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I printed out the steps so you can read them in case you don’t know what they are.I finally found a sponsor, and we will start meeting once a week on Tuesdays for lunch. He said they should take about a year to complete on average, but this can vary from person to person.If she is resistant, don’t let it turn into an argument. If there are still secrets in the marriage, your wife probably senses this and this will hinder effort you take to improve your marriage.
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Even wives of sex addicts farther along in recovery may still be living in fear, or that old fear may creep up again, if you aren’t keeping her in the know about your recovery. Maybe not, and your marriage will suffer–or end–if this is the case.
If you are one of those who is taking recovery seriously you have probably received guidance from many individuals: therapists, sponsors, coaches, books, meetings, etc. It is important to remember that those who are there to help you through your personal recovery are not often marriage experts and some of their well-meaning marriage advice may hurt more than help. By putting your recovery first you are doing what is best for her. Ignore all advice that sounds anything like what I mentioned above–that “her side of the street” stuff. So, how do you let your wife in while respecting the anonymity of the group, while being able to feel safe in your counseling sessions without having to worry about having to go back and report everything that was said? Give her so much information that she doesn’t have to ask.
It is likely that you have been told by some—if not most—of those guiding you in recovery that your wife needs to “stay on her side of the street.” (This was a quote used in a recent movie about sex addiction, referring to a popular belief about what recovery should look like for a couple.) Now, think about how many guys you hear in your recovery group say, “I am doing everything right, I am going to meetings, therapy, staying sober, but she is still angry! How frustrating it must be to be working so hard and go home to someone who may yell, throw things, blame, and not even trust that you are doing what you say you are doing. This is the best way you can love her and if she can’t see that she is being selfish. There is no doubt your wife had some degree of dysfunction in her past (please find me someone who hasn’t), and this current situation might have brought up some of these issues for her. How do you allow her to be involved while not feeling controlled and remaining in charge of your own recovery? (But know she probably still will and that’s okay.) In my extensive experience working with wives of sex addicts, here are some of the things they want to know and have a right to know: These are just a few examples.
She needs to work her program and let you work yours. ” Considering the unstable state your wife may appear to be in, or the stonewalling you may be having to endure, the advice mentioned above might seem to make a lot of sense. But no matter how you look at it, with rare exception, your actions are the reason she is feeling what she is feeling now. Does she deserve to be told to butt out and wait for you to be ready to be there for her? Your wife can clue you in to what she needs to know.
Don’t let her hold you back.” Men tell me all the time that this is the kind of advice they are being given. And it can feel like such a relief to hear that her rage and withdrawal and mood swings are not your fault. I say this not to shame you, but to hopefully help make all this a little easier on you. She is doubting everything because you gave her reason to. Ask her how you can help her feel safer about your recovery. Instead of being frustrated that she is not where you would like her to be in her healing process, consider how blessed you are that she is still here at all!
One way you can make your relationship with your wife go a little more smoothly is to keep her informed of what your recovery looks like and even allow her to be involved. Ask her what you can do to make her feel like she is a part of your recovery. If your wife is the one who sent you this article, don’t get upset or feel like she is trying to control you. The above examples of what wives want and deserve to know can feel daunting.
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