Monday, 25 December 2017

When meetings conflict with Sholom Bais - a wife's perspective

by GYE Member (See all authors)

I am a recovering SAnon (wife of a sex addict). I don't have any groundbreaking advice, but this is my take on the issue of Meetings conflicting with Sholom Bais based on my experience.

This situation is very typical. SAnon rooms are very small in comparison to SA. Mostly because SAnons see the issue as the SA's problem, not their problem or the family problem. Your wife needs help. She needs more help than you. But there is little to do about it - just like there is little she can do about your recovery.

I absolutely agree with Harvey and Rabbi Twersky. Problem is that I wonder if she is even up to seeing an addictions specialist. It is very typical for the wife of an addict to use every effort to keep her husband close. She doesn't want to lose you and she yearns for something that is unfortunately not real and is controlling the situation with that mindset. She has gone through a lot. More than you (even though you don't realize it). By trying to control you and what you do, it is making the situation worse. Not that she is the cause of things at all. But this is definitely contributing to your sickness.

What the biggest challenge to face as an SAnon is to watch the addict go down whether we like it or not. Addicts have to deal with their addiction which is a big deal. But even bigger is the SAnon to let go of everything attached to a sick loved one. The other problem is that it is extremely challenging to keep up with living this lie. Everyone around her has no clue what's going on in her world. She is living in so much fear. I'm sure she is super put together, keeps a beautiful home and the kids look great and she is involved with chesed and has many friends etc. Yet is so so scared of facing this reality. There is a comfort with staying in a place that she knows. Her mind goes crazy thinking about what would happen to her and her life, if this secret was revealed to anyone.

So you are up against something huge.

Consider finding a Rav who is very knowledgeable with sex addiction and/or 12 steps to speak with the two of you together, even if it is over the phone. Rabbaim like these are willing to keep this confidential. (I found that Rabbaim, although well-meaning, if they are not experienced with this, it is more harmful than helpful.) Many wives are open to going that direction first. The approach you could present is 'we are getting daas Torah on the situation.'

Just like you are resistant to listening to what your wife says about your addiction and what you should do, she is resistant to getting involved in her recovery.

The other thing I suggest to you is to pray. Pray for Gd to show you his will, not your will. Gd is open to those who want to do his ratzon. Not only are you powerless over your addiction, but you are powerless over your wife and her thinking. So add that to your step one experience.

From my experience of dealing with SAnons and seeing many addicts over the years. The ones who want recovery, get it. No one stops them.

Much hatzlacha

Michal