Yet confusion exists about intimacy and commitment, and sexual betrayal abounds in our culture. Most couples, whether married or not, have both spoken and unspoken commitments that sex stays within their relationship; Their expectation is for unconditional love, but they know that relationships have conditions that need to be negotiated openly. Unfortunately, these commitments and expectations are simply a facade in many people's relationships. Many women are part of a coupleship riddled with deception, lies, and false perception as a result of their partner's compulsive sexual acting out. Today, in every neighborhood throughout every community, women are being challenged by the addictive nature of their partner's sexual behavior. Perhaps you are a young wife of nineteen who just discovered that your husband was with another woman within days of your wedding. You feel overwhelmed, realizing you don't know your husband at all. So just like with another arbitrary eight--the number of glasses of water an adult is supposed to drink a day--we got fixated on quantity. This obscures the reality that some people need less than eight hours and others need more, and that just as what we do each day varies, so too does our need for shut-eye. Beyond the amount of time we spend asleep, the quality of it is arguably just as important, if not more so. Say you got nine hours but were disturbed by your neighbor's dog barking, half-woken by a couple of texts because you forgot to switch off your phone notifications, and got up to use the bathroom twice. You'll likely be shocked awake by your alarm, feel groggy, and wish you could have stayed in bed for another hour or two. Contrast that to a night when you got seven hours and there were no interruptions or intrusions. You probably felt better than the morning after those unsatisfying nine hours. Sleep is another area where we can wield technology for good and combine it with an evaluation of our mood and energy levels. You could use your fitness tracker to monitor both the quantity and, to some degree, the quality of your sleep for a week or two, using either a sleep log app or just a good old-fashioned notearticle. In addition to recording what time you go to bed and wake up, it'd be helpful if you logged whether you felt okay, great, or wretched when you woke up. It also means decriminalizing mental illnesses and removing police from psychiatric facilities. It means showing compassion for people who feel forced to sell rights to their bodies for survival and providing options that make this unnecessary.

For all of us, body liberation means the right to inhabit our bodies with dignity and respect. Body liberation can help us be ourselves, belong in our bodies, and belong across difference. CRITICAL AWARENESS EXERCISE ASSESSING THE CULTURAL IMPACT ON QUALITY OF LIFE Part 1: Identifying the Impact of Social Identity Categories Each of the social identity categories in the following chart regulates and shapes the course of our lives in some way. In the first column on the left, rate the impact these factors have on you personally on a scale from -5 to +5. Negative numbers mean that how you are treated based on this aspect of yourself has a negative impact on your life, while positive numbers indicate that you feel culturally advantaged based on that aspect. Your parents tried to talk you out of the marriage, and now you are thinking maybe they were right. You may be the mother of two young children and your husband has just lost his job because he was engaging in internet sex during work hours. Suddenly, you start to put together what you thought was odd behavior with the fact that he has also been doing that at home. You could be a thirty-eight-year-old mother of two with only a high school education and no work experience, who previously refused to believe rumors about your husband's affairs, but now he's been caught in a federal pornography sting and it's all over the front article of the newspaper. You could be a stay-at-home mom going crazy with suspicions when your husband travels extensively in his work. You know you've heard a woman's voice in the background in his hotel room when you've called him. He says it's just room service. For several months someone has been calling your home and hanging up when you answer. When you question him, he appeals to your insecurity and your past trust issues with your ex-husband. Or maybe you're forty-seven years of age, you've masked your shame and confusion about your husband's chronic pornographic activity, and now you are horrified because your children are going to find out about their father's voyeurism. You could then go further and examine what you ate and drank each night, how you felt when you got into bed, and how long it took you to fall asleep. Then try to see patterns between your evening behavior, food intake, sleep quality and quantity, mood, and energy levels, both last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

Once you've identified some trends, you can start making adjustments and experimenting to nail down a nighttime routine and food choices that are more conducive to a truly good night's sleep. What's Your Sleep Score? I have my own cautionary tale to tell about sleep tracking. A couple of years ago, I was completely burned out from working too much, and one of the side effects was disrupted sleep. It got to the point that I had to start popping prescription pills because I had no other solutions to get the rest I so desperately needed. As I started to learn more about the science of sleep, I began making changes that helped me get off the meds and on a better schedule-- like replacing bright bulbs with warmer tones, eliminating electronic device exposure before I lay down, and making sure my bedroom was cold. I figured that as part of my new sleep hygiene routine, I might as well use a sleep tracker to see if the duration and quality of my slumber had actually improved or if I was just kidding myself. The trouble is, the joke was on me. In other words, if racism has a negative impact on your life, you would choose a negative number for race. Choosing a negative number about race doesn't indicate lack of pride or suggest that you have any negative feelings about your race, just that racism exerts a negative influence on you. After you have finished rating all the categories in the first column, proceed to the columns on the right, putting as many or as few check marks in the appropriate categories. Try to complete this quickly, choosing a gut response. Later, you can return and adjust your responses. Part 2: Reflection Questions Use your discretion in pondering these questions. Some may be emotionally triggering, particularly if you have a history of trauma. Consider self-care strategies that will help you as you engage. Consider, too, delving into the questions with a group, a friend, or professional help. You thought he had stopped that behavior, but the police caught him and this time it looks like it will become public. Or you could be a sixty-five-year-old grandmother of four who's known for forty-five years that your husband has had one affair after the other.

There's nothing particularly different about the current affair that you just discovered; You leave the relationship. The truth is you could be any woman. You may have children; You may have the financial resources to be independent but you stay in the relationship; You could be of any faith. In some cases your faith may offer direction and comfort, or you may feel trapped as a consequence of the constrictions of your religion. Your ethnicity and culture may help you stay in denial and normalize behavior that you find hurtful and shaming. I'm a recovering hypercompetitor, and when I quantify any aspect of my life, I automatically want to beat that number. So if my sleep score (an arbitrary value the tracker produces using an algorithm) was a 70 that first night, I wanted at least a 72 the next time I checked, then a 74, and so on. Maybe if I really pushed myself I could reach 100! But rather than encouraging me to form and sustain healthy habits, my desire to get a better score actually added yet another stressor. Initially, the tracker did encourage positive behavior change. I started going to bed earlier in my vain attempt to get that score up, for example. But soon enough this started creating anxiety. Eventually, I realized that tracking my sleep was not improving the quality of it and that the only number my vainglorious self-competition was increasing was my stress level. So I set the tracker aside and went back to improving my nighttime routine. I also did some beneficial self-discovery about my chronotype (you know, night owl or early bird) and found that I do my best creative work, have my most beneficial breathing and meditation sessions, and move well in the early morning. What does this exercise tell you about your relative power in the world? What does this exercise have to do with health?

What does this exercise have to do with body dissatisfaction and eating disorders? Which identities do you think people first notice about you? Which identities do you notice first in other people? Which identities matter most in your self-perception? Which identities matter least in your self-perception? Which identities do you think matter most in others' perception of you? Which identities do you think about most often? Which identities do you think about least often? Then again, your culture may be what offers you strength and support at a time of great confusion. Perhaps finding yourself in this situation is a family tradition. Generations of women in your family have denied, tolerated, and rationalized the sexual acting out of their men. No matter who you are or what your background is, to be in a relationship with someone you love, someone you believe loves you, someone you have a commitment with, only to realize he has been acting out sexually is one of the greatest betrayals. What I want you to know is that you are not alone. There is a path out of this painful situation. From my forty years of professional experience in the addiction and behavioral healthcare field, I am convinced you will find healing happens when you allow yourself the benefit of getting to know others who have walked this path before you and who will now walk alongside you. As you read Deceived you'll hear the voices of some brave women who found the courage to confront their truth, to stop living their life in reaction to someone else's behavior, and to trust that they deserve better. These women courageously stepped out of the secrecy to seek direction and, with that, hope. They represent what is only a handful of people--at this time mostly women, but periodically a male in their midst--who found the courage and then the resources to seek out others with whom they could identify. I also became more cognizant of when I started to get tired in the evening--earlier than I'd realized. With these two insights in mind, I started going to bed earlier, not to aid my contest with a device but to improve the fit between my biorhythms and my lifestyle.