What Not to Say

This is a super quick post to address a simple but particularly infuriating issue. If you are in the process of healing and restoration with a significant other there are inevitably moments where that other can’t see progress. Some conversations just feel like nothing has been accomplished and zero forward momentum can be found. When that happens, and the hopelessness sets in, some men will try to manufacture a sense of hope and progress by comparing what they are doing now to what they could be doing wrong now or what they used to do wrong in the past.

Examples of what not to say-

  • I used to lust after almost every woman I saw (but now I’m not)
  • I could be looking at porn every day when I’m at work (but I don’t)
  • If I wanted to sleep with my assistant I could (but I’m not)
  • I could lie and completely get away with it (but I’m not)
  • I could still be deleting texts from my phone and you’d never know (but I’m not)
  • If I wanted to get around the internet filter I could (but I don’t)
  • I used to flirt with women at church all the time (but I’m not now)

Hopefully you get the point. It’s never helpful to measure today’s progress against what you aren’t doing or could be doing that is worse. We talked about this a little bit in the Measuring Up blog post here. It is neither comforting nor reassuring to for a wife/significant other to hear how bad things could be or used to be, as a way of seeing progress in the present.

Practically, when you feel hopelessness because progress seems elusive, focus on the future rather than the past. Invite the person you’re wooing back to you to hang on and watch another day. To give you another week. To reassess on Friday. Whatever the timeline, give them something to cling to, rather than something to try to throw as far as they can see.


4 thoughts on “What Not to Say

  1. This is amazing! I whish I could have somebody to help me one to one! I don’t know anyone who I can trusty! I feel so lonely in my situation!! I am battle myself alone! It is so hard!! Please pray for me! Thanks!!!

  2. I’m finding it very much difficult to bounce off my eyes my eyes. It seems to me that it’s almost like a mission impossible and I am just feeling too weak to even start the 30 days program and yet I know beyond any shadow of doubt that it is the right thing to do. I am looking forward to a day when I shall be completely free. Please pray for me. I really need to experience victory in this area. Please pray for me.

  3. I’m a fiance of a man that is struggling with sexual integrity. He’s made tremendous progress, but there’s times when I feel like he doesn’t take it seriously. He seems more focused on just making me happy, rather than how his addiction effects him and how it hurts him. I’m a victim of rape and sexual PTSD. This makes it tremendously difficult for me to be with a man that has a sexual integrity problem. I feel like I’m being pushed past my breaking point, part of me feels like it’d be safer for me to just walk away. I still love him and want better for him and us, how do I find the strength to keep trying when every mishap we have, causes me great pain and suffering? My biggest fear is finding that this issue carries into the future and possibly our marriage. This brings me a lot of anxiety on a daily bases, I’m unhappy and struggling to focus at work and relax at home. I’m struggling to support him through my frustration and anger. I’m currently seeking a trauma therapist on the New Life network, I’m praying that things get better for us.

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