Boundaries- controls or improvement tools

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Deleted Account, May 3, 2019.

  1. As i start this journey I know more of what I do not know but that is okay I learn everyday.

    Boundaries have been talked about in some of my readings. I want to have a successful life in recovery from PA. I am in the process of designing boundaries for that.

    I reflected on some comments I heard that "they are just to control a person" but are they? I think perception and intent are key to an effect boundary. If it is a healthy well thought out and intentioned one, does it control our behaviors, or do we ALLOW it to CONTROL our behaviors. Not worded well but I try.
    Example I trigger my wife if I am in the bathroom. We set a boundary that the bathroom door in out master bedroom will never be closed. Problem solved simply. Does it affect my behavior, yes it adds more prevention to my problem times and areas benefitting me. It causes me to be vulnerable which I consider good. It prevents that particular trigger from causing my wife anxiety. I wish all of her and my triggers were that easy.

    I wonder if there are boundaries you have set that you thought were just the simplest most straight forward things that totally short circuited your recovery. I also would be interested in listening to successes where the most innocent boundary had the most profound influence over it also.
    Good day to us all
  2. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    No phones or electronic devices in the bathroom for any reason.

    No blaming/gaslighting.

    Any form of manipulation or tantrum throwing.

    No PMing ever. No edging. No p-subs.

    And the most lying in any way. This includes 'forgetting', omission, stretching the truth, finding loopholes, etc.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  3. Boundaries for you and boundaries for her, and boundaries for both as a couple together.
    You are both in recovery, you from PA, her from betrayal trauma.

    My boss had a terrible accident last year, during which he was hit on a highway from 3 sides. When the firefighters used the jaws of life to extricate him he suffered broken ribs, and spinal injuries. He wasn't able to speak at first but we got his updates. When he exited the hospital he had to have therapy and counseling. The physical therapy was for the body, the counseling for the mind.

    He shared with me he developed PTSD as a result of his accident. One morning driving into work, he saw someone erratically change lanes behind him, and he had to pull over weeping. His triggers were firing all around him and he felt powerless. His focus could either be on screaming at every stupid driver, or it could be focusing on what can do, and stay in his lane.

    He learned, as all trauma survivors learn, that you cannot possibly go around lecturing others on how they trigger you without becoming a control freak; you must instead focus on defensive driving.

    In our relationships we sometimes take on our partner's challenges and in the end, we grow weary of the burden. It's quite often because we have to bear ours, and use the smart boundary for them to handle theirs. Nothing wrong with supporting but we must recognize where our part ends, and theirs begins.

    Being in a relationship doesn't mean your partner becomes your parole officer (not my original quote, but I like it). Good fences, good neighbors.

    I like the ideas presented by openeyes too, but I would suggest a balance in the responsibility and not leave it all for one side; because both need space to focus on their own healing too. An SO needs boundaries too by the way, not in the same way as the PA, but trust goals, counseling, she has real trauma to overcome (like the above example) and needs time and space to do that without constantly having her trauma re-invoking the pain she suffered already.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  4. I know for some insane reason I do better without porn blockers and filters. Maybe it's like when you skateboard without a helmet and are naturally more careful. IDK. For some people they work great though.
    Deleted Account and need4realchg like this.
  5. I think you just made that "football is safer with the pads" argument. :) lol.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  6. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    What kind of boundaries are you referring to for the SO? Boundaries and consequences for the PA are designed as an emotional, mental, and even protection for the SO from the abuse of the PA addiction and behaviors.

    I would also like to note that therapy is not necessarily something SOs want or need to get through betrayal trauma. Perhaps they do, perhaps they don't, but this is NOT for the PA to decide. In many cases, having their partner work their recovery full steam ahead is all they need to feel safe and move forward.
  7. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    Yes, you can think of them as limitations and control in a restrictive, negative sense, or you can think of control in the sense of being empowered, in control of yourself.

    I think what may short circuit recovery is not the boundary in themselves, but lack of a broader recovery plan. Like not just things you don't do, but adopting new activities which are healthy.
    EyesWideOpen likes this.
  8. I'm going to put my head on the chopping block here, anyone can have a go if you see I'm out of line by all means. :)

    Let's say I'm a SO and having accepted my PA to return to the home I exercise my new authoritative power and I create a 10 commandment list of stuff no longer allowed. I then install cameras in the house to ensure PA is doing what he's supposed to. I also upgraded all the computers with a tracking system that logs all pornic activity, psub activity, and gives me a daily and weekly printout. I meet with my PA on a (weekly/monthly basis) and we "review the numbers."

    Okay, great, the house is now porn proof, I feel safe.

    But wait:
    • Who's going to monitor all the things that are prohibited and those that are encouraged?
    • Will he be able to freely describe how he's doing in the new environment? Worse yet, what if he complains about something, do I give in, or hold the line?
    • If he can't express his frustration with me (the warden), am I therefore simply teaching him to repress emotions?
    • Do I know repressed emotions are the gasoline for addictive cycles?
    • Who is going to feel betrayed again if a porn attack happens on my watch?
    • I have not wanted to have to deal with this crap in the first place, but now I'm the new sheriff in town and the warden?

    Now--we just turned most vulnerable victim into the parole officer and warden.

    Have we increased or reduced her stress?

    As time goes on will she not feel responsible for his recovery? (Yes.)
    How can she going to deal with her own recovery from Betrayal Trauma when she's the warden and PO (parole officer)?

    What about the PA? Will he grow in his new strength, or will he grow to depend on her?

    Have we not just enabled him (even more) in this new system?

    I'm sure some women DO become this for their PA's but micromanaging takes up a lot of time. I simply suggest that this isn't the best way to grow the addict into an responsible adult.

    The kind of boundaries I advocate are relational, goals that provide structure: when to do what, how to approach conflicts, where to share, when to keep silent; how to identify triggers, an AP , journaling thoughts, learning healthy self-expression... gosh Men don't know how to express emotion because we are so often action oriented... but all this is more helpful to dealing with the emotional triggers, pain, and trauma that cause PMO than setting up rules how to quarantine the addict in his own home.

    Do's and Don'ts can be anything a couple wants, but PA's needs to be empowered, not simply told all the stuff they can't do. I'd bet 100$ the PA already KNOW what they are not supposed to do... the issue is not knowledge, it's learning to choose to live within an environment responsibly, and how to face new stimuli or stresses that trigger escapism.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  9. Messymasterpiece

    Messymasterpiece Fapstronaut

    Gotdamn. I just want to shake your hand. It's ludicrous & retraumatizing *to some* to insinuate boundaries should be placed to prohibit a SO's very NORMAL & DESERVED reactions to finding out their reality is in fact, not real at all. That they have been deceived, manipulated, treated as objects is enough to make a human question everything they know but to then, tell that person there are consequences to their reactions is manipulation to the 9th degree. Certain therapists encourage this way of thinking, enabling the addict.

    What a sad world. When feelings are put in a box to make the predator feel safe.

    Oh yes. I went there. Porn addiction/sex addiction is absolutely predatory behavior that should not be given a "safe space" to hide. Unfortunately, the SO's are the pray (as well as the pixalated woman & girls with daddy issues booking appointments for 1 night stands).

    Addicts can take their boundaries & shove them right up their asses if they want to remain victims :)

    That's all. I feel better now.
  10. Messymasterpiece

    Messymasterpiece Fapstronaut

    Were you traumatized as a child, or are you just an umempathetic human?

    I'm sincerely asking.

    Your ego is not good for this world & the advice you give is so detrimental to recovery.

    Go find your safe space & cry it out. No shame. You're obviously broken, as are the billions of the rest of us. You'll only get better if you break that shell & get real.

    And don't you dare patronize SO's. That's how I know you don't have an ounce of empathy in that body of yours.

    Narcissism can't be cured & that makes my heart break for your wife & kids.
  11. Messymasterpiece

    Messymasterpiece Fapstronaut

    Just for future reference, it was this shitty ass comment that reflects your mindset.
  12. Dear @Messymasterpiece

    If you are sincerely asking me about empathy and trauma, the answer is both--i was both traumatized as a child, and today I do in fact struggle (as I have documented in my threads/journal/posts) to develop empathy. What does that have to do with boundaries? Why are you making this about me? Are you not able to discuss the OP and his question?

    Since joining NoFap I have learned how to express my feelings, today I am far more open to criticism and welcome disagreement provided it's civil. If you wish to dialogue about ME then I simply ask that you do it with me directly, I'm at @need4realchg.

    The purpose of the thread is boundaries. Given your venting, lets draw a boundary line here. I don't understand what you derived from my post, my intent is never to harm but heal.

    Healthy boundaries never leads to micromanagement, rather relational order. Relationships without boundaries, (especially communication without boundaries) is rather pointless.
  13. Thanx, I have been studying on boundaries more and I have set some very close to these already as my emergency ones if you will until I am done ready the books I have picked out. And thise will be a working list shared on a google doc so that we can reference it and update it as needed
  14. Yes i agree these are tools to help us.
    We have both been studyi.g them and lack that we have any concrete ones. We are working towards that. Initially I am designing more of mine towards pre-empting her triggers, at least the ones I know currently
    Small steps, small changes, day by day they add up to big improvements I hope.
    need4realchg likes this.
  15. Yes
    I know we have seen and felt results emotionally because we have made time and made things to do that make us vulnerable and are new to us and we continue to do the things that we feel are beneficial.
    Awedouble likes this.
  16. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    This kind of thing is best guided by a professional trained in sex addiction and betrayal trauma. Trying to do that on your own may end up causing more conflict rather than help it.
    need4realchg likes this.
  17. I just want to interject one comment from a purely philosophical perspective. A rule is only as important as is consequence and a boundary is only as safe as the punishment for violating it. More important then the boundary is the follow through and that is a soul searching topic.
    need4realchg and Deleted Account like this.
  18. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    Kind of along the lines of this thought, I was thinking rather than thinking of it as boundary in this context we're really talking about agreements.. After all if you go out there in the world there's a good chance people won't respect your boundaries of whatever kind even if you ask them.
    EyesWideOpen and Deleted Account like this.
  19. @Messymasterpiece

    I say this as a husband and father that has just started this journey.
    Please be respectful of other peoples opinions in my post. I asked for the input and have recieved it. If you have a different view which will be listened to and considered, painful or otherwise as long as honest.
    I looked at some of your postings and I see pain and hurt but I have no history of your struggle, please know that we are all here for support and betterment.

    Most of the people that responded i have already had discussions with and understand the origins of their thoughts and concerns.
    I can take a hard truth thrown in my face and shaken, sometimes I need it and I respect that, I will not judge anyones attitude or tone because I dont control their reactions, I can merely listen, process and move on.

    Good day to you and I hope the Lord blesses us all with peace and strength today
  20. Yes Sir
    Everything, well thats a lump sum, but it all circles arounf rigorous honesty does it not
    Tao Jones and Deleted Account like this.

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