Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

As a girlfriend or wife of a man struggling with porn, it has happened to most of us at some point or another. You look up at the checkout stand. The scantily clad, sexy cheerleaders on sidelines of his favorite football team hold his attention. It is no secret that sex sells. How do you navigate this media rich world without getting your stomach tied in knots worrying if any of your junk mail may be the trigger for him to relapse back into using porn?

First of all, please know that you are not alone. Whether he has been clean for a month, a year or ten years, it is easy to have a flash of anxiety when the racy lingerie commercial pops up as you are watching television together. The next time this happens, stop and close 
your eyes and remember one of the best rules in healing from porn addiction.

He is responsible for his actions.
                                       You are responsible for your reactions.

You are naturally going to be more sensitive to sexual imagery around installed accountability software and/or pornography filters on every computer in the house. You have blocked adult channels from your cable line up with your provider. You sort through your mail to eliminate 
anything overtly sexual in nature and removed yourself from mailing lists that can only spell trouble. A clean home environment is comforting and healing, but you can't control the outside world. So now what?

Say that you are asked to find and list things that are the color red as you go through your day. You quickly build your tally with stop signs, stop lights, your apple at lunch, etc. You will notice whatever you set your mind to. The same goes with sexual images. Because you have been working on keeping your environments clean, you will notice provocative
imagery with greater frequency than a woman that hasn't been wounded by porn addiction in her relationship. It is completely natural that you have this reaction. That being said, you need to also know that this is your experience and your reaction and you are responsible for your reactions.

But my fear of his relapse is real you say? Let's look into triggers a bit. There are two kinds -  external triggers and internal triggers. External triggers are the outside images in advertising that we have been speaking of so far. Every man's addiction experience is different. What may be a turn on for one man may not even be noticed by another.

The sad truth is many men with porn problems have desensitized themselves to a point where the common billboard or magazine cover that you are stressing over have no overt effect.

Internal triggers are common ground for all men struggling with porn. If they are feeling stressed, upset, lonely, angry, depressed, anxious, or run down, there is a chance they may instinctively think of turning to porn as they have in the past for a quick pick-me-up. If he has set boundaries for himself and has an action plan in place to handle triggers, he should be able to weather any emotional storm. The best way to calm your fears and assure yourself that he has a solid base is to ask him outright what his triggers are. You may be mistakenly fretting about the sexy covers in the magazine racks when the real challenge for him is the weekly family trip to the DVD rental store.

His Triggers and Your Sanity Page 2

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