When this all began 6 years ago, I met some wives of other sex addicts. In the few short times I met them, I concluded that these women lived, breathed and slept “program”. They could spout off a 12 step saying for every situation, they attended as many meetings as their addict husbands and from my misguided perspective they were being duped into having every waking moment of their lives revolve around an addiction that wasn’t theirs. I swore up and down that I would never be like one of them. Needless to say, I was wrong about them and, as you can see from many of my past posts, I have indeed started to transform into one of those women.
If my husband had any other disease in the world – diabetes, heart disease, scoliosis, MS, even a drug addiction – I would do everything in my power to learn about the disease in order to be able to support and help him. Why did I think that sex addiction was any different? It’s not.
I clearly see that this change in me is a very good thing, but dare I say at times I feel a little “uncool” about it. In the past, I always thought of myself as an independent, adventurous, resilient, strong, edgy, confident & cool chick. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would use words like “higher power” or that I would actively encourage empathy and forgiveness on a public blog I would have said you are crazy. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I looked down on these traits as some sort of pacifier or crutch and thought that if I practiced these things that I would become weak, dependent, predictable and, of course, completely uncool. The contrary is true. All of my growth and self examination and faith have started turning me into a truly strong person who is more resilient than ever and this in turn is helping me become a good & honest wife. I see in hindsight that I wasn’t any of these things before. It was all just a story I told myself. I had an unreal image of myself that wasn’t allowing myself to see anything beyond my own fantasy.
Like anything else, this revelation is a process. On the one hand, I still think I am edgy and cool and I celebrate the things about me that set me apart and make me feel unique and special. On the other hand, I have opened my mind to ideas I wouldn’t previously consider and have slowly become a part of groups that I would have turned away from before. It may take a while for me to be able to bridge the concepts of these two different people and make myself feel comfortable with their co-existence, but like anything else on this journey, that’s OK….as the program says “you can’t know what you don’t know”!