I came to S-Anon based on a clear ultimatum from my wife—make some changes now or she was leaving. Despite her recovery and sexual sobriety, and my attendance at meetings of another Twelve Step Fellowship, my life was still unmanageable. On the advice of a counselor and people in other fellowships, I started attending S-Anon meetings. I felt uncomfortable attending my first few meetings, all those women and very few, if any, men. How could I relate to them or them to me? Slowly, as I became willing to listen and not judge, I heard pieces of my own story—the need to fix, the feeling that everything was my fault, and the resentment toward the sexaholic. What really amazed me was seeing some members, still living with active addiction, who seemed to be able to find serenity when I had none.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Newcomer’s Information Booklet.
S-Anon’s book, Working the S-Anon Program, is now available in eBook format. Working the S-Anon Program is a sharing of the collective experience of the S-Anon International Family Groups fellowship. This book covers specific topics such as abstinence, “slips” in S-Anon, sharing the program with others, and more! See how S-Anon members have put the principles of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions into practice in a variety of situations.
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I thought all the people were crazy and I was not coming back! My husband had gotten into recovery, which is what I had wanted for ten years. He started going to meetings, but I was so mad! I felt very left out, and inside I was raging, “He’s getting all this support when I’m the one who’s been injured! I’m the one who’s been hurt! Help me!” So I would drill him when he came home from meetings and ask, “What did you talk about?” It got to the point where one night my very soft-spoken husband exploded in anger, “If this is the way it’s going to be every time I go to a meeting, I’m going to stay home!” And I thought, “Oh no! Is he going to stop this because I’m angry that he’s getting better?”
Sex addiction came into my life seemingly out of nowhere. It felt like a big, black train in the night. After some serious step-work leading to self-examination, I realized that the “train whistles” had been very loud, and obvious. I now believe that I wasn’t able to see or hear the “train” for many reasons, one of which was that it simply wasn’t God’s timing for me to see it. Another reason was because of my S-Anon Problem– beginning with denial and faulty thinking. It took a long time for me accept my part in this mess and how I resonated with a line from the S-Anon Problem: “We chose friends and partners who could not or would not love and support us in a healthy way.” Once I steadied myself a little, I spent a lot of time smacking myself on the back of the head wondering how I could have missed this glaring problem that existed in my home (and probably had for some time before.) I had always thought of myself as smart and sassy, so this shook my self-esteem to the core on many levels. During those crazy early days of “discovery,” also known, for me, as “shock and awe,” somehow I knew that within all the insanity I had to find some structure, something to stop my mind from wandering, or I would not survive this.