I thought I knew what a blessing was. The birth of a healthy child. An unexpected gift. Clean water. Good friends. Democracy. My husband bringing me coffee.
Yet, I have managed to get through 46 years of life and missed one of the greatest blessings that could ever be bestowed upon a marriage — sex addiction.
Yes! Sex addiction. You know, where your spouse (usually a husband), takes up with lots and lots of hookers. Spends tons of money. Courts venereal disease. Then gets caught, at which point it is decided that he suffers from “sex addiction.” (The affliction formerly known as “fucking around”.)
Has this happened to you? Were you devastated? Horrified? Scandalized? Numb? Wrong! You were BLESSED! — you need to stop and “reframe” it as a blessing. That according to Michael S. Broder, Ph.D. in an article on Huffington Post divorce entitled “Is an Affair the Disease or Just a Symptom?” He writes:
My wife, Dr. Arlene Goldman, is also a psychologist. She specializes in couples and sex therapy and treats many couples in the aftermath of an affair by one partner. Her approach, even when one partner is clearly a sex addict, is often to help the couple reframe their crisis as a blessing that triggered the help needed to mark the beginning of a much better relationship on many levels. To do this, however, she emphasizes that the partner who had the affair needs to accept responsibility for the pain he or she caused the other, and both partners need to acknowledge their roles in creating and maintaining the climate that existed before the crisis escalated. This has been my experience as well.
Yes, he has a book to sell you too, so you can “acknowledge” your role in “creating and maintaining the climate that existed” before they cheated. He doesn’t call it cheating, however. He calls it a “crisis.” Don’t you want to pay $16.95 for that?
This shit is Orwellian. I thought a crisis was something like the bombings in Boston. A hurricane. Cancer. Sex addiction (assuming it’s addiction, and not just gross over indulgence) is a choice. It’s a series of choices that are self serving and secretive. It’s not a cry for help. If the addict wanted help, they’d get help. If they wanted a “better relationship” based on mutuality and respect, they’d have one or they’d get out and fuck around honestly as a single person. No, the “crisis” is that they got CAUGHT. They wanted an unlevel playing field by which they could get what they wanted at their chump’s expense. They wanted cake.
And let’s say it is an addiction, do we hold the partners of alcoholics responsible for “creating a climate” that makes someone drink? Are you going to “acknowledge your role” in making your kid a junkie? NO. We tell those people to go to Al-Anon, detach with love, and stop being codependent chumps. But it’s fucking around disease? Oh hey, that’s different. Now it’s your fault!
Funny enough, I said exactly that in a post I submitted to Huffington Post entitled “Rethinking Infidelity.” And it didn’t run. Well, it ran sort of. I guess I’ve been spoiled because everything I’ve sent to date has been featured as the lead story on Divorce, except one blog post on compassion. But the post where I call out crap like Dr. Broder’s as being part of the blame the victim Reconciliation Industrial Complex — that one winds up in HuffPo purgatory. You can only read it if you check my archive or I provide the link for you. No one else is going to read it.
The culture is very much tilted toward blame the chump for cheating. I’m not imagining it, this crap is out there and it sells. And IMO it’s a poisonous mindfuck, just like blaming schizophrenia on frigid mothers or autism on bad parenting or all the other shameful blame the victim shit PhDs have spewed in years past. We have to speak up and call the Dr. Broders of the world on their shit. It’s not going to change until chumps raise their voices in protest.