Ad­dict needs to get help

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - ADVICE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN Dear abby Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at http://www.dearabby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: Af­ter read­ing the let­ter from “Dumb­struck in Chicago” (April 24), who’s dat­ing a re­cently di­vorced man who was un­faith­ful to his ex-wife through mul­ti­ple af­fairs and one-night stands with pros­ti­tutes, I can­not stay silent. That man screams of be­ing a sex ad­dict. He needs the help of a cer­ti­fied sex ad­dic­tion ther­a­pist be­fore he wrecks an­other woman’s life.

”Dumb­struck” should RUN — not walk — to the near­est S-anon meet­ing. It’s a 12-step pro­gram for peo­ple who have been af­fected by an­other per­son’s sex­ual be­hav­ior. Th­ese be­hav­iors in­clude in­fi­delity by emo­tional or phys­i­cal af­fairs, one-night stands with pros­ti­tutes, hang­ing out in strip clubs and porn ad­dic­tion.

S-anon saved my san­ity and gave me the courage to of­fer my hus­band of 30 years a choice — re­cov­ery or divorce. Be­cause he knew I was se­ri­ous, he re­luc­tantly went into Sex­a­holics Anony­mous (SA) as well as ther­apy with a cer­ti­fied sex ad­dic­tion ther­a­pist (CSAT) and has been sex­u­ally sober for five years. Our mar­riage is bet­ter to­day than I ever dreamed it would be.

Sex ad­dic­tion is a dis­ease and needs to be rec­og­nized as the cause of ru­in­ing many mar­riages and tear­ing fam­i­lies apart. Please, Abby, sug­gest SA and S-anon when you re­ply to peo­ple who write you about th­ese is­sues.

— Anony­mous in Ken­tucky

DEAR ANONY­MOUS: Thank you for writ­ing. I have rec­om­mended the re­sources you men­tioned in my col­umn in the past. Sex­a­holics Anony­mous and S-anon have been in ex­is­tence for more than 35 years and have helped many in­di­vid­u­als stop un­healthy, de­struc­tive cy­cles of be­hav­ior. There are chap­ters na­tion­wide. Read­ers, to find a meet­ing near you, visit sa.org or sanon.org.

DEAR ABBY: I was raped by a man I thought was a friend. Since then, I don’t ac­cept men’s opin­ions, in­clud­ing those I work for.

When they try to give me con­struc­tive crit­i­cism, I shut down.

I know I need ther­apy. How do I get past this thing and be­come a pro­duc­tive em­ployee? I no longer want to be just an­other num­ber and/or statis­tic.

— Getting past this

DEAR GETTING PAST: Not all men are rapists, and not all rapists are men. What hap­pened to you was ap­palling, and I hope you re­ported it to the po­lice so it won’t hap­pen to an­other trust­ing friend of his.

You know you need ther­apy, so why not con­tact a rape treat­ment cen­ter and ask for help now? If you do, it will help you in many ar­eas of your life, in ad­di­tion to your work en­vi­ron­ment.

DEAR ABBY: I’m 18 and have been work­ing a min­i­mum-wage job for a lit­tle over a year. I’ve saved up a good bit of money, and it has taken a while to do, but I re­ally want to travel. Should I be re­spon­si­ble and keep sav­ing or use the money to buy a plane ticket?

— Broke and rest­less

DEAR B& R: I think you al­ready know the an­swer to your ques­tion, but al­low me to point out that the more money you save, the far­ther (and longer) you will be able to travel.

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