Running on Empty No More is an excellent book for anyone seeking healing in their most important relationships. The book is a fitting follow-up to her first book Running On Empty, providing practical strategies for those wondering about next steps in their recovery from Childhood Emotional Neglect. One thing I appreciate about the book is the author’s obvious care and compassion for the reader. She invites the reader to take some difficult steps in repairing relationships while being clear about when those choices could be unhealthy. I found the book refreshing in my personal journey, especially when the concept of forgiveness was addressed. As a parent, I cannot more highly recommend the section on learning to connect with children.
Running on Empty No More has the potential to change the world, one relationship at a time. I plan to share this book with those I love, recommend it to many of my clients, and add it to the addiction recovery program I lead. Whether you’re seeking tools for connecting with a partner, parent, or child, this book is for you.
Partners of sex addicts are on heart-breaking and hard journey. One of the many challenges they face is seeking emotional safety within their relationship, which is a difficult skill to master. In many cases, an addict will make promises of change (certainly, they usually want to change). But, based on their history of misusing words, they often create a situation where words mean nothing and action with the right attitude means everything.
In my recent interview with Betrayal Trauma Recovery, I talked about what constitutes good recovery for an addict and what partners can look for as signs of progress. If you’re a partner of a sex or pornography addict, I encourage you to listen to this podcast (here) and seek the help you deserve (See What My Wife is Worth).
The Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter project will begin in about a week! Check out my VLOG Announcement to learn more about the details of this fun project.
Also, I HAVE A REQUEST…I have put together some great rewards for those wishing to contribute to this cause but I really would love to know what rewards you would be interested in. Again, check out the video for further explanation and to learn about some of the awesome rewards that are already planned.
I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. I also look forward to hearing stories of lives touched and changed as a result of listening to the hopeful message of Life After Lust.
PS: To follow this story, I invite you to follow this blog and sign up on the Life After Lust Newsletter
Today I enjoyed the privilege of being interviewed on the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast. As Anne introduced me, she shared that I was their first male guest in the history of the podcast, an honor I do not take lightly. Our episode will go public in a couple of weeks (I’ll definitely share it here). To be one of the first to listen, you can subscribe to their podcast. Listening to past episodes, I realized the BTR podcast is a goldmine for those seeking help with healing from betrayal trauma.
Today’s episode will provide hope and inspiration to all recovering partners. We talked about some essential topics and I shared how my book Life After Lust is a valuable resource for partners (click here for one partner’s review). I look forward to sharing this historic interview with you all very soon!
Unfortunately, many of us recovering from sex addiction have made past choices that have broken down the trust of those we love most. In active recovery, we learn how to live out a trust-building lifestyle. In my new Life After Lust VLOG episode called The Humbling Road to Rebuilding Trust in Recovery, I share some ways that I am working to rebuild trust in my relationship with my wife. For further study, here’s another great video with 8 additional ideas for rebuilding trust.
What ways are you rebuilding trust in your closest relationships?
May we all be willing to embody humility, working hard to be the trustworthy people our partners deserve. They are worth our best efforts.
And so are we.
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Sex is on my mind a lot these days. The reason for this is I’m preparing to teach a Human Sexuality class at Fresno State this weekend. I look forward to my time with future therapists, as we explore how sex can go both wrong and right.
It may go without saying but sex is an important topic in sexual addiction recovery. As a sexual addiction therapist, I tell my clients that successful recovery necessitates a different view of sexuality. The old perspective on sex must be thrown away and replaced with a new one. Rather than using sex as a numbing agent, sex must become a connecting agent. Still, this transition in thinking and practice is difficult. It requires learning, direction, and work.
In her video on Sex & Intimacy, Sue Johnson superbly explains the dynamics of connected and disconnected sex. I believe many sexual addicts experience “sealed off sex”, which she describes as a sexual experience that is lacking emotional intimacy, is solely sensation focused, and leaves individuals feeling lonely. In recovery, we have the opportunity to see sex in an entirely new way. In recovery, we can learn to experience sex as the “potent bonding activity” it is meant to be. This usually requires the guidance of a trained professional and a plethora of patience. But as a couple does the hard work of recovery, experiences healing, and is willing to humbly learn new ways of relating, connected sex can become a wonderful reality.
Over a decade ago I checked into a treatment program hoping to heal from a serious sexual addiction. A transformed life was Plan A. Plan B was a secret plot to escape to Las Vegas and drown myself in addictive self-destruction. My contingency plan never materialized because Plan A became my life’s mission. Ironically, my recovery path led me back to Las Vegas last weekend. I was not there to indulge an addiction but to train therapists to treat those who do. This is one of many mind-blowing miracles I’ve savored in my recovery. Out of my past pain has come my present purpose. This is the hope of healing.
When we are deep in addiction and trauma, we are blind to future hope. We cannot imagine living in the light when we feel lost in the night. It takes a bold imagination to take steps forward in recovery when we can’t predict where that path leads.
I cannot tell you where your recovery path will take you but I can promise you one thing: Through your recovery you’ll connect with your purpose. Healing is about far more than just managing triggers, but about stepping into a meaningful life. When we are no longer handcuffed by our impulses, we are free to love and live fully.
Are you willing to do the deep and difficult work of recovery today, holding tightly to the belief that you will benefit tomorrow?
Are you willing to postpone present pleasure and persevere through present pain for the promise of future satisfaction?
If you answer “yes” then I welcome you to a courageous journey of faith. Here we begin to believe in the unseen. We imagine a different future while persistently pursuing it. When our purposeful future find us, we will truly see that we’ve sacrificed nothing and gained everything. We wrestled for our recovery and it was worth it. We were healed for a purpose.