There it is, sitting quietly and inconspicuously in a corner of my garage. It’s a blue tinted storage bin with a dusty dark blue lid. I hid the bin there in the garage so my house guests wouldn’t find my secret stash of self-help-for-healing-and-recovery-after -discovering-my-husband-has-a-sex-addiction collection of books. These aren’t the kinds of books you display on the living room bookshelf!
Most of the books are also on my Kindle reader, but there’s something about being able to smell the musky paper of a book, to make handwritten notes in the margins, or double underline with a variety of colors and pens. So, while waiting for appointments or for the mechanic to change my car’s oil, I pretend to be on Facebook but I am actually reading the electronic versions of my sex addiction books. When I get home, I do my underlining in the paper version then I put the real book away in my really well-hidden blue bin.
I didn’t intend for this post to be a book review but it’s sort of ending up that way. I was simply pondering over the many things that have changed in my life. Little things, like where do I put the book I’m currently reading? I used to have a variety of books strewn on top, under, and around my night stand. Having books nearby makes me feel like I’m surrounded by friends. Lately, however, I feel the need to hide what I’m reading. Maybe I should wrap each book in a brown paper bag and discreetly pull each one out while I consume its contents.
Well, let me introduce you to some of my friendly books that I keep hidden from view.
He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton was the first book I read. It is rich in research, real stories and examples, and offers a Christ-like perspective to sex addiction. I spent a lot of time in this book and gleaned some small glimmers of hope from it while I was in the early stages of trauma.
I always have extra copies available of What Can I Do About
Him Me? so I can share with others. I like to put a copy of this book in a pretty gift bag and give it to a devastated wife rather than tell her to download the book or buy it for herself. I think Rhyll Croshaw, the author, will always be my hero for 1) being courageous enough to share her experiences, 2) having the intellect to figure out effective ways to deal with a sex-addicted husband. If I ever feel fear creeping back into my thinking, I go back and review Rhyll’s practical tools and suggestions.
I also have several copies of Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marbles at a Battleship and I’ve shared this book with both men and women that want to know the basics of sex addiction or as Andrew, the writer of Sitting in a Rowboat, calls it: lust addiction. Andrew has a knack for describing sex addiction in simple and understandable terms. If you want to crawl inside the mind of a sex addict, this is a must-read!
The newest published book in my collection is Life After Lust by Forest Benedict. This is a straightforward book with practical helps and strategies for those struggling with pornography addiction. Though it is written mainly for addicts, there are fresh cutting-edge ideas and explanations that can also help spouses understand sex addiction. The emphasis is on mindset, mastery, and mission (finding purpose) in recovery. This book might become my new favorite.
Here is a list of other books I’ve read that won’t be on display in my house:
Boundaries in Marriage (Cloud & Townsend)
Codependent No More (Melody Beattie). I also recommend Beyond Codependency (Melody Beattie)
Getting Past the Affair (Snyder, Baucom, Gordon).
Moving Beyond Betrayal: The 5-Step Boundary Solution for Partners of Sex Addicts (Vicki Tidwell Palmer). Excellent resource for creating and keeping boundaries! I prefer this over the Cloud & Townsend book.
Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal (Steffens, Means).
Worthy of Her Trust (Arterburn, Martinkus). Your husband needs to read this!
I’ve also read all of Brene Brown’s books along with several Christ-centered books written by LDS authors.
Everyone must find their own process for finding healing and peace. Some people focus on their physical health and fitness. Others might find solace in service or volunteer work. Music brings comfort to many people seeking healing. For me, reading is my tool for finding safety and my source for knowledge. I’ve got to have my books, even if I have to hide them somewhere!