Recovery Group for SOBs and their spouses

So, yesterday I talked a lot about what I DON’T want in a group. Here is what I would LOVE to find in a group:

  1. A BS/SOB joint group, with the BS and SOB each having a separate offshoot group from that joint group.
    1. There could be two options:
      1. in person meetings for those who share a geographic location; or
      2. Online meetings, using group meeting software
    2. The SOB group (former cheater) could be a men’s group, perhaps with a focus on being an accountability group.
    3. The BS group could be a trauma support group, but also helping each other to find positive paths forward each week. Keeping us accountable to our own recovery in a way.
  2. Each member couple truly starting at GROUND ZERO.
    1. How: All SOBs must complete a written timeline that covers from the start of the relationship to present, then must pass a polygraph.
    2. Why: There is no truly going forward in healing without starting at “Ground Zero.” Lies keep-up walls. Lies and omissions continue the pattern of hiding and shame.
  3. Each meeting could start off with something like:
    1. SOB: This week I want to recognize this cost of my actions to my BS.
    2. SOB/BS: This week I appreciated:
    3. SOB/BS: Next week I look forward to:

Well, that is all I’ve got so far. Help me out here people.

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16 thoughts on “Recovery Group for SOBs and their spouses

  1. TigerLily,
    Thank you…and please expand. So far I have heard about a lot of “resorts” for couple/marriage enhancement but many people are not that pleased with the results.
    Some are big money makers, and others follow a “cookie cutter approach. Some therapists talk about ego-states and when I asked my clients about it, they cannot remember what it was about.
    I was wondering how to create the best possible retreat/workshop that offers individualized options, small group, individual sessions and couple sessions.
    I have seen workshops that allow a huge group of people to attend from newly weds to people married for over 50 years…I can’t see that being effective. These workshops do not include healing after an affair. While the stats might lie, but not that much…affairs are too common.
    Some do not include issues with physical intimacy, while I think it is a MUST to address it.

    Good idea…let’s throw out what is helpful and what is not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. E., we did an Affair Recovery class and it was a helpful start. But, I think MC and I both wished that we could have continued on with that small group dynamic of couples beyond the 13 week course.

      We used TalkShoe for the weekly meetings, and we were able to keep some kind of anonymity in that venue, meetings occurred after kids were in bed, we didn’t have to leave home or find a babysitter.

      Four or five couples with a moderator was just the right amount. It was wonderful for us, but it ended after only 13 weeks. I would have absolutely loved to have some form of continuation of that. I like the idea of including physical intimacy issues as well!

      Maybe we could figure something out here????

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We should definitely talk about doing this. I’m in the midst of a class right now, last one to finish my Masters (woo hoo). Also, I took on some contract work (bad timing, but good opportunity). But, I would really love to work on this with you Dr. E. I do have a TalkShoe account under the R4L name. Perhaps we could put together some type of couple’s group, smallish, meetings on TalkShoe????

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Another thing I remember from our little 13-week support group through Affair Recovery is wishing the other couples’ stories were a bit more similar to ours — wishing that we had more in common with them. For example, it wasn’t clear whether the other couples in the group were talking about a single affair or act of adultery or about a long list of betrayals over the course of several years.

          Also, there were couples who were significantly different from us in age and background. We wanted to envision eventually calling them friends, but the relationships just weren’t clicking. I suspect that’s primarily because 13 weeks is just not enough. I also think all the couples, including TL and me, somehow ended up focusing more on the moderator than on the other couples in the group. Somehow we needed a moderator to push us more to interact directly with each other.

          I’m not sure this is all achievable. But, we’d certainly need more than 13 weeks. Perhaps a one-hour chat weekly would be a reasonable starting point.

          Further, I suspect it would be more effective to have groups as small as two or three couples, with quite a bit in common, instead of larger groups with less in common. In addition to having more shared points of reference, smaller groups of people should permit each person more talking time.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We may have to talk through this a little more. Isn’t it funny, I actually kind of like the idea of three or four couples, and liked a little diversity. Though yes, in our group, we were the only couple dealing with serial cheating and I found that a bit isolating in a way.

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          2. Hi MC,
            Yes that makes sense. Small groups with people with similar experiences is better. I have heard that from others as well.
            Indeed there are differences between those who had experiences with multiple affairs and those who are healing after one incident. Level of communication and maybe academic background is another factor. I think indeed that the facilitator need to do quote a bit of prep work in order to find the right match.
            Too many times I see therapists struggling to get a group together and too many times, due to costs, therapists make concessions.
            Elisabeth

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              1. I came up with the SOB label along time ago. I hope it won’t be off-putting, I know not everyone gets my sense of humor or appreciates it. We can change it for the group meetings if you want.

                I just wanted a short hand way to identify people like MC with issues like MC’s issues, without resorting to the SA label. We just are not comfortable with the idea of an SA diagnosis being used as a blanket label for all serial cheaters. If you are going to have a blanket label for a serial cheater, somehow SOB just seems to capture it so much better. 😉

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  2. Ok TL and E, I’m late to the party. But HUSBAND and I are in a group that has been integral to our healing. We have a BS group, an “SOB” group and then meet together as couples. We do so weekly…and in person. The SOB group becomes a safe place where practiced liars learn how to practice honesty. They have accountability, and from what we hear in our BS/SOB group time, it isn’t a place to hide behind shame, or wallow in victimhood. The BS group…powerful…trauma recovery…such incredible support and care and strategies for dealing with what we deal with… The couple group is astounding. We all clearly see the elephant in the room, and it is what it is. We are healing, and speak into each other’s lives, and support any stalling, and never tell each other what the outcome must be, but support the directions we choose. Let me know if you want a conversation off line at some point.

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