I see the shattered hearts over and over with the women and men I work with. For some the pain does not go away, old behaviors don't go away, and others figure out with lots of support and resources in place... find a way... to not revisit "that place." They'll be other mountains, hills, and valleys to overcome, but, once again, they do things differently now, they rebuild trust, they learn the word "empathy, and engage in a responsive, loving and caring way, that did not exist until the healing process began.
One of the experiences I now have with my husband, is the joy of leading a couples group. Some whom have been through similar situations, some with a horrendous amount of baggage and trauma as a result of the sexual addiction induced trauma. And yet, they have found the courage work in the healing, and redefine their relationship.
One of our assignments in group, was to write- up a statement, somewhat of a mission statement, to how redefining our relationship looks now and in the future. Below is one written by my husband and I:
Values for our emotional and sexual intimacy.
Our relationship speaks to a commitment we made to one another on August 19,1972. The commitment pledged of a covenant to honor God, and seek Him first in all of our ways, with our mind, and our bodies.
As we move forward, a broken couple, a broken trust, we commit to repair, rebuild and redefine our relationship. We vow to make Christ as our head, and no other person, place,or thing above or before us take that precedency or replacement. We walk hand in hand, in sickness and in health with the dream of traveling, serving others and one another’s pursuits. We pledge to place emphasis and meaning on our relationship by taking time to grow our intimacy, with a teachable spirit, communication, creativity, spontaneity, playfulness, and letting go of each other’s weaknesses, for the sake of pursuing authenticity, honesty, trust and our shared goals for connection.
Building our sexual agreement into our vision statement, List below taken from Alexandra Katehakis, Erotic Intelligence
1.Sexual intimacy has to feel honest to both of us and aim to increase intimacy.
2.No sexual activity outside of our committed relationship.
3.No secrets or lies about sex, sexuality, or sexual preferences.
4.Agree to be free to choose when and where to have sexual intimacy.
5.Agree to name our sexual limitations and work on areas where we feel stuck.
6.Agree on why we have sexual intimacy (connect, pleasure, exploration and discovery, celebrate our love, and enjoy sense of play.)
7.Agree to be clear on the different kinds of sex we want to have and what we don’t want to have, example, take an afternoon or evening to slowly explore and build our sexual repertoire; have maintenance sexual intimacy, meaning sex that is more like what we usually enjoy, keeping connection in mind to have the occasional quickie, meaning sex for the sake of quick pleasure, again with the connection between the two us.
8.Agree to be present and allow for whatever happens without judgement.