Undoubtedly the biggest objection we get when we talk to people about using Internet Accountability Software is this: I don’t have anyone I can trust to be my accountability partner.
This is a fair objection, because after all, using Accountability Software without someone who is willing to receive your Accountability Reports isn’t worth a whole lot.
However, nine times out of ten, the real problem is not that we have nobody in our lives we could trust. The real problem is that we have to face our fear of telling others about our dark side. The problem is not often that everyone has demonstrated to me that they aren’t trustworthy. The problem is more often that we think our sins are so dark that no one could possibly help or understand.
If you’re looking to find a good Accountability Partner, here’s a simple, step-by-step process that will help you swallow your fear.Step 1: Prepare Yourself to Be Accountable (Sign Up for Covenant Eyes)
Don’t fall prey to the Law of Diminishing Intent. We all know what it’s like to get inspired to change something in our lives, but then we say, “I’ll start that next week.” What often happens is we don’t do anything when next week rolls around.
Sign up for Covenant Eyes right now. Install it on all your computers and devices. Start receiving your own Reports. Defeat procrastination right now.
Think about it this way: When you find that right person or people to be your Accountability Partner(s), you will not be showing up empty-handed. You will have a tool ready to use that you have familiarized yourself with.Step 2: Think of Your Best Partner Options (Watch This Video)
Who do you really look up to? Who in your life is trustworthy, positive, challenging, and mature? Start with that person or those people.Step 3: Talk to Your Top Picks (Send This E-mail)
Let’s say you want to have an Accountability Partner to help you stop looking at pornography online. Start by sending your potential partner an e-mail or giving them a call. Here’s a sample e-mail taken from the book, Coming Clean.
There has been something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. I recently signed up for a program called Covenant Eyes. It basically monitors everywhere I go online and then sends a Report of that information to any friend or friends I choose.
As you can imagine, this isn’t the easiest thing for me to talk about. The reason I want to use this program is because I want to be open and honest with others about my Internet use. There are simply far too many temptations on the Internet today, too many pitfalls. Knowing others will see where I go online will really help me stay honest and avoid these temptations.
I’d love talk to you more about this in person. I need help and encouragement right now, and I knew you would be a great person to ask for help.
You should receive an e-mail from Covenant Eyes asking you to confirm whether you want to be my accountability partner. If you think you would be up for this, please accept that invitation. Let me know what you’re thinking so we can talk more.
Thanks!Step 4: Invite This Person to Be Your Partner (Manage Your Partners)
Sign into your Covenant Eyes account and select “Manage Partners.” Click the button “Invite a partner” and follow the prompts.Step 5: Give Your Partners the Tools (Send Them This Checklist)
Once your Accountability Partners have accepted the invitation, send them this Accountability Partner Checklist. It uses a simple, three-step process for when your partners get your Accountability Reports. It also offers a list of important ways your partners can encourage you and motivate you if they see questionable stuff on your Report.
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Porn “addiction” is a real phenomenon today. Many men, and an increasing percentage of women, are finding themselves helpless in the face of Internet temptations. After years of porn viewing, often starting at a young age, what started as a curiosity became a pattern, which became a habit, which became a compulsion.
For many wives, this can be traumatizing finding out that their husbands are entrenched in this habit. If you suspect something about your husband, here are some telltale signs of porn addiction.1. Your husband has lost interest in sex.
While many addicts want a high frequency of sex (see #3), as the addiction escalates, they begin to lose interest in their partner. They become desensitized to other forms of pleasure—even sexual intercourse—preferring the buzz they get from porn. Not only is their sexual energy tapped, but they begin to prefer the “safe” realm of fantasy over the “risky” real world of intimacy.2. Your otherwise healthy husband is unable maintain an erection during sex.
It isn’t uncommon for porn addicts to experience porn-induced erectile dysfunction. While there are several medical reasons for ED, for the porn addict the problem is not in the organ, but in the brain. They have conditioned their mind to be turned on only by self-sex and porn images. It is common for addicts to blame their partners for their inability to perform.
In the book The Porn Circuit, Sam Black writes,
When preparing for real sex, the pornified brain fails to get its dopamine surge and the signal to the penis is too weak to achieve erection. But turn on an Internet device with unlimited pages of novelty, and boom, the plumbing works.3. Your husband’s sexual tastes have changed.
On the other end of the spectrum, some men entrenched in porn want to act out their fantasies in the real world. Porn films often pair physical and verbal aggression with sex. This might mean that your husband is surprisingly demanding during sex—even getting frustrated when you don’t perform to his exact specifications. Some men show a sudden interest in “rough” sex or sexual activities you haven’t discussed and agreed to. Others will begin to show an interest in bondage, fetishes, sadomasochism, group sex, or activities that make you feel belittled and used. These are huge red flags and one of the clear signs of porn addiction.4. Your husband spends an excessive amount of time online.
A porn user almost always has dysfunctional relationship to technology—many hours spent online alone, often at odd hours or at times when they should be spending time with their families and friends. He may demand to be left alone with his computer or become irritable if he can’t get online.5. Your devices’ Internet histories are empty.
Check your husband’s web browsers on his phone, laptop, home computer, or tablet. If the Internet histories are constantly empty, he may be clearing his history to cover his tracks. The late psychologist Al Cooper wrote that three factors often contribute to an Internet porn addiction: affordability (most porn is cheap or free), accessibility (it can be accessed nearly anywhere), and anonymity (no one has to know what you’re doing). He called this the “Triple-A Engine.” The last factor, anonymity, is key: a man’s belief that no one knows where he is going online gives a false sense of security: “What I’m doing online is my own business, and it isn’t hurting anyone else.”6. Your husband seems emotionally “distant” or withdrawn.
The more a man becomes entrenched in porn, the more he begins to lose interest in real world relationships, especially with his wife and children. Many men describe it as feeling “numb.”7. Your husband seems more antisocial.
Like any addict, a porn addict will begin to revolve his life around the next buzz. This means reordering his life so that he can spend time online and away from others. Other antisocial behaviors might include a lack of remorse for his actions, aggression, outbursts of anger, frequent lying, indifference to actions that harm others, or an easy use of flattery or charm to manipulate others.8. Your husband’s financial patterns have changed.
Are there unexplained charges on your credit card statement or bank statement? Have you noticed new credit cards opened in your husband’s name? Since there is an abundance of free porn online, addicts can indulge without paying, but often, when the addiction escalates, they resort to paying for online material or even physical items (like DVDs). Charges to these accounts may not look obviously pornographic since these companies usually work hard to ensure the anonymity of their patrons. If you husband refuses to talk about unexplained charges, this is a sign he is hiding his behavior.9. Your husband has become secretive, evasive, or defensive.
When you walk into the room where your husband sits at the computer, does your he suddenly get nervous or make knee-jerk reactions? When you ask what he has been doing online, does he become defensive or easily irritated? When your presence suddenly threatens to invade an addict’s secret world, this can be very jarring for him, and often his nervousness will be obvious.10. Your husband has become critical of your appearance.
Has your husband started to criticize your looks, your weight, your bust size, or your sexual performance? The more a man spends time with porn, the more his mind becomes conditioned to the novelty, variety, and convenience that porn provides. Many studies have shown that the more a man watches porn, the more he devalues the attractiveness of “average people.”
In the book Porn and Your Husband, it states,
Pornography rewires the brain, training him to desire the hormonal rush from porn instead of sex with you. The chemical vasopressin, which is released during the sexual act, bonds the man to his sexual partner.8 With repeated pornography use, he is bonding himself to images on a screen. Given that many men were exposed to pornography during childhood, he may have chemically bonded with the women of pornography long before you entered the picture…
In simple terms, you’re “not enough” because his repeated porn use has vastly accelerated his tolerance for these chemical rushes, far beyond the levels of monogamous sex with you. In particular, pornography has trained him to be turned on by variety, which no single woman can provide. It also explains why he may have turned to harder porn or acted out through an affair—he’s looking for the rush that you, through no fault of your own, can never provide.Getting Help
If you discover your husband has a problem, it is important that both you and him get the help you need. Read more about this in the following articles:
Photo credit: neutronboy
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