Boundaries


Porn Addiction boundaries

Boundaries [Non-Negotiable] – Marriage

  • Pornography with or without masturbation will not be a part of our marriage.
  • Secret/solo masturbation will not be a part of our marriage.

Slips need to be reported within 24 hours.  You will report the slip-up to me, to [Counselor] and to any other accountability partner you have.  I will need to know that you reported to [Counselor] and your partner.

*A slip includes, but is not limited to, the following: viewing porn with or without        masturbation, secret/solo masturbation.

Risky or inappropriate behavior also needs to be reported within 24 hours.  You will report the risky or inappropriate behavior to me, to Andy and to any other accountability partner you have.  I will need to know that you reported this to Andy and your partner.

*Risky or inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:      deliberately viewing inappropriate movies/t.v. shows, engaging in inappropriate behavior or conversation outside of our marriage (staring at women, prolonged personal contact/conversation/eye contact with females, joking and flirting with women, fantasies of anyone other than me, whether in or out of the bedroom, etc.)

  • You will tell me immediately of any struggles with triggers, thoughts, or feelings that could possibility lead to a slip.  This includes feelings of loneliness, withdrawal, frustration, anger, feeling misunderstood, etc.) If I am unavailable in person you will call or text me.
  •  If you are experiencing daily/recurrent struggles (those listed above) you will in addition to communicating with me, communicate this to [Counselor] and to your other accountability partner.
  • You will inform me immediately of any new indiscretions.  24 hours is too long for you to wait to inform me.  You will also inform [Counselor] and any accountability partner you have within 24 hours of the indiscretion.  I will need to know that you informed [Counselor] and the partner.

*Indiscretions include, but are not limited to, the following: intimate female  friendships, emotional affairs, sexting, webcam, IM with females, indulging in sexual massage or going to masturbation bars, engaging in sex of any kind outside the marriage with prostitutes, having an affair, etc.

Boundaries [Negotiable] (meaning these can be adjusted to better suit our mutual needs)

  • You will prioritize and complete an individual Bible-based, recovery-oriented, study (5 days per week) in lieu of attending SA meetings which are unavailable in our area.
  • You will prioritize and develop a plan for daily personal Bible study after your Bible-based, recovery-oriented, study has been completed.
  • You will prioritize and lead devotions and joint prayer with me at least once daily
  • You will prioritize and share regular reading/study of marriage building with me after your individual Bible-based, recovery-oriented, study has been completed.
  • You will maintain regular communication with your accountability partner from Bethesda as outlined in your recovery program, or any other accountability partner you may choose.

Promises to You

I Will/Will Not 

  • I will not leave you.  I love you.  I am committed to you, and to our marriage.
  • I will seek healing, whether you do or don’t.  (I do see that you are seeking healing, and I am so grateful for that.)
  • I will be your accountability partner.  You can feel safe coming to me with your struggles.
  • I will listen.
  • I will not judge your person, but I will judge your behavior in order to help determine problems and their solutions, “for a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.  For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.”  Luke 6:43-44
  • I will pray with you and for you.
  • I will cooperate with you and assist you in finding a means of escape from temptation.
  • I will strongly encourage you to: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:5-7
  • I will seek the Lord as well – intently – for our marriage, for our individual and mutual healing, for His plans and purposes to be fulfilled in our lives

If you… 

Then I will… or You will… or We will…

  • If you indulge in pornography with or without masturbation, or engage in solo/secret masturbation, I will enforce the following consequences:
  • You will, within 24 hours, inform me and your accountability partner(s) as stated in Boundaries
  • You will, within 24 hours, complete and give to me and to your accountability partner,  this “slip response form” called BREAKING UNHEALTHY HABITS  found at                                                                                                                             http://strengtheningmarriage.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DOCS-slip-prevention-breaking-unhealthy-habits-12-2011.pdf
  • You will contact [Counselor] within 24 hours of the episode and schedule a joint (and individual, if desired) counseling appointment
  • You will abstain from all computer use outside of work-related use for a period of one month from the reported episode

 In addition, if you report a slip, I will:

  • Consider before reacting
  • Do my best to separate you from your sin – meaning I will try to see the real “you” in all of it
  • Help you as you seek restoration, re-commitment to purity and help from your accountability partners
  • Help you assign and submit to your own consequences as well as explore prevention measures against recurrent slip-ups

If you share with me any struggles with triggers, thoughts, or feelings that could possibility lead to a slip, I will:

  • Listen with compassion
  • Discuss with you the “why” of the struggle, i.e. what led up to it – seeing/failing to “bounce the eyes” from someone while out and about, dwelling on what you may have seen or had a flashback of, any “stinking thinking,” or experiencing feelings that bring you to a bad place emotionally, etc
  • Reassure you as to my love for you and my commitment to you
  • Investigate, take responsibility for, and correct any behavior on my part which may have contributed to your struggle, i.e. any emotional withdrawal on my part, etc.

If you share that you are experiencing daily/recurrent struggles I will, in addition to the above:

  • Again, listen with compassion
  • Encourage you to make an appointment with Andy
  • Accompany you to this appointment, if you desire

If you are unable or unwilling to work on the Negotiable portion of Boundaries, we will:

  • Work together on discovering why
  • Work together on finding workable and mutually agreeable alternatives

If you, at any time during sexual intimacy, make me feel uncomfortable, or if I sense you are disconnecting from me emotionally, I will:

  • Gently stop the encounter in order to communicate my feelings
  • Encourage you to describe your own feelings at the time I felt discomfort
  • Help get us back on track

If you, at any time, feel I am being too aggressive sexually, you will:

  • Gently communicate your feelings with me

and we will:

  • Commit to open discussion about our mutual needs
  • Agree upon any time of abstinence that might be necessary
  • Work out a plan of pursuit/response that is mutually acceptable

If you (or I) are feeling pressured by life, by struggles, by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, etc, we will:

  • Reassess our unity – regroup – recommit
  • Comfort one another
  • Commit to a time of intensified prayer and Bible study accompanied by an agreed upon fast
  • Make plans for a sabbatical asap
  • Consider prolonging or restarting marital/personal counseling

Promises to Myself

(These are taken from Hope Floats, a blog entry by Renee Dallas on  http://joedallas.com/blog/index.php/2012/01/10/hope-floats/)

I will let his recovery be his, not mine.
If he wants to change, he’ll do what’s necessary to change. If he’s not willing, I cannot soften his heart. Either way, his recovery must be his own, and I will not attempt to create it, control it or oversee it.

I will build more of a life apart from him.
Loving him will not exclude me from friendships, passions and God’s calling on my life. To love him as a partner is to be his wife, but to allow his behavior to dictate my well-being is to become his slave. I will find ways to add joy and peace to my life.

I will stop apologizing for the boundaries I set.
When I refuse to accept or tolerate behavior that is blatantly sinful, disrespectful or hurtful, I do no wrong. The greater wrong lies in my allowing these actions to destroy me and my family, so I will make no apologies for saying “Enough!”

I will not let his sin distract me from my own.
Although my husband has sinned against me, I know I am far from perfect. God requires me to humbly examine myself and answer for my own life. In doing this, I must take necessary steps to correct my own attitudes and behaviors.

I will be angry and sin not. (Right. At least, I’ll try to sin a little less!)
No matter how gravely he’s sinned against me, I am given no excuses or permission to sin against him in return. If I am unkind, harsh, sarcastic or hurtful, I am wrong, and will admit it.

I will neither minimize nor maximize his sin.
There’s nothing OK about sexual sin in any form, nor does sexual sin completely define the person who commits it. His sin has devastated me, but I will remember that his sin is not all that defines him.

I will take my pain seriously enough to get help for it.
I will give serious thought to what my soul requires for healing, and will follow through with action. Just as I would see a doctor for ongoing physical pain, I will do whatever is necessary to ease my broken heart and put myself on the path to healing.

I will rediscover the joy of long walks, hot baths, chats with friends, and chickflicks.
My life did not stop the day I discovered my husband’s sin. There’s still a world of awesome, God-given pleasures and joys to experience, and I will consider it vital, not optional, to partake of them. I will try something new and I will gain perspective.

I will despise the very thought of being a victim.
I will grieve without resorting to self-pity; I will weep without surrendering to helplessness; I will protest the wrong that’s been done me without ever calling myself his (or anyone’s) “victim.” I will be courageous.

I will invest regularly and intensely in my intimacy with my Lord.
I will take seriously the First Commandment to love the Lord my God with all my heart, always remembering that I was created first and foremost for His pleasure. Apart from Him I can do nothing and in His presence is fullness of joy! I resolve that in [2013] I will seek, know and express that joy like never before. I will grow in faith and the knowledge of God through His Word, true fellowship and worship.

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