Trying To Do The Right Thing
To Have and To Hold, How the Sex Addiction Treatment Industry Uses Wives and Partners
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.
Mantras, Manifestos, and Music
When I asked Tania Rochelle to take this blog, neither of us could foresee the week’s events and the toll they would take on so many women. Today Tania opens her life to us, sharing what she lived through and her choice to honor her truth and save her life. Thank you, Tania.
Starting Over, Guest Blogger Tania Rochelle (more on Tania below)
My mantra for most days, weeks, months and years since d-day has been “Keep going.” When the worst would happen, I would tell myself “Keep going.” When I wasn’t sure where I was heading, I would tell myself “Keep going.” When I feel alone and invisible and useless in this world I would tell myself “Keep going.” I could not even imagine what was ahead, or whether it was good or bad. I only knew I had made a decision not to die, so I had to keep going—wherever that took me. That was and remains my mantra.
Therapists and Tone Policing
…watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools
I pull into a gravel driveway after a long day at work. I have to maneuver my car between a 1989 SeaRay that leaks a little and a 1979 Scotty camper with a flat tire. Three mutts meet me at the screened door to my front porch, a Lab mix, a mainly Cattle Dog, and an equal-parts Pitbull and something else sweet and gentle. My home is made of four rooms and a kitchen cobbled around a pre-Civil War log cabin. The cabin serves as the living room. We have to duck under the doorways, because people were shorter way back. The house sits on 2.5 acres with a small pond that’s green with algae and bubbles with turtles and fish. The dogs run the property, in both senses of the word.
Last week I listened to some podcasts that a male “sex addiction expert” produced. They feature some of the more progressive female voices in the still-prevailing mainstream of partner care. This particular male “sex addiction expert” is re-marketing himself as an advocate for women and the partner experience. But he still can’t help but complain about wives and partners who present "angry."
Is this starting to sound or feel familiar? We're too angry? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with therapists who default to tone policing when you finally share what your husband or boyfriend did to you and the destructive impact that has had on your life. This therapist, like so many of these cookie cutter treatment practitioners, uses our anger as his excuse for not hearing the story we tell—a story that might compromise the assumptions that keep that misogynist treatment model humming along making money. So, instead, when faced with the reality and the potential for women’s anger, sex addiction therapists become the “tone police."