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 Post subject: Exercise 38
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:22 pm 
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I. Review the boundaries created to protect the values listed in the previous lesson.
The boundries I listed are:
1. I will no longer view or use pornography in any way shape or form
2. I will tell the truth at all times
3. I will not hide anything from my wife
4. I will take responsibility for my life, past present and future

II. Consider at least two situations where this value may be threatened. Are the existing boundaries enough to protect against this threat?
Situation 1.
Walking in on someone viewing porn on the computer.
Not likely to happen but you never know. Since my first boundry specifically addresses the viewing of porn, I believe that they will hold

Situation 2.
Getting an urge to act out in some new way.
Porn has been my problem in the past so my first absolute boundry will stop that. What then would happen if I was tempted to start acting out in some other way?
Boundry #2 - I will tell the truth. I would have to tell my wife about it which should stop it before it starts. (I would also have to tell her about the urge)
Boundry #3 - I will not hide anything from my wife. Again, I would have to tell her about it.
Boundry #4 - In taking responsibility for my life, I am telling myself that I am stronger than this and can learn the skills I need to to allow me to manage my life in a more constructive way

Situation 3.
Someone starts flirting with me. It has never happened to me but you never know.
Boundry #1 - Doesn't really apply
Boundry #2 - Doesn't really apply directly.
Boundry #3 - I will not hide anything from my wife. I would have to tell her about it.
Boundry #4 - In taking responsibility for my life, I am telling myself that I am stronger than this and can learn the skills I need to to allow me to manage my life in a more constructive way

III. If not, evolve your boundaries so that they are capable of allowing you to manage those situations.
I thought about my boundries and I am going to add the following:
5 - I will not act out in any way, shape or form.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:04 am 
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re: "Weekly monitoring"

As you will discover in coaching, there is a pretty standard format for the first four questions in weekly monitoring--and how they relate to each other. Then, we will expand it to some of the more detailed entries listed here. Well, most of them. You already listed one of the major questions on your own.

re: "Knowing that surfing porn is detrimental to my marriage, my wife, my personal mental health, I will not allow myself to even consider it."

I know this may sound like it is pushing the envelope a bit...but I actually encourage people to very much consider it. The pattern you want to ingrain is to face such options openly and without fear...and develop the ability to derive pleasure from actually CHOOSING a values-based action. And so, for you to consider the option of acting out at work, every day from now until October 1st...and every day you proudly choose to protect and honor your value system. That is some 28+ experiences that will help to define/reinforce your evolving identity.

Of course, this only works when you are confident enough in your ability to actually choose your values. :oops:

Now, I took what you shared out of context on purpose just to point out the value of experience. I am guessing that what you actually meant was to say that as an actual option, you won't even consider it in your values-based decision making process. But since you aren't at the values-based decision making lessons yet, smile...I will take my liberties!

re: "boundaries"

You have some issues (common) with the differences between values, goals and boundaries. We will go over this in coaching.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:01 am 
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CoachJon wrote:

re: "Knowing that surfing porn is detrimental to my marriage, my wife, my personal mental health, I will not allow myself to even consider it."

I know this may sound like it is pushing the envelope a bit...but I actually encourage people to very much consider it. The pattern you want to ingrain is to face such options openly and without fear...and develop the ability to derive pleasure from actually CHOOSING a values-based action. And so, for you to consider the option of acting out at work, every day from now until October 1st...and every day you proudly choose to protect and honor your value system. That is some 28+ experiences that will help to define/reinforce your evolving identity.

Of course, this only works when you are confident enough in your ability to actually choose your values. :oops:


Ok, I will try this each day starting today. I am confident enough that, while this may raise uncomfortable feelings in me, I will be able to handle it.

CoachJon wrote:
Now, I took what you shared out of context on purpose just to point out the value of experience. I am guessing that what you actually meant was to say that as an actual option, you won't even consider it in your values-based decision making process. But since you aren't at the values-based decision making lessons yet, smile...I will take my liberties!


I thought maybe you had. You are right though, I probably should have clarified what I meant a little better. I will restate it as:

I will not consider using porn in any way, shape or form to manage my life or emotions.

CoachJon wrote:
re: "boundaries"

You have some issues (common) with the differences between values, goals and boundaries. We will go over this in coaching.

I got this impression when I read through some of the other threads. I will look into and see if I can't come to a better understanding.

As always, thanks for you valuable input.


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 Post subject: Big step
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:17 am 
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Just wanted to post.

My wife told me Friday that she has removed the monitoring software that she had placed on our home computer. This is a huge step for her as it has been a source of peace of mind for her. She has been able to verify that I am being truthful and that I have not been viewing porn at home. It also provided some peace of mind for me in that I could always fall back on 'Go check the logs and see for yourself'.

Having said that, I was very confused and had mixed feelings when she told me that she had removed the software. I was worried that I had been using it as a crutch and that I was now going to have to 'fly on my own'. I was also worried that she would start worrying about my computer use and peppering me with questions again.

Having been sitting in front of the computer for an hour or so working on my recovery, I feel I 'get it'. I have had no desire to go see porn and I see that I have made the choice to remove porn from my life. I am not saying that I will never be tempted again just that if I am, I will react
based on my values and not on instant gratification.

I feel my biggest challeneg at this point will be complacency. Having achieved something of a milestone, I will need to ensure that I continue on my new path.


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 Post subject: Re: Big step
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:56 pm 
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jond wrote:
Just wanted to post.

My wife told me Friday that she has removed the monitoring software that she had placed on our home computer. This is a huge step for her as it has been a source of peace of mind for her. She has been able to verify that I am being truthful and that I have not been viewing porn at home. It also provided some peace of mind for me in that I could always fall back on 'Go check the logs and see for yourself'.


I want to clarify this part. My wife read this post and was confused and after re-reading it I can see why. I did not mean to imply that she removed the software because she now trusts me. Far from it.

She has removed the software because she has understood that it is doing neither of us any good. She will not be able to fully heal as long as it is there. She has also understood that I will not be able to fully recover if it is there. She has accepted that I am going to do what I do and no monitoring software will change that. She will move on with her life with or without me (she prefers with thankfully :-)) but that the choices that I make will determine how we end up.

For my part, I understand that the software didn't do me any good as it provided a safety net for me. Eventually I will have to learn that only I can control whether or not I choose to view porn (I do understand this btw) and that it is my choices that will determine how I decide to manage my life.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:37 am 
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re: "I feel my biggest challenge at this point will be complacency."

Certainly, it will be one of your biggest challenges. Another challenge you still have to overcome is your propensity to see things reactively rather than proactively. Removing the filter is a perfect example. The filter is now removed and you feel as if you need to react to it. A better approach to this situation is to recognize that this is a proactive opportunity for you to deepen many values that you have associated as being critical to your identity. Trustworthiness, integrity, emotional maturity, courage... this is just the beginning of such a list. You can also proactively add the opportunities to further honor your partner, to respect yourself, to develop values-based decision making skills. With the right perspective, there is really no end to the opportunities that you now have sitting in front of you.

That's the ideal. The reality though, is that you will likely find yourself at times struggling with your selfishness. Struggling with the remnants of your dual-identity. Struggling with the temptation to temporarily exclude yourself from the responsibility and consequence of living within your boundaries. Because you currently lack the experience to confidently manage these situations, you will have to dig down deeply and find answers that will protect the life that you are building. That will protect the partnership that you have committed to. And then, with these answers in hand, take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way to gain that experience you so desperately need.

Your wife has laid an incredible gift at your feet. Honor that gift. Cherish the opportunities it presents. Challenge yourself to prioritize your actions above your emotions. Use this opportunity to begin earning the values you want representing your identity. Build trustworthiness. Embrace personal responsibility.

okay, one final note...and take this to heart: your wife will not care if you find yourself struggling with selfish, sexual urges and you share those openly with her. It is not uncommon, nor is it unexpected for those urges to occur this early in the transition to health. Sometimes, they may occur spontaneously; and other times they will be fairly predictable. There is no shame in experiencing these urges and sharing them openly with your wife. In fact, there is much honor in recognizing that you are struggling with these urges and choosing to absorb/embrace the pain that such conflict brings--as opposed to escaping from that struggle and using deception to cover it up. That is what you cannot do. You cannot use deception to protect your addiction any longer--under any circumstance. the removal of this filtering software may bring initial unease because you lack self-confidence, but again, I promise you... commit yourself to managing the next five urges you experience on the computer in a healthy way and with full disclosure to your wife... and you'll be well on your way to ingraining that confidence. Manage the next 25 urges successfully and you will have that confidence. Your response will have become ingrained.

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Jon Marsh
Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Part 1
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:09 pm 
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Step 1 Take Inventory of Your Current Sexual Values

Your first step in redeveloping healthy sexual values is to brainstorm a list of all sexually-related values that you currently hold. Don't worry about how socially acceptable this list may be, nor concern yourself with whether a particular value is healthy or unhealthy. Your goal here is only to identify your current thoughts/attitudes relating to your own sexuality.

Sex before marriage is ok
I enjoy performing oral sex on my partner
I enjoy my partner performing oral sex on me
Masturbation is a normal, healthy behaviour
Selfish masturbation is ok
Once I am aroused, I do not need to orgasm
Love is enough to overcome almost anything in a relationship
Anal sex turns me off
I have never tried anal sex
Pornography is detrimental to my mental well being
Pornography is detrimental to my marriage
Pornography exploits those performing
Pornography exploits those consuming
Strip clubs are exploitive
Porn should be hidden
Sexuality should be hidden
It is ok to lie about sex
It is ok to lie about porn
No one can know about my addiction
Sex is part of a healthy marriage
Sex is not intimacy
Sex can be intimate
Sex should remain private within a couple
Sex is wonderful
I enjoy sex in a variety of positions
I enjoy sex in a variety of places
I do not want to mix porn and sex with my partner
Sex is not dirty
Homosexuality is ok
I am heterosexual
Mutual orgasm is great but not necessary
I enjoy bringing my partner to orgasm
Hugging and kissing doesn't have to lead to sex
Sex is not a performance
I get uncomfortable seeing nudity in film
I believe in monogamy in a relationship
I like seeing my wife naked
I like sex when we are both naked
I like sex when we are partially clothed
I am more aroused when I know my wife is aroused
I like foreplay
I like taking my time when pleasuring my wife
I was exposed to pornography at a young age which probably contributed to my addiction
I used porn to manage my life
Sex with my partner is far better than porn
I used porn to soothe myself
I sometimes get anxious about sex
I feel abnormal about sex sometimes
Most people don't have sexual problems
Sex addiction is as serious as any other addiction
I feel broken sometimes
Porn used to arouse me but no longer does
I masturbated while viewing porn to increase my arousal
Sex should be between two consenting people
I have a healthy sex drive
I have never faked an orgasm
I want to be normal
I am in therapy for my sexual addiction
I am worried about complacency
I have lied about my past pornography use
I no longer want to view pornography
I used to have sexual and performance anxieties
Sex can be intimate
Intimacy is not equal to sex
I used porn to manage my emotions
I like my wife to initiate sex
I like to initiate sex
I want to be free from my addiction
I am ending my addiction for myself
There is a difference between making love and sex
I do not want to dominate my wife
I do not want to be dominated by my wife
My sexual addiction is private and will be shared with only trustworthy people
I believe many people have sexual problems and may not know it
I don't think it's ok to lose my erection
I had few boundries when viewing porn
I don't like violence
It is ok view porn made by amateurs
Prostitutes scare me
Sex is not immoral
Seeing my partner aroused arouses me
I sometimes like to be in control
I sometimes like my partner to be in control
I like it when my partner acts sexy around me
I don't like talking about sex
Sexual inuendo makes me uncomfortable
I worry that my daughter will be affected by the problems we are having in our marriage
Expresisons of affection don't need to lead to sex
My wife arouses me more than porn does
It's ok do view porn at work
It's ok to masturbate when my wife is not around
It's ok to view porn
I am mature enough to not view porn
I am emotionally immature
I am learning new skills
I love my wife
Porn has affected me more than I realize
Everyone views porn


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Part 2
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Step 2 Define an Ideal Ending

I will only engage in sexual behaviour with my wife present
I will engage only in activities that I can openly share with my wife
I will share myself openly and willingly with my wife
I will trust myself to make the right choices
I will act with integrity at all times


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Part 3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Step 3 Define a Beginning

As you now have a slightly better vision of where you are headed, it is time to identify where you are starting. In order to develop your sexual values, you must begin that process of change. Somewhere. Anywhere. And so your next step is to pick the spot at which you will begin this change. How?

I. Take out the list of current sexual values that you developed in Step One
II. Remove each value that is unrelated to, irrelevant towards and/or contrasting with the values identified in Step Two.

1. I will only engage in sexual behaviour with my wife present
2. I will engage only in activities that I can openly share with my wife
3. I will share myself openly and willingly with my wife
4. I will trust myself to make the right choices
5. I will act with integrity at all times

Sex before marriage is ok
I enjoy performing oral sex on my partner
I enjoy my partner performing oral sex on me
Masturbation is a normal, healthy behaviour
Once I am aroused, I do not need to orgasm
Love is enough to overcome almost anything in a relationship
Sex is part of a healthy marriage
Sex is not intimacy
Sex can be intimate
Sex should remain private within a couple
Sex is wonderful
I enjoy sex in a variety of positions
I enjoy sex in a variety of places
I do not want to mix porn and sex with my partner
Sex is not dirty
Homosexuality is ok
I am heterosexual
Mutual orgasm is great but not necessary
I enjoy bringing my partner to orgasm
Hugging and kissing doesn't have to lead to sex
Sex is not a performance
I believe in monogamy in a relationship
I like seeing my wife naked
I like sex when we are both naked
I like sex when we are partially clothed
I am more aroused when I know my wife is aroused
I like foreplay
I like taking my time when pleasuring my wife
Sex with my partner is far better than porn
Sex should be between two consenting people
I have a healthy sex drive
I want to be normal
I am in therapy for my sexual addiction
I no longer want to view pornography
Sex can be intimate
Intimacy is not equal to sex
I like my wife to initiate sex
I like to initiate sex
I want to be free from my addiction
I am ending my addiction for myself
There is a difference between making love and sex
I do not want to dominate my wife
I do not want to be dominated by my wife
My sexual addiction is private and will be shared with only trustworthy people
I believe many people have sexual problems and may not know it
I don't like violence
Sex is not immoral
Seeing my partner aroused arouses me
I sometimes like to be in control
I sometimes like my partner to be in control
I like it when my partner acts sexy around me
Expresisons of affection don't need to lead to sex
My wife arouses me more than porn does
I am mature enough to not view porn
I am learning new skills
I love my wife


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Part 4
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Step 4 Define Your Existing Vulnerabilities

I have used porn to manage my life in the past

I am emotionally immature

Being overwhelmed by emotions

Falling into my old patterns when I get stressed

Not talking to my wife

Hiding my true feelings

Complacency


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Part 6
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Step 6 Select Initial Value for Development

I will share myself openly and willingly with my wife


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:06 am 
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re: "It is ok to lie about sex
It is ok to lie about porn"

Being that these values represent your current state of mind, give me an example of what you were thinking here? Otherwise, your current sexual values seem fairly healthy. And overall, you really did a great job with this exercise.

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Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:39 am 
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Posts: 126
CoachJon wrote:
re: "It is ok to lie about sex
It is ok to lie about porn"

Being that these values represent your current state of mind, give me an example of what you were thinking here? Otherwise, your current sexual values seem fairly healthy. And overall, you really did a great job with this exercise.


It is not that these represent my current state of mind, it is more that they represent beliefs that I have recently held. While I was building this list I looked at my actions over the past year or so to see what kind of beliefs would have led to my actions. One of my big issues (actually probably my biggest) was hiding and lying about pornography and my actions around it. I included them because they do represent a belief that I have held in the recent past but not currently. I felt they should be included in the list simply because they are a major part of what I am trying to overcome and leave behind. I also feel that knowing that they are there gives me a better starting point. Kind of along the lines of "If you don't know where you've been , how can you know where you are going?"


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 Post subject: Exercise 39 - Step 7
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Step 7 Define the boundaries that will protect the selected value

With the value being developed selected, it is time to create the rules that you will use to protect this value.

Value
I will share myself openly and willingly with my wife

Protected by
I will tell her how I feel, even when the feelings are uncomfortable
I will not hide or keep anything to myself
I will tell her about any urges I have
I will talk to her about my recovery
I will answer any questions she may have for me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:36 am 
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Posts: 4572
re: "It is not that these represent my current state of mind"

Oh, whew... :wink:

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Recovery Coach
RecoveryNation.com


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