"I Can't Do This Without You"

Most wives and partners of men called sex addicts have heard it at some point in the wake of discovery and his panic to put Humpty Dumpty back together again quickly and quietly. Just when his secret life is screaming he doesn’t give a shit about you (or your children, for that matter) he gets all serious, puts on his best “sincere” face, and makes his dramatic confession of need, “Babe, I can’t do this without you.”

 Meanwhile you sit there being destroyed from the inside out as you process each unimaginable truth that is taking shape.

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Diane Strickland
Trying To Do The Right Thing

We are women of integrity and caring. We think about the wellbeing of others, even when those others have hurt us. Our high level core values are real. They inspire us, guide us and constrain us. We may rant and cry and swear about the cruelty visited upon us by the person we loved and their treatment gang, but when push comes to shove it’s very hard for us to make a decision without asking “What is the right thing to do here?”

 It’s ironic. This is the very question about which our men called sex addicts have no concerns and never ask as they overtly and covertly abuse us (and sometimes our children, too). The core values that would give this question voice are not values that hold their lives together and interpret what their lives mean.

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Diane Strickland
Finding and Trusting Your Growing Edge for The New Year

Sometimes we look back at the year we are putting to bed and find we haven’t accomplished our goals or achieved the results we wanted. For wives and partners of men called sex addicts it’s more likely we are asking, “What truck hit me?”

The confusion created and damage done to us by discovering the abusive lie of our husband or boyfriend’s life can leave us feeling we are little more than piles of jagged wreckage. Where would we find a growing edge in this pile of destruction and heartache?

Don’t be so sure there is nothing left in you to generate growth and new life.

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Diane Strickland
Stay Open To Life

I wrote this some years ago, after the Longest Night, Dec. 21, and just before celebrating the Light that shines in darkness. It was also in the early years after d-day for me, and my divorce. I have used this story for other purposes a few times before, and someone reminded me of it this week and suggested I post it here. The people in the story are real, but their names are changed (except for me!). May you find Light to shine in your darkness as we move toward longer days and shorter nights.

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Diane Strickland
The Gift Hiding in Plain Sight

We are creeping into the full bloom of a holiday season, unsure of so much that once was grounding certainty. But this I know: we were made to love.

We were made to love, but this travesty of cruel abuse has shaken us to the core. Our love given so freely and completely to a husband or boyfriend has been twisted, used, then turned back against us like a weapon sharpened with secrecy and contempt. It doesn’t feel like love anymore.

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Diane Strickland