Question for SO's: Reckoning the Addiction

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by MNWinter, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. MNWinter

    MNWinter Fapstronaut

    I would like to ask the SO's of something that happened with my SO today. My wife is beginning the painful process of reckoning my PA and sex addiction (including a past with strip clubs and prostitution) with our life of 21 years together. My task was to sit with her intense emotions as she is going this process of reckoning.

    Here are my questions:
    1) did most of the reckoning or reconciling the truth of what happened and coming to terms with the long past happen with other SO's? Perhaps with therapists? What helped you in this reckoning process to go through and deal/integrate the pain rather than run from it?
    2) did you process the addiction with your PA directly? Was it in the presence of a therapist, or was it just the two of you?
    3) how did you deal with the intensity of the betrayal?
    4) Were you able to see the person apart from the addiction?
    5) what advice would you give a couple earlier in this journey in this reconciling/reckoning process?

    Thanks so much. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jolee80

    jolee80 Fapstronaut

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    1) We are married with two kids, so running isn’t an option...yet. I gave up my whole life to stay at home and homeschool. I have nowhere else to go. Nothing has helped the immense pain I feel. He’s not sorry.

    2) With him directly, no therapist. He’s in denial.

    3) I dealt with the betrayal by dying inside everyday. I cry all the time. I’m emotionally not present with my two beautiful children. My world came crashing down in a day. I lost my marriage and the love I had for my husband.

    4) No, I pretty much view him as sub-human at this point. I have absolutely no respect for him.

    5) I really don’t know, since my husband doesn’t care about our marriage. For the SO, if the PA is in denial or unrepentant...run.
     
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  3. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    1.I went to counseling, my faith in God helped me through the pain.
    2.with a therapist and my husband. The process as u call it is a daily process. Been married 27 years, dealing with it for 22.
    3.Deal with it? God, therapist, horses, self care and letting go of who I thought I married
    4. Yes, but I will never be completely vulnerable or trusting again. Once an addict always an addict .
    5. If you(so)don’t have kids run! Run for your life and never look back. If you have kids , therapy, group, you as the pa must be completely rigorously, brutally HONEST!! If you can’t be, then there is no hope of ever healing for either one of you. Just an FYI my husband never went to chat rooms, dating sights,sexting etc. his was “just” porn. Verified through disclosure and polygraphs.... I cannot imagine what your wife is going through if this is how it affected me.
     
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  4. bms1985

    bms1985 Fapstronaut

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    1:The biggest helps for me were a journal/diary - hand written. Something I hadn't don't for 20+ years since a teenager. And sometimes speaking to my PA by letter as well instead of bottling up or exploding in anger/pain etc. Also, music and reading helped me to organise my thoughts and feelings. Complete honesty from my PA as well.
    2: Just the 2 of us. We are in the UK and harder to find a csat therapist here.
    3: At first, lots and lots of crying. Alone in bed whilst kids at school etc. As time went on, spending time with friends, concentrating on my kids, working on me. Allowing myself time for a bubble bath, healthy eating, make up, reading etc. things for me that make me feel good. And the big one - figuring out the truth behind my PAs addiction and realising it was not my fault. This took time. We are approx. 8 months in now from our big dday. I had 4 months of trickle truths/lies about past. It has only been the last month of so that my pain has begun to subside for my days to feel more normal.
    4: Yes. I would not have stayed if I could not see the real person behind the addict. But I will always be onguard now, my heart wont open in quite the same way it did when I was that naïve little girl 17 years ago.
    5: Honesty from you the PA. And I am with Psalm im afraid. No kids and I would say run. With kids, be honest, work your recovery, allow her time, space etc whatever she needs to process things. Be there for her, but don't pressure her. Encourage her to be a bit selfish and pamper herself, do things she enjoys etc. Accept this is going to be a long healing process, full of pain. But if you are not completely honest with her, the pain will be worse. This is the mistake a lot of PAs make - oh it will be easier if I don't tell her that bit. Im protecting her. But that is another lie. Another secret. Protecting yourself and the addict only. Your partner needs full honesty so she can decide HER future.
     
  5. MNWinter

    MNWinter Fapstronaut

    Thanks so much ladies for your insight. Yep I totally agree with all of you that honesty is the best route, and I'm definitely trying very hard to be honest about everything: every behavior, thought, and emotion.
     
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  6. djdcgc4

    djdcgc4 Fapstronaut

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  7. We spoke to each other about it. For me, nothing was disclosed at first. I had to discover everything. This made trust near impossible.
    We haven’t gone to therapy mainly because we live in the middle of nowhere and I doubt there would be anyone qualified around here to deal with porn addiction.

    Journals helped and still do help me. I write all my feelings down and a lot of the time I share it with him. He doesn’t like a lot of what I have to say. Yesterday for example I wrote him a journal telling him that I hate me engagement ring. It’s gorgeous but I hate everything it represents (he was clean for 7 month before I accepted it- but later he admitted he had issues ogling and fantasizing about women in my presence- Yupp, even when I got dolled up for a date and looked my best it still wasn’t enough for him, at my best I’m still not good enough) I now look at my ring and it doesn’t represent love, loyalty and trust. I now look at this ring, and instead of thinking I am “the one” I think “I’m the one of many”
    It’s been 1 year now since he got sober (with one slip up in February) I am still just as hurt today as I was a year ago.
    If I don’t bring up my feelings he doesn’t either. I always have to be the one to bring up a conversation about this. So I’ve built up a bit of resentment to be honest. After I told him about my ring he said “I thought we were doing really good” no- I just stopped talking to you and therefore you assumed everything was fine. When really I cry everyday. I have nightmares, I get this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach when a sex scene comes on in a movie, I’ve given up styling my hair and wearing makeup- because even when I looked my best it wasn’t good enough for him,
    Sometimes he gets upset that I’m not over this and don’t trust him. How do you trust someone who can lie to your face over and over? I want to trust him. It’s just very difficult.

    How I help myself besides journals... I am so focused on my weight loss journey. Getting stronger and healthier keeps my mind focused.
    We are going to Jamaica on Saturday and I was showing him a dress I bought. “Babe, do you like the new dress I bought for Jamaica?” His reply “ugh every man is going to hit on you” are you fucking kidding me???? I want to be pretty arm and arm with you- and you’re worried about that?! The only man I want to tell me that I’m beautiful can’t even do that?! Why do I bother? I’ll never be good enough.
    My advice to women just starting this... if you don’t have children... RUN. My life has been torn upside down. I used to think I was beautiful, now I think I’m disgusting. I can’t go on a date without scanning the room looking for threats. I am going to Jamaica and I have anxiety over all the half naked women on the beach, if he wakes up to use the bathroom I check to see if he brought his phone, I am not the same woman I once was. This doesn’t go away because he decides to stop watching porn. It doesn’t just disappear.

    We (women) keep hearing “it has nothing to do with you or your attractiveness) that’s bullshit. It has everything to do with me. Try telling a child “your dad screams at you because he has anger issues- it’s not because you’re bad) that child will grow up with a whole lot of mental issues because they were verbally abused by someone who was supposed to love them.

    There have been many couples who come out stronger in the end because of this- but there are a lot of us that are just completely destroyed.

    If you’re serious about wanting to help her... do not trickle down information. Let her vent her emotions, don’t keep saying “sorry” it sounds more like “sorry I was caught” understand that going into a relationship trust is given freely- once it has been broken it’s very difficult to gain back.
     
  8. MNWinter

    MNWinter Fapstronaut

    Wow @Empty shell of a girlfriend thanks so much for your courage in sharing your story. We are working on me being able sit with her anger right now. It’s very difficult for both of us, but we are working on it. I appreciate your insight very much.

     
    Psalm27:1my light likes this.

  9. No problem. It always makes me feel sad when I hear about other couples going through this too. I usually feel very alone because society tells us that porn is harmless

    It’s so important to be able to sit and let her express her anger without trying to defend yourself. It might be difficult to hear and sting but believe me- If she’s angry it means she loves you. When a women stops fighting and stops giving a crap- that’s when you have lost her. So even though the anger sucks- remember she loves you.
    My man has shown so much empathy and change. Just last night he broke down crying saying he was disgusted at himself for how he treated me. When I first found out about the porn, then the sexting other women online, then the ogling- all I wanted was for him to show empathy. Now that I’ve got it- I realize- it’s not that I need anything from him- I need to fix myself. My broken self esteem, my difficulty with trusting him again. This addiction has completely destroyed how I see myself and I wrongly believed he would be the one that had to put those pieces back together. He can tell me over and over (and mean it) how he wishes he could take it all back- but I still don’t know how to help myself. When we are intimate I get flashbacks- I end up seeing his favourite pornstar in my head and I see in my mind all the sexts he sent to other women and it is haunting. I have started to ask for the lights to be off during sex because I usually end up crying and just letting him finish without seeing the tears. This is no longer about him and what he did- it’s learning to let go.
     
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  10. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

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    So I did not have a formal disclosure with my husband. In our 19 years of marriage he did not hide. I knew about the P and M and emotional affair. I just didn’t know the extent and was in denial of the betrayal trauma.

    We are 6 months in and at first it was rocky. We were trying to do too much at one time and also too involved in each other’s recovery.

    Some things worked for us and somethings didn’t. For example boundaries with consequences sleeping on the couch and stuff. They didn’t work for us.

    You have to find your own path and what works for you.

    My husband knows my triggers and has been very supportive about not judging them, fussing about them or making me feel crazy.

    I’m learning it’s okay to have feelings and it’s not wrong. I get angry, upset and cry. What I’m trying to do now is not “take it out” on my husband. He is letting me have my feelings now without us turning it into an argument. And vice versa. It’s not perfect but we are getting better.

    I pray a lot.

    We have the help of a therapist and he has been going to CR.

    5 weeks ago I started going to Al-Anon and it’s is the best thing I could have done.

    I’m an adult child of an alcoholic, sister of an addict and adult child of a narcissist. I brought stuff into our marriage that I didn’t deal with.

    Working on this is also indirectly working on the betrayal.

    Couples therapist and individual 12 step work would be my advice for new couples starting out.

    I’m not or the same opinion that it you don’t have kids run.

    We as SOs did not cause the addiction, we can’t fix the addiction, and we can’t cure the addiction. But we can heal ourselves, take control of our own reactions and actions.

    Do I see him outside outside of addiction. Yes for sure.
     
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  11. MNWinter

    MNWinter Fapstronaut

    @IamOlive Thanks so much for your honest reply. It gives me hope that me and my SO can get thru this difficult time. She is having a hard time seeing me apart from my addiction. What helped you make that transition?

     
  12. fadedfidelity

    fadedfidelity Fapstronaut

    OMG, this is not normal. Why are you letting yourself go through this?? Does he know you are crying while he is getting off?? You need to tell him! Sex this way will ruin you more. You will start to hate him and resent him when intimacy is initiated. You are letting yourself be raped essentially if you continue this. Please, please see a sex therapist and talk with your husband about this. He sounds like he is changing and loves you. I don't think he would not want to do this to you.
     

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