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If you are one of those who is taking recovery seriously you have probably received guidance from many individuals: therapists, sponsors, coaches, books, meetings, etc. It is important to remember that those who are there to help you through your personal recovery are not often marriage experts and some of their well-meaning marriage advice may hurt more than help. By putting your recovery first you are doing what is best for her. Ignore all advice that sounds anything like what I mentioned above–that “her side of the street” stuff. So, how do you let your wife in while respecting the anonymity of the group, while being able to feel safe in your counseling sessions without having to worry about having to go back and report everything that was said? Give her so much information that she doesn’t have to ask.It is likely that you have been told by some—if not most—of those guiding you in recovery that your wife needs to “stay on her side of the street.” (This was a quote used in a recent movie about sex addiction, referring to a popular belief about what recovery should look like for a couple.) Now, think about how many guys you hear in your recovery group say, “I am doing everything right, I am going to meetings, therapy, staying sober, but she is still angry! How frustrating it must be to be working so hard and go home to someone who may yell, throw things, blame, and not even trust that you are doing what you say you are doing. This is the best way you can love her and if she can’t see that she is being selfish. There is no doubt your wife had some degree of dysfunction in her past (please find me someone who hasn’t), and this current situation might have brought up some of these issues for her. How do you allow her to be involved while not feeling controlled and remaining in charge of your own recovery? (But know she probably still will and that’s okay.) In my extensive experience working with wives of sex addicts, here are some of the things they want to know and have a right to know: These are just a few examples.It may feel like she is trying to take charge of your recovery.In a minute I’ll explain what she doesn’t need to know.I really don’t want you to feel like I am purposely keeping anything from you. Here are some things that are okay and even important to keep private.
Like most public washrooms in gas stations, it had seen better days.I think my mouth may have actually watered at that point.The clanking of my pump stopped and so did my drooling. Fear that you may lose your job because of a slip at work. But you are supposed to be in control of your recovery, right? Related: Life After Porn–5 Things My Husband Did to Rebuild Trust But if you can get rid of those toxic ideas, and recognize you are stronger than some may want you to think you are, your marriage can survive and even thrive! Even wives of sex addicts farther along in recovery may still be living in fear, or that old fear may creep up again, if you aren’t keeping her in the know about your recovery. Maybe not, and your marriage will suffer–or end–if this is the case.
On a lonely drive from Portland to Seattle, I glanced at the fuel gauge and was surprised to see that I needed to fill up as soon as possible.