Setting Boundaries to Avoid Addiction Relapse

No one is invincible when it comes to temptation. This is especially true for those who have created a weakness with pornography or masturbation. As you can see, the world is full of tempting images which we can hardly escape. You cannot let that be an excuse though. We must set boundaries to live a life of moral safety as much as we possibly can. Of course we cannot become extreme about this and must live a balanced life. Those who take this to the extreme will burn out quickly. I did this myself and even thought living like the Amish wasn’t a bad idea. However, I’m not Amish nor do I desire to be, not that there is anything wrong with being Amish but there are a lot of technologies that I find beneficial in my life. Don’t worry though, you can absolutely escape a porn addiction without having a perfect environment.

One time I was talking to a friend about my frustrations of trying to stay away from pornography. He said, “There was a time when it was easy to stay away from filth and one had to search it out in order to obtain it. Now it’s difficult to stay away from it and one must map their daily life in such a way to avoid pornography.” It’s true, it is much more difficult to avoid pornography these days but just like we seek shelter from a storm so can we do the same with pornography by setting boundaries in our life.

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I’ll give you some examples from my own life but do not feel you must do the same. It’s your decision to create and construct your life however you feel is best. One example involves movie rentals. It’s impossible to go into a video rental store without being bombarded with tempting images on the front of DVD covers. So I decided not to go into video rental stores. Some people will say that is extreme and it is not a problem for them. I say “ok” that’s great but for me personally it’s too much of a temptation to go into those stores. Too much of those images and my weakness is triggered. Now something to keep in mind is you do get stronger with time and do create sort of a protective armor against temptation. So I could probably go into one of those stores right now and come out just fine. However, for me, those images would eat away at my protective armor until I had no protection at all and became completely vulnerable. So instead of tempting myself in my pride I choose to humbly admit I have a weakness and need to set boundaries. Recovering alcoholics don’t go hang out at the bar or in the alcohol section of the grocery store. That would be silly. So why would someone recovering from pornography put themselves in tempting situations like the magazine rack or home alone with unrestricted access to the Internet.

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Another boundary I decided on was my occupation. For me it was just too tempting to have unrestricted access to the Internet at work. So I decided to find an occupation that didn’t require me to use the computer so much. When I say unrestricted, I mean unmonitored and unfiltered. Monitoring and a filter is usually enough to deter people from looking at pornography. I wanted to take this a step further, especially in the beginning stages of my recovery.

We can’t control the world of course but I believe at least two places in ones life should be safe and a refuge from temptations. These places are the home and work. You should not have to worry about filth in these places. I’ve definitely had to step up in the past and say something about things at work that shouldn’t have been there. That can be uncomfortable but it’s better than falling back into addiction.

There are many areas in life in which we can and should set boundaries. It usually comes down to the type of media and the type of people you allow yourself to be around. Don’t let fear of what others will think keep you from making important decisions for yourself.

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8 thoughts on “Setting Boundaries to Avoid Addiction Relapse”

  1. Believe it or not; the most important aspect in overcoming my addiction to porn and masturbation has been boundaries. Although it is uncharacteristically late for me to be on the computer, this has been one of the most important boundaries. Staying off of the computer when I am alone, or any time past 9 p.m. has been resoundingly successful. When I am out in public or lifting at the gym and see a particularly attractive woman I don’t stare and fantasize for the next fifteen minutes. Instead, I appreciate her beauty then simply go back to what I was doing. Ignoring boundaries is what got me in this mess in the first place; I didn’t respect anyone’s boundaries, especially my own. I can honestly say I feel like I’m recovering from this decade long ordeal, but it has never been easy at any point. There have been constant relapses along the way, but , once boundaries were re-established I was back on the road to recovery. You may find yourself entirely alone saying “It has gotten so bad I might as well embrace this curse and go film porn.” But that is never the answer; as long as you have the constant unyielding will to change, you will. I wish everyone the best of luck with their recovery and God Bless.

  2. I am having trouble with this for my whole life. I just had a new baby girl and I thought she was going to be the answer to my cure and I was totally wrong. I relapsed within three weeks. I cant get off this stuff. I have been looking at porn for over 20 years and i am so tired. My wife doesnt know and im sure she would be devastated. Someone please pray for my recovery.

    1. Mike you will change,you just have to set boundaries and watch no more porn.
      for me it is difficult because im a teenager and my hormones are raging but
      ive been fighting it for two months now.

  3. You are in my prayers mike. You are not alone. You will achieve victory. thanks for writing this coach

  4. Keep up the fight!!! I have not looked at pornography of any kind in over 13 years. It can be done. Mastery over ourselves is our greatest challenge. God, loves you.

  5. This helped me: First I picked a day that I would not look at porn no matter what. That was Sunday, After about 3 months I realized that I wasnt looking, speaking, or even thinking about porn on that one day. Instead I found myself waiting until 12:01 to masterbate. So, being comfortable with not looking at porn on Sundays I started not looking at porn on neither Sundays nor Mondays. Same thing then, I would find myself looking at this material 12:01 Tuesdays. So I allowed myself on Tuesdays and abstrained from it on Wednesdays. After repeating this constantly, in about 7 or so weeks I was down to masterbating 1 to 2 times a week. My sexual thoughts were a lot less agressive and I could look at attractive women without instantly feeling the need for sexual relief. There are triggers all around but when everything was in perspectivve, the internet was my only real source for porn. So whenever I felt like masterbating I forced myself off of the computer. Chances are, someone around you is going through the same thing. I had a freind that helped keep me on track.

  6. i am 23m watches these stuff for a relief from my mental agoney and lonliness..once or twice a day.i always thik if i had a lover..a true love i wont thik of such porn..when i pray to god i gets relif for one or two days..i want a healthy body and a healthy life with a girl came to my life..instead of aalcohol and drugs i use porn for a short relief..i want to overcome it..i am a person who speaks less but only sille with others

  7. My husband is 63 and he sais he had been in porn all his life.
    We have been together for 12 years I knew something was wrong when we got married.
    I love him so,he was the only man that I could say thati had falling in love with.
    I keep thinking things would change but is hasn’t.
    he went for three treaments and then stop them.
    He would masterbate with me in bed ,11 weeks ago I caught him in our bed masterbating .
    i had said to him that this had to stop that i could not take it anymore and that he needed to deside what he wanted me or the pron…he would not even stand up and fight for us he just cleaned out his closet and left.he cut me out of his life when it came to sex three years ago..
    I have not heard from him.I could not go to his dark world and he could not come to the light of my world.
    should i mark this one as a lost cause.
    i miss and love him but i have to say that while he was here i had bad panic attacts and now that he is gone so are they.
    pray for his healing of the sickness from this mess, and also pray for healing in my life that i can let all the hurt, miss trust,anger and hate that I have for him.
    God is not pleased with me either.
    I lost him to other women in his mind.
    O! and can he have this porn so strong in his mind that he can only think of it and don’t have to touch it to get his sexual relief. I seen that happen so is that normal. He does not have my password to get on the computer. He has told me it was like a movie that would start in his mind and that he could not control it……………..Thanks to all who reads this and say’s a prayer for us.

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