Since I came to SA, I’ve learned that I needed to develop a deeper level of communication with my wife. I need to tell her what hurts me, and I need to be open to listen to what hurts my wife. I need to trust her and be honest, because she will not know what I need if I will not tell her. Other things that help have helped our relationship include:
- We are both Twelve-Steppers and we each make our programs a 100% priority
- We participate in a religious denomination, which also provides programs to help marriages grow
- We learn how to communicate at workshops and retreats that focus on dialogue in marriage
- We have daily, weekly, and monthly dialogue routines
- When I speak, I speak with maximum love, and when I listen, I hear that my wife is also speaking with maximum love
- We speak for ourselves only (good example: “I felt hurt by what you said”; bad example: “You hurt me!”)
- We ask for clarification if we don't understand
- We do not use what one of us has said or might have said against the other
- We treat emotions as normal, even if they are tough. Emotions are just signs. We speak about them and search for their source within ourselves.
These are some of the tools we use to communicate with each other in the world of spiritual disease. In the beginning of our relationship, I was unable to communicate with her in any way. But after eight years of being together (over six years as a married couple), we've made big progress. But first I needed to learn about myself and my communication. I was handicapped in that area. I used to think that what I said was worthless, and that the other person would smite me if I admitted any of my weaknesses or if I admitted that I was hurt. Thanks to God that I (or we) have found a way out, through Sexaholics Anonymous.
Have a sober 24 hours!