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How a Spouse Can Aid a Porn Addict’s Recovery

If you are the spouse or partner of a recovering sex addict, you may or may not know the full extent of his or her sexual acting out. Even if you don’t know the whole story, you are probably well aware of the fact that the Internet offers your addicted significant other myriad opportunities for relapse. In all likelihood, his or her computer, laptop, and smartphone are integral parts the addiction—providing fast, affordable, and often anonymous access to everything from hardcore pornography to willing and readily available casual sex partners. Whatever your spouse’s “cup of tea” is, the Internet is almost certainly involved.

One great way that you, as the spouse or partner of a recovering sex addict, can aid in your significant other’s recovery is to insist on the installation of parental control software onto his or her Internet accessible computers and devices.

The best of these software programs function in two ways. First, they restrict the addict’s access to questionable material, such as pornography, and dangerous people, such as potential extramarital sex partners. Second, they inform the addict’s “accountability partner,” which can be you (if you decide you want to know) and/or the addict’s therapist or 12-step sexual recovery sponsor, about where the addict is traveling and what the addict is doing online.

It is important to keep in mind that there are no guarantees a parental control software program will keep a sex addict sober. Even the best of these products can eventually be circumvented by a motivated and tech-savvy addict. However, the time it takes to circumvent one of these programs and the knowledge that doing so may result in an email or text being sent to the accountability partner often provides the sex addict with time for a much needed “moment of clarity,” allowing the addict to think through the sexual slip and see the potential consequences.

As the partner of a sex addict, you are probably most interested in the accountability portion of these programs, particularly if you decide you are ready to know everything about what your spouse or partner does online. The top products notify you with your choice of daily, weekly, monthly, and/or on-demand reports detailing the addict’s online travels, including websites visited, attempts to visit blocked websites, chat-room activities, IM conversations, GPS location (on mobile devices), and time of usage (both when and for how long).

For sex addicts, the best parental control software products for Internet filtering and accountability are: