Monday, July 02, 2007

My Wife's Recovery

Updated at 10:39 p.m. on 7/2/2007 to include additional information about my wife's time in counseling.

In the comment on the last post, Therese posts some good questions:
Did your wife have any help in dealing with it when she found out? Why don't you two have the same therapist?

It's interesting that you bring this up because her therapist talked about the importance of involving not just the addict but the family (read: spouse) into the recovery process. She's had several opportunities, but I don't think she's ever bought into the relevance of the Twelve Steps for codependency.

When she first learned about the phone sex, we were living in a community that did not have a 12-step group for codependents of sex addicts (e.g. COSA or S-Anon). I encouraged her to go to a more generic group, CODA. She went to one meeting, said that she didn't get much out of it, and then didn't go back.

She chose to cope with it by talking with her best friend (the one for whom we moved to our current location and for whom almost moved a second time). The best friend's husband had been diagnosed as a sex addict about a year prior for having had multiple affairs. The best friend eventually moved to an area where there were codependent groups for sexual addiction. Her response was about the same, she stopped going to them because she said she wasn't getting anything out of them.

After I left graduate school and we relocated in 1995, I learned that our new location had meetings for both sex addicts and codependents, so I encouraged her to get in touch with the codependent group. She went to the meetings for about a year. There were two or three other women who attended on a regular basis, and she formed a strong friendship with one of them. As that relationship strengthened, she and the friend stopped going to the meetings. When I asked her why she didn't go to the meetings anymore, she said that the literature didn't really mean much to her and that she got more out of just talking and venting with the friend.

When we moved to our present location, where the codependent groups are more abundant, my wife refused to go.

The reason that we have different therapists goes back to the first round of counseling back in August of last year. We went for six sessions. By the fifth session, we had come back from the brink of collapse and decided that maybe we should work on our own issues.

She continued to see an individual therapist for five or six more sessions, and then quietly stopped going in the fall. I started seeing a therapist in October.

She started seeing a different therapist in early April after we had a big argument about sex. This was at the suggestion of my therapist, who then added that we might start meeting jointly sometime in the near future.

Addendum: When I wrote this post, I neglected to include some information about my wife's time in counseling.

When she first found out about the phone sex calls in the fall of 1994, she saw a therapist for a few sessions through her employer's EAP.

As tension over the question to have children started to heat up in the spring of 1997, my wife started seeing an individual therapist. He also worked with her some with regards to the final slip in late 1997.

I was brought in to several sessions at the request of her therapist, whom I found to be quite fair. There were times when he said things that my wife strongly disagreed with, and in one session, she just sat there sulking quietly, answering questions tersely, but not really involved.

During the first try at IVF/ICSI in 2002, our fertility clinic paired us up with a counselor for a couple of sessions.
blog comments powered by Disqus