Overcoming pornography can be a long-term process. Although ups and downs are normal for everyone, you should notice an overall change for the better. When your friend is being truly accountable, you will begin to see real improvement.
Here are a few ways to see if your friend is improving: First of all, are they viewing less pornography? Pay attention to how they interact with you and others. Do they seem open or closed? Are they generally happy or sad? Are they social or isolating themselves? Are they recognizing and admitting mistakes or denying anything is wrong? Are they taking responsibility for their actions or blaming others?
- Regularly checking in with you will help your friend over time.
- Have your friend regularly tell you how they’re doing in three areas: triggers, slips and relapses.
- A trigger is not necessarily his or her fault, but it’s important that they tell you what triggers them.
- A slip is when your friend intentionally views pornography and tells you within 24 hours. Your friend should tell you within a day about any slips.
- A relapse is not reporting a slip within 24 hours. Your friend should tell you about any relapses.
If your friend is not progressing, then more involved check-ins might be helpful. Talk to your friend about how they feel in these five areas:
Agree on the frequency of your checkins. Some check in once a month, some check in once a day. Do what works for you and your friend. Remember, you aren’t the cop or enforcer. However, if your friend isn’t speaking up, it might be helpful to encourage them.
In our next and last section, we will leave you with some great additional resources.
This is a 7-part mini-series on how to help your friend stay away from pornography.
Part 1: Why Do People Look at Pornography?
Part 2: Your Role as an Accountability Partner
Part 3: What Should I Do If I Discover That My Friend Looked At Pornography?
Part 4: Justification Sounds Like…
Part 5: What is a Trigger?
Part 6: The Long-Term Change Process
Part 7: In Case You Need More Help