Basic Information for New SO's

For partners of people struggling with pornography addiction. A place for Significant Others to support one another, vent their frustrations, and share their hopes. Recovering Addicts are strongly urged not to post on this forum.

Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:36 am

All of the significant others here would like to welcome the new SO's that are added here daily. We are starting this thread with you in mind. The more experienced SO's will post their stories, certain experiences, links to articles, or whatever are the basic things that they feel you need to know to help you begin your own healing. We know you have lots of questions, and in this thread we hope to give you the answers to the most asked. Yes, we all have similar questions and reactions to finding our loved one has been using porn. You're not alone.

Please post vital info here on this thread.

We all wish you speedy healilng and are here to help support you in your time of need.

Take care,
CD
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:40 am

This post was originally written and posted by tootrue. This was one of the first things I read that helped me realize that I had every right to demand that my husband never crap in my shoe again. I knew that but there were women on another board (not MAPA) that kept telling me the best thing I should do is get up every day, wipe the crap out of my shoe and go about my day; that I should not snoop and it was none of my business what my husband was doing. I never bought into it, but this little story helped seal my belief in cement. Hopefully it will help some of you.

Crap in Your Shoe:

How about if one day someone takes a crap in your shoe and then tells you it is not a crap, and that they didn't do it anyway. Then suddenly within the conversation they say it's actually not a crap at all, it's a toad. Then, let's say, the person tells you that not only is what you know to be crap, a toad, but that you really should wear the shoe around and get crap on your foot and wear it around all day and not complain about it because if you do then they will not be able to stop putting a toad in your shoe. And god forbid you try to say it is crap, not a toad, and then this person tells you that you are not "wise" to be questioning whether it is crap or a toad, and that if you won't walk around in crap and admit that it's not crap but a toad, that you are contributing to the ill health of "the relationship."

Then a few days later the crapper comes to you and apologizes and admits that they crapped in your shoe and they are very very sorry and will never do it again.

Then let's say that about a week later you find that it's not just one pair of shoes, but all of your shoes. THEY ARE ALL FILLED WITH CRAP. And then when you confront the crapper they say, "Hey, wait a minute, it would be much more 'healthy' for you to wear your shoes, call the crap a toad, and I will work on this and you just mind your own business and when I can stop crapping in your shoe I will do it on my own terms. In the meantime, you just pretend it's not happening and your shoes smell fine, ok?"

And to top it all off a therapist tells you that the most healthy thing you can do for yourself is get up every morning, wipe the crap out of your shoe, and go about your day.

Many SOs come to this board asking essentially if it is ok to want to check their shoe for crap. I don't understand this guilt at all.

People in committed relationships are entitled to know whatever truths are happening in their homes that they can find. Truth is what is important. Truth is wise, truth is healthy, truth forms the basic foundation for all good things. So if someone feels compelled to know the truth, even if they wish they did not have to go looking for it, they are entitled to do so to make wise good decisions for themselves and about who they want to spend their days with.

Snooping is a label with negative connotations that implies doing something wrong. Looking for the truth of your situation is more accurate and what I was talking about in my original post.

Would you enter into a business partnership with someone who expected you to accept their deceit? Would you encourage your daughter to marry a man who crapped in her shoes? Would you tell your child that the crap you took in their shoe was really a toad and they should just wear the shoe anyway?

I applaud those SAs who are willing to be upfront with their SOs and have a truthful policy. I grew up in a home where it was accepted that there is nothing you can do that is so bad as lying about whatever it is.

The truth will set you free.
Last edited by completelydone on Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Posts: 2052
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Location: When I am weak, He is strong. His grace is sufficient for me.

Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby daisy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:56 am

To our new sister on the board. I am sorry you are another casualty in the bomb called prn addiction (or sesxual addiction) there is much shared wisdom here on this board. First and foremost:

This is not about you, not even a little bit. You could be a supermodel, available 24/7 for sx and he would still use prn.... This is not about your attractiveness, your love, your abilities, etc.. This is about HIM and HIS inability to be truly intimate, his 'need' for a fix, his 'need' to run from his problems rather than deal with them.

HIs addiction and recovery are his to deal with- you can't do it for him.

Set up boundaries for your own spiritual, emotional and physical safety with consequences that you WILL follow through with, or they won't work.

If he is willing to work recovery and sobriety, there is lots of Hope. If he is still in denial that prn is a problem, you have a long, uphill struggle ahead. Either way, recovery takes a lot of work for you both. Whether or not he decides to recover, the best thing you can do is heal from the pain that this addiciton has dropped into your heart.

To help you get started, I would like to recommend the following

Books and Resources on recovery
Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes
Don't call it love by Patrick Carnews
Pure Desire by Ted Roberts (christian resource)
The Recovery Devotional Bible (NIV- Zondervan)
Healing wounds of Sexual aaddiction by Laaser
Addiction and Grace by Gerald May
Seven Levels of intimacy by Matthew Kelly
Trauma and Addiciton by Tan
Websites
http://www.Sexhelp.com
http://www.recoverynation.com
http://www.pureintimacy.com

Computer help
For free tracking/blocking software:
http://www.k9webprotection.com

to recover files from your computer (PLEASE be careful, you will see what he looked at)
http://www.recovermyfiles.com


The support here is wonderful, there is also a women's only board at http://www.MAPA.com

Finally, board guidelines- although I am neither moderator nor authority....
For your own health and sanity, I suggest staying out of the Recovering Addicts section for a while. If you want 'perspective' from the addicts, post in the general forum. If you want to vent your anger, do it here or in the journals. Anger from us in the Recovering Addicts forum helps NO ONE heal.

the trigger button on the top right side of your posting box is to place any information that might 'trigger' thoughts or actions by recovering addicts (RA's) or SO's on the board. If you are going to describe specific prn or things you have done/done to you sexually, please use a trigger button.

Starting a journal is very therapeutic for many. If you do not want people to post in it, just say so in your first post. My journal viewtopic.php?f=5&t=117 is there if you'd like to see it. It also has my recovery plan, my story, etc..

and a quick abreviation guide:
SO (Signifcant other) PA(porn addict) SA (Sex Addict) MB (Masterbation) Prn or P (pornography) s^x (sex) ExH (ex husbad) BF (Boyfriend) GF (girlfriend) LOL (Laugh out loud) RAOFLMA (Rollng around on the floor laughing my ass off) mods (moderators) CP (Child Porn)

Read around, there is much wisdom to be found
Last edited by daisy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Age: 37
Rel'p stats: together 18 years, married 13 years
D-day: March 22, 2006
SO recovery: active, recovery plan, counseling as needed, reading, etc.. Sober/recovering since d-day- no p slips.
My recovery: active-ish
Marriage recovery: CHAPEL (Communication, honesty, affirm/appreciate, pray, enjoy, love) has been inter-weaved into the fiber of our relationship so much, it has become second nature.
Kids: half dozen or so....
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby Benderson on Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:59 pm

I realize as you're reading this that the only thing comforting you right now is knowing that there are others here in your shoes.

Even so, I feel the most important thing to tell you first is that what your partner is doing in regards to his porn use has absolutely nothing to do with you. It isn't because you don't give him enough sex, it isn't because the sex you do give him is 'horrible', it isn't because you won't do the things he sees in the porn, it isn't because you don't dress 'sexy' enough, it isn't even because of your minty fresh breath. This problem isn't even about sex at all. It's about his inability to deal with emotions. It's self-medication.

This problem PREDATES you and your relationship with him, hands down; so how COULD it be about you?

This is the time to protect you. Do what is necessary to keep yourself healthy; both emotionally and physically. If you have children, you're no good to them if you allow his problem to make you sick and unavailable to them. If you're sick and vulnerable, it will keep you from shielding them from any porn they might stumble upon; which could easily become the catalyst to start a problem for THEM down the road.

If your partner is behaving contrite right now, I'm sure you're hearing the promises of "I'll stop, I swear" and "I'll never do it again". For now, don't believe it. If it wasn't a problem, he wouldn't be doing it in the first place; and if it's full-blown addiction, he won't be able to keep those promises, anyway. This doesn't mean there isn't hope; but if he doesn't put a solid recovery plan in place, he'll fail. Period.

On the subject of snooping: If you've already caught him once, that's enough. While you have every right to do what is necessary to know what's going on in your relationship, you really don't need more proof than what you have in front of you. The searching and monitoring of his activities can become an obsession of its own for you; and that's certainly not healthy. Don't let his problem become a bigger problem for you than it already is. I know it's like holding back the ocean with a broom; but it's necessary for your sanity. Unless you have definite plans to leave him and this will be an issue for a child custody hearing, further evidence of his activities isn't needed. If your gut instinct is telling you that he's still porning, listen to it. It's probably right.

If your partner is in denial and blaming it on you, don't listen. It's all smoke and mirrors to take the focus off of him and the damage he's doing to your relationship. Let him bluster. It's all crap; and keep telling yourself that. If you allow yourself to even THINK for one SECOND that any of this is your fault, it'll make you nuts; and it's not true, anyway.

Bottom line? NO ONE has an entitlement or right to look at naked women. It's INFIDELITY. It's CHEATING. It's ADULTERY. Don't let anyone--even your friends--tell you differently. Just because other women say they don't have a problem with their partner's porn use doesn't mean it's right for you and your relationship; and, most likely, they have a secret worry about it too and aren't admitting it.

Read, read, read. Find out everything you can about this addiction; because knowledge can be power for you.

Welcome; and I'm sorry you find yourself here. *huggies*

Benderson
Step away from the computer; and no one gets hurt.
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby mayberry on Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:33 pm

Dear Sister and Friend:

One of the questions you may find yourself asking is this one: Is there hope? For him? For me? For "us"?

You're in the position right now where it may feel as if the basic truths of your life with your partner have been yanked out from under you.You may be seeing some things that have "mysteriously plagued" your relationship with your partner in a whole new light. You may be standing at the edge of an abyss, and you may feel both stupid and utterly alone.

You are neither of these things. You are not stupid. You are not alone. Go easy on yourself. This isn't about YOU. (Really!)

There is hope. For you. Independent of what your partner chooses to do about his/her addiction. Advice that has already been offered here will start to show you this. As you journal, learn and explore, you will come to realize that, no matter what, there is hope for you. You will probably be called to do some very difficult things; you will certainly have to face some information that your life was pleasanter "not knowing." But was it really? For me, understanding the truth about the "mysteries" my life with my husband was an incredibly freeing experience. That old cliché: The truth will set you free...That old cliché really holds some water in my life. You are here, I assume, because you love somebody with a problem that has hurt you, that has impacted your life. And there is hope, I repeat this: there is hope FOR YOU.

There may also be hope for the addict. It is hard to realize that this is the addict's choice, and not yours. You may be helpful in the process, but the choice to fight this problem is, in the end, the addict's choice. Once my own husband finally saw his addiction, he was able to begin the hard work of being sober from his addiction, and then beginning to explore what, in his life, made him vulnerable to the addiction. As Benderson said, as others said, as we all will continue to say: "This is NOT about sex; this is NOT about you."

If your partner or husband chooses sobriety and chooses recovery, he may go through some withdrawal symptoms. I have written about what I saw in my own husband (who posts in this thread as "Rabbet") on the old board: http://lightwave.proboards48.com/index. ... read=14843. Not every addict goes through withdrawal, but if your partner does, it's nice to be able to recognize what's happening.

Other addicts do not choose sobriety, and you may need to leave the relationship. This is an horrible choice to have to make, but you are not a bad person, an unloving person, if you need to leave. This is an addiction that can destroy lives and health. Speaking of which, no matter what, please get tested for STDs. Your partner may or may not have "acted out" in the real world, but you should be smart, and self-loving enough, to get yourself tested. Many of us here have contracted STDs from our partners' acting out, or believed half-truths we were offered about our partners' sexual lives before we met. Take care of yourself. YOU are important. YOU are precious.

There may also be hope for "you both". Many people report an awakening, a renewal in their relationships, after the addict chooses sobriety and recovery. Their mutual lives change in directions that they never imagined, are charged with a life-force and a bonding and loving that they dreamed of, but never thought was possible. Other stories are sadder; where an addict refuses to come to the truth, where a partner mourns that the addiction has taken over and destroyed the possibility of connection.

Whatever your path, know that you *will* be okay. You are not alone. There are people from "both sides" of the equation here on this board who care about you, who want to get to know you, who want to walk beside you and encourage you, come what may. You are not crazy. You are not "overly sensitive." You are not "prudish." You are a person who has been walking, knowingly or unknowingly, through the mine-field of addiction. You were not wrong to love; you are not stupid to love and care still. And you are not alone. Come what may, whether there is hope for your relationship with an addict or not, there IS hope for YOU. You are precious and worthy, and the truth will set you free. Be patient with YOURSELF, above all else. You've just realized what you're standing in the midst of, and, while we grieve for you, we also know that you *can* get to a safer, healthier, more honest place all by yourself, and we'll be here with you every step of the way, if you want.

Be well, friend and sister. Brighter days are coming.

J

PS:
Hephzibah has an incredible list of resources here: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=75
Be still and listen.
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby halfaheart on Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:36 pm

The other posts are brilliant.
I just wanted to add an analogy.

Finding out your SO has this problem is like being blinded.

Force yourself to enjoy the things you don't need your sight for;

music, hugs from your kids, taste of good food, sunlight on your face, laughter with your friends...

eventually you will see again.

His problem can be debilitating, and your focus on it can be as stong as his compulsion to p.
We become as sick as they are. It is your responsibility to look after yourself. There is nothing that you can do to make him "see" the light. Your relationship cannot be fixed until both of you are healthy. Make your health a priority using any resources that you can.
Age: 39
D-day: March 2004
SO recovery: self will (Ha Ha!)
My recovery: ALANON, read, write, recovery nation, occational therapy
Children: girl 13, boy 10
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby AmazingGrace on Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:25 pm

Hello and welcome. While I’m so sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here, I’m glad you’ve discovered this board. Here you will find advice, support, and friendship to help you get through this painful time.

Everyone’s story is different, no matter how similar the circumstances. So once you get to the place where you feel comfortable sharing with us, please start a new post, introduce yourself, and tell us a little bit of your story.

The Blameshifting--
A few of you will come here because your husband has admitted to his problem and is working on it. If instead you are the one to have discovered your husband in this addiction, chances are if you’ve confronted him, he’s fought back. This is such a secret, shameful addiction for men that the typical MO is to "blameshift" if they are caught in the behavior. Your husband feels ashamed and exposed and caught, and he's doing anything he can to get you to back off and not have to deal with this. My husband did this for years until I finally told him "You are no longer going to turn this around on me. We are talking about what YOU have done and why that is unacceptable."

You may find that your husbands or boyfriends will argue with you; insist that what they are doing is "normal," turn everything around and point a finger at you as if you are somehow to blame, as if somehow there is something wrong with you that you are bothered by their p use and mb-tion habit. If this is the case, it is simply a testament of how deeply entrenched they are in the habit. You may also see that your husband has become passive and uninvolved with the family; they accomplish nothing, they don't connect with their children. They have even lost their desire for s*xual intimacy with you, the real woman in their lives. You will come to discover that this insidious beast Pornography has un-manned them.

This is not your fault--
All of us feel at times like somehow this is our fault. It doesn’t help that often our partners try to make us think it is our fault. They tell us (and we begin to believe) that if we were just thinner, more beautiful, sweeter, kinder; if we were more aggressive in bed, if we were just [fill in the blanks] they would not have turned to p. It's not true. We may "let ourselves go;" we can't HELP but age; we may raise our children and get distracted and forget to make intimacy a priority, but we don't "make" our husbands become addicts. As Benderson said, most of these addictions “pre-date” our arrival in their lives. The interest in p, the mb, the objectification of women, the secrecy. It started before us, and we did not cause it.

You’ll find all types of women here. There are young women who have just discovered their boyfriend’s addiction, women with kids in high school and college whose 25 year marriages suddenly feel like a sham, women in second marriages who really thought this time they’d found their dream husband. . . All kinds of men end up with this problem, too. All ages, all careers. Men who freely shared their interest in p with their wives when they first married, as well as men who were virgins when they got married and have had only one (physical) sexual partner. Christians, Jews, Athiests. There is not a “Typical” addict description.

The Common Thread--Most men who are addicted to p (who hide it and use it secretively) have some things in common. Those include an early exposure to p (at age 5-8 or so), emotional immaturity, and an inability to cope with their emotions in a healthy way. The addiction starts innocently enough--with a curiosity about the human body, with their first s*xual experiences. But as they get deeper and deeper entrenched in it, the act of searching for p & then mbing afterwards provides as much of a chemical high as crack (or more, I've heard). They do it like an alcoholic drinks alcohol; like an overeater eats. They do it to escape their negative emotions. But though they may feel a momentary relief, it is often followed by self-loathing and guilt.

The way this is not about you is that in his mind your husband has completely separated this from the rest of his life. As ridiculous as it may seem, he doesn't think what he's doing has (or should have) anything to do with you at all. He's wrong, but he thinks this is just about him. Although most of us feel like our husbands are cheating on us when they secretly look at p & mb, most addicts really don't think about it that way. I know, it makes no sense. One of our members, Isis, has said, "If he's got his face in someone else's private parts & he's experiencing org*sm, how is that NOT cheating??!!"

It's ironic to me that a lot of male addicts who come here seem surprised to find that their p & mb habit is what has been causing their erectile difficulties. Duh. It changes their hearts and makes them objectify women; keeps them at a distance from us so lovemaking is just "having sex." Makes them unsatisfied with what they have and makes them think that somehow they deserve more than what they've got.

He may do it when he's frustrated with you, but it's not because of you; it's because he doesn't have healthy ways to deal with his emotions. It's not about you because even those who are plain & even overweight like me find that when our husbands leave p behind, they can be completely satisfied with our bodies and faces; can find us beautiful and s*xy and more than enough woman for them.

What to do now? You don't have to "do" anything right away. Just try to get some sleep, be at least a little bit present for your children, in your classes, at your job. If you have any good girlfriends or prayer partners that you can confide in, please do. I would recommend a few books--for me "Every Heart Restored" helped me understand how my husband's addiction was not about me; "Do You Think I'm Beautiful" by Angela Thomas restored in me a true picture of how God values me. Recently I've started doing the partners' exercises on RecoveryNation.com (a free sex-addiction recovery website) and have found them to be very calming.

As much as you may want to play Sherlock Holmes, the things you see are only going to make you feel worse. It's enough to know that your husband has a problem--you don't need all these images burned into your mind. Of course, most of us have spent our fair share of time in obsessive checking, so we'll understand if you need to do that for a while longer. . .

Stay strong. Find support. Go to counseling just for yourself. Change something you do have control over (I've used this time to lose weight and stop biting my fingernails). Be patient. Be graceful. Continue to confront. Don't settle for less than what you deserve.
If he doesn't feel like there's a problem with it, you do have an uphill battle. But that's where a lot of us started, and there is hope.

You'll hear from others about "boundary setting." For me, I had to give my husband an ultimatum--choose--porn or me. Fortunately he chose me, but that result can't be guaranteed.

You can live with this, hope it will go away, pretend it never happened. The chances are his problem will escalate until you're only having sex once a month or less; until his parts no longer work right; until he seems like he's not even there during s*x. . . You need to ask yourself if this is the life you want. Or are you willing to stand up for what you deserve, whether or not you end up staying with him?

Keep asking questions & reading what other people have to say. As you read more and more you will get a sense of whether or not your boyfriend/husband is interested in recovery, and you can begin to decide what you want to do. I've heard it said before, take a deep breath. You don't have to decide what to do today, tomorrow, or even this week. Take all the time you need to make a decision that's right for you.

Just remember that you are amazing & beautiful and special and precious. You can get through this, and we’ll be here for you.
My own personal battle--
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My old recovery journal--http://tinyurl.com/2tnaja
My new recovery journal--http://tinyurl.com/3brwtn

Age: 36
Rel'p stats: together 17 years, married 13 years
DH's Most Recent Relapse: August 6, 2008
First D-day: April 6, 2007
SO recovery: more active than it's been in the past--RN workshop
My recovery: active-ish--RN workshop, posting & visiting here
Kids: 5 year old son
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:50 pm

Q : Now that I've confronted him, what do I do next?

So, you need what is refered to around here as boundaries; which is just really consequences for his crappy behaviors and/or attitudes. Boundaries protect us from them. Boundaries range from mild, to seperation, to divorce around here. If you check out some of the SO's journals you'll see what I mean. As for me and my husband I insisted he never cheat on me with porn again or he could leave and we would get divorced. He no more needs to, nor has to look at porn than he needs, or has to have a physical affair with another woman. That was the ultimatum and consequence he would receive. Because I gave him such an "extreme" consequence, is why he quit using. He would tell you that. Unless I would have done that he would have been able in his mind to justify and excuse his behavior and never really take it, or me, seriously concerning it. Some PA's don't need that extreme, some actually need their spouse to leave them and file for divorce before they're willing to face it and change. Some (a small number in comparison) actually choose the porn over the spouse when faced with losing their spouse over it .

After the boundaries are set, however, to get them to start down the road of sobriety, they must also get to the bottom of why they became addicts to begin with- which is not because it is like a drug in their brain. They use that feeling to hide, run from, escape from something; to avoid emotional intimacy, but the feeling isn't the "why". It's merely what keeps them coming back for more. They need to get to the bottom of what causes them to want to "check out" of reality all the time. Find that root cause and heal that, then there is no need for an addiction in one's life anymore. So, some SO's give their husbands things they must do so that they can get to the bottom of why. Some of those things for them include:

Addiction counseling, 12 step groups, accountability partners, reading books, etc. If they don't do those things there are consequences.


Initially I just told my husband he better figure it out and not do this to me ever again. I put the ball in his court on how to go about that, but let him know if he wanted me in his life, he better. Later, I asked him if he thought counseling to get to the root cause would help him work through it and overcome it, so he wouldn't even feel the need to escape anymore. He agreed and that's what he did. He went back to those traumatic early years of his life and talked about them, allowed himself for the first time to feel and grieve them so those wounds could heal, and he forgave. He never had "addiction counseling" per se, but some advise that here, and it's worked for them. My husband also turned to God and his faith to help him work through it all and heal. He is now recovered from PA. He hasn't used in nearly 4 years, hates that he ever did, and has no desire for it any longer.

I would suggest reading here for professional advice on what to do (esp if you haven't confronted him yet):


viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1615

Take care,
CD
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby Hephzibah on Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:56 pm

I wanted to welcome new partners to the board. No-Porn has been a blessing to me since I joined the old board in May 2004. I've made friends and even met some live and in person. The best thing is that I didn't have to go on this healing journey alone - but had people holding my hand and times - and holding theirs at time.

Please realize his addiction is not because of a deficit in you. You're wonderful, beautiful, ENOUGH - just the way you are. Even if you're an overweight, grey-haired grandmother like me! You're enough because God doesn't make junk.

Viewing porn becomes an addiction because the brain releases chemicals when they view porn and is reinforced by the "feel-good" of mb. It may look a little like sex since they use their sex organ - but it really has NOTHING to do with sex - it has to do with getting a brain-chemical fix. Some men go through withdrawal after a week to a month of sobriety. Just as alcoholics need alcohol or drug addicts need drugs - we are in relationship with men who needed their brain-chemical fix. Getting this brain chemical high became a way to avoid reality and numb emotions - so it has a lot in common with other addictions.

I'd recommend the following:

(1) Educate yourself on both addiction and recovery. Here's a list of books and other resources that I have either found helpful or are on my "want" list: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=134#p577 At the bottom are links to some of the threads I found helpful from the old board.

(2) Make a "Recovery Plan." This plan, for me, had two focuses. The first was boundaries so I could feel safe staying in the marriage. The second was pre-thinking how I would respond when I was triggered or when he'd slip. When triggers/slips would happen, my emotions would be in turmoil and it was difficult to figure out what I wanted or needed to do. By pre-planning, I'd already did the hard work of analyzing what I needed to do; so I had to do the other hard work of implementing the plan. My plan is here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=127#p538

(3) Nothing has to be decided right now. Gift yourself with taking time to decide what you need to do for you. What we go through is very much like going through grief. I studied Kubler-Ross Grieving Cycle and it helped me realize that I was moving through quite well, even though there were days I felt stuck in a tunnel with only a glimmer of light at the end. Eventually I went through the grieving cycle and arrived at acceptance - acceptance is NOT approval.

(4) I lost about 3 years of my life to monitoring my husband. He was porning a few hours a week; however, I was monitoring him hours a day. I'd stay up when I was tired, just to make sure he didn't porn. One time I refused to let the doctor admit me to the hospital because I wouldn't be home to make sure my husband was faithful. Eventually I realized my response to his addiction was stealing my life and sucking my health, joy and peace. I couldn't let go of the checking until I started to trust my boundaries.

(5) You might want to read some information on emotional abuse. Many of their blameshifting, gaslighting, refusal to talk is abuse. Although we can't make them stop - we can recognize that they're abusive and we're not crazy. That was a hallmark milestone in my own recovery. A good site about verbal and emotional abuse is Dr. Irene at http://www.drirene.com/

(6) It's okay to talk to a few people in real life about what you're going through - but please pick safe people who will support you and not tell you that you're weird for how you feel. I even had a lady pastor tell me my husband was probably porning because I didn't wear sexy enough lingerie. Wrong.

(7) Create your own life independent of him and his addiction. I know how hard it is to go do something when 3/4 of your mind is wondering if he's home porning - but make yourself do fun things without him anyway. Find time to do things you enjoy - pamper yourself. Treat yourself like you wish he would treat you. It can be very validating to treat yourself as the special woman you are. This is two-fold. (a) It bolsters your self esteem and helps you cope with the stress of his addiction; and (b) It lets him know that you can live a good life with or without him. My husband started making changes in his life only after I started patterning a healthier life - including going out with friends, going to events, getting active in things that I enjoyed and meeting new friends. I think he started worrying he might loose me - so started changing in a few ways.

(8) Get a pillow or punching bag or exercise - something to help you deal with the stress. There were many days I went for a long drive and screamed and yelled everything I wanted to blast my husband with. Then I'd cry, pray and be able to come home in a healthy, peaceful mindset. Not so much for him - but because I prefer feeling happy and peaceful and don't want to make amends or apologize when I reacted rudely. There were many times I acted unbecomingly and had regret for my own verbal abuse thrown at him.

(9) The loss of trust is a biggie. He's the one who lost the trust; therefore, he's the one who will have to re-earn it. He can only do that by consistently acting trustworthy day after day, month after month, year after year. We may never trust them blindly like we use to - but I think trust can be established if he's willing to do the hard work and you're willing to observe and slowly grow in trust as he does things to earns deeper trust. My husband said, "You misplaced the trust - you find it." Thus, he hasn't earned much trust back - but it's his responsibility even if he won't accept it..... I can either detach until he earns more trust, leave, or find other ways to healthily respond to his refusal/inability to act trustworthy.

(10) You might want to start a journal in the journal section. I've found my journal very healing and I can go back to it and see dysfunctional cycles that I'm still trapped in - and see areas where I've grown. There's often very good feedback from others in journals... we really get to know each other in deeper ways through these documents.

Hephzibah
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde

"First, there is the fall, and then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God!" – Lady Julian of Norwich

Member (old board) since: May 2004

My Recovery Plan (back when I was with ex): viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8174#p160542
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby kello2005 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:08 am

RECOVERY NATION http://www.recoverynation.com

Recoverynation (RN) is an online workshop/program designed for SA's (sex addicts/porn addicts etc) by a recovering SA. The program for PA's is roughly 3 months and can involve personal coaching for a fee - but the general program is completely free.
The workshop includes topics such as: identifying values to live by, understanding addiction, understanding your partner, urge control and way too many others to list. There is a journal aspect where SA's are expected to respond to the workshops in a very hands-on approach.

There is also a workshop/program for the partner's of SA's. It includes topics such as: the traumatic discovery, the emotional roller coaster, understanding compulsive behaviour, coping with depression, identifying your boundaries, etc. There is also a journal aspect for the partner's workshop where you can keep track of your progress, values and boundaries.

There is also a general forum for both SA's and partners.

I cannot recommend this website/program more!

My boyfriend has been participating for 3 months and I have seen tons of improvement, he has not acted out in 2 months and his communication and empathy skills are growing every day.
I have noticed a big change in myself as well...the workshop is very supportive and gave me the chance to understand what was going on, the part that I can play in helping him in recovery (although understanding that it is not my responsibility), and the importance of keeping myself healthy and strong during this process (detaching as much as possible).

Please check this site out!
"When someone shows you their true colors - believe them." - Maya Angelou

Recommended resource: http://www.recoverynation.com (for you and your SO)

Age: 25
D-day: August '07
Most recent d-day: December '07
Relationship status: dating for 3 years (don't live together)
SO recovery: active, working on RN
My recovery: active, working on RN, and attending individual counseling
Children: nope (but I can't wait until I do!)
kello2005
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:03 pm

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