I've tried to keep up with this thread but it takes off like this it takes time for my brain to process everything which is why I waited until I got back to try to catch up.
I'm so sorry for everyone here struggling but thankful for the advice from those of you who are further along in the process.
I started to post this part in general but I kind of like it here better because we know each other more intimately since I have talked to most you in PMs at one point or another.
While away on our trip back to the States we went a bookstore and WH bought me a copy of Surviving Infidelity-completely out of the blue! Emotions were running high due to the other circumstances but we didn't even discuss our problems at this time. It was so hard for me to be around family and wanting to tell his 'dirty little secret' and maybe get some family support for me but I kept my mouth shut deciding it would be better all the way around to just deal with it alone. I have a great support system here anyway.
Every night at bedtime he tells me he's sorry and asks me to forgive him. Last night I was having some triggering (very mild, just being back home and in the bedroom where the DDay trauma began) and he said he was sorry that he EVER did what he did to us and the whole thing was a fucking nightmare and begged me to not leave him. I don't know what I'm going to do yet-it varies daily/hourly sometimes. I still need more time. I think I'd like to wait a year and see where I am emotionally. Most days I don't see myself ever forgiving him-just accepting what he did and going on from that point.
Status: Struggling Everday to
what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another-Anatole France
Most well put 7yrs!!!! Thanks!!!
I think what I meant that being an addict is a choice is this:
They are choosing their substance, whether it be alcohol, gambling, or sex, porn, whatever....They are still capable of choosing it or not choosing it.
We are all human beings quite capable of choosing anything. I believe we have choice through reason to make decisions, both good or bad. To say we have no power over our choices is, IMO, ridiculous. We do. I may be one of the odd ones out there who really believe a person IS and CAN BE strong enough to use their will power alone to get over an addiction. I don't feel a person needs necessarily any 12-step group to overcome addiction. They need to simply say, this is not wise, it is harmful, so I'm going to cease from it. Sure it takes inner strength, which not all have.
Say my husband were a bank robber. To say, I see him as a good man, while he still chooses to rob banks would be ridiculous. He is NOT a good man if he is choosing to rob banks, is he?????
I do understand what you are saying 7yrs. Your husband, thankfully, IS choosing to NOT to those harmful behaviors anymore. That's so admirable, as I said.
I have a friend who's hubby was a raging alcoholic for years. He would handle the baby drunk, take him in the car, etc. Finally my friend said, you either stop drinking or I'm leaving with the kids. He did right then, realizing he loved his family and didn't want to lose them. He never step foot in an AA meeting. Never opened a book on the "12 steps". He simply knew it was harmful and stopped. He hasn't touched a drink now in 18 years. I think this is awesome!!!! So I guess I put a lot less credit in 12 step groups than a lot of folks do. But of course they are tools to help us. For sure.
I know I have to determine what my boundaries look like, and no one can tell me. Am learning this. I just was really wondering what some of your boundaries may look like. That's all. I'm completely clueless to boundaries but I'm learning here. This whole saga of my husband's infidelity has really taught me what boundaries are and how necessary they are. In the says in the Bible "love your neighbor AS yourself". If you don't love yourself first, how can you love another???? It's just not possible.
I've also learned that my husband has very low self-esteem. Don't know if most SA do, but it seems it's a way for them to feel better about themselves. Once they learn how to love themselves more, not only will they not need meaningless sex or porn or ONS, they will learn the value of a REAL relationship with their wives who love them.
Just my 2 cents today!
Your analysis makes a lot of sense to you who is NOT an addict. Like you, I sometimes struggle with notion of being "powerless" over a substance or behaviour. But I am NOT an addict, nor do I think like one.
The power in 12-step groups is that it not only offers support and encouragement to stay away from the addictive substance/behaviour, but it teaches a new way of thinking so that the desire to succumb to the addiction is diminished. Addiction is created when the addict tries to numb feelings. If the addict had a healthy way to deal with negative feelings, they likely wouldn't develop an addiction. See what I'm getting at? If they stop the addiction but don't learn new ways to deal with what drove the addiction in the first place, they're what's often referred to in AA parlance as a "dry drunk" -- someone whose behaviour is unhealthy but who simply no longer indulges in the addiction.
Frankly, I don't think I'd be able to accept my husband right now -- even without acting out -- if he wasn't also learning healthy ways to deal with his anxieties, hurt, fear. It's his ability to communicate with me on a deeper level that is helping us heal. That wouldn't happen simply because he wasn't acting out, but because he's learning -- for the first time -- what true intimacy is.
Sure, people can quit addictions without 12-step groups or counselling or whatever. But they haven't generally changed on a fundamental level.
I'm sorry about your Mom. You've got a lot of loss to process. I lost my mom around the same time as I discovered my husband's SA so the two losses got all intertwined. It's a lot to deal with each on its own, let alone fairly close together.
Give yourself time to just be. No decisions required right now. Don't feel obligated to feel "better" because your husband seems remorseful. Just feel your feelings as they come up. It'll seem less jumbled as time goes on.
momofthree - I don't think anyone here will tell you that you have to leave your H if you are not ready. I can't speak for the more senior members, so keep in mind this is just the opinion of someone pretty new to all this and still finding her way, but I believe sometimes boundaries can be changed, depending on the circumstances at the time. I don't know, but if he hasn't acted out physically, he told you and you didn't even ask, and he is taking he proper steps to get help, I see that as a positive. Of course, I have been a bit naive in all of this, but if he has done well mostly, and gets serious help, and goes to SA regularly, I know i have heard that once in a while, a relapse is possible, and since he caught this one himself (without you having to sneak around and find it), seems good to me!
Yup, Newtwood, you're family, girl! I can't remember, but did your guy every go into recovery? Mine won't. Idiot. (Sorry, I know name-calling isn't nice, but he is an idiot. He is losing a loving family, that will stick beside him no matter what, because he would rather keep his addiction). I probably need to vent out in general to get this crap out.
Ingrid, my SA H is whiteknuckling it (so he says). He thinks he is so strong, and has such good willpower--he is arrogant. (and in denial). He whiteknuckled it for years while we were together 24/7 (for everything except bathroom business)
I guess it depends on what you want from a relationship. He has had some behaviors even early on that I wasn't thrilled with (he would lie to others with no remorse, I just didn't think he was lying to me--yes, look at my user name again!) He would start things and not finish them. He would promise people stuff and not follow through. He was very boastful (I knew he had low self-esteem, that was pretty easy to spot). After getting to know him better, I realized he carries a lot of guilt and shame inside.
I want mine to heal, not cover up. I don't want a surface fix, I want deep healing. That is the only way we will ever have a chance at REAL intimacy, talking from our hearts, feeling each others pain, the real stuff. I don't want him to say the right things, I want him to FEEL the right things. He makes bad choices, then he runs from his mistakes. Too many deep character flaws, that have no chance at being worked on, without outside help.
My boundaries on my SA H are simple. Outside help, or I go. And right now, I think he is detaching and I am going to be gone. Then he will compartmentalize in his head, make me a bad nagging person, and move on to the next empty relationship.
I've called my IC to see about meeting with him and he hasn't called back. I haven't seen him in a month and felt very unhealthy this past month but surprisingly I feel strong right now.
I just read the past 3 pages and while I can't exactly recall any details (I literally have barely slept in over a month with sick kids and being sick myself and a baby that doesn't sleep through the night yet anyway), I must say that I feel empowered by your words. I will definitely be re-reading them.
I guess my boundaries without ever really setting them or writing them down are pretty much what 7years said. I'm still working on the consequences. I know that I could never stay with him if he physically is with someone else and I don't know about if he talks to other women/EA again. I just don't know about actually leaving because I don't have a place to go. I have family in town but they all barely have room for their own families. So it's the physical logistics that I would have a problem with.
He does know that I will not tolerate these behaviors so hopefully it won't come to that.
I can only pray for him and hope that we have a strong enough bond and intimacy that he can weather through this first storm.
He's already called me once on his layover.
We just never did get around to actually talking about what he could do to make me feel better about this. I really don't know if there is a way anyway.
A turn in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.
As to why an addict cannot just quit.....
Each addict is different. Most require professional help and group therapy. Group therapy offers a safe and non-judgemental environment where an addict can receive support and guidance from people who understand. It is similar to this site. Can we as betrayed spouses survive our husband's infidelities and SA without SI? Probably. However, being in a group (albeit virtual) and being surrounded by people who are embarking on the same journey, offering community, encouragement, guidance and hope, does ease the pain and isolation. The benefit of befriending all of you here and knowing that I can rely on you is very different from the benefits I am receiveing from my individual counselling. Technically, other people on the outside may tell us, "Just snap out of it already!", and god knows we have all tried to just move on. But we all know it's not just that simple.
Also, as eternaloptimist mentioned, addition is an addict's dysfunctional way to deal with stress, trauma, abuse and other negative feelings. Simply stop acting out without arming the addict with the tools to handle the strees, etc., is only a temporary solution resolving the symptoms of the problem. Just like an emotional overeater who simply stops eating - without resolving the underlying emotional and/or physical reasons for the over-eating, and without showing the over-eater healthy eating habits, the restriction on eating is simply "acting in".
[This message edited by birdwatch at 4:24 PM, February 23rd (Monday)]
I'll be around.
Thanks for posting that link to having *boundaries* recently; I found it extremely helpful!
I am terribly sorry about your loss. You are right that there is no rush to make any decisions about anything. You are grieving for two matters so be gentle with yourself.
I am giving you a hug...
Hi everyone! I think Eternal Optomist said this.
Thank you. This is true. So what a good and healthy thing it is then to air feelings, like all are 100% allowed to do in a 12-step meeting, and the best part, it is free!!!!
Of course I encourage it, I just do not think a 12-step meeting, or counseling, is what cures a person. THIS has to come from inside, from a truly changed heart.
You said this:
"I'm getting tired of him. He's had a lot of chances, and it's just the same crap again and again and again. It's just about to the point where I'm about to say treatment or else, it's me or the porn/hookers/god knows what else."
I don't know your life nor your situation friend, but I would second the issue on you saying what you've said above.
Just know you are a beautiful and worthy woman, beautiful in God's eyes, and you deserve to be loved 100%. Your significant other needs to give up his hookers, and any infidelity whatsoever, in order for you two to make a life together. That's first and foremost. Then for the porn issue, well that's another story. For now though, that's not too much to expect out of him, to be faithful physically.
God Bless You Honey
Of course I encourage it, I just do not think a 12-step meeting, or counseling, is what cures a person. THIS has to come from inside, from a truly changed heart.
Whether he has a change of heart or not, he's never going to be cured of his addiction. Ever. If this is what you're thinking you're in for a very rude awakening.
Your husband is an addict. He will always be an addict. It is hardwired in his brain. There is no cure. He can get into recovery and be sober IF HE CHOOSES TO but he will always have to be WORKING at it. ALWAYS. There is no end to this. Ever. He will always struggle and have to fight to maintain his recovery and his sobriety. This is for life.
What does have to come from inside the addict is a changed heart, you're right, but all that means is that he has to face his addiction head on and choose recovery and sobriety and he has to be willing to WORK at it his whole life.
I really disagree with what you say here:
"No amount of praying is going to "cure" an addict."
As I said, I completely disagree. IMO, I believe a SA is most different from say, an alcoholic, who has a *physical addiction*. I believe a SA has a SIN ADDICTION, and nothing more than that, which our God is greatest enough to cure on His Own. And I also believe, God came to rid all humans of just this, their sin addictions, and lead them all, me, you, everyone, to a better way to go, a better life. For 7yrs. do not ever doubt that it is GOD that changes hearts, not a 12-step group, and "recovery", so to speak.
"2 Corinthians 5:17 (New International Version)
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
This is my belief as a Christian anyway. You can take it or leave it.
Just because SA's don't ingest a physical substance doesn't mean there isn't a physically addicitve component.
The acting out process releases chemicals and hormones from the Addict's own system, and this reaction is physical. Often times, they build a tolerance to a cetain level of acting out, and must escalate thier behavior in order to get the desired chemical high.
Addiction is addiction. Sin is sin. You seem to want to cling to a moral high ground rather than understand the addiction.
Choosing to remain addicted, once one knows one is addicted probably is sin. But, as Christians, we are called to hate the sin, not the sinner. To stand in judgement of others' souls is no place to be.
To be the spouse of an SA who is not in recovery is an incredibly painful place to be. Use your faith to strengthen you, not as a weapon to tear others down.
Could God miraculously cure an addict? Of course. Can an addict freely choose to battle his addiction on his own? Of course.
Which is more likely to happen?
Please try to separate the addiction from the person.
ETA : Saw DIS's response after I posted the above, I will or mod can edit my post as necessary so as to not offend/break guidelines.
[This message edited by JustWow at 4:02 PM, February 24th (Tuesday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
Anyway, I wish you much peace in your journey.
I disagree with much of what you post about.
I do love my husband and I never think of him as disgusting. Just a broken man that needs some love, support, and help.
I agree with you about the Lord. Remember the Lord uses sources to also heal. Physicians to heal.
It is an addiction to a chemical just like alcohol. They crave that chemical that is released when viewing porn or whatever behavior that gives them what they crave. The porn industry knows this.
My WH was born again in Christ last Nov. He is a different man now. BUT he is also working more diligently with his CSAT and SA group.
This is not a sin addiction it is a chemical addiction.
I'm assuming that you would go to a doctor for a medical need, so your husband also with prayer needs to see someone to help him overcome this addiction.
You do not understand addiction and frankly you are CHOOSING not to. You refuse to educate yourself. You refuse to use the many resources that myself and others offer you on an almost daily basis. You've grilled me and I've answered you with candor.
Nothing is ever going to change for you as long as you cling to your choice to avoid the reality of being married to an addict and as long as you choose to disregard the facts of addiction (ALL addiction. SA is EXACTLY the same thing as alcoholism or drug addiction or gambling addiction.)
I can't help you when you're not willing to take the help offered.
I wish you luck in your journey.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 3:21 PM, February 24th (Tuesday)]