When most of us find out our partner has a porn addiction it is immediately clear the life we shared is not what we thought it was. Soon thereafter we ask the next question, “What will our life be now?”
When I first discovered my husbands dirty little secret, when I was overcome with anger and bitterness, I didn’t know what I wanted for my new life. I didn’t know if he belonged in it.
An addict in recovery is carving out a new life every minute of every day… but a life with limitations and a few dead ends:
Meetings: Addiction recovery meetings are WONDERFUL… necessary in my opinion… but reality is the time commitment is substantial… especially when the addict is struggling and attends daily. My husband and I have missed a lot of social gatherings for group meetings.
Family: Not everyone agrees with the increasing number of studies around the globe on the dangers of pornography. Extended family functions become very unpleasant when in front of everyone siblings encourage an addict to, “ditch the conservative religious freak spouse because there is nothing wrong with you.”
There is definitely a learning curve for the people who love the addict to learn about pornography addiction. It is appropriate to be kind and patient while they learn. If, however, the addict is really seeking recovery, and extended family members or friends are trying to persuade otherwise, the addict may choose to limit an unhealthy relationship. If the other party is offended it can mean the end of family party invitations.
Vacations: Some porn addicts are not triggered by copious amounts of nearly naked bodies on a beach, but some are. An addict dedicated to recovery may need to skip some recreational spots, at least for a while.
Electronic Devices: One problem with pornography is the easy availability. Every person with a smart phone has a porn player in their pocket! A porn addict surfing the Internet can be like an alcoholic walking into a bar. Addicts may need to cancel cable and find a ‘dumb’ phone during recovery. Lack of cable frustrates everyone in our house during football season.