Tradition Two has helped me to trust that I can express my thoughts and opinions without fear. As a newcomer, I observed how my S-Anon group members made decisions and worked through problems in a way that was fair to everyone, without yelling or giving each other the silent treatment. This was something new to me. They spoke up and gave their opinions and were still loved and accepted. I learned that I, too, could speak up and still feel safe.
This kind of trust has been more difficult to build in my relationship with the sexaholic. When we disagree, I fear the sexaholic will no longer love me or will turn against me. When I was a child, I learned that disagreement led to criticism and rejection. I was afraid to speak up, and it took a while for me to try it in my S-Anon group. I was relieved to find that I was not criticized or rejected. In fact, some people in the group actually thanked me for saying what I said. In my relationships, I often find myself trying to either please or control. I am learning this is far more harmful to me and to our relationship than I had ever imagined!
In S-Anon, I am discovering how to respect myself. I want to be an equal and sane participant in all of my relationships more than I want to be “right.” My opinions and feelings are valid. I am learning to keep the focus on myself and to let go of my obsession with what other people might be thinking of me. I try to examine my motives before I speak. I can ask my Higher Power to guide me and give me courage as I strive to be authentic in all my relationships.
Reprinted from S-Anon Traditions One, Two, and Three, page 20.