So you reached your big ole paw into my hornet’s nest, huh?
This morning I received an email from someone I “met” through blogging. This person is very thoughtful and well written. She referenced Chump Lady in her email. She did not refer me to Chump Lady, but I have been referred to Chump Lady’s website many times over the past few months (as I am sure many other betrayed spouses have as I have seen her mentioned numerous times in blog entries and comments). I have visited the website exactly twice now. A while back I took a peak and realized the website was not for me. Although I can see that many spouses do find a sense of camaraderie in the entries and the comments, I do not. The only thing that is going to get me safely through the recovery path with my husband is positive reinforcement. I need more positive and less negative, less hate and judgment. I need to focus on myself and what is right in front of me. I do not need people telling me over and over that my husband is a cheat and a scoundrel and he cannot recover and that I am a better person for leaving him. Thanks, I can make those judgments on my own.
The second time I went to the website was earlier this morning. Why do I not learn to trust my instincts? I should have just let sleeping dogs lie. I know there is absolutely nothing on that site to help me, so why did I go there? Stupid. I was just lazily starting my day by reading through emails and blog posts and curiosity got me (thank goodness I am not a cat) and I decided to check out the specific posts referenced in the email. I never got to those posts because, of course, my eyes honed in on an interview she did with a man who has written a book denouncing sex addiction and denying the PTSD diagnosis of spouses. This man means nothing to me. He is just another person making money off of people’s pain. He makes sweeping generalizations and has his own model and his own clinic where they treat very much the same thing as everyone else, just with different names. He is making big money off of tapping into society’s fears of the words SEX ADDICTION. It is the whole bullshit line of thinking where they
insinuate flat out say that there is no such thing as “sex addiction” and these people (90% men by his statistics) are just entitled, mostly financially secure, selfish men making excuses for their bad behavior.
The book author Chump Lady is interviewing actually says this, “However, and this is the one caveat I will really give to the sex addiction model – it does give people who are struggling some sense of peace, resolution or mastery, to be able to “name their problem.” For some people, saying “aha, that’s my problem, I’m addicted to sex,” gives them a way to begin working on their behaviors or problems. Unfortunately, in my view, it’s a deceptive and not very effective strategy, that depends on externalizing one’s sexual desires, rather than increasing one’s personal understanding and acceptance.”
Sorry guy (I am not even going to reference his name because I give him and his theories absolutely no credence or validity) but you apparently know nothing about the diagnosis of sex addiction. At least not the one my husband has been immersed in for the past 18 months. No one says, “I’m addicted to sex” and so I just need to stop having sex the way I was because I guess it is wrong and I was being “selfish.” It is not about being addicted to sex. It is about using sex as a drug to cope with underlying wounds, self esteem issues, sexual perpetration trauma, serious abuse and worth issues. This is not a joke or an easy way out or an excuse for ANYTHING. I am not sure why I feel compelled to keep writing the same thing over and over. A sex addiction diagnosis can be a lifeline to help, guidance, support, healing, recovery. It involves many physical, emotional, and spiritual components. Real recovery includes proper therapy to address the underlying wounds and the real reasons for the behavior, just like with any addiction… it is NOT about the drug, it is about the wound. Call it sex addiction, or call it whatever, just get fucking help.
At the end of the interview entry, the following text is inserted: “… Dr. XXX has been treating sexuality issues throughout his career. He first began treating perpetrators and victims of sexual abuse, but expanded his approach to include the fostering and promotion of healthy sexuality, and awareness of the wide range of normative sexual behaviors. His book challenges the concept of sexual addiction and exploring a different model of male sexuality. Since it was released, his book has triggered a firestorm of debate, allowing people to finally challenge the media hype of this pseudo-disorder.”
So, my thoughts on that text from me, a lay person not educated in this field at all, but living with these concepts every day: he is treating sex addiction but has decided to call it something else in order to gain notoriety. His book challenges a concept that has received media hype and therefore, he has received media hype. Media hype is not helpful (except for MAKING MONEY). If the media hype was that chubby people (chubby people being defined by whomever and however he/she pleases) are unattractive and therefore let’s call it unhealthy, and someone came out and said, I disagree with the media hype, chubby people are beautiful too… and then they get their own media hype, oh wait, that has happened and it does happen every day. Who cares about media hype. Who cares what other people think and how they want to judge. All we should care about is that people who need help are getting it. Why judge someone else’s path to recovery. Especially if you are going to throw out sweeping generalizations that, in my experience, are completely unwarranted or plain false… like the good doctor’s claim that betrayed spouses are suffering (well thank you, asshole), but not suffering from trauma, so don’t treat trauma. Whatever!!! The guy is a quack in my opinion. And I realize that is incredibly, and ironically, judgmental. I don’t want to, but I guess I can play this game.
Towards the beginning of the interview, he discusses how sex addiction “treatment” is an unlicensed, unregulated industry (which means what he is doing is also unlicensed and unregulated?). He goes on to talk about how “most sex addiction treatment occurs in unlicensed settings” and sex addicts are solely being “treated” by “coaches,” “12-step groups,” and “residential treatments.” (by the way, he is an Executive Director of one of these type places, but remember, he doesn’t use the term “sex addiction”). Well that is just bullshit and most of the CSAT’s who actually treat sex addicts are trained professionals and just because he doesn’t embrace the model doesn’t mean other highly trained clinical psychologists (just like him) aren’t helping people with their, as he calls it “sexuality issues.”
But really, I could have left all that behind and not done anything more on this subject other than close out the website and shut the door on ever going back to that website again because it is worthless to me, but then I noticed the first comment just below the entry, and here it is:
and here is my response:
Oh, and one more thing… Let go says that I found out my husband has been cheating for most of our marriage (if in fact she is talking about me) and that is just frankly false. I am going to throw out some very general numbers here as it really isn’t about the amount of time he spent “cheating” but really about why he was doing it, so here goes. In the 31 years we have been together, the approximate 10,000 days worth (I subtracted out the travel and living apart days), he has spent less than 100 days (or a portion thereof since some of his encounters lasted less than 15 minutes and there was never a time when he spent a full day with any of the women) feeding his addiction with extramarital sex. Somehow, the rest of the time he had the incredibly difficult task of managing his addiction, worrying about what he had done, when and if he would be found out, and whether he would lose everything because of it.
So, I guess my emotions at this point would be anger and frustration. I have said my piece, and now I just need some peace. I am here to write my own story and this is a part of it. I never could have imagined as I sat down to start this blog almost nine months ago, that I would be writing entries like this. I don’t want to be writing entries like this. I am really frustrated with the “needing justice” side of my personality and want to embrace tranquility and kindness and nirvana. Is there really such a thing as nirvana? If there is, I know which blog I will NOT find it on!!!