The Gift of Gratitude in Sex Addiction Recovery

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."   - William Arthur Ward

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The marriage impacted by sex addiction is in turmoil for quite some time post-discovery of the addiction.  The betrayal of sex addiction is like no other.  The marriage impacted by addiction is filled with resentment, bitterness, and reactivity.  The addict holds resentment, and even perhaps used those resentments, to fuel the acting-out in the addiction cycle.  In beginning recovery, the partner holds resentments and often feels justified to emotionally brow-beat their sex-addicted partners with reminders of how horrible their actions were.  There is fear their hurts will remain unacknowledged.

Miracle of Recovery

 

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle."

-  Phillips Brooks

 

Did you ever see the movie “Evan Almighty”?  Evan was tasked with building an ark in modern times because the flood was coming.  He kept praying for patience, but patience never came.  The situations that allowed him to develop patience kept coming, not the skill or attribute of patience.  Recovery is like that.  The people I sit with in early addiction recovery sometimes sit waiting in abstinence of the acting out for recovery to come….waiting for it to arrive.  It takes some time and “program development” to understand that their consistent work, building the muscle of recovery, if you will, over time to live in the life of recovery.

Sex Addiction, Marriage and The Doghouse

A friend sent me this commercial over the holidays.

 

As I watched, I was struck by the similarities of the couple in the commercial to the couple that struggles with sex addiction as part of their marriage.  There is the hope and anticipation of the marital relationship.  As the wife is presented the vacuum cleaner for her anniversary gift, shock, anger, and the need to do something with the offending spouse who “tarnishes the hope”, ensues.  What wife, who feels the betrayals of sex addiction, can’t relate to the wish to physically place her husband somewhere for punishment?  The commercial shows her marching him into the doghouse. 

There's an App for THAT?!!!

Last week I attended the IITAP Symposium (www.IITAP.com).  This is the annual conference offered by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.  One of the feature presenters was Rob Weiss, LCSW, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute (www.SexualRecovery.com).  He presented an educational, informative, and interesting session on the ever-increasing technology that can be used for connecting with sexual content and sexual partners - virtually instantaneously.

In a brilliant demonstration to drive his point home, Mr. Weiss connected his iPhone, live, to the LCD projector.  He demonstrated through two different apps, loaded on his iPhone moments before the presentation, how easy it was to connect to the cyber-sex-world for the possibility of immediate human contact.