Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

Top Ten Mistakes Wives and Girlfriends of Porn Addicts Make





 

Number 5 - There Must Be a Better Man Around The Corner

One-third of all divorce litigation is connected to online affairs. Over half of all happily married men report they view pornography at least one time a month. 70% of Christian men admit to struggling with porn in their daily lives. For better or for worse, the Internet has changed our world and how we live in it. There is no guarantee the next man you meet will be porn-free or stay porn-free. Only you can decide your personal threshold as to what you will and will not accept in your life. Only you can decide if your partner is making an earnest effort to kick the porn habit once and for all.  If you tend to dump your relationships rather than repair them, ask yourself if you are taking the easy road.  As Number 6 on this list illustrates, relationships are hard work. Our society focuses on having our needs met as quickly as possible with the least amount of inconvenience. Many couples report a greater level of intimacy for having weathered the challenge of addiction together.

Number 4 - Not Willing To Look Into The Mirror and Take Responsibility

Your husband or boyfriend made the choice to get into porn. There is nothing you did or didn't do that made him reach for the mouse. Now look at another point of view. There is no strained or broken relationship for which one person is totally responsible. PAH is not
trying to shift blame or minimize his hurtful actions. At some point there was/is a lack of emotional intimacy - a disconnect. Emotional intimacy takes two people therefore you equally accountable. Look over the recent past in your relationship and try to determine your own shortcomings. Have you distanced yourself emotionally? Has a hectic family schedule taken priority over your intimate relationship? Have you been overly critical of his: job, finances, health, friends, etc? Were you overbooked with work or social obligations and let your relationship take the back burner? Are you medicating yourself with destructive coping skills? Are/were you either directly or indirectly acting out in hurtful or revengeful ways before/after the disclosure of addiction? Nobody is perfect - not him and not you. You are asking him to own up to his faults and poor decisions. You should be able to do the same.

Number 3 - Refuse To Forgive

A wise woman will forgive but never forget. Is forgiveness easy? No. Should it come quickly? No. Does your partner need to show earnest effort over a period of time (ie. 6 months to one year) in order for you to be able to offer heartfelt forgiveness? Yes.  If you are a woman who has trouble with this topic, recognize that YOU are the only one who is being hurt by your non-forgiveness. You feel the anger, the tightness in your stomach. You are the one rehearsing in your mind what you would like to say or do to 'punish' them. When there is no forgiveness, the bitterness lingers -- and when you could be enjoying today's pleasures, you are upsetting yourself with yesterday's injustices. You give control of your emotions to the person who hurt you. It’s been said that the best revenge is your own calmness.

Number 2 - Blame Yourself For His Porn Addiction

One commonality amongst all wives and girlfriends of porn addicts is the blow to your self-esteem. If you were prettier, blonder, bustier, thinner, younger, or more adventurous in bed then your partner would not be drawn to porn the way he is. You blame yourself. You feel guilt for those occasions when you may have turned down his advances. You may begin to question why anyone would want to be in a relationship with you. You feel deserted, rejected, unattractive, unchosen. Your perception of what you focus on may become your reality. You may stop taking care of yourself the way you should. You may react in unhealthy ways using food, drugs, alcohol or outside relationships. In the moment, these coping mechanisms may quiet your pain but in the end the experience of having used them will validate your perception of unworthiness.  Of course all of these perceptions are incorrect. There is nothing you did or didn't do that drove him to use porn.  It is important to be aware of the ways in which we perceive our inner world as well as the world around us. Our perceptions can become our experience of reality.


Number 1 - Make His Addiction A Central Part of Your Life

Some wives and girlfriends admit an inability to stop thinking about his problem with porn. They wonder if he is looking at porn at work. They scan the computer's history at home for any sign of backsliding. Some may take extra time looking for signs when doing laundry (ugh!). A common complaint is 'Look what his addiction has done to my life! I can't stop thinking about it and I am too afraid to talk to anyone about it.' Know that your reaction is quite normal as your life - the way you see him, yourself, and your relationship together - has been turned upside down. Understand that he is responsible for his actions just as you are responsible for your reactions. You give power
to whatever you focus your energy on. The more time you spend thinking about your quandary and your lack of options and control over the situation, the greater the chance this will become your reality. This is a false perception as you always have choices in life. You will find yourself in a calmer, grounded place when you are able to identify a series of positive, action-oriented steps.

You can begin getting yourself to a healthier place even if your partner is still in denial, making half-baked efforts, or is no longer in the picture. You are not able to control his choices nor force him to seek help. He has a free will and only he can make that decision for himself. But you have a free will as well. You can begin the healing process today without his involvement. Only he can heal himself, and only you can heal yourself. Strength is born from pain. You can make it through this stronger and wiser whether he ends up joining you or not. If he chooses not to join you on the path towards healing, so be it. You may not be able to salvage your marriage or relationship. But you will be able to rescue yourself from the sinking ship you are currently on.



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