I asked a member to be my sponsor because I felt I needed to connect with someone regularly. I don’t talk to her every day, but she has heard my story more completely than anyone else, and when I call her in a particularly hard time, she understands.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 1st Edition, page 10.
I have been a member of S-Anon since 2003. It has been a difficult journey for me living with an active sexaholic not seeking recovery. I have felt guilty because I did not leave him when it seemed any sane person would not choose to live like this. Over the years, I have attended meetings often, worked the Twelve Steps, read my daily readings, prayed for guidance from my Higher Power, and called my sponsor faithfully.
At a critical time when I felt so much guilt over not leaving the sexaholic in my life, my sponsor guided me to make my own decision based upon my own prayer and meditation. She gave me permission to make a decision that I “thought” an intelligent person should not make – and that was to stay with my spouse (a sexaholic who does not practice recovery).
Once I learned that S-Anon existed, I knew I would attend, but my motives were mixed. Mostly I felt that I “should” go, to be the loving wife that could never be accused of not supporting her husband, an addict. But part of me knew that I needed to talk in an environment that allowed open discussion of a painful, even embarrassing, disease. The complexities of being married to a sexaholic – a respected leader in the community – were such that I was desperate to talk to someone who would understand. Going to the first meeting was hard. Only one other member was there, and at first I was disappointed and felt some pressure that my first meeting was to be a one-on-one conversation. But I was able to tell her my story, and to hear hers, before a few other people arrived quite late. Before the meeting, I expected to meet horrible people who were married to perverts. During that meeting, and those that have followed in the time I’ve been working this program, I’ve met some wonderfully honest and compassionate people. I went at first because of my husband’s addiction. Now I go because of my own difficulties and struggles.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Newcomer’s Information Booklet.
The Third Tradition assures S-Anon’s singleness of purpose. Anyone whose life has been affected by a sexaholic relative or friend “qualifies” to join S-Anon. Some local areas have a hotline phone number so that individuals have an opportunity to speak to a program member before attending their first meeting, but this should not be thought of as a screening process. An individual qualifies for S-Anon as soon as they say they do. Tradition Three also prompts us to maintain a sense of belonging and equality for everyone. Therefore, we do not make references to specific religious denominations, professions and other affiliations during our meetings. Likewise, we do not affiliate an individual group with the church or hospital where the meeting is being held. For many of us, our S-Anon group is the first place we felt we really belonged. Tradition Three reminds us to strive to maintain an atmosphere in which everyone who needs the help of S-Anon feels welcome.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 1st Edition, page 31.