Wife is constantly triggered and feels we are in a companionship

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Growing Man, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    I've been doing well no P&M for at least 4 months now. I totally believe my mindset and perspective has changed as far as what is it isn't healthy. I used to think it was bad because it upset my wife therefore I would abstain. That lasted a while and would go right back. When I finally decided to reboot I was on board. I now believe it is a society issue. And we are just starting to see the backlash of porn and masturbation use.
    Like I said I've been good about P&M and working very hard on the ogling. But now I feel the wife is hyper vigilant and every time we go out into public she is triggered. She also expressed that she feels I love her like a sibling not in love with her. She says we are just companions. I love her and don't want to loose her but the more we dive deeper into my issues. The more she seems to not be able to move forward. I fear I am loosing her. Don't know what to say or do. I feel awkward and anxious when in public trying not to do anything to trigger and even when I am good she still gets triggered and worked up. I love my wife. Yet suck at showing it. She says talk is cheap. I agree but I feel like I am doing everything I can to be a good husband. I feel the betrayal off hiding P&M from her is too much and she will eventually come to the conclusion she can't put her self through it anymore. Those feelings she is experiencing won't go away just because our relationship is no more. I don't know what to do anymore.
     
  2. Pornkillslove99

    Pornkillslove99 Fapstronaut

    5
    3
    3
    Growing Man,

    Thank you for sharing. What type of recovery work are you doing as individuals and as a couple? Has she been seeking help for betrayal trauma?
     
  3. GottaBFree

    GottaBFree Fapstronaut

    It’s tricky in a relationship. I have a great marriage otherwise but my PM really hurts it.

    I can’t discuss every time I relapse or we won’t make it.

    I need to beat the addiction for many reasons but that is the most important.
     
    Kiz Whalifa likes this.
  4. ClickClickBoom

    ClickClickBoom Fapstronaut

    118
    2,002
    123
    I might be wrong but in my mind i think your wife might need more love and affection for you
    The fact that she is hyper vigilant means she´s going throw insecurities and it's your job has her man to put those insecurities to rest.
    Have a talk with her, you need her to open up to you
    If She says talk is cheap then it's time to show her some action, in the end of the day actions always say more than words.
    Remember when you and her where in the dating phase of your relationship? It might be a good idea to bring some of that back.
    Show her that you care.

    Best wishes,
     
    Kiz Whalifa likes this.
  5. The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger Fapstronaut

    624
    994
    93
    It doesn’t matter how unfair this is for your SO. This unhealthy behaviour is about you and no one else. She needs to find a way to forgive or I come to the same conclusion as you - relationship will break.

    It’s not pretty, no. You inherited this destructive habit from your ancestors genes going bananas in today’s technological world. Then she comes along and are being dragged right through the filth. It can’t be justified. Just deal with it. You’ve both got one life on this earth, choose what to do with it. You, growing man, are probably one of the best guys out there, 4 months in reboot! The last I heard about 80% of all men with access to internet watch P. Good luck with finding Mr Right. You my friend are more than this addiction and deserve respect as well as the right to your own sexual integrity. You don’t pay her back by letting her treat you bad. Just as you didn’t show her the right amount of respect by devoting to P, she needs to do the opposite - show you the respect you might not deserve. Cliche: two wrongs don’t make a right.

    And her take on this “in love” talk. It seems a bit immature, to be frank. Basically, everyone needs a best friend, I married mine. Sometimes I’m in love with her, sometimes not, so far I’ve always loved her. If you want your relationship to last for decades you need to reconcile with the fact that emotions comes and goes in phases. I think it is the most beautiful thing in the world that people choose to stay in both high and low waves.

    Anyhow, everything above is nothing but my own view and opinion on things. Grasp it, discard it or have some bits and pieces. I can promise you most people here disagree on many points.

    Best of wishes to the both of you!
     
    L1ttl and Kiz Whalifa like this.
  6. LuxPerpetua

    LuxPerpetua Fapstronaut

    77
    39
    18
    I'm a "Significant Other" [SO], my now husband has been in recovery for over 4 years and has been sober from porn for the last 2. We have been together longer than that, so we have travelled the journey of recovery together from its beginning. Being the SO of a porn addict is incredibly hard, it can commonly even cause PTSD, and sex/porn addiction very often breaks down a partner's mental and physical health. It's fantastic that you understand she's going through an incredibly painful recovery of her own and you want to support her. Have you asked her what things she would like you to do/change so that she stops feeling like you only love her as a sibling or companion? I've found in my relationship that often these things are communication problems. It might be that you know you are "in love" with her, but you both have different ways of expressing that, and therefore she isn't feeling it and so doesn't believe that you're in love with her. Have you looked into the 5 love languages? That can be a really helpful resource. Likewise, have you asked her what things you could do to help her feel more supported by you when feeling triggered? There are also videos, books, articles and podcasts out there that you can watch/read/listen to, even by yourself if your wife doesn't want to watch them with you at the moment, which are about how you can help her to heal. (There are other SOs on this forum that know much more than I do about which ones to recommend.) The only other thing I would say is, be even more patient with your spouse's recovery than your own, remember she has suffered however many years of your PMO addiction beside you, and it has been especially traumatic for her because she has been powerless to change the situation until you wanted to change; her brain is as damaged (differently) at the moment as yours, and it will take a lot of time for both of you to recover, but you will get there! Wishing you both the very, very best in your walks of recovery!!
     
  7. GottaBFree

    GottaBFree Fapstronaut

    Are you taking her out on a date every week?

    Do you tell her she looks beautiful when you think it? (Should be a few times a day imo)

    Do you try to do something extra a few times a week, dishes, wash her car, etc...something she will notice and not part of your normal division of labor (I set such a low bar it’s easy to heat lol)

    Have you told her you love her at least a few times a day, etc...

    Sometimes it’s just basics. Show up with flowers and tell her you love her.

    She might just want to know you still appreciate her and care.

    If you are doing all that stuff I’d have a long chat with her about what else she expects.... cause that would suck.
     
  8. Congrats on 4 months sober and for making it this far. Looking at some replies above, I want to caution you. that well these fellas are well meaning, some comments are very misguided. I highly suggest that you read what the SOs post and look into the SO journal section to get an idea of how devastating this addiction is on a woman.
    You have sobriety down and hopefully can keep it that way-and now you have to recover yourself and your relationship. The sad fact is that you have lied to your wife and not only is that really so damaging, but you have lied about sex which just cuts to a woman's core so deeply. Us women want to be enough for our partners aesthetically and sexually. For many of us we assumed that our relationships were sexually exclusive and to find out that hours, weeks, years of our marriages have been tainted by lying and infidelity (yes porn is infidelity to many women) shreds our self esteem and results in PTSD. The world just does't feel safe to a betrayed woman. Innocent glances to other women are not so innocent anymore because they are now personal. You might not understand because you have lied for so long and knew what you were doing, but your wife did not. She thought she was the only woman in your sexual life, but now she knows she was way down the list of women you preferred.
    You know when I look back, I can tell exactly when my husband brought porn into our home (prior to that it was only at work). The way he looked at me changed. I love how Rabbi Schmuley (google his talks about infidelity-he is amazing!) says that men who lust after other women put their wives in a prison-A marriage with no lust is unbearable and when that lust is taken from the wife it is hell. Your wife feels like a sibling because over time you took your sexual energy away from her. You replaced her and now you are not safe.
    I am over 2 years into this process and I hope you can consider what I have to say:
    1. DON'T lie to her. DO NOT trickle information about your porn use. Have a full disclosure-get all of the secrets out so you can start fresh. Believe me, in doing so you will be more safe and credible to your wife than you will by protecting yourself by giving her tidbits of truth.
    2. Work RECOVERY not just sobriety. Go to SA meetings, find a CSAT, get into a program (Path For Men online is another good place to start). Understand why you got sucked into porn and face your issues with self esteem, shame etc.
    3. Download Dr. Doug Weiss's video "Helping Her Heal"-it is by far the best video that describes what your addiction has done to your wife.
    4. Respect your wife's pain and do anything you can to help her-if that means avoiding the beach-so be it.
    5. Start looking at her as the beautiful woman you married, not last on your lost of favourites.
    Your wife is right-talk is cheap because your words have been tainted with lies. Trust is very difficult to reclaim-you need to show her by your actions. Working recovery, NOT oogling, being honest and open and not blaming her.
     
    mrtumnus, Nugget9, KeepFocus and 8 others like this.
  9. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    I have been in therapy since I started reboot she has been going almost as long. Trying to find a different therapist or one focused on marriage. I feel mine just likes to talk to me but not very focused on one issue. Hers is going through a divorce not sure that is the best person to get marriage or life advice from.
     
    GottaBFree likes this.
  10. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    Yes it is no fun speaking to the wife about something that will upset her. She can't even see a woman jogging outside of my presence that doesn't trigger her. But I have to deal with the discomfort of the situation it's the only we we grow and become more comfortable.
     
  11. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    I do my chores and some, I tell her she is beautiful often, and I love her at least 10x a day. We don't go out much we live rural and stay home alot. Lately going out is a trigger as well.
     
  12. GottaBFree

    GottaBFree Fapstronaut

    That makes sense. Sounds like you are doing what you can do. Hang in there.
     
    Kiz Whalifa and Growing Man like this.
  13. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    The broken trust issue is huge. Not sure if I will be able to get it back. You are exactly right she feels 3rd chair. She feels like how can I find other woman attractive and,still love her, she acts as if finding other woman attractive means I don't find her attractive or less attractive.
    All the secrets are out between us. I am working on being open with her. Not something that happens over night especially when your entire life has left you guarded against having feelings or expressing them. My parents were/are drug addicts and I grew up in the streets and prison not places you survive expressing feelings. All new to me. Growing I am but not fast enough some days. I don't believe in the steps I feel putting all my shit on some disease or higher power takes away from my own accountability. That's another topic though. Change my beliefs will change my actions. We act on what we believe whether true or false. I will look into "helping her heal” thanks for your reply.
    I do respect her pain and understand I am the root.
     
  14. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    I respect we are both healing in different ways me from my own mistakes and her from my mistakes as well. I think her biggest concern is trust and becoming a fool later down the road when she could have started over.
     
  15. NF4L

    NF4L Fapstronaut

    Trust is built one day at a time. Much like youra recovery occurs one day at a time. So start today to be more present with her, to be vulnerable with her, consistent and open. As your partner she should know your struggles, or what you are working on. Perhaps you don't need to share every little detail with her (my SO on the other hand wants/needs that), but you need to practice humility and honesty. Withholding from her your problems and struggles, and even successes, is nothing more than repeating your same mistakes. She is still alienated, and kept in the dark. One tasty tidbit of knowledge with how the PTSD of betrayal trauma hits for your SO, each and every trigger she feels causes the each and every time she suspected, caught you, felt betrayed, lied to, or what have all come back onto her like a tidal wave all at once. Think about that. Every single doubt she ever had, wince of pain, rejection from her husband, sad and lonely nights comes crushing onto her emotions. Each and Every Time, a thousand cuts all at once. Now that you have a few months of sobriety, you should have the capacity to practice some empathy and understanding towards what you put your SO through. You mention accountability, you should also practice ownership. Only you know how you can own those mistakes and how they are affecting your wife. Everything she feels is valid, and not irrational, and part of what you must understand in order to start repairing your relationship. She is your partner, just as you have started coming out of the dark, she probably needs to some help out of her own dark place your actions have caused her to retreat to. Stick with it, because I am certain she is worth it. Much like you are. Best of luck.
     
  16. Just another SOs perspective for you, but hopefully advice from the partner’s perspective might help. I read a great post from @HeartBrokenAndScared which summarised points from an awesome podcast, The Betrayed, The Addicted and The Expert which gave a list of trust building behaviours that were so accurate I swear they looked inside the actual minds of the loved ones of sex addicts:


    Also, as lovely as these are in a healthy relationship, be wary of these behaviours at this time:


    Again, this is just a partner’s perspective, but these can actually be incredibly heartbreaking for an SO. The addiction has made you lie so much that these feel like cheap tricks to gain her love and trust. You told her you loved her when you watched porn, or acted out, she can’t trust those words any more.

    The absolute best thing the partner of an addict can receive is consistent proof that the addict is sorry, wants to change and is taking practical steps to make that change happen.

    It sounds like you really want to change, and that’s wonderful. I hope it starts getting better for you!
     
  17. Pornkillslove99

    Pornkillslove99 Fapstronaut

    5
    3
    3
    Thank you. We have had our share of bad therapy. For marriage counseling and for her it is imperative to find a therapist versed in betrayal trauma. For you, it is important to find a certified sex addiction therapist CSAT. You should be proud of your work but she needs to do some work for her to recover and forgive. As one other stated she just needs to forgive or the marriage will break is folly. Forgiveness is a ladder not a one time thing. My marriage, after 6 months of sobriety, is just starting to turn around. We are getting closer and having the best sex and emotional connection.
    The first resource that was a turning point in our marriage was watching Helping Her Heal from Dr Doug Weiss. We watched it together. It is validating for the betrayed and eye opening for the addicted. It is the platform for our jumping off point. We also listened to the podcast from The Betrayed, The Addict and The Expert. Also, Affair Recovery is a valuable resource. All of this compliments proper therapy and a 12 step program.
    The most important for her and you both is self care. Journaling, exercise and a proper diet can go a long way in self healing. Also being more engaged in helping around the house is a good distraction from cravings and can help build trust. I believe given you dedication to sobriety and your marriage will bring you both something better. Remember, even if she forgives you she is experiencing betrayal trauma, which mimics the symptoms of PTSD. EMDR therapy, tapping and grounding exercises can all help her navigate the triggers.
    When she is triggered follow these steps listen, do not get defensive or start telling her how you’ve changed. During a trigger her primal brain is trying to protect her and the rational brain cannot listen to reason. Validate her feelings. Tell her she has every right to be, anxious, depressed, angry etc. then take responsibility. This is my fault. I did this. I am here to clean up my mess. This builds trust. The more triggers you help her through without getting defensive the more trust you will build that leads to forgiveness.

    Remember, triage of betrayal trauma lasts, on average, 18 months. Normalcy does not happen until 3-5 years. Patience with her will also build trust that leads to forgiveness. Good luck. Keep us posted and PLEASE watch Helping Her Heal. It is worth more than any therapy session
     
    Lilla_My likes this.
  18. Pornkillslove99

    Pornkillslove99 Fapstronaut

    5
    3
    3
    BTW. We started meds for anxiety and depression which was the best thing we have done
     
  19. I agree completely. My husband would tell me he loved me all the time-but he was lying about his relationship with P and hurting me, keeping secrets, and building resentments that justified his infidelity. Now when he tells me that he loves me I roll my eyes. I feel that he has no clue what love is. And when he tells me that I am beautiful it hurts because for years he waited for me to go to sleep so he could enjoy women that he deemed more beautiful than me. I just don't want to hear any of it. When he says those things it is FOR HIM-so he feels better and so he can get on my good side. It is so pathological.

    But for years you traded in sex with her to enjoy women that you found more attractive. Listen, most women don't have a problem with their husband's noticing that a woman is attractive, but you devalued your wife's appearance so YOU could enjoy OTHER women at her expense. There is a huge difference and honestly you are victimizing yourself here.
     
  20. Growing Man

    Growing Man Fapstronaut

    47
    40
    18
    This makes alot of sense
     

Share This Page