Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

Recovery Behavior Check List

Addicts of any kind live in a "verbal reality." This means if they say it, it is true and if they say it
passionately enough even they believe it is really true. Men who have an addiction to porn live in
a verbal reality. A sex addict believes what he is saying while he is saying it.

Your most helpful tool in dealing with verbal reality is looking at his 
measurable behavior. He says,
"I can quit" but logs on again.
The behavior is always the truth.
He says he wants to change, but attends no 12-step meetings and makes no calls to counselors or
therapists, and so his behavior is the truth. Don't be fooled by verbal reality and don't blame him
if you buy what he says to you. In the past, your own desire to believe the best and not implement
measurable behaviors has set up a system that you both are now familiar with. The system is: he does
what he wants, says: "I love you" or "I'll change," You believe him, nothing changes and then you get
to repeat this cycle again.

The way to stop this cycle is to ask what recovery behaviors he is committed to and where he is
going to check off if he did them or not. Addicts themselves believe their own verbal reality so
YOU can't if the both of you are going to get on a path towards health.

This is not the time to bully your partner into doing things your way. All relationships are negotiated.  
Individual approaches to recovery are negotiated too. The following checklist of recovery behaviors
is helpful to some men. Have him - not you - check off those that he feels would be helpful to him
in his recovery.

Unplug – no touching anything electronic after 9:00 PM. This includes cell phones, iPods, computers,
DVD players, Playstations. Yes, television is negotiable.
Learn your triggers by using the AA acronym HALT; Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Add Bored and
Stressed to the list. If you know which of these internal moods is most often present prior to you
acting out, then you can develop a plan for responding to that trigger.

Volunteer. There are a lot of people out there that have it worse off than you.  You always come back
feeling better about yourself for having helped out someone else.

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