PARTNER: I thought that I could have worked through the book alone but working with a therapist who was there just for me, helped me tremendously when it came to my fear and anxiety. It also helped me clarify what I wanted and what questions I might have. The presence of a therapist who was there just to support me made the process less frightening and I really appreciated knowing that I had support if I were to find out something traumatic on disclosure day.
I felt like I had a witness who really empathized with what I was going through. I was not alone.
ADDICT: I started my first session in my normal way which was thinking the therapist was going to be some sort of judgmental bore. He was not, he was very strong but gentle, kind and I also felt very supported. For me, the main benefit was that he helped me avoid making excuses when writing up my disclosure notes, such as “she made me do it”. He also helped me avoid — my main reflex response — to try to justify what I did such as “I was stressed / drunk / lonely…”
I haven’t yet mentioned being truthful! I think I was from the start, but somehow the therapist made it so that I felt I wanted to be truthful to him and myself, let alone my wife. I was also helped to understand that this was going to be emotionally tough, so what was the point of doing all this without total honesty?
Slightly to my surprise, I found that I was also expected to write a letter to my wife showing that I was wholly accountable for what I had done.In my normal way, I was quite sure that this would be a simple, easy, short piece of work — and it was. I also thought it would not be important — I was so wrong. Even just typing it, I could feel a sort of emotional and physical change happening inside me. A type of relaxation, perhaps also a letting go of my feeling that I may have to “fight” at any moment and an acceptance, a real acceptance and full realization, that she had done nothing wrong. This was my addiction and nothing she did or did not do would have changed what I had done.