Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

Pornography Addiction - Enforcing Boundaries - Part 3

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

You've created boundaries and have properly communicated them.  Now you can kick back and 
watch the long-awaited transformation happen, right?  Wrong. It is not enough to set boundaries - 
you need to do whatever is necessary to enforce them.  It takes a lot of courage to face this 
addiction head on. Now you have to walk the talk.  Some women may face their partners testing 
their boundaries, or outright defiantly ignoring them.

The key phrases at this stage are "If you, I will".  Example: If you surf for porn online, I will make an 
appointment for us to see a counselor/minister.  If you don't attend support groups, I will pack up 
and head over to my mother's home for a week.  If you continue to surf for porn daily without 
making an effort to control the compulsion, I will file for separation and start interviewing divorce 
lawyers. It is important to be as specific as possible with descriptions of the undesirable behaviors 
and descriptions of the actions you are ready to take.

PAH cannot stress enough the importance of setting only those consequences that you are ready to 
act on.  If you are not ready to leave the relationship, then do not threaten that you will.  Say that 
you will consider all of your options including leaving.  If you set boundaries and do not enforce 
them, it just gives him reason to believe you are 
The Boy Who Cried Wolf and he may regress to his 
old patterns.

The last and final stage is negotiation. Boundaries are relationships. You cannot simply draw a line in the sand 
and expect things to fall in place for you. Example: If you don't attend support groups, I will pack up and head over to my mother's home for a week. You may want your husband to join support groups. He may feel this is not the best choice for him and can negotiate to see a counselor for individual therapy instead. The point of this exercise is to rescue your relationship and for your husband to make better choices. As long as he is making progress and is being open and honest with you, it shouldn't matter to you what path he is choosing to heal. This is not a time to play gestapo.

Setting a boundary should not be about controlling the other person.  You may want them to change, but they 
have to make the internal transformation happen themselves. What can you control?  Defining yourself and 
what is acceptable to you through setting and communicating boundaries in an effective manner. By doing 
so, you can take responsibility for your self and your life.

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