Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts
What happens after the initial confrontation with your husband or boyfriend regarding his problem with porn? For many men, it is a wake up call and the porn addiction slows down somewhat. Although you may be pleased with the changes he has made, you may also just be waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is the number one mistake wives and girlfriends make. It is easy to focus a lot of attention and energy on his problem with porn. Should you believe that he is making progress? Is he keeping himself clean? What should you be doing during this time? Many women work so hard at getting things right with their husbands or boyfriends, that it becomes their only focus. They may turn to policing Internet and cable TV usage in their homes. Or they become pros at scanning for potential trigger material in the mail, on billboards or on the TV. If you are focusing a great deal of your attention and energy on his problems and challenges, you may be short changing yourself. Do you find it difficult to concentrate? Have you distanced yourself from friends and family or lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy? Have you made changes in your eating patterns - too
little or too much? Do you find yourself emotionally overwhelmed and lethargic? While you are working at getting your marriage or relationship back on track, you need to take care of yourself and your own needs.
|"In the beginning I was one of those|
hands-on wives that thought I knew better
than him what he needed to do to kick his
porn addiction. I wouldn't let him use the
computer unless I was in the room with
him. I monitored all cable TV bills, visa
bills, phone bills, incoming and outgoing
mail, etc. When he started feeling better,
I became resentful because I was still
feeling awful inside. I realized I was
keeping myself busy minding his business
and was ignoring the work I needed to do
to get myself feeling better. I loaded
Covenant Eyes on all the PCs, joined the
PAH discussion board, started a journal to
name all of the difficult emotions
I was having trouble dealing with, and
started walking at least a mile every day.
After only two months, I feel a level of
progress and control over my own life.
It has been said elsewhere on PAH, but this is a good place to restate it. This is his problem with porn, not yours. He created the problem and only he is able to fix it. It is important to set personal boundaries regarding porn use in your home. It is also important to set up some system of accountability. He should be able to express regret and remorse for his poor decisions and he should be involved in some program of recovery. Then you need to start turning your attention back on healing yourself.
One of the biggest problems couples dealing with pornography addiction face is the you on a regular basis. There is no way to get around the software when logging on and all XXX sites can still be accessed. You will soon know what challenges he faces, if any. Technology got you into this mess, technology can get you out if it. When this program is in place, you can remove yourself from the role of policeman. It can change the dynamics of your relationship for the better. The first 30 days are free with the link above. What do you have to lose?
Another common issue is setting appropriate expectations
for the addict and the partner during the recovery process.
Many women want to know if they should allow him to
falter a bit, discuss the mistake withhim and be supportive
OR get mad and insist on nomistakes. First, let's be straight.
Nobody is perfect,not even you. Chances are, the two of
you will facesome hiccups on the recovery path ahead.
There are two kinds of hiccups - a slip up and a relapse.
A relapse isa 'devil-may-care' full blown step backwards
into theformer behavior and should not be tolerated.
A slip upis that - a one time incident that can be used as
a learning experience. Overuse of porn is a compulsive
behavior not unlike emotional eating. Just like that candy
bar from the vending machine, porn can be a quick
feel-good solution for a bad day. The problem isn't really
the candy bar or the porn; the real problem is the
emotional trigger behind it. He can learn what triggers
him by using the AA acronym HALT; Hungry, Angry, Lonely,
Tired. Add Bored and Stressed to the list. If he know
which of these internal moods is most often present prior
to him acting out, then he can develop a plan for responding
to that trigger. If he slips up, talk about it. Let him know you are disappointed, angry, sad (however you are feeling) and then discuss his trigger and steps he can take to help prevent it from happening again.