Well, I went to my third COSA meeting this week and I had to let the experience roll around in my head for a few days before I wrote this post.
This particular COSA group has just started a Healthy Intimate Relationships group that meets right after the COSA meeting once a month. That group met this week. In the HIR group the men from the SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) group that meets downstairs in the same building come upstairs and join us after our COSA meeting ends. The purpose, I thought, was to share ideas on improving relationships.
Now, I’m not sure where the format came from (remember, these groups don’t allow any cross talk–so how the hell are we supposed to know what’s going on?), but we closed our COSA meeting and then opened it again with the men present. This made no sense to me or my husband, because, besides wasting all that time with the readings and formalities, Sex Addicts do not belong in a closed COSA meeting, which the leader stated it was. But, we both sat and listened and asked and answered questions, and, were both befuddled when we left. Now, here is my opinion on both COSA and the HIR meeting:
- These meetings are much too stilted and formal. We were actually told at the beginning of the HIR meeting to raise our hands to ask a question–how demeaning and condescending.
- Only 3 responses were allowed to each question (Why?)
- No cross talk was allowed. Again, why? This was supposed to be a group discussion, I thought.
- A spouse could not respond to their partners questions (to avoid arguments we were told–I guess we’re not grown up enough to act like adults)
- The HIR meeting was nothing more than a COSA meeting with the spouses present, which both my husband and I felt was highly inappropriate.
- The questions and answers did not address how to improve relationships, it was more generic and share-like.
I just don’t see the value of either of these meetings. Humans need support, and the most common method of support is talking. To require formal sharing with no cross talk (responses) just makes no sense to me at all.
The 12 step model has been around for over 50 years and has not changed or evolved since it’s inception for Alcoholics. I just don’t know how it has become the model for spouses and partners of addicts who need support, comfort, advice and direction. I still feel that a support group for spouses and partners of Sex Addicts should be an open discussion forum. What do you think?
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. ~ Anais Nin
Coming Soon…Are 12 step groups cults?