The idea of attending a group to deal with a husband who has a compulsive sexual behavior sends a chill up the spine. Men who struggle with sex addiction have been using sex as a coping mechanism to deal with anxiety, loneliness, a sense of inadequacy, and many other emotional states. These men are typically “loners” in that they try to deal with life’s challenges on their own. They may be the quiet type or they may be the most-friendly guy in the world, but rarely do they know how to develop truly deep friendships and share their struggles with others. The world of sexual fantasy has been the place of escape and comfort. Their wives are terrified, angry, and humiliated. They do not feel like the chosen one any more, but instead see his acting out as a reflection of their incompetency of their wifely duties. They are used to keeping their husband’s secret, and may have made excuses for his behaviors in the past. They may have stopped having close friendships in which they can share their biggest hurt, thereby increasing their isolation and hurt. Whether or not her husband is in recovery, joining a wives group breaks the isolation and brings the problems into focus: her husband’s sex addiction and her own healing.
When a woman overcomes these fears and attends a group at The Intimacy Center, she finds a group of women like herself who are on a journey from isolation to compassionate friendship. She finds acceptance from others in the group who appreciate her great qualities as a person. She finds support to do the hard work of her own recovery.
There are two main areas of focus in the groups: to gain healing and to grow in interpersonal skills through understanding one’s own intimacy deficits and practicing healthy supportive relationships.Each group member presents her Recovery Plan for Partner’s of Sex Addicts and checks in each week on how she is working that plan. The group supports each member in working through their Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 assignments. The assignments provide a wealth of information about sex addiction, codependency, and recovery, and serve as the catalyst for sharing deeply about oneself in the group.
The group is an intentional therapeutic community. Every other week the women go to lunch after the group to continue the work of the group without the therapist. This becomes a time to deepen relationships and practice getting support from and providing support to each other. Additionally, the group involves choosing a Phone Partner with whom you will have at least two phone conversations each week. These calls become a way to develop the kind of friendship in which you share what you really need from your friend.
The group require a minimum 4-month commitment, but most women joining the group stay in the group for a much longer time, deepening their friendships and learning to lean on each other to maintain freedom from sexual codependency and live into abundant living. The group is limited to 8 women to ensure that each woman has sufficient time to do her work.
Monday, 9:30-10:50 a.m., Leader: Renee