What are benchmarks and how can we implement them in our healing and recovery? How are benchmarks different that boundaries? Are benchmarks an accurate measure of progress. We cover all those questions and more!
The distinction between benchmarks and boundaries can be difficult to determine. Anne, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery, an organization that helps women find safety amidst discovery their husband’s porn use, states,
“A benchmark is something the addict does; whereas a boundary is something the victim does.”
What Are Benchmarks?
“First, you set a boundary, then you wait for the benchmarks,” Anne explains.
Essentially, benchmarks can and should be associated with specific boundaries. When benchmarks are reached by a husband after a woman sets a previous boundary, it can show progression, self-awareness, and genuine recovery work. It can signal to a woman that her husband is understanding the impact of his abusive actions on her and the family. It can help determine the safety of a situation also.
So benchmarks can be used to measure the recovery efforts of an addict. Boundaries help keep the victim safe and are something implemented by her apart from what the addict does.
How Do Boundaries Relate To Benchmarks?
“One of the roots of his dishonesty, is that he wants to fulfill people’s expectations. Because of this, I made a conscious decision early on to not outline what I need to see from him in the recovery phase. I am leaving the plan to him about his own recovery. That is a move toward healthy behaviors for him.”
Anne also adds,
“If you give the addict a list, they can check off those boxes and fake recovery. It is a better idea to say: I’ll keep observing, praying, and assessing the progress he is making on his own.”
Anne does recommend a polygraph in situations where trust has been broken and lying has been the norm. The feelings are mixed on the use of polygraphs.
“His therapist and he does not think he is at a point that he is ready to submit to a polygraph right now, as he is not far enough in his recovery. He is at a place where he cannot even disclose that he acted out recently, let alone his entire history of addictive behavior.”
Nevertheless, Lindsey realizes that she is only hearing what the therapist is saying from her husband telling her.
Are Benchmarks Useful In Determining Recovery?
“Whether or not we can tell if someone is going to commit to living healthy principles and make the changes he needs in order to be in recovery, takes a long time.”
We encourage you to reach out to start building your community of support, to learn more about benchmarks and boundaries. We have many resources available for you that can help along the journey. Coach Joanne leads fantastic group sessions with other women so you can feel connection in a safe space.
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Until next week, stay safe out there.