Here’s where it gets sticky

I’ve written numerous times here of my support of the 12 step program for addicts, especially sex addicts. I have read numerous blog entries over the years from people whose opinion differs from mine. I get it. I have actually never been to a 12 step meeting, of any kind, so why would I think it is appropriate to write about it? Well, I’ve never been a sex addict either, but I sure know more than I would ever like to know about what it means to define oneself as a sex addict. Living with an addict provides a harrowing education, like it or not. Many of the negative posts I have read about 12 step are written by those who have not been to a 12 step meeting and don’t want to be associated with the label “sex addict” and/or those who tried, but failed, at understanding the usefulness of Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), or Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) or Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA). Sex addiction (whatever you want to call it) is REAL. From my point of view, 12 step (like most things in life) is what we make of it. Here is a Psychology Today article that speaks to the distinctions of each different group: How to find the right 12 step group

The author also talks about the common reasons people with compulsive sexual behaviors use to not attend 12 step. The addicts I have known and read about have lived in isolation with their secret lives for years. The last thing they want to do is admit that getting so far out of their comfort zone and sharing with people whose behaviors may or may not look like their own, will be healing to them. It’s scary and excuses abound for why any given meeting is not for them. Blue Eyes attended a few meetings before he found a decent fit, and at the time, he still believed that he was different from the other guys. As I have said many times here, he was just like all the other guys. Their acting out behaviors may be different, but the underlying wounds and reasons for needing the sexual, or emotional, hit were the same. In my mind, 12 step is not a replacement for good therapy, but it is a necessary component of recovery. It’s also a great place to meet other people who actually really do understand what the addict has done, and why.

Okay, I’ve pretty much said all this before, so why this post, and why today? For the partner of a sex addict, 12 step can be a double-edged sword. The 12 step model was developed for alcoholics. In the case of most alcoholics, their addiction is obvious. Their behavior is overt. Families of alcoholics know their loved ones have a serious problem with alcohol and the use of it to cope with life. Like all addictions, this coping mechanism is highly dysfunctional. Alcohol and drug addicts have serious issues keeping their addiction a secret. Therefore, friends and family know of the addiction and that knowledge and their actions become part of a pattern of behavior. That pattern of behavior is often called co-dependence and the Anon groups were created in the model of AA. Friends and family can partake in their own recovery program with the support of other people living with alcoholics. Likewise, S-Anon can be very helpful for partners of sex addicts in that there is a common bond, especially if they knew their partner had compulsive sexual behaviors, like chronic porn viewing, or multiple affairs, etc… This was the case with most of the women in the partners of sex addict group I briefly attended nearly five years ago. Most had that bond of knowing something. The other participant who had no idea of her husband’s compulsive behaviors, needed a place she could go and be with women who had suffered the way she had. She was a retired mother of four, grandmother to many. Her 70+ year old husband was arrested for viewing child pornography. I was the only partner who wasn’t attending S-Anon. I do understand, however, what the other women were/are getting from S-Anon. It wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m not an addict and I’m not co-dependent. I was in serious trauma and needed professional help, which I received. The partners group was traumatizing enough. I heard stories of SWAT teams showing up at a house and confiscating all electronics. Stories of open marriages and affairs going back to a wedding night. One couple had two adopted children that were still young at that point, even though the couple was in their 50’s. They had their family home and then a separate apartment. Each parent got every other week off to be “free.” The betrayed wife admitted to multiple affairs in that apartment while her SA husband was “home” taking care of the children and yet, when it came time for me to tell my story, they all looked at me with sad and knowing eyes, as if I had the worst story of the bunch. Being clueless does suck, but at least I didn’t go for 30 years knowing my husband or my marriage was that fucked up. I felt alone and isolated in a room full of betrayed women. They had S-Anon, I had nothing.

I also do understand what my husband is getting from Sexaholics Anonymous. He has a safe place to go where people welcome him and understand him. I really always thought I was a safe place, but I wasn’t. He tossed me into the pile with all the other people who didn’t understand him, who would never understand and therefore I became just another reason he needed a secret life. This part really HURTS. He tossed me into that pile due to no fault of my own. He caused me a great deal of pain and suffering and that is flatly unfair. I know, I know, life is unfair, but now, NOW I have the truth in front of me. He can no longer use me as an excuse. I do know and I did stay and I have done everything in my power to heal myself from the wounds he inflicted and I want to be a safe place. I’ve earned the right to be a safe place for him. He is an addict. He can be moody. I get this.

Here’s the sticky part. Blue Eyes has a good friendship with one of the guys from his SA group. A really good friendship. When I went away for six weeks in 2016, this friend helped Blue Eyes attend 90 meetings in 90 days. He’s been sober quite a bit longer than Blue Eyes. He definitely suffers from anxiety and ADD, as does Blue Eyes. They “get” each other. All good. So, last week, post Christmas and New Years festivities, I was exhausted. Blue Eyes had also seemed a bit off, but really, he’s often “a bit off.” The holidays are definitely a double-edged sword. I give 150% and then I need rest. I need someone to take care of me. That person has most certainly been Blue Eyes. He knows there’s a price to pay for all that work. He doesn’t like it, would be happy to jet away to some island somewhere, but I need this time with my family, OUR family at this point since Blue Eyes is no contact with his family.

Last week we were cleaning up the beach house in preparation to head back to Portland. Blue Eyes’ phone was ringing. It was his SA friend. Blue Eyes looked at me and said, oh, I won’t take this. I’ll call him back later. This friend often calls Blue Eyes when he’s having a rough day. I said, nah, no biggie, take it now. So he answered the call and walked away from me into the kitchen. I returned to our bedroom to pack up a few things. About 15 minutes later I came out to the kitchen and realized Blue Eyes was still on the phone with his friend. He was talking very quietly. Blue Eyes said “thanks for calling me back.” Then he saw me and became visibly nervous. Strange. I asked if everything was okay. He said yeah, that his friend was having a bad day and just needed to vent. I told him I had heard him thank his friend for returning Blue Eyes’ call. That’s when I could tell that my partner of 35 years was contemplating telling me more lies. We lose eye contact, he stammers. He moves funny. Blue Eyes then said he had been struggling since his Dad’s birthday. At this point his Dad’s birthday had happened a couple weeks before. We had talked about it that day and the day after. Blue Eyes chose no contact almost five years ago. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah I know he feels empty sometimes having cut off every person from his family. Blue Eyes is the master of his own destiny. He knows contact with his family is bad for him, destructive to his recovery, but, but… that familiar abuse was like a really messed up security blanket. They were predictable, I’ll give them that. Constantly putting Blue Eyes down, degrading and berating him, even as a 50 year old man. He has chosen no contact wisely, and I realize that decision comes with some shitty days.

I said to Blue Eyes, “so you’ve been struggling for weeks and you are just telling me now?” He had no words. Blue Eyes has serious issues with a need for clandestine relationships. They fill a hole in him. Not all of these relationships were/are sexual. Many of them weren’t. At the office, sometimes he just disappears. No meeting on the calendar, no word to anyone where he is going. He’s usually off having coffee with someone. Someone he thinks he can help. In my mind, it’s about control. A perceived lack of control in his life. His secret life allowed him to be in control. This is clearly something he still struggles with and it’s really quite destructive to our relationship. I don’t mind him having a friend he can confide in. I welcome that. However, when nothing is shared with me, and weeks later he is still struggling, and he lies about it… that’s when I feel this is more about secrets and control than it is about his Dad’s birthday, or missing his fucked up family.

If he is on the phone with a “safe” friend and he has to whisper, something is wrong. I was already depleted of energy, struggling with symptoms of what I can only assume is menopause, needing my partner to be present with me, and finding out he’s not sharing, literally zaps me of every last ounce of energy I am holding onto.

Today, right now as I write this, is the five year anniversary of the moment the final other woman called my mobile phone and blew my world apart. I don’t care about her. I care that I’m exhausted. I care that I still have to have feelings that I’m not a safe place for my husband. He’s still my safe place. He’s still the one I want to confide in when I’m having a bad day. Yeah sure, I have me, blah blah blah. I’m an independent woman who could live on my own, but I’ve chosen not to.

It’s been five years and this is where I’m at. I passed the one year mark… “give him a year,” they said, and I did. I was far from healed, but made the conscious decision to stay, despite daily tears and dissociative moments. Day by day year two passed with loads of trauma and some fucked up therapy and some self harm. Still gallons of tears, but we made it through. Year three healing commenced in earnest. I generally felt better, life started to return to a bit of “normal.” Year four flew by with far fewer bad days and very few tears. I truly realized I could leave and thrive, but I wanted to thrive WITH Blue Eyes. Year five brought further healing, a reinvigorated dedication to my physical health, and real enjoyment back in my life.

So here I sit. Year six commences with the knowledge that this recovery journey with my husband will never end. It will always be part of our relationship. Ignoring that fact would be lying to myself. Without his addiction, Blue Eyes is a different person. In some ways better, in some ways more challenging. I approach the new year with my boundaries firmly in place. Today, I stay. The good outweighs the bad. Tomorrow could be different. I’ll attack tomorrow, tomorrow.

Happy New Year to all! ❤️

56 thoughts on “Here’s where it gets sticky

  1. Happy New Year!

    I have hormonal imbalance stuff going on too. It’s not fun. I have a very good GYN doc, so that is helpful.

    I hear you – today I stay. Tomorrow I may go or stay. It’s my choice.

    Re: the 12-step groups when it comes to betrayal – – – there’s been quite a bit written about it lately (labeling partners as co-addicts or codependent). That just traumatizes the confused partner even more, IMHO. Not sure if you’re interested, or if you’ve seen this, but I’ll share it (Minwalla and one of the coaches from BTR)

    Personally, I agree about the word “abuse” – – – and it’s been very hard for me to accept that I’ve been abused. I’ve always looked at myself as so strong, independent and accomplished. Still baffles me how I didn’t know. I do know that’s the case for most women who’ve been betrayed, so I’m not alone.


    • Regarding menopause, I thought I was finally getting through it, but now I have a whole new set of issues that are physical not emotional. Bummer!

      I’ve written a bit about the co-dependent/trauma difference from my perspective and was educated on it early on by Minwalla and his people, and we are 5 years in, so been dealing with BE & SA for almost all of this time.

      Many of the 12 step concepts seem alienating to the spouse, so our guys need to use their own brains when interpreting for themselves. SA is different from AA and it should be dealt with differently. Some groups, apparently, are much more enlightened than others. Occasionally BE attends a group where the others aren’t married. I know he’s especially grateful for me after listening to people trying to recover without a loyal partner. It sucks.

      Yeah, there was no way a co-dependent model was going to work for me even if I tried to make it my own, like some women have done. Some women did witness obvious sexually compulsive behaviors and are totally beaten down. They don’t need to take responsibility for their husband’s behaviors, but they can help themselves by understanding how they have been affected. In the case of one woman, her husband cheated on her while they were engaged, on their wedding night with her maid of honor, and for the entire 40 years of their marriage. She thought she just wasn’t good enough. She was in the wives of sex addict meetings I attended at my therapist’s office, way back when. She was suicidal. I just couldn’t handle it. I do think she was being helped by S-Anon. It’s frustrating, but we do need to disregard that which doesn’t apply to us, or that we don’t agree with, sometimes.

      I agree, some of their behavior is abusive. I called myself a victim in one post and received some flack for blaming myself or taking on a victim mentality. I don’t. If I was robbed, I would call myself the victim of a crime. Semantics. In my case I don’t consider the abuse done with malice. I know my husband didn’t want to hurt me or lose me. I have had to acknowledge and embrace his addiction if I want to continue on with him, and I do, and I have, but it is incredibly difficult on many days. ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you are able to find some help and relief for your menopause symptoms.

        Yes – I remember you had experience with Dr. Minwalla. I’m so glad he is spreading the word in the therapeutic community.

        Yes – SA and AA – – – so VERY different. Yes – take what resonates and leave the rest. I’m glad there are more resources out there now for partners, even if on-line or phone groups and such.

        Yes, also, about the victim issue. I don’t believe my husband intended to harm me before, either. He hid in shame and it was so compartmentalized. Now, though? Now – when he knows blaming me isn’t okay, and he still blames sometimes (very covert), well – – – I am giving him a chance to get the right help – – – but I can’t tolerate that now. I KNOW it’s “the addict” talking and he should know better by now. I don’t let it slide; I call it out and self-advocate. It’s exhausting. Yep. Difficult. I can accept his SA, but I do expect him to be working on recovery and if he says something critical or blaming, I expect that he’d acknowledge it and make repair; own it. He’s not “there” yet.

        p.s. I love your new photo and your highlights. 😉


  2. A not so great reminder that addiction is a lifelong fight. For the addict and their loved ones. There will be missteps and backsliding along the way. You have made your boundaries known. You do not enable. You have worked to heal your trauma. You are complete and whole as an individual. That’s all you’ve really got control of.
    I understand the needing time alone. I have an 8 yr old and 3 yr old. It’s really tough finding time to talk without little ears around. We travel but, like you, I want that to be fun and about new memories.
    Hoping today is better for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Today is better, but I am so off, I thought yesterday was the 11th (dday), but obviously it’s today. I told Paula I must have been on NZ time! Yeah having little kids around is worse. They sense things. They’re very intuitive! Tomorrow we leave for Hawaii. I plan to relax and enjoy!


      • Enjoy the hell put of that!!! When I first found out I did my best to act normal around her. One day she went up to her father and boldly told him he wasn’t getting rid of mommy. A tiny little 3 year old. A tiny part of me was proud of her for having the courage to stand up for what she thought was right. But I was mostly heartbroken that my baby was even having those thoughts.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Kids know. She sounds amazing. Kids are also often very resilient. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but yeah, bringing the reality at 3 years old is tough on everyone. It’s difficult to really let things out when we’re whispering all the time. Much love in this new year to you and your family! xo

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year to you! I’m sure that was a frustrating experience (especially because we are on the same page about “if your SA buddies know something, I’d better know it too”). Is this failure to share something you can have a healthy discussion about? Or does BE just prefer to sweep it under the rug?

    Well, I’m sure he’d prefer to sweep it under the rug, but…

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    • I know you understand! For all the years of hiding and secrecy, I want open honesty. I don’t profess to be able to solve his problems or even help, but I do feel like I deserve a partner who communicates with me, at some point. It may seem normal to normal people that my husband would seek someone outside our marriage to discuss his struggles with, and supposedly spare me, and I understand that. But in my mind, for an SA, keeping things from me feels like betrayal. He knows he’s not saving me from any pain or suffering, because I feel the distance in my bones. I guess my point was with this is… if I ask for him to be open and honest and share his struggles so I know what’s going on inside, and he shares with someone else and not (at any point) with me, that’s a deal breaker. Not to mention he thrives on secrets and secret relationships. He’s learning and has made great progress, but I do think I am still “the one who doesn’t get him,” and his buddy is “the safe place” and it doesn’t feel good. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • The two of you (Blackacre) and SSA should seriously consider a podcast, in the fashion of the awesome Dear Sugars podcast that has sadly ended. The three of you are articulate, wise, interesting, and insightful on all aspects of this issue. I am totally serious about this!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Coordination of such an effort would be interesting since we live far from each other. I’m not so technically inclined either, but I bet it would be helpful to quite a few people. The blogging for me has been helpful in not feeling so isolated, but that did take a while. When I started blogging, I couldn’t find a single active wife of a sex addict on the blogs. It’s quite a different story today. I’m grateful for that!

          Liked by 1 person

      • I’m right there with you. Hiding their struggles is part of how we find ourselves in these messes in the first place. I think that Handsome thrives on secrets and secret relationships too. He doesn’t really agree with that (he isn’t that self-aware yet) but everything I’ve seen tends to support that theory.

        By the way, I had a good opportunity to offer up BE as a potential phone resource for Handsome and – kind of to my surprise (b/c shyness, isolationist, introverted etc) – he was enthusiastic about it. Maybe we can connect them after your Hawaii trip and Handsome’s next intensive?

        Have a relaxing, fun, and peaceful time on your trip!

        Liked by 1 person

        • BE can acknowledge what he is doing, after the fact, at this point, but that took a while. He does not realize it while he is doing it. Kind of like how I just drove home without remembering doing it. Habits. They are hard to break.

          Anytime Handsome wants to reach out is fine with BE. It was about three years ago (while we were in Hawaii, coincidentally) that an SA found me through my blog and asked me to talk with him and his wife. I told him I would be happy to speak with his wife, but if he wanted to talk it needed to be with BE. The wife emailed me, but the real relationship happened between BE and the husband. BE still thinks about the guy and texts him every once in a while. It seems things are going well. I think having the confidence to reach out to a stranger is part of recovery and part of giving back.

          I hope H’s intensive provides more healing. xo

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Your posts are so beautifully written. I have never been in your position but the way you write, especially the part about being looked at with pity, just touches a nerve somewhere inside me. I really think you should write a book, it would help so many.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I won’t say you’re a strong woman because you’ve probably heard all that shit. I won’t say leave it all behind and put yourself first because you’ve probably heard that to. Even though I don’t know you I realise that you write all your thoughts and some of your feelings down on WP to gain some sort of relief or clarification for yourself.
    Coming from a stranger you’ve never met (me) this may seem like I’m overstepping the mark, but If it’s atall possible, take time out for yourself and only yourself. I know it sounds simple and I know it isn’t, but try to take time-out away from the addiction.
    All the best (Dr John) only joking about the Dr bit but do put yourself first from time to time to keep yourself sane 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy New Year K. You just made me realize we’ve “known” each other more than 4 years now!

    I’d like to suggest that you make this year the year you do something every day, not just the retreats and trips, but every ordinary day, that increases your intellectual and spiritual independence from BE. I wondered for a very long time why you stay, and I finally understood at some point. I think you can co-exist while creating your own whole separate life, in a strange way like he did but not in secret of course. Maybe start at least by putting something on your calendar every day, whether it is active (going to a movie, or out for tea) or passive (reading a book, staring at the ocean), that you will do alone or with a friend…doing things intentionally to grow that independence. Whether home, at the beach, and even when you are traveling together.


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    • Thanks, B. I can’t even remember when it was that we met up. Next time, Grom! Thanks for the advice. I like it! I’m gonna do it.

      Ironically, BE is the clingy one. Without his addiction he is very emotionally and physically attached to me. Problem is, I want an adult partner who shares, not a little boy who needs a Mommy. He still has a ways to go. It may not reflect here on this blog, but I am crazy independent. I fight with myself because if I can’t get the emotional intelligence out of this relationship that I desire, I have to move on from it. We have been together a long time. To some degree it is easier to stay than split it all up and move on. But I hate settling. I want that better relationship. Not sure he’s up for, but I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, today. 🤗

      Liked by 4 people

      • Went to Grom @CPS after the Nutcracker right before NYE😍-bittersweet hot chocolate with that insane whipped cream. I went to the ballet for a second time this year, and happy I did.

        I wasn’t suggesting you are not independent, but I think you might be able to allocate less brain space to him if you fill it with more of your own stuff.

        Maybe some of what you are experiencing now is partly due to your kids being adults with their own whole lives now? Big change for you, which did not just happen but do you feel like it is more difficult now because it really is just you and BE on a daily basis?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mmm. I want some of that cream right now!

          Well, on dday, we had been empty nesters for about a year and a half and were having a great time. I was very much looking forward to having my days back when our youngest graduated high school. I’m not one of those Moms who lived through her kids, although I do understand how that happens. I raised them to be adults and was excited to see them off. They both went to the East Coast. Our older son was such a precocious child and far quicker and smarter than I. Tiring. Unfortunately, just before dday our younger son returned from college and was home when the other woman called. Not sure if that was easier or harder for us all. He’s been home ever since. It may actually be the opposite, B, we need more alone time. Travel helps with that a bit although I don’t like to have to talk about stressful things while traveling. It is easier, however, for us to just be a couple without the 20 something around. We go to the beach house when we need time.

          I actually think part of my problem is hormonal. I just feel off. I think you are right and I need to focus more on scheduling things to keep my mind busier. xo

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I get this completely. Especially that realization that this is what reality is when we choose to live with our addict and keep working to heal. Safety is something that I still don’t feel completely with Will and I am not sure that I can ever get there. Trust has to come first and that boat sailed. Will has convos every single day with “his guys” from groups he attends but most of those he has openly on the phone with me in the room. He has largely transitioned from calling guys because he needs advice to being called because they are asking him for advice. Either way, it is a big part of his recovery and has less to do with the need for secrecy and more to do with connection to others who have the same struggles and the same issues. I am not an addict and cannot be the same kind of support for Will in his moments of struggle because I simply do not understand what compels an addict to act on his addiction. I am okay with Will teaching out in crisis to someone who has been in his shoes because the alternative is to white knuckle the compulsive behavior which would eventually lead to a relapse. Don’t be too hard on BE, dear Kat. The SA model requires that he stay connected and confide in other addicts. The other benefit is that it takes an exhausting burden off of your shoulders. I have had to learn to accept this part of Will and let go. And it has been a blessing. Much love to you and big hugs! ❤️

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    • Thanks, Leighkay. Big hugs back. You know I’m a huge proponent of 12 step and probably why I wrote so much about it here. I understand it and I understand its usefulness and BE wouldn’t be where he is without it. I don’t resent it at all. This post was really not about 12 step. It was about BE’s continuing habits that are counter productive to our relationship. I know what I need from a partner and what I need is brutal honesty. If in fact BE was struggling with not having contact with his father on his birthday, and he remained open with me about it, this post wouldn’t be here. I’m not looking for ways for BE not to communicate with me. He does that just fine on his own. BE is not in crisis and this isn’t about acting out, unless we call clandestine meetings and phone calls acting out, which I do. Reporting on his 12 step interactions is actually still on both our border plans and although he has regular phone calls with 12 step guys, that’s not what this is about. Secrecy is what this is about. Some guys get so caught up in 12 step that it takes over their lives and they feel they need it to survive. Like they are addicted to it. How could that be bad? I liken it to obsessive exercise. Anything can be bad if it takes over our lives and gets in between relationships etc… BE recently collected his 5 year chip. His relationship with 12 step is quite balanced. My issue is with his relationship with his new-ish friend that he just happened to find at 12 step. And it’s not about the friend. It’s about how BE manages the friendship. He breaks the rules quite a bit because he strives for control. Having secrets gives him the illusion of control. Over the holidays he told me he was gonna meet up with his friend. I was at the beach house. It was really just a logistical and communication issue. I waited until he said he would be done with his friend, then I contacted him about what I needed him to bring. He didn’t respond for two hours. They had changed their meeting time but he had neglected to inform me. I had scheduled around what he told me. When he was actually done, I was unavailable. Just frustrating. Also, unless it’s work, he has promised to be available to me. He loves to break promises. Anyway, sorry for rambling, but this totally isn’t about 12 step. I’ve stayed based on certain promises I have made myself. Those I don’t want to break. BE doesn’t realize what he is doing when he does it, but he does after the fact. His brain is messed up. I talk it out here! ❤️

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      • You are correct…addicts brains are messed up! 😂 That need for control and some sort of, I don’t know, selfishness(?) to be separate and autonomous is so foreign to me . I think SAs have a perverse idea of commitment. You and I and, indeed, most people commit to a relationship 100%. Addicts seem to commit maybe 80%. and “recovering” addicts seem to only be able to commit 99%. I always wonder if it is an unwillingness or if they are truly unable to let go fully. I see what you mean when you say the issue is honesty. Honesty begets trust. Trust begets connection. Connection begets commitment. This is logical and “normal.” Will is one of the most intelligent people I know, but logic sometimes escapes him. 😉 Keep taking care of you, my friend. Lots of love and good thoughts. ❤️❗️

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          • “You are correct…addicts brains are messed up! 😂 ”


            And my dog can sense it, probably in some ways like a young child can sense things. My Golden Retriever is young (2 1/2), so of course he needs more stimulation and exercise than an older dog.

            Yet. If my dog is around the house with me only, he doesn’t misbehave; he’s really very low-key for a young Golden. If my husband is around, it’s like he’s picking up on the “addict brain” and he starts being naughty, overtly. I swear he is picking up on the addict-angst.

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            • Our Golden is going on 12 and only cares about snuggling, food & walks, BUT the Aussie, he’s hyper sensitive to moods, especially BE’s. When BE is in hyper addict mode, Bernie barks at him in that, “hey, that’s weird behavior Dad, stop it, it’s freaking me out,” kind of way.

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        • Hi, and welcome! Have you attended SA meetings? My husband’s group is all men. There are groups with all women as well. I have heard there are more women in SLAA groups too. His 12 step groups/fellowship/friends/sponsor have been lifelines for him. Their boundaries are set and although they don’t all have the same boundaries, the meetings are a very safe space and run with specific guidelines. The guys he meets with are all there for recovery. They are there for each other, thick and thin, good and bad. It’s actually the ones who rarely attend that struggle the most.

          I have heard very distressing things about AA and NA, mostly from friends and friends with children who attend. Some of the meetings are very large and not well regulated, with fellowship being even less safe. Each meeting is unique and the bottom line is the addict must want to recover and find a meeting that works for them, and then do the work. My husband is doing the work, but this is lifelong and some of his habits are harder to break.

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          • I go to AA sometimes. That’s where my husband met his AP. mixed recovery meetings is a complicated thing. People are vulnerable…and have a lot in common.

            I’ve been sober 5 years. I don’t really use 12 steps. I blog, etc. Many paths.

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            • Absolutely many paths! And yes, people in 12 step are innately vulnerable, but with SA, they’re also hyper sensitive to covert relationships. It’s all men and has been part of my husband’s path, along with lots and lots of therapy, Buddhist mindfulness sanghas, and retreats, self care, etc… He was dying in his addiction and wanted out. Unfortunately he didn’t out himself, that would have been easier on both of us. Congratulations on five years! About the same amount of time as my sex addict husband. It’s been hell, but improving daily.

              Liked by 2 people

                • “Addiction is horrible.”

                  It sure is. The roots of addiction (from what I’ve read) are about a person trying to soothe or perhaps even eliminate their internal pain. Addicts are treated horridly, sometimes, too, by the medical profession. I know they are difficult people. I know it’s a challenge to treat them. I know they lie, etc. I also know they have tremendous PAIN inside which is so hard to bear. Hell, my husband almost ended his life due to his internal conflict and emotional pain (and a whole lot of other compounding factors – including sleep deprivation and trauma from his profession – Emergency Medicine). He just wanted it to stop.

                  Of course, he doesn’t get “a pass” for his conscious choices and despicable behavior in cheating, lying, gaslighting, etc. It harmed me, for sure. Did he set out to consciously harm me? No. He’s not a sociopath. He has issues. Now I have to work very hard to heal the harm he caused. Sometimes life is like that. Things can happen, which suck, are horrid and unfair, and not due to any of our own actions, but we still have to heal.

                  Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Paula. It’s been a rough week, but not really about the 5 years, I don’t think. Hormonal imbalance maybe. I feel off. BE told me last night that he wants me to go to NC if that is what I want. I’m thinking about it. 🤗😘🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my. I thought you were leading somewhere I didn’t want to read about. I was afraid you were…well…you know, if you need to chat, vent, curse, yell or scream horrible obscenities, I’m here.
    I wonder if you know how much I admire your ability and willingness to try to hold things together. I just couldn’t forgive…and look where I am.
    Oh…got the cover of my book. Wanna see?

    Liked by 1 person

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