Sex Addiction: The ideal way to fight it???
By ConfidenceIn
7/7/2011 7:48:59 AM
So, I, the co-addict wife, am going to set up a Therapist appt soon. I tried one already, but they were not taking more patients. Anyway, my actual question is...

*Did you (addict or co-addict) go to therapy? How long? Couples too? Only couples?

My husband is against it. I'm trying to not be co-dependent and basically force him into it, but it's so hard. I don't want to go through this betrayal again. In fact, if he starts keeping things from me, and lying more, while viewing porn, I plan to leave him in approx 18 mths. I know I'll know soon enough if he's not working on recovery and following the traps. I love him, so it's not something I really want to do at all, but I know it was the right thing to tell him and to do, if, heaven-forbid, I need to follow through.

What do you suggest?
What helped you with the addiction?
What do you think is the most proven way to fight this addiction and win?
What are easy ways to most likely fail or make it much harder for you?


My thoughts    
"As far as a therapist, the Lifestar therapists specialize in treating addicts and spouses of addicts. As a woman, I think the female therapists would be the best for you: />
I am seeing one of the Lifestar therapists and he is amazing. He's worked with countless SA men and is very understanding and helpful. He's also a co-author of the book Confronting Pornography. My wife is seeing one of the female therapists. They are in Murray, Utah, but I believe they have therapists trained around the country. My wife didn't want to go, but I encouraged her. I'm trying to get her to go to a 12-step spouse group as well.

I read that for there to be successful recovery, there must be thee things: (1) support from a 12-step recovery group, (2) a qualified therapist, and (3) a bishop or spiritual leader, in addition to individual recovery work (utilizing the most important part, the atonement).

I have been attending 12-step recovery meetings, which have been absolutely empowering in my recovery (as long as I am working the steps every day as well). I talked with my bishop, who was helpful but doesn't think we need to meet because I've been clean for more than 4 months and I was "dry" for two years before that. I started seeing a therapist to be sure I have everything in place to make sure this time I get to a full recovery. I'm willing to pay any price and do anything at this point to make it happen.

For me, mindfulness meditation has also been absolutely critical to my recovery. It has helped me to move toward greater mental health, better stress/anxiety management. It has helped me to observe my mind and respond rather than react. In addition to study and prayer in the morning, I do 10 minutes of mindful yoga (mainly just stretching) and 10-15 minutes of breathing meditation. It's basically an exercise in paying attention--"aim and sustain." You simply feel the breath, paying attention to it. When the mind wanders, which it will, you note where it has gone and redirect your attention to the breath over and over. The breath has become my anchor to help me manage emotions when I'm BLASTeD (bored, lonely, angry, stressed, tired, depressed). Those are times when we're at risk to resort to maladaptive coping stategies like porn/mb. I highly recommend anything by Jon Kabat-Zinn, but especially Full Catastrophe Living.

Lastly and most importantly, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I had lost some faith in this previously because of despair and other factors. My faith has been restored and I now know this is the most important and empowering part of my recovery. But, to access it, we must do "all that we can do" see above."
Therapy and Codependency    
"You sound like you are still in the mindset of helping him overcome his addiction. It is not going to work. In the book Codependent No More, it is suggested that coercing, or forcing a loved one into therapy often has the opposite effect and only serves to make matters worse.

When your husband is ready, you will know. In the meantime, you have become sick because of his sickness and need to get yourself help so you can start healing. You need it and your kids need to see it so that you, by example can begin to break a pattern of control and codependency.

As you move forward, learn to set boundaries, such as, if he is found using porn in your home, he must move out of the house until he can display that he is completely sober. This boundary is designed to keep the influence of the adversary out of your home, You can't control what he does, but you can set a boundary in your home and say that your home is a porn free home. Another boundary might be that if he displays addictive behaviors, he must stay in another bedroom for a determined period of time. Pray about what you believe to be the right boundary, but remember that the boundary is meant for safety for you and your family, not to attempt to manipulate him into change

This all may sound a bit harsh, it really is not. The Lord has given us the example of boundaries in The Garden of Eden. When those boundaries were violated, Adam and Eve we sent to another place to face the cold hard world. The Lord was loving, but firm. There are countless other examples throughout the scriptures, and in the temple of boundary setting.

Don't try save your husband from his own consequences. Work on you and control what you have control over. Otherwise, give the remaining things to the Lord, and that includes your husband. Control is only an illusion a anyway.

You need to go to meetings and find a sponsor. If there is no LDS women’s group . Look for an SA spouses group. Call the national number for Sexaholics Anonymous and ask for a women’s group in your area. You husband does not go to this meeting. It is something special for you.

What helped you with the addiction? – He wants to overcome his addiction as much as he wants to breathe

What do you think is the most proven way to fight this addiction and win? Total surrender to Jesus Chris, 12 steps, therapy, If seeking Therapy, you need someone who specialized in sex addiction.

HERO has lots of recourses- Hero, want to chime in here?

What are easy ways to most likely fail or make it much harder for you? A spouses pushing and nagging, triggers, open internet access, not working the 12 step program daily.

I am praying for you as I know the road you are traveling and I know Heavenly Father loves you and your family and he will never let you down. Be strong"
posted at 09:33:40 on July 7, 2011 by Anonymous
"I posted above (re: Lifestar therapists). I was opposed to therapy as well. Therapy has changed my life. A lot of times there is a lot more underlying an addiction than just bad choices (mental health issues: anxiety, depression, OCD, etc.). Going to therapy was one of the best things I have ever done. As a man, I could have never imagined I would go to therapy (I don't need it, right). My wife has been so happy about how I have changed since understanding my challenges with anxiety and depression. I don't medicate, but I do meditate. It has saved my life and turned me back toward God. Now with the 12-step group I go to and other work, I am so hopeful. It's like a multi-front assault on this disease."
posted at 09:44:49 on July 7, 2011 by Anonymous
I think therapy is essential to recovery    
"It helps provide a voice of reason to the craziness. It is doubtful your church leaders have this experience.

I personally attend individual counseling with a certified sex addiction therapist. She is female and provides good insights for me since I'm retarded when it comes to showing compassion and empathy and patience to my suffering wife.

As a couple, we do the lifestar program. It has been really good for both of us.. Specifically setting up boundaries, understanding shame cycles, dramas, etc. We both had MANY MANY ahhah moments. My thoughts is that the money I spend on therapy will be less than money spent on divorce. Any price to recovery is worth it.

If he doesnt want to go, then you should go yourself. Make sure you find someone with lots of sex addiction experience. Regular therapist isnt enough. Kinda like you wouldnt go to a family doctor for cancer.

Oh.. for me 12 step program is also essential. It scared me to death the first few times but hey, if I want my free agency back, Im willing to do anything. Now i love going. I miss the fellowship when I miss. It's the place I can take my failings and feelings and not feel judged.

my 2 cents."
posted at 11:02:02 on July 7, 2011 by Hurtallover
"First I love this thread. One of the most productive Ever!

What has helped! The 12 steps a must for both the addict and the spouse.
Much reading on recovery.....Dr. Hilton, Coleen Harrison, Melody Beattie, Dr. Douglas Weiss...
Knowledge is Power....

Therapy? We went to a therapist very soon after discovery. Did he want to go? No, but if he wanted to stay with me that was what I needed to try to make some sense of the craziness. I did not know how to do this. She helped with some of the disclosure but when it became evident that we could be dealing with an addiction she suggested we go to some intensive therapy. I prayed and checked out her recommendations and then I found Dr. Weiss. At that point I knew I needed help also, I knew I was loosing myself. I knew I needed more. Dr. Weiss offers 3 day intensive therapy for individuals and couples. We went as a couple. I found out the particulars and then my husband reluctantly made the appointment. We went about 4 months after discovery but I wish I would have gone earlier. It doesn't take long for a spouse to get in a very bad place. Keep in mind that we had been meeting with the Stake Pres. And attending a ARP meeting. Somewhat helpful but it was hard for me to apply it to my situation.
There was no PASG for spouses at that time. I had been journaling,( vomiting on paper ),
very therapeutic, this journal is not for prosperity, it is a burn journal, keeping a grateful journal, 5 things every day you are thankful for, you can keep this one. And reading recovery books, suggested by the therapist. Nothing I would recommend here."
posted at 16:03:22 on July 7, 2011 by Hero
Therapy continued    
"When I found the website for Dr. Weiss and checked out what he had to offer, I felt like this is what I should do. He has been doing this for decades and he himself if a recovering SA. He holds several theology degrees and several PHD"s. His testimony is strong and he applies Christen beliefs in his recovery. He was a pioneer to this field and Lifestare that is also a great program used his resources as the foundation of their program. (that is what I was told by someone who had attended both and was told that by one of Lifestars founders. )

He had books, dvds, Cd's for the Partners, Addicts, Couples, Intimacy Anorexia, Teens, Single Adults, .....I found all of his resources to be very helpful. I have shared them with my recovery groups and some find it very helpful and some do not. Recovery just like addiction is individual.

The 3 day intensive was just that. Worth every penny and all the effort. It got us on a more solid approach with tools to help us both and as a couple. I know of one other couple who attended and One addict who attended and all have said it was one of the best investment they have ever made in their recovery. One couple had been doing the PASG program and and counseling and was still having relapses. Since they made the trip for the couples therapy they said they have spent less money on counseling and received the most help they ever have. Their suggestion is not to wait but to go there first.

If that is not something you can do he has recovery packets that you can purchase from his website that is like therapy in a box. Make sure if you choose this that you ask for the Christian version. You can call they are very helpful there. The other couple who's addict was the only one to attend says do not wait, get there first. This is just these couples experiences. Do as the scriptures tell us. Study it out then ask the Lord. He knows what is best for your family.

From that experience and the information and guidance I received I knew I needed a recovery group that dealt specifically with my circumstance. I went to my Stake President and asked if I could start a group and use the church facilities to hold the meetings. He said he would check into it and soon got back to me with the news that there was a new program, pilot program, that family services was doing gave me the manual and I read it. Yes! I was called to be a missionary in that program. Not totally healed yet but with a desire to heal and knowing that the atonement was there for me but needing guidance to help me access it and heal.

I told my husband that when we had cancer we went to the very best we could find even though we had to travel for help. This was a cancer in our family and we needed the best. It was worth it.

This was my experience. Hope it helps."
posted at 16:41:22 on July 7, 2011 by Hero
Nice job, Hero    
"Hero - I was very impressed with your post and how proactive you were about recover, offering to start the program, spearheading, etc. With that kind of faith (with works), I can't imagine not getting a full recovery and then some. Keep us posted."
posted at 17:05:12 on July 7, 2011 by Anonymous
"I attend both couples therapy and individual therapy. It is a lifesaver. My husband wants to do too and we are trying to get him to a local specialist for SA for just him, but that has been difficult because of access. I am going to check out the resources Hero mentioned for him, but I don't think it'll replace actual face to face in the long run.

Therapy has taught me a lot about my own issues and helped me learn coping skills with pain. Even couples therapy is for me though. I am there for me. My husband is there for him. The relationship gets talked about of course (the center of the conversation) but in the end a relationship is two individuals, and for it to him improve the individuals need to change.

Don't worry if he wont go. Just do what is right for you. It will help you. He may eventually join, but just do what is going to bring you health. Good for you for doing this!"
posted at 05:44:01 on July 8, 2011 by maddy
Hero.. Thanks for showing me the Dr. Weiss content    
"I bought a few of his online books and they are great. They have great tools and ideas for me (addict) and for us(couple).

I know that in previous years, I had been against counseling. Because only crazy people go to Therapy, right? (I didnt realize I was crazy..) Plus I didnt want to be honest with them.

Now that I'm in therapy, I see the therapy as coaching. It allows me to try out thoughts and ideas on them before I try them at home and hurt feelings.. It also gives me someone to ask the hard questions that I would be afraid to ask my spouse about. If your spouse is against therapy.. try relabeling it as life coaching. :-)"
posted at 08:54:05 on July 8, 2011 by Hurtallover
Make Therapy a Requirement    
"I think you should consider making him meeting with a addiction therapist a requirement for your marriage to continue, but pray on that. I don't think it's too much to ask given what he has done to you and your family. Terrence Real talks about this in his book "The New Rules of Marriage" and how critical it is for addictions to be treated, especially through therapy.

For any spouses, you might also consider reading (for both the addict and spouse) the book "I Don't Want to Talk About It" by Terrence Real. This was recommended to me by a fantastic LDS therapist out of Chicago named Jennifer Finlayson-Fife. She wrote her Ph.D. dissertation on LDS female sexuality and related issues. "I Don't Want to Talk About It" is on the secret legacy of male depression. It explains how different men are than women when it comes to depression--men don't admit it and externalize it through addictions (workaholism, porn, sex addiction, alcoholism, etc.). The addiction and the underlying illnesses (depression, anxiety) must be treated for full recovery. I absolutelly loved the book (I'm the addict). I sobbed at times as I could relate to the stories and the emotional and some physical abuses I had suffered that led to my carried shame and depression. I have suffered from covert depression even though I would never admit it. Addiction and depression are tightly woven in men."
posted at 09:55:17 on July 8, 2011 by Anonymous
Una Mas    
"ConfidencIn - depression may also be why your husband says he feels empty and has a hard time feeling the spirit. When you're in a dark place, in the clutches of shame, it's pretty hard to feel anything. A therapist could really help him open up and express some of the emotions that are probably bottled up. I'm not trying to minimize the addiction, but things are a lot more complicated than we try to think sometimes."
posted at 09:58:50 on July 8, 2011 by Anonymous
pedro nunez    
posted at 18:18:09 on July 8, 2011 by pdnunez

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"Lucifer will do all in his power to keep you captive. You are familiar with his strategy. He whispers: “No one will ever know.” “Just one more time.” “You can’t change; you have tried before and failed.” “It’s too late; you’ve gone too far.” Don’t let him discourage you. When you take the path that climbs, that harder path of the Savior, there are rewards along the way. When you do something right, when you resist temptation, when you meet a goal, you will feel very good about it. It is a very different kind of feeling than you have when you violate commandments—an altogether different feeling. It brings a measure of peace and comfort and provides encouragement to press on. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990