Yes, it’s been over 6 months since I joined recovery and since the last time I acted out. I’m far from perfect or perfectly recovered, but I have no desire or craving to even look at online personal ads or sexting strangers or any of that. I’m not sure why exactly. What I mean is, the other guys in my group seem to fall off the wagon fairly regularly. I honestly have not gone near those sites at all and I don’t feel any need to. Was I really a sex addict, was it some temporary thing? My therapist thinks it all boils down to the start of my wife’s inability to have coitus. Well, that’s not all of it at all. That might be when I started looking at personals and rather than meeting for sex, I got off on sending my pictures with enticing language. That was my acting out. My therapist thinks it also has everything to do with our inability to talk about difficult and even awkward subjects. We are not afraid to do that anymore and in fact, speak far more openly about everything than we had in years.
So this does not mean I’m going to give up recovery. I’ll be in this program for the rest of my life. I have halted my progress in the 12 steps temporarily, until I can truthfully say that I have soulfully and heartfully completed 4-6. I “did” those steps yet I still harbor some clinging resentments and anger, and I still jump to judging others. I must get these things in order before I can move on to step 8 and it’s preluding step. I don’t want to just say that I’ve done all the steps, I want that enlightenment and awakening that I hear about. and I know that I can’t have those until I have truly worked the steps. So I’ll work on me and cleaning up my side of the street for awhile longer.
One resentment I am going to be able to now let go of was toward my wife. When we reconciled and I moved back in, I invited her to come to the bank and I put her back on our business account, and restored having my direct deposit paycheck going into our joint account. She had opened her own private account at a different bank where one of our rental houses income went, plus a couple of her last paychecks before she retired, and the funds we got from another source which belong to both of us. I asked her to add me as a signer on that account and she refused. This has been a source of resentment for me ever since but I just tucked it away and dealt with it, focusing on furthering our relationship but it always bugged me. Never had either of us given the other any reason to financially not trust. We are both frugal people and we always consult each other about all things money. She asked me to handle paying all the bills decades ago, which I did, and never bounced a check or had any difficulties, so it made no sense that she wanted to keep not only her own money away from me, but was hiding our money, half of which was mine, too.
Last night I finally called a “family meeting”, something my therapist suggested we do rather than just start talking and letting it escalate into a fight. It’s worked very well when we’ve remembered to call said meeting. I told her that this was really bothering me, that I needed to ask her to either add me on the account as I had her, or move the funds that belong to both of us to a new account we both own or into our existing joint account. She agreed and we will go to her bank and I will be added as a signer so that matter of discord will be behind us and at last I can let that thing go. We also discussed one other issue that is causing me trouble. In polite conversations, I ask things of the other person to show interest in their life rather than prattling on about myself. I’ve always been that way. My wife occasionally snaps at me for being controlling because I’ll ask how her day was or last night wondered what time she might get home from a party to which I was not invited, simple stated that it was because I did not want to be alone at home so I’d go to a friend’s house or do the grocery shopping. So we talked that out and she said she understands. In her defense, her father and at least one evil aunt have rebuked my wife for asking questions of them, again just showing interest in what’s going on in their world. They have chided her and made her feel awful for asking questions, but they know nothing of manners or carrying on conversations about anyone other than themselves, so I understand this is a kind of conditioning. We reached a real milestone, I think and I feel so much better today.
I started my daily gratitude list, which I send to my therapist. It’s not hard to think of a handful of things for which I’m grateful, and it’s a very positive thing to do. I need to add back meditating though, and all of the other things I do as part of my program.
So today was a good day. I feel really good.