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 Post subject: slips - advice please
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:53 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:29 am
Posts: 32
So I am back here after a ?4 year gap - my partner and I have done pretty well I think after D day 5+ years's still painful, our relationship is still hard at times but we are committed to seeing it through. He has been 'sober' since d day until I found some porn on my computer in Dec (his computer has software on to stop him) and then a few days ago he told me he looked at porn again. I'm so sad - we just had our 25 wedding anniversary and it felt good to have reached the milestone and maybe have a fresh start for the future so it feels like a punch in the gut.
I don't know even how to feel or what is the right it just a blip/slip which I can or should overlook or do I put in some boundaries now? Particularly around sex - it re-ignites all the tormenting negative thoughts about porn/prostitutes which haunt me when we make love. It's a mental battle for me to get in the right place to be able to make love. I think for him it's just an 'oops - I made a mistake and I feel bad' but for me it's a re-visiting of the hell of 5 years ago.
So is he still in recovery or is he back in the addiction cycle, albeit a long cycle at the moment? He had stopped his groups partly for lockdown and partly out of complacency - should have rung alarm bells for me but didn't particularly. He's going to restart now but is that enough? I don't even know what I need to see to be reassured but I know I feel anxious and betrayed again.....
Advice boundaries, what's normal, is this ok? Thank you in advance. There's not many people who can help so i'm grateful for this community.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:00 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 676
Polesden - I am so sorry to hear about these slips. It is so painful.

I would be as concerned as you are.

The bad news is that he is looking at porn made worse that it was on your computer to evade the accountability software on his computer, and that you had to discover it. Did you have agreements about slips? Was he supposed to inform you? You said he told you about subsequent porn viewing. I am relieved he told you about another slip and that he is returning to his groups. I know they meet online so the pandemic is not an excuse.

So is he still in recovery or is he back in the addiction cycle, albeit a long cycle at the moment?

I don't know but I would trust your gut. Multiple slips with pre-meditation over a period of time warns me of a relapse, but I would trust what you feel. And as we know so well, there is nothing that we can do to make our partners recover. He has to go back to re-earning your trust and showing you with behavior that he is sincere in addressing his addiction.

Advice boundaries, what's normal, is this ok?

I wouldn't look at my boundaries as normal or not. I look at them as what takes care of me. What are my values that must be upheld. What keeps me safe. These boundaries can change over time. It is completely okay for you to say "no porn ever". Your husband can agree or not. But there is nothing wrong with that value for you.

Of course you would be uncomfortable having sex given these slips. We should not have sex with our partners out of fear of their addiction or because we think we "should." We should have sex because we want to. And if you want sex with emotional connection, that is your right and he needs to know that.

I think this is a time for you to review what are your values and boundaries. And review what you will do if your husband violates these boundaries. I know how painful and scary that can be. But not having boundaries, in my experience, is worse. And my addicted husband MUST know my boundaries so he doesn't return to his selfish way of being.

Take time for healing. You are going through another trauma. I do not underestimate the impact. Focus on you and what will make you feel better. When you feel strong enough, review your values and your boundaries. Tell your husband what they are. Tell him he has hurt you and what you expect and want him to do to assist in your healing and to re-establish some trust.

Keep posting here if you need support.

With deep compassion,

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