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Revisiting the Scene

January 11, 2010

 I know a couple of guys in recovery who have had to go back to places that bring back memories of their sexual acting out.   

 (Names and cities have been changed)  

 ROY would frequently travel to Chicago for business tips and hook up with women at local bars.  He is in recovery now.  But if he has to travel by way of Chicago again, it brings back a lot of hurt for him and his wife.   

 JAIME was a minister in Phoenix who lost his because of his illicit behavior.  He went back to visit family recently.  It was especially difficult when he ran into former church members during the trip.   

 HANK is from a small town.  He lost his job because of his pornography habit.  He and his wife moved, but are still trying to sell a house in their previous town.  It’s painful to have to go back to prep the house for showings.   


Sometimes it’s better to never go back to a location.  We need to bury it.  Other times, we can’t avoid it, and need to work through it.   

Here are some tips if you have to revisit the scene:  

1.  You must deal with the pain – The pain and consequence is real, whether you go back or not.  Don’t bury the pain.  Talk through it with a counselor and with your spouse.  Surrender it for God’s healing.    

2.  Talk through it before you go – Talk with your spouse, your counselor, good friends.  Make sure they are in on it, and you are being proactive.   

3.  Have a strategy in place – Setup accountability, schedule phone calls, hanging out with friends, minimizing alone time. You might need to keep a log of your time, miles, phone calls, and purchases to help.  Have a travel buddy.    

4.  Establish strong boundaries – Your goal is to take a huge step back from anything that would give you trouble.  Draw your lines with the help of your accountability partners.    

5.  Be sensitive to others who are affected – Your spouse and your still healing from your indiscretions.    

6.  Stay away from triggery places & people – You can probably avoid many of the former triggers by staying away.  But have a strategy in place if you happen to run into people from your former life.    

7.  Be humble, contrite, apologize – Have the right posture.  You have hurt many others, and may need to apologize again and seek forgiveness.  Whatever you do, don’t get defensive.    

8.  Keep it a short trip – Don’t linger.  Get in, do your business, and get out.  Drive up and back in one day if you can help it.    

9.  Debrief when you get back – Continue the communication loop with your spouse, counselor and accountability partners.  Rework your strategy and plug holes if you have to.   

Revisiting the scene is a challenging part of recovery.  But God can use this as a growth opportunity for you, your spouse, and those who were hurt by your sexual sin. 

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