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Why Do We Have Edgy Days?

April 15, 2010

 I recently had one of those “edgy” days.  A day where every girl looks pretty to me.  A day where I feel sexual, and I have a highened awareness of triggery things.  A day when I’m thinking more with the “nether regions” of my body, rather than my brain. 

Ever get like that? 

There are five things I’ve identified from my own life and from my friends in recovery that may be contributing to my having an edgy day.  I’ll talk about 3 of them today, and the other 2 tomorrow, along with some Top Tips for dealing with edgy days: 

1.  GUYS HAVE A (SEXUAL) CYCLE TOO

We all know that women have a cycle when it comes to there bodies and their hormones.  Guys seem to have a cycle too.  Dr. Mark Laaser says that its every 3 days for guys.  Arterburn & Stoeker in Every Man’s Battle talk about a 48 hour cycle.  

 I’ve notice that there are two types of guys who seem to have a sexual cycle that’s much smaller: 

  1.  Guys who still have a lot of lust they’re dealing with 
  2. Guys that are newer to recovery

Some guys have dealt with the affairs and with the porn, but they are giving in regularly to the battle of the mind and the eyes. 

The guy who’s newer to recovery is still going through major withdrawals.  His battles for purity are deep, and right at the forefront.  He’s spending  lot of energy fighting off triggers and temptation.   

For the single guy, it means you being aware of your own sexual cycle and reaching out to healthy relationships when things get edgy for you.  It means you pouring yourself in productive directions instead of letting the lust flow overwhelm you.

For the married guy, this doesn’t mean that you need to have or should have sexual every 2 days (even though you’d like too).  I does mean that he needs to be aware of his own cycles and the physical buildup in his body.  It is a factor and we need to consider that it may be part of our “edgy” day. 

It’s not good for our wives to give us sexuality whenever we want either.  We guys need to learn self-control, the importance of serving our wives, and most importantly, that sex is not our #1 need.  Most wives have different drives too.  It’s not just about us, we need to learn to communicate with our wives about their needs.   

2.  DYSFUNCTION IN OUR MARRIAGES 
We probably have a lot of work to do in helping the sexual component of our marriages find equilibrium again.  I’m betting that the spouse who has the lust and sexual addiction problems has done some emotional damage to the other spouse.  Our marriages have probably been very self-serving for us.  I think it’s important to find a counselor to help you both work on this.   

My wife and I have found that our 12 years of sexual dysfunction was way beyond our ability to figure out.  We didn’t even know where to start.  It has taken many counseling sessions for us to get back on the same page.  Another discovery for Marsha and me is that we both have issues and backgrounds that have contributed to our dysfunction.  It’s not just my lust-driven desires.  It’s a complicated web of issues and ways of coping with our differences.  Our counselors have been very helpful as we have sought to unpack all of this.   

3.  OUR STRESS LEVELS
Another major factor in my edgy days is stress.  Let’s face it, when you are stressed out, you are going to have a harder time focusing on your purity.  I’ve notice that when my days are busy and I have a big load at work, my body starts looking for a break.  I’m thinking less about where my eyes are looking, and I slip into my old patterns for looking for sexual stimulation.  Sexual stimulation used to be my big escape and stress reliever.  The more stress I used to have, the more I would want to act out sexually. 

There are other emotions and needs that may cause you to have edgy days.  The HALTS acronym has been very helpful to me.  These are some times when I feel more edgy and things are more triggery for me:

 H – Hungry

A – Angry

L – Lonely

T – Tired

S – Stressed, Sick, Scared

When our stress or our needs are being neglected, we’re going to have more struggles.  When you start feeling edgy, you have to start asking yourself: 

  • What’s going on underneath the surface? 
  • What’s my heart look like? 
  • What am I feeling? 
  • What are my needs? 
  • What stresses or emotions am I dealing with right now?”

 

MORE TOMORROW ON EDGY DAYS
On tomorrow’s blog I’ll share 2 more reasons why we have edgy days and some Top Tips on “How to Deal With Edgy Days”.

FEEDBACK
Q:  What are some other reasons we have edgy days that I’m leaving out?

2 Comments
  1. JeffTN62 permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:04 pm

    Early Days of recovery- seems like every day is a edgy day- the first 9o days are so important to break your patterns. There is a old AA adage- 90 meetings in 90 days- which is something to attain and work towards, attend Church, 12 Step meetings, Celebrate Recovery, accountability group, small groups, try to fill every available moment with positive recovery. If you would wake up and get online and your edgy time is started first time in the morning, then replace it with something such as waking up to christian music, TV, radio, etc. if it was staying up late at night, then start going to bed earlier and don’t have isolation time if possible to feed your addiction. If you work from home start going to public places to work. For me I had to eliminate any late night TV and any music that could be a trigger. With Summer it’s harder to not run into recovery distractions when you least expect it at the mall, work, park, event, etc.. in any war you need a battle plan- take time to think about what you might be encountering and determine your response- learn to look away and if you can’t then ask for understanding from God, for me it was still needing validation from the opposite sex. I started praying for women that was drawing me to fixate on- it brings her to be a real person- a wife, sister, daughter and not just an object. Celebrate your victories and learn from any defeats to make you stronger the next time. During WW2, Pearl Harbor was a rallying cry for our country, after this surprise attack and battle lost. More important our country regrouped and had a determined purpose and won the war. Have a determined purpose to win the war!

  2. April 15, 2010 10:42 pm

    Great article. I have personally come through three weeks of pretty intense period of triggers. I mention it because I know it’s possible. The main thing for me has been to assess and make sure my “structure” – my boundaries are appropriate. In this case I have changed some of those boundaries to better fit the shape of how I am being tempted. I have tightened up a few and add a few. I have not dropped any.

    I have a friend that says “No matter how you feel today, it’ll change.” I love that quote because when I am triggered and tempted I know if will eventually subside.

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