How It Develops

Hand in hand, we strolled through the counselor’s front doors.  Two couples ahead of us made their way into the conference room across the way.  I saw the white light of a large projector fill the room.  On the screen were five black words:

Sex Addiction: How it Develops

Devin and I entered the chair-filled room.  We took our seats in the back and made ourselves comfortable.  We had fifteen minutes before the presentation started.  As more people entered the room, Devin held my hand, and nodded to the men he knew.

My stomach tightened.  Why was I so nervous?  These people were here for the same reason we were.  They wanted to learn more about the addiction that plagued our families.  

I took a sip of water from my ice filled Camelbak and looked around.  Just like my husband, they were normal looking people.  You’d never know they all shared the common bond of sex addiction. 

Our counselor walked over and gave us each a hug, then settled into a seat behind us.  The room had the hushed tones of every anon meeting I’d attended. We all waited for the family counselor from Keystone Recovery too arrive.

The moment the doctor walked in, the room fell silent.  Devin’s hand tightened around mine as the counselor spoke.  I felt my head bob up and down as he talked about the similar backgrounds addicts shared; physical and/or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or parents with substance abuse, just to name a few. 

Study after study showed the men and women who suffered from the addiction were unable to connect with anyone on an intimate level.  These addicts had been programmed from infancy to protect themselves by not allowing anyone into their personal thoughts and feelings.    

The addicts struggled with the ability to share their emotions with their partners for fear of rejection.  Their personalities ranged from arrogant, self-assured, or completely withdrawn from those who loved them the most.

When the lecture concluded, questions were asked.  The people in the room wanted to know how to prevent relapses, when it was save to have sex with their partner again, and how to move through their steps properly.

As we filed out of the room, I heard him say he was off to give another lecture the following day.  He’d been around the world, informing people about sex addiction.  It gave me hope that one day it’d make it into the DSM as an addiction and not a personality disorder.  

One day.

Wednesday I’m leaving town for a week to visit with my brother and mother.  Enjoy your week everyone!


I think in the age of technology many of us have become impatient.  We’ve forgotten what it’s like to wait for things, no matter how minute.  Think of the last time you went to watch a video online and it took more than ten seconds to load.  I bet you checked to see if you lost your connection.  Maybe you even gave up on the video and moved onto something else entirely.  What about your last drive-thru experience?  Did it take too long to get your food, your money, or your prescription?  Just think, we used to have to get out of our car and walk into the establishment for these services.  The horror!

We’ve become a society of Veruca Salts.  We want it now!

I was one of those people.  Who am I kidding?  I can still be one of those impatient people.  Especially when it comes to something like Devin’s recovery. I sometimes think it will happen overnight.  I fail to remember that each individual moves at different speeds. 

I love to dive in and self-examine and explore.  I’ve recognized I have more work to do so I’m doing another 12-step workbook to challenge myself.  For Devin, it’s not as easy for him to face his flaws.  I can’t expect him to be as gung-ho as I am.  Instead, I can be excited at how far in his program he’s come. 

It wasn’t always this way.  I used to drive myself crazy wondering about the progress of Devin’s recovery.  I thought it only fair because as a couple we’re in this together.  It made sense I be involved in his recovery.  I became confused on what that meant.  I was told to stay away, and then I was told it was okay to ask questions.  What did that mean?

I got clarification from my rockin’ counselor.  She said my way was not the right way.  (I love this lady.  She doesn’t mince words.  My old counselor would have said something like, “not preferable”.)  I was being a dictator by telling him how to work his recovery i.e. attend SAA meetings once a week, see a counselor once a week, do your daily reading, etc. Instead, she said it was acceptable that he understands my expectations for a healthy recovery because it’s part of my boundary agreement.  She also suggested check-in conversations.  We began using FANOS once again.

Once she explained the difference between being a dictator and checking-in with Devin, things seemed to make more sense to me.  I was able to let go of his recovery and let him take charge.  It also gave me a greater sense of patience because I wasn’t so enmeshed in it.  I could step back from it with greater ease and see how much progress he’s made. 

By using FANOS we, even all this time later, connect on a deeper level than we ever had before.  It also provides me with a sense of security that he’s continuing to work on his program.  It provides patience. 
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I’ll be at the dealership to get my car worked on today. I know I said that the other day but I never made it because I had a migraine.  They are supposed to have wi-fi so I can check my blog.  If not, I apologize for being late getting to your blogs.