Leaving, at last...

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by DesperateHousewife7, May 31, 2019.

  1. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    My heart is breaking for you right now and tears are running down my face because I have said these exact, anguished words to myself so many times. When I was feeling those things, people would tell me it wasn't true, but those reassurances were hollow to me. So I won't even try to give you a pep talk. Just know that you are not alone. I am sitting with you in spirit.
    Again - I have been exactly there. For me, I think it was because I have always been the kind of person who can evaluate a situation, make decisions about how to handle it, then execute - usually to great success. But an SOs life is filled with so much that is up-side-down and other actors who are deliberately trying to deceive us and complicated by the love we feel for those hurting us. It can make deciding "correctly" feel impossible, leading to the special hell of being in a place where there is no "good", no "satisfactory" solution and being unable to accept that this is the case. For me, that led to me getting stuck in an endless loop of evaluation and decision-making and grasping for control. Sadly, I have no advice for getting out of this state. For me it usually involved simply wearing myself out, emotionally and physically.
    Each person is different and no one has the answer to these questions. For me, it happened this way: (remember, descriptive - not prescriptive) One day when I was feeling stupid and weak and fed-up I just wandered into a field by my house and lay down on the ground. Tears just started coming and I did not try to stop them as I always had before. I was always trying to stop crying because it seemed like weakness. That day I just let them come. I kid you not - I went through more than a solid hour of body-shaking sobbing. When the tears finally stopped on their own, I lay there just not thinking about anything on purpose. Whenever I would begin my thought loops ("well, what if I do this or that?" ; "why am I so weak?" ; "How can I hurt him so that he can see what it feels like and decide to stop?" ; "This is intolerable." ; "I can't stand this", etc), I would consciously turn my mind away from those thoughts. I think my physically and emotionally depleted state somehow aided in me being able to do this. Instead I simply thought about the situation and focused on accepting it. I turned away any thoughts that suggested I could influence or change anything about it. Just acceptance. I lay there in a dreamy state doing this for about 2 more hours. And I can tell you that when I was ready to get up, I just knew it. I clearly knew everything. I knew the episode was over. I knew it was time to stand up and walk into the house. I knew I no longer loved my husband. I knew that I did not want to die and that if I continued the way I was going I surely would. I knew I had to stop breaking promises to myself. I knew I had to stop hurting myself with accusations of weakness and stupidity, when in actual fact, I was a smart, incredibly strong bulldog of a woman whose only sin was believing that by sheer force of will I could make my husband want to heal himself. Accepting that I could not, liberated me.
    Someday these feelings will turn into firm convictions and not simply expressions of frustration. Then you will be able to make a decision and act. I don't know when this will happen, but I pray it is soon.
  2. I would be devastated if my situation came to this.

    Having said that i make no support for either staying or leaving the relationship that is your decision.

    Its obvious you feel love and a connection to your partner. Consider this though. IF you do make a choice to seperate for your healing and his, this does not mean that you are not supportive and hopeful for a reconciliation. He has to do the work. If he refuses that is not on you. All of us have decisions to make on either side of these traumatic betrayals. But we each have to work our own recoveries or there is no relationship. 1 person can heal/recover and the other not and a relationship is not going to work in that.

    We continue to be here for you.
  3. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    Thank you, Susannah. It saddens me to know that you’ve also gone through this immense pain. Yesterday, I spent all day feeling like I’m somehow responsible for this continuing. I googled “am I enabling an addict?” and clicked the first article I saw. It was a list of questions.

    1. Did you ever catch yourself protecting or lying about your partner’s or spouse’s sexual proclivities?
    2. Have your partner’s or spouse’s sexual behaviors caused you pain or humiliation?
    3. How much time have you spent rifling for clues to your partner’s or spouse’s sexual activities?
    4. How many times, or for how long now, have you felt deceived or rejected by the person you cherish and trust?
    5. Have you attempted to restrict your partner’s or spouse’s sexual thoughts and activities? For instance, tossed his porno stash, tapped a phone or computer, peeked at a phone or internet history, dressed or acted provocatively to manipulate them away from sex with others?
    6. Have you used sex to ameliorate problems in your relationship?
    7. Do your partner’s or spouse’s sexual thoughts and behaviors bother you?
    8. Do you fear abandonment if something you say or do upsets your partner or spouse?
    9. Have you questioned your feelings, your desirability, or your sanity?
    10. Have you felt accountable for the sexual actions of your partner or spouse?
    11. How often have you become enraged or felt stupid because you did not know about your spouse’s other sex life?
    12. Does suicide ever enter your thoughts as a means of escaping the pain of your partner’s or spouse’s betrayals?
    13. Which relationships with family, work, kids or friends, are affected by your obsession with the sexual thoughts and activities of your partner or spouse?
    14. Is sex the sole role in your relationship?
    15. Do you ignore your physical, spiritual, or mental health because of your relationship?
    16. Have you attributed your spouse’s sexual behaviors to others, such as family of origin, a church or a religion, people such as friends, workmates, or sex partners they pick up?
    17. Have you doubted the veracity of your partner’s talks about sexual thoughts and behaviors?
    18. How do you numb pain and emotions? Do you use drugs, food, alcohol, or stay too busy?
    19. Have you ever felt alone or too embarrassed to ask for help?
    And as I read through the list and each answer was “yes”, I began to sob. And then I lay there in my bed alone and let the tears flow, like you said. I finally let myself feel. And I, too, experienced the body shaking sobbing that wouldn’t stop until I couldn’t breathe anymore. The pain was so immense that I actually felt like my chest was going to rip open. I felt like the only way to end this pain was to die. I wanted to go to him, my best friend and life partner, and for him to console me but I couldn’t because I knew he wouldn’t understand and he could never help. So I just lay there and felt the most excruciating emotional pain of my life- realizing that I have somehow gone from that innocent and in-love 19 year old girl getting married- to being the enabler of an addict. And that I have no idea how to stop, and that if I “cut him off”, it will be immensely painful to me, as well. So, at that moment, death seemed like a pleasant and relieving option. I hope today will be better.
    legendsneverdie likes this.
  4. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Sorry to report I have ticked most of those boxes myself. Each person's journey is different, but I can say with some certainty that every day will not be like yesterday. You will feel okay again. You won't feel like that 19 year old girl again, but you will feel okay. Hugs to you. Message me any time you want.
  5. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    How do I do that? Are you the PA? Tell me how I can go about it the right way.
  6. Yes I am the PA in my relationship. My wife is @ccrowegreen .

    I have no good advice to give on making anything work for your situation sadly as bad as I may feel and want to help you it is only that an intent to help.
    I know or have heard about controlled seperations and the SO's here could tell you much more but I think in those cases professional help was always or almost always used to facilitate that so that it stayed a healthy communication environment and one that allowed you to work on self care and him recovery. Most cases I heard of had some type of commitment or standards and a time limit that had to be met and followed before moving back together. That way in theory each person is responsible only for themselves and thier actions

    I am not qualified at all to speak on its merrits as well as some of the SO's so please reach out to them....my point is there are always things or plans that can be adapted and ustilized to help a situation....one door opening and walked through doesnt mean another door walked through doesnt bring you back to the same person but a better relationship...there is always hope and there is always support here
    Tenebrae likes this.
  7. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I am not sure how you view co-dependency (enabling) and betrayal trauma but I'd like to say that it is possible to answer yes to many of those questions and still not be an enabler. Many come from the view that SO's experience betrayal trauma which is pretty much the same as PTSD and that this doesn't necessarily make them co-dependent just because they live with an addict and feel pain and trauma and sadness. It may be something that you'd like to read more about before you crucify yourself as an enabler. You could also just be experiencing trauma. *Hugs"
    need4realchg, Numb and Susannah like this.
  8. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    You might get something out of this video that explains the differences between co-dependency (enabling) and betrayal trauma @DesperateHousewife7

    ItsNeverTooLate, Numb and Susannah like this.
  9. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Beautifully put.
    need4realchg likes this.
  10. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    I actually just finished reading Betrayal Bonds for the second time! I’m very familiar with both.

    Here’s why I think I am betrayal bonded:
    •The history of my relationship is about contracts and promises that have been broken that I have been asked to overlook
    •I cannot detach from a person even though I do not trust them
    •Everyone who knows about my marriage has strong negative reactions but I continue defending or explaining the relationship
    •There is a constant pattern of non-performance and yet I continue to believe false promises
    •His contributions and other positive attributes cause me to overlook the destructive and exploitive acts.

    Here’s why I think I am enabling him:
    •I don’t enforce consequences when he breaks boundaries therefore he doesn’t have any reason not to break them.
    •I keep his secret for him even though I’d like to speak to my parents, or even his, for support and advice- because he doesn’t want to be ashamed having people know. So I don’t tell anyone in order to let him save face, and I don’t want our families to think negatively of him.
    •I allow him to live a perfectly comfortable life and continue having a good relationship with me, be in his own home with his kids, and still live his life exactly like any husband would want. Despite any of his actions.
    •I allowed him to stop going to therapy and meetings because he said he felt he didn’t need to anymore.
    •I don’t do things that would make me feel safer (take away his smart phone and replace with a dumb phone, ask him to change his gym schedule to when the girls he admitted to checking out don’t go, ask him to go back to therapy or read some books or anything) because I don’t want him to feel that I’m controlling him and I’m being unfair, since I’ve already made him delete all his favorite apps.

    I’m sure there’s lots more but I can’t think of the specifics right now.
    Lostneverland and Susannah like this.
  11. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Excellent, that you are aware of all of the above. Least you can start working at changing them @DesperateHousewife7 . I think it's awesome that you have self analysed all of this in yourself. You have to first be aware of it to change it. Unfortunately I can't write much at the moment, as I have to go out. But I like what you've written and will try to reply more later xx
    DesperateHousewife7 likes this.
  12. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Yes. Brave and unflinching self-analysis. You are on your way to making the changes you need to make. If only our SOs would do the same...
    DesperateHousewife7 likes this.
  13. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    Wouldn’t that be something? If they did self analysis like we did and created a plan, and executed it?
    Numb, HonestyMatters and Susannah like this.
  14. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I haven't read the book, but it sounds like it would be a good read. I might add it to my reading list. I agree there's definitely things there that wouldn't be helping, and where you are not protecting yourself. Setting boundaries as I'm sure you know is for your own protection, your own sanity and peace of mind. Maybe you could ask yourself why you find that difficult? Do you not feel worthy of that protection and self-respect, or not deserving. They say when deciding on your consequences, they shouldn't be harder for you to endure than it is for him. So you could start out with what you find easier and adjust them over time if necessary.

    I hope you don't mind but I thought I'd compare some of them to my own situation because there are a few that apply or have applied to me over the past 8 years since I discovered his addiction.

    This is the same for me to a Tee. He would not uphold any agreement or promise and not just related to his porn addiction. There must be thousands of times over the years where we discussed things for hours on end and then the next day or week later, it was like the conversation never happened. In fact he used to gaslight me and insist we never even discussed it, or he can't remember and we certainly didn't make any agreement on it. For years, I struggled with this. Something I have now, which I started around the same time as I put my boundaries in place, is an agreements book. It might seem ridiculous, but when we agree on something that is important, it gets written in the agreement book, in his hand writing. He can't gaslight me and say we don't have an agreement any more and it has definitely helped there.

    I can't say I do this, I do say that he has his good qualities and he's definitely not all bad, but I don't use those to defend the bad if you know what I mean.

    I went through this for years. Him saying he won't do any recovery work because nothing feels right or doesn't suit him. And also that he's got it under control himself. I fought against this for a long time but he would not budge and he'd tell me that I'm being nothing but controlling. Time and time again I believed him, that he was really trying, that he had it under control and wasn't doing it anymore. But after all the lies I still had a high level of doubt/distrust which eventually would lead me to dig deeper and even if it took a long time it always turned out that he was lying to me still. And it was hard to find, because he got extremely good at covering his tracks.

    After understanding the point of boundaries, that they were for my protection, and not to control him or punish him, I felt much better in myself and no longer felt the guilt that he'd try to put on me. So now, he has to be doing the recovery work, it's a boundary, and quite frankly I don't believe anything he says any more, I only believe his actions. Sometimes I feel like he's not changing fast enough, but I think it's also my impatience because of how long it's consumed our lives. So I need to remind myself of all that he's committed to do on a daily basis and see the progress even if things aren't 100% perfect, he's definitely improved.

    This is understandable but for me no contribution or positive attributes can be bigger or outweigh the necessity of honesty and trust in the relationship. Nothing could ever make up for the loss of that. It's cornerstone to any relationship. An absolute necessity. And for me, if I can't have that, it eats away at my happiness and inner peace.

    Do you know why you don't? Do you not want to rock the boat? Do you feel weak? Do you feel mean? Do you feel undeserving that he should respect your wishes or boundaries? Maybe you need to practice more self love. To enforce the boundaries and consequences is to love and protect yourself. Another idea I read which may work for you, I haven't tried it myself but if you don't enforce a consequence on him then you have to enforce one on yourself for not following through. And of course make his consequences something that is not intolerable to you and adjust them overtime and as you feel stronger and more confident if need be.

    Although he has pouted, been pissed off, stonewalled and all sorts of things at times when I've put consequences in place, ultimately he does agree and feels that it has helped him. He's needed for me to be hard on him and not just let him get away with stuff.

    This has been a point of contention between us for some time and something he still has an issue around. I spoke to my mother, my sister and my brother and some close friends, not all at the same time, but over the course of years. For a long time I didn't, but in the end for me it was a choice of keeping face for him or my own sanity. In the end I chose me. I needed support, I could no longer deal with the pain, depression and trauma of it all on my own. He understands why I did it now, but still doesn't particularly like it. But also my family are not in our lives everyday, live in different states, and no-one has given him a hard time over it when we have come together, everyone knows that we all have problems and are fairly open minded people. Their main concern was for my well being and how I was coping and really only had a problem with him, if he wasn't doing anything about it. At that point, all agreed I should leave if he's not going to change. Not because they had any huge issue with him but it's just not a healthy or happy place to be in so why stay if he won't do anything about it?

    It sounds like you do it to keep the peace, to keep everything happy and normal. It's only natural to want that but at what cost? At your own expense. This is where you need to work on you, you deserve to have a partner who is honest with you and who you can trust. We all do. You need to believe in your own self worth and that you are worth more than the lies and deceit. And you have to enforce your boundaries. Like they say, you teach people how to treat you. It's hard work, but you are worth it.

    Yep, I did the same. Until I realised that it was all lies and deceit still, and 8 years of lies and deceit is too much and it's pretty obvious that it's not going to stop unless I do something about it. I'm coming to accept that recovery is going to be an ongoing part of his life and if he stops then so does the relationship.

    I have wanted similar things. Like accountability software, him going to the beach less, no porn subs etc....a multitude of things really. I understand now my need for all these things like you mention is about my protection, so I no longer feel like I'm controlling him. If he truly cares about me and is sorry for the things he's done he'll care more about my safety and feelings of security. He's made his bed so he can lie in it until I feel safe enough to ever trust him again. If he doesn't like it, then I guess he can leave. And if he chooses to leave then he obviously never really cared enough about me anyway. You are not being controlling, you are taking care of yourself. You are respecting yourself. And honestly, the more effort he makes and you see positive recovery actions you won't feel the need so much for him to make you feel safer in these ways, because you will be feeling safer in the fact he's working on himself and changing.

    I'm not sure if any of that helps, but I think it's good to throw our thoughts around. And I feel I've been where you are many times. It's not easy and sometimes I feel it would be easier to not even be in this relationship. But while he respects my boundaries, and is trying, and putting effort in his recovery work then things are improving and I feel more hopeful. It's not perfect and we still have problems, and arguments at times but there has definitely been progress and the only difference is me enforcing my boundaries and him finally doing recovery work. Like I said before, you are doing amazing that you can identify all these things in yourself, that is huge and all you need to do is start working on changing them. You are worth it!!!
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    Susannah likes this.
  15. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    Regarding the part where you ask why I don’t enforce boundaries, and that enforcing them would be self-love: I have a REALLY hard time putting myself first. I grew up all my life in a very religious Slavic Pentecostal environment. In my teen years, I was heavily obsessed with my religion. It was a coping mechanism for all of life’s issues. Because of that, I grew up being taught and believing that self-love is evil. It’s selfish. Nothing about ME or my “worldly” desires mattered. I was taught at age 12 how to pray for a husband, and how to make myself be worthy of that husband. I kept myself “pure” away from all boys, in fear that acting on my desires sexually would taint me for my future husband and nobody would marry me. I grew up in a culture and religion that emphasized gender roles. I watched women in the church who sought help for their husbands’ addictions be told that it is “their cross to bear. Keep praying.” I was told all my life that there is no point to anything in life outside of “bringing glory to god”, so what I wanted didn’t matter if it didn’t line up with scripture. I grew up in a church that condemned divorce and kept sin secret. Divorced couples were rare but when they happened- they were immediately excommunicated. Now, I am not part of this church or religion any longer but the damage has been done. 22 years of my life were shaping my thoughts to believe that I had to put all others first, and suffer because god was testing me with trials and tribulations. Yes, my husband is “sinning” greatly against those ideals by neglecting me his body and indulging in porn and infidelity. But- all its done is hurt our sexuality and my self-esteem, all of which don’t matter in the big picture of my marriage and family. How can I break it over sex? That would be so selfish, right?
  16. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    Yes, that is so hard. Your upbringing and role modelling have conditioned you this way. But your so aware of it all, so you can change it. And realistically all of how you were conditioned and raised probably made you even more a perfect candidate for a sex / porn addict partner. How easy is it for him to indulge in his addiction in an environment where basically you have no self value or self worth. I am not religious and nor is my partner, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to change your belief systems but I believe that anythings possible.

    But it's sooo much more than that. Your not breaking anything just over sex. What about values & morals? What about the foundations of a true relationship - Trust & Honesty. Safety & Security. Loyalty. Honest Communication. Just to mention a few? Every healthy & happy relationship needs them, should have them. And it's not selfish to want them or to expect that from your husband, or to expect he only has sex and eyes for you. That's not selfish at all. He's the one who is behaving selfishly - not you.
    Numb likes this.
  17. Fightyourlowerself

    Fightyourlowerself Fapstronaut


    I came across your journal today and wanted to say a few things. For your reference I am an addict who isn't in a relationship and I read these sections to understand the problems I might cause for any future partner.

    Firstly, thank you for sharing your story. You and all the SOs here in the partner support section are truly brave, amazing people who deserve all the happiness in the world.

    Like you I grew up in a toxic culture where divorce is almost banned (even though the religion we follow clearly says it's permitted) so I can understand how difficult this decision must be for you. You are in my prayers.

    As often with this section your story broke my heart - especially these postings:

    I'm so sorry this was the situation for you :( For what it's worth I believe god sees everything you go through and it doesn't go unnoticed.

    This one almost made me cry.

    To respond using your analogy - that single red rose, the one where some of its petals has fallen...is a most precious of all because it is unique. Once you look closer, you find it is one of a kind, it's rare, it has gone though things the sunflower, daisies and magnolias have not and that makes it the most precious. All the other flowers in the world wouldn't be worth a second glance because that single red rose is more than enough, it's a blessing that one should be grateful for, forever and always.

    Glad to hear you have understood something that's part of your life as being toxic and moved away from it. It won't be easy getting out of this mindset but you can do it!

    I will just mention that I do believe god does tests people but it doesn't mean you have to just accept a bad situation.

    You do whatever you think is best to bring yourself closer to god and be in a state where you are happy.

    To give you another perspective on this. In my religion god is the focus too but we only do what we can (to each their own level) and we have 5 principles in the religion where if they are under threat the whole focus goes on preserving them at the expense of all else - even worship of god. One of these is called "preservation of intellect" which is basically preservation of your mental health.

    So if someone's mental wellbeing is being significantly affected this need so be the focus before everything else.

    No it wouldn't. This is a basic right from your partner.

    I hope everything works out for you and your children. You are only 26 and have your whole life ahead of you.

    Please don't abandon hope, there are many people here supporting you.
    DesperateHousewife7 likes this.
  18. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    Thank you for all your words, I really appreciate it.
  19. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    I am trying my absolute hardest to deal with all of this. By all of this, I guess I specifically mean “the reality that my husband is an actual, legitimate addict to pornography”... Most days, I can compartmentalize my feelings and shove them away while I focus on the positive. I mean what other choice do I have? I can’t just live every single day allowing myself to feel what feelings this creates in me, or I would never get anything done but cry and be angry.

    And while compartments, denial and minimization works for a while, it still has days where it comes to a head and I’m forced to face my feelings. Those days are very hard for me. I was triggered a few days ago by simply seeing a couple together. For some reason, it sent my thoughts spiraling and it’s been getting worse each day.

    Yesterday, I asked him how he was doing with everything and he said he’s just battling away thoughts and flashbacks and temptations, and that some days are harder than others. I asked him what he means by thoughts and flashbacks. He said he literally sits there and starts thinking about porn scenes he looked at. He says sometimes he has vivid dreams of acting out on those thoughts and he wakes up feeling guilty-as if he had. I was glad that he was honest with me about this. But of course, it’s very hard to hear.

    Last night, my thoughts spiraled further and I went on Reddit and looked through his favorite old porn sub. Scrolling past each gif was nauseating. A smorgasbord of women, any kind you want, being treated like rag dolls by men. Women’s naked bodies on full display explicitly. Rough, hardcore sex acts. Multiple men degrading one woman. The women all looking so eager and pleasured while being treated like cum rags. Not a single post of realistic sex, realistic looking women, or sex that I would actually enjoy and feel comfortable with. And it just hit me again how fucking wrong and sick this whole situation is.

    I can’t even imagine a situation where I, as his wife, would choose to get online daily on my phone, look for naked men with perfect bodies spread wide open, having all kinds of degrading acts done to them, just so I can look at it and masturbate to it, and then later on that day- when my husband tries to embrace me and initiate intimacy, try to enjoy my body and have me enjoy his- I tell him no. Every day. No. I don’t feel like it. I’m tired. I’m too full. I’m gassy. I don’t feel good. I feel anxious. Or- let him try to have sex with me but my body doesn’t lubricate. Doesn’t respond. I show no interest. He cannot enter me, even after going down on me for 20 minutes. I cannot imagine the toll that would take on him. On us. And how I could possibly sleep at night knowing what I was doing in secret and why I didn’t want my husband.

    And then realizing that this stuff, this filth, he has been enjoying for much longer than he’s even known me. And that when he says he experiences flashbacks and temptations every day- those images are what’s stuck in his head and what he wants to act on. Not to making love to his wife. Not his wife’s body. It’s those women being degraded.

    It just hurts me deeply. It makes me feel like I just don’t want to be touched or shown any affection. It makes me feel dirty and wrong and used. I don’t wanna be just another part of his porn fantasies. I don’t wanna be his “ok way” of acting on them. I just don’t want anything to do with this.
  20. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    Hallelujah Desperate Housewife..Amen to that...that’s exactly how I feel. I know what he’s done and looked at and I would be able to accept it all if he was serious about recovery, but he’s not.
    The same day he left, a week ago, he was on porn sites. I was totally 100% disposable and tossed away. He doesn’t give a rats ass about any of our life together, how it affects our adult children etc...
    Ya I’m angry, hurt, betrayed and disillusioned . Will I ever trust again, doubtful. I trusted and believed in him 100%.
    Like you , I have the same exact thoughts...what was between his ears when we’re together.

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