My journey has been helped immeasurably by the work of Dr. Doug Weiss. Right after Discovery Day I was advised to find a 12 step meeting and go right away. So I did. I could hardly function but I could follow directions, so I found a meeting and I went. I sat through the first couple of meetings crying and not believing that it was possible to continue living and to be happy after such a life shattering discovery. Nothing felt real to me. Everything in the whole world looked like a lie. And all of these beautiful women in my Thursday night meetings who were real and crying but also laughing and joking seemed like they must be just another illusion. When it was my turn to share, I would ask a lot of questions. After the meeting I would ask women to share their stories with me because I could just not wrap my mind around the possibility that someone could heal from this heartbreak and find happiness and joy in a marriage with someone who had accepted their trust and used it against them to make them think that they were crazy and not enough.
After the meeting one night a woman who would become a hero of mine and my sponsor shared her story with me. I was amazed and in tears as she described how it felt to listen to her husband’s disclosures. She talked about how he felt better because he had gotten it out but to her his confession was disgusting like vomit. He was feeling better because he was getting the vomit out but it was coming out all over her and all over the kitchen and the hallway and the bedroom and the counters and everywhere. Her whole world had just been covered by someone else’s vomit. I could totally relate to that imagery and several of the other women in that room could relate too. We continued to talk in an unstructured way and they shared with me the things that had helped them to begin cleaning off the vomit and healing from damage done to their souls.
One woman told me about the video “Helping Her Heal” by Doug Weiss. It was expensive (to me at $50 for the streaming version) but I bought it anyway. I was drowning in this mess and I could not see a way out of it. I watched the video and I watched it later with my husband. Again I found validation as Doug took the addicts to task by describing the way their spouses were feeling. He described each confession, discovery, act of betrayal, lie like being shot with a rifle. He talked about the betrayed spouse laying on the floor bleeding and the addict as having been the one to pull the trigger. He told them they weren’t allowed to complain about how badly their finger hurt from pulling the trigger when their spouse was lying bloody on the floor. He gave clear instructions to my husband about how to help me heal, what to say and do to help and not make the situation worse. He provided a script that our local therapist reinforced and which has made a huge difference in my being able to see my husband’s sincere commitment to me and our marriage and to feel his love again. The script goes something like this:
*The pain you are feeling is real. *I caused this pain. *No woman should have to feel this way. *I’m 100% committed to recovery. *I’m 100% committed to our marriage. *What can I do right now to help you?
I know a couple of women who attended Doug Weiss’ intensive counseling sessions with their husbands and both had good things to say about it. I started to plan to attend one with my husband but found it more affordable to work with a therapist locally. I called the therapist that had been recommended to us by a couple of people that we knew and trusted. I asked if him, Dan Oakes (our therapist), if he was familiar with Doug Weiss and his intensive program and if he could work a similar program with us locally. Dan was very familiar with Doug Weiss and agreed to work with us through a similar program including polygraph testing. Dan helped my husband to understand the importance of the script and gave us instructions for practicing it. He also helped my husband understand pornography addiction and gave him tools to help him work through his root causes/feelings that led to acting out behaviors, to recognize undesirable tendencies that led to negative places and counteract them with positive actions that would lead to toward positive results.
As I continued to work my recovery program I found other resources from Doug Weiss to be really helpful too. His book “Partners: Healing from His Addiction” helped me to feel my experiences and feelings were valid as I read about the experiences other women had had with their addicted spouses. The workbook “Partners Recovery Guide: 100 Empowering Exercises” gave me things that I could work on to overcome specific triggers and take steps toward independence and wholeness one I remember being particularly helpful was an exercise that taught me how to stop watching my husband’s eyes. It had been a point of weakness for me to scan a room or beach or TV show to discover potential triggers for my husband and then watch his eyes to see if he noticed them and then feel badly if he did. The “Power of Pleasure” was a great help to both my husband and I to examine the things in our lives that bring us pleasure spiritually, mentally, physically and to take intentional steps to include those things in our lives.
My husband’s favorite recovery book is a newer book by Doug Weiss called “Lust Free Living”
it’s a Christian approach that addresses 50 lies that porn/sex addiction tell an addict and 50 tips for overcoming their addiction and weaknesses. One other piece that my husband and I really like is an app that Doug Recently added to his list of prolific works. You can find a link to it on his website or in the app store. It’s called, “Dr. Doug’s Tips.”
Part of our efforts at International Sexual Exploitation Enemies United (ISEEU Hope) are to increase awareness of pornography/sexual addiction and sex trafficking and to provide support and resources to wives of addicts. As part of our care packages and educational packets for religious and community leaders we often include books that we find helpful. Because we often order books we are able to place bulk orders with many authors and publishers including Doug Weiss. If there is interest, I can place bulk orders and pass on a 30% discount on any orders of 10 or more. Shoot me an email if you’re interested in this option at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My heart and love are with you and all affected by the devastation of sexual addiction and exploitation. It can get better. Thankfully there are experts who have great resources to help!