Why do you stay? (Question for SOs?)

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by JKnight, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    I'm quite curious to understand this one. I think the answer may provide me with a different way to appreciate my wife for staying. If you are in a marriage with children, there are perhaps more significant barriers to just leaving than without children, and being married has more barriers to exit than a long term relationship. The only difference between a long-term relationship and a new relationship is the emotional investment that went into it but there and maybe actually finding a new place to live, but there are no real barriers to leave.

    So why not just leave? You've obviously been deceived to an extent about the nature of your partner, and the magnitude of that deception depends on the nature and type of relationship and personal opinions about the addiction itself. There is definitely some level of betrayal trauma. Why would you stay with someone who is steeped in lies and the filth that is porn addiction?

    EDIT: I just wanted to thank every SO for their contribution, it really helps me try and understand this. I know that this is quite a personal question and that you are offering this information freely to a stranger who is also strange (I am an addict after all). So thank you very much. I appreciate it.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  2. TryingToHeal

    TryingToHeal Fapstronaut

    I ask myself that sometimes still. For me, I gave him another chance because of my kids. I had to be able to look them in the eyes and tell them I had tried EVERYTHING for me to feel ok breaking up their family and throwing away 14 years of marriage.
    After some time, I could see changes in him and was willing to see where it went. It is still hard and there are days I still wonder if I’m doing the right thing. I still can leave if I feel I can’t do it anymore. But I thought it was better to give him tome to really change. He has changed, however, that hasn’t made it just go away.
  3. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    Many reasons...

    our son
    I love him
    I know the good side of him
    I want to be there for him
    I want us to work it out and move forward
    I think that you should give it your all before quitting
    I don't want him to feel as though he isn't lovable
    I know addiction, I've been through it, I know recovery and sobriety are possible
    He is more than just an addiction, in fact, the addiction is only a small part of who he is, it doesn't define him

    all that said....
    it's not easy
    it takes work
    it takes 100% commitment
    it takes patience
    it takes stepping back and trying to see things from the other person's POV
    it takes love (because we know afterall, love is a choice)
    it takes dedication
    it takes endurance
  4. Jennica

    Jennica Fapstronaut

    Why did I decide to stay because it felt right. I knew there was a good man buried in him somewhere under who the man in front me was. I had struggled with thoughts of leaving. I put a hell of a lot of thought into my limits. I was incredibly close to leaving a few times. We were 15 years invested by DDay #1. (Physical affair) and through the rocky affair recovery is what really raised the red flags to PA/SA. (Dday#2 about four years later).

    By dday2 it really came down to the make or break it moment on how I felt his honesty was in how he handled the confrontation (I found his coveted collection that fucked with me hard). He chose to handle it right in my mind, otherwise I would have felt I had no choice to walk even though we just bought our first house 6-8 months beforehand. It was his actions, decisions and honesty that made the decision for me. Thankfully he has held true since then and has made this voyage well worth it. The man I knew was always in him is coming out. It’s crazy because it’s like a split personality, the Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde syndrome with addiction.
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  5. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    I apologise if I am stirring some discomfort. I am not trying to get you to question and change your mind about your decision. I am curious about this and trying to see if I can use that information to better my own relationship. Yes, I could ask my own wife, but I think that I am more likely to receive the answer she thinks I want to hear and so I turn to people who don't care about that.
    There are 3 elements here: (1) the legal status of your relationship, (2) the quantity of time, (3) the presence of a child. The 3rd one seeming to be at the forefront of both of these answers. If a may, a few hypothetical then, if the children were not yet born, would the other considerations been enough to give a second or third or however many chances? What about if you were newly married or married for a significantly shorter period of time? Or instead you were at the same or slightly less period of time but unmarried yet in a committed long term relationship or even a de facto arrangement?
    What made you delay to give him the chance to prove himself? the aforementioned?
    I do not know the extent of your husband's addiction, but you have mentioned a few times on questions I have posed about the disclosure and checking in and deceit and lies and whatnot. Trust and respect is the foundation of love and wouldn't that deceit shatter that love, which also creates that betrayal trauma? can the two still co-exist?
    I can appreciate that. Changing prevents more damage from accruing and can change the course of the future by changing the immediate variables necessitating that possible future. It does not, however, remedy the past and cause it to magically disappear. The offense occurred and nothing can remedy that. Or is there a way to remedy that?
    Interesting. So you were more sympathetic to his plight, because of your understanding and experience with the topic?
    This sounds like a lot to give someone who has essentially broken your heart, realised a fear (i wouldn't call it cheating and infidelity, but it comes close), and betrayed your trust in a pretty serious way. Why?
  6. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    Very insightful. @AnonymousAnnaXOXO mentioned something like this in her post as well. You believed that a there was the addict-him and the real-him and so long as there was real potential for the addict-him to be removed and the efforts to be genuine and so that the real-him may resurface and that was the -him that you loved, you could continue with the relationship. That was all dependent on how he handed the disclose and his actions and commitments continue henceforth. I remember reading something like in the AA bible. 2 questions then: (1) why was the affair not the end? that is pretty brutal, as brutal as a betrayal as you can get? (2) did you ever know the real-him ever? or was he always the addict-him and you just thought or understand that the real-him was someone that you could love?
  7. TryingToHeal

    TryingToHeal Fapstronaut

    I can't say for sure because I haven't been in that position. Honestly, if I just had to guess, I'd say probably not if there were no kids involved. We got married in 2004 and had kids shortly after, so I can't say what I'd do with no kids or if we were newly married, but I can't imagine I would stick around for that. Then again, I didn't think I'd stick around for cheating at all, but here I am.

    My kids and just the fact that everything in their lives and my lives would change. I didn't want to put them through that when I wasn't 100% sure I was done. I just couldn't imagine my future that way, either. It is really hard to say. But I saw a change in him really quickly, and I think that helped. If it had taken months, I'm not sure I would have been able to endure it.

    No, I don't think there is any remedy for what is done. I am just trying to figure out how to learn to live with it. It's difficult. And things will never be the same. They can never be what they once were to me, but actually through all this I've found out that they never were what I thought they were either. It's a weird spot to be in.
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  8. BrendonP20

    BrendonP20 Fapstronaut

    Love this thread.
    JKnight likes this.
  9. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    I’ve worked so hard for so long to build something for myself exactly the way I want it. This little family I have, the two little boys who love having their family together, this comfortable lifestyle and great friendship I have with him. He’s family and he’s my best friend. I just couldn’t, and still can’t, bring myself to accept the fact that my marriage, my life, my family, everything I worked so hard for- could just be destroyed and taken from me because of a stupid fucking porn addiction. I think denial plays a huge part in it. Denial, trauma bonding, codependency, self-blame... it’s all there. I always feel like leaving would be a mistake because I’ll never find someone else, I’ll be lonely and I’ll die alone (even though I’m 26) and I just don’t know how to live without him. I don’t know life without loving him despite all the pain he inflicted on me. I loved my parents even though they were abusive at times and made me feel inadequate and unworthy of love. And then I married a man who could carry on what they started. Trying to become worthy of someone’s love and trying to be treated the way I feel like I should be treated as this mans wife and mother of his children- it’s all I’ve ever known.
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  10. Numb

    Numb Fapstronaut

    We are not married, no kids but have been together for a long time. Why not just leave? It isn't that simple. Not so black or white. I love him and despite not being married or having kids we have made a life together, for better or worse. IMO kids or marriage don't change that. I've said many times if I was looking in to our relationship I would urge me to leave. But it is easy to say that looking in, where you have no emotional investment. The PA isn't all he is, he is a good person that has struggles. I don't want to give up without giving my all. Though it did get to the point I was ready to go. I don't run just because things get hard, but that said I do have my limit and will only take so much.

    Also, to me it is cheating and infidelity and to many others here. You don't have to agree with me or them or anyone. We all decide for ourselves what is cheating.
  11. Jennica

    Jennica Fapstronaut

    I believe even though he was possibly a PA when we met (24 years old and together 8 years before marriage and 10 years married now). He was using porn but those first years we didn’t have cell phones, laptops and spent a lot of time together out and about away from internet other than watching movies together at home. We went to bed and woke up together. We hung out after work with friends almost every night. During this time I believe I saw closer to the real him even though was still watching porn.
    He was more humble, honest and respectful towards me on a regular basis. You could say more of a functional PA then. He did have some intimacy issues that filtered through but nothing like when he went full tilt escalation. The huge turning point was right around us getting married and worsening after for years. I think marriage was the Escalation trigger really.That’s when he started to become someone I didn’t recognize, The Mr. Hyde.

    I was confused and quite sometime taken aback by it. I remember having a conversation with my sister around 6months post married, I was saying to her how I found it funny (not so funny) that it’s usually men complaining about how the woman changes after marriage, he did a total flip in his behavior and treatment towards me and it slowly got a lot worse. And of course this is also around the time we got laptops and smart phones, we weren’t as social as we once were.
    He came across to me with having patterns of sabotage when thing were going good between us and he certainly became emotionally abusing at his worst. He was never like that before.

    My husband had at least one emotional affair with a coworker.

    He has physically cheated and was actively looking to cheat more.

    He would hit on and even ask a few mine/our friends etc to come play, invite back to his hotel rm or whatever.

    These are just few things that happened at his peak PA, more appropriate SA really at that point.

    The one thing I can say is the behaviors of SA/PA’s are not that different from someone having a long term affair IRL. Both just come down to novelty and something new.
    To me he did have an affair with internet porn as well. The signs of SA/PA and an affair are to similar down to picking fights to have his time. The way I was treated was spot on and not any different between the two when I think back to it all. I would not have married the the full tilt addict if I had met him during that time, he truly became a different person in about a 5 year time. Everything came to ahead with physical cheating. DDay #1

    Now he’s even better then before things got bad, he’s becoming a new man and Im falling back in love with him, more then I thought I had when we first got together. So I would say I knew of a difference between the two “him’s“ and I’m seeing the true him emerging now. And maybe that’s why it felt right at Dday#1. I knew we would get here!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  12. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    Number one reason, I love him very much. We've been married 21 years, DDay was just after our 19th anniversary. We have kids, we have history. He is a good man, sweet man. He has never blamed me for his addiction, not even when I would catch him over the years (we didn't know it was an addiction and I had no idea the extent), he never blamed me, he never gaslit me. He has always treated me well and been a good father. I have been a child of divorce twice, once as a child and once very recently as an adult. The one that happened this past year between my mother and my step-dad (he raised me) really messed with my head. It doesn't matter how old you are, and how irrational it is, even adult kids will blame themselves. I won't do that to my kids.

    My husband has stagnated in his recovery. He's made a lot of progress, but he's got a lot to go. I just don't think he's going to do it. I wont prod him and I wont lead him. He's content with being mediocre and he clearly doesn't know me well enough, even after 20 years, to know that I am still far away from him. But I can live with that. We are content. I won't break up my family because no life is perfect. He loves me, he is good to me, we laugh a lot, he is a great dad, he is in recovery.

    If we didn't have kids? Well, many years ago it almost happened. No kids, he was refusing to be the man and husband he needed to be, my parents were in town, and I *almost* left that night to go back with them. I stopped myself for a few reasons. 1. I never wanted to go back home and live with my step-dad. 2. I'm stubborn as hell and didn't want to give up after only a year married. 3. I believed in us and knew he could be a better man. He did straighten up, but unfortunately PMO was always hiding in the background since before I was in the picture. He just learned to hide it MUCH better.

    Before we were married? I would have supported him, but I would not have been nearly as patient. If the things that had taken place over the first 6 months since DDay had happened while we were dating, I would have walked. I had no skin in the game and had a bright future. I changed my entire career path to marry him. I would have left and been just fine without a second thought.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  13. bobbyfunland

    bobbyfunland Fapstronaut

    My fiance just told me about this being cheating 2 days ago. At first I didn't understand but now I do. The way I saw cheating previously was the physical and emotional attachment to someone else....now I see that it is any correspondence for sexual deeds outside of your relationship....I've been battling with this idea that I am a cheater doing what I did....like you I am in a relationship with someone who sounds just like you....If you haven't gathered by now I am the addict in this scenario....she's at her limit with me it seems and reading your message really helps put things in perspective with how she feels....like your significant other I am also trying....though it may not seem like I'm trying hard enough when I slip up I feel like I am....sometimes.....anyways we appreciate you so much for staying!
  14. bobbyfunland

    bobbyfunland Fapstronaut

    Thank you for making this thread man!
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  15. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

    I loved him a lot more than I loved me. With therapy, tons of learning, and letting go of other dysfunctional relationships in my life, I began to value myself more. He got scared, got honest, and started changing.
  16. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    Interesting. So 2 elements here. (a) your actual investment in the relationship and (b) your fear of the future if you were to end it.
    There's also a huge element of stubbornness here and a refusal to quit. I know that it seems that I've taken a sentimental answer and quantified it, it is anything but. this is one of the first answers that I've received where the primary focus wasn't the legal status of the relationship or the presence of children but the whole picture and the investment that you've made. You're not ready to give up on that despite how you hurt. If I got that correctly, why would the porn addiction not be a red line for you? did he disclose to you or did you catch him?
  17. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    If I may ask (I guess I've asked more personal questions than this, so then why not), how long have you been in this relationship for? Would you leave if he actually did have an affair with a live woman? I understand that there are different levels, but cheating is an ultimate betrayal of the sanctity of the relationship. If you define it as so, then why wouldn't it be a red line?

    I like this because your relationship type is one where the barriers to exit is just emotional attachment to the individual. I get that each woman would be different and would have different red lines. I wanted to see if that factor was enough for anyone rather just practical considerations.
  18. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the elaboration. So you got to see the real-him when his addiction wasn't in full bloom due to the lack of availability. And so when he came clean, he 'returned to you'. So you could actually recognise the man that you loved, the real-him, and his shadow, the addict-him, and that helped you go through all that trauma especially after he returned being that 'real-him' after DDAY2. This is very insightful. You actually had a good period of time recognising the 'real-him', rather than believing that it was there. If I may, now that he is recovering, are you seeing signs of the real-him or something else?

    You said that you believed that he was a PA when he began. Do you mean that after the fact you can see that he was, or you knew at the time when you started dating?

    I'm not going to get into the discussion about whether porn is cheating or not, i think that's a different thread. It was more to ascertain the level of hurt that you might have felt when you found out.
  19. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    You still love him after this?
    So if I'm understanding correctly a combination of: (1) traumatic past experiences, (2) the investment into your relationship and the sacrifices that you have made and (3) the fact that he still loves you and is a good father.

    But your marriage did play a huge factor in the amount of patience that you gave him?
  20. JKnight

    JKnight Fapstronaut

    yeah, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how we define cheating but our SOs because it will determine the level of pain and hurt that they experienced. We can argue semantics all we want, but this is an emotional thing and it's their emotions that were affected by this. I think the best technique to understand their perspective so far was a journal written by @Thor god of thunder where he tried to write journal from his wife's perspective. I am going to start that as well.

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