The damage we inflict on those we love

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Love2LongBoard, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Love2LongBoard

    Love2LongBoard Fapstronaut

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    Hey everyone. One of the greatest things I was told to do was to consider, really and truly consider, how my actions are effecting my spouse. I thought it would be good to have a discussion about the impact that our pornography use, affairs, lies, gas lighting, victim blaming, victim mentality, manipulation, etc. has on the people we profess to love.

    There are 2 aspects of hurt that can potentially occur.
    1. The acting out.
    2. The deceit, or as Dr. Omar Minwalla says, the secret sexual basement. The secret sexual basement is a metaphor. Imagine you have a home. You and your partner and your kids live in the home. There is the family room and living room, kitchen, bedrooms. In the home there is peace, mostly. Memories are made. The family is happy. But hidden under the carpet is a trapdoor that leads to a secret sexual basement. This is where acting out happens, affairs happen, fantasy happens. No one knows about the secret sexual basement other than the person acting out. This existence of the secret sexual basement, the secret world, is extremely traumatizing for most partners.

    What negative effects does your partner experience/has experienced due to your choices?

    Here are just a few from my relationship:
    She doubts herself. She believes that she must be an idiot because of what I have been able to get away with undetected.
    She has physical ailments. Emotional abuse (pornography use is emotional abuse) leads to physical sickness.
    She distrusts others. She was generally a trusting person until the person she should have trusted most betrayed her.
    She questions every memory we ever had together. She doesn't know when I was acting out, lying or manipulating and frankly I can't remember every time. So she wonders if any sweet memory we had was real.
    She doubts her relationship with God. How could he let this happen. I pretended to be a devote Christian while living a lie.
     
    Sootie, Outside, EyesWideOpen and 2 others like this.
  2. Reverent

    Reverent Fapstronaut

    Insightful.
    Here is a portion of my apology from my previous relapse, 2 years into recovery

    "These are the pains I think I caused in you,

    I shattered your truth paradigm. What you believed to be real verses the honest reality collided. It has devastating effects on your psyche and belief system. Two things happened with this discovery trauma I believe. One you were already in a tender vulnerable state of reforming trust and I knew that, but did what I did anyway. It was monsterically cold, selfish and insensitive. 2ndly, this discovery may have come as a shock and you could not have been prepared for it. That also is terrible because it didn't allow time or tools for you to endure what was coming your way, (our current state). I realize that your physiology responses are out of your control and are also unpleasant. In one word FEAR. I envoked PTSD. I caused such a reality incongruous that it kept you in tears, up all night, or out of your normal headspace. I took away your own safety.

    The disclosure trauma I caused you added yet another layer of repetitiveness in a sick and unhealthy marriage. It more than likely, makes you question if it will ever stop. And why you are wasting YOUR life away on me. All of the insecurities of moving on elsewhere must be boiling up.

    I shattered the glass. Knocked over the house of cards, certainly destabilized the rocky foundation of our whole relationship. I'm also aware my indescresions seep into other areas where there is supposed to be safety and trust. I turned your world upside down and take away your ability to trust deeper. I in essence attacked your Faith, I callused your heart.

    I'm sure I ressurected painful memories, caused paralysis of self-blame and utter aloneness. You experience shaking, and physical sickness, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, sleep disturbance and possibly rage. I removed peace in your world, and in your own body. I shook you to the very core.

    I took away your sense of self. Causing you to wake up and look at yourself and question who am I? Or at least caused a need to reaffirm the good in yourself. My actions affect you.

    I changed your routine, I forced a new normal, an ugly uncontrolled non-ideal living situation. I envaded your privacy, interrupted your wellness, showed up when not wanted. I forced you to have to deal with me in the most unpleasant of circumstances. I set the stage for uncertainty moving forward.
    I derailed your plans, inhibited your ambitions, and frustrated your goals.

    I heightened your emotional well-being and took you out of a place you have worked so hard to get too. I reintroduced Hyper. Hyper-arousal, Hyper-tension, Hyper-vigilance. Basically I leveled the field and poured footings for you to build walls you never wanted to build. I lessened your ability to choose, forcing more reactions and coping.

    Worste of all I was gaslighting. I took away your ability to trust your gut. You have a terrific sense of intuition, one I'm jealous of, and an amazing sensitivity to when things "just aren't right". It is a spiritual sense as well as a personal trait. I destroy that every time I forced you not to trust it. It psychologically manipulates the way trust your gift. It creates an unsettled anxiety in you that you must reconcile. Over time it diminishes your trust in yourself and only serves the worst me. It also offends God. Telling you you are crazy is one thing, but when I denounce your revelation to serve my shame, I distort truth and move us away from God. Removing your "gut" instinct is removing your survival instinct, the warning mechanism that tells you "fight or flee". Me erroding that is some of the worst psychological abuse I can image.

    I took away some of your ability to have safe secure attachments. I didn't demonstrate a healthy relationship and created an untrusting environment where nurture and love can't exist. Im sure I increased your impatience with others, removed tolerance in children, people, and cause aggravation. I also set you up for future trauma with others because my relationship modeling is lackluster.

    Whether I see it or not, I've impacted our children. I've made you feel blame for choosing me and impacting them as well. I have caused you to mother-hen, or protect our children from me in some ways. You wanted a partner, a protector.

    There is more I'm sure, I can not understand it all, but I'm starting to try. I do know:
    I'm sorry I broke your trust..."
    Words are just words. It's the behaviors that make the difference. My heart goes out to all the SO's who are still battling for their man's heart. You are courageous!

     
  3. Love2LongBoard

    Love2LongBoard Fapstronaut

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    @Reverent Thanks for the reply. That letter is powerful. Words are just words, but the wrong words can cause more damage if we aren't careful when disclosing to our partners. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Reverent likes this.
  4. Alilcloudy

    Alilcloudy Fapstronaut

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