The whole family deserves help
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1573  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
12 Step Attitude: Why does an S-Anon need to work a 12-Step program?
Sayings: Remember that addiction is incurable, progressive, and fatal.
Daily Dose of Dov: Live To Give
Sayings: Spirituality is the ability to get our minds off ourselves.
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
12 Step Attitude
 
Why does an S-Anon need to work a 12-Step program?
 
How does a co-sex addict "act out"?
 
By Miriam GYE

For an appeal to the Rabbonim about the need for frum women to embrace S-Anon recovery, we refer you to a collection of letters by an S-Anon member to Rav M. Salomon, Shlita.

Many partners early in recovery don't believe they have any problems of their own. It is the sex addict who has all the problems, not them. Granted, his addiction is usually more devastating and definitely the priority early on for the couple's survival. It takes a while, but usually when the addict stabilizes in his recovery, it is about time to look at yourself.

An addiction in its simplest form is using something or someone to medicate feelings. Another definition is, "If the behavior doesn't make sense and they keep doing it, it is probably an addiction." Both definitions have fit many (not all) partners of sex addicts or as some call themselves in many 12 Step recovery groups "co-sex addicts."

How does a co-sex addict "act out"? There are many different ways this can actually happen. Here are only a few:

1. Spiritualizing the problem
2. Checking up on him
3. Scoping out women he might be looking at
4. Looking for more proof
5. Not being able to separate from him, even when it makes sense
6. Spiritualizing or rationalizing staying together when he is not recovering
7. Feeling threatened or insecure around other women when you are with him
8. Trying to think about what he "might be" thinking about
9. Being controlling
10. Not having sex or being hyper-sexual
11. Pretending you're in a perfect relationship
12. Changing your boundaries with your partner
13. Shaming him
14. Rages
15. Sarcasm
16. Hitting him
17. Fantasizing about him acting out
18. Using his problem not to deal with your feelings
19. Reinforcing your fears of abandonment
20. Other ______________________________
21. Other ______________________________
22. Other ______________________________

If any of these are your acting out behaviors, you can circle them for future reference.

Join Miriam on the Spouses call to learn how to deal with these issues.

Sayings
 
Remember that addiction is incurable, progressive, and fatal.
 
Daily Dose of Dov
 
Live To Give
 
My wife wants me to watch a movie with her, how do I tell her I can't?
 
By Dov

Question:

I can't believe I keep falling for the Y"H's tricks. A couple of days ago my wife insisted we see a movie. No nudity, but of course it had an attractive actress. Of course I couldn't get her out of my head. And that was a slippery slope downwards for me.

Yes, my wife knows about my struggles, but she really, really wanted to watch a movie with me. Also, I'm pretty sure she doesn't know that dressed women can trigger me. I really don't want to disappoint her by telling her that even dressed women who are attractive are atrigger for me.

Until I have more will power to watch a movie and not take it further the next day, I guess I should just explain to her that I can't watch any more movies, right? I don't know. What about our shalom bayit - if she really, really wants to watch a movie and says "there's no nudity in it, so it's OK"?


GYE Replied:

It's tough being an addict, but hey, if we're allergic to peanuts, we just gotta avoid those peanuts.

If your wife wants to watch a movie, have her go through it slowly first (by moving the play-bar slowly over each minute or so) and checking if there are any women in it that have tight clothing or skirts above the knees - and to make sure that there are no "love" scenes. In most cases, she will not be able to confirm this, and you'll be able to get out of it by claiming that these things are triggers for you. I believe she'll respect you for your integrity. After all, even a non-addict has to "guard his eyes" according to Halacha, and looking at attractive women for an hour straight is not exactly shmiras ainayim, is it? This is plain and simple Halacha, which applies even when the women are fully dressed. I'm sure she can respect Halacha, no?

Also, have her read this cute article by Tzvi Fishman (Arutz Sheva Blogger).

 

Dov Responds:

Funny! A close friend of mine in the program called me last night and asked about the very same thing - his wife wanted to watch a movie with him, too!

The last thing you want to do (though it's better than nothing!) is to just point out to her how clueless she is. It is better for both of us if I take a minute to remind my wife how much I love her and how I see being honest with her as the best way to stay extra-close. (She appreciates closeness).

I let her know that I just have limitations. Not because I am better than other folks, or because I am frummer or trying to live at a higher standard than others. Rather, it is because I am sick. I am oversensitive - actually allergic - to frivolous lust-peddling. (Not to be being intimate with her though, cuz that's real.)

Loving her, loving yourself, even loving Hashem - anyone can sympathize with that!


We try to explain Dov's last line:

What I think Dov means to say, is that she can surely sympathize with a guy who loves Hashem and loves her (and loves himself enough to not want to put up walls between himself and her/Hashem)... So if you say it over in the RIGHT WAY, she hopefully won't take it in the wrong way.

 

Dov responds:

Actually, I just meant: "live to give" as often as possible, especially with your wife. It's not "how you say it to her that I care about first, (though it certainly is good practice to say things in a loving way) ... but sometimes we don't need to say anything at all. It's what motivates me that matters the most in the relationship - the good will eventually overtake it all, if I do my part. Importantly, that does not mean to look back on whether I did a good job at it, or to assess my progress. Let's face it: I am selfish and probably hopelessly in love with 'me'. But I don't care! Every time I remember that what I am doing - usually something self-centered - is not working (as evidenced by my unhappiness), I turn my thoughts to how can I take the actions of love right then.

To heck with assessing myself - that has nothing to do with anything, especially in the first year or two of recovery. I can be the most selfish and self-absorbed person - and remain that way.. even die that way... it may even be on my tombstone... but I do not care at all. It's actually none of my business. The only thing that I care about is what I am doing right now. I am totally powerless over the past and over the actual outcomes of the future. How can I love my wife, my children, my Jewish people, and my G-d right now? That is what matters, as far as I am concerned. I need to snub my nose at pretty much everything else, sometimes.

"Thinking" (especially about myself) is usually poison, and stupid. Not always, but usually. Especially in early recovery. At least for me, and many other addicts I know.

Sayings
 
Spirituality is the ability to get our minds off ourselves.
 
Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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