I need some internet advice
By roast_rump
10/1/2008 9:09:51 AM
Hey, I need some opinions on what would be good internet practices for me.

I am working hard to be clean from my pornography addiction and I have had a lot of success and some definite setbacks. I have improved a lot over the past couple of years, but I still manage to relapse. The home internet situation is the (almost exclusive) outlet. At times when I have completely disconnected the internet it has helped, but not solved the problem. I would rent some R rated movies or something when this was the case. The main problem is that the desire to view "something that I wouldn't want my wife to know that I saw" hasn't completely gone away.

Anyways, I mentioned needing internet advice and I guess I will get to that now. Here is my dilemma: I know a lot about computers/networking/other random stuff and I can't think of a single solution that I couldn't easily get around. That probably sounds really prideful, but it is a huge problem for me. I've even gone as far as to set up a more elaborate network with a transparent proxy and content filtering on a router that I don't even have the root password to. This worked great until I was having a bad day and really wanted to look at something bad.

When it comes down to it, I can't think of any practical way to "guarantee" my online safety from myself if I am alone. At this point I would normally think of just discontinuing internet, but I have done that with the aforementioned results. In addition to this I have a lot of school assignments that are posted online and have tons of online resources. I would say I could go to school and do it all there in a public place but I usually have my 2 year old and I can't take him to school while I work for hours on my homework. I even use the internet a lot to connect to work and such. It seems pretty necessary, unless I am deluding myself.

I have looked into Covenant Eyes and I really like the concept a lot but I am still worried/hesitant because I don't feel like I couldn't find a way around it. At this point I am probably just justifying not having filtering software.

Has anyone else faced similar difficulties? What things have helped you? I really want to recover and I do feel like this is a stumbling block. Be blunt, be honest, and please tell me if it seems like I am rationalizing or justifying. I really want to change and that is hard to do if I am dishonest with myself.


thx for reply    
"I started thinking about this more and more after I wrote it. I think the best thing will be to show the Lord that I am willing to at least try by having some sort of accountability software on there. I might as well put it on and let it help me, even if it was just a little. If it keeps me from a "gradual slide" then that is excellent. When it comes down to it, though, if there is a will there is a way. I guess that is a double edged sword.
Also, I need to realize that just because I can do something does not mean that I will. I can't afford to introduce unnecessary risk into my recovery.
I have thought a lot about the two things you mentioned as well, about job/career changing or recovery. I share the same concerns about being able to support my family as well. I think that the right answer (for me) is to just get into the recovery (even more) and hope for the best, at least for now.
I could definitely show my wife what to look for to check up on me, but I wonder if that would put to much strain on her. I am sure she feels a lot of stress already without me giving her extra responsibilities. Maybe it would make her happier though. Just something more to think about. I am glad that I am in an environment where I can talk about these things with people. Thanks again."
posted at 00:57:18 on October 2, 2008 by roast_rump
Not responsibility for your wife...    
"Maybe instead of viewing it as more stress and responsibility for your wife, view it as giving your wife reason to trust you. If you say you are not looking at porn, and she can verify that- it goes a long way in restoring trust. At least it did for me."
posted at 16:13:19 on October 2, 2008 by sophie
"Where've you been?"
posted at 18:46:03 on October 2, 2008 by Anonymous
yeah soph, we missed you!    
"glad to see you back"
posted at 12:06:36 on October 3, 2008 by robin
"This blog has me stressed. My husband works with computers and I am a kindergartner when it comes to computer savey. I have thought about spyware, have no clue how it works and I am pretty sure it would set my marriage back 3 months if he found out I put some on. It is exhausting to think about trying to police his addiction, yet sometimes I wonder if I would be more at ease if I could. He tells me he is not doing anything. I want to believe that and I do for the most part. I just have a hard time totally believing he could just quit from the time I found out until now. It is realllllly the pits to find out the man you have spent 20 years trusting was not faithful and was hiding things from you. I feel so guilty about not trusting him, yet how can I completely? He has been so good at minimizing things in his head for so long. " BIG "to me was "just a little soft stuff" to him I want to, I want to, I want to trust him."
posted at 12:15:25 on October 3, 2008 by robin
"Didn't mean to make anyone stressed with this post. One thing that I have thought about and I would be okay with (but your husband may NOT) is telling your loved one that you want to trust them but you would also like to be able to check up on them. I would be totally okay with my wife checking my computer if that would reduce stress. I can't imagine that policing the addiction, however, could be anything but a whole bunch of stress, worry, and taxation. Hence my earlier comment about not wanting to stress out my wife more than I have to (thx for you comment Sophie).
We men can be so good at justifying things. I completely understand the minimization, having done that myself. It can be confusing, especially when you are in the midst of the addiction. I feel like the words from church leaders in the past have been quite vague. " Avoid pornography," while explicit, doesn't really address what pornography is or what leads to it. Thankfully the past few years have seen some excellent talks which better address the subject. Now I have tried to cast off this minimization, and I am sure that many people would laugh at what I consider pornography, calling it nothing of the sort. What is important to me now is to imagine my wife viewing what I view, and to imagine how she would react if she were to know my thought processes as I view something. This test has really helped me to get rid of the minimization.
Anyways, sorry for stressing you, and sorry for the rambling."
posted at 20:22:53 on October 3, 2008 by roast_rump
Try using xxx church    
"Hi everyone,

I have loaded xxx church on my computers. It moniters the sites you go into. If there is a site that is questionable it will save the address and send it to whomever you want to monitor your activities, IE your wife. Every two week a report is generated and send to that persons email. If they try to tamper with it an email is immediatly sent to worn that there is a problem. If your husbands are not receptive in loading it on the computer then he is most likely watching porn.

You also have to be aware that he may be saving files to a disc.

Good luck, It took me to the point that I wanted to recover. I am completely surendering myself to the Lord. I don't have the strength to do it on my own.

good luck

posted at 21:21:53 on October 3, 2008 by smwil46
Various thoughts    
I agree with Oak. I've struggled with the same problem. I work in the IT field and my wife uses computers very little. I have a home network with a number of computers not all of which run Windows. Trying to come up with a system that was so brilliant that I couldn't figure out a way around it was something I pondered for sometime, but each time I came up with an idea I almost immediately came up with a way to bypass it.

Finally I decided to just make it painful. If I tried for the impossible barrier, part of my mind would just take it as a challenge anyway. Earlier in my recovery when we didn't "officially" have internet access and I was sneaking on I decided to give my external modem to my wife to hide. Just a few nights later I got the urge to act out and was going to until I remembered that it was gone. Faced with a lengthy search I decided to just go to bed. If we addicts really want to relapse, we will. There have been times that I thought of travelling over 80 miles to get porn just because I was worried someone from the recovery program would see me if I tried to do it around home.

Currently my wife has the passwords to my firewall box that we use to connect/disconnect from the internet. I can connect directly to my DSL modem, but it takes a little work if I want to hide it unless I connect with the wireless like I do with my work laptop. My work laptop is monitored closely and I don't have admin rights on it which provides some deterrent. I have removed the wireless card from my personal laptop and taken it to work. If our DSL modem's disconnect feature worked, my wife would have the password control on that as well. I also follow the advice to keep all the monitors highly visible. My desk can be seen from two rooms and through one window.

More important for me than the technical "speed bumps" as Oak calls them, are doing the dailies: get myself to bed at a good time, starting my day on my knees, reading from the scriptures, attending recovery meetings as needed and getting to the temple once a week. Last night I screwed up and stayed up way late. I was in an ideal situation if I wanted to relapse. I had some good reasons to stay up, but none that good. I didn't relapse, but I felt the need to apologize in my morning prayer, because I will be in a precarious place until I get caught back up on my sleep. Now I am asking for the Lord's help to resist temptation after placing myself fairly close to danger.

My advice, whether I follow it or not, is to put up some guardrails and then drive on the uphill side of the road.

Robin and to wives in general,
I think HE should put the monitoring software on. Covenant Eyes and the "xxx church" mentioned above could be good options because they send out a report of activity. You don't have to look at it if you don't want to, but he always knows that you could. I've known guys that use Covenant Eyes that have their bishop on the email list. I don't personally use it because it doesn't run on Linux. You could just save the reports off in a folder in case you ever wanted to look at them. It may be possible to set them up so they only email if there is a problem. I've tried to give my wife the computer knowledge to keep track of me, but she has a much better low-tech system. If I look at porn she feels a tremor in the force. Seriously! After I had been in the recovery for a while whenever I had to tell her about a relapse all she would say is, "yeah, I know." I know she wasn't pretending because before she was able to let go of my problem she would always confront me during or right after a relapse. She has caught a couple of our kids "dabbling" by just watching their reaction when she walks into the room. Trust your feelings; you're entitled to personal revelation in this matter.

If your husband doesn't like the idea of being monitored then WAAA! (Crying sound) He lost the right to being trusted because he has been a lying sack of poop stain. If he doesn't agree he can talk to me anytime and I'll give him a mental kick in the #$@&** (oops I meant "rear". Roast told us to be blunt and honest, but I probably took it too far.) If he has come to even a partial realization of what he has done to you, he should want to do everything in his power to make things right. If not and it sets your marriage back 3 whole months is that really a big deal? Unless I misunderstood you've already invested twenty years into this and probably want it to last forever. Besides your husband has already put it farther into the negative than you will. Don't do it behind his back, but don't worry about tip toeing around his feelings either. This is the guy that ran over yours with a backhoe. Btw I don't think ill of your husband. I am assuming that he is a really "nice guy". Unfortunately I've been a "nice guy" and an addict for decades and as the man in black from "The Princess Bride" would say, "I've known too many addicts."

Best of luck to the both of you."
posted at 13:05:20 on October 6, 2008 by justjohn
working up courage    
"Thank you all for your advice. I am going to work on building the courage to take it. It is wierd, but I feel like I will make things worse if I let him know that I want an accountablility system on the computers. I am getting ready to leave on a trip (which historically is a hard time for him to stay away from porn) and I would like to do something. Any ideas on how to approach him with out it being like a slug in the gut? Again I really thank you for your help."
posted at 16:54:14 on October 6, 2008 by robin
"Just confront him with it and let go of the results. We tend to dwell on the "what if..." and too often it keeps us from doing what we need to do. He might get mad; he might not. Maybe he'll surprise you and actually appreciate it."
posted at 17:34:35 on October 6, 2008 by Anonymous
big brother    
"Hey, I just want to thank JustJohn for his post. I made me cry and then I smiled all day when I thought about it. I always wanted an older brother to stick up for me and that is what it felt like. Thank you ;o)"
posted at 11:04:04 on October 7, 2008 by robin

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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987