Help please relapse

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Hopefullthinking, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Hopefullthinking

    Hopefullthinking Fapstronaut

    husbands away, he’s relapsed twice. Not to P just M. He’s told me, I’ve told him I’m upset because I am and I have every right to be. After two years of being lied to repeatedly, I honestly thought he’d stick to his promises.
    He’s now saying that this isn’t about my feelings, this is his recovery and he’s in control, I’m making it all about me. I’m not, I’ve been nothing but supportive, showed him nofap sent him numerous links to things all the whilst I’m heart broken, upset and anxious but I’ve still not gone about my feelings. He has never given a crap in two years about my feelings.
    I’m so angry at his total disregard towards me. I feel like a big bag of nothing
  2. WantsToBelieve

    WantsToBelieve Fapstronaut

    I am so, so sorry you're hurting like this... it's so hard. Do you think you can trust him when he says he has not used P? I know, trust can be so hard at this point, because he's damaged so much of it that you probably feel like there's nothing left. But, my agreement with my fiance at the very beginning was that if he did M, or use P, he had to tell me. That was the one thing I asked that could help re-build the trust. And he has stuck to that. There have been bad days, where he's M'd and I just feel worthless (yesterday included). But we talk about it each and every time it happens, and we work to communicate both of our feelings.

    It concerns me that he said you are making it all about you. He should be expected to take his own steps with recovery, but he should also be taking your feelings into account, as you are the person this has done the most damage to. This is where I would set up an additional boundary, maybe that he has to show you something he's done for recovery work once a week? All I know is you definitely need something to give you peace of mind. Keep breathing, beautiful. You are worth it. :emoji_heart:
    noonoon likes this.
  3. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    On one hand, he's right. It is his recovery, and it needs to be. He is more likely to have a better, more successful recovery if he's owning it for him and not for you (or your guys' family, or your marriage). He has to realize that even if he lost his family, he would still need to stay in recovery.

    Now, having said that ...

    He also needs to understand that PMO and sex addiction are intensely relational by nature. That should be self-evident. And you love him, so of course it's going to hurt you and break your heart when he relapses.

    Unfortunately, addicts can have a very hard time with empathy. I wish I could tell you that PMO was as bad as my addiction got, but the truth is that I was repeatedly unfaithful to my loving (now ex) wife with well over a dozen women. There were four separate discoveries of my behavior, each of which crushed her.

    I remember several times when she was bawling, almost in a fetal position, and all I could do was sit there and stare at the floor. I felt awful. I felt ashamed. But it was so hard for me to connect with her pain on a heart-to-heart level. Addicts have typically spent years numbing their emotions through their addictive behaviors, so we can often find it difficult to empathize with real authenticity. It takes time for our emotions to heal. One of the painful parts of recovery is when the heart does heal, and the addict suddenly starts feeling the pain he has caused the people closest to him. It's a mark of progress, for sure, and it's vitally important--but it can feel brutal (as you know--you're living it).

    I hope he continues making progress in his recovery, and I hope you're both able to give each other the grace you each need to have bad days, but to know that you (hopefully) still love each other deeply and want to do whatever it takes to save your marriage and family.
  4. Broken81

    Broken81 Fapstronaut

    That's a really insightful read. Ive not read many accounts of other PAs who have acted out IRL like my husband has. I'm sorry to hear your marriage didn't make it.
    Hopefulthinking I'm so sorry for you. You are not alone x
    anewhope likes this.
  5. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    So, can I ask you how long did it take for you to be able to empathize fully? I know it takes a while for emotions to heal, to be able to connect to another's pain, but I am just wondering if that "skill" will take years and years before it becomes fully developed? Or is it dependant on how much individual recovery work they are doing? i.e. they are going to therapy, and dedicated to recovery, will they heal emotionally quicker? Is it possible an addict will never feel connected to the pain they caused? (I ask this because my husband sat next to me as I was balling in a therapy session and he said, his immediate reaction is to hug me for comfort, but he feels nothing seeing me cry like that, and honestly I don't think he associates my pain with what he did, and he said it scares him that he doesn't feel/ is repressing it.)
  6. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    I don't think there's any formula. I'm still not there myself, totally. I get glimpses of it ... and even those glimpses are really hard to wrestle with.

    Yes, being aggressive about recovery and abstinence/rebooting will help, for sure. But in the end there's no real way of knowing how long it could take. I don't have any official support for this, but I wonder if the addict can sometimes, unconsciously, put up walls that protect him from having to address it ... almost like the child who "forgets" they were sexually abused. I think our minds can be amazing in their capability to protect us from truths that are just too painful to handle.

    Even now, I can sit here and intellectually understand my ex-wife's pain. I can understand the feeling of betrayal. But I also feel oddly detached from it, disconnected. It's the way I'd probably expect to feel if I heard the same story about someone else's wife: I'd feel horrible for them, but I wouldn't internalize it and associate with it as if the pain was my own.

    All I can say is that it's one of at least 50 reasons why it's worthwhile to stay ruthlessly committed to recovery.

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