Thursday, May 10, 2012

FANOS




Today is about a great tool I'd like to share for couples struggling with sex addiction.

F.A.N.O.S

Couples in recovery need to stay connected emotionally, and addicts' spouses need to get consistent updates about sobriety.  It is the key to keeping us sane. Most couples find that in the busyness of a typical week, this connection gets easily lost.

Over time, Mark and Debbie Laaser have developed an acronym for couples to use as a guide for regular "check in" conversations.  These conversations can be long or short, it's up to you.  Devin and I tend to keep our conversations anywhere from fifteen minutes to thirty minutes long. Mr. and Mrs. Laaser use the acronym FANOS - from the Greek word phainos which means "to bring to light" - to guide the conversation:

 FANOS is a safe place for open, honest discussion with no yelling or judgment.


Feelings – describe what / how you're feeling

Each person take turns describing their feelings for the day.  Sometimes it's brief, sometimes it's more in depth depending upon our day. The spouse goes over any triggers, anger or disappointments felt throughout the day.  The SA talks about stresses s/he felt, anger, disappointments, anything that can lead them to trigger.  It's also a time to share happiness and success.

Affirmations – find one or two things you want to affirm (they should be about your spouse)

We find different things to affirm in each other i.e.: our love, our faith in the other's recovery, patience, open and honest communication etc.

Needs – something you need today

We take turns sharing one or two needs.  Usually one will be for ourselves and one will be from the other.  i.e.  "I need you to know it's safe for you to talk to me,"  and "I need to dedicate more time to either my step work or reading."

Ownership – something you’ve done or said that you take responsibility / apologize for

An opportunity to say, "I'm sorry, this is what I did today." or "I'm sorry, this is what I said today."    

Sobriety or Self-Care – The sex addict will report on their sobriety. The spouse will report on the status of their self care (or sobriety if appropriate). You may do sobriety if you're working a 12-step recovery and have a sobriety date for stopping codependent, hyper vigilant or etc. 

It's important to remember that this is a safe place where there is no judgment.  When a slip is disclosed by the SA or spouse there should be no yelling.  Try to be as understanding as possible.


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For those in reconciliation with a recovering sex addict try using this acronym as a guide for a conversation with your spouse every day or every few days. You will be amazed at the sense of ongoing intimacy you experience.

22 comments:

  1. I think this is great even for a marriage that's not going through an addiction. Just looking at the FAN part, I'm sure most married folks (myself included) don't talk often enough about their feelings and their needs, and don't always affirm each other as much as they should.

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    1. I think you're probably right, Brandon...no wait, married...this has to be Brian..damn, I get so confused...Brian is in Vegas, Brandon just had a love fest at Brian's neighbor's...wait, what? LOL

      Where was I?

      I think you're probably right, um, ABFTS...I know for me, when I was married to Senior, after awhile we started to take each other for granted, especially after the kids were born. It took a major fight to make us realize what we were doing and bring us back together and reconnect...

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  2. I'm truly sorry you've been through such difficult and painful times. *hugs*

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    1. Thank you so very much, Super Earthling!

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  3. Hee hee but the line, "It's like they're professionals or something?" did make me laugh.

    I love Patty and I've never even met her! And well done to Devin for staying sober, because as you and I know, 2/3 weeks being sober, is like a lifetime to an addict.

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    1. You know me, deflect with humor - wonderful device!

      Yeah, Patty is the best thing to happen to me through all of this. She gave me a good kick in the ass when necessary and pats on the back when deserved. Kudos to him, yes...I just have to remember that lol

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  4. I guess the professionals do know something or at least are good at wording it so they think you do. A lot of it could truly work for most relationships too, might even be better off. Especially if one is usually saying WTF instead..haha

    Oh and did you notice the nice mixture of pringle cans filled with poo in your manure? I hope it made it smell soo much better..hahahahaha the cat loves it.

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    1. LOL - yeah changing the lettering to FANOS from WTF is probably a better idea! You can make a lot more progress that way.

      Your sneaky little cat didn't make it's way into my garden yet, Pat. My book is at the ready, just in case! Figures your cat would love the smell of manure, it's where it drags you all your lady friends in from hahaha

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  5. You so silly! Keep the positive attitude and letting him do his thing. YOU can do this!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mel, I appreciate your support =)

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  6. What will be will be - stay strong

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    1. Thanks, G - I keep learning different ways to remain strong.

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  7. Seems like a pretty fool proof plan as long as one sticks with it! I'm not in the situation, but I'll keep it buried in the back of my head. You never know when yourself or a loved one will find themselves needing this!

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    1. I really like it. It's a really cool way to connect everyday, even every week.

      Lord, Jax, I hope you never find yourself in this mess, girl! =P

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  8. You are amazing to be able to go through all this and still have a touch of humour in you.......who would think so called professionals would know anything about anything........

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    1. My sense of humor is by far my saving grace...sometimes to a fault. I know, those silly ol' professions lol

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  9. Damn...i know i don't comment much here but get a lot from your posts....you mightn't feel it but you are one strong woman...self deprecation is a good sign...
    keep going!

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    1. aawww, thanks, Dan. I appreciate knowing that more than you know. My sense of humor is a defense mechanism, not a lot of people get it and sometimes misunderstand it as me not taking things seriously....glad you understood it.

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  10. I love that you two are together again. It really broke my heart when he fell into other addictive patterns and stuff. Kinda like when bennifer broke up (you remember them, right?) It was emotional for me too. Maybe i'm too sucked into your story! Lol! But if u guys can do it, we can do it.

    These tips are great, I'm gonna link them on my blog too! Thx

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  11. He not only shifted addictions, when I talked to him about them, he felt cornered and relapsed under the pressure of having comorbid addictions. He's doing better now but he is in the detox stage and last time it took about six weeks to "snap" out of...although this time it isn't nearly as bad, so I'm hoping this time it won't be as bad =)

    Thanks for linking - I hope it helps someone else!

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  12. I think a lot of people could use this not just for the sex addiction. I've been married 34 years and sometimes we forget to just sit down and talk to one another or just forget to ask how was your day. Keep up the good work.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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  13. I think a lot of people could use this not just for the sex addiction. I've been married 34 years and sometimes we forget to just sit down and talk to one another or just forget to ask how was your day. Keep up the good work.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.