I know that I am a little late getting the LoveLetter the door tonight but I have a really good reason! I’ve spent the evening hanging with my “Dreamgirls.” I know I’ve talked about them before. These women are now my group of dearest friends and we all met in a women’s group for partners of sex addicts.
I don’t know how I would have survived finding out that I was married to a sex addict without my women’s group. This group was led our coach who was trained to support partners of sex addicts (aka a partners’ coach) and it was in those two hours every Monday night that I could find comfort and connection that simply wasn’t available anywhere else.
The women in that group crossed age groups, races, classes and spiritual backgrounds. Some were devout Christians. Some were spiritual but not religious. Some were staunch conservatives and some were bleeding heart liberals. Some had tattoos and piercings. Some looked like they stepped out of a fashion magazine.
We were all so very different but the one thing that we all had in common was that we had all experienced the devastating shock of discovering that the man we loved was a sex addict. And even though the details of how we first discovered this fact and the specific behaviors of our husbands were all different, the way we felt was the same.
Shock. Despair. Grief. Emotional obliteration. Profound rage followed by bottomless heartache. Shame. Anxiety. Depression. Numbness. Terror. Confusion. Brain fog. Memory loss. Weight loss. Many, many sleepless nights. Disillusionment. Fear that we’d never be happy again.
And yet…I can promise you that not a single group went by that we did not also experience belly laughs, gratitude and, believe it or not, at least brief glimpses of joy. We used to have this running joke that anytime we found ourselves in good space mentally or emotionally that we would “Ride that pony!” for as long as we could.
If your life has been blown to pieces by your husband’s sex addiction, then you need to be around other women who are going through what you are going through. You need sisters. You need to other women tell you that you are not alone and to say, “Me too!” when you share that feeling or thought that you think no one else in the world has but you.
This is different than the one-on-one support from your partners’ coach or your therapist. Although, a group coaching program that is facilitated by a partners’ coach will give you the community and connection that you need but with the safety of a trained facilitator.
NOTE: There are 12 step groups for those who have been impacted by sex addiction and, if they bring you comfort, then by all means keep them up. However, those groups rely on the co-addiction model, which can actually be re-traumatizing for partners of sex addicts. I am big fan of the kind of self-reflection that working the 12 steps can bring but it can be harmful until your trauma has been treated first.
As always, comments or question? Hit me up – I’d love to chat!
Until next time…xoxo, Jenni
Until next time…xoxo, Jenni