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When is it OK for my Addict Partner to “Back Off” from His Recovery?

How long should a spouse expect her addict partner to keep up his recovery? Doesn't there come a time when he can "back off" to some degree? In this episode Mark and Steve answer an excellent set of questions offered by a PBSE listener. Here's what she had to say:

My partner and I have been in recovery since February 2021. Your podcast has really helped pull us through some rough times. We have navigated the "messy middle" and my partner says that now he is in a "good place." He has taken initiative with disclosing slip ups and even new issues he is facing in recovery with temptations in [public] (he struggled with porn addiction, but has now disclosed he is struggling with lust and does not have the tools to work through it like he does with porn).

I am struggling immensely with relationship insecurity. The last discovery I had to make in October really shook up my confidence as he had been hiding it from me and lying about porn use. Since then, he has been honest about any urges or slip ups.

Are porn addicts ever in a place to slow down with recovery? We started out with daily check ins, therapy, Celebrate Recovery 12 step group, Fortify, accountability software, and other relationship building activities (bible studies, intentional time together). Now, he says he just wants to listen to your podcast and do the check ins as he claims he has the tools to manage temptations. I want to trust him and what he says are his needs, but I am afraid since this feels like the perfect time for a slip up, when his guard is down.

From the partners perspective, should I be okay with him taking less active recovery? I am working through my own issues still, and they are becoming magnified with my insecurities of him using less recovery tools. Any input is appreciated. Thanks for all you do! With passion, clarity and vulnerability, Mark and Steve address the various issues brought up by this PBSE listener—and use a number of experiences from their own decades of deep addiction, as well as many years of recovery success, to get to what matters most with this topic and challenge.

Learn more about Mark and Steve's new online program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve three times a week--addicts, spouses and couples! Visit— Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services Here's an article about how to HEAL from Betrayal Trauma—

To learn more about HOW to overcome porn and sex addiction, check out this article—

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