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I am the WS who needs advice

ARTexan04 posted 11/20/2019 10:01 AM

I have an addictive personality that has had an unhealthy obsession with sports and pornography. Both have caused issues, but the later has been the most damaging. I have seeked professional help so that i can start the road to recovery, but my wife is the one i want to lift up. She has been through highs and lows with me, and i do love her more than i ever realized. I know the road to recovery will be long and painful and i don't want to cut corners, but i do want ideas and suggestions that i can do to help her during this time. She was the victim, and while i am doing what i know of to work through things, i need advice from women who have been in this situation and can give me suggestions on what things help that i am not aware of

SI Staff posted 11/20/2019 11:06 AM

   Moving to Wayward Side

ThisIsSoLonely posted 11/20/2019 11:20 AM

Your BS is going to set the tone for what they need. My advice is simply: Ask your BS, and then follow through on what they need.

We are all different. What some people need/want is not what others find helpful. I could tell you want I wanted (and did not get for the most part) but I find that in reading on here that what some BS's want would not help me in the least and vice versa I'm sure.

What seems to be universal is that when a BS says what they need/want - they are not kidding about it. When you follow through on those requests it makes your BS feel important to you - and that is the first stepping stone on the path IMO.

As an example, this means if they want the truth about something - give it to them. I would make one caveat that for me was helpful. When my WH was in truth telling mode - he would tend to just dump the truth on me in a big stream. I did NOT want sexual details - knowing they did have sex and how often and where was enough for me, so I had to stop him from going on about details as to him that was all part of the truth (it is) but I felt it was detrimental to hear it. Later, after d-day2 *sigh* he started to tell me something and then stopped and said "Do you want to know the details about ____ as I think it may hurt you?" and I answered yes or no as was appropriate for the situation. Him asking me this showed me that he actually was concerned for ME - it made me feel important to him, and the one thing about an A to a BS is that no one feels very important to their WS when they discover an A. Making your BS and their feelings a priority for you is very very very important.

This doesn't just apply to truth telling - and if there is something your BS wants that you think is unreasonable then talk to them about why you think that and let them explain why they need/want it. If it's not something you can do - tell them so - don't lie.

Letting go of the outcome is the biggest lesson I've learned from this site. Something someone said on here a long time ago rings very true to me now:

You cannot control how someone reacts to the truth. They may not like it or they may love you for it. Lying is a way of manipulating the outcome - trying to get the outcome you want is taking things backwards - trying to manipulate reality. By starting with reality (the truth) you end up in reality (the response), and while you may not like it, you have left fantasy in the past. You are living in reality.

That's where you have to start from. Grabbing a hold of reality and staying there.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:26 AM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

DaddyDom posted 11/20/2019 11:20 AM

Welcome to SI... I hope you can find the help and support you seek here.

One of things we recommend to pretty much all new WS's is to read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair". This is a very quick read, most people can finish it in a few hours. There is no fluff in this book, just honest, straight-forward advice about what your spouse needs from you right now. It can be purchased online, however you can also find it for free in PDF form if you search.

Another thing to checkout would be "The Healing Library" which is in the top left corner of this page. I suggest you read the sections for both the WS and the BS.

What I suggest you focus on right now is being honest with your wife, no more lies, no trickle-truths, no getting defensive and angry and blaming things on her. That is where most WS's end up early on, and it does terrible damage to the BS, and to any chances of reconciliation.

Keep reading and keep coming back. Let us know how you are doing and what's going on, and we will do our best to help.

EvolvingSoul posted 11/20/2019 21:28 PM

Hi there ARTexan04,

Welcome to SI. That suggestion by DaddyDom to read the post on this board entitled "Things every WS needs to know" by HUFI-PUFI is a good one. I'll bump it up to the top for you.

It's a good sign that you are wanting to help your wife deal with the pain your choices have caused. Did she just find out about the porn or has it been an ongoing point of contention in your marriage?

ARTexan04 posted 11/21/2019 07:49 AM

It was just recently discovered. In some ways, i didnt realize just how extensive it was. I was in denial about it. It triggered some painful flashbacks because her previous husband had similar issues and had an affair with someone close to her. I do have a session with a therapist scheduled in the next week to start a more assertive way to combat this. I have to do everything i can to start the healing process because everytime she tries to move past it, i slip up.

Chaos posted 11/21/2019 08:57 AM

BS here and no stop sign.

I have to do everything i can to start the healing process because everytime she tries to move past it, i slip up.

Two things stand out to me with this.

1 - You know you need to heal. Good. Keep that IC apt and make several more.

2 - You have not fully grasped the enormity of what you have done. I can tell by your language that you are still downplaying. She doesn't "try to move past it" She has to get through it. She is not lightly moving past something as one does with a piece of gum on the floor. She has to get through it like walking through the fires of Hell barefoot with no end in sight. You don't "slip up" you make a choice.

Your BS will tell you what she needs from you. And if you aren't willing to do it - you need to be honest about it.

In fact, you need to be honest with yourself before you can be honest with anyone else. Telling us you "slip up" also tells us you are minimizing, downplaying, kidding yourself and (in harsher terms) are full of crap.

Before you can start to help her - and kudos to you for recognizing she needs it - be honest with yourself. Not only about the situation - but why. Do you deep down want to help her process and move through this towards a future OR do you want to help her just enough so she will STFU and you can continue your "slip ups"? It is an important distinction.

Ask yourself - if you were her what would you want. Start there.

ARTexan04 posted 11/22/2019 15:25 PM

I think that's a fair assessment. It's more than a slip up-It's systemic. I owe everything to her. She is an incredible person who i realize means more to me than i could have believed. I think i am doing a better job at being transparent even on trivial things that have nothing to do with this because i realize that is symbolic of the changes i must make. It will be a long road, and that's because of me. I appreciate this site because it is such an uncomfortable issue to discuss.

JBWD posted 11/22/2019 17:49 PM

It will be a long road, and that's because of me.

This is another great perspective to have- It seems youíre at a better starting point than a lot of WS here.

I will say, while wanting to lift her up is important, there is a significant portion of this that needs to reflect how YOU understand your problems and motivations. IOW, lifting her up needs to be motivated by you, not her. In practical terms that means first, do no harm. Youíre stopping behaviors already.

But moving forward you need to have the resolve and self-determination to know that what youíre doing is right, even if the validation youíre looking from doesnít appear. As your BW processes things, there will be plenty of times where she simply CANíT meet you on things and you need the strength to continue when those days surface.

I know that sounds weird, but I just want you to recognize your recovery will need to, at times, be self-referenced because it is self-determined. As you progress that self-actualization will correlate to the kind of personal resilience and integrity that should foster a stronger partnership.

ClassicOak posted 11/26/2019 17:10 PM

Ask yourself - if you were her what would you want. Start there.

Chaos, your post is profound. Artexan, this is some of the most well written advice I have seen to date to a WS.

As a BS, you would be doing your BS a great service by following her lead for you.

I appreciate your desire to lighten the load, and your ability to ask for help. Best of luck.

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