Before I had a name for it, I felt the presence of sexaholism creeping into our homes: less laughter, more criticism, lies, excuses, hostility, no eye contact and, perhaps most painful, the emotional distance in our sexual relations. I felt like I was being used rather than loved. My powerlessness over sexaholism led me to the point of despair, and it was clear I had to take some sort of action to get relief. I decided to read some Conference-Approved Literature one night because I had heard it suggested at an S-Anon meeting as a method of coping with those difficult highs and lows we experience, and I was at my lowest. I picked up Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”) and began to read it for hope and comfort. I came upon the directions for taking Step Three on page 63. Feeling like I had hit bottom and couldn’t do it on my own anymore, I made a decision to let God into my life – without conditions. I prayed the Third Step prayer with a sincere attitude as it suggested. I was comforted to see that the section on the Third Step concluded with these words: “This was only a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an effect, sometimes a very great one, was felt at once.”
In S-Anon we come to realize that just as we did not cause the sexaholic’s acting out, we cannot “cure” it either. We learn that it is not our responsibility to keep the sexaholic sexually sober. Instead, it is our job to manage our own lives, whether or not the sexaholic chooses sobriety.
It helped to learn that the sexaholic is suffering from a spiritual and emotional illness, and it helped to learn that we can lovingly detach from that illness. Most of all, it helped to learn that we, too, are suffering from an illness, one that can drive us to unconsciously seek out rejection, victimization, and heartache.
We slowly started to come out of our denial and isolation, and we were able to admit that there was something wrong in our homes and our relationships. We could no longer try to right those wrongs ourselves, so we came for help. Only through this utter surrender do we find strength. Our human will power cannot break the bonds of compulsive behavior, but our admission of powerlessness lays a firm foundation upon which to build our lives.
Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, page 2.
S-Anon’s book, S-Anon Twelve Steps, is now available in eBook format for both the english and spanish versions. S-Anon Twelve Steps is a sharing of the collective experience of the S-Anon International Family Groups fellowship; this book offers hope for recovery to people whose lives have been affected by sexaholism by showing how members have put the principles of the Twelve Steps into practice.
Download your english or spanish copy today through the SIFG Online Store!
Working the Twelve Steps has become a way of life for me. I carry their simple, yet profound wisdom in my heart and in my head every day. Every morning, no matter how hectic, I take as much time as I possibly can to center myself for the day. Some days I have only a few minutes and some days I may have two hours to read from books of recovery, pray, and quietly sit in meditation. On days that I may only have a few minutes, I silently say the Serenity Prayer and choose one Step that I feel will help me the most during the day. If I don’t have an immediate feel for how my day will progress, I use the Step that correlates to the current month. I try to insert that Step into my day wherever possible. It always amazes me that there are always situations, thoughts, or feelings during any given day where my Step of the Day can be used. I find there is a need for me to use all twelve of the Steps in some way every day. By focusing daily on just one of the Twelve Steps, their meaning and their effectiveness on the quality of my daily life is made clearer to me.