Accountability Group Not Working? Here’s What You Can Do
By Joel Hesch
The single biggest reason why people stay stuck in bondage to porn or sex addiction is that they forgo accountability. But what happens when you take the risk to join an accountability group, such as rTribe, and you’re still stuck?
Don’t give up. You’re on the right track. In fact, I am proud of you. You’ve already made the most important decision by joining a tribe and seeking accountability. What you now need is a game plan for not only improving accountability, but also adding the other key ingredients needed to gain sexual integrity.
This article addresses what besides a tribe or an accountability app is needed. It also tells you how to improve your current accountability.
The good news is that you’ve already begun the accountability part. You just need to tweak it. That’s because there’s more to accountability than simply confessing setbacks or checking in on an app. Healthy accountability involves following three things.
Most accountability partners merely ask each other to admit whether or not they looked at porn during the week. It can be very draining to meet with someone simply to tell them you messed up. That’s why that kind of accountability is short-lived. The experience is so miserable that it inadvertently encourages people to shade the truth, skirt the issue, or—let’s be honest—outright lie.
Shame and ridicule are counterproductive. When you’re already struggling with your commitment to change, what you really need is encouragement from another person who understands what it means to struggle with an issue like this.
Healthy accountability also means investing in each other’s lives and having (perhaps for the first time) deep, intentional relationships. Yes, it includes confessing setbacks, but the goal needs to be mutually encouraging, helping, serving, building up, spurring on, and warning of dangers.
Accountability is hard work. Each of you needs to share personal details regarding struggles, failures, hopes, dreams, and victories. This even includes recognizing and then talking about feelings. Each must also have the freedom and expectation to ask the other hard personal questions. Of course, confidences must be kept, because nothing breaks down a relationship faster than gossip and betrayal.
For real change to take place you must be consistent. It takes time to break old habits and form new habits. In the area of sexual integrity, the battle is even more fierce. It may mean that for a season you must connect every day with a tribe member for encouragement. In other words, don’t wait until a temptation floods you before you connect with your tribe. After all, your partners need your encouragement too.
And don’t throw in the towel when you have a setback. Sexual integrity is a process—even a journey—not an end destination. So, don’t be so consumed with counting the days since your last setback that you forget why you’re even trying in the first place. In fact, view setbacks as opportunities to grow, not as failures. You’ll never be perfect, but you can keep growing and experiencing victory along the way.
Be committed to change
Another key to making accountability work is accepting that it’s your responsibility to find and grow your accountability relationship. That means if your tribe doesn’t work, you form or join a new tribe. Of course, before giving up on your tribe, you must do your part. In fact, each of you should read this article and discuss what each of you need and how to best help each other.
Don’t forget that your other tribe members are facing the same fight and obstacles, and they need you as much as you need them. So be a leader. Make it your goal to care for others and keep reaching out.
Training to gain a new mindset
What you need most is a heart change or you’ll never have a life change. You know what I mean. Installing an Internet filter does nothing to stop you from wanting to look at porn. You need to address the internal desires. You need to change from the inside out. That means living beyond your circumstances. It means being driven by something besides your own selfishness or pride.
How do you do that? Lasting change takes more than making a decision. What you need is a solid playbook and lots of practice. One of the best ways to do this is to go through a daily workbook study specifically designed to unveil the root issues that draw you into porn or fantasy, plus daily assignments to put the things you are learning into practice.
When a person combines going through a sexual integrity study with regular accountability, they begin to change. But you can’t have one without the other. Being willing to do whatever it takes usually requires spending focused time working through a sexual integrity study. And it works best when you discuss the study each week with your tribe.
For those of you with a Christian background you can check out our workbook Proven Path for Sexual Integrity at www.provenmen.org
It’s time to complete the circle and make accountability not only work for you, but to lead your entire tribe along a proven path. Don’t simply read this article, plan to put a healthy system of accountability into place.
About the author:
After breaking free from his own 20 year addiction, Joel Hesch developed the Proven Path for Sexual Integrity, including a 12-week daily workbook study. For 15 years, Joel has been helping restore people from the grip of porn or sex addiction. Joel is excited to partner with rTribe because rTribe provides an accountability platform and Proven Men provides a weekly study, plus comprehensive guides for tribe members to follow for healthy accountability and the content for meetings to discuss the life-changing truths in the study. Visit his website for more information: www.ProvenMen.org.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]