Journey of an SO

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Warrior and seeker of TRUTH, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Struggling with coming to terms with my life. Moving towards to true acceptance I guess. Still going through some kind of death. It is hard because I am constantly reminded of this life, my life, our life that I invested in. It still scares me how good he was at lying to everyone. I have such a long way to go to be in a place where I will feel more secure.

    There is so much to grieve, and on top of it my brain is hijacked by trauma, and my body hurts and is filled with exhaustion. Between trying to still be a present parent to three beautiful, young children, I try and give myself the grace to take it one day at a time as I try and get grounded again and start rebuilding my life, and dreaming new dreams.

    When he does anything that reminds me of how he has ignored my voice, and treating me poorly through taking advantage of my trust, this rage rises up in me. I hate how he has destroyed so much of my life. I hate how he has forced me to rewrite my life and I wish he hadn’t let pride get in the way and had been honest years ago (Oh this is defiantly grief. Bartering). I would feel so different if I hadn’t invested so many years in the way that I have.

    I don’t like me today. I am angry at myself for not knowing. I have become highly emotional, angry, angry, angry, and I just go out into the world with that half empty feeling. It is no way to live, and I am trying to get out of this funk. It is my responsibility to stand up even though life has pushed me down. My family is worth fighting for, and I have always gone through hard times in life with resilience and hope. Having sex addiction hit my marriage and family has broken me in a way that will forever leave deep scars. I just hope that there is some beauty that can come out of all of this, and I can learn to trust myself again.

    I liked this quote: Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards...
    Sir Minato and Lostneverland like this.
  2. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    It’s truly amazing how easily they can lie and deceive. I understand completely what you are going through. Hang in there. Try and take each day one day at a time. It’s hard in the beginning, however it will get easier.
  3. Luvspin68

    Luvspin68 Fapstronaut

    I completely relate with EVERYTHING you have written.

    You are NOT alone.

    Horrendous feelings are brought up.
    It takes over our life.

    Is your SO on the road to meaningful recovery?

    I’m pulling for you. Really
  4. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    He’s on the road, but I doubt it’s a recovery road.
  5. alphazingersalsa

    alphazingersalsa Fapstronaut

    My heart breaks for you...As well as every partner going thru
    This heartache. I would not wish this even to my enemy (maybe just his AP...LOL!)

    Prayers of peace for everyone affected by the pain of betrayal trauma.
  6. I am surprised a bit by what I am going through right now, but I guess it a new season. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I guess I still have a lot of grieving to do. A lot of healing work to do. Good days, bad days, really bad days. Still, things have come a long ways since the big D day. Nice to know that I am not alone. You are right. One day at a time, and sometimes one moment at a time when going through the thick of it.
    Lostneverland likes this.
  7. My heart breaks for anyone going through this too. I hope to teach my children resilience, and to be strong, healthy women and men. It is a big motivator for both my husband and I do the work to heal. We fight for ourselves, we fight for them, we fight for each other. This is a fight for freedom, for families, and so much more. I do want to give my children the best chance as they prepare to go into this broken world. This is not what I wanted for them or our family. No one signs up for this pain. I know they have been damaged by all this too, and I hope I can own it one day when they come to me about their wounds. Honestly, I am also really scared for my kids. This stuff wasn't on my radar. Requirement for marrying: polygraph. Just kidding. Kind of.
  8. Monitor your kids' Internet activity very closely. P is everywhere and is becoming more normalized. It is a scourge. We can eradicate it in the next generation, one child at a time.
    Lostneverland likes this.
  9. He is working hard. Hope so.
  10. Couples recovery, his recovery, my recovery. How?
    Triggers, safety, trust building
    Learning a new dance

    In trying to heal, build trust, and work on our recoveries, we have been not doing well coming together on this. At least not in the last month. Stepping on toes a lot. I woke up this morning with some clarifying thoughts. Before I knew about the addiction, conflict was always so frustrating. It usually resulted in him arguing about how I feel by saying that he doesn't feel that way. That, or he would ignore and avoid, in which I would say and do things just to get him to respond (not good all over the place). I later learned he would almost always act out when we would conflict, which kind of makes sense with the emotions. It sucks because it turns out he would just tell me what he thought I wanted to hear and act out. Anyways, I just think that even though he is confident in owning his recovery, and has been doing well with sobriety, and being more mindful, there is a lot of work in learning how to relate, respect, communicate, etc. He is really controlling, and I can easily be bullied by him or left confused. Trying to learn a new dance.

    I see my husband trying to communicate his needs and feelings that he doesn't fully understand himself. I am doing the same. I get the impression a lot that he just wants me to be at the end phase of recovery. He ended up breaking sobriety a couple times this weekend :(. It progressed from some inappropriate browsing on Sunday (while the kids were home and I was out hiking/self care), to breaking sobriety through fantasy, to again on the same day with porn. It sucks. It hurts. On Sunday he was honest, had remorse, and looked scared. I really had compassion for him in that moment, and appreciated the honesty. Later I had emotions of anger around him doing that while he was in charge of taking care of the kids, and I was out trying to take care of me. I also asked what are you going to do? He made some calls, went to a meeting, but I didn't see any change in behavior. I don't know if behavior is the right word, but I could sense the spiraling, and really I would think he would really 'up' his recovery work. When he acted out, he did that while I was at my support group, and I learned of this right after group. Ugh! There was honesty, and a stone wall of showing no emotions and defensiveness. It was triggering, and I got upset. It was a messy discouraging weekend. It is a tough place when it gets hard, and we both feel hopeless.

    A lot of this has to do with him trying to practice understanding and empathy as I am going through a lot of grief work right now. He is not very good at empathy and understanding yet, and it has been too much, too fast. I am guilty of trying to sprint through the hard work of recovery when it doesn't feel good, and then end up taking steps backwards. He thinks he started internalizing my emotions, and slacking on his own self care and recovery. Also, I am tired of him arguing about what I need to feel safe. I realize that I am not 'boundaried.' I need to figure out what I need so I can also show up differently. The more triggered and anxious I get, the more I am operating in some other part of my brain, and it becomes extremely difficult to speak calmly, and not spout out mean things in my state of fear and anger. He is upset at me for not listening to his feelings. I do listen to his feelings, but have not been able to show up in that way when he is trying to practice understanding or I am feeling triggered and unsafe. I told him he can't have both. Expect me to be emotionally present, while denying me what I need at this time to feel safe. He has argued about my need to feel safe in my home (tech boundaries) because it is his side of the street. His recovery. His choice. Yes, it is his choice. I have exhausted myself way more than I should trying to help him understand what I need to feel safe and build trust. I kept hoping he would get it and be empathetic and more than willing to do these things to help me heal and build trust. Not happening. Part of me healing and growing is figuring out what I need, and rebuilding my ability to trust myself. I actually tried to just ignore how I feel about tech in the home, but I find myself trying to white knuckle through this really big trigger. Started reading a boundary book for partners of sex addicts. It talks about when there is emotions of anger or resentment, that is a good indicator for the need for a boundary. I have a lot of resentment and anger building around this issue, and out of care for myself and others around me, I need to figure out what I need. I hope I don't feel like this forever (triggers), but I do right now. Every counselor and support group member is really validating and says it is understandable for me to feel this way. So confused. His side, my side. I think it is backwards. I'm not asking too much or trying to control his recovery. I actually shame that this feels so yucky to me. He has actually being controlling, and it comes from deep stirring and his own perceptions. At this point he has agreed to do what I need. He doesn't like it. Not sure how it will go this next month. I am thankful for the effort, but sad and not super hopeful in building trust.

    Having our second couples counseling today, and I hope that it is helpful in just trying to figure out how to navigate all this. Two broken people working hard. Recovery is not for the faint of heart!
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  11. Sir Minato

    Sir Minato Fapstronaut

    Hey Warrior and seeker..

    I have read the whole first thread you wrote, with the story of you and your husband, and I have read this whole thread.
    Halfway through reading tears started rolling..
    You are carrying so much weight.. and yet you are still trying your best to find hope and keep moving. I am deeply moved by your strength and your good heart. Putting myself into your shoes I started wondering, where you have space in your life to focus on the things that are most important to you: your kids and your mental health, your emotional stability and your inner peace. Your kids, they need a stable mom, you know? For children the whole world doesn't make sense. They depend on you and they need you to make sense of the world. If they see that you are deeply shattered by this world, they will learn that the world is not a safe place and they will start looking for ways to cope with that instead of learning from you how to swim through this world.
    I know you are doing your best for everyone. It is really hard for me to tell you this, because I feel how much you tried to make all of this work. But do you believe it may be the best to actually set a boundary towards your husband and disclose him from being inside your inner space, inside your vulnerability, in a position where he can shatter your world over and over? I know that he is trying his best, too. But on an emotional level, and on a character level, he his like a child, very immature yet. He must learn to take responsibility for himself, to feel the consequences of his actions, to wake up and to decide what man he wants to be once and for ever. This process is really hard. There is many fears, many negative self believes and self judgements involved that need to be transformed first. I believe it is nearly impossible to achieve that, if his actions would also lead to you being hurt and upset. He isn't able to carry the responsibility for himself, how is he supposed to hold responsibility for you and your children, too. It just doesn't work, no matter how hard he tries. He has to start from square one. And find out, what he wants to be when he is alone. Are you the only factor that keeps him from relapsing over and over? Are you becoming his regulation "function", when his regulation could come from his deepest inside? Those are all questions one needs to ask oneself. I think it is not good for his recovery when relapse means triggering you and causing you so much damage. He needs to learn to accept this addiction and the function it had to be able to make peace with it and to consciously move on to work hard to establish new habits, new mindsets, a new self that is free of his habit to flee into fake gratification. But if he can't accept it, he will keep hating himself for it. And you can't recover from an addiction truly if you hate yourself for it.
    It's really hard. And I don't dare to say I know what's best in this situation. But I've been there. I've been in a relationship and we were both porn addicts. I was tolerant and kind and I forgave her but she would hurt me and resent me so much. I don't want to talk much about our dynamic. It's just that I want to tell you I wasn't able to recover as long as my actions would lead to rejection, anger, hurt. My actions needed to be my actions, I needed to figure this out personally, alone. I didn't need anyone to carry me through it. While she tried forcefully carrying me through it, my own ability to carry me was blocked. Alone, suddenly my brain gave me so much energy for self improvement. Because I was forced to grow myself or be left behind in a miserable lonely life.
    You are giving him safety and comfort by staying with him and at the same time he most likely deeply hates himself for all he has done and can't stop doing.

    I deeply care for you, your children, and your husband. I think you should evaluate this situation and think about what I said. You got your kids, you can't be a mom for your husband, too. And your man won't man up if you are being that for him. You can't learn to trust him if he can't trust himself and if he is not being trustworthy.
    I don't know what's best. You know it. Your heart will tell you if this would be the right way to go, it is only a suggestion.
    All of your emotions need to have space though. It's impossible to be angry and loving at the same time. You are taking yourself back for your husband. He can't take himself back. Is this trade worth? Is this the best for you, your children, your husband? I don't know.
    I hope you can find out what's best.
    Sir W.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    Lostneverland likes this.
  12. I appreciate your thoughts. When things get really difficult like they have in the last month, or even just a few hard days, I can get so polarized and hopeless about life in general. It is a state that I know there is very little clear thinking. It is a hard feeling to pull out of especially when triggered a lot. You are right in a lot of ways. The last couple years since D day, I have been in mostly survival mode. I have worked hard trying to find the right kind of support, educating about what I'm dealing with (what is sex addiction? what is happening to me?). Now, it is apparent how much work I still need to do to heal. I thought I needed to mostly work on being heard and receiving empathy and understanding in the relationship. This is important, but he isn't very ready for that, and I can work on my mental health on my own. I am in a place to acknowledge that I also need to work on forgiveness, which is way different than trust. My bitterness stems from a lack of forgiveness. Resentment is also a big indicator of a need for a boundary. Like climbing through a web. I suddenly realize I am hanging upside down tangled up in a messy thread. Have to unravel and refocus.

    On the betrayal trauma side, many understandable opinions vary from one thing to the other. I have to answer to myself, what I need to feel safe with where I am right now in my own healing journey. Requesting boundaries around technology for example, doesn't mean I am mothering my husband. It can easily be that though depending on the motivation. I also need to respect what he needs for him. Part of becoming whole is also learning to show up differently with the people you care about, and just humanity in general. After rest, and meeting with a couples counselor for only the second time, I feel a more clear path about how to navigate where I am at in this healing journey. There is a process in therapy for couples working towards the possibility of reconciliation. Hard to know where to spend the energy, and in the grief and pain work, I think I have tried to sprint through a part of recovery that neither of us are quite ready for, and certainly not to the degree it was happening (hence the tangled web thread). I own that. There were several painful anniversaries that hit smack in the middle of it too, and I'm sure has added to my fear cycle. Overwhelming.

    He is working on a clarification letter, and I think that will be very healing in answering the, "Does he get it?" questions, developing empathy, and healing for me. I am taking a huge step back (well basically went backwards by trying to sprint through the pain) and refocusing on what I need to do for safety, self care and work through the trauma, which I am now more focused on in therapy. I have the tools, and need to exercise when and how to use them.

    I don't think my husband has felt a whole lot of safety or comfort from being around me in the last month. Probably very discouraged at trying to do what's not quite possible right now. Transitions are a dangerous time. It may be eye opening to him some of the inner work that needs to continued to be addressed. I guess he needs to figure out what he really needs to stay sober, and what continued recovery in life is going to entail. He owns his recovery, and continuing to work on a new dance and way of being in relationships. Me as well.

    Trying to work on focusing on the present more than the pain of the past, and fear of the future. Eyes wide open.
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