehow it seems to be swaying towards a positive; Maybe I’m looking at it wrong…

A few times I have stopped myself from saying it just to see how i would feel and on returning home he will say (unprompted) “I didn’t by the way” … Is this him coming to terms with the damage he has done and understanding how I feel? Realising that i need reassurance? He’s also been initiating bedroom stuff (I’ve eased off lately) so I know he’s telling the truth as far as his solo activities go and it’s nice to know that he’s putting in the effort and realising how to make “us” work a little better.

So perhaps the monkeys do apply… but in a different way. Maybe forcing his mind to not THINK about ‘DIY’ was tempting him more before it was out in the open…..Maybe instead of secretly thinking about actually doing it (and us both ignoring the issues) by laying it out on the table its forcing him to face his demons…or monkeys which in turn is helping him heal (get over it)

OR maybe I’ve just rambled myself silly…Does ANY of that make sense? lol Thoughts please…



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32 responses to “Don’t think about monkeys!

  1. tomsjournalblog

    April 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

    As one of “those” guys who masturbates/looks at porn when my wife and I are having a hard time, your heart seems in the right place. I agree that saying “don’t do that” usually (after a while) does have the reverse effect. But I think you did the right thing speaking to him when you had a feeling, which gives the two of you a chance to talk it out and heal, as you say.

    Also having read your “Tip of the Iceberg” blog, it really does ring true how a couple’s sex life does mirror their relationship as a whole. Well, it does for mine anyway!

  2. greenembers

    April 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I was thinking about crocodiles! (oh alright it was monkeys). Yes it does make sense, what you wrote. I think trying not to think about it does make it worse, but being open about it is good. I think… Okay I’m starting to confuse myself. But I agree with what you wrote.

  3. beetleypete

    April 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    You had to go and bring monkeys into it! I will be thinking about Capuchins all day now…

    On a serious note B. Speaking just as a man, I find it amazing that he ‘confesses’ to you when asked. Take it from me, this is not usual male behaviour. I was brought up on the masculine rule of the ‘Three D’s’; Deny, Deny, Deny. Caught with a woman on your lap? Deny. Bra found in your car? Deny. Seen with another woman in a pub? Deny. Luckily, none of this has really happened to me in that way, but I am well acquainted with many other men who have made it their mantra.

    What’s the point of all this? If he tells you he has done it when you ask, then that is good. If he ‘flaunts’ it when you haven’t asked, that is something very different. In your case it would seem that progress is still being made, so that is good. As ever, Pete. X.

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks Pete, glad you were able to find a strong positive in amongst the total mayhem of this post lol xB

  4. Mocha

    April 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    “don’t wank” Sorry dear I had to laugh at that…reason being, as a man, can’t speak for all men here now, just me. Once the idea, the seed of ‘I’m going to rub one out’ enters what I guess is the limbic part of my brain, the conversation begins with the cortex of how, when and where I’m going to do it. Forget why i’m going to do it…the why is it got mentioned… So you tell me ‘don’t wank’ that seed is in my head…I’m going to be late for work because I’m wanking…this may stray off subject a bit I guess…but hey you placed monkey in my mind….

    Monkey mind…Interestingly enough, I think one of the easiest way to get past an ordeal is by embracing it (Painful…YES) sort of accepting it for what it was or is and really look at the effect we had on others …one of my favorite books that I think you might like is ‘The Charge by Brendon Burchard, he states: “When pondering how the past affected us, we rarely look for OUR effect on it. We think about what we were up against versus what we stood for. We remember what we feared but not what we dreamed. We ponder how much we were loved versus how much we loved. We think, why did all that happen to me? What did I get out of it? Where will it lead me? When perhaps we should wonder, what did I make happen? What did I give? Where will I direct myself now?”

    Think about what you are making happen B…

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks for the honest reply, believe it or not i WANTED someone to come on here and tell me how it is (regardless of whether i like what im reading or not) and laugh away..the state of my marriage IS utterly ridiculous so i dont blame you. i WANTED feedback and someone to either agree of disagree – to clarify my crazy if you will and give me a virtual slap lol

      I must say though its quite sad to think that its not just people with deep rooted issues and addictions that have trouble staying honest, respecting the wishes of people whom they supposedly LOVE -or respecting that person as a whole really – and whom have very little self control. its sad -and doesnt give a very bright outlook at relationships in general – not just the really fucked up ones :/ But then maybe i could fabricate a silver lining in the thought that its not just my relationship that is bound by lies and deceit…id rather not though.

      I like the second part of your response, its a thought provoke(r) indeed and i honestly believe that for the majority of these issues i have stayed focus on the effect i have had – with the exceptions of a few bad day posts where i simply cant stay strong for another minute. Truth is the more i think about it the less i want to stay for it. I have given my all, I have tried my hardest with every situation so i suppose the only thing left to wonder is where i go from here.

      Thank you again

      • Mocha

        April 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        This reply maybe long, I don’t know yet where might mind might take my fingers…

        I will always give my honest outlook on a matter, I am not running for the popular vote here, the truth of the matter is, as beautiful as truth maybe sometimes be… its hideous, raw…a woman with no makeup…she thinks she is ugly but looked at from the inside she is oh so beautiful…

        Now from what I gather you and your hubby are going through quite and ordeal. Personally I think you have remarkable strength to go about it as you are doing…I like what you said as far as not running from a disease…you don’t…and you don’t run from people you love…you stick by them till time and moments answers your nagging questions…trust me the answers come…they may not be the answers you want to hear..but they come…remember truth can be ugly…I say listen to your pure heart and let it guide you…its will tell you when to cut loose from any matter and when to hold on for dear life…

        Myself, I have suffered from PTSD from war and from life…loss of love etc…I admit each person problems are their own and they effect each individual differently, there is no ‘oh you are just weak’ when it comes to matters of trauma…I was saved through meditation, meditation is my god, my love, my heaven…through meditation I found that there were people in my life that I had to let go…it was just time, there were memories and past moments I had to let go…it was just time

        When you give your heart and soul into something, into someone, there comes a moment when your heart will tell you “hey…its enough”…its not selfish…its sort of survival…each person must walk their own path, yes, you help others along the way…sometimes you have to pull, sometimes you have to push…sometimes, you have to say ‘hey buddy, I gotta let you go here…this mountain you must climb yourself…’ I am fortunate that someone did that for me…left at the base of a massive mountain and allowed me to climb it myself…at first I was like I am being abandon at my weakest moment…but I needed it…I was too dependent…once I overcame…I emerged the strongest person I have ever been in my entire life…sometimes I have setbacks, but its life…I am not perfect…but that experience of conquering my hardest challenged have allowed me to step over what life throws at me…so in short I am better for it…

        So where do you go from here? You enjoy the fuck out of all that life has to offer…with absolutely no regrets…

        Just my opinion, my perspective of truth…it is not gospel…it is just one person view point that should be weighed and scrutinized as all things should be…


      • Comfortably Numb

        April 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm

        Actually sobbed reading this – because it is such a relief to read something that sums up exactly how much I’m struggling to stay strong through this – and yet explain it from the other point of view at the same time. Its also comforting to know that there is light at the end of a very long tunnel for people with PTSD. Thank you so much

      • Mocha

        April 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        There is light…have perfect faith that you will get through and you will…

  5. beetleypete

    April 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t usually comment on other comments, but the above from Mocha contains some very wise words. At the very least, it certainly made ME think about things! (Forgiving the ‘seed’ puns by the way…) As ever, Pete. X

  6. Donna Gwinnell Weidner

    April 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Mocha…you are a gift…very wise words.

    • Mocha

      April 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you Donna…

  7. behindthemaskofabuse

    April 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I understand. I’m risking it here, but I can’t say I would trust him.

  8. writingthebody

    April 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Comfortably numb, why on earth do you not want him to masturbate? And why do you not masturbate? I am no authority on it, not at all. And my own sexuality is pretty wrecked…but all the same, I am a bit lost….sorry. In then end, and I seem to have gottent there early, it is your own body that you need to know how to touch. I love the feeling of it myself. I just cannot see the point of asking him not to….it sets up all those weird logics you and others discusss above. Is he no good sexually? And what on earth have monkeys got to do with it….our animality is human, all too human, to misuse that lovely title….

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read this and reply though to be honest judging by your reply it was more of a skim lol.

      If you read the post the monkeys are relating to stopping thinking about something and how that has the opposite effect.

      Never once said I don’t masturbate, if you read my backstory you will see I have gone out of my way to try things and encourage openness between us both.

      I agree it is vital in order to get to know your own body but he KNOWS how to touch himself – which again is explained in the backstories. That’s the problem, that’s ALL he knows and the only thing that has worked for him.

      As the WIFE of someone whom has (probably) a porn addiction, or someone whom has lived a lie and forced me to do the same or someone whom has shown zero respect for me, lied repeatedly and whom can’t seem to appreciate me – or my feelings- over masturbation OR porn… I don’t think asking him to with hold from masturbation is a tall order at all.

      • writingthebody

        April 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        Hi and again I really don’t want to offend, it is more the porn addiction I would be bothered by. I would in the first instance want him to masturbate near me…with me. But I can feel a lot of pain and hurt in your words, and I guess I am sorry, really. It sounds like it is not working out.

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        Thanks and sorry from me for snapping earlier – its been a tough few days. *holds olive branch*

        The porn/masturbation issue has been ongoing. He couldnt last one week without either of them and has lied about doing either (at least 3 times a week) for the past year..whilst living with and ignoring his new wife (that would be me lol)

        Ive explained it more in the backstory etc …very long winded so im not surprised youve only got a very small part of the issue to work with here (not your fault)

        We have in recent months ‘bonded’ by doing it together etc either ourselves together or each other etc however even after that he would sneak downstairs the morning after and satisfy himself again…and then lie about it. OR he would say he was too tired to do it with me and then choose to do it alone anyway.

        IF he were balancing it out then fair enough but he DOES has a major problem with it and it isnt fair to be in a relationship…to be MARRIED to someone and not give them anything in return…or lie to them

        Its the lies that get me…i can not stand liars or the thought that i have been lied to to such an extent for more than a year. it hurts and no its not working out :/ (again sorry for snapping earlier its a really shite time)

        Thank you again for your earlier observations…and for daring to return to the pitbulls kennel lol xBeth

      • writingthebody

        April 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm

        Dear Beth I will check out the other posts eventually…you do not need to apologise to me – and I was a bit out there in what I said. As someone who both lies and wanks, I guess I am trying to see if there are ways forward. My relationship is older than yours, and I guess my lies are of things I do not say….and part of the reason for my own blog is to reflect on my own hypocrisies.

        I know also that men (me included) do not take criticism easily, or well. And the lie is a way of dodging a difficult conversation he is too cowardly to have with you. That kind of cowardice is common in men I am afraid, including me. You may be able to find a way to ask him to be braver…you may need to create that space. He cannot do it. Worse, he will not do it. If he were serious, he would at least be getting counselling. Of course I understand your anger, of course I do. You are being neglected; why did he marry you; why does he prefer his own hand to yours – these are the questions you are angrily posing to him, out of your sense of abandonment and sorrow. I am sorry we are so deceitful, really. You do not need to apologise to me, at all. You can say whatever you like because here, in anonymous space, I am trying, for once to be honest.

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm

        Thank you, I just spent ages replying to this (a nice one dont worry) but it seems to have deleted himself…I will get there eventually lol

      • writingthebody

        April 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm

        Goodness me that is so maddening – if you hit one wrong key it not only disappears – you cannot get it back. I would love to hear your thoughts. And if it was kind to me, well, I would love that too….

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm

        Thank you, I appreciate the honesty. I DO owe you an apology because I (usually) say on here that I WANT to hear other views and opposing thoughts – regardless of whether i will like what i hear(or read) because it gives me at least some insight into the minds of others (or just men lol) so for me to ask people to do that and then react the way i did goes against my own “policy” and is really out of character for me… some days though – like today the truth stings like a bitch lol.

        He is in therapy – 4 sessions in so the art of letting it all out is still really fresh for him. – I know it’s tough for him too but this is where I go to let it all out as i hold most of it in around him.

        Believe me I have tried to be supportive, I have tried to be understanding and I have pushed my boundaries so far out of my comfort zone to try and help “us” But you get to a point where you’re just too exhausted to keep trying, too drained to stay strong.

        Honesty , thank you – I have rambled enough now, it’s late and I’ve lost my train of thought lol xB

      • writingthebody

        April 25, 2013 at 2:27 am

        Well, good luck is all I can say really. I just wonder how you can go on really….

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

        so do I… 😉

      • writingthebody

        April 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

        Funny thing is I thought about you today – I have posted on masturbation and separately on porn….but today’s post was more light-hearted, but all the same, I thought of your hardship resulting directly from those two things. It was kind of you to like it….


    April 29, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Exactly what does it suggest when your ex’s start popping again up into your existence?

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      as in physically? or popping into your mind? – I have no idea btw lol but Im curious either way


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