This week, Barb Steffens, founder of the Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS) answers a Beyond Betrayal community member's questions about the frustration of setting boundaries around her husband's subtle acting out behaviors, hiding and gaslighting.
*"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.* —Jeremiah 29:11
With every new year, our hope rises. Maybe this will be the year he gets free of his "issues." Maybe this year won't hurt as bad as last year. Maybe this year the panic attacks, sleepless nights and losses (because of his addiction) will stop.
“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25
On the second day of our SA couples’ intensive (therapy) weekend, I ask each person in attendance to allow themselves to be really vulnerable. I direct them to close their eyes and envision a time in the future five or ten years from now.
I have long understood that anger, possibly even rage, is inevitable on this journey. I devote many pages of Beyond Betrayal to examples of survey respondents’ (and my own) anger, and our reactions to it (usually guilt). Only recently have I also begun to see anger as a potentially healthy part of this journey.