Posts in expectations for recovery
We're Soaking In It

Hello again! I’m glad to be back posting after two weeks absence due to other professional commitments. As my earlier post said, I also was dealing with technical bugs at the same time.

But there’s always lots stewing on my front burner, and it took some time to decide where to begin. One of the questions I’ve been thinking about is whether the almost singular focus on the relationship between the man called a sex addict and his wife or partner is actually how everyone avoids facing the damage to the family as a unit and treating it. In so many cases there are children in the story. The whole family is affected by the man’s behavior, not just the relationship with the woman. Little is said about this. What do children suffer? What does their father teach them about family when he uses it to protect another secret life he values more than them? Is salvaging something of the family wreckage yet another task that falls to the woman, so that he can continue to present as “normal” instead of the deeply damaged human being that he is? What if he involves them in his “operations” of deceit and risk-taking? I’ve heard more than one story of how he used the children as “chick-bait”, securing coffee dates, play dates and shared rides to events. I know from my own experience that these men will blame porn on the computer on sons and quickly offer to have “the talk” with them.

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Standing up for yourself: When practitioners say your symptoms are "trauma like", is that the cue for "treatment-like" care?

After discovery, we can be confused about our trauma symptoms and by our trauma symptoms. Memory and concentration problems, self-doubt, numbing, intrusive memories, hypervigilance, and unexpected triggers are compounded by gaslighting, denial, lying, personal criticisms, silent treatment, rage, etc., from the man called a sex addict. Then, after a hard-fought battle to have our trauma symptoms correctly identified, we can still face practitioners who call us codependent and co-addict. But when “experts” talk up partner trauma to gain our trust, and then tiptoe backwards by saying our symptoms may “sound like” trauma symptoms, or that we have “trauma-like” symptoms…you’ve probably had about as much as you can take.

Research says when things look like traumatic stress symptoms, act like traumatic stress symptoms, and sound like traumatic stress symptoms—they’re traumatic stress symptoms. And in our case if they meet the criteria and last longer than a month, nearly 70% of the time they also indicate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. That means we need something a little more than “treatment-like” care. We need informed and competent clinical care. And yes, it also means we’re right back where we were—having to stand up for ourselves and demand a correct assessment of our real symptoms and a correct treatment protocol.

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PART TWO: In My Opinion

It’s hard to write about misogyny. No one wants it to be real. No one wants it to be “involved” in what Compulsive-abusive Sexual Relational Disordered[1] men do, or how the sex addiction treatment industry protects them at the expense of wives and partners. But misogyny is a social default setting.  We grow up in it. We are shaped by it. We work around it if possible. We have to know what it means and how it behaves, because our lives are actually at stake.

In writing these last few difficult blogs, I received messages from women caught in the very topics I’m discussing. They remind me that nothing I describe is “imagined” and I am not exaggerating. Women tell stories of the diseases he gave them, the criticism he levied at them, how he acted like he was “better” than them, how he humiliated them, and how he lied every single day of their lives together. They are not allowed to raise those topics because he and his treatment team accuse them of shaming him. Women write to me in disbelief. Coming face to face with the reality of misogyny can leave a woman speechless. But not me.

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TAKE TWO....Part One: In My Opinion

Sometimes I just try to say too much in one post. It doesn’t work well. So, I took down last Sunday’s post and I’m trying again. I just had to try again after a timely message from yet another woman whose life has been torn apart by discovering her husband’s secret life of sexual and sexualized activities conducted over decades. Devastated by PTSD, she was then traumatized by going to “SA couple’s counseling” (which I have warned women against doing). Her children are struggling with PTS symptoms as well. She doesn’t know where to turn for help so that she and her children will not be harmed further. I wish these stories were rare. They are not. So, I’m trying again.  

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Healing Continues: Spirituality

This is the third week touching upon topics related to our healing from the abuses and their impact that wives and partners endure from men called sex addicts. This series began after I did something no one else had ever done: I created and posted a list of the ways these men abused us. The following week I listed the impact of those abuses upon our lives. You added more. 

Some readers on public forums panicked after seeing those lists, trying to de-focus, distract, pivot, diminish and qualify the simple facts recorded there. The clarity of describing our experience also jolted some women out of their resignation, including those following religious pressures to stay and absorb the risks. I understand that our experience of abuse can create intense spiritual confusion for many women. So, let’s spend some time today finding ways to both heal our spirits and use our spirituality to heal our whole being.

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