It is a rocky road to get out of an abusive marriage to a SA with your faith intact.
I was certain that I could be the believing wife who saved her unbelieving husband. All I got was more hurt, more cruelty, more abuse, more guilt, and more damage done to my children.
Yep. And no assurance whatsoever that she went to heaven. That my efforts in any way "paid off". I think, basically, she left this world the same old trollop she was in it.
My son married a woman who sent him to the hospital for 12 stitches in his face, and has cheated on him repeatedly.
[This message edited by tfkeel at 2:17 AM, February 11th (Monday)]
That's the thing I'm learning about addiction, that it's continued in our children unless we stop the cycle. I tell you though it scares me so much! I don't want my children to become SA and I definitely don't want them to live through the pain of being married to one either. I attended my first S-anon meeting last night and it was so refreshing to talk of changing this cycle. And to hear them say that I need to take care of ME because I deserve it too.
Yay!!! You are getting it. We don't just need to look at recovery as necessary for the SA, but for us, too. Regardless of whether our SA gets into recovery or stays in recovery we need to do the right thing for US and for our children!!! This makes me so happy to read. I try to emphasize this point to everyone, because my biggest regret in all of this is the damage to my kids, who are now young adults. I don't want them to grow up to be addicts or to marry an addict. I want the cycle to be broken.
I had an epiphany at a meditation retreat last week and I don't know if it will make sense. My mom is NPD and my dad is an alcoholic. My parents divorced when I was 10. I am trying to decide whether to D my SAWH and I looked at my own FOO and thought that my mom D'd my dad and I still ended up marrying an addict. So in my mind, I married an addict because my father was an addict and that my mom D'ing my father didn't make any difference in my marrying an addict (hence my justification for staying with my SAWH, since D'ing him doesn't mean that my kids won't marry addicts - in my FOO experience).
BUT, at the retreat, the epiphany I had was that I didn't M my SAWH because my father was an addict; I M SAWH because he is NPD and that's the relationship I was used to with my mom. I feel like my mom's NPD had more of an impact on me than my father's alcoholism did. My mother made me feel like I didn't deserve any love and so I chose my SAWH (NPD and PA too) and lapped up whatever crumbs of love he gave me. So this made me feel more free to D my SAWH and let go of the fear that D'ing him won't make a difference in who my children become or marry. Don't know if that's true or not, but it makes me feel better....
Sorry so rambling - hope it makes sense to someone out there.
Naturegirl, my SAWH is high up in the church. He continues to tell me, even today that he is praying for me to know the truth. He still won't admit what he did. He says I will get my wish to have the single life. Sure, ok. He sends me scripture via text and email too.
Hugs to everyone. This is hard and having children with them makes it more difficult.
Good grief, he has a thing right now on his match.com profile about being grateful when people show him grace. How about not lying on your profile, asshole? Why say you're divorced when you're NOT? Oh, 'cuz maybe then you wouldn't get the grace you are looking for, I suppose.
Very proud of him.
my SAWH is high up in the church
Yep. I was told that one of her affairs was "God's will" and that it "kept our marriage together".
twisted enough to tell me he did not understand the Christian faith at all
Same here. She claimed to be a christian, however, "in works", she "denied Him".
I don't know if that's a common theme, that SAs are living a strong delusion (like many alcoholics, "I can control it", etc)
[This message edited by tfkeel at 5:53 AM, February 13th (Wednesday)]
Just back from our FL trip for SAWH's 50th bday. First of all, he completed his 90 days of abstinence yesterday, so that's good news. For those who remember I was having some anxiety over intimacy on this trip...we were, & it was okay. A little difficult at first, but okay. Taking this area one day at a time. I know it's my choice & I can control it, so just trying not to over think or stress over it.
Hath, sorry for the new worries. I hope you get some answers on that soon. Is he scheduled for another poly anytime soon?
Welcome to the newcomers. Please continue to read & post. I encourage you to find an s-anon mtg if possible. I've only been to one, but I liked it very much & will be going back next week. They suggested I order the 3 main books from the sanon website, so I'm doing that today. Lots of reading to catch up on!
Hugs going out to all!
I felt such pain that someone who was supposed to be there for me in my faith seemed to not care much about my trauma.
Yes. That was my experience, too. When the trouble started brewing in our marriage (before her affairs), we called the pastor.
Keep in mind, that this pastor was being paid a full-time salary by our church and was using huge blocks of his time to pursue a counseling degree on our nickel.
He agreed to see us but spent about 20 minutes of his time with us. He was completely and totally inept to handle any REAL problems. The only thing he could do is spout up some platitudes, most of which didn't seem to really apply to us.
Then, when I discovered the affairs (or, one of them, and then found out about the others), I tried to follow the process that Jesus commanded in Matthew 18. I went to him, and his suggestion was that both my wife and I meet with the "church board". That seemed to me to be in keeping with the scripture, so I agreed.
However, she staunchly refused to stop the current affair and I moved out of the house.
Then, of course, in "christian" fashion, the church did absolutely nothing. Members of the church commiserated with her and told her things like "it could happen to anybody". One of them was providing her a bedroom in her house for the affair. When my wife died, I got a phone call with an apology for having done this. She said "I'm so glad your marriage didn't break".
Two of her affair partners were in the church pew every Sunday. One of them came to me and said "sorry". The other said "I'm glad I'm not responsible for breaking up your marriage."
My XW was never brought to any place of repentance. The affairs were MY fault till the day she died. If I had only been better in bed, if I spent more time at home (instead of working to provide for it while she was a SAHM), "I have needs", etc.
The pastor, and the church, failed me miserably. Prior to that (and following), the church would call me WHENEVER there was a need. To fill the pulpit, to give money, to fix the lights, etc.
I got real "burned". I have not really been active in any church since.
And, I never before thought of it in quite this way, but the church and my marriage, through the same circumstances, began to occupy the same "place" in my heart.
I "stayed in" the marriage. But my heart was NOT in the marriage.
I attended church, and still do. But I no longer support it in other than token ways.
I give money to people who need it and to charities who actually DO something.
[This message edited by tfkeel at 6:13 AM, February 15th (Friday)]
I haven't been able to finish the book After the Affair but what I did like was when she talked about the losses we BS go through. One of them is loss of spirituality. I can greatly identify with that. I have gone through some of the stages of grief in my relationship with God as well as with my WH. I think for those of us who are religious the marriage relationship can closely mirror our spiritual relationship.
One of the things I like about S-anon is that they talk of a higher power and I need to hear that not only were his A's not my fault but that they were my WH's choices, not God's.
Without getting into a religious debate, I will say IMHO that we need to work to separate those two relationships again in our minds. I am reading some devotionals and books on the subject and look forward to more S-anon meetings so I can see how other spouses have dealt with this issue.
Up 'til this church, though, every single Christian person I confided in was damaging to me, giving me the same platitudes & condescending attitudes. Same ol' "the wife must submit" and "it's your responsibility to keep him faithful" nonsense that got me into this mess to begin with.
every single Christian person I confided in was damaging to me, giving me the same platitudes & condescending attitudes
Same ol' "the wife must submit" and "it's your responsibility to keep him faithful" nonsense
Same ol' "the wife must submit" and "it's your responsibility to keep him faithful" nonsense
Yep. And, no matter what the wife does, it's the husband's fault. He "doesn't lead". He doesn't "love his wife as Christ loved the church".
I've heard it all. Somehow, when people get "saved", they abandon all common sense and espouse some of the most rediculous ideas ever thought.
How can one person's behaviour be caused, controlled, or changed by another's?
But I am so glad to hear that you found a REAL church. They are not easy to find these days.
Oh, yes, there are lots of chicken houses. But there sure ain't many chickens in them.
[This message edited by tfkeel at 11:48 AM, February 15th (Friday)]
tfkeel, I am so sorry your church did not support you in your time of need. That sucks. I have heard that before from other spouses. But I also hear good stories like NG's. I only recently started going to church again, and I feel like it is a very supporting nonjudgemental place with the current pastor, we are about to get a new one and honestly IDK how the fellow members would react if they were to know of WH's SA/history. But I do know good places of worship exist in many religions, you just have to find the right one.
wantreallove, IDK. I am sort of treading water these days. SAWH did a lot for Valentine's Day, which is not a holiday we have historically celebrated much. Flowers, lots of bath gifts I like, a heartfelt written card. However I read the card again, and while I appreciate the effort, I think the verbage on the card speaks volumes of where he is in recovery. Progress has been made but he still has a long way to go. I have been trying to focus on me and my stuff, but a lot of extraneous stuff has been demanding a lot of my attention so it's not really happening. I guess it's time to step back and do things differently again, because if it ain't working, you should try something else.
Pretty soon I need to explain to a judge exactly why STBX can not have overnight visitations with my two little children. Can anyone help me to express our fears (real and imagined) of what can happen to children around a raging, out of control SA?
The shorter, the better. I have a feeling I won't have a lot of time and I need to make my points fast and very clearly to someone who isn't familiar with SA and who is biased towards helping children spend as much time as possible with both parents.
1) history of addiction
2) history of failed treatment
3) [insert details of CL, etc.] very dangerous, compulsive activities (stress strangers, groups, strange apartments and empty houses and hotel rooms)
4) possible exposure to dangerous strangers
5) possible exposure to very graphic, deviant pornography
6) STBX's behavior is compulsive - can not turn it off - lack of normal boundaries (joking about children, non-stop sexting, loss of clients and friends b/c can't stop,).
7) Exposure to drug dealer (Genius bought viagra from a real drug dealer )
I'm afraid that none of this is strong enough. It's all conjecture. Real fears of course - we all know that if children see terrible porn just once, it can imprint itself in their heads. Or just one sicko flashes them - or worse. But I can't prove these things will happen.
Any help greatly appreciated.
[This message edited by ChoosingHope at 9:39 PM, February 18th (Monday)]