Four hours of personal coaching with Marsha Means, MA
I never planned to specialize in sexual addiction, or write books to provide light to women who love men trapped by this devastating problem. The path that led me here began twenty years ago when I realized the wonderful man I saw as my perfect Prince Charming brought the addiction with him. It was my personal search for answers and help that eventually led me to pursue my Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy and to write on the topic.
Since then, there has been much pain and many losses because of sex addiction. But there have also been a great many joys and new additions to my life. God has shown me he never wastes anything—even pain—and that even our heartache can serve to help others if we allow him to shape it. He has filled my world with beautiful, courageous women, women I think of as my dear sisters scattered around our planet; sisters with me on this undesired journey.
And he has shown me he is indeed a God of new beginnings, and that Jeremiah 29:11 holds true for me, and I know it can also hold true for you as well. “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV
The search for relief from anxiety and other issues stemming from betrayal trauma is causing some women to look to CDB oil for a solution. But did you know you have your very own “endocannabinoid system” inside your body, and it doesn’t require paying big bucks for CBD oil to use it to your favor? A recent study reveals scientific evidence that some common, easy-to-do activities activate that system and can be used proactively to counter anxiety and other disorders' impact on your body.
If you haven’t bumped into him yet, I want to introduce you to world-renowned psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Daniel Amen. You can find him on PBS, Ted Talks, YouTube, and elsewhere, simply by “Googling” him.
I first found Dr. Amen in the early 2000’s.
For those of us who live in the United States, this is Thanksgiving week; a time set aside to say “Thank
you” for life’s blessings. A time to show our appreciation. But for those of you still reeling from betrayal
trauma, it marks the beginning of a difficult holiday season. When your heart is breaking, it can feel
impossible to spread the holiday cheer. It becomes more about simply trying to survive the season.
But what if I told you that thanksgiving—gratitude—could actually help your heart and mind heal?
That you don’t need to paste on a pretend smile to keep family members happy. Instead you can do it to help yourself heal. Might that make it easier to get through the holidays this year? And what if I told you there’s scientific proof? Would you be curious?
I hope you answered “yes” to that last question, so you’re willing to read on. And that you’re at least
mildly curious to hear what I’m talking about, because I’m for sure eager to share this new-to-me
discovery with you.
Recently, I began researching how to help highly traumatized clients heal from panic attacks and
anxiety. I needed more and better tools to help them take back their power and their lives. And as I
searched online, I made an amazing discovery. I found a nonprofit, scientific organization called
HeartMath™, and I want to help you discover it, too. Their work is based on 29 years of “…scientific
research conducted at the HeartMath Institute on the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and
the interactions between the heart and brain….” “The HeartMath system empowers people to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors to reduce stress….”
“Self-regulate?” We all know how hard that skill is to find and use, especially around triggers and during
difficult times like the holidays. But I invite you to take three minutes and watch this video. It explains
the science and value we can gain from a simple, free, easy-to-do exercise that can give us something to smile about this holiday season, if nothing else can do that for us:
With your healing at heart,
If domestic violence were a wheel, the hub in the middle would be labeled Power & Control. Learning to listen for power and control issues, whether they are in your marriage or that of another woman or child, will help you gain the sensitivity necessary to identify women who are living with a man who is controlling, and possibly unsafe. This is an important topic for partners of sex addicts, because quite often, we have to be brave and strong, confront sexual betrayal, and ask for change, which can produce anger. And anger, in the hands of someone with power and control issues, can be a dangerous thing.
I hadn’t thought much about the role self-awareness plays in our healing until I asked a former client what treasure she had found because of her healing journey. Her answer? “Self-awareness.” But I haven’t stopped pondering that conversation since. And I’ve discovered she is absolutely correct! Learning to live in self-awareness can be labeled a treasure, but it is also a necessary tool for our healing. How is it so essential?you might ask, just as I did. But now I know the answer to that question.
Who among us hasn’t been so shattered or angry about her husband’s sex addiction that she’s said or done things she wishes she could take back? Gratefully, very few of us lose control to the level 69-year-old Patricia Hill--a nurse and Sunday School teacher of Arkansas--did. But because there is always the danger that our humanity can flare, get us in trouble, and harm others, I want to share this heartbreaking story with you.
I have this burning passion to help ministers and others see through my lens when they encounter sex addicts and their partners. Most of them still sit in judgement, and can only see the broken and hurting as “living in sin.” But I want them to see through my lens—because my lens formed out of the love and grace God gave me—and all of us, if we will just turn to him with our failures.
Because of my dear father, I know what I’m looking for. Please listen as I tell you a true story.
As we approach another holiday season, and our minds turn toward shopping for gifts to give to those
we love, one woman’s story reminds me there’s one gift we can only give to ourselves.
Triggers. We all know how they can throw us into a panic in seconds, and leave us spinning, even when we thought we were beyond such cycles. Like a wind out of nowhere, they rock our world. And they often result in relational conflict, because our partners don’t “get” why we are so edgy, reactionary, and fragile. But if both parties in the couple are on a recovery path, and trying to save their marriage, boundaries can make a huge difference. The right kind of “boundaries,” that is. And I have a great example for you of the kinds of boundaries I’m talking about.