Last week, some friends went on the Dr. Phil show. You can read about it on the previous post.

Dr. Phil did not think that the wife should be involved in the process of accountability. I wanted to give you our thoughts on this.

XXXchurch created X3watch to help people get accountable online. Every day over 500 people download the free version of our software. We have over 1 million people held accountable online. Some people have their friends, pastors, wives, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends keep them accountable. Accountability is not an end all solution to your porn problem. We do believe being open and honest about your issues with other people is a HUGE step in the process of recovery.

I know a lot of men who have their wives keep them accountable and I know a lot of men whose wives do not want to be their accountability partners. It all depends on your relationship. My friend Steven Luff who wrote Pure Eyes and leads our X3pure program and our recovery groups says this:

The answer to this question, for me, is a mixed bag.  In short, whether you should use your wife as an accountability partner depends on the wife, the marriage, and the degree to which the man needs to be held accountable. 

But here is my biggest point about addiction and accountability: if a man needs ANYONE to police him and his behavior, he’s barking up the wrong tree. In the end, addiction is about the individual having a difficult time accepting his or her loneliness, whether that be a desire for companionship or something much deeper like an existential loneliness — that is, a loneliness born out of the stark reality that we must face our mortality either alone or with a deep, profound relationship with God.

In short, if having your wife as an accountability partner means that you turn to her in times of loneliness for warmth, love, and acceptance, then having your wife as an accountability partner is not only a good idea, but it is also what marriage should be about.  But if using your wife as an accountability partner means using her as a police officer — or worse: as your MOTHER — it’s a bad, bad idea.

Accountability is meant to encourage open and honest conversations. I have seen it very helpful for men to have their wives get their accountability reports. Not to be policed by them but to let them in on what they are going through. You have to want to get free from pornography more then your wife wants you to get free. It will never work if she wants it more then you.

Dr. Phil said it is too much pressure if you wife is you accountability partner and that pressure could lead you back into your addiction. In most cases, I disagree.

Sometimes, it might actually help you to have something that matters on the line. If you know your wife is going to see what you see online and you know that hurts her and will have a negative impact on your marriage, maybe that slows you down.

Whether it is your wife or your friend or you mom… Bottom line accountability works if you want it to work. If you are honest and open and real with others about what you are looking at and what is leading you to these areas I believe having people around you so you don’t go about it on your own is a great step in your road to recovery.

What do you think?