WHAT IS INTERNET ACCOUNTABILITY?What if you could send a report of your Internet activity to a friend or mentor so you could talk about where you struggle online? What if you could see the sites your kids visit, the YouTube videos they watch, and the search terms they use? Internet Accountability is not about catching someone red-handed. It’s not even a Filter, blocking content outright (though we do have a Filter as well). Instead, Internet Accountability is a report of your Internet activities, designed to start a conversation, helping everyone in your home make wiser choices about Internet use. covenanteyes.com
This article and video is posted on Fight the new drug, I really this web site, founded by two young college students who had a passion to inform and educate the public about the devastating harm that pornography has on children, men, women and families.
Terry Crews spoke out in his book, Manhood, about how he was addicted to pornography since he was 12 years old and how it deeply affected his marriage. In the excerpt below from an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show to promote his book, Crews and his wife of 25 years, Rebecca, talked openly about the effects it had on their life together. Check out two questions from the interview below:
Terry, did you have a collection or was it just online?
Online. It wasn’t a collection, I was smart enough not to keep anything in the house… I (was) suffering from something. I was a loving father, husband, the whole thing, but in the back of my mind I needed something like pornography just to chill. It’s almost like not admitting you’re an alcoholic or something like that. But the thing is you can’t live in two worlds and I was getting farther and farther away from Rebecca. Pornography is an intimacy killer. It just started building up a wall. A lot of people get divorced and they don’t even understand how the separation began. It wasn’t that she caught me. She was like, ‘Something is wrong with you,’ and I finally had to admit it was a problem… I realized I couldn’t stop.
Rebecca, did you feel pressured to step up the intimacy because of it?
Porn is a fantasy. You know, I’ve had five kids, so there were times we weren’t intimate. The issue was his desires for me were based on this fantasy. He would behave very strangely in bed. I can recall times feeling like ‘What are you doing,’ like he was trying to manipulate me a little bit or make me behave like the women in the porn. He had this fixed fantasy about what [sex] should be. Some of it was in his over-watching it, you don’t even want a real person. A real person can never match up to a fantasy.
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Sitting across a couple that has full intention of going through a vigorous and honest disclosure, is not an easy task to present the protocol, and difficult to hear. But necessary to deliver the "syllabus" as I go over all the details of the preparations, before we decide on the time frame to execute and deliver the homework.
The partners have questions to write and vary from; Did you have sex with any one I know? Who are they? How many? What kind of clubs did you go to? Questions she has agonized over
and most certainly an integral part of a disclosure. He answers her questions and need to understand, what has seemed so illusive, and validates her worst fears, her gut feeling that something was not right, the curse.
Coming clean for the addict is the blessing, they too agonize in writing their stories for their partner.....how is this going to help her, she's already been hurt so much. Hurt, does not even cover it......she is devastated, traumatized, and trying to make sense of the "tsunami "that just took her under a 20 foot tidal wave. She is desperately trying to catch her breath.
My work with addicts, while helping them to compose their disclosures has been more of a positive experience. They want to come clean and work a healthy recovery plan.They don't want to hurt their partners anymore, and are willing to do the hard work of writing a lengthy story of their acting out behaviors and take responsibility where they have violated the relationship, as well as providing examples of how they have caused the relational rupture. The "syllabus" has much more to it, and their commitment to compliance is in agreement with making amends.
The story below is a partner story that did not show any signs of blessing, for neither the partner, addict or coupleship. It continues to be a painful process, however, she is in process of moving on with her life, differently, and a stronger sense of self and awareness of her needs and focus are on healing. When the flood gates open,she is not drowning, and doesn't get caught in the vortex. She has the ability to function at her best. This is when sitting on the other side and listening to these remarkable stories, both men women and couples, enlighten me and encourage me to continue to do what I do.
The story and the movie footage focuses on the wife/mother’s experience as she was the hardest hit. Watching it, because her experience and the trauma associated with the tsunami were exactly like mine with sex addiction. The movie begins with a family of 4 on a beautiful island enjoying there Christmas holiday, They notice a few strange things, sounds start up, birds screeching, tree branches swaying, an increasing loud roar. People sitting around the pool think its strange but do not know what it is. Then all at once an enormous black wave breaks over the trees, more and more waves follow, swallowing up everyone and everything. Houses, cars, trees are torn apart and pieces become projectiles shooting through the water piercing the people in it, including the wife. She has no strength to compete, struggles to survive and can only cling to whatever she can find. Eventually the waves subside. She finds a way out but is gashed and bleeding and can hardly move. The cameras pan to view the sight from overhead. The land is unrecognizable, completely barren. What was once paradise is now a ruin. The clean up from the aftermath will take years before any regrowth can occur. The wife at various times presumed dead survives, but she remains in the hospital fighting infections and undergoes 14 surgeries.
The movie is the best description I can use to explain the feelings I had and still have discovering about and trying to survive almost 30 years of sex addiction, Yes, there were signs, but I did not know what they were. December 13, 2010 and following five or six months were the crest of my black wave. Everything was coming down on me and swallowing me whole. I could not escape the projectiles of the betrayals. Each one felt as it tore into my body. The ones that came out of nowhere were the hardest on me. They are the ones that caused the most traumas because they were unexpected. Trying to pull myself out of this suffocation from addiction is hard. I am trying to rebuild my strength. What throws me back into the panic are all the little signs of sex addiction, and that my personal tsunami is starting up again. I will not ignore these signs. I will continue to do self care.......
Gaslight, a movie filmed in the 40's, with Ingrid Bergman; Is it gas lighting or manipulation......both......or am I crazy.....
If Your Guy Does These 5 Things, You're Being Manipulated........
By Eden Strong
The worst part of being manipulated in a relationship is that quite often you don’t even know it’s happening. Manipulative people twist your thoughts, actions, wants and desires into something that better suits how they see the world and they mold you into someone that serves their own purposes. Scary, right?
Here’s a few biggies to look out for to make sure it’s not happening to you:
1. He makes you feel guilty … for everything.
Manipulation always start with guilt. If he can convince you to feel guilty for your actions (even when you’ve done nothing wrong), then he knows you’ll be more willing to do what he says. “I mean sure, I guess dinner was OK. It wasn’t what I was hoping for and I would have rather done something different but I guess as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. I love you and it’s important to me that you are happy, even if that means setting aside what I want.” See what he did there? How he turned that around you? On the surface, he makes it seem like he’s a loving boyfriend but spoiler alert: guilt is not love. Manipulators also try and make you believe that they’re doing a better job of “loving you,” so that you’ll be more willing to set aside what you want in order to feel like you “love him just as much.” It’s a sick mind game.
2. He forces his insecurities on you.
Manipulators will often force their own insecurities on you in an effort to control how you react towards him. “I’ve been cheated on before and that’s why I don’t want you to have any male friends. You can understand that, right?” Yes, of course you can understand that (and you should be conscious of his insecurities), but his struggles should not define the functionality of your relationship. “I’m sorry I acted that way but I’m just so scared that you will leave me!" is an excuse that’s often used by manipulators when you point out flaws in his actions. The sheer purpose of that excuse is to take the focus off of your worries and suck you back into this.
There’s a fine line between showing consideration for his feelings and being manipulated into feeling what he wants you to feel. Consideration is shown with love while manipulation is ruled by guilt.
3. He makes you doubt yourself.
Want to know why it’s so easy for him to be manipulated? Because he’s mind-f*cked you to the point where you no longer trust yourself. That’s right, manipulators take your insecurities and use them against you. They consistently point out what you’re doing “wrong” and how they could have done it better. They point out your weaknesses, then show you that with their help, you can do better, be better. They slowly convince you they have your best interests in mind … but they don’t. They have their best interests in mind. And in order to keep their wants and needs at the forefront of your relationship, they gently twist your thinking until you look to him for guidance on everything. Once that happens, manipulators can make you basically do whatever they want you to because you now trust them more than you trust yourself.
4. He makes you responsible for his own emotions.
Manipulators are ironic in the sense that they spend quite a bit of time making you feel as if you can’t think for yourself but then turn around and make you responsible for all of their emotions. If they feel sad, it’s probably because you made them feel that way. If they’re angry, well, you had better check yourself because you obviously did something wrong. For as much as they take away from you and for as much as they make you believe that you’re totally incapable of controlling your own life, they expect you to be responsible for how they feel. INSANE.
5. He makes you believe that you want what he wants.
We all start out relationships with requirements and deal-breakers but it’s natural, as you start to blend two lives, that compromises are made. What’s NOT normal: When you have to completely set aside what you want and need in an effort to appease your partner. If you start to realize your partner’s needs are being met far more often than yours are, you might be married to a manipulator. Are you giving in to what he wants out of feelings of guilt or because he has made you feel responsible for the way he feels? Have you given up what YOU want because he’s made you believe that you should want something else? If you have answered “yes” to any of those questions, you might want to reconsider the relationship.
Mindfulness and Presence of Self, excerpts taken from "Spouses of Sex Addicts; Hope for the Journey". Francoise Mastroianni
The Wikipedia describes grief: “Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss and grief as the reaction to loss.”
A bond formed between two people that our in relationship,where love,support,and commitment are the key components, and an internal rupture occurs, a loss that is experienced as an attachment injury in one of the most important intimate relationships you have.
“Attachment injuries” are related to the bond that was formed which Barbara Steffens refers to as “Relational Trauma.” “This occurs when one person betrays, abandons or refuses to provide support for another with whom he or she has developed an attachment bond.”
Wherever you are in the grieving process, take time to feel and experience the losses you have experienced. Know that you are not to blame or responsible for the addiction and the losses that have occurred as a result of the addict’s acting-out behaviors. However, it is still painful, and brings up loss,abandonement, rejection,and grief.
Allow yourself to notice what comes up with the experience. Stay in the experience as much as you are able without going into the overwhelm, loss of self, a sense of detachment. As you become aware of your feelings, thoughts and sensations, notice your ability to stay with the experience.
What is manageable and tolerable? Slow down and allow yourself to be aware of what comes up. Do you have the ability to stay connected to your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and behaviors, even if it was for a brief moment? This is mindfulness, presence of self and here and now.
The ability to stay with your experience and expand your awareness, grows your brains fibers and connectivity. We have a more integrated relationship with mind and body. Daniel Segal has captured the essence of what is a necessary function for more attunement and resonance with mind-body connection, he uses the acronym SNAG, stimulate, neuronal, activation, and growth. Mindfullness and intentionality is a presence of self. Take time to know yourself and make sense of what your experience is. Be mindful of your minds ability to heal and stimulate neuronal activation and growth.
Use this workbook as a journal to be authentic with your feelings and thoughts. Find a place where you can be comfortable and feel safe to journal what the experience was like for you. Take a moment to check in with your body.
Take the time to notice where in your body you feel the grief. See if you can be aware of where that is; shoulders, stomach, chest or any other area and notice what the sensation may be. Stay with it long enough to be curious about it. The sensation might be achy, tight, tense, trembling, fluttery, pounding, throbbing or clenched. It’s your body’s expression of your feelings.
Bringing yourself into the here and now will heighten your present awareness and maintain the ability to stay in your functional range. Try wiggling your toes, rotating your wrist, tapping or rubbing your arms and legs. Becoming more aware of your own system enlarges your tolerance level to engage in
 Steffens, Barbara and Means, Marsha. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. New Horizon Press, 2009. Richard Blankenship, Barbara Steffens, and Marsha Means write extensively about relational trauma and the attachment wounds in sexually addictive relationships.
Francoise Mastroianni, lcpc.,ccsas.,cpts