My SAWH is a poor reader. Carnes is a poor writer. Together it's a deadly combo!
I am an educator, public speaker and experienced editor, as well as published author.
It was simple to edit the sentences to be more clear.
It also helped to leave out some of the "technical" /for therapists only stuff.
We are reading book # 3 since it has more real life examples, and are going to return his first book to the store. Carnes says early in the book that this one is much better than his first. (we agree).
My SAWH is an excellent listener. I read slowly and stopped to ask "comprehension" questions to be sure he was absorbing the concepts.
At the end of the reading, he asked me to summarize for him.
I explained it's not the "what" you do, it's the what you do it FOR that makes one a SA. That a person is not "bad" or "corrupt" necessarily, but that they are selecting behaviors which hurt them - and hurt others, including the children they love - by living the shadow life of the SA.
The next day he sat at the kitchen table, and with my help in creating the physical structure of a family tree, completed it for both sides of his family, then sat there in shock and amazement. It was like he fully saw for the first time what a messed up family system he grew up in.
Example: His mother actually asked me one day "What do you mean by 'the truth.'? There is no such thing as "truth." " Yes, really, and this woman is the person who raised - and horribly damaged my SAWH.
In any case, it seems to be a technique to engage him in the process, and where he said that by doing it together he is able to see I don't despise him and that we are hearing the same things at the same time.
Anyone else with a similar experience?
it's all about James Hunter, now ;)
And here's the 180 link:
The addiction to the attention and external validation is actually just one of the components to many SA's pattern of addiction.
My SAH has struggled (although technically "sober") with the attention and validation from women especially at work. Many times he has rationalized that it is non-sexual, so therefore ok. Now with further recovery he realizes that the "attention and validation" are simply factors in his sex addiction and it is very dangerous for him to ever try to separate the two as if in some way one is "less bad" than the other.
Hope I am making sense. It just seems to me that there is a distinction being made by the IC that is doing nothing but making some minimizing of behavior that much easier.
I think it great for you that you are educating yourself about SA.
I caution you to see some of the traps that may come about with "helping" too much.
Unintentionally, you are "managing" his process of learning about SA, by editing.
Gaining the information, doing the work (damn HARD work) is his job. Finding and using resources to make this better understood is your SAH's job as well.
One of the guys in my SAH's group (therapy not SAA) was going to be told he needed to leave the group. He hadn't done enough of his "work" in a year, basically.
My SAH was feeling so sorry for him, he has add, dyslexia poor guy, he just needs help blah blah....
I reminded him that this guy knew he had these issues, knows what kind of help or modifications and how to get them and use them. It was NOT the therapist's or the programs responsibility to help him with that part. Especially, without him addressing it with them. It is very important that the SA do the work, the reading, more work and more reading, on their own. They do NOT get all of what they are reading and incorporate it into their core when they first read it. It takes years to understand certain things. There is a slow process to this for a reason.
Second big thing that I see is how you may be setting yourself up for exactly what I still deal with from my SAH daily. I am responsible for how my SAH feels. My SAH has this amazing ability to blame me for everything. Hell, last year when he contacted another woman, he was angry and resentful for 3 months because I wasn't "supportive" of his work in recovery, while I dealt with the anger and betrayal myself. AMazing
By doing so much to "help" you are setting yourself up to be the responsible party if there is anything he doesn't "get." Believe me, there will be some things that you think are perfectly clear, and that he understands, and then later find out he is clueless. If you are NOT involved in that process, then you are not responsible.
As with my last post, I hope I make sense without insulting.
One of the things that has got me through the last 6-8 months is remembering that recovery is a process.
I have to trust in the process, and understand that I cannot do anything to speed it up or make it feel less painful to my SAH, or easier.
Realizing that has actually helped my own healing. I cannot take proper care of myself if I am working on him.
Not to mention, when I get through this hell of learning about healing from SA and all the work I need, I want a whole grown up partner of a man. If I have to be his mom, that is not going to happen.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 8:32 AM, October 30th (Saturday)]
There is not a CSAT here except one that works at an inpatient hospital program. That's it and no, we don't live in a rural area at all, it's a big city!!! I wish we could get him to one but he's going to look into an IC that specializes in addictions overall since that looks like his only option. What do you think?
P.S. Anyone have a copy of Mending a Shattered Heart I can borrow then send back? Amazon is out of stock and cancelled my order, can't seem to find it on other book store sites.
[This message edited by notasaint at 5:16 PM, October 30th (Saturday)]
There are no csats here. We've tried together and separately a lot of local therapists - and I've also worked with many others for my kids' sakes on a variety of their (non affair) related issues (chronic health, their father's abuse, learning disabilities, adhd, depression, anxiety, divorcing their dad, detc etc), and unfortunately after 14 years in this region can say - and have verified via out of region therapists - that this region to put it technically SUCKS in terms of ANY kind of health care (and I can validate THAT for physical care, as well - all over the place). This area is pretty, low cost and "nice" to raise a family in, but the medical /psychological care is bankrupt!
I have no intention of doing his work for him. I want to know he has "heard" the concept, and then he can decide what to do about it. This is simply explaining what SA is. If he sees himself in it, then great. If he sees himself in it and starts recovery, even better.
I did "all" the work a few years ago when it was "only" an affair (HAHHAHHAHAH, if I'd only known then I'd be saying this now!!), and as you point out so ably, my learning did CRAP nothing to help repair the marriage, although he did appear attentive and trying at the time.. .
I am working on my own healing via another site and hope that he will choose to join me there. If not... well, I'll have healed. And, eventually assume, will move on.
Thank you for sharing your concerns :)
I have been struggling for weeks and weeks with the feeling that husband just does not "get" the pain I have been in, and the fact that he is not showing true remorse. I started re-reading Mending A Shattered Heart again, and found a passage that I thought was very helpful for me to understand what is going on. I thought it might be helpful to some of you.
Mods -- if I am out of line by posting this verbatim from the book (copyright issues) please delete.
Here is is:
Why should I forgive? I am so angry about what my spouse did. I want true remorse, not "I'm sorry". When will my spouse get how he hurt me?
Wanting your partner to "really get" how he hurt you is a normal wish but may be futile. Don't stop believing this is important for you. However, in early recovery there is very little available for you because all the energy your partner put into his addiction must now be directed toward his own recovery. In some ways you may be similar to two ships passing in the night. For a period of time you will be wrestling with your own distinct issues that, for you, can't be fully understood by the other. The addict can no more understand your need for remorse than you can understand what it's like for him to not act out for 30 days. Itís more important to pay attention to his actions about recovery because recovery becomes the stepping stones for deeper amends to those the addict has hurt and that will come with time. The addict may make many promises, but it will be the cumulative actions in support of challenging his addictive thinking and behavior that will give you small vestiges of hope about his growing capacity to experience remorse. Further in recovery you should expect -- in writing or with the presence of a trained professional -- an acknowledgement of what he did to you, and the addict should listen as you explain how he has hurt you. This will further honor your need to right the wrongs done to you.
SAs and their spouses are NEVER in the same place in early recovery and it's maddening. But it is what it is and you have to push through if you both want to recover and reconcile.
P.S. I posted pics of our family in the Halloween Pics thread...
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 12:37 PM, November 1st (Monday)]
Great to see the family too :)
Thank you for that part of the book. Can't wait to get my copy, I really want to read this one and feel like I need it, I'm going crazy.
[This message edited by notasaint at 8:04 PM, November 1st (Monday)]
7, your little girl is soooooo cute!!!!!!
I have a question. Are we really supposed to wait around until they feel remorse while working on our own healing? I mean, my WH is still in denial but going to IC and wants to go to MC. He doesn't believe me when I say that I would walk thru fire for him. He goes into this needy coma of low self esteem. He was teary and petting a stuffed animal after we talked last nite. He says the sexual thing,etc. Is his business.
I just wondered because it has been stated not to stay if he is not in recovery, but he is not telling me anything but wants to work on things with me. I am going crazy. The kids are so confused cause he's in a different room and I am not doing family things with him anymore cause he is till lying and I believe still messaging her.
Boundary: "In order to feel safe and know that we are both moving in the right direction I'm asking you to see a CSAT and seek recovery from your sex addiction."
Consequence: "If you choose not to seek recovery, I choose to no longer... (pick something you CAN AND WILL do! It cannot be an idle threat!) Here are some examples (which kinda comes down to doing the 180)
*share a bed with you. (this includes no sexual contact)
*do your laundry
*cook your meals
Find a CSAT for YOU. Begin YOUR recovery. Read the books I recommended. Work with your IC (preferably a CSAT) on learning to set boundaries. Go to SANON or COSA. Focus on YOU and YOUR recovery. Be healthy, with or without him. You cannot force him to seek recovery but you certainly do have the right to set a boundary and ask that he seek recovery but you have to follow through with consequences if he cannot respect your boundary.
There may come a point, when you're healthy and he's not, that you will choose to leave. Maybe not. But you HAVE to work YOUR recovery and not worry about him and his. He either will or he won't. What YOU do is up to YOU.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 11:04 PM, November 2nd (Tuesday)]
Are all partners of sex addicts co-addicts?
Check out cosacall.com and dial in for a couple of their meetings. I thought the same thing, that I must be co dependent on my SA. It was very clear about 30 minutes into that first call that I am not co dependent. I agree with 7yrs that I've at times acted that way but overall I'm not needing a 12 step program for myself. I need to set boundaries and consequences.
I started doing Recovery Nation online too in the last few weeks and have found the information and workshops extremely helpful, might be something for you to check out.
Thanks again. I am new at this I am still learning and understanding.
Maybe I am having an adverse reaction to being called an "addict" too
"Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets" by Claudia Black PhD
"Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
They both are better at viewing the spouse as a victim of a terrible trauma and focus less on trying to shove all spouses of SA into the old, tiny little box of codependency and co-addiction. Those are not both a given and I really hope that the professionals continue to stop trying to force labels on us.
The primary focus of a program like S-Anon is to keep the focus on yourself--to break thru the denial--to learn how to set healthy boundaries--how to live a life that allows the addict to work on their own recovery (and to learn how to NOT become their accountability partner)--to re-learn how to be happy, joyous and free. It's not about anyone but ourselves, and it's never a bad thing to learn how to grow spiritually. For those of you affected by another person's sexual addiction, get all the help you can. There's nothing like face to face contact with people who have been there, done that, and are working to stop living in the problem and are seeking a solution for themselves.
Unfortunately there are literally no S-Anon meetings in my area. This is where I would LIKE to go. My options are COSA meetings and Celebrate Recovery. That's it. After listening in on a COSA meeting I did not find it helpful at all as it's about the 12 steps for the codependent.
For me I think S-Anon would be ideal, I've emailed them to ask about maybe starting a meeting in this area as it's a big city and there are lots of SA/SLAA meetings. No CSAT here either. I agree though, getting help wherever I can is optimal!