Photo credit: Darnok from morguefile.com
Addiction to Sex Hurts
Perhaps one of the less understood and less talked about addictions, the addiction to sexual activities can, just like drug and alcohol addictions, leave a path of destruction in the lives of those connected to the “one addicted”.
The following is submitted by a brave young woman who tells of her healing process and the importance of family and forgiveness.
“I was in a relationship for three years. In the latter part, I got pregnant. Needless to say, the relationship ended. I was overwhelmed with feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness. I could express the ups and downs of being in a relationship with a sex addict, however why bother? Why go back to those times?
One thing I could mention is the support I had from my family and friends. They saw my efforts to fight for that relationship and even his efforts to try to overcome his addiction. Although there were subtle (and obvious) hints for me to get out, my family provided me with unconditional love.
So as the pregnancy progressed, I began to realize continuing to dwell in hurt and pain was not a healthy option. To cope with the break-up, I kept busy, read books, wrote in my journal, and had my support system to lean on. As the sad feelings subsided, I knew I was ready to start the forgiving process.
Many counselling professionals may suggest that the process of forgiveness is to benefit you and not necessarily the other person. In addition to this, I knew that for the sake of my child’s growth and development, forgiving her father was non-negotiable. My family and friends, on the other hand, have not been able to reach the point of offering forgiveness to him. So how do I help them get there?
People may initially assume that a love relationship consists of just two people. It is true that it may start out like this, however, as the relationship evolves, we expose our significant others to our families and other friendships. Years of involvement makes it more difficult for everyone to witness the loss of that person when the relationship ends. In the case above, her family and friends were probably exposed to more of the relationship than the average. Setting healthy boundaries in relationships protects and provides clarity for how much to involve others in personal matters.
Involvement of family and friends in the couple’s personal struggles can actually serve to destroy family supports and eat away at the relationship as well. While loved ones may have observed happy times, they likely find it easier to recall the stories of bad behaviours and not-so-good times before and when the relationship ends. While focus on negatives is quite common, all it does is reinforce pain and foster feelings of anger. Staying stuck in blame and judgmentalism blocks movement toward forgiveness. Unfortunately, this can stand in the way of a healthy relationship with the person about to become a co-parent.
In this particular case, the mother’s modelling forgiveness can be a powerful and influential message for her friends and family. Most adults and children can pick up on the energy in a room and the emotional states of others from nonverbal communication (face and tone).
Given this, we are all responsible for the quality of relationships by our actions and choices… to forgive and extend grace or not.
Individual, co-parenting and family counselling can help to overcome addictions, improve relationship skills and heal woundedness as well… Contact us today!