GRATITUDE Nero FANTASTIC WEBSITE. MAKES ME GLAD TO BE A SEX & LOVE ADDICT.LOOKING FORWARD TO ONLINE MEETINGS
OA and SLAA
I have been Bulimic since I was 17 following a long period of sexual abuse. My eating has been up and down really throughout my life. My weight seems to fluctuate by 2 and a half stone! When out of a relationship I am light, and am addicted to the gym. When in a relationship I start to put on weight in reaction to the dis-functionality present in it. I have been out of my codependent relationship for a good month now and was unable to eat properly and so have lost at least a stone. However this weekend I was feeling very stressed, isolated, and angry, so I binged and purged some days twice. This is not a pattern I want to get into so I ate properly tonight and will endeavour to stick to my resolve over the coming week. It is hard because I feel some self disgust and feel that the control of my food is the only thing I can control in my life, that of course is the irrational view. My body image has always been quite negative and being in a relationship with a sex addict surely did not help. The cycle is difficult to stop once it starts and I really don’t want to add to the problems I already have. I want to focus all my energy on my recovery and withdrawl and not on food.
Whenever I try and withdraw from my relationship my bulimia intensifies
CATTY:] Hi I found this web site yesterday and couldn’t agree with you more. Iv been in denial for so long, and when I finally plucked up the courage to log on I was so impressed. Knowing there is help and support out there makes this a lot easier.I’ve just posted my first post and am eagerly awaiting my journey to begin. Heres to a new beginning.
To get to online meetings you need to go here:
You need to email them and then they send you instructions as to how to join. Fairly straightforward, and it means that you can go to up to three meetings per day…
Yes definitely. I don’t believe in god either. Neither do i disbelieve. But the program is bigger than me, the reality of ‘what is’ is bigger than me, so surrendering to the program, and to things as they are rather than how i’d like them to be in my fantasies is the form of surrender i find comfortable, and helpful. I pray every day, but not because i believe anyone is listening or any benign power is going to sort things out for me, but as a means of reaffirming my commitment to the program. Good luck,
i would refer you to the AA book “Twelve Steps & Tweleve Traditions” where it talks about exactly your situaiton in its discussion of the 2nd step! They didn’t find being an atheist a problem! Recovery really is for everyone, and i wish for you that you will find it, too! all the best, nas
This is a great question, one of the best on the site. No, there is no such thing as a “higher power of god” & the 12 Step Fellowships never talk about this either, but they do say that a higher power can help. The best thing about the Fellowships for me is that you do not have to believe in god to get well. We get to a point where we realise we are powerless (here, over sex & love addiction), and have to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get well again. This power can be anything you choose: nature, energy, the Fellowship (2 people are stronger & more powerful than 1), some choose “god” or “Jesus” or the “Prophet”, science, whatever floats your boat. The main thing for me is that I don’t believe that I am it – a higher power or a god.
Let us know how you get on. All the best.
Thanks for all the responses. I guess the small amount of information I have read has mis-guided me slightly about the religious element to the process which wouldn’t have been acceptable to me. I understand know that the higher power is related to something (anything) beyond (bigger than) myself whether that be a group, nature, science or anything else. Thanks again. I have not yet joined a group but am getting closer.
well I have been reading everyones discussions and then I read mine again and relise that I am such a low down, pond life of a human being. My girlfriend has agreed to stick at the reationship on certain terms, that I make visible steps to work through my addiction.
Most Men that I come accross are genrally faithfull minded, they look here and there but never touch, you also have the playa who juggles women like balls. and then ther is me!! I will be friends with you but tell you that your so attractive and you have such a wonderfull character, “even though I have a girlfriend there is nothing wrong with us being friends” I would say. then one two three, we are locked into an affair first of the mind and then of the flesh.
I know that I do this to fill the void in my self that is constantly longing for affection that makes my girfriend feel that she is not enough for me. So why is it so hard for me to stop?
I am stopping now but for how long…… when will it be, until my eye wonders and my dry soul longs for the quenching of a womans smile. I want to be the man that my girlfriend deserves but I’m so stressed that this zeal for being faithfull will just fade into the normality of life and love and I will be faced again with the dilema of temptation.
Thanks, that’s helpful.
Thanks, that’s helpful. Perhaps the other differences could be explained on this forum or perhaps I should simply go along to H.O.W. and see… but then I am very satisfied with the format at the non-H.O.W. meeting/s. It’s the potential newcomer reading this that I wonder about. Maybe it’s best they understand there’s differences and try both?
Well done, let us know how you get on,
One of the main differences is that regular 12 step Fellowships SUGGEST the 12 Steps as a means to recover from addiction, while the H.O.W. (Honesty, Openmindedness, Willingness – from the AA Big Book Pg 570) format says the 12 Steps are REQUIRED.
The format has been applied to several Fellowships, originating in Overeaters Anonymous, existing in Debtors Anonymous as well as SLAA.
The format sets out clearly the route for sufferers to identify their bottom lines & work the steps on a daily basis.
The How format is simply another way to get well & recover from addiction.
One of the main differences is that regular 12 step Fellowships SUGGEST the 12 Steps as a means to recover from addiction, while the H.O.W. (Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness – from the AA Big Book Pg 570) format says the 12 Steps are REQUIRED.
The text below was included in a thread for someone asking about the 30 questions. It explains the initial stages of beginning to work the H.O.W programme. A fuller explanation is anticipated to appear on the site in due course.
The 30 questions are something different to the 40 Questions of Self Diagnosis. There is a variation of SLAA called the H.O.W concept which is a more disciplined approach to the ideas of the fellowship. In brief, you obtain a sponsor by going to meetings. After seven days of a question a day, to identify what your core issues are, you set your bottom lines – your own specific compulsive behaviours related to sex and love that you feel you have difficulty with and need to refrain from.
Once your bottom lines are set, you phone the sponsor every day for 30 days. You read out your latest answer to the previous day’s question and get to hear the next question for the following day. All the time, refraining from your bottom line behaviour. And before you know it, you’ve clocked up your first month of sobriety and had a very interesting time along the way, where many thoughts and feelings will have been experienced with a very different intensity because you’d have not resorted to compulsive behaviour to smother those feelings and anxieties. There’s more, to the H.O.W programme than that but, for now, you should go to meetings, take your time to find a sponsor and then just focus on working through the 30 questions.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.
Nobody can answer that one for you. It makes no difference whether you are in SLAA or not. It all depends on you, your partner, your recovery, if you have any, and whether telling them will be used as a way to hurt them, or will damage them. Sometimes confession can be a way to unfairly unload problems onto somebody else. Its often easier to avoid responsibility for the harms we do to others by burdening them with the guilt that should be ours, not theirs. Once I can be honest with myself, then I can be honest with others. In that order.
Well done in getting this far. For some it’s the hardest part. Get to 6 different SLAA meetings – there are different kinds, so pick ones that suits you – women’s meetings, meditation meetings, regular step/chair meetings, HOW meetings, lunchtime meetings, evening meetings. Do the rounds, and take phone numbers to ask questions & find a sponsor if you want. Then when you have done 6 meetings, decide if SLAA is for you. Simple. All the best.
Hi Scotty Your question comes up all the time. It is answered in this stream which you will find under “Surrender & my Higher Power”. You will see you don’t have to have a clue. Sometimes its the best way to be….. Best of luck:I am an Online Sex addict looking to find recovery but I am also an Aethiest, Secularist, Humanist and a man of Science not of religion. Is there a place for me in the twelve step programme which asks us to surrender to the higher power of god?
Thanks for all the Thanks for all the responses. I guess the small amount of information I have read has mis-guided me slightly about the religious element to the process which wouldn’t have been acceptable to me. I understand know that the higher power is related to something (anything) beyond (bigger than) myself whether that be a group, nature, science or anything else. Thanks again. I have not yet joined a group but am getting closer.
This is a great question, one of the best on the site. No, there is no such thing as a “higher power of god” & the 12 Step Fellowships never talk about this either, but they do say that a higher power can help. The best thing about the Fellowships for me is that you do not have to believe in god to get well. We get to a point where we realise we are powerless (here, over sex & love addiction), and have to surrender to a power greater than ourselves to get well again.This power can be anything you choose: nature, energy, the Fellowship (2 people are stronger & more powerful than 1), some choose “god” or “Jesus” or the “Prophet”, science, whatever floats your boat. The main thing for me is that I don’t believe that I am it – a higher power or a god.Let us know how you get on. All the best.
i would refer you to the AAi would refer you to the AA book “Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions” where it talks about exactly your situation in its discussion of the 2nd step! They didn’t find being an atheist a problem! Recovery really is for everyone, and i wish for you that you will find it, too!all the best,nas
Yes definitely. I don’t believe in god either. Neither do i disbelieve. But the program is bigger than me, the reality of ‘what is’ is bigger than me, so surrendering to the program, and to things as they are rather than how i’d like them to be in my fantasies is the form of surrender i find comfortable, and helpful.I pray every day, but not because i believe anyone is listening or any benign power is going to sort things out for me, but as a means of reaffirming my commitment to the program. Good luck,Peter
Firstly I am pretty new to SLAA and have not yet fully started withdrawal, and what I say is just my opinion. Others further down the line may have different ideas. What I say may only apply to me and not to you. Having said that here’s what I think. In my case masturbation plays quite a role as my sexual acting out is very intermittent for various reasons. Therefore I masturbate frequently, 2 or more times a day, or at least did. Since I been involved with SLAA (about 4 weeks now) I have to come to realise that masturbation takes up time, energy and emotions. This may not sound like much but all of these can be important. Firstly, time. Masturbation can be surprisingly long. Not only is there the actual time, but also any setting up, getting to a private place, anticipating or fantasizing. Any kind of fantasizing or working up can add to the time, such as reading a story or looking at pictures. It might be that you’re just talking about 10 minutes before you go to sleep or it might not. It might be taking up more time than you think. Secondly, energy. Masturbation takes about as much energy as sex and who wants to do the dishes or any chore or read the SLAA book after sex? It could be distracting you from doing other important things.Thirdly, emotions. Even if you say you have time and energy to spare the emotions come into play.For my part the urge seems to occur quite often when there’s any kind of stress around. It seems that the emotions put into masturbation are diverted from emotions I might have to deal with, so it serves as an emotional distraction rather than dealing with feelings that are coming up as I move towards withdrawal. For me, I only found out by not doing it for several days and since I had hardly ever done that before and certainly not whilst looking what SLAA is making me consider.Previously I had thought it a harmless pastime that did no harm but now I realise this can be a major distraction from dealing with all sorts of things from chores to hobbies and dealing with emotions from myself and also dealing with other people. Well, that’s my thoughts. It may depend on exactly what you’re doing and how much, but my suggestion is to consider how much it’s affecting you. It may be more than you think. Raymond (Berkshire)
Hi Raymond, thanks for replying. I don’t feel with me that it’s a problem, sometimes I won’t even do it for days and then it’s several times. I think it only becomes a problem like you say, if it extends to other areas of your life, interrupting it. For me it’s a kind of release, but at the same time it’s not always used for a sexual one, many emotions can be it’s cause, and at the moment I see no problem as it’s not harming me or my life. I just wondered about different people’s opinions on it and thanks for sharing yours. Good luck with everything 🙂
Wow everyone !!!! Check out the dates of these posts , its exactly or almost exactly a year since this forum went live I give thanks and have total gratitude for everyone who has posted here, and to everyone who contributes to the running of the website and forum and a big happy birthday to the forum!Thy Will not Mine be done.
Hi.You seem to be aware that you have a problem or else you wouldn’t have posted on this site.You are a Sex addict. The good news is that if you can admit this to yourself then you have a chance of recovering. If you stay in denial, or ignore this progressive illness, then it will get worse. Guaranteed.Follow your therapists advice and get to a meeting, in fact get to as many meetings as you can and you will quickly realise that you are not the only one with this illness and that there are ways you can live a healthy life by accepting what you are and that you dont need to act out your sexual compulsions.It’s not easy but it’s better than living in a state of uncontrollable obsession and compulsion.I have been sober since Feb 08 from Sex and Love addiction after activley acting out on my addiction for over 20 years.The first step is accepting you have a problem and that your life has become unmanageable due to your adddiction.Then get to meetings. It works if you work it. God bless youSpender Don’t act out and the answers will come.
Hi, I’m new to SLAA, (3rd meeting last night) but with experience of other 12 step fellowships I would say that choosing a same sex sponsor is just practical ie: avoiding any sexual intruige developing and sticking to the business of trying to recover, with the advice of someone who is a bit more down the spiritual path and familiar with workings of chosen fellowship. It might be enough to just get to a few meetings first. Mind you it opens up questions in my own mind – I have had male sponsors x2 in another fellowship and they were focused on their role – but being a bi-sexual male myself would suggest I should choose wisely.On the positive side, When I had some therapy about 5years ago – I had a female therapist – and thought that was what I wanted, but I never liked her all through the 18 months. However, I recently got 6 free sessions with a chap who I didn’t choose and I felt more able to be intimate with him (not sexual by the way) and felt more compassion from and for him.What I’m trying to say is I think I try to control the way I receive love but in my case what I need may be something else. I was/am often seeking something from women and running from males (for what ever reasons: not being loud, hard, didn’t like football, mummies boy, etc). Maybe that explains my bi-sexual tendencies. Anyway, rambled a bit there but good luck.
I’d say a same sex sponsor is usually better. Once you get to a meeting and hear other men share you may find it easier to open up to men and find the idea of a male sponsor less daunting. I used to only ever share stuff with women, but i realize now that was usually because i wasn’t always honest with myself about my intentions. One of the joys of recovery for me is about learning to be close to men. Maybe its a cliche but men aren’t known for finding it easy to talk to each other. Its been good for me to break that and find close supportive relationships with my own gender. I hope you find a good meeting with a strong message of recovery, All the best,Peter
Hello & Happy New Year —–I would advocate same sex sponsors to keep it simple. As a member of another fellowship I originally wanted a female sponsor – I reasoned only a woman could understand what I had suffered as a child etc. etc. My thinking was wonky, my motives dubious at the least.I have had a same sex sponsor ( the same one ) for 12 years – he took me through the steps – that’s what a sponsor does. A sponsor has a sponsor, has done the steps themselves, and in my case had to have a big heart be kind and tell me the truth . I know that he loves me but he is not my best friend. I have befriended, very carefully, a few older women in my fellowship with whom I can discuss emotional issues without complications.Where these have not been able to address my issues ( and I’ve just arrived at SLAA with 14 years in another fellowship ) a therapist trained in addiction can be life saving.Good Luck Regards & Thanks – Huwsinclair
My views on this are I think quite opposite to Paul, well I wouldn’t say opposite, but I would say its about understanding the appropriateness (I’ve had a glass or two of wine so excuse the poor spelling) of the activity. A real reason I am on here is otherwise I know I would be on sites that leads me down a road I have no wish to go down anymore so I guess for me I know I would of been on other sites and no doubt masturbating a lot this evening. Blunt there but Im being totally honest with myself. I guess as well its the appropriateness on a number of different levels.
I just wanted to re-iterate what the other contributors have said and second their opinion not just that a same sex sponsor is preferable but that it is essential particularly in this fellowship. When I first sought a sponsor in another fellowship I was adamant that gender was not an issue and that it was about personality but I now realize that this was my addiction itself in action, yes I felt more comfortable talking to men but this in itself is an area that I need to deal with and an important component of my SLA issues. I do not know of anyone in healthy recovery who would chose a different sex sponsor and perhaps more importantly I would question the motives and the quality of recovery of any potential female sponsor that was willing to take on a man as a sponsee in this fellowship. As another contributor said, as you attend more meetings you will become more comfortable discussing your feelings with men and you will find a person, through listening to chairs and shares, who appeals to you and with whom you sense a feeling of identification. In my experience, whilst it is essential to get a sponsor, do not rush into this, take your time to find the right one as he will be so important to you and your recovery whilst equally the wrong match can be very dangerous. I wish you all the best, this is a tough, tough addiction to battle but by reaching out on this website and showing awareness of the key issues you are making a great start.
Hi Helene, Total abstinence is used as a way forward to gain control of the compulsive behaviour. It’s not a permanent state of affairs. The issues are similar to those some have around food. If you don’t eat you die, but if you eat too much of the wrong sort of food, you can also end up dying. The solution is to eat healthily.
Likewise, in SLAA we learn to make healthy choices regarding relationship and avoid past behaviours that have failed to offer lasting, satisfying relationships and that cause us to feel shame.
So total abstinence helps get a perspective on things at the beginning and in time, when we better understand how to cope with these issues, we can work towards forming a healthy relationship but to do that, you need to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
Go to a meeting and you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the process at length.
I hope this helps,
Narcissus If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.
londonguy I was interested to read what you have to say but was struck that you have to be honest about motivation and why you want a opposite gender sponsor. That being said I do empathize I am in another fellowship where the membership is overwhelmingly female. However I have the additional issue in that I am bisexual (male) so really need to be careful about who I ask to sponsor me or indeed who I sponsor. The truth is that it is possible to have an opposite gender sponsor but maybe you should consider a male. It is obvious that you need to be honest with yourself and others if you are going down the steps route and therefore I suppose if you could be honest with yourself and potential sponsor of either gender and discuss the problems/pitfalls then in my opinion nothing is impossible However you do need to try to be constantly honest with yourself. Good luck and best wishes for your search for a sponsor. Ask your higher power to help you choose the right person.
Dear patric thank you for your very moving and very powerfully honest share. I can identify with much of what you write. I am only beginning the journey of recovery in slaa, very confused, very scared and very hopeful because I know that in the end I will feel better than I feel now. Thank you.
Hey Patric, I know it’s hard but to say true I am a teenager I am 17. I am Indranil from India. I am totally in deppresion I am a failed guy. I know my problems are nothing to yours as compared to you have gone through much but I want someone like a mentor to help me through. I am addicted to porn videos, I love a girl but she never ever thought me more than a puppet human and to say true in order to forget her I got someone in a long distance relationship who used to ease me chatting with her I would feel good but she too hates me now ? just due to the fact that she thinks I have too much attitude. Some day I felt like hitting me and I end up getting a nice cut in hand or some where and now I watch porn in desperation to forget her and now I have almost recovered from her memories but still I can’t forget it eats me up. Moreover the worst is I have got so much addicted to porn videos I can’t resist I know the concequences that my life will be spoilt and my future can’t be bright but I can’t resist from watching it ?. My grades have fallen too much my studies have become zero plsss help me. I need to come out of it.
I will be waiting for your reply sir. With sincerity, Indranil Paul.
Oz123 in some ways you are so lucky. You recognized the issue early on and are seeking help in dealing with it. I am a bisexual man..the best or worst of both worlds. I have been in a long term gay relationship and cheated in the early years then negotiated/bullied my partner into an open relationship. I can identify totally with the vicious cycle of meaningless sex and your libido getting the better of you. Like uni days the gay scene is full of sexual possibilities and therefore I don’t believe leaving your university is going to make the problem easier. Unfortunately if you or I are hooked on sex as a means of feeling better then I can’t see that a geographical change will make a difference. I have always realized at some level that I obsessed with sex, needed the validation of sex and being wanted more than other people. When I was your age I was very striking looking and got loads of attention from both men and women. The fact I said I was gay seemed to spur some women on in the ardor for me. These women evidently think they are “real women”, if they can bed a gay guy. However the change that I also hoped for didn’t change after university and the cycle continued. I was interested in what you said about the women not wanting you as a boyfriend, maybe so. However have you considered that they also might have problems with sex and self esteem also? I think your on the right track. Your absolutely brilliant in my opinion in that you recognized and listened to your “inner voice” and sought out help. I chose not to listen and went on hurting myself and others. I am afraid my fall has been deeper and greater than other people’s because the behavior has been so long term. However no matter what you choose to do you know have that realization inside you that makes you know you have choices. I am not sure your going to be able to change your behavior without support. I am going to start attending slaa in the next few weeks. I know I can’t do it alone. However you have to decide what is right for your. Your awareness is a great gift and. I attend another 12 step fellowship and one of our slogans is Awareness,Acceptance and Action. You have the awareness and some acceptance that things aren’t right with you. It is now up to you to take the next step. I think that you will be surprised how good life can be. Best of luck in your studies and keep talking about your feelings.
Oz123 in some ways you are so lucky. You recognised the issue early on and are seeking help in dealing with it. I am a bisexual man..the best or worst of both worlds. I have been in a longterm gay relationship and cheated in the early years then negotiated/bullied my partner into an open relationship. I can identify totally with the vicious cycle of meaningless sex and your libido getting the better of you. Like uni days the gay scene is full of sexual possibilities and therefore I don’t believe leaving your university is going to make the problem easier. Unfortunately if you or I are hooked on sex as a means of feeling better then I can’t see that a geographical change will make a difference. I have always realised at some level that I obsessed with sex, needed the validation of sex and being wanted more than other people. When I was your age I was very striking looking and got loads of attention from both men and women. The fact I said I was gay seemed to spur some women on in the ardour for me. These women evidently think they are “real women”, if they can bed a gay guy. However the change that I also hoped for didnt change after university and the cycle continued. I was interested in what you said about the women not wanting you as a boyfriend, maybe so. However have you considered that they also might have problems with sex and self esteem also? I think your on the right track. Your absolutely brilliant in my opinion in that you recognised and listened to your “inner voice” and sought out help. I chose not to listen and went on hurting myself and others. I am afraid my fall has been deeper and greater than other people’s because the behaviour has been so long term. However no matter what you choose to do you know have that realisation inside you that makes you know you have choices. I am not sure your going to be able to change your behaviour without support. I am going to start attending slaa in the next few weeks. I know I can’t do it alone. However you have to decide what is right for your. Your awareness is a great gift and. I attend another 12 step fellowship and one of our slogans is Awareness,Acceptance and Action. You have the awareness and some acceptance that things aren’t right with you. It is now up to you to take the next step. I think that you will be surprised how good life can be. Best of luck in your studies and keep talking about your feelings.
great ! exactly the question I also had.
Hi Anna, I can relate to your plight. Two years ago, I met a man at work that I was so attracted to. He made my head spin and like you I had formed the perfect relationship in my head. I din’t really consider the fact that he had been married for over 10 years, was seperated and was actually trying to repair his marriage whilst still living with her.We embarked on a passionate affair for a year. I was in turmoil but completely addicted to the sex and passion. I just couldn’t get enough. I didn’t feel right unless I’d seen him. I dumped him umm about seven times but always went back. In the end, I just couldn’t any more and found solace in another man. He became a very good friend, it was also like a relationship (non-sexual) But in the end, he became compulsive, obsessive and manically jealous of my relationship with this guy. So in the end I had to break that relationship about a month ago. A week ago I found myself thinking about this married man again. So I called him and we met him and now I feel that I have totally lost control. I managed to keep away from him for 4 months. and have have managed to abstain from sleeping with him. But it is a nightmare as I work in the same building as him and he keeps coming up to my office and tormenting me with his prescence. It is so hard when you feel tied to these people. I think a lot of it comes down to low self esteem and a massive fear of rejection. I have never been to an SLA meeting before, but am intending to soon as I feel I need help and support from other people like myself. I think there are a lot of us out there. Good Luck and be kind to yourself and do nice things for yourself even if you do have slip ups. That’s what I try and do. AliMary
Hi londonguy1984me too have the same issue (i am a guy), I am happy talking in open groups of either or single sex but i have issues with men on a one to one basis-i have not found a sponsor being totally new to SLAA but as my issues are ‘Anorexia’ i would prefer a female sponsor with the opposite issue purely because i look for similar types of female as potential partners-ie inexperienced HOWEVER some 20yrs ago i was in counseling and had a female therapist and no surprise i became attached-when she left her replacement filled the role-and so on the age , race -nothing stopped that happening but for the professionalism of the therapists concerned-so there is a danger.There is also a potential danger of becoming a helper addict where you think you can help them and vica versa-unsure if this is healthy or not-sharing recovery seems like a good idea but i’m sure it has pitfalls The reason i personally would not choose a male sponsor is because i have childhood issues with men- i am working with these issues k
I am undecided about what role masturbation plays in my life. Certainly being brought up Catholic where it is a serious sin I have lots of shame, guilt and fear around it. I am not sure whether I am going to put it onto my bottom line behaviours that I wish to stop. I think that for me I don’t need to reinforce the negativity I already have about myself, my body and my sexuality. While I am recognising that there are good reasons to question why and how I use masturbation to “self-medicate”. I think I also need to be wary of “taliban” type thinking within slaa that seems to want to quash all sexual expression outside committed monogamous relationships. Their views are not neccesarily good for me. I am in a relationship and I suppose the only reason why I dont want to masturbate is because I want to be fully there for my partner when we choose to have sex. If as in the past I masturbate frequently my sexual desire is lessened and this means my partner isn’t really getting the whole me in the sex and love process in our relationship. I have no clear answers to the question but I think that I am going to try not to masturbate one day at a time. and see how things develop. I have only done so twice since I came to slaa. If I feel the desire to masturbate and if I can honestly say that i am not using it to block, self-medicate or to deny my feelings then I might proceed or I might not depending on my motivations. In the Irish language the old word for masturbation literally means “hand friendship”. If my masturbation is indeed “hand friendship” then I do not think it is a bad thing for me. Howeve as I said if it is to not feel then I think it might be negative for me.
I have been attending both HOW and other types of SLAA meetings since Easter. I must say that I have not made my mind up yet what road to take. I am determined to start and follow the 12steps but fear that I am used to attending al-anonwhere everything is suggested although there is some expectation that people eventually get on with doing the 12 steps. I do intend to keep an open mind. Although I don’t yet have a sponsor, still looking, I have set some bottom line behaviours that are keeping me from acting out on a daily basis. I don’t want to not do SLAA the HOW way if it would be the best thing for me. However I will keep attending HOW and other SLAA meetings and if I do eventually think that HOW is for me then I will do it. Have other people experience of doing the 12 steps the more traditional way? Did the traditional way not work for some people and did they move to HOW because of it? I would be grateful for anybodys opinion on this subject. I am listening and learning every day and intend to keep on doing it.
I have been attending both HOW and other types of SLAA meetings since Easter. I must say that I have not made my mind up yet what road to take. I am determined to start and follow the 12steps but fear that I am used to attending al-anon where everything is suggested although there is some expectation that people eventually get on with doing the 12 steps. I do intend to keep an open mind. Although I don’t yet have a sponsor, still looking, I have set some bottom line behaviors that are keeping me from acting out on a daily basis. I don’t want to not do SLAA the HOW way if it would be the best thing for me. However I will keep attending HOW and other SLAA meetings and if I do eventually think that HOW is for me then I will do it. Have other people experience of doing the 12 steps the more traditional way? Did the traditional way not work for some people and did they move to HOW because of it? I would be grateful for anybodys opinion on this subject. I am listening and learning every day and intend to keep on doing it.
Nero thank you for the reply on the disability topic, I had a question regarding the success or otherwise ofthe traditional and HOW method of doing the programme. Your post really helped mesee that there is no one way to do it as long as I am honest,open and willing in any SLAA 12 step process. Thanks for that. It has really helped me. Also to the person who is disabled surely the only requirement for a SLAA meeting is if two people join together in fellowship. I totally agree with you Nero that any form or meeting f2f or via the internet/skype is fine if people’s circumstances mean they cannot attendf2f meetings. If the founders of AA had known about the internet when the fellowship started I am sure they would have recognised the validity of any meeting as long as it is done in a manner that is honest and open. I am still finding it difficult though to see how anything other than suggestion can be part of any 12 step fellowship. It is after all “adherence to the unenforcable” that makes the fellowship work. How can a prescriptive method of doing the 12steps fit into this idea? I am not trying to be difficult but the traditions are very important to me as they have helped me move from chaos to serenity as much as the 12 steps have helped my spiritual growth.
Nero thank you for the reply on the disability topic, I had a question regarding the success or otherwise of the traditional and HOW method of doing the program. Your post really helped me see that there is no one way to do it as long as I am honest,open and willing in any SLAA 12 step process. Thanks for that. It has really helped me. Also to the person who is disabled surely the only requirement for a SLAA meeting is if two people join together in fellowship. I totally agree with you Nero that any form or meeting f2f or via the internet/skype is fine if people’s circumstances mean they cannot attendf2f meetings. If the founders of AA had known about the internet when the fellowship started I am sure they would have recognized the validity of any meeting as long as it is done in a manner that is honest and open. I am still finding it difficult though to see how anything other than suggestion can be part of any 12 step fellowship. It is after all “adherence to the unenforcable” that makes the fellowship work. How can a prescriptive method of doing the 12steps fit into this idea? I am not trying to be difficult but the traditions are very important to me as they have helped me move from chaos to serenity as much as the 12 steps have helped my spiritual growth.
Thanks Thanks, Fergus. The H.O.W. concept only REQUIRES the 12 steps to people who WANT it to be required, so there is no question of prescription or enforcement. Otherwise I would have steered well clear of it years ago. I am very sensitive to these kinds of issues, because of things that had happened in my past and it took me a long time to realize that I needed recovery at any cost, and was able to surrender to the fact that at the time & circumstances I found myself in, the only available (to me) & healthy sponsors I could see were in H.O.W. meetings. In fact my chosen non-H.O.W. sponsor right at the beginning of my journey committed suicide, so this propelled me into taking urgent, definitive action fast because I was feeling exactly the same way. Had I found a suitable sponsor in the first place, I would probably have not moved into doing the H.O.W method of recovery.
I have been sponsoring people following the HOW concept for 4 years now. At times some of my sponsees have lived abroad where there are NO meetings of any kind, some are in very distant parts of the UK, some have lived in very rural parts, some have been unable to travel due to lack of money. Some have had to make do with local AA meetings even if they are not alcoholics (which is what I had to do 4 years ago when there were far far fewer SLAA meetings).
The point is that so long as you are doing your total best to recover and follow suggestions, then you ARE in recovery. There is no true distinction between HOW recovery or non-HOW – neither are better than the other, it is all the same, so long as you end up not acting out – so don’t get too hung up on whether it is HOW or not. It is still SLAA. The step work itself is still the same in both cases – although HOW chooses to prescribe written daily questions to make things clearer & more disciplined.
Whatever your circumstances or disabilites, try online meetings or skype meetings – there is alot of talk about these on the forum – they are as valid as any other if you cannot get out too often.
All the best & let us know how you get on.
Do u still sponsor? I live in Egypt and there is no SLAA HOW, and I really want to work this program? Please if you can help in any way id be really thankful
It is obvious that if you think you have a problem then you probably have Try to get to a slaa meeting or one of the other fellowships related to sex or love addiction if there is no slaa meeting in your area. The fact that you say you can’t help yourself seems to clearly indicate that “your life has become unmanageable”. Therefore you have two clear options. Continue with your present compartmentalized life or get into recovery. I have been attending SLAA and another S-Fellowship since Easter and I must say I have never felt better about myself, my relationship and my general well-being and self-respect that I though would never recover has started to return. You have not been spineless as you say. You reached out to SLAA by coming on this website and you also have admitted however reticent that you have a problem with sex and relationships. You have already started to recover Vixen82. I wish you well and will pray for you at this time. You are not alone. You are not a freak. You are however a victim of a “cunning and baffling” illness. You didn’t cause it, you cant control it and you cant cure it but you can stop co-operating with it and recover just one day at a time. Much love in fellowship.
Hi, I wanted to respond to you as I got so much identification from your story and really feel for the place you are in at the moment. Like you I have never been faithful to anyone since I became sexually active 18 years ago, this includes my ex husband and all long term partners. Much like you it was the craving for the attention and the affirmation that I was wanted and desirable that was the pay back for me, the sex was relatively unimportant, it was needing to know that men wanted me that drove me on. For me, therefore what was manifesting itself as sex addiction was just as much about my love addiction and the believe that through sex I could find the love that I craved. I also wanted to say to you that you are not spineless, you are really brave, this is perhaps the hardest addiction to face up to especially if you have not come to it via another fellowship and the fact you have shared what is going on for you and want to stop is a really courageous thing. I echo the other comment posted here, the solution really does lie with the fellowship and the program. I came in to slaa a few months ago and threw myself into the meetings and started working the program. I work the SLAA HOW program as it is a more structured approach, requires a lot of discipline and really guides and holds you when you most need it. To work this program you are required to have a sponsor to work with you and I have found this to be a great source of support. I don’t know where you live but if you are in london there are so many fantastic meetings which I am sure will give you so much identification. There is also some great literature out there which I have found to be a real help. I would strongly suggest getting to a meeting asap, it is suggested that you attend six meetings before making a commitment to work the program. Its hard work, but it is so worth it. I was on my knees and suicidal when I came into slaa and although its early days my sense of despair has now been replaced by the hope that there is an answer and that it lies with this fellowship. I wish you all the best, remember you are not on your own in this and it does get better.
HiI’ve been having an affair with my boss for almost a year. Her husband found out and she told him it had finished. I’ve left my wife and 2 kids and now rent this place. It helps my addiction as my boss and I come here several times a week. When she goes home to her husband ( who is depressed and has very low self-esteem), I become depressed and feel low (surprise). I just found out my boss had an affair for 12 years previously to me – I found out accidently. This was someone else at work.I was mad at first, but she talked me round. She has 100% control. I need to change this or my life if at risk.Weirdly and disturbingly, this adds to my sexual compulsion. Although I feel wildly jealous, I am also hugely attracted still. I’m having counselling and hypnotherapy sessions and have lots of support from family and friends. I agree that if you work with the person you desire, the situation can be incredibly difficult. If I get through this and can salvage my marriage I’ll be happy. I want peace and normality back. This is hell. Hope and keep hoping. Nothing stays constant.Jimmy D
Hi, Not sure whether you have been to a SLAA HOW meeting yet but, like you, I knew as soon as I did that it was the best way for me to work the programme, providing me with a structure and discipline that I couldn’t achieve on my own.
Regarding the questions, not sure how much you know but they need to be done in a very specific way.
First, you need to find a sponsor as you can’t do the questions or indeed the steps without one. When you have one they will start you on the questions, there are in fact 37 questions. The first seven, given to you daily by your sponsor need to be answered in order to establish your bottom lines. When this has been done you will have your official sobriety date and this is when you begin the questions. Again, these will be given to you one a day for 30 days by your sponsor. You will read your answer to the question and receive the next question on a daily basis. If you slip you will then stop the 30 questions and go on to slip questions. I am currently coming to the end of my questions and the experience has been amazing. The questions are very carefully thought out and really get you to look at your addiction from every possible angle, taking you from step 1 to 3 in a way that allows you to feel the changes and really understand the steps and yourself. I hope you do decide that SLAA HOW is for you and that you do find a sponsor and start the questions. I wish you well.
Hi. When I started SLAA HOW a year ago, I felt the same way. I wanted to know the questions first so that I had a more complete picture before embarking on my recovery. However, since finishing the questions and working as a sponsor, I now feel differently for several reasons 1. As said earlier the questions are cleverly laid out, each one adding to the one before, to give a complete picture. If I had known the questions beforehand, I would have planned each answer differently knowing that it would be discussed at another time. 2. Just having to think about one question at a time allowed me to devote all my time to just one question, and to discuss that question with my sponsor. (keeping it simple). 3. Daily contact with a sponsor is so important in opening up and breaking the addictive cycle. Having a reason to ring, to get the next question was an encouragement to me. So don’t worry about getting the questions, find a sponsor instead, work the programme and in time you too will end up a sponsor working the same 30 questions with others! You will be pleased it was done one question at a time.Prof
Today is my first day. I’m married 10 yrs with 2 children. This year I had an affair and now i can’t stop. I want it all the time. Even in places where people know me. I had sex in a parking lot with a man 10 yrs younger with my car seat in the back and people saw us. This is way to out of control. And I also obsess over these men, and when I’m or they are done I have no problem moving on and replacing that love fantsay to another man. Also I have a wonderful husband. Kind, attentive and a great father…..Why am I doing this? Also Ive lost 35 pounds. I never think of eating just men.
Hi Kev, thank you for your share, I so identify with the idea of resolving never to do something again only to find yourself slipping back into old behaviour, it really is the first step of this programme i.e total powerlessness over our addiction, a desperation to stop and a total inability to do so on our own. I also identify with the feeling that this is simply the script of my life and there is not much I can do about it, it really left me feeling in total despair as my acting out never brought me anything but pain in the end and still I carried on. For me, things have started to change and this is because I turned to the fellowship. I would say get to a meeting, you have nothing to lose, I don’t know where you live but if you are able to find a local one then give it a go and I am sure you will get some great identification and understanding and you will certainly find a great deal of support. I have shared this many times but I was told to try 6 meetings before making a decision as to whether I wanted to commit to the programme and this was a good suggestion. Go to the meetings, listen to the similarities not the differences, share if you can and talk to others after the meeting and maybe get some phone numbers. If there are no meetings close to you I would suggest trying the 40 questions of self diagnosis and reading up on some of the SLAA literature just to get started. You have made a really big leap by logging on to this sight and by honestly sharing and I wish you all the best. I have been where you are and know how much it hurts but for me this fellowship is slowly re-assuring me that I can change one day at a time and that I am worth more than the misery and despair that I have been living with for so long. Take good care and get to those meetings, I believe that there lies the solution. Grace
Hi colatowner you may or may not be a sex and love addict but one of the things you said got me wondering if your sexualbehaviour might be related to another issue. The fact that you mentioned that you don’t eat may indicate a few different treatable health conditions. However you need to talk to a doctor about it. Your comment made me think about a few things that I have read in a number of books on sexual addiction. I cannot mention these on here as we are not supposed to talk about other therapies. Your may indeed be a sex and love addict but it is worth exploring all issues. You would be very welcome in Slaa while your working this all out and you will find non-judgemental support and fellowship. Your not alone colatowner.
I worry about this too… I feel I am about to start a relationship with someone who means the world to me, but can I trust myself? but how can i turn away from him when we’re both falling in love with each other? I feel my issue is specifically with sex rather than romance…. i want to deal with my addiction without compromising what might be my best relationship yet.
Maybe then a period of no sex is best for you.Romance and love should not be based entirely on what goes on under the covers… If you are worried that you are a sex addict then a period without men is advisable. In slaa usually a period of abstience is advised, from 30 days to a year; and most people seem to remain abstient from sex or any relationship until after step 9. Consider giving yourself some time to come to terms with your illness, before embarking on another relationship. Try a SLAA group, and take it from there. Best of luckProf.
I can live with that around alcohol and drugs, no problem, but to say that I have to stay single all my life is just…I don’t know…so empty!! Saying this, if it’s better than drinking again or jumping in front of a train, which has crossed my mind.
Seden the good news is that you don’t have to remain single all for the rest of your life – just for a relatively short period of recovery until you get back on your feet, and are able to recognize harmful people, patterns & situations. Remember because we are human we need love, and most of us need sex in our lives. The only substances we need in our lives are food, water, clothing and shelter. Not alcohol or drugs.
All the best.
Nero is so right. Everyone needs the time away from the crazy emotional and sexual activites. It really is the only way to get well. Just do it a day at a time. I occasionally have slips but I certainly do not act out like I used to.
Seden you are not alone and we are all just trying to get through the day, week, month, year and eventually life. It is impossible to do it alone and you will find help in slaa. Take what you like and leave what doesn’t work for you. If you keep an open mind you will find the help and answers that you need. I was on holiday recently in a place that was a real acting out area for me. However because I turned my will, my life and my sexuality over to my higher power, I did not act out. Didn’t mean I was neutered and didn’t have sexual feelings but I didn’t act out. However I do think you do need to stop the addictive stuff until you can see what is healthy emotional and sexual stuff and what is damaging to you or others. Remember sober sexuality doesn’t have to be boring sexuality or no sexuality. Fergus
Hi Fergus. I am a good six months sober. Please explain, in a little more detail, how sober sexuality doesn’t have to be boring sexuality or no sexuality? It seems to be so for me. It interests me how you think otherwise. If I understood that I might enjoy my sobriety a little more and benefit from sustaining it rather than hoping it is the key to myself and one day the door will open, god willing, after which time I can resume sexual behaviour. Many thanks, G
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Whatever method to get well we choose, we always need to remain honest, open-minded and willing to listen & change. This is the basic premis of the original 12 Step Fellowship, AA. It is spelled out in the appendix of their Big Book. This literature is where the HOW methodology sprang from. This by implication means all methods of true recovery are HOW. There is no distinction, and in SLAA as a wide Fellowship, there also is no distinction. If we keep these 3 concepts in mind, we will always get well. When I entered SLAA recovery 4 and a half years ago, there were very, very few available/ visible sponsors or people working an effective programme (by this I mean people who had become able to stop acting out in their own personal bottomline behaviours), so I had little choice other than to follow the HOW method of recovery. Despite my protestations, it actually worked, and in fact I think it only worked BECAUSE of my protestations, my rebelliousness, my feet-dragging, my mistakes, slips, steps backwards, etc… We all have our own personal footprint of recovery, so I wish you all the best. From a practical point of view, there are dozens of self-help books that explain how to work 12 steps that you can apply to sex & love addiction.
May be you can follow these or one of them with at least one other person? So long as you remain honest, open-minded and willing, you can never go wrong. Let us know how you get on.
Thank you Nero. Yes I am HOW so I should be OK. I have been around another 12 step programme for a long time and have found great recovery there. I am re-doing my 12 steps in my other fellowship because of being in SLAA. I know I need to look more at relationships/sexuality etc as part of my step 4. Am really confident that my Slaa membership will keep me honest. To be honest until I came to slaa my step 4 would have been at best incomplete because of my lack of awareness around sex and love addiction.
If I cannot do the 12 steps of slaa the regular way then I am not fearful of doing them the HOW way.
As you say as long as I keep it HOW then I will get through. I intend to stay around slaa for the rest of my life.
I liked your reply – thanks for sharing. I have experienced recovery in other fellowships, worked the steps with a sponsor and sponsored others. I now find myself once again brought to my knees again by this addiction (or is it just one addiction that manifests in different ways?). Cunning, baffling and powerful indeed. I would really like to crack on with the steps and am intrigued by the HOW method which I’d not heard of before looking into SLAA (its a few years since I left the other fellowships). There are no meetings in my area and I’m wondering if it is going to be possible for me to work these steps without a sponsor? I know how good my head is at telling me that black is white, up is down and she’s the one that will fix me – and how often I will believe what I know in my heart to be arrant nonsense. When you said you had little choice but to work HOW – did you have a sponsor? I’m assuming that you must have had as it involves your sponsor asking you a question a day. I am sober just over a week from my bottom lines – I believe I’ve taken the first three steps. I think I’m ready to do my step 4, but just have this niggling doubt that I should wait for a sponsor to work with – but is that just another way to procastinate? Anyway I don’t need to sort it all out tonight. If you have any feedback and/or advice – I’d be glad to hear it. Thanks
There is always the dichotomy/ paradox/ whatever you want to call it: recovery depends on nobody else except me but at the same time I need others to help me.
The same is true of Sponsorship. The 12 Steps are Universal Concepts – they have always existed – centuries before AA came around. They have been called a million things before and always will. The point is that to experience recovery we need help by reflecting back with others, learning from others who have been there before us, asking for practical, common-sense help from somebody who understands us (this is what we call “Fellowship”). By the the same principle – love cannot exist in a vacuum, on its own. It needs another to make it exist, to make it happen. In the same way all Fellowships say we need the help of others to show us the way to recovery.
This is a baffling, clever disease that tells us we are well when we are fatally sick. Fellowship & Sponsorship exist to tell us the truth. It is probably the single most important factor in stopping acting out, so yes – get a sponsor if you are an addict. If you can get well in sex & love things without a Sponsor I would think that you are probably not a sex & love addict at all.
The SLAA steps require a Sponsor to show you the way to permanent sobriety, so I would take your time, certainly not even attempt a Step 4 which can be intensely painful even with the help of others, let alone in an isolated bubble.
There are online meetings, Sponsors, telephone Sponsors all available through this site & the main U.S. website at F.W.S. Try them and try to get to your nearest meeting, wherever that may be. If you need to, start your own meeting like they did at Nottingham, Exeter, Plymouth, Sheffield, etc.
Advertise it here on this site & ask for somebody to join you. There used to be a meeting in Leeds so it is not impossible… Whatever you choose to do, you are never alone.
Dear Soconfused Don’t be too harsh on yourself, you sound like you have been through such a lot and continue to be. I have been exactly where you are and it was to be truthful horrendous. However it sounds like you now could be in a more hopeful and positive place. Is there a support group near you? There you will find lots of people in the same or similar position to you, who understand what you have been through and are experiencing now. Their support will prove invaluable. I would also suggest you read around the topic of love/sex addiction, texts are easy to find especially online, and they really help to clarify and gain understanding of this disease. For your own well being I would also suggest that you try to keep a distance from your partner, this may prove to be very difficult but ultimately very important in trying to aid your recovery. Space does seem to show things in a different light, from lovers to friends in an addictive relationship in my experience is an impossibility. Reading some of the stories on here and posting your feelings may also prove beneficial. Never for a moment think you are alone in what you are feeling or the situation you are in…nothing could be further than the truth.You sound a lovely person, I wish you peace & serenity
Thank you that was helpful. I do feel very alone but am scared of going to meetings because I feel so ashamed, also the entire relationship has been secret and it is difficult to break out of that. Re your comments about friendship I know we cannot remain friends as to do that would be keeping more secrets from his wife. But he is so sure we can do this and I know he is having such a tough time. Although it is so messed up we have always been there for each other and I just can’t imagine getting through this without each other.Mad I know! He is now having therapy and I was wondering if I could get some as well. Oh dear, I think this is going to be such a tough time. It has helped to see a reply, thank you
Dear Soconfused I cant imagine that there is a person present at any meeting that has not done anything that they are not ashamed of…I think shame comes hand in hand with this disease. Secrets are not good because they allow you to normalize behaviour that is no such thing…when you talk and listen to others and find similarities in their stories it allows you to question the questionable, to stop believing the unbelievable and to know that you are not alone. This disease is very isolating. You say you want to stay friends and ultimately that is for you to decide but dont conveniently forget that while he wasnt seeing you he was involved with another lady who now is with child….you didnt go into detail but this must be devastating for you. Why empathise with him when the situation is of HIS own making, what about YOU, the pregnant lady, the child and what about his wife! You will get through with or without him…because what else can you do? You are stronger than you think you are…I am certain of that. Therapy is invaluable, I met the most amazing therapist and group of ladies all in the same situation. I wasnt judged or condemned and I finally understood what has been happening to me for so long and why I have continued to let it happen. We are co-dependent to the addicts, but our addiction is them! I have read and read and read it so helps (type love addiction into the well known online book supplier and loads of titles will come up!) ….and things do make sense to me now…….however if my ex gets in touch with me I disregard all I have learnt and act in ways that leave me humiliated, in contempt of myself and always alone…he always leaves, he always rejects me until he is ready to dance again. My needs are never addressed let alone met. If nothing changes nothing changes, I have cut myself off from him and refuse to be hooked back in, hooked back into the dance. My life is now about looking after me, I have always put myself last, I am learning to say no…ultimately I am the only person I can control…its time I had love for me. Take care.
Hello Greta Your story, like Soconfused’s really touched me. You sound so together and really aware of your situation and seemingly have taken the steps to end the ‘dance’. I have learnt that I am almost predisposed to find unavailable, men who cant love utterly irresistible. Heaven knows how the pattern can be broken…I have been dating since the age of 21…am 40 now. I have never been in a relationship with a good man, one who appreciates me and treats me like I am worthy of love.I don’t think I have ever been loved by anyone….what an admission…the first time I realized it I was distraught now I am quite indifferent to it. Your husband sounds a good man, do you have a positive & nurturing relationship with him…could you put the attention and focus you put on the addict into your relationship with him? The addiction to something that we know is not good for us seems to me quite extraordinary but it is so difficult to overcome. Apparently the root lies in childhood. I have read a number of books as I stated before, Women who love too much Robin Norwood, Betrayal bond Patrick Carnes, How to break your addiction to a person Howard Halpern, and the books by Melody Beattie are just amazing. I think once you get to your bottom line in these relationships it can help you to see clearly the truth you have tried hard to deny. It sounds like you have reached yours too. I love the way you enlisted your friend to help support you in the choices you had made. Have you thought of joining a group? Don’t be hard on yourself, in the midst of these entanglements we will do things we will regret later…but what done is done! The future is ours to seize. Wishing you peace & love
Hello Greta Your story, like Soconfuseds really touched me. You sound so together and really aware of your situation and seemingly have taken the steps to end the ‘dance’. I have learnt that I am almost prediposed to find unavailable, men who cant love utterly irresistable. Heaven knows how the pattern can be broken…I have been dating since the age of 21…am 40 now. I have never been in a relationship with a good man, one who appreciates me and treats me like I am worthy of love.I dont think I have ever been loved by anyone….what an admission…the first time I realised it I was distraught now I am quite indifferent to it. Your husband sounds a good man, do you have a positive & nurturing relationship with him…could you put the attention and focus you put on the addict into your relationship with him? The addiction to something that we know is not good for us seems to me quite extraordinary but it is so difficult to overcome. Apparently the root lies in childhood. I have read a number of books as I stated before, Women who love too much Robin Norwood, Betrayal bond Patrick Carnes, How to break your addiction to a person Howard Halpern, and the books by Melody Beattie are just amazing. I think once you get to your bottom line in these relationships it can help you to see clearly the truth you have tried hard to deny. It sounds like you have reached yours too. I love the way you enlisted your friend to help support you in the choices you had made. Have you thought of joining a group? Dont be hard on yourself, in the midst of these entanglements we will do things we will regret later…but what done is done! The future is ours to seize. Wishing you peace & love
I can identify entirely with your situation. i got involved with somebody I used to know thru friends re last year. he was so charming, teasing and flirtatious that i was drawn into his web almost immediately. both our spouses had been seriously ill so much empathy blablabla. he was so unhappy after breaking up with another woman he had been having a six-year affair with, his marriage was almost sexless he said. real sob story and I fell for it. my rival became his ex. his wife wasn’t even in the picture. loved my husband but was in need of romance and excitement….i had never had any other partner in my life apart from my husband. that is the truth. months of passionate writing ensued, him telling me he wasn’t right for me, confessing he was a philanderer and had cheated on his wife throughout their marriage…he had had lots of brief encounters, no emotional involvement. but i was hooked to a cheat and a liar. ..even told him so and the insults and accusations would fly as we both had tempers…but then I would crawl back for more. We finally met up and spent one night together which he said was great but was a huge let down for me. as cool as a cucumber and almost no emotion came from him. when i returned to my country our emails became even more passionate but the guilt i felt freaked me out and we would have huge arguments. another chance to get together during another trip but i freaked and couldn’t go through with it. in the meantime his wife had discovered his previous affair, had thrown him out and then taken him back. but he still hadn’t wanted to give me up. guilt, our consciences, fear, whatever, stopped us from seeing each other in June. since then its been on off but I realize i only ever got his attention if i offered sex. talking about emotions was a no go area. would say ‘it’s not that I don’t have feelings’ and stuff like that but nothing more. wife has decided she wants to get adventurous and swinging seems to be on the cards and I’ve decided that I can’t go there. and for ten days it’s been really hard. wanted to stay friends and keep writing because I’ve tried so hard to stop time and time again but I’m addicted. But yesterday’s emails left me very bitter and suspicious. Told him I had joined LAA(America) and he was offended I felt i had to recover. I sent a definition of what love, sex and romance addiction is hoping he’d see some of his own traits too but I really don’t think he cares. he was the one to bring up the expression ‘no contact’ so I feel he must know more than he is letting on… or am I just being paranoid about this too? I’m disgusted with myself, want to give him up for good even tho’ i told him I’d wait for him forever, feel sorry for his poor wife. and my poor husband. have blocked him as a contact on msn. removed that email account from my mobile, got my friend to open my inbox this morning and delete if there was anything, change the password and then close down account I’ve had enough. he’s a manipulative narcissist and sex addict. I was addicted to the cybersex but have kicked that already. definitely a one-off for me because he kept pushing boundaries. now I must get rid of my addiction to his weird kind of ‘love’
Phew! The pain that comes from reading these replies is almost overwhelming. I know my first step has to be to stop the secrecy and hopefully being on here will help with that. I also know I am in love with him and know he is now working on himself, at times I have been worried about him because he is honestly devastated at the chaos and pain he has caused. But part of that working on himself means I just have to get out of his life. I understand but can’t quite get my head around that by being with me he is acting out! feeling i am an addiction makes me feel so undervalued. We did such a lot together , I supported him through such difficult times and for such a long time. what is making it even more difficult is that I am prepared to read up on and work through this stuff and I have been so instrumental in getting him to see what is happening. he has talked to me about all of it. I suppose deep down I keep thinking we can get through it and start a different relationship! stupid I know. This is so hard Thanks to everyone who has posted replies. Will keep on trying
Dear soconfused and Greta,This is my first posting, and I’d like to say that you are not alone. I too am in love with a sex addict, and in my case he is married too. I thought my love and patience could eventually change him; it didn’t, but it did make him somewhat aware of his addiction. He acknowledges it but I’m not sure he will work on it; it has been with him for so long. It’s really difficult, being in love with an addict. Don’t underestimate the challenge and so don’t be hard on yourself for despairing. I realized that I couldn’t do this by myself, and so now see a therapist to understand myself better. Even if my guy doesn’t want to go to therapy (I had hoped he would), I can’t do anything about it — ultimately, it’s his life. I have cut off contact with him now, and am slowly divorcing him from my life. And it’s hard, sometimes I think I can’t go on, but we have to. Your life is precious and you deserve love and peace; but don’t wait for something in the future. My therapist gave me a book (EDITED). I highly recommend it. It’s about living without pain, without dependency. Be strong, BM
Me again. I suppose what I wonder is if a sex addict is prepared to work on issues and the partner can also work on the co dependency then can the relationship ever work? Does it have to be done apart from each other? can the sex addict do the work and the partner do nothing, how would that work?I know he is married and should do this with his wife and I have no place
Hello again! I dont think the relationship can work …which one of you is his partner…you, his wife, the pregnant girlfriend, are you sure there are no other ladies you dont know of? Each of the ladies he is involved with is his co-dependent. Regardless the addict must want to get help for himself, he must realise he has a problem, he must have reached his bottom line and feel that he is powerless over his addiction. If you are the only one doing the work nothing can really change. Both of you must want to seek help otherwise you will continue to act as triggers for each other. In my experience if you are asking him to get help for himself that he does not really want, he will establish a new relationship with someone who is oblivious to his addiction or re-enter an already established relationship where no pressure is put on him to change or alter his behaviour. I so understand your questions but I think you already know the answers. Put yourself first….love yourself more than him, stop believing the unbelievable, dont settle for crumbs. Wishing you clarity & peace
Well done for reaching out. Its already a brave and great step. Even if you are not sure if you are “as addicted as others” it will be worth trying a few meetings out to see where you are. People of all ages, races, backgrounds & classes attend meetings. Sex and Love Addiction is a clever condition which shows no discrimination. Do not let your age make any difference. You will be surprised how young some members are, and how old some members are. I began to see my addictiveness in relation to sex and love from the age of 15.
Just turn up – be a little early to give yourself a psychological advantage, and to give yourself time to have a cup of tea when you get there. You don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to and you can leave at any time if you feel you want to. You do not have to say a word or share if you don’t want to. There are some meeting formats downloadable from this website (under the Meetings tab to the left of this page, then the Starter Kit tab) if you want to look at the format to make you feel more comfortable. Some central London meetings can sometimes be very crowded and may be overwhelming if you are new so you might prefer smaller meetings further out of town – it depends where you are based.
Whatever you do, try at least 6 meetings before you decide if it is right for you. Even if you hate the first meeting (and most people do) return another time or try a different venue. There are special focus meetings which you might prefer – eg./ Women only, Men only, LGBT, H.O.W. (a particular method of following the Steps), etc. There is usually literature that can answer all your questions. Great pamphlets and Beginner’s Kits. You can take phone numbers of members if you want, or go for coffee after meetings to talk further.
Good Luck and let us know how you get on.
I am in very similar situation to you. I too have been in a very deep and serious (for me in any case) relationship with a married man for about nine years. It has caused me so much pain and unhappiness. He seemed to me to be totally obsessed and in love with me and we had a great time. We spent virtually all our time together, saw him 7 days a week , went on holidays together and it seemed only a matter of time before something would change, for the better for me and him.But it never did and as the years have drifted by I have got more desperate and unhappy with this situation. I have come to realize that he is a sex and love addict – as I am – we are each others addictions, but the bottom line is he will never leave his wife and children and I now need to start to pull my life together away from him. It is really hard and not want I want to do, but what else can I do? If I don’t do this I will get sucked in even deeper and get more and more depressed. So tonight I am going to my first SLAA meeting. I feel ashamed he is married – I feel ashamed I have come to this – I don’t want to give him up – but I need to do something. We have had a miserable time over the last month, least I have, feeling unhappy and unloved and not listened to . So last week I said I need some space and I have not seen or spoken to him. It is torture. Sometimes I am OK, but a lot of the time I miss him so much it hurts and I keep thinking OK I will go back and just keep accepting the crumbs he offers me ‘cos I can’t take this unhappiness. I am going to the meeting to try to break this cycle. I hope it works. I don’t feel strong enough to get through this on my own and because of my shame around him being married I feel I have very few people to talk to about it.See what happens tonight?
Yes I know you right. He does want to help and has entered therapy. I pushed it last year which I now think resulted in him going into the relationship which has resulted in the pregnancy. I am confident that there are no longer other women I don’t know about, we have talked so much about it all, including when he has started the chase again and stopped.The difficulty I have and which is upsetting me is he is getting help, I am getting help.His wife insists it is all down to him and she has no role at all . I can’t help thinking we could have some space and at some point get back again
Just turn up. We are all in similar situations. Many people have issue around sex, some arounglove others have a part of the addiction called social, sexual and emotional anorexia so it is quite complex. Just get along to meetings there are many younger people that attend so you won’t be sitting in a room full of 6o year olds. Mind you we have some of those also. Most people are very supportive and friendly.
I identified so much with this, in particular not having anyone to talk to because of the shame. I am hurting so much at the moment but there’s a part of me that thinks its all my own fault and I should have known better. How did your meeting go? Did it help? Hope you get somewhere, you are so brave to have taken this step. Try and stay strong, I ended my relationship last year and started it again a few months later.It is now so much more difficult and painful for so many people because of the addition of another woman who is pregnant. I wish I had had the strength to stay away and not need to have known about it at all. So good luck and stay strong.
I so know the place you are in at the moment. I ended this relationship about a year ago ‘cos I couldn’t bear it any more and knew it was pulling me down. But I was totally addicted to him and I just couldn’t stay away. I really tried for about five months, when he pursued me relentlessly and in the end, ‘cos he had said all the things I wanted to hear, I drifted back into it again. But it has been good for only very limited periods of time. We have had some good times, but most of the time I was angry and negative and thinking it was the wrong relationship for me to be in, but feeling too fearful to put it down. What else was there for me out there?Don’t know what has pushed me into wanting to get out of it again, I think I have sunk so low I can see that I have to do something to get away from it ‘cos it pulls me down. Also, if I want a love relationship for myself, then I have to leave him to be open to that in the future. At this point in time I can’t imagine feeling like I do towards him about some-one else, but equally I feel that I deserve and want more and I’m going to have to just go with this pain if that is what I really want. If I don’t and keep going back, then it must mean I want all this pain and misery for myself.The shame is terrible I know. But you have been put in that place by him really, so it is nothing to be ashamed of – easy for me to say, it is only very recently that I have felt able to talk about this relationship to people cos I felt it was shameful and I deserved all that I got.And yes the meeting did help. I will go again soon and I’m reading lots and trying to stay strong and not have any contact with thim – one day at a time….Hope somenthing of what I have said helps – you are not alone – I understand where you are coming from. Are you going to any meeting yourself? Take care x
Hello am sending you a big virtual hug! I am so sorry that you find yourself in such a difficult situation. I would suggest that whilst your partner is having help you seek some for yourself at the same time.
You have been in a terribly difficult situation and continue to be. You need help too to help you understand why you have been able to suffer and stay in such turmoil and pain for so long. Also you are concentrating predominately on your partners needs, feelings and situation, what about you, what do you need, what do you want? Counseling, reading, posting on here, joining a group etc will all help you to shift the focus onto yourself and your daughter, and will help you to realize however isolated you have been and may continue to be, that you really are not alone.
You will be able to set boundaries and bottom lines that will help protect you, and you will also discover what we as codependents do often unwittingly to support the addictions of those with whom we are involved. I recommend reading Women who love too much by Robin Norwood and The Love Trap by Melody Beattie and The Betrayal Bond as a start. I know exactly how you feel although you may find that hard to believe.I wish you peace and serenity
Hi Craig. The Covent garden Monday night meeting and Waterloo Tuesday night meeting both have good literature supplies.
In fellowship Nno.
Joyful in hope; patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.
Thankyou so much. It has been helpful to go through postings on sites like this and read articles online and ive ordered some of the books you mentioned. I know i have spent too much of my time concentrating and worrying about his state of mind and how this all this effects him , even supporting him and standing by him when he wnnt to prison for masturbating in public ,even though at the time i was 8 months pregnant with our daughter and was left to go through the rest of the pregnancy and labour by myself. My focus was always his feelings, missing out on the birth and those first few months with his child. Thats not to say i haven’t let him know just what i feel and what he’s put me through , we’ve had many arguments over his behaviour and my comments can often be downright vicious ,which i know does more harm than good , but i know it gets to him and sometimes i just want him to feel a little of the hurt he makes me feel. i feel very confsed at the moment , my emotions are very conflicting. Whilst i am glad and relieved that he is finally seeking help im worried that even if he can “get better” , controls his addiction , that i will still always be angry , untrusting , that i will be bitter and constantly throw the past back at him. This only my second post and already i feel a weight has been lifted , even if no one else reads it it feels good to express my feelings as there is no one i can talk to about any of this. Today im going to look into some counselling.
Thank you for your honest and moving posts. I believe that writing things down, sharing your feelings really does help in recovery. I expect many people will read your posts and relate to what has been said. Within my own recovery, I don’t think I will ever say that I have “recovered” only that I am a “recovering” sex and love addict.
I certainly have got a lot better since attending SLAA. I am sure that your partner will benefit greatly from his rehab, spending time looking at the underlying causes. His acting out was the effect, not the cause of his addiction. He needs to get to grips with the causes.
You have mentioned already one, his sexual encounter when 14. He will need to look at all the other causes. This takes time. I am married, and though I never expect my wife to truly know how I feel, nor would I want her to know all of my history, I know that while she stands by me in my recovery, my relationship with her is improving.
I am a better person than I was 18 months ago before SLAA. It is very important for you to have your own recovery/counseling. Having been through such pain, its important to fully discuss your feelings with a counselor.
Keep up the counseling and best wishes for the future.
Glad to talk to you again. I must agree with Prof and say that embarking on counseling is a super step.
I’m sure you will find the talking empowering and that it will enable you to express any anger and emotions you rightly feel, without fear of judgement.
It will take time to recover and you will have plenty of decisions to make. Whatever you do try to maintain the counseling that you start and keep reaching out to those who wish to help you. You have been alone for a long time but need not suffer alone and in silence any more.
I’m so glad you have tried to get those books I mentioned, they really, really helped me and am certain they will be a comfort to you as well. Take the time to nurture yourself now, what makes you happy, what do you love to do, what lifts your spirits?
Try to reconnect with the little one inside you and spoil her…you know she deserves it!
All the best to you
Reading this has made me realize that it may not be just me that needs help. The woman whom I’ve had an affair with for 6 years must be going through all that you have talked about. She now knows my problem with online addiction, escorts and cheap thrills..Its consuming me and my life, but I’ve never thought how she could be just as obsessed with me…I’m meeting up with her today and I don’t know what is going to happen. She knows now that I’ve made the first step to recovery and I have counseling sessions coming up..I feel so ashamed on how I’ve treated her but in the back of my mind I’m thinking does she need help from me? Our nights together got steamier with more and more sex, she talked about a fantasy to bring in another woman…. She now is calling our relationship a bit weird at the moment? I tried to state that was understating it a bit…due to being discovered by her online. I don’t want to ask how she arrived on an escort site too (Or should I?) I know she loves me and does wish that one-day I will leave my wife and family…Are we self-destructive to each other? I love her deeply to, but my head is spinning and I can’t seem to function with life at the moment. I just feel that I’m the problem and should leave everyone and vanish for good.
Be gentle with yourself.
Hi Paige sorry for all your confusion and pain. Try to get to a meeting if you live near one.Your not alone.
Dearest Paige please dont say that its just not true, you are a precious child of God, you are perfect in your imperfection as we all are. Would you ever speak to someone the way you have just spoken about yourself ? Never I am sure. You have been brave, and strong and amazing in reaching out and getting the help you needed. You have suffered a setback but this setback does not put you back to square one because of all the knowledge you have now acquired. You are right you think you love them….because of the reasons you stated but I am sure if you tried to list genuine reasons for loving this person you wouldnt be able to. Keep looking ahead how can you use this situation to push you on and advance your plans? As codependents we are drawn to people we perceive as being stronger than us, in reality they are the weaker ones. We overlook the flaws in them but magnify the ones in ourselves. You can continue on your journey please dont harm or hurt yourself. I would suggest you see your doctor about your depression, could you join a SLAA group? Could you do some reading? You can get these books from the library or online. We must love ourselves more than anyone else, and until we get that right we will continue to look for love in all the wrong places. I am in a sexual/social anorexic phase like you were, at the moment….feeling too scared & vulnerable to connect with people for fear of more pain….I will come through it but for now this feels the safest place to be. I have good days and bad but I too have plans for my life and for me. I am trying to be fulfilled in other ares of my life and so far so good.Please take care
Dearest Paige please dont Dearest Paige please dont say that its just not true, you are a precious child of God, you are perfect in your imperfection as we all are. Would you ever speak to someone the way you have just spoken about yourself ? Never I am sure. You have been brave, and strong and amazing in reaching out and getting the help you needed. You have suffered a setback but this setback does not put you back to square one because of all the knowledge you have now acquired. You are right you think you love them….because of the reasons you stated but I am sure if you tried to list genuine reasons for loving this person you wouldnt be able to. Keep looking ahead how can you use this situation to push you on and advance your plans? As codependents we are drawn to people we perceive as being stronger than us, in reality they are the weaker ones. We overlook the flaws in them but magnify the ones in ourselves. You can continue on your journey please dont harm or hurt yourself. I would suggest you see your doctor about your depression, could you join a SLAA group? Could you do some reading? You can get these books from the library or online. We must love ourselves more than anyone else, and until we get that right we will continue to look for love in all the wrong places. I am in a sexual/social anorexic phase like you were, at the moment….feeling too scared & vulnerable to connect with people for fear of more pain….I will come through it but for now this feels the safest place to be. I have good days and bad but I too have plans for my life and for me. I am trying to be fulfilled in other ares of my life and so far so good.Please take care
Hi jmarie. Thank you for your post. I have been with my partner for 4 years and married 6 months. I found out on honeymoon about his SLAA and cheating. I feel your pain, i know your pain. I have been and maybe sometimes still am where you are. Always concerned for him, what if i upset him.I am seeking support from a therapist as well. I have good days and bad days. I would recommend that you seek support from a fellowship, this is when you realize that you are not alone in your pain, and confusion. My friends and family also cant understand why i am still with him and don’t believe that it is an addiction. The best piece of advice i have been given which has given me so much help is, don’t bring your friends and family into your problems, speak to people outside your family circle you can trust. As your friends and family see the pain your going through and cant see past that! My husband is in early recovery, he spent the first 6 weeks of our marriage in a clinic across the water and left me to deal with everything… the pain the rumors, it was hell.
But time heals!!!I am sending you my thoughts and strength. Keep talking and keep posting.
Most importantly get your life back on track learn to truely smile and laugh again! this helps.x
Hi Love4me, I am always of the opinion that genuine relationships develop over a period of time. There is no rush with health relationships. There is no need for them to be intense affairs. If you want to see how this guy really feels for you then love will wait. Be patient with him.
Consider not rushing (As you already haven’t done) into a relationship.
Be good friends. Gradually things may develop from there, or he or you may move on.
Healthy relationships also have time for friends and for yourself.
Healthy relationships are not codependent on someone 24 hours a day!.
Best wishes. Prof.
23 November 2009 – 11:13pm — Fergus Kelvin yes you can just turn Kelvin yes you can just turn up to one of the many meetings around london. There are various types HOW and non-HOW slaa meetings. HOW is just a structured way of working the programme.Try at least six different meetings to see if things make sense to you and whether SLAA is for you or not. You have made a great step in realising that you need help. Slaa has all types of people straight, gay, men ,women and is open to everyone who seeks help and support. The first few meetings wont make much sense to you but keep going back and things will start to clarify for you . Good luck.
Spender is so right about the changes that can happen in your life if you decide to reach out, ask for help and work a programme. However one point that I feel Spender has overlooked is the anorexia part of sexual acting out. I acted out sexually for a verylong time and thought it was just because I was highly or oversexed. The real reason was that I was absolutely terrified of intimacy with myself and my partner. I have not acted outsince last Easter and have found the sexual acting out, which I had though was the problemis only a sympton of the underlying issue that is anorexia. If your in London try to goto an anorexia focus meeting. It may not make sense immediately but it will if you keepcoming back. Your not alone.
I acted out a lot and at the I acted out a lot and at the heart of it was an aspect of sex and love addiction called anorexia. I was also very love and committment avoidant. Get to some meetings and you will work out whether slaa is for you or not. You do seem to have some behaviours that might suggest you are SLA. Just keep an open mind, get to meetings and your common sense will work things out for you. Good luck.
hello there!Your post struck a chord with me,I am 29 from a middle class family,relatively educated etc .I’ve always needed mens attention and approval….and even though I have a great guy…I still crave more from negative sources. Aged 18 to 22 even though I was going to uni, I worked in the sex industry in one form or another…be it phone sex, dating agencies,stripping and massage parlours/escorting but stopped when I was ‘rescued’ by my now husband and I continued to behave until several years and two little kids later when I started to crave it again,needing to flirt and seduce,wanting more new sexual partners and mini romances and even swinging or charging guys for sex. I was totally honest with my husband about my past and issues and he has been very supportive of me,despite it nearly splitting us up twice. I’m trying to stop my behaviour in it’s tracks now…seeing how pathetic and pointless it all is. I realised recently my behaviour has always been addicted (I have been addicted to love/sex/food issues) I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘Women, sex and addiction: a search for love and power’ by Charlotte Davis Kasl which has helped me to confirm that I really need to get help with my issues…before something terrible happens or I lose my husband/kids. It also gave me a bit of insight as to where they might have stemmed from. I’m hoping to start going to meetings soon. If you ever want to chat to me on msn let me know!It sounds weird but I am quite normal and fun and definately trying to get it sorted.
Hi, thanks for the reply. And yeah, it does sound like our stories are similar… I would really appreciate the opportunity to talk to someone about this, in fact Im supposed to find a sponsor. Im reluctant to put my email address up here. Is there anyways of contacting you privately on here. Failing that I’ll just set up a new hotmail account and post that here. But yeah, it would be good to have some one to throw ideas around with…. Im normal too honest!
Either attend your nearest Either attend your nearest meeting for help and advice or phone the SLAAUK Information line (the number is at the “Contact” tab at the top of this page) which will take a few days to return your call. They will direct you to your nearest meeting. Best of luck.
Hey, thanks for the reply…Are you going to go to any meetings? which area are you in?I’ve been behaving myself and getting rid of some ‘negative’ contacts who might lead me astray,also not been going out by myself looking for men. I feel a bit better for doing it but equally feel a bit bored and numb. I’m worried it might flare up again. I’m also not feeling attractive and as sexual as usual (which makes things a bit crap for me and hubby.) Maybe I’m shutting myself off a bit.I understand not wanting to post an email address…not sure what the bestway to go about it is? I know I have spoken to men pretending to be women several times from other sites…only way round it is a quick hello on the phone or webcam. It would be great to have another woman to talk to…a few people have laughed when I’ve told them I think I’m an addict. Even hubby doesn’t really understand it. Plus it’s hard to tell what is JUST ME and what is the addicteion…I feel like I’ve been addicted ever since I was very young. So differentiating between my healthy side and my addictive side,plus a bit of depression is sooo confusing. Sorry if I’m rambling!
hello, I have just found this site and read your stories. I have discovered my partner is a sex addict. He admits it and says he wants help and wants to stop. He has begged me not to leave him. I truely love him and want to help but I need to know can this addiction be overcome? I find myself having panic attacks, and horrible feelings I cannot explain, I feel so emtionally fragile. Can any one tell me if there is any hope for us as a couple and how do we get past the day to day pain?
Hi there …. I guess the most important thing you have done is admitting you have a problem and wanting to do something about it. It is tough trying to overcome something like this, and you really have to take one day at a time and look at the reasons why you seem to fall back into that place where you shouldn`t be. Goings to SLAA meetings will help as you will probably find that you are not alone in this and realise that people can change…. I`m sure with the support you can get from forums like this and the meetings you will change things for the better…. Best advice is not to give up and think long term …..
Hi likedami, I can probably relate to your partners situation coming from the other side (being a male) and know how he must feel if he is genuinely upset with how he has acted and wants to change. I can also understand how you must feel as my partner can really relate to you as well as she has had to deal with a lot and had the same feelings as yourself. Take things one day at a time and set some ground rules, depending on the type of addiction he has (i.e. if it is porn, take away the computer) and things like that. He should be willing to comprimise on anything and everything for a while as trust is a very hard thing to get back once it is lost…… Initially the addiction needs to be controlled, you need to make changes in your life which involves you both doing things together (e.g going away, going for meals, doing activities together……etc). It would be good to both go and see a councillor/therapist to deal with this together and encourage him to go to SA meetings. . . . Without knowing too much about your situation..i know that love is always something worth fighting for…..
hi, Just a thought, but I wonder whether you suffer from a love addiction yourself. You could try SLAA and decide after a few meetings whether it was right or not. Most people wouldn’t get themselves into a married relationship. It sounds like you may benefit from the SLAA group yourself.
Best wishes Prof
Actually loads and loads of people are in long term relationships with married people. A quick look at these forums will show you that.
Maybe I am sex addicted,maybe I’m not, but I think you have answered the main question for me and it seems I will not be accepted as the partner of a sex addict as he was married therefore I cannot be affected by his sex addiction.
Where would his wife attend, could she be a partner or is she sex addicted too?
Hi pinkluvlylady , I really would like the chance to chat to you, as what you’ve said resonates a lot with me! Ive gone to one meeting in London so far… I should go to more, but its actually tough finding the time. I have set up another email account, so drop me a line on (EMAIL ADDRESS DELETED) . It’d be nice to get the chance to talk to someone who understands and doesnt just tell me to ‘stop’. I’ve spoken to my bf about this a lot too, but its so hard, coz he’s emotionally involved. And obviously I dont want to hurt him any more then I already have… I have turned to friends too, but I dont think they really understand. So yeah, drop me an email. It’d be nice to chat to you, if you dont mind. I think we could learn a lot from each other. 🙂
IT IS SLAA POLICY NEVER TO PUBLISH PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESSES, CONTACT NUMBERS OR HOME ADDRESSES. THIS IS TO PROTECT THE SAFETY AND ANONYMITY OF ALL PERSONS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE FELLOWSHIP. IF YOU REQUIRE HELP FROM ADDICTION PLEASE ATTEND YOUR NEAREST MEETING. PLEASE BEAR IN MIND OUR MOST IMPORTANT TRADITION: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Elaine, Belfast Hi hr farnham, I would like to comment on the magazine article – how do we contact each other?
Hi Elaine Thanks so much for posting your reply. I’m not sure how we contact each other since numbers and emails are not allowed. Let me contact the site administrators and see if there is something we can do. Bear with me! Hannah
MODERATOR: IN RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST WE NEED TO REMIND YOU OF OUR TRADITION 11:Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow S.L.A.A. members.THEREFORE WE WILL BE UNABLE TO FACILITATE ANY MEETINGS WITH THE PRESS.
Have you checked the slaa US website. It has links to other countries.
If you can get to any 12 step meeting locally such as al-anon or Coda. Even open AA meetings would be OK. Just read the AA Book and substitute the word alcoholic with sex and love addict and the word alcoholism with sex and love addiction. It works. All addictions are basically similar.
The main way to release yourself from it is not to act out a day at a time. Just as an alcoholic stops drinking a day at a time.
There are many SLAA online meetings. Just google SLAA online meetings.
I wish you well. You are not alone.
To the moderator: Elaine wants to get in touch with the journalist, and it’s her choice to do so. Why are you interfering with her free will? Vegan and childfree, Lorelei from Coventry ADMIN: THANKS FOR THE ENQUIRY, LORELEI. WE ARE ALL FREE TO DO WHAT EVER WE LIKE REGARDING OUR RECOVERY – INCLUDING TALKING TO THE PRESS. HOWEVER WE MUST DO SO WITHOUT MENTION OF S.L.A.A. OR WITHOUT S.L.A.A. FACILITATING OR ENCOURAGING THIS. IN FACT S.L.A.A. POSITIVELY DISCOURAGES THIS FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: OUR FELLOWSHIP DEPENDS ON UNITY AND ANONYMITY WORLDWIDE, AND WITH THIS IN MIND WE CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTION BY BRINGING TO YOUR ATTENTION THESE 12 S.L.A.A. GUIDELINES WHEN DEALING WITH THE PRESS OR OTHER PUBLIC MEDIA: Recommended Guidelines for Dealing with the Media
I can’t tell you what to do, but it does sound like getting some support for you would help.
There are some treatment centers in the USA (can’t say which on here) that issue lists of UK therapists they have trained who can help support you with this stuff – so finding a place that treats his illness, then asking for a list of therapists is my suggestion.
Like others have said, finding a fellowship where you do feel at home would also help as you would then have a peer group of other people in the same boat.
Hello, Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have only recently admitted to myself that I am co-dependent and I am yet to attend meetings, but I still hope that my comment may be helpful to you.
I have had similar experiences. The man I am still involved with (we have been friends since early youth and were in a long-term relationship) also thrives on drama and intrigue without accepting that this is an addiction. It is not for me to tell him what to do and I have come to accept that I can’t manage his life for him, but like you said, I find it extremely difficult not to react when he tells me about the latest intrigues, or when I meet other people who tell me about this.
You seem to have done a very good job of not compromising your boundaries, and I can imagine it must be very distressing that you don’t feel safe in your other fellowship.
I have no experiences with any type of fellowship yet, but from a friend of mine who is a 12-stepper in NA I have got the impression that they take such things as personal boundaries and co-dependency issues very seriously.
Can you speak to your sponsor or other people in your meeting so they can help you ensure that you still have a safe space there? Your recovery should not be compromised by your ex’s problems.
Wishing you all the best,
Hi.This is my first ever contribution to this forum I just discovered.I am in Brighton and hope to attend one of the meetings.Please,we should remember that not all strong sexual appetite is wrong.It is when it affects your ability to function as a human being that it becomes an issue.If your partner has a much lower sex drive than you,it means just that.There are so many others you don’t know who have even stronger cravings and maybe you need to find them.Millions and millions would do anything to have a good sex drive.If you like to have many partners,it probably means you are not ready for a monogamous relationship at the moment and you should give yourself some time.I have read of women who have really churned out big time numbers and one day,they just meet a man they connect with in ALL aspects,get tired and decide to settle down.You are right in your name that you are not like other girls,but realise that there are other girls at the other end of the spectrum who have no true interest in sex and are having relationship issues as well on account of that.Do you know that some people can not function properly because of their INABILITY to find a sex partner,even when they have high sex drive,causing desperation and possible excessive masturbation and distress.If your normal daily function goes smoothly,your career,social and family life is fine,you have no business here no matter how many times you have sex or with how many people if you don’t feel sad about it.
Hi Thank You for sharing this. Your search to rediscover your light reminded me of a touching story I heard a few years ago which I’ve pasted below. I wish you well on your journey
The Given Light Barbara Hug
Once upon a time a man had heard, that in a foreign place, far away, there was a holy flame burning. So he got up and left his home to find the holy flame and bring some of its light back home to his house. He thought: ‘When I have this light, then I will have happiness and life and all the people I love will have it too.’He travelled far, far away and finally found the holy flame, with which he lit his light.
On his way back he had only one worry: ‘That his light could go out.’On his way home he met someone who was freezing and didn’t have any fire and who begged him to give him some of his fire. The man with the light hesitated for a moment. Wasn’t his light too precious, too holy to be given away for something ordinary like that? Despite these doubts, he decided to give some of his light to the one who was freezing in the darkness.The man continued his journey home and when he had almost reached his house a terrible thunderstorm started. He tried to protect his light from the rain and the storm, but at the end his light went out.
To return the long way back to the place where the holy flame was burning was impossible, he wouldn’t have had enough strength to go back this far – but he was strong enough to return to the human being whom he had helped on his way home……….and with his light he could light his own again.
Hi Slush puppy, what a story and how brave you have been in your life. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so pleased for you that you found SLAA. I too found slaa recently and I truly believe it is a life saver! I also now know that it is the love and relationship we build with ourselves that is key to finding contentment. It is wonderful to hear you say that after all your long and hard journey that you are now loving yourself at last. I have no doubt you are going to be great as you say… Best wishes
20 November 2010 – 12:08pm — green_manalishi I can relate very strongly I can relate very strongly to your post. Not been around as long as you yet, but suddenly I wonder who I am and where I go from here. My bottom line, at the moment, is not to have sex at all. That may change as I progress in the programme but it’s gotta be no to all sexual contact for the time being, at least until I get my bearings. This leaves a gaping hole. Like you I am also a recovering alcoholic, in my case with almost 10 yrs continuous sobriety, but plagued with all this sex stuff, much of it not at all pretty. I would go so far as to say that sobering up enabled the promiscuity. When I was a pisshead I was incapable and nobody would have wanted me anyway. I hope and pray for a solution through SLAA. I am currently on step one and have to say I have no denial problems I have known for years that I am a sex and love addict. I want peace, and to feel comfortable in my own skin, and to reduce the power that sex has over my being.
I am so relieved to find this site as recognise so much of what I have read in myself Can any woman please help me and give me the courage to find and attend a meeting I finally admitted what my life was like and need to change before it’s too late
Hi there, thanks very much for your very honest share, I hope it helped to voice what’s been going on. I think a lot of the people on this site will understand exactly the kind of feelings you’ve been going through, so there’s no need to apologize.
I haven’t been in a relationship with a sex and love addict, but as a child of an addict I can empathize a bit with the family members’ perspective.
There are several groups for the families and friends of sex/love addicts, which you might find helpful: www.cosa-recovery.org/states/International.html and www.sanon.org/MeetingsUK.htm. Otherwise Codependents Anonymous (www.coda-uk.org) may be helpful, and the following is a good leaflet: www.seattle-al-anon.org/PDF%20Files/S19-detatchment.pdf. These organizations are not affiliated with SLAA. If you don’t mind me saying, it may also be worth you looking at the SLAA questions (slaauk.org/40-questions-selfdiagnosis), as you talk about the powerful emotional effect this is having on you. If you are concerned about your drinking or eating, AA and OA are also available. My experience is that there is hope for me, whatever the addict in my life is doing or not doing, and that they don’t have to drag me down with them.
But I do have to focus on me and do my own healing.
Very best wishes with your recovery.
hi, Whats important is that he demonstrates to you and himself that he is willing to change. That isn’t just saying to you that he will change, it means dedication to recovery. meetings outreach calls and having a sponsor. I expect he is confused as SLAA has such a wide variation in presentations and issues that some meetings may seem less relevant. You could attend along with him at one of the open SLAA meetings to see what it is like. It would be best, however, after you have attended to let him attend others on his own. To overcome addiction requires honesty, of which he will struggle with if you are sitting next to him. I think you can learn to trust in him again, however, you are right to be wary for some time. It will take many months or years.
If you find yourself keep coming back to be with him then you may find CODA meetings useful for yourself.
Encourage him to attend SLAA for a while and see how it goes.
Best of luck Prof
Thank you for replying, after a counseling session it has become apparent that he is not exactly an addict……. but an attention addict? which I feel is worse, because he has no actual diagnosis but he is just a cheat! I treat him badly he retreats to someone else, I am sick of it all, I hate myself I hate him I hate the situation I’m in! Yes I’m drinking too much, no I’m not eating hey ho maybe the problem is mine……………… I’m self harming too which I know isn’t right but it temporarily makes me feel better for my shit life that I have created……………………
Thanks for your honest share pinkprincess.
You may find www.harmless.org.uk (not affiliated with SLAA) useful with the self-harming.
My experience with dealing with other peoples’ addictions is – is their behavior causing me concern? Whether they deny it or not, whether they get a diagnosis or not, is what I am seeing with my own eyes causing me problems? At all of the 12 step groups there is no requirement for membership, it is up to you to decide whether that group is helpful to you. I think if you go to an SLAA meeting you might find a lot of people who understand what you’re going through, a group of people who want to be in healthier relationships.
Best wishes in recovery.
I also wanted to say that MANY people understand what you are living with.
I have just extricated myself from 13 yrs with a sex addict (the definition is mine – our lives had become unmanageable because of his compulsion). I found initial help through COSA (in Sydney) and am currently reading Melody Beattie Codependent No More as I still recognize my codependent traits.
It is a hard road but I cannot tell you how much better things are for me now. I sleep (!), I have no anxiety (it returns whenever I am in contact with him – I’m working on that one), I am losing the hyper vigilance and I am a better mother. I am in recovery, but I am a long way off wanting a new relationship, even a healthy one! I have not got around to joining another group (now I am back in UK) but think that it will be a part of my continuing recovery. Everything changed when I realized that I did not have the cure for his behavior. The first step was sharing what had been hidden for years.
Recovery happens. It takes time and acknowledgement.
Hi there, I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone who shares your addictions, I found the convention a great place to meet people, though we’ll have to wait till the end of the year for that! There are online, phone and Skype meetings available, have a look at the meetings section on the USA website, www.slaafws.org for more details. Meeting times are usually Eastern time (=New York time, usually 5 hours behind us). You can get phonecards or special bundles on calling international numbers to make it more affordable, or use skype. slaauk.org/meeting-list/online-skype-meetings/
Hope that helps, all the best.
Hi there, I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone who shares your addictions, I found the convention a great place to meet people, though we’ll have to wait till the end of the year for that! There are online, phone and Skype meetings available, have a look at the meetings section on the USA website, www.slaafws.org for more details. Meeting times are usually Eastern time (=New York time, usually 5 hours behind us). You can get phonecards or special bundles on calling international numbers to make it more affordable, or use skype. Hope that helps, all the best.
Hi I’m fairly new to the fellowship and have started my 30 questions (am on number 3) with a Sponsor, but are there 30 questions or 37? My Sponsor says there are 30 in total, and I’ll work out my bottom lines at Q7 – but a post on here says 37 in total. Can anyone clear up my confusion? Thankyou
After a chat with my Sponsor last night, there are 37.
hi. There is a good slaa how skype meeting which is every day (various times). I believe the username is skypeslaahow
slaauk.org/meeting-list/online-skype-meetings/ Best wishes. Prof
hi. There is a good slaa how skype meeting which is every day (various times). I believe the username is skypeslaahow Best wishes. Prof
Hi Bee, I am one of the founding members of the Toddington group and have been going there for over 2 years. Its a lovely group, varying between around 8-10 people most weeks. We are all very friendly and welcoming. If you are a little nervous, I suggest you arrive a little before 7:30, perhaps 7:15pm. We are found around the back of the Methodist church. There is another meeting on at the same time (weightwatchers) which is bigger. We are in a small room to the right as you walk in. It mainly consists of women. We have an anorexic focus meeting on the first tuesday of each month which you might find good to attend. Another meeting which is almost all women is the Stevenage SLAA meeting on Thursday evenings.
Hopefully see you there sometime and good luck
Thanks for your message. There seem to be two steps in SLAA (and for that matter all 12 step recovery groups) which people dread. Step 4/5 – in which you write out your life history and talk about it to someone else, and the “dreaded” step 9. I too was a little worried about that step. However, on reflection, it took me over 18 months of SLAA work before I reached that step. The steps are laid out in a logical manner, taking each one in turn will eventually bring you to a place where you are able to consider this step. Although the length of time which this can take to reach this step,varies; and some people appear to reach it quite quickly, I would advise perhaps you take your time in your recovery. There is no rush to go through the steps, and doing each one slowly and thoroughly first will leave you in a much better state to make amends.
Making amends to someone else should only happen in a way which releases you or them. If it would make matters worse in making amends, then you can discuss this with your sponsor. It may be that its more appropriate to make amends in other ways such as living amends.
Good luck in your recovery. Prof.
Perfectly normal. I know how it feels to be panicky about step 9. I am nowhere near step 9 in SLAA, but I do have some experience in AA.
What I can tell you is that the steps are designed to be done in that order, so if you are just starting, you don’t even need to consider step 9. In fact I think steps 8 and 9 can be positively dangerous without the preceding steps. I have done more harm than good by jumping the gun on those steps. Each step is the key to the next one.
Once you have done a step, suddenly the next step becomes the “next right thing to do”. But not until.
Do you have a sponsor to guide you? If not, then it sounds like you would find it helpful to have one.
May your HP be with you. Kevin
Hi, your story is very similar to many in SLAA. Recovery is possible. You can go to any of the meetings – the HOW meetings always have a mention for newcomers. You will be very welcome. slaauk.org/meeting-list/
I know this is an old post but it’s still a valid question. I think it is an easy one to answer but a difficult one to put into practice. If your masturbation, or anything else for that matter, is obsessive and compulsive then you have a problem, if not then go for it, as long as it is not hurting anyone else of course (a lot of porn is abusive to those taking part even if they are consenting; would they do it if they had other ways of surviving?) For a definition of Obsessive Compulsive then search online or even look at SLAA’s 40 Questions.
Dear Charlie, Thankyou for all your messages. Its great that you get solice being able to write on these forums. Stick with it. SLA is hard work. Try and get to a local meeting or perhaps visit london for a few days to get meetings. In time you may even be able to set one up locally to yourself! Just sharing your thoughts helps you to let go of your addiction. Best wishes, Prof.
In my early days of recovery I travelled a 100mile round trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh every fortnight to the only face to face meeting in Scotland at that time. I even took a long weekend visit to London purely to find recovery.
I also hammered the telephone meetings and tried the online ones too. I would suggest that you do likewise, because it works if you work it, I am now 2 years and 9 months away from breaking any bottom lines! Seek and ye shall find!
PS If you are ever in Scotland, come and visit us in Glasgow on a Sunday night, you will be made very welcome! God bless
I know that feeling!
I travelled a 60 mile round trip to my local meeting in London for several years! Now we have created 4 meetings within a few miles of me its a lot easier. The programme certainly works if you work it.
Keep it up Charlie! Prof.
Jane Nomad Hi there, I’d be happy to help with this, I have the Top Lines handout on email; I just tried to cut & paste into this box from my apple macair but it wouldn’t allow me. Hmmmm….how about I just type the whole thing out… Where the bottom lines were crucial for setting me free from acting out – these toplines were absolutely essential to put something healthy and loving in their place and tear me away from ‘acting-in’. Arriving early, striking up a conversation, lingering after, speaking directly to individuals – these two actions have absolutely transformed my life & the way I interact in the world. I’m in Bali, Ubud, for a few months and have just started up a small meeting in Seminyak ya-hey with another member who just started the 30 questions (after his first 7 days to define bottom lines)!! We’re meeting every Weds lunchtime since last week. Contact me for details if any of you are coming over – I know Bali is a weekend place from certain parts of Australia. I found Hinde Street meetings amazing – the double whammy on Thursdays was very healing & powerful. I did the 12 steps and am answering the 60 maintenance questions now, wonderful. Here it is…….
Non-Slaa approved literature SUGGESTIONS FOR TOP-LINE BEHAVIOUR For Social, Sexual & Emotional Anorexia Recovery These suggestions may be useful in determining your own top-lines * Linger: do not always be the first to leave * Work with a sponsor & Be a sponsor (these have been major hurdles) * Make the phone calls (another major hurdle) * Stay after meetings * Drive with the radio off (aargh such a challenge, but well worth it) * Don’t try to do the Steps perfectly * Make dates with people you care about (friends, sisters, nephews, parents, visit grandparents) * Take time to just be with yourself – instead of being so busy all the time * Write a daily 10th step * Get a regular massage * Masturbate regularly (or allow yourself to feel sexual) **obviously take into account any bottom line you may need about this * Return phone calls within 24hours if possible, even if just to say “I don’t have time to talk just now, but I wanted you to know I’m thinking of you and I got your message…” * Go to small meetings where you know you’ll have a chance to share * Volunteer for service, program and otherwise * Go out dancing regularly * Say goodbye to individual people, don’t just leave * Buy healthy food that you like * Go on a date at least every 6 weeks (discuss with sponsor) * Walk in Nature,on the actual ground as opposed to tarmac or sidewalk * Have a meaningful conversation, if only briefly, every day * Pray, pray for others. This is connection. Pray to see others as your Higher Power sees them, and pray that they have peace, contentment and happiness in their hearts * Go out for for dinners after meetings once or twice a week (fellowship) * Participate in community, other than 12 step recovery groups (Very important) * Invite people into your house
(From S.L.A.A.F.W.S. (Fellowship Worldwide Services) Not yet SLAA approved literature
Hi, you say you’ve only been to one slaa meeting and you’re unable to go due to your work schedule?
My very first suggestion would be to make it your priority to get to a meeting, and if you literally can’t then what about the online meetings? www.slaaonline.org.
If you can’t do any of this then maybe consider seeing a councellor who specialises in sex and love addiction and the 12 steps (they do exist I’ve looked at seeing one myself)
What you’re talking about is not new or shocking to me or, I would imagine, any other sex or love addict, codependent or anyone suffering from low self esteem, but as you have done so much work already and are still finding you’re falling back into the same old pattern I think it’s time you got help from another source.
Good luck and please don’t beat yourself up over this.
Hi Loulou80 I would be very pleased and willing to attend either – i wish there were more meetings in north west london vicinity. many thanks
Hi Loulou, I would definately attend a meeting in Watford. All the best.
I agree with the above, romantic obsession is like any other addiction, and can be just as debilitating. The sooner you get help the sooner your recovery can start. I would suggest in the first instance you try to get yourself to as many meetings as you can, be they face-to-face or online (at least 3 times a week is suggested in the SLAA-HOW programme, feel free to ask about this during meetings), and to see if you can get a SLAA sponsor. There are also Skype meetings you can attend, more info here slaauk.org/meeting-list/online-skype-meetings/ .
Yes it comes from neglect in childhood. Unmet childhood needs.
Hi Bulbo, Well done for getting this far. If you do summon up the courage and get to your first meeting you will discover that we can not recover by ourselves. We need to reach out and get help. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. If you can get to meetings you will discover how the 12 step program works. It is scary walking through the door to a meeting for the first time, but you will discover that you are not alone. I wish you good luck. Venus
Hi angels. I suggest you keep the professional mental health specialists and your GP updated on what you have shared above as honestly as you can, to help keep you physically safe and sound. You can self-diagnose to see if you may be suffering from a sex &/or love addiction using this checklist here: The 40 Questions for Self-Diagnosis If you think SLAA might be for you, I suggest you get yourself to a face-to-face, online or Skype meeting, and speak with other SLAA members about your query above. It is suggested you go to at least six meetings to see if SLAA might be for you. There is also a pamphlet with more info on Romantic Obsession here, which may also be available in your local face-to-face meeting: store.slaafws.org/prod/PAM-018.html With best wishes.
I agree with the last post; please don’t try and deal with this on your own. Please see if you can find the HOW programme via a meeting. It will provide you with the daily support you need to understand and manage addictive behaviour. I think the key is to keep contact with group members as much as you possibly can and I’d recommend face-to-face groups as excellent for calming the addiction. There are plenty of stories at the back section of the SLAA handbook, which will also help you feel less alone in your thoughts.
Do let us know how you get on. 🙂
Hi there, here’s some ideas. SLAA is not affiliated with and has no opinion on non-SLAA literature or other fellowships.
SLAA – ‘Articles from the Journal’ booklets about Anorexia and Healthy relationships SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) – Recovery from Compulsive Sexual Avoidance leaflet Coda (Codependents Anonymous) – Peeling the Onion booklet – Co-dependents look at Love sex and relationship addiction and avoidance Sexual Anorexia – book by Patrick Carnes
There is also some draft SLAA literature about anorexia which hasn’t been officially published yet. You can get a copy by joining the SLAA anorexia Yahoo Group at groups.yahoo.com/group/augustine-anorexia/, there is loads of useful literature in the ‘Files’ section of their website. The Anorexia 123 one is really worth reading.
Hope that helps. 🙂
The book “Sexual Anorexia” by Patrick Carnes is a useful, though this is not a SLAA conference approved text. There is a write up on this book here a quarter of the way down: slaaonline.org/books/
Another term for sexual anorexia is “Compulsive Sexual Avoidance” and there is more info on this here: saa-recovery.org/SAALiterature/English/CSA/. (Note the content provided here is solely informational and does not imply endorsement or review. S.L.A.A. is in no way affiliated with this organisation.)
Also attending SLAA anorexia focus meetings, be they face to face, telephone or online can be most helpful.
With best wishes in your recovery.
I am very interested in the Derby meeting as it would be closer than Manchester and Birmingham as I am living near to Stoke on Trent.
Hi I have been in slaa for a few months, I am a recovery for Alcohol, Drugs and Food as well, but I am also sex, love and fantasy addict who eventually becomes anorexic in relationships. After doing the first 37 questions in the HOW i struggled to find a new sponsor – and relapsed with a girl in SlAA and I can so identify with everything you are saying she ended up after a week of seeing each other after a couple of years of being friends going in to treatment. The week taught me so much many positive things to be honest but left me with a terrible obsession, because it was the most honest open and intimate time I have ever experienced. But the truth is I wasn’t ready for a relationship despite being fairly sober in the whole thing. Today after 26 years of not being on my own I know that to get recovery in SLAA i have to be on my own. I have finally moved out of loneliness into a place where I enjoy solitude and being on my own. Today I am trying not to live in fantasy, and wishing I could be in a relationship with an mazing if not a very Ill person. Today I accept if I love someone I want them to be happy and if they need to be somewhere else I have to love them and let them go. Today I choose to live in the solution not in the problem, and most definitely I have to accept I am not in SLAA to get well for a relationship I am in SLAA to get well and recovery Acceptance is the solution to all my problems, and today I accept I cannot do relationships.
I live in Leicester and although I’ve identified a meeting in Nottingham I would also be interested in Derby. If the two groups alternated the weeks they met I would be able to attend both. I think the Nottingham group meet every 3 weeks on a Tuesday night.
Ok heres my question. What exactly does total abstinence mean? This is my situation.I was in a relationship with a guy for around a year.Then he got cold feet and said he could only be friends.So we have remained in contact on a platonic level for approx. 6 months.I still have feelings for him and I believe he has for me. To have abstinence do I have to give him up as a friend too or can I work through my issues with him around? Please advise as I am confused. Many thanks.
Im wondering if a man is considered a sex addicted that if he was told to get treatment for his addictions ( other like drinking and drugs ) would he have to give up his mistress ??? and could this be a reason why he dont want to get treatment .. i know this man loves me and needs me in his life for some reason .. i just wanna know how i can help him
Stick with it but go to a meeting to find out more. That worked for me
Thank you. The Top lines are really helpful as a sign post on this road to recovery. As an Anorexic I had no idea how to set them or what they looked like. Appreciate the effort t type them out.
Yeah hi. Just want to be happy, joyous and free and not be obsessing about it. Letting go is hard when one is desperately lonely and longing for an intimate connection with a sexual opposite.
Your story has really touched. You are really brave and very inspiring, thanks for sharing. I admire your courage to carry on and face yourself.
All the best,
Has anyone got a written definition of what top lines are?
I hate this! I am so in this situation only it was me who ended up pregnant 2 times. I have been with a married man, he is 30 years older than I am and took major advantage of me in a horrible spot in my life. I have been a meth addict since I was 13, when I met D, my “secret lover” he was holding out his hand helping me up from the floor after pulling an ex bf off of me. I was being beaten. And D was there to “rescue” me. Its now 4 years later and I can say, I would rather be beaten to death than be “rescued” by this horrible sex addict that won’t admit he is addicted and puts everyone through hell. He has caused me so many problems and let his family ruin my personal belongings, they have had me thrown in jail, there have been several false reports to the authorities about me, I used a stun gun on D last November and was arrested for battery, the newspaper read “29 year old woman uses stun gun on her on again off again 65 year old boyfriend”. I just accepted his help that day and I felt compelled to return the favor. This has put me and my life on hold and I am now broke and living in a town 2 hours from anyone I know and have a 7 month old baby to take care of. I am at the end of my rope I don’t know what to do anymore. I wish I could take everything D and his wife have as they sit in their mini mansion, inground pool orchard out behind the house and ruin innocent peoples lives and then pay off anyone that has something to say about it.
Not sure you should really be looking at blaming his wife here. Have you thought about contacting CoSLAA, COSA or S Anon, they may be able to offer you valuable support?
If you want someone to talk to then drop me an email 🙂
I’m a twelfth grader and recently I’ve been noticing that I’ve been spending more time masturbating and watching porn than usual. I’ve been at it for almost 7 years now and there were times and phases where I was able to control myself but lately I’ve been doing it for more than 7 times a day. I don’t even go in for quickies any more. I go the whole way. A while ago, I used to tell myself that it wasn’t doing me any harm but now ? I’m not so sure anymore. I used to be this straight A student until last year and now my grades are below average simply because I no longer have the drive to study. I just want to feel good all the time. When I’m touching myself, I get so lost and preoccupied trying to make myself feel good, that I forget that I’ve assignments, essays to be written and college applications to be filled out. I want to be a doctor some day, and I’m actually a really intelligent kid and I feel as though I’m letting my life take a road to complete ruin. The sad part really is that I’m in a country where they don’t have groups like this one where I can talk to people about it and seek out help. My parents would never understand and I’m currently under scrutiny because everyone believes that I’m fooling around with this boy instead of studying. I’m not even with anyone. I’m killing myself slowly and I feel helpless too because how can one just stop doing something that gives them happiness ? I’m been diagnosed as depressed a few years ago and this is currently the only thing that gives me some form of release. I can’t even tell my closest friends because out here sex and masturbation are still taboo. Everything makes me horny. From just sitting and doing nothing to eating and watching television. Every thought I have is sexual now and I no longer have the space in my head for other thoughts. I’ve never had sex before so I’m just a masturbation addict. Sometimes this thought that maybe everyone’s the way as well tries to make myself believe that I don’t have a problem. I HAVE A PROBLEM AND I’M CERTAIN OF THAT. I have also noticed that I’ve a pattern when it comes down to masturbation. It starts with my period and that’s when I’m literally screaming out “Somebody Fuck Me!!” in my head as I’m doing everyday things. I love how blood looks on my fingers as I finger my pussy. It feels amazing. I use my dildo after that, and even when I don’t always cum from vaginal penetration I feel amazing being pounded that way. Each thrust just leaves me wanting more. I don’t really watch porn when I masturbate. I watch a little right before and have a quickie to make myself wet. I don’t quite enjoy porn as I used to. I’ve grown accustomed to it and it doesn’t turn me on as much as I used to get turned on by it three or four years ago. After my period I’ve this period of sobriety. I don’t even think about sex or masturbation for the next two days and I feel as though I don’t get wet enough on those days. Right after that this period of animal like sexual compulsions take over me and masturbate for hours together in one go. This goes on for another couple days. I basically masturbate everywhere in the house. I sext this guy too sometimes. He really turns me on. Then when I ovulate I masturbate the entirely day with gaps in between. School bathrooms, classrooms, I don’t really care. The car. I don’t care. I love touching myself. The funny part is that I don’t feel guilty while I do it. Only later when I realize that I have too many things that need to get done. After the ovulation there’s another period of abstinence. Two/Three days max. I even start to get turned on by looking at myself in the mirror after that. The way my nipples get hard and how they look or the way my long black hair looks over them. Everything sort of does it for me. Every phallic object is thought about and used. I even used my curling iron a couple of times. Even vegetables. I just, I can’t help it anymore. I really need help!!! Is it wrong to have an insatiable sexuality ? I simply haven’t had sex because I’m saving myself for someone worthwhile. Not being I want to keep my “virginity” and stay pure. I just don’t want to lose to SOME guy. It doesn’t even have to be the LAST guy. I just want it to be someone that loves me just as much as I love them. For now, I’ve to study for my exams and I really can’t think straight around books. Everything’s being associated with sex in my head and it’s starting to make me want to scream and cry at the same time. PLEASE HELP ME.
hi april. I felt like I was reading my experience through what you wrote. Its unfortunate that I had the chance to read this only now( a long time after you wrote it). However I hope you’re better now. I only discovered this group yesterday and reading you gives me hope-that I’m not the only one facing the constraint or urge to masturbate regurlarly daily. Its getting me almost sick: in fact sick.
April, Reading your comment made me both sad (for the pain you are suffering) and also hopeful (that you have great insights to help you liberate yourself). In characteristics of sex and love addicts in SLAA it talks about how addicts sexualize guilt, shame, anger, loneliness, etc and substitute sex for nurturing and caring relationships. I too started down this path at the age of 12 and learned to soothe my anxieties and numb my pains with masturbation. Soon it became compulsive. I struggled with it for many years. I have had periods of great clarity and sobriety and periods when I slide back into escaping through sexual fantasy and self-pleasuring. it sounds to me like you have masturbate to cope with physical discomfort, pain, anxiety, etc. The important thing is to remember that will power alone will not cure this “disease.” The more you blame yourself for lacking will power the deeper you internalize it. I really appreciate your deep critical insight into cultural practices that drive young people into this form of self-expression. I wish you could participate in meetings, work with a sponsor, make outreach calls, and work the 12-steps. There are some good 12-step workbooks that you may find helpful. Working the steps can help us better understand the resentments and fears that drive addiction. I struggle with it too. Over the last five years I have had tremendous support in SLAA that gave me clarity and freedom from acting out. Right now, I feel I am sliding back again towards using masturbation instead of meditation and other forms of rigorous spiritual practices to help me. Responding to your comment is one form of service that helps me remember the things I need to do to stay focused and abstinent. I wish you all the best.
Hi, not sure if you’re still looking for SLAA stuff but I’m from Oxford and just went to my first meeting in London and absolutely loved it. It was incredibly helpful for me and I’m now looking into setting up an Oxford group, would you be interested in helping me? I was just going to put an ad on dailyinfo and see how much interest there is and go from there, but I’m a bit shy and would appreciate someone else chairing the meetings for me!
I think I also need a sponsorship, below is my story.
I am in a 4 to 5 years relationship which is about to collapse.
Let me start by mentioning that when I met my current partner I was involved in a relationship which had same problems (in a brink of collapse like the one I am currently in). We met at her work place, she was my client and she had her interests on me but I did not take notice until she made herself visible to me. We exchanged contact numbers and we started chatting. The relationship I was in full bitterness, frustration, depression, desperation and pain and difficult to cancel because of fear of being lonely. Like the current one.
After a while of contacting each other, we finally met and I started cheating on my then partner with my current partner without telling my current partner that I am involved. After a while I finally ended the relationship with my then partner after starting an affair with my current one. In the beginning I thought it was just a fling, and will not mean anything but as time goes by I got attached to her despite our age difference. She is older than me and also that I was not comfortable with but still continued with the relationship. We spoke about it and we dealt with it.
At the first stage of my current relationship like any other relationship I had, literally speaking, we jumped with happiness and we lived on cloud nine with happiness and joy. We feel the euphoria. I got emotionally involved, blindly, without even trying to get to know her as a person, her character, her inner world, values and flaws, her goals and preferences in life, her degree of socialization. I could not see no flaws, no imperfections in her when the relationship was. I just saw her as perfect and I could not notice and recognize the real person behind my dream and I could not recognize her true real attitude towards me.
Things got going, I was staying at my house and she was staying at her house with her son at that time. She proposed that we move in together in her house because it was bigger and she was staying with his son. I was reluctant at first and tried to convince her to move to my house, as a man but after assessing I decided to rent out my house and move in her house with my furniture and stuff. I was not comfortable moving in to a woman’s house, in fact I was very skeptical that I kept some of my furniture to storage so that if we fail staying together I can take my stuff at the storage facility and move back to my house. Preparation of the worst or failure right there.
I am the type of person who is very bad in communication, very bad in expressing my true feelings especially in relationships where I love (or blinded) someone. But outside, friends, colleagues and family really knows and accept me for who I am and communication is not a problem, not in relationships. Also I am the type of person who have been staying alone for a while, so moving with someone was a very big step and a big transition for me. Let me first explain what kind of person I am, I am social person. I like people around me, I like my alcohol and I like going out of which I could do it freely in my own house. Things changed when I moved in with her, so now I had to account my movements, etc which I am not used to. So I think the challenge started there.
Eventually, slowly but steadily I began to see something new about her that I didn’t notice before. She had problems with me going out or coming home smelling of alcohol. When I ask her when you met me I was worse than what I was she told me she was not committed to me then and that I made think that she made a bad decision by choosing. In the beginning when I was staying by myself and her by herself, I could rock up anytime of the day/night and she would accept me in any state I would be in and be intimate with me without any problem , but now because I think we stay together it is a problem and I fail to understand that. And she also said I was leading a bad example to her son if I get drunk. So I am not comfortable drinking in the house so I would rather drink outside without being judged and when I come back at whatever time it will be a problem.
Quarrels and constant conflicts often take the place of the euphoria and abandonment of the relationship resulted. She would be mad that I came very late and not talk to me for days, and I would apologize and repeat the same mistake again. Communication gets difficult as feelings ebb. Neither of us currently feel happy in this situation but since I think the relationship is based on psychological addiction and the need of the euphoria. I find it hard to end the relationship because I love her and fear to be alone and of losing her.
Currently I am fighting for our relationship, hoping to bring her back – only to find that little satisfaction comes out of it as a new unhealthy cycle begins, based on previous offenses and rebukes produced by my wrong beliefs that we project on her, but also by my growing need for the euphoria. It is just for a short moment that we may feel that love is back, and is mutual and everything feels great, for just a moment – until all the previous offenses appear again. It happens regularly currently, where there is always tension in the house and if I go out it seems like I am making the problems worse but it is the same as staying indoors, we do not talk when she is angry of my traits or maybe her moods.
I can say now it has been over 5 months without having sex, I am resorting to masturbation daily. I have been trying to be all nice (buying gifts, flowers, etc) to her in order to bring us back where we were when we started but it seems like we do not know each other and do not understand each other. I have been thinking of just moving back to my house, but I cannot because of the fear of being lonely, I have excuses not to move back to my house (moving would be messy because I will be taking my furniture of which we are both using currently, both parents know that we stay together and my parents likes a lot and her likes me the same). And also most importantly is a fear of losing her, and I can tell you when she is angry for my faults I get affected a lot until she get betters. I could easily say I find my joy when she is happy. I find my worth when she is happy. If not, I am a mess and I want to change that.
So I have decided to challenge myself now because if I look back, the past 2 relationships ended like this where it was painful, depressing and resentful and I have moved on quickly after the past one without thinking. And I look at the current one, it is about to collapse because of the same reasons (my traits, going out, needy, alcohol, etc). I would like to fix it as I think the problem is mine.
Currently my ego, confidence and self esteem are tarnished. I cannot reason with her, I cannot express my true feelings because of the fear of making her upset and losing her. I cannot come up with suggestions of fixing the problem. Each time I tell her about her support in matters she tells me we have talked about it and what would be different this time. Currently I would rather be at the streets than home because of the tension, and it increases the hurt. She is always on my mind, I always think of her, I make more efforts of communication (calls, texts, email, etc) more than her, when we have challenges I feel I am fighting alone and she is not doing any effort than only getting green even if it will be my fault. And I feel alone, and defeated.
I am not sure if I am a Sex/Love Addict but from what I have read and researched I think I am an addict in one of those if not all. My happiness is dependent on her; I do not put myself first. I do not like disappointing her, even if it does not make me comfortable. I have bent enough and allowed many things to happen in other to make her happy, and want to control my addiction.
I need to know if it is possible to fix myself even if I am in a relationship like this, and also if the problem lies totally on me.
Lastly we have recently being having constant problems/differences (expected unhealthy cycle). I have started to communicate with an old friend of mine whom I wanted to start a relationship with a long time ago. She is going through a difficult relationship herself as well, I haven’t been honest with her by opening up that I have a partner and I am going through rough patch myself. We have been chatting; I see where it is leading (like the current, and the 2 others) where it would be a transition from one relationship to another. I have stopped our communication as I want to fix my current relationship and most importantly myself.
I have contacted SLAA in South Africa to start attending the sessions; they have not yet got back to me and I hope they do as I would like to start as soon as possible.
Sorry for the long story.
Hi to everyone: After reading all of this has made me realize that I am a co-dependent. I am very depressed at this moment. I’ve been the mistress for about 10 years after we stopped seeing each other after 12 years. we began to see each other again 10 years and since then we’ve been on and off. Although when we met, he was separated to his wife. I was always wondering why he goes away for a while and always returns saying that he can’t get over me, that he loves me. At least that is what I always believed. I do feel that he loves me but now I am deeply confused. Does he really love me and does not want me to suffer???? Or was I the stupid one who always believed him and remained faithful to him always waiting for the moment for him to cut off with his wife. His wife knows about me and obvious insulting me and she knows his problem which I recently discovered because I actually was not familiar to the term of sex addict nor love addict. We have been together for so many years and all these years it was just long distance relation because we are so far apart currently. I am reading a lot about the topic. He does not know that I discovered this. I do feel that I need him, I love him deeply. Just frustrated, don’t know what to do. It’s killing me because I miss him so much. I have tried cutting off with him not picking up the phone calls. I do for a while but eventually forgive him and believe all his stupid lies. He said that he wants a child with me. That he always wanted a child with me but have tried but never got pregnant from him, although I do have one boy. I feel ashamed of myself. Feeling the need to talk with people who could relate to my problem.
Hi, I am currently an NA member and have worked the steps through the green and gold. This hasn’t yet helped in certain areas, 1 of which is lust and relationships. I am thinking of giving SLAA a go as I have just started a new relationship n desperately want it to be healthy. Please let me know if a meeting has been started in Oxford or if not where the nearest 1 is. Many Thanks.
My name is Thomas and have had serious problems with acting out with watching porn
Hi, I’m Jules, male, 45. I’ve just come out of rehab in Thailand. I would like to get a sponsor as soon as possible please. Can you help me
I am attending slaa after being casually unfaithful with my wife and admitting it to her. I fear to leave our “cosy” (it is not really cosy ! ) family arrangement to be on my own – but since attending SLAA – I must say I fear that possibility less. Thing is, because I was already a sex addict when I started this relationship, I believe it will be difficult to rescue it, and anyway , a by product of SLAA is that I am sort of feeling “encouraged ” to not feel I need to be in a relationship to justify my existence – which perhaps relieves me of one of my most crucial reasons for being in one.
Having set my life up as an addict, I feel I can’t trust the path I am on!
You hae m??? ?ome decent points there. I lo?ked ?n t?e web forr additional ?nformation abo?t the issue ?nd f?und m??t people ?ill ggo alonng ?ith y?ur views on this site.
wow iam looking for aladdy whom to love i love that.
Hi, I am also from Oxford. I am going to attend my first SLAA meeting in Amersham on Saturday. I have recognised that I have been a love addict for years. I never knew until this morning that SLAA existed. I wish I had. I don’t want to keep going down the same painful/destructive road I have become so familiar with.
Patrick, I would be interested in helping you set up a support group in Oxford, if that’s still your intention?
I want a female sponsor.
I need a sponsor urgently pls
I m 25 years of age and i m living in kenya
Hello I am looking for a sponsor tot work the HOW program. I live in Belgium.
My husband had 3 major mistresses on the payroll and cost me almost 2 million dollars. He was sexually abused by his mother as a child and his brain was hacked. Now after decades and as a retiree and we getting her ensconced in a nursing home he wants to be w me all the time and feels safe. I often feel stark staring mad. He? Calm. Therapy group support church bible study and friends. But Praising God all the while.
I have seen MANY many unhealthy HOW sponsors and people during my two years in SLAA. I think that HOW can work for some people but what works for some, doesn’t for others. I have found proponents of the HOW way to be very controlling and codependent. They are often “giving their opinions” on other people’s recovery which I find to smack of grandiosity. However, I think the health of a sponsor has to do with an individual rather than whether they are HOW or non-HOW. When I was following HOW I felt like I had placed myself back in the Catholic church, which as a gay man, was not a healthy place to be. I had some success, at first, and then hit a brick wall. I didn’t make further progress until I chucked HOW. I suggest trying both and seeing which promotes a better recovery.
New time from 5 June
after reading all the love stories I’m scared. i need to change my life. please help me
Meeting started 26 April 2017
From 21 June 2017 this meeting is now every two weeks
(new meeting started 6th February 2014)
Such a beautiful poem, thank you so much for sharing. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT you are not your addiction, you are not your mind, you are not your thoughts as I have heard. Your words were simply spell-binding. I hope you heal in the most incredible, life-enduring way. Just reading this went some way to mend my shattered, downtrodden heart.
Much appreciation and Love to you friend.
(meeting started 24th september 2015)
room changed back to basement (B9) and time shortened to 1 hour (August 2015). Tea now available again
New Meeting From 29th September 2012
NEW! Started 4/10/11
Moved to this address 12 March 2016
(meeting started 24th November 2013 – new venue from August 14th 2016)
From 6 April 2016, the Toddington group meets once a week at 7.30 on Wednesdays (same room and venue). All meetings now take place on Wednesdays and there is no Thursday meeting..
New Venue: from 31 January 2016
I have been a masturbater all my life only having one short relationship in my mid twenties . I am now in my mid fifties and I watch porn and masturbate constantly. I f I do not do something about it soon I will never be able to stop.
meeting started 5th September 2015
Hello im 28 y old Good looking Man, looking for sponsor lady
[Started 23th February 2011]
Format The meeting will be HOW format and mixed,
(from 8 Jan 2016)
The Monday 7.15pm Ladbroke Grove meeting moved here June 5th 2017.
New Venue From 11th September 2012
Meeting started 5 June 2017
Meeting started 4th September 2012
I’d be interested ..
Contact Sarah 07904 423485
New Venue : previously 7.30 Hyde Park moved to this venue on 28th Feb 14
Starts 3 November 2018
Inactive as at 21 October 2018
Moved to Parlour from Room 2 Wed 4th Sept 2019
New location and start time from September 2017
New venue from 5 November 2018
New meeting from Wed 24th May 2017
The Saturday Leeds meeting now runs weekly. Prompt 11am start.
*New meeting from 15 January 2020*
From 1st April 2018 –
Love the brush teeth 3 times a day!! The calling out to none codependent!! Love it. And getting off phone when I want to. Practice this today!
I posted a comment about my chronic masturbation in2017. I have not been able to stop or cut down . My preference was just for pleasuring myself and ejaculating only 2 or 3 times a week. Now I ejaculate multiple times a day.
HI, I am a member from SLAA. I have been in SLAA 14years in America. also little bit from UK, ( online/skype) several yrs. Honestly, in my first 2 years, I stayed abstinence. Sex &love addiction pattern is also codependency disease. Abstinence is something thats being granted from Higher Power.
I hope you are finding your light. Please know you are not alone. My godfather was the stealer of my 7 year old light. Everyday I get a little closer to forgiving myself (& him) & loving me. It was not our fault. I loved your poem. I can understand your journey as I am on it as well. I wish you blue skies & sunny days for your 7 yr old self you may feel like you failed. I’m here to tell you you lived, & you deserve blue skies & sunny days as well…
I have read these comments with great interest because I am finally out of the mistress of a sex addict ‘relationship’. that I craved for 2 years. I’ve been sober in AA for over 3o tears and thought this could never happen to me. But it did and I paid a high price…. The toughest lesson I had to learn was this: *He never loved me. He couldn’t love me. He only loved the way I loved him.* That was what opened the door to leave for me. It was literally God doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. Now that there’s some air between the two of us I know I am the lucky one because I was never in danger of him leaving his wife. That kind of toxicity feeds them both and they’ve been married for 42 years. What could I have been thinking? I’ve blocked him every way imaginable, but he continues to try and reach me. I feel safe for the first time in a long time. I’ve nearly stopped crying. My anxiety is pretty much gone. But the best part is that I’ve stopped waiting. I’m not waiting for crumbs of what I thought was love. I’ve stopping waiting for calls, texts, dinners, facetime…all of it. What a relief. xoxo
Hi. Its so good to read all comments. I am not alone and do feel some encouragement and comfort from being here. Thanks to u all.
Thank you for sharing. I am in a situation that I got myself into. I have been “sober” in SLAA since January 20, 2020. I think I am going to restart my sobriety date. I have a male sponsor for cross addictions steps, yes, I know, it probably wasn’t the best idea but he was and IS really good at the steps. He has healthy boundaries and I have spoken to people in SLAA and they feel I should keep him. I really want to just drop him, block him, and run but I know this will just be transferred onto someone else. Despite my “sobriety” and working the steps, I have been stagnant on step 9 but I am going to pick up and continue onward, I think I need more help. I just printed out a “bottom lines” packet and I am writing out my bottom lines, as well as my destructive/addictive and accessory behaviors. Writing it down alone is so helpful!
I am going to keep writing it, journal, and will then take a look at where I left off at step 9 and continue onwards with it. I just want to keep moving forward, not backwards, I just want to get better. I am thinking of restarting my sobriety date. I will eat up whatever thoughts I have of pride, I just want to be okay.
Just for today, I will not obsess over my sponsor, I will not drop my sponsor or my sponsees, I will redirect myself when I think about him, I will talk to my SLAA sponsor (who is a female), and I will work through this.
FYI I am bisexual and have had crushes on sponsees who are female. I just want this to stop, once and for all. I also just reached out to a therapist who does therapy for people with attachment issues. My friend in SLAA told me she sees her and that she practically “cured her” when she was seeing her consistently but it became a little pricey. I am going to pray to higher power, turn this over to her, journal, and call it a night. I love myself too much and have come too far to give up now. I am in it to win it, there is only gong forward, not back, going back isn’t an option for me. I am no longer who I was then. The old Sarah would never do this, she would be obsessing, watching videos, listening to love songs, self-satisfying physically, etc.,