I just read a post called “Recovery Tool: Bottom Lines” on a site called himynameismike.org. It’s one of the most practical things I’ve read in a long time. I think I have some bottom lines: basically red lines, boundaries I won’t allow myself to cross. I also think the red lines I developed shortly after D-day are becoming second nature for me. However, as the author suggests, I could probably benefit from consciously developing and listing a few high priority red lines that could use my full attention right now.
Shortly after D-day I used the following red lines:
1. Don’t be alone with a woman who is not my wife, unless it is an obviously safe and necessary situation involving professional or family responsibilities.
2. Don’t look at porn or masturbate, at all.
3. Don’t communicate electronically with anyone in a way I would be afraid to show my wife.
I still adhere to those red lines. But, have recently added a few more:
1. Do not click on suggested internet links that are accompanied by alluring pictures of women.
2. Do not visit any internet site that I would be afraid or ashamed to explain to my wife.
3. Do not eat alone with a woman, even in a public place such as an airport, even as a chance encounter that appears innocent, and even with a woman whose relationship with me appears only professional.
That’s a start. I do think I’ll give this question more thought, to see if I can brainstorm any additional necessary, helpful, or timely red lines for my current focus.