CORE Quotables

“Here at CORE, we believe that if the addict stands apart from the partner’s recovery, then he continues to be part of the problem.”

-Sharon

“You have to be really brave to go down this road of recovery. It is hard work. And it is worth every second of it."

-James

“Human beings make messes. Healthy human beings clean up their messes.”

-Gaelyn

"The way to the road to healthy intimacy is really with yourself.”

-Sharon

"For addicts out there who are going, ‘How do I even start [seeking intimacy instead of intensity], the first thing I’m going to say is this: 'What do you hold in awe and wonder about your partner? What is amazing about who she is?' The juxtaposition here is going to be NOT 'what does she bring to the table,’ not what she does for you (she looks after the kids, she’s a great mom, she makes me feel really good, she makes dinner for me, blah blah blah). That’s all narcissistic fueling. That’s USING someone. That’s dehumanizing. That’s not seeing her for who she is. She does those things out of love, maybe even out of obligation. But those are DOs. Who IS she? And if you can’t remember because too much has happened, too much water under the bridge, take yourself back to when you first met, and make a list of the things you fell in love with. Because, by golly, THOSE are the things you hold in awe and wonder about her. Go deeper and deeper, and keep making that list. This is what you’re grateful for, gratitude for the connection you have."

-James

“Memorize and utilize these three sentences, at times when you feel unsafe, uncertain or unclear: (1) No. (2) I don’t know. (3) I’ll let you know.”

-Gaelyn

“As partners, we have to learn to protect ourselves. Part of being 'all in' means being 'all open.’ When we are that moth that keeps slamming ourselves into that light, at some point we get tattered and bruised and bloody, and we absolutely have to pull back, otherwise that light will consume us. Avoiding intimacy is very different than 'intimacy avoidance.’ I think the way you want to look at that is, ‘Are you being avoidant with your children too?' Probably not. But an addict IS. An [active] addict is avoidant with everyone in [his] life. Inability to be present, loving, engaged with everyone in your life, then THAT’s what intimacy avoidance is—NOT protecting yourself from a marriage that isn’t safe. You cannot lean in unless there is safety."

-Sharon

“Gender wise, women have intuition in spades over men. Even though we men have intuition, a woman’s capacity for this—in her brain—is about 40% greater. If you feel something’s off, it’s off. That doesn’t mean you can identify what it is, or that your first thought is the right thought, but something is off. Believe that in yourself. ”

-James

“That’s one of the great mysteries when you’re transforming trauma: you don’t know what happens next.” (Source: Peter Levine, PhD)

-Gaelyn

"If there's any message we can give to people, it's that there's hope for you. There's hope for him. There's hope for us. As long as you're breathing, there's still hope. We get to create the life that we want by taking action, every minute of every day."

-Sharon & James

“God is big enough to handle my anger.”

-Gaelyn

"Yes—happy, healthy sex CAN happen!

-Sharon

"Intimacy is not just about romantic relationships. It’s about how you relate to other people.”

-James

(source unknown) “'I am not very good at making specific plans. Just meet me under the sky somewhere and be alive with me.' And I thought, that really captures intimacy. 

-Gaelyn

"Forward movement stops when you go into shame."

-Sharon

“Trauma speaks. Healing talks back.”
 

-Gaelyn

"Partners, I want to tell you that one of the things that happens when we’re living with an addict is we stop listening to our instincts. We really just disconnect from our instincts. Because the reality of it is, when we marry somebody, we’re all in, and it is a biological imperative for us to save our families. Right? We’re gonna do whatever it takes to keep our families together. So our instincts are going, ‘Danger! Danger! This isn’t safe! Get out! Get out!’ But an overriding biological imperative is, ‘I’ve got to keep my family together.’ So we start to ignore those signals from ourselves. Please listen to your instincts. Please know that if you think something’s wrong, if you FEEL that something’s wrong. something probably is. Listen to yourself. Believe in yourself.”

 

-Sharon

“I will not participate in my own disempowerment.”
 

-Gaelyn

“Speaking for myself, forgiveness isn’t generated by a source OUTSIDE myself; it’s not something I experience or pursue based upon external suggestions, projections or motivations. In my experience, meaningful and genuine forgiveness originates intuitive from somewhere INSIDE myself; suddenly I want it, I need it, and I’m ready to initiate it.”
 

-Gaelyn

“Don’t vomit all of the things you learn (in treatment and therapy) all over your partner. Every time you do, you’re asking her to rise above her pain, and sacrifice herself—again and again—so she can be present for your pain."
 

-Sharon

“What if we made friends with our feelings, rather than trying to force them away?”

 

-Gaelyn

“When making a tough choice, ask yourself three questions: If I do this, (1) What’s the best possible outcome? (2) What’s the worst possible outcome? (3) Am I emotionally prepared to deal with either outcome?”
 

-Gaelyn

Please reload

"Every right choice we make rewires the brain.”

-James

"Anything that is problematic for the partner is a problem for the couple."
 

-Sharon

"Porn addiction is sex addiction. Porn is sex. It doesn’t exist separately. If porn is a problem for the person you’re married to, then it’s a problem. If your energy and attention are going away from the marriage, leaving your loved one behind, it is excruciatingly painful and extremely damaging."

-James

“Sometimes, the only way out is through.”

-Gaelyn

"When we get to the point where we live in anger all the time, we're HOWLING in pain. So if you can see that anger as a wolf in the woods with her foot is in a trap, she's howling in pain and she'll do anything it takes to get out of that pain."

-Sharon

"If you're no longer in a relationship, do good things for yourselves. Do good things for you. Do things that help you heal. Do things you might think are selfish. They aren't."

-James

“The greatest casualty of porn addiction wouldn't be losing my marriage. It would be losing me.”

-Gaelyn

“When I woke up in the middle of the night and James was gone, I went. ‘HOLY MOLY. Who am I? Who is this little tiny woman I’ve become?’ And I really do believe God spoke straight through me, and I said, ‘From this moment on, I am going to be proud of everything I say and everything that I do.” I had become someone I didn’t like and I didn’t recognize. I had to pour all of the energy that went into keeping James in place (which really wasn’t working anyway) into myself. And that feels selfish, and that feels wrong. It’s counterintuitive for women. But we’ve got to learn to love ourselves. We can’t just survive. We have to thrive, and we have to revive who we were meant to be, and THAT’s the way we get out of that deep, dark hole of, ‘How will I ever trust anyone to ever touch me again?’”

-Sharon

"Being a partner is like standing in the desert in Afghanistan, where there are all of these minefields, all these landmines you know are there. And you keep stepping across them because you know your partner is there across that hot sand, through those mines, because you can see him. As the bombs are going off and the shrapnel is flying around, and as the missiles keep flying at her from somewhere, she continues to struggle forward, tattered, broken, blown up, bloody, alone. And when she gets close enough, she looks up and she sees that her husband is standing behind this shield—and he’s not getting any of this. She goes on to say that she notices the the misses are actually coming from behind that shield, that he’s still hurting her, yet he’s standing behind this shield. I imagine this shield saying, “Hey babe, I’m in recovery! Right? Look at all the work I’m doing. But the reality of it is, is that if he’s not standing beside her, if he’s not walking through that minefield, in the hot desert, holding her up, being present for her pain, he’s still part of the problem. He’s got to be part of the solution. That solution is ‘we.’ True connection and recovery for our coupleship was when we walked through those bombs and minefields together. It’s got to look like that.”

-CORE client

“I will do this divorce with dignity.”

-Gaelyn

“I had become someone so different from the woman I was meant to be. And so, my life had become all about trying to fulfill his needs. I didn’t feel like I was doing my best if I wasn’t doing that.”

-Sharon

“When you’re tired, rest, don’t quit.

-Gaelyn

"Lots of times people say, 'we want to get back this coupleship that we had.' But no, you really don’t. You don’t want any part of that. You want to be something new."

-Sharon

“You can scream. You can cry. But do not give up on life.” (source unknown)

-Gaelyn

"Please don’t lie to your wife by saying, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes,’ and not follow that up. That is soul destroying for both of you."

-Sharon

“We’re ready for healthy sex when we can answer YES to these three questions: (1) Do I feel loved? (2) Do I feel loving? (3) Do I feel safe?”

-Gaelyn

"I knew James was healing himself when he could see me for who I really was, faults and all. When we first got together, he had me on this pedestal. I had the biggest halo, you know, I was walking on water! Then, as things changed, I was everything bad, and I got blamed for everything. Through his healing process, James started being able to see my vulnerabilities. He began being able to see the truth about me. So, TRUTH—truth is really the answer to intimacy. It’s when you can share the truth together about what is happening in the moment.”
 

-Sharon

“The first step along the road to ruin is easier to resist than the thousand that will surely follow."
 

-James

“Even change that is "freely chosen” is almost always motivated by an outside impetus.”

-Gaelyn

“I wasn't fine. I was functioning. Big difference.”

-Gaelyn

“Knowing about porn addiction was one thing. Surviving life impacted by it is a whole other animal.”

-Gaelyn

“It will be okay in the end. If it’s not yet okay, it’s not yet the end.” (source unknown)

-Gaelyn

“God WILL do for me what I CAN'T do myself. God WON'T do for me what I CAN do myself.”

-Gaelyn