A Humbling Experience

I hoped I would find some answers on how I could fix my husband. Even though I was suicidal, I really didn’t think that I had that much of a problem. Talk about minimizing! It was a humbling experience for me to realize that my addiction to my husband was just as devastating as my husband’s addiction to lust. I realized that my recovery was really and truly a matter of life and death for me, and that there was no in-between. I never did figure out how to fix my husband, but the longer I keep coming back to S-Anon just for myself, the more joy and serenity I feel.

 

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Newcomer’s Information Booklet.

Perspective: Attitude of Gratitude

I am able to recognize that my perspective in the past was warped. My family of origin had a belief system based in fear: fear of not being good enough, or lovable, and fear of abandonment. I developed attitudes and mindsets that caused me to seek approval and attention. Later on, I developed the belief that sex was an important sign of love. I had no real feelings of gratitude and I wanted others to be appreciative of what I could offer them. I brought all of this into my marriage of over 30 years.

Through my effort to work this S-Anon program, especially my Step work, I have a new awareness and perspective based in recovery, honesty, and open-mindedness. I am willing to look at myself from this new perspective and my attitudes have changed. Focusing on me as this program suggests is the single most important element for my recovery. I cannot stress this enough.

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People Who Understood my Pain

I went to my first meeting immediately after learning that my husband’s string of affairs was an addiction to lust. I was in so much pain from the discovery of the betrayal I was desperate enough to try anything. I also wanted answers about living with a sexaholic, like “What is the percentage of sexaholics who relapse?” and “How would I know if relapse had occurred?” I never did get the percentages I wanted, but I got to know a group of people who understood my pain as no one else could, having been there themselves. I was one of those who could disregard what therapists told me, saying to myself, “They haven’t been betrayed as I have!” But I couldn’t dismiss what I heard in these meetings. In the beginning I cried, meeting after meeting, but I always felt reassured when they told me they had been where I was and understood. It seemed that by sharing the pain with them, it was lessened. I came to learn that I was dependent upon another person for my happiness and for life itself, and that was part of my problem. S-Anon has helped me to gradually gain an independence, self-confidence, and serenity I never thought possible.

 

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Newcomer’s Information Booklet.

Gratitude

S-Anon has blessed me with precious gifts over the years. The ones I am most grateful for are: the ability to make better choices for myself; recognizing and responding (not reacting) to unhealthy situations; and knowing and loving myself.

When I listen to others share their experience, strength, and hope I receive insights regarding where I came from and where I am going. It humbles me. I am a work in progress. Years ago that wouldn’t have been good enough: I expected to be perfect and I expected others to be perfect, too.

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