Posts tagged therapeutic incompetence
Intimate Partner Abuse: How Does It Impact You?

Intimate Partner Abuse by men called sex addicts is a taboo topic for the treatment industry and religious-based recovery programs and practitioners. Your response to last week’s blog, however, tells me it’s a topic long overdue for attention. Thank you for your feedback and additional items for the list.

Today I’m talking about the impact and consequences from the abuse we have endured. It’s not a pretty list, either, so please take care of yourself as you read it. Pace yourself. Use mindfulness coping strategies, tapping, and self-soothing strategies along the way. And if your symptoms need urgent attention seek professional help or call a crisis helpline for women.

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How Men Called Sex Addicts Abuse Their Wives and Partners

After discovery many wives and partners are too traumatized to recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Enter the treatment industry who calls all of it his “sex addiction,” instead. For most of us, that’s a whole lot better than being a victim of abuse. I was sucked so quickly into the “sex addiction” alibi that it took me a while to back my way out. But back my way out, I did, as what I was reading and hearing from the sex addiction treatment industry just stopped making sense.

Along the way I started a list—a list of the offences women face from these men called “sex addicts”. We experience physical, spiritual, emotional, financial and psychological harm that no one seems to name. I realized that if any parishioner came in my office with even some of these signs, I would have concluded she was in an abusive relationship. My first concern would have been for her safety. Only in this farce of a treatment industry is that long list of abuse set aside and replaced with the two words “sex addiction”. Actually, they don’t even bother making a list.

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What Kind of Primary Relationship Does the Treatment Industry Have in Mind for You?

Are you wondering when someone in the treatment program is going to advocate and act for your interests? I’m talking about basic stuff—like what you need to know right now about his sexual and sexualized activities, or responding to your concerns that having him around right now makes you hypervigilant and unable to function, or asking them to recognize that blaming you for his behaviours is particularly heinous, etc.

Well, I hope you are wearing comfortable shoes. It will be a long wait.

The relationship paradigm underneath the prevailing treatment program (as with the many religious groups involved with recovery programs for men called sex addicts) is based on the man’s best interests being served first, foremost, always. It’s not a temporary therapeutic priority. It’s permanent. You don’t get an adult back as a life partner. You get a treatment industry approved non-adult project. And often a mean one, at that.

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Suddenly Alone

What was your dday?

For most women, there were many episodes of uncovering bits of evidence, stumbling over contradictions, and then questioning our husband or boyfriend. We had no notion of the massive bottom to the iceberg on which we stood. But those episodes weren’t ddays.

Dday is something else altogether. Dday is when you grasp you have been deliberately deceived by your life partner on core value ground. You may not know all the who, what, where, when or why’s—but you know there’s been a breach in your relationship that is a critical breach. It’s not about a crisis that reveals illness, a mental lapse of some kind, or a stress related behavioral problem. Dday is when you perceive for the first time that he is “okay” with hurting you. That, in my opinion, is dday.  And for me, that meant I was suddenly alone.

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The Big Boundary Bluff

I received a message this week from an exasperated wife. She had come to realize the farce of all the boundary work she had been asked to do to save him and their marriage. Nearly ten years ago I remember thinking the same thing about all the “keep ‘em busy and let them think it will make a difference” boundary work the industry and even partner advocates espoused. Somehow it just didn’t make a lot of sense.

And nearly ten years later, I have a better idea of why it didn’t make sense then, and now. So, I’ve listed the points I believe wives and partners should consider before they comply with the industry’s boundary homework assignments.

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