But wait, this isn't just a blog about Sarah and her life. This is a blog about how things relate to women who are partners of sex addicts. SO, I find myself asking myself, "Self, how is even this 'normal' end-of-the-year activity different for partners of SAs?"
As I've mulled this question over in my mind, conversation upon conversation that I've had with other women over the past three years began to flood my mind. Through those recollections, I've come to this conclusion...
One of the painful realities of being the partner of a SA is facing the (sometimes seemingly endless) ways our loved one has lied to and deceived us. Many of us have had to endure hearing about times our SA acted out on a day, or at a time, that had otherwise seemed meaningful or important. The result? Too often, when we look back over our lives, being able to determine what was real, or untainted by the addiction, becomes a confusing, foggy mess. We can't determine what was real, so EVERYTHING becomes tainted. If we're not careful, we fall into an "all or nothing" mentality. Another way to put this is, "all good or all bad."
"My husband couldn't have loved me and do what he did." Either he loved, or he didn't, based on his addictive behavior. That is "All or nothing" thinking. Could it be "both" and? Meaning, "My husband BOTH loved me AND he did what he did."?
Does this take away the tainting of a day, or experience? NO! HOWEVER, what it does do is remove us from the "victim" role, or the "less than" role. It takes ANY and EVERY ounce of responsibility that we might be carrying, and puts it squarely where it belongs - on the shoulders of the addict. It takes any self-worth we have assigned to the issue, and removes it from the equation. The result - a freer US! Once we free ourselves like this, then we can take an empowered look at the situation, and determine if it can be redeemed.
How does this tie into reminiscing the year that was 2013? When we take a look back at 2013, how do we see it? Has our SA's addiction and addictive behaviors so tainted the view we have that we see things as "all good" or "all bad", or can we accept that life is both? Are we able to see, and even more - be thankful for things throughout the year, as well as grieve the losses?
For me, 2013 was yet again a year of change for me: some changes that I'd hoped for but never dreamed would happen (or happen so quickly); some changes that I've feared, hoped to never have to deal with, and forced to face. Good and bad, and all that lay between - all things considered, this was a year of great growth for me, and for that I am eternally grateful. 2013, au revoir.