11. Tools of Recovery Part 4: Celibacy

Against the typical advice you may get from a friend or well-meaning counselor, a period of celibacy is highly recommended at the beginning of recovery. Having more sex is not the answer, especially in the weeks following a full disclosure. Your husband’s altered expectations around sex need time to reboot, as does his warped view of reality. The suggested time frame for celibacy is normally ninety days. This provides time for husbands to “dry out.”

You’re probably familiar with the concept of detox or “drying out” in relation to drugs or alcohol, but you may not be aware that it also applies to porn. Drying out from porn is a difficult and gradual process. You can’t just pour your secret stash down the sink and be done with it. It’s stuck inside your head, available to get you high at any time.

But your husband is not the only one who will benefit from a break from sex. Recovery also means reclaiming those aspects of your own sexuality that have been impacted and damaged by his addiction. Taking time out to heal your sexual wounds is critical. Ninety days is recommended guideline, not a rule.