I’ve come across several articles lately that I think are so good, I’m encouraging everybody I know to read them. Here they are, with a bit of commentary by me
10 Things I’d Say About Sex if I Had No Filter
I really like Sheila Gregoire. She’s a Christian, and writes very openly and honestly about sexual issues from a female standpoint. (She’s also a writing and media powerhouse! She’s got a very active blog that every female partner of an addict who reads my blog should be reading.) She encourages women to experience healthy intimacy … in other words, she’s no prude … but at the same time, she’s written quite a bit about the struggles of women whose husbands have been unfaithful and/or sexually addicted. I like this article for its honesty and realism about the joys and challenges of establishing and maintaining a joyful sex life over time in a marriage.
An Overview of the ACE Test
I have often talked about the roots of addiction being about unresolved early life trauma. Anything as complex as addiction can never be reduced to a single issue, but certainly, this is important! When I talk about this topic, people often fixate on abuse … especially sexual abuse. I like this approach better than just talking about abuse. ACE is an acronym for “adverse childhood experiences.” The problem isn’t just abuse in its various forms, it’s also often neglect in its various forms. And beyond that, the challenges of early life are not always just things that happen in the home. What’s so interesting about the ACE test, and study that is being done about it, is the evidence that is piling up that ACE’s lead not just to psychological challenges (like addiction and depression) but also physical illness.
Having a “Sex Positive” Mindset While Also Recognizing Sex Can be an Addiction
This is not a lengthy discussion, but at least it raises the issue. Alexandra Katehakis, whose work I appreciate, writes this article on the Psychology Today blog, addressing the critique that people who suggest treating sex addiction are just puritanical moralists on a crusade.
There are lots of good things being written every day about healthy sexuality, marriage, and recovery … but there’s also a lot of junk! Here’s some of the good stuff I’ve read lately:
Establishing Boundaries in Toxic Relationships – Great article from Recovery Systems Institute on establishing boundaries in relationships with addicts that we love. Many of us drive ourselves crazy trying to help someone who’s not fully committed to helping themselves in recovery. Here’s a sample quote — something to remind yourself every day:
“I can’t make him change — I can only support him if he decides to make the effort. But if he’s not making that effort, then we’re probably both better off acknowledging it.”
Trauma and the Twelve Steps – looks like an interesting book that’s going to be coming out soon. Much addiction has its roots in early life trauma, and most relapsing is the result of unprocessed trauma. This site has some book excerpts that are worth reading.
Can we believe that we have the capacity to change? Great article on Huffington Post with a different take on Step 2 — can we believe that it’s possible to change?
What I wish I’d known about divorce – people who were unfaithful and now divorced write about how life is now, and what they’ve learned. By Rick Reynolds, affair recovery expert.
Another article from Huffington Post — this one on using social media to get support in recovery. Very good stuff, but my question is: what about anonymity? This is an especially big problem with sexual struggles.
The 12 Steps Restated – Here’s one you might want to spend some time with, especially if you’re working the 12 Steps. It’s a re-working of the #12steps, including a re-statement of each in “non-12-steppy” terms, and some commentary.
Here are six articles I read this week that I thought were worth sharing. By the way, if you come across something – or have written something – that you’d like to share, Let me know.
- Great article about the roots of sex addiction stemming from childhood trauma. It doesn’t touch on abandonment trauma (good things that should have happened, but didn’t), only the trauma of abuse (bad things that shouldn’t have happened, but did). But it’s still very good.
- Worth a quick read for parents: “Six skills children need to develop to keep them out of addiction.”
- Is Sex Addiction Real – the tired arguments come up again in this article from the Vancouver Sun … what’s interesting is a discussion about the possible inclusion of the “hypersexual disorder” diagnosis as part of the new DSM (psychiatric diagnostic manual for therapists).
- How the New DSM Gets Addiction Right – great article from opinion section of New York Times online. It gives an overview of changing understanding of addiction.
- Great article from Sheila Gregoire written to wives about things they can do to build relational intimacy. She calls it the “21 Day Challenge,” and there are great insights for men here too.
- Article on female sex addiction – Whether due to abuse or abandonment, “being known” (aka intimacy) is at the core of female sex addiction