Our numerous and diverse attempts to control or deny sexaholism brought us to the point of despair. We saw that our lives were unmanageable, and we had exhausted our reserves. Only through this utter surrender did we find strength and a firm foundation on which to rebuild our lives. We acknowledged we could not control the sexaholic or his/her sexual behavior and our attempts to do so had made our own lives unmanageable. We learned that our human will alone could not break the bonds of compulsive behavior either in ourselves or others.
In S-Anon we came to realize that just as we did not cause the sexaholic’s “acting out,” we could not cure it either. It was not our responsibility to keep the sexaholic sexually sober. We learned that it was our job to manage our own lives, whether or not the sexaholic chooses recovery. For most of us it was difficult to make the transition from focusing on the sexaholic and his or her behavior to focusing on ourselves and our own behavior. When we admit powerlessness and unmanageability where sexaholism is concerned, we become able to open our minds to the suggestion that positive changes in our lives depend upon changing our own attitudes and behavior, and we become willing to consider accepting help from outside of ourselves in beginning to make those changes.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 23.