Sobriety Navigator: Chronicles of Adult Children of Sex Addicts. Part 4
Vicarious trauma: That is what she told her husband he was experiencing when he came home one Saturday morning after his routine exercise activity and coffee with a fellow professional and friend of 20 years.
During their coffee ritual, out of the blue, her husband’s friend told him that his mother used to walk around nude in front of him and his brothers when they were growing up. Being the thoughtful, mature man her husband was, he did not visibly react. But when he came home, he expressed his strong feelings of shock and repulsion. He told her he could not imagine his mother walking around nude in front of him as a child. He would have wanted to run away from home. The information his friend had shared with him really affected him deeply. He was just as surprised by the way his friend shared this story also. It was so matter of fact.
He also informed her husband that his mother, who was obviously trying to sexually arouse her sons, was always running men down. She was basically emasculating them. It became clear to the both of them that this man was being sexually exploited by his mother on one hand and demeaned on the other.
Why her husband’s friend brought this up and shared this information with him, he did not know. The friend did tell him that he also had multiple affairs on his wife of 40 years and was completely indifferent to her. She was an alcoholic in danger of dying from her disease. He didn’t care. In fact, her alcoholism and constant altered state served him well. It enabled him to lead his double life: The respectable professional on one side and the serial adulterer, sex addict on the other. This man, like his mother, had no boundaries and no regard for anyone else’s.
None of this surprised her. She had told her husband for a long time that his friend hated women, and was often disrespectful to her. She chose to have nothing to do with him. As far as her husband was concerned, other than exercise and coffee in the morning, he didn’t see or talk to him much either. They rarely see each other anymore.