Twelve-Step Programs Offer Healing For Sexual Addiction
DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter from “Dumbstruck in Chicago” (April 24), who’s dating a recently divorced man who was unfaithful to his ex-wife through multiple affairs and one-night stands with prostitutes, I cannot stay silent. That man screams of being a sex addict. He needs the help of a certified sex addiction therapist before he wrecks another woman’s life.
“Dumbstruck” should RUN — not walk — to the nearest S-Anon meeting. It’s a 12-step program for people who have been affected by another person’s sexual behavior. These behaviors include infidelity by emotional or physical affairs, one-night stands with prostitutes, hanging out in strip clubs and porn addiction.
S-Anon saved my sanity and gave me the courage to offer my husband of 30 years a choice — recovery or divorce. Because he knew I was serious, he reluctantly went into Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) as well as therapy with a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT) and has been sexually sober for five years. Our marriage is better today than I ever dreamed it would be.
Sex addiction is a disease and needs to be recognized as the cause of ruining many marriages and tearing families apart. Please, Abby, suggest SA and S-Anon when you reply to people who write you about these issues. — ANONYMOUS IN KENTUCKY
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Thank you for writing. I have recommended the resources you mentioned in my column in the past. Sexaholics Anonymous and S-Anon have been in existence for more than 35 years and have helped many individuals stop unhealthy, destructive cycles of behavior. There are chapters nationwide. Readers, to find a meeting near you, visit sa.org or sanon.org.
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DEAR ABBY: I was raped by a man I thought was a friend. Since then, I don’t accept men’s opinions, including those I work for. When they try to give me constructive criticism, I shut down.
I know I need therapy. How do I get past this thing and become a productive employee? I no longer want to be just another number and/or statistic. — GETTING PAST THIS
DEAR GETTING PAST: Not all men are rapists, and not all rapists are men. What happened to you was appalling, and I hope you reported it to the police so it won’t happen to another trusting friend of his.
You know you need therapy, so why not contact a rape treatment center and ask for help now? If you do, it will help you in many areas of your life, in addition to your work environment.
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DEAR ABBY: I’m 18 and have been working a minimum-wage job for a little over a year. I’ve saved up a good bit of money, and it has taken a while to do, but I really want to travel. Should I be responsible and keep saving or use the money to buy a plane ticket? — BROKE AND RESTLESS
DEAR B & R: I think you already know the answer to your question, but allow me to point out that the more money you save, the farther (and longer) you will be able to travel.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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