Last week the book review was for Intimacy Anorexic, this week it is for Married & Alone, the companion book by Doug Weiss PhD. The truth of these books will turn your world upside down, as new understanding dawns.
Several posts ago, in regard to my life’s journey, I mentioned that although great strides had been made, there were still areas in my life needing answers. Many decades into the process, sadly, the end was not yet here.
No matter the number of contacts made, books read, or the time invested in understanding dynamics, things were still unclear for me.
One possible reason for his lack of interest in me; could he be gay? I entertained this possibility more than once through the years but was never convinced it could be true. Too many indicators to prove otherwise.
I knew he had thick, high walls of protection I’d never been allowed behind. He had a passive way of deflecting so the walls were not a blatant issue. He had a passive/dismissive way about most things, which meant it was hard to grasp hold of what was really going on. It was hard to get an exploratory discussion going because it was like smoke and mirrors, it isn’t solid so how can it be discussed.
I knew for sure there was no connection between us, living with him was beyond lonely.
Occasionally, other questions cropped up. Like, why is there a sense of competition between us, why would he feel threatened by me, even though I make sure to stay away from those areas he claims as his.
Or, why would he throw me under the bus, in front of other people, wasn’t he supposed to be my protector? If he loved me, wouldn’t he stand up for me?
I was frustrated because we were pretending to have this perfect happy marriage.
I was frustrated because of the deep inexplicable pain no one, including me, seemed to understand.
Eventually, I heard about this book, Married & Alone, and I thought, THAT’S ME.
I wish I had read it when I first heard about it but things sometimes happen only when the time is right. Reading the book now has filled in the blanks and answered the questions.
Here are some of the treasures found in this book:
- Clear definitions of the Intimacy Anorexic and the effect on the spouse of such a person.
It is validating to know I’m not crazy, it isn’t my imagination, it isn’t my fault, and, I couldn’t fix any of it – no matter how hard I would try.
- Clear descriptions of what the recovery process should look like, and what it looks like if it isn’t happening.
Believe actions, not words. Know the signs to show actions are happening.
- Clear information regarding credentials and qualifications of professional help, and questions to ask in determining your needs.
I’ve never seen this information laid out as clearly and concisely. This section alone makes the book worthwhile.
- Clearly shows the path from discovery point to the end question, what now – stay or leave?
Rather than offer opinions or directions, Dr. Weiss offers questions to ask and truths to consider. His purpose is to help guide us through the murky and confusing world that is our life, helping us come to a place of understanding. With understanding, we have the tools to make a decision about the right course of action for our unique situation.
For me; it was wonderful to get to the end of the book and realize that, with God’s help, I had done everything Dr. Weiss laid out as steps toward healing. I had no previous idea about any of this but earnestly prayed for wisdom and direction, then when things occurred to me, and seemed logical, I did them. Therapists, books, and knowledge, may not always be available to you, even then, help is still available from the One who never leaves us or forsakes us, the One who can teach us, and guide us to all the help we need.
I now have a clear picture of what was going on, I know everything that could be done has been done. There is a feeling of closure as this part of my healing journey is finally complete.
I hope you will read both books, the understanding gained will change your life and the lives of those around you.
The take away in regard to recovery: no more secrets; and each one must be willing to do the hard work.
These, and other helpful books, can be found at dougweiss.com or on Amazon
There is also a dedicated site intimacyanorexia.com
There will be more posts in regard to this subject, I feel sure. The last step in the twelve step program charges us with the responsibility of helping others reach this place in the journey. Everyone needs someone to come alongside. We don’t journey alone, we are in this together.