A wife of a suspected porn addict in need of help

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by aoisakurachan, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. aoisakurachan

    aoisakurachan Fapstronaut

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    Hey there,
    I'm the wife of a suspected porn addict. I'm pretty frustrated and upset, because I have my suspicions but I feel like I can't talk to anyone about it. I DO need a judgement free place to just get some advice.

    So let me give you some background before I get into my question. It's a bit of a book, so I do apologize.
    I have loved my husband for 10 years, we've been married for 5. At the very beginning of our relationship, my husband (then boyfriend) allowed me to use his old laptop, and I came across an absolute enormous amount of porn. This upset me, but I figured at the time he'd been a single man until recently, I can understand. I explained to him that porn had no place in a relationship with me. He agreed to stop and I thought at the time that was going to be the end of it.

    Fast forward to the end of 2016. I happened to remember he used to watch porn. Why it struck my brain, I have no idea. I asked him, " are you still watching porn?" to which he replies," I will neither confirm or deny." I simply said that for his sake, I hope he wasn't. Fast forward again to March 2017. I had the day of and my husband left his private computer on. He never had a lock on it so everything he had on his computer, I could see just by walking into the room. I had come into the room and had noticed his computer was on. I went to turn it off, and found thousands of porn videos he'd downloaded. I'd opened one just to make sure the title was what I thought it was. Yep, it sure was. I was especially upset that he downloaded these videos EVERYDAY. Anywhere from 4-8 videos per day! I was crushed and ended up texting him at work about it just loosing my mind. He came home, we argued, I told him it was the a kin to cheating, he said I was making a mountain out of a mole hill, yada yada yada. It ended by him promising that he'd delete it all and he'd stop watching it.

    A few months later, same thing. New videos, and everything. The only days he didn't have new stuff downloaded was when we were on vacation. Again, I freaked out, told him I was leaving him, he came home early from work and again we argued. I accused him of lying and being addicted to which he again told me he'd stop because he thought he could stop when ever he wanted. I told him he'd have to prove it. Of course part of it was me trying to convince myself not to leave him because "this time, he'll change." I watched him delete his cash of videos, but checked the next day and noticed he "forgot" a few. I kept an eye on them to see if they'd been watched and the "last watched" thing didn't move. Finally, a few months later, I noticed one new video had been downloaded. Porn, ofcourse. I'd left the house leaving a "it's porn or me" letter saying that if he chose to stay married to me, he had to go to rehab and do some marriage counciling. He agreed. After that I continued to keep an eye on his computer and never found anything new. I started trusting him again.
    Almost all of 2018, I can honestly say I had almost regained full trust until I noticed in late 2018 he was starting to show the same behavior he did before. Staying up late (he's also a huge gamer so this wasn't a glaring red flag), lack of interest in sex, lack of interest in interacting with me. He was looking at 4chan and Reddit a lot on his phone again (his alternative to downloading porn and also his main trigger).

    The biggest red flags were that he'd put a lock on his computer, he'd NEVER had a lock on his computer and the other was.. and sorry if this is a TMI... but usually even after not having sex for a few weeks he'd only last maybe 10 minutes. We'd not had sex since November 5th. Today was our first time in MONTHS. He took forever to finish and seemed disinterested half way through.
    I am terrified he's watching porn again and the idea of confronting him again just makes me anxious right down to my bones. Especially because I know he won't tell me the truth.
    My biggest question is, am I over reacting? Am I putting a problem there that really isn't there? What do I do? How can I even tell he's lying or telling the truth? I've asked this on Reddit and was only told that I should mind my own business or that if I'd put out more, he wouldn't need porn. I desperately need some help and not judgement. I feel so alone. My therapist just encourages me to divorce him.
    Thank you for reading my exceedingly long post. I do appreciate any advice.
     
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  2. Myfortress

    Myfortress Fapstronaut

    He is hooked and he doesn't seem to think that it is a problem. When in fact, there is a lot wrong. He doesn't even realize the effect it is having on him or your relationship. Using porn effects the brain in a negative way that effects the entire personality. He has polluted his brain so much he cant even get excited about the real thing. I am sorry. You have to realize that none of this is your fault, except putting up with it for so long. I recommend that you join the significant others group and post your introduction message there. There are other wives who are dealing with the same thing. I am happy to answer any other questions you have. If you can get him to come here or read about the negative effects on his brain there is a chance for recovery.
     
    RealWinner, Basith, Honeydude and 2 others like this.
  3. aoisakurachan

    aoisakurachan Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for that. I agree, I shouldn't have put up with this for so long, but I guess I don't know what to do to change that other than to leave him. He doesn't see it as a problem and until he does, and admit that it IS a problem, I don't know what I can do. I feel a bit hopeless.
     
  4. Myfortress

    Myfortress Fapstronaut

    Everyone on this site realizes that porn is a problem and is negatively impacting their life. They all want to quit and take the steps necessary to do so. If he recognizes that he has a problem he would have to be willing to let you put accountability software on all his devices. But if you ask and he doesn't acknowledge it's a problem, he won't quit until he hits bottom.
     
  5. 1dayattatime

    1dayattatime Fapstronaut

    Well it sounds like you are married to an addict who is now just going to try and "hide it better" but I can tell you that I personally know men who were unwilling to stop even when seeing a counselor and eventually they came to the realization that it was bad for them and stopped. My wife recommends for you to take safety precautions for yourself and gather information. Have a plan of where you would stay or how you would kick him out of the house. When it comes down to it you need to make a decision about what is ok for you. You are not alone and you do not have to go through this alone. Recovering from betrayal in marriage takes 5 to 10 years when both partners are working. Your marriage is not what you thought it was and it will never be the same again, but it can be much better then you ever imagined if he and you are willing to do the work.

    Realize that it could be just porn or it could be much much more. I was addicted to porn for years before I ever actually acted out with a woman in real life and I wasn't willing to do what I needed to until I hit my bottom. His addiction is not about your performance or your worth. It is about his un-delt-with emotional issues that he is numbing with porn. I am sorry that you have to face this. It's a long and scary road no matter what you choose to do, but it is worth considering when you make your decisions that even if you leave him you could end up wit him someone else who is an addict because addiction is more than just the behavior. It is a way of coping with life that has its foundation in many areas of life.
     
  6. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    Unfortunately, @Myfortress is correct. Until an addict realises that he's an addict, he will be blind to the consequences. I've seen the same thing in alcoholics — "I can stop any time." "Why are you worried about me? It doesn't hurt anyone."

    Whatever you do, don't blame yourself.
     
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  7. aoisakurachan

    aoisakurachan Fapstronaut

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    One thing I will say about this whole thing is that, and this may sound bad, I've always known that I was never the problem. He's been watching porn since he was in highschool, way before I was ever in the picture. I know it's all him.
     
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  8. RightEffort

    RightEffort Fapstronaut

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    hey friend!

    I respect you for taking the time to actually get other peoples perspective and not being so closed minded on your own perspective. I like to share some of my perspectives.

    I just want to say this is my personal opinion. I have never been married, nor am I a professional psychologist, you want to take my advice with a grain of salt and ALL answers are within you. I can only share from my undrestanding and experience.


    I can tell you from a guys perspective, your husband doesn't even know why watches, porn, he just DOES.

    No amount of promising you to stop is ever going to help him because his actions is not done consciously, he is like a walking zombie when it comes to porn.

    Just like an alcoholic who promises his wife, I'll never drink again, that is a lie, and if the wife has any compassion or wisdom, would NOT let her husband make such promises.

    Do you ever get really angry and yell at your children and feel guilty after? Do you ever eat junk food because you crave something that you knew is not good for you but you feel helpless?

    So your husband is just like all other men in the world, as long as they awaken to who they are beyond their conditioning, we are a slave to the carnal mind, the mortal mind, and the unconscious mind.

    This mind is the million-year-old monkey mind, in the jungle for millions of years, mating is a good thing. So your husband's million year old monkey mind is now encapsulated in a modern man in a marriage.

    So here is what I suggest as your friend before you can make the right choice you must let go of anger, and resentment towards him because that won't help you in any way to make a conscious choice.

    Even if you choose to leave him after, you must first forgive him and let go of all your anger, then and only then you will have any power to let him go

    So here are some suggested steps

    1. Forgive him - I don't mean agree to his porn watching, I mean understand his limitation as an addict and a sick person. Even if he wouldn't admit it. You wouldn't hate him if he had cancer or some other sickness, well porn addiction - like any other addiction is a spiritual sickness. We have it because we have some kind of wound, some emptiness in us, and we shouldn't close our heart to him.

    I know your hurt by his actions, I know you are sincere and shocked and if i was in your shows, I too would feel the same, yet i tell you, this is a great opportunity for you to evolve consciously.

    Because life only gives you situations to help you evolve. So as messy as this feels and looks, realize you have the power to make the best choice in this matter and by opening your heart and not hating him or resenting him, you will have the highest chance to make the best choice.

    When you first said I saw his old laptop and I found porn and I got upset, that tells me that you have created a fantasy of your husband and you really don't understand the nature of male sexuality. Which is okay but perhaps you can really understand that MOST MEN watch porn. I'm not saying its okay, I'm just saying this is the reality of this unconscious wounded civilization.

    Perhaps you can be grateful that your husband is not sleeping around with other women or does have an addiction or does get drunk and abuse you like many other men do every day.

    Again i'm not saying you should accept his porn watching, maybe to you this is a deal breaker and you will have to leave him but you MUST first forgive him and understand him deeply and lovingly before you can truly be free from suffering.

    Because if you leave him and you are still hurt you will continue to suffer. but if you love him, forgive him and leave him you will be free.

    However, I wouldn't even think of leaving because I believe this relationship is here to teach you something about yourself and to help you become a more evolved being.

    If you have trouble with this step, ask God/creator/source/unconditional love to help you forgive him... "Forgive them, father, for they know not what they do. and forgive me too for I don't know what i'm doing either"

    So if you can't forgive him yourself ask God to do it for you.

    Once you clearly forgive him, then you can go to the next step...

    2 Understand that he can never change to please you he will only change if he wants to.

    You have to understand if you force him to stop watching he will never be able to- even if he does do it in front of you he will always do it in his mind later, you can't help it.

    He may promise you a million times but he will NEVER change, even if he changes it is not real. He is always going to be watch porn.

    The only possibility of him stopping is that you LOVE HIM exactly as he is, be 100% okay with him never changing - this will give him the opportunity to naturally want to change.

    No one wants nor can change for another, this is who he is now, only unconditional love and acceptance enables another to change.

    Once you do the above 2 steps, then you must get very quiet, and deep in your own heart in silence and prayer asking your higher self what is the best option - what would do the least harm and the highest good for all parties involved.

    No one can tell you what to do friend. Not your therapoist nor any one here, this is a choice you must make for yourself, but you wont be able to make a conscious heart centered choice from power, unless you first deeply forgive him and understand the nature of his addiction and understand how helpless he actually is.
     
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  9. Br1 R1

    Br1 R1 Fapstronaut

    I just posted the above earlier today, see above if he is like most of us he wont change until he hits rock bottom and does it for himself. I am sure he loves you and this is not your fault as you said, it is all his and he needs to get this out of his system. I did all the counselling, 12 step SLAA meetings, read books and really wanted to give up for my wife and family. It didn't work for me, I had to want it for me. This is only my opinion but I am now commited as I WANT to be a better person.

    You are in the right place here, look around, ask questions and people will give their time and advice freely. This site has been the best for me, get him on here if you can and get him reading other SO's stories, will make him realise what he is doing to you hopefully.

    Hope everything works out for you, it sounds like you would support him and help him if he needs it and he will. My wife has been better than I could ever imagine. Just always remember it has nothing to do with you it is his addiction, HE need to sort it out, took me a long time, too long to realise this but once I did I started my recovery, serious recovery not something so my wife thinks I am in recovery.
     
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  10. aoisakurachan

    aoisakurachan Fapstronaut

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    Thank you. You have no idea, how much this helps!
     
    Myfortress likes this.
  11. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Good morning @aoisakurachan,
    First of all, this Thread belongs in the "Partner Support" Forum, not in the "Rebooting in a Relationship" Forum. Not that I care, but you should. I think you'll get much better and more visibility from the SO than you will here. If it's something you want to entertain, just ask a Moderator to move it for you.

    No apologies.
    Unbeknownst to you at the time, that was your first RED FLAG: Huge stash of Porn.
    Unfortunately, society has groomed you, and us, to believe such a lie. Being single has less to do with pornography addiction than so many other factors. I will say that "Loneliness" does play a role in it however.
    Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out that way. As addicts, we make promises we either don't have the capacity to keep, hence it is an addiction, or we have no intention to keep, hence it is an addiction. Either way, we make promises we cannot keep, and we certainly shouldn't engage in such promises.
    I do. Do you ever recall things that just seemed out of place? Just didn't fit quite right? Something is wrong, but you can't put your finger on it? Yeah, those things. You call them your "gut instincts", your "women's intuition", your "sixth sense", and a host of other things. We call them RED FLAGS. These RED FLAGS, individually, are meaningless. But when you stack them all up together, collectively, what you realize is that you've been holding the pieces to a puzzle all along, and when you lay them out flat on the table, you can put the pieces of the puzzle together such that a picture emerges. You, without even realizing it, have put the pieces of the puzzle together, and the picture is that of a PA.
    What is this, a congressional inquiry? When answered in this manner, the presumption of guilt is overwhelming. "I can't recall". "I plead the fifth". Hell, he may as well have just said "YES".
    But you already knew the answer to the question didn't you?
    "...making a mountain out of a mole hill..."? That's RED FLAG #2: Gaslighting. Why the hell are you getting so angry about something that is nothing? DO NOT let this stand and do not stand for it. That is tantamount to "It's your fault because you are getting angry. Your anger is a reaction to his actions. It is a perfectly valid and reasonable emotion. What isn't valid is wrath, so stay clear of that. You certainly have every right to be angry, so do not accept this ridiculous argument of his.

    RED FLAG #3: I promise, blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before. If you have the wherewithal to be this blunt about it, tell him. "I'm not interested in your fucking promises".
    Does this entire conversation not seem like you're repeating yourself over and over and over again? Does it this entire conversation not seem like he is repeating himself over and over and over again? Same song. Different verse. Remix! I'm going to give you the tools to fix that.
    Because he is as good as his word, right? This is an addict talking. Not your Partner. Remember that.
    OK, there are several things here:

    A) Did he actually "...go to rehab..."?
    B) Did he actually do some "...marriage councilling..."?

    Either one of these things? I assure you he only did it to patronize you and forego losing you. His agreement to do so was nothing short of manipulating you. Remember, this is your addict, not your Partner. It's like an alternate personality taking control and making decisions.

    NEVER EVER make any demands of an addict. They will not OWN it if you do. They will do it to appease you. Your note "...it's porn or me..." is an ultimatum, and ultimatums very rarely ever work. I'll get to that later.


    Remember what I said earlier about "...gut instincts...", etc.? Yeah, now you're starting to see a familiar pattern emerge again. You recognize the behaviors now. That's good.
    Actually this is RED FLAG #3: Staying up late. Don't let the "...gamer..." idea fool you. Ever heard of "Discord"? There is huge enormous amounts of porn exhibited there. While the mass ignorance of the population sees it as a gaming website, servers are littered with large amounts of pornography in any variety you so choose.
    RED FLAGS #4 & #5: Lack of interest in sex & Lack of interest in Partner. Huge RED FLAGS. If he isn't interested in sex with you, he's interested in sex with someone else or himself. It is no reflection on you. It is his addiction seeking that dopamine fix in much the same way an alcoholic is seeking that alcohol fix or that drug addict is seeking that drug fix.
    Alternative? Neither of these are an "...alternative...". They are porn, or at minimum, P-Subs. Both of these sites are covered up with pornography.
    RED FLAG #6: Securing his Addiction by locking you out of his computer. The only reason for this would be so that he didn't have to deal with the confrontation should you find any more betrayal.
    10 minutes is actually considered in the normal range. I think that 7 is the average. Anyhow, this would only be an issue if it was significantly longer than normal or significantly shorter than normal. If normal is low, he'd have PE. If normal were high, he'd have DE. Those numbers vary from person to person, but you get the idea. Oh, and JSYK, the idea that any of this is TMI, not on this Forum.
    This? Is not normal. This is along the lines of RED FLAG #4 above.
    As is this along the lines of RED FLAG #5.
    Relax. Take a deep breath. We'll walk you through how to go about doing this. I have a plan. You too will have a plan. Besides, you're well into your way of addressing it starting with acknowledgement "...I know he won't tell me the truth..." You're right. I think he's to the point he knows he has nothing to lose by telling you the truth because in his mind, you'll really leave him this time whether that is true or not.
    NO! Absolutely not.
    NO! Absolutely not.
    Boundaries & Consequences. If you want/need help with that, just let me know and I will help you.
    As of this moment in time? Just look to see if his lips are moving. You have little reason to believe a word that comes out of his mouth at the moment. All of these RED FLAGS? They paint a picture that you can see. His words and his actions do not align with one another. Keep and compile a list of all of these things that make you go "hmmm!"
    I don't know what jackasses you've stumbled across on Reddit, but this is a bunch of pornography addicts Gaslighting and supporting their addiction. IGNORE IT! They're a bunch of fools following a fools game of addictinon. This is your Partner. "...mind my(your) own business..." doens't apply here. Nor does "...if I'd (you'd) put out more, he wouldn't need porn..." These are lies. In fact, it begs the question, if their partner "...would put out more...", then why are they even there? Fact is, and I don't even know you, but as his Partner, I'm quite certain there were ample instances and interest on your part to have sex with your Partner. Isn't that correct? So this idea that "...if I'd (you'd) put out more..." is udder bullshit. The real truth? He needs porn because he is addicted to it.
    Well, you can get plenty of that here. Nobody is going to judge you.
    A) Why are you seeing a therapist?
    B) Your therapist is an idiot. Fire him/her! That's not a solution. That's a bandaid. Seriously, find another one, preferably one who is a CSAT (Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist). If you need help choosing one, let me know, and I have resources to help you with that too.
    OK,
    • Set up and establish your Boundaries & Consequences
    • Get this book:
    The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships Paperback– February 12, 2019
    by Dr. Patrick Carnes
    https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Bon...7936&sr=8-2&keywords=the+betrayal+bond+carnes

    Dr. Carnes is the world's foremost subject matter expert.

    Any questions?
    You're right about this! It isn't hopeless though.
    This is huge. This is great that you realize and know this.

    Let me know what I can do to help you.
     
    Basith likes this.
  12. aoisakurachan

    aoisakurachan Fapstronaut

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    Good morning GhostWriter!
    Thank you so so so much for ALL of this information! You have no idea how absolutely comforting this is! I guess my biggest question here that I've been stuck on for this entire thing is the "creating the boundaries & consequenses ". I've really never gotten much help with this one because in times passed, it's always been an ultimatum. My father was/is an alcoholic and I've only ever heard that it has to be the ultimatum route. I watched my mother go this route. What would be the best way of going about something other than an ultimatum route?
     
  13. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Gotcha covered young lady:

    BOUNDARIES & CONSEQUENCES
    UPDATED: 2018.10.1

    SOME SIMPLE RULES
    • Apply the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle to your Boundaries & Consequences. They need to be short, concise, and to the point.
    • Be specific and don’t be ridiculous in your expectations. If your Partner has a history of Sexual Addiction, Pornography Addiction, Lying, or any other acts of betrayal, these are all contributors to the addiction. They WILL NOT simply just go away because you created and enforced a set of Boundaries & Consequences. There is a very high probability that your Partner WILL slip up as their addiction has more control over them than they do their addiction. As such, you can anticipate some level of Boundary crossing to occur. Be prepared for that in your Consequences.
    • Make it a formalized process and discuss and disclose your Boundaries and Consequences so that your Partner has an opportunity to follow them.
    BOUNDARIES versus ULTIMATUMS

    A Boundary and an Ultimatum is very different in their intended purpose.

    BOUNDARIES

    Boundaries are instruments you set forth to protect yourself in the safety and security of your environment. These are things that you declare that you will NOT tolerate in a relationship with someone else. These are things that you have declared that you are not comfortable and able to engage in, and that you have neither the time, space, nor inclination to be an active or passive participant in. It doesn’t make any difference whether it is on physical, mental, spiritual, or moral grounds, these things you will not accept in your life.

    ULTIMATUMS

    An Ultimatum is different in that these instruments are set forth, not for your own protection, but to control the other party in the relationship. You make an ultimatum to get them to do or act a certain way, not because they violate any code of conduct you have upheld, but solely to control the actions and behavior of the other party. These make no difference whatsoever, and have little influence and impact on you, but have a lot of it on them. It is a controlling and manipulative practice.

    In short, you don’t create boundaries to control your Partner. You create them to protect yourself.

    BOUNDARIES

    Keep your Boundaries at a half dozen or so. You don’t want to overwhelm your Partner any more than they already are or is absolutely necessary because they are already overwhelmed. Your Partner can make some too, but no more than a dozen total and preferably somewhat equal between you.

    Boundaries should always be Objective. That is, they must always be defined in such a way that there is absolutely, positively, no way to misinterpret the Boundary or the spirit of the meaning of it. Any subjectivity allows the abuser to create their own interpretation as an excuse to circumvent the Boundary.

    When it comes to your Boundaries, you are the judge, jury, and executioner. They are not subject to interpretation, determination or negotiation, nor are you unless you so choose otherwise.

    This is a sample list of Boundaries (These would be my top picks)

    • No Lying. Don’t make me have to explain to you what a lie is. (This is #1 for a reason)
    • No PMO, or any combination thereof.
    • No Gaslighting.
    • No Secrets that have any potential influence or impact on me.
    • No Infidelity. Don’t make me have to explain to you what infidelity is.
    • No Apathy meaning don’t ignore your role in your recovery and don’t make me have to explain to you what that is. (I find this to be one of the single most important ones, yet no one seems to list it as one)
    Additionally, other people have used these:
    • No using Partner to Masturbate
    • No Pornography Substitutes (P-Subs)
    • No edging
    • No erotic texting or Sexting, or electronic correspondence of a sexual nature
    • No CD/DVD/VHS or any other media containing pornographic images or videos
    • No objectification or ogling other women
    • No books, magazines, or other material of an erotic nature of any kind
    • If you have a slipup, relapse, of any kind, you must notify me within 24 hours
    • No Applications (Apps) whose intended purpose is to disguise inappropriate material.
    • No social media, including but not limited to, Facebook, Kik, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, et al.
    • No Incognito Mode on any browser or deleting any history in whole or in part
    • No Deep Web and No Dark Web, including TOR Brows er of any kind
    • No News Groups or Internet Relay Chat
    • No Hookup Sites, Dating Sites, Ashley Madison, Tender, et al for the purpose of of getting together which may include, but is not limited to, Craigslist
    • No circumventing Blocker Apps or Reporting Apps, parental controls, WiFi restrictions, Proxy Servers, or anything else designed to monitor your electronic media activities
    • No touching me, grabbing me, groping me
    • No fantasizing
    • No strip clubs, adult novelty stores, or adult magazine sections in any store
    • No cameras, video recording devices, hidden or visual, at any time
    • No perpetual cycles of relaps/reset
    • No indulging in any fetishes of any kind
    • No testing
    • No begging, renegotiating, or pleading boundaries in a state of consequences
    CONSEQUENCES versus PUNISHMENTS
    Most people don’t have a clue and don’t know the difference when they believe that Consequences and Punishments are synonymous with one another. They are not. People are unclear what the difference is.

    CONSEQUENCES
    Consequences are set to teach us a lesson to lead us to positive change. It is so that we make good choices. It encourages self-examination, holding oneself accountable and responsible for one’s actions, learn from our mistakes, and develop a means of self-control. Consequences make it so that we learn that we are very capable of taking responsibility for our own problems and process and handle them appropriately.

    PUNISHMENT
    Punishment is to cause us to suffer for our actions. It is intended to inflict hurt, pain, and revenge. It causes resentment, and on extremely rare occasions, we learn something from it. It is characterized by criticism, sarcasm, disapproval, and domination. It teaches us that force, intimidation, and revenge are acceptable responses to our behavior. It teaches us, not to think for ourselves, but to forfeit that right to others to think for us on our behalf. This mentality can lead to susceptibility to negative peer groups, cults, and gangs. It is very damaging to our self-esteem and is absent of any safety and security in our environment. Corporal punishment hurts us both physically and emotionally. Verbal and emotional punishment (yelling, threatening, criticizing, ridiculing, withdrawing love and attention) is particularly hurtful to us with a traumatic background (PTSD). Punishment is too convenient, is often inflicted because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”, and more often than not, done so for lack of knowing what else or anything better to do. It is an effort to maintain control and authority over us anticipating immediate change in our behavior. Unfortunately, we only respond out of fear, for we are not in any mental capacity, feel trapped and backed into a corner, and any changes that we do make are generally short lived. We respond out of fear instead of out of a desire to “do the right thing.” We will attempt to be, and remain compliant, but only do so in your presence, and that does not lead to any semblance of self-control or self-discipline.

    NATURAL CONSEQUENCES
    In the real world, we operate on a principle of natural consequences. The consequences are direct and logical for each boundary violation. The best examples of these are with our own children. Forget your jacket? You’re cold. Forget your lunch? You’re hungry. Stay awake? You’re tired. Like our children, the natural consequences to our behavior teaches us naturally what the ramifications are of our actions. We pay a natural price for those. Fortunately, if we stay awake, the consequence is simple. We’re tired. If we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and because we are tired, cause a terrible traffic accident that kills someone, then our consequence is we get to go to jail. These are most preferable because we don’t have to think about coming up with the consequence; we learn them from the real world. Imposing consequences on someone who must endure natural consequences is counterproductive.

    IMPOSED CONSEQUENCES
    As with Boundaries & Consequences, these consequences are imposed consequences; not natural consequences. These are imposed because we present a problem for someone else, others, or our actions pose a danger to ourselves. These consequences must reflect the actions, be enforceable, and address the problem. Be careful we aren’t placed in a position to choose our own consequences because, more often than not, we’ll chose consequences that are harder on ourselves than would otherwise be imposed, let alone necessary. This does give us the power to positively reinforce properly addressing and fixing our actions and behavior.

    EXECUTION OF IMPOSED BOUNDARIES

    ENFORCEMENT OF IMPOSED CONSEQUENCES
    • Talk Face2Face and Eye2Eye. This will gain our undivided attention.
    • Watch your body language, tone, and expressions. They should be a teachable moment and intimate connection; not control and intimidation.
    • Find a place and time conducive to delivering your Consequences effectively. Make sure that it doesn’t coincide with any Birthday, Anniversary, Holiday, etc. You want to ensure that we get the message loud and clear and that we are receptive to the idea. Focus on our behavior; not on us.
    • Convey your message clearly and concisely. “I cannot accept this choice, action, and behavior because it violates my boundary…” Your objective is for us to learn from this experience. If you deliver your message to us in the form of guilt, shame, and embarrassment, it will only reinforce and confirm all the self-esteem issues we already know to be true and endure.
    • We need to work as a team, not you in a parent/child relationship, boss/subordinate relationship, or master/slave relationship. Regardless of what we have done, you need to treat us with honor, dignity, and respect just as you expect and anticipate reciprocity of the same.
    • You must be consistent and predictable in the administration of our Consequences. Do not administer a consequence today for something you blatantly ignored yesterday.
    • Don’t lecture us. We’re not your child. We’re your Partner. Say what you need to say to convey your perceived Boundary violation and be done with it.
    • Be clear, concise, and to the point. Instead of telling me why I have a Consequence, make it incumbent upon us to tell you. That way, our understanding of the consequence that we must endure isn’t subject to our interpretation as you clarify, qualify, and quantify our mutual understanding of the consequence. “I don’t know” is totally unacceptable.
    • Anger is a valid emotional response. Wrath is not. Stay calm, avoid yelling, criticizing, and lecturing. We need to become a positive role model for one another, teach those impressionable minds around us coping and communication skills, and send a loud and clear message that there is a proper way to control ourselves. Control your anger. We shall control ours, else you walk away, and have the discussion another day.
    • Idol threats and warnings are Ultimatums. Don’t. It undermines your authority and a healthy respect for Boundaries.
    • Repeating yourself is a waste of time and energy. Repeated warnings undermine your authority. Anything worth saying at all need only to be said once. And that once, is an interactive conversation. If you take the time to say it, take the time to wait for an acknowledgement response. That way, there isn’t any of this “You didn’t say…”, “I don’t remember…”, or better yet, “You said…” which is a gross misinterpretation, and possibly a blatant lie, of the intent and spirit of what you said. “If you do A, the consequence will be X, do we understand each other?” Close the loop.
    • We already have a huge problem with self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. A little positive feedback goes a long way in our healing process. When we make good choices, our best rewards are smiles, hugs, kisses, praise, and words of affirmation. Just as much as you may feel betrayed and abandoned, we do to. We’re not asking for much. So please, when we are putting forth our best effort, and we are doing the right thing, please reinforce the positive behavior in as much as you want to address the negative behavior.
    • Consequences must be relevant to the actions and behaviors you are trying to rectify. If your Partner is not taking out the garbage as a mutually agreed upon chore, you don’t create a consequence to him by hiding his remote controls for his model airplane hobby. It only tends to manipulate and control us. The two have nothing whatsoever to do with one another. Keep it relevant. A more appropriate response would be to put the trash where your Partner must do something with it in order to accomplish what it is they have set out to accomplish at that moment. If he gets angry and says, “Don’t put the garbage on my chair”, gracefully ignore it. Eventually, he’ll figure it out and get the message.
    • Unlike punishments, Consequences do not have to be an immediate response. We are not a child with a short attention span. Delayed consequences allow us to talk openly and calmly about the choices we have made. It gives us time to reflect on the damage our behavior and actions have caused. Oftentimes, that results in a remorseful determination. It doesn’t excuse the actions, the behaviors, the betrayals, but it does make us realize the damage that our self-centered selfish actions have caused.
    • Don’t ever create Consequences that are easier for us to accomplish than they are for you to endure. The consequence is ours; not yours. We did this; not you. If the Consequence is overburdensome and too difficult to accomplish, or we see that it is a virtual impossibility for us to accomplish, we will just view it as a permanent situation, become hopeless, and lack motivation as it evolves into full blown apathy. Consequences should only be necessary to the point of effectiveness. Nothing more. Otherwise, they become too severe, and thus are perceived by us as nothing more than punishments.
    • Don’t give up, and don’t give in. Be forever and always ready to re-evaluate the Consequences you have set forth as you navigate this reconciliation process. This is a very difficult process. These things do take time; lots of time. If your consequence doesn’t work immediately, give it time. You’re looking for progress; not perfection.
    Hope this helps. If you have any questions, please just ask.
     
    Basith likes this.
  14. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    @GhostWriter — You post these boundaries and consequences so many times, and of course you regularly update them.

    Wouldn't it be more useful for you to create a thread where the first post is the "Boundaries and Consequences", which you keep updated, and link to it instead? That way, we always have access to the latest version.
     
  15. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Yes, that's a great idea except:
    • Someone will disagree with something in it, and then lodge a campaign against me (not necessarily the material itself), and then go whine and cry to the Moderation Team because I hurt their feelings. Thus, the thread will get moved, or an argument ensues, and it gets locked because of it.
    • The last update was in October. I've more recently combined the Boundaries & Consequences together than before. The intent before was to have someone focus solely on Boundaries, figure out what you cannot tolerate in the relationship. Define them and refine them. And then, go take a look at the Consequences for violation of said Boundaries.
    But I'll take it under advisement because it has merit and it's a good idea. Ideally, what I'd like to do is create a Thread, lock it down, and not have to deal with all of the rhetoric that ensues. But once the Thread is locked, I cannot even edit it anymore. The single most argumentative people in here are those whose addictions are driving their decisions and actions. I literally spend about 50% of my time helping people, and the other 50% fighting those who are intent on keeping me from helping them. There WILL come a day when I am just DONE.
     
    Mordobarn likes this.
  16. Mordobarn

    Mordobarn Fapstronaut

    Well, you don't have to fight. If you create the thread, put a bold and obvious disclaimer at the top and bottom of the first post that you will not respond to, or even read, any posts whatsoever within the thread. And stick to it! Just don't read the posts (I know that you'll be tempted, but if you can do a hard reboot, you can ignore a bunch of posts in a single thread.)
     
  17. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Yeah, there are those I ignore now. Thing is, and I've seen this unfold, you specifically state it, and for the life of me, some people just can't follow boundaries (their addiction at work), and either they can't follow directions or they can't understand them. It's like you're speaking an ancient lost language anymore.

    Anyway, we can carry this discussion off line if you want. i don't want to hijack this young lady's Thread to engage in this discussion if it's just the same to you.
     
    Mordobarn likes this.
  18. Br1 R1

    Br1 R1 Fapstronaut

    Your bloody boundaries and consequences, was the worst and BEST thing that happened to me. So grateful for the support you gave my wife when she first came on here. You can take it from me, listen to this man he knows what he's on about. Thanks again GW.
     
    Myfortress likes this.
  19. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    I love you Man! And I love you're wife too. She is a real hero and trooper in my book. You've done very well. Yes, it is a huge adjustment for the addict. But, as your testimony reveals, it does work. Thank you so very much for that vote of confidence. The affirmations generally pale compared to the criticisms, but that's OK. If I can save just one relationship, I'm good with the results. I know you can't save everybody because not everybody wants to be saved. But for those that do, it is incredibly rewarding.
     
    Br1 R1 and Myfortress like this.
  20. gymismylife

    gymismylife Fapstronaut

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    I hear ya girl. It's so frustrating. Good job confronting him though. I'm still too afraid to confront mine. I'm worried aboit what he'll say and how he'll react. I personally think you're doing all the right things. Maybe demand the password to his laptop. Maybe also show him this video that I plan to show mine as a segway in to confronting him.
     
    aoisakurachan likes this.

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