“I wonder if I’m really a sexaholic,” my husband said one day, about a year into recovery. “Maybe I really don’t need those meetings and the program.” Panic overwhelmed me, and in my mind’s eye I could see nothing but a black future. I imagined my husband going back “out there” to have another affair (or two or three), leaving our marriage in shambles. My first instinct was to try to convince him that he really was a sexaholic. I began to mentally list all the hurtful things he had done in the past which proved (to me!) that he was powerless over his sexual behavior, and I was about to remind him of each and every event in case he had forgotten.
But I, too, had been in recovery for a year, and I remembered all the times we had talked in meetings about “letting go and letting God.” A little inner voice told me this was a time to let go. So I said nothing, just nodded to let him know I had been listening. I hoped he wouldn’t notice how afraid and upset I was. A little while later my husband said, “I’ve been thinking about it, and I guess I am a sexaholic. I think I’ll go to a meeting tonight.” As I reflected on how things worked out, I became aware that my husband must have resented my past efforts to control his thinking, and felt even more need to defend himself and his ideas. Instead, because I kept quiet, this time we were both able to think things through in a calm atmosphere.
Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 45.