Journal Entry: April 25, 2014
It has been a week since my first ‘wives of sex addicts’ group therapy session. I have not really recovered from the last session, but as I said before, I am not a quitter. I decided to give it one more week. I was really sick last week, so that probably contributed to the depressing experience. This time I arrived early and settled into the comfy couch with my herbal tea and a supply of throat lozenges. I still technically have laryngitis, but I can whisper, hopefully people can hear me. As I sit there, three of the women are discussing the S-Anon meetings they attended the previous week. Hmmm. I am not an S-Anon kind of gal. I have read enough about the co-dependent versus trauma models and I am square in the trauma corner. I will not be attending S-Anon meetings. I will not admit that I am culpable for my husband’s addiction, or his behavior and I will not be embracing or working the steps. As everyone arrives and conversations deepen, I realize I am the only one who is not in S-Anon. Uh oh.
The session starts, and we once again begin with some mindful meditation. I was actually pretty relaxed, but a little meditation and proper breathing never hurt anyone. Next on the agenda is a weekly check-in. We all take about five to ten minutes to recap our week. We talk about how we are handling the stress of our situations and also how we are getting along with our husbands. This is where things start to fall apart for me again, and quite rapidly. I somehow feel like an outcast in this group of women that I have sought specifically for the purpose of making me feel less alone in my grief and trauma. There is a wife who has agreed to a polyamorous relationship with her husband and the only rule is he must tell her about all his hookups, which he didn’t so now they are separated. He is a sex addict. There are two wives of porn addicts and whether it has been forced upon them because the courts have mandated their husbands go to an inpatient clinic, or the wives just cannot live with their husband’s porn addiction, they are not living together. There are two women who have known about their husbands’ cheating for either the entire marriage (both marriages have lasted over 30 years) or at least most of the marriage and the husbands have recently (and finally) been diagnosed as sex addicts. They are both separated from their husbands with no real desire for reconciliation. I am the only woman in the room who is still living with her husband, much less trying to stay married to her husband. Their check-ins are full of anguish, heartache and anger. My share is about sadness and forgiveness. We then do an exercise where we have to write down anything that comes to mind when we hear the words sex addict. When we share our feelings around the room, it becomes quite obvious that I am not in the right place for me right now. I want to be in an environment where people understand what I am going through, but I also want to be with women who at least want to be part of their husband’s recovery process. Even if there was just one other woman like me, I would be fine. As I leave the meeting, I realize I cannot do this every week for the next year… that is how long we commit to this process. The therapist gave us two weeks to decide whether this is the right place for us, and I have decided it is NOT the right place for me.
I also decide that this is not the right therapist for me and just like that, I no longer have a therapist or a support group. I feel sad, but at the same time unburdened somehow.
And if anyone is counting, this is two therapists and one support group gone by the wayside for me. Even though I will be going to Los Angeles soon for a trauma intensive for two days, I need a local therapist. Why is finding a decent therapist so difficult?