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 Post subject: Where do I go from here?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:02 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
I am a love addict and have been trying to recover for the last 3 years. I have had periods of growth and insight but just suffered a 4th relapse of my addictive behaviors and thought which resulted in me keeping a secret from my wife recently which she promptly discovered. She made it clear that the thing she values the most in a relationship is honesty and trust, so this has been a major setback for both of us. I am happy to have found this site as it seems to build on the work I have done previously and I am very motivated to work through the lessons and use the support and tools I have to get back to a healthy place. I know I can do this, I feel calm, focused and realistic about what I need to do.

Last night, however, my wife told me that she has stopped loving me. This occurred with an affair and betrayal 3 years ago and she has tried hard to move past this, face that she is in a relationship with an addict and continue to participate in this marriage with me. But she can't manufacture love and she tells me the the things she has had to do to try to help me and move the relationship forward are basically against her values and are causing her stress, discord, depression and anxiety. She is a person with deep integrity so to do that which she feels is not in keeping with her values (staying with me despite knowing she can not trust me) has been very wounding to her.

This does not surprise me. We have known each other 20+ years, I have seen her look more and more sad over the last 3 years and I have acutely felt that she was not present with me in a loving way, that there was distance, that we were not close. She did her best to be giving, to be my friend. She has not felt like I have been able to demonstrate the absolute openness and honesty about myself and my emotions that she would need to trust me again. I do not blame her at all. Unfortunately, without receiving the vital things she needed to grow the relationship, she was not able to fully give the things that I identify as part of a loving relationship: affection, kind words, as sense of joy being with me, sexual interest, a sense of closeness. I knew a sense of sadness and want was always there behind the surface.

Arguably, some of the things I wanted to find in our relationship I could have been more patient with or tried harder to find within myself. This situation of being with a partner who felt like she was not fully present is a pretty bad trigger for my love addiction behaviors. So my pressuring and impatient efforts triggered her feelings of discord, we have just been going round and round.

Now I feel a little lost and more than a little sad. I am not freaking out, I am not surprised or angry. I love her and ultimately want her to do what is right for her and be as happy as she can be. But I am not sure what the next step is. I still need to work my program and get back to a healthier place, none of this has changed. I had hoped to practice much greater honesty with her in our relationship. I am not sure if this can still occur at the same level or would be welcomed now. She did not rule out the possibility that some day if I was a much different person in a much different place she might love me again, but clearly it is a mistake to think that is something really under my control or that all I have to do is work through my lessons and that is some prize waiting for me on the other side. The list of things she says that she would want in a person she could fall in love with again is daunting. Honesty and intimacy obviously is something I am striving for. A positive, supportive attitude, sense of humor, similar interests, etc are things I have. But her idea of a healthy relationship involves a lot of space and independence, something that, even without love addiction, I am not sure fits with my idea of a happy relationship. I just don't know if am the person she is describing or could be in the future. It could be a long time before I find out.

I am currently living in a spare room in our house. I don't know where to go. I want to be around for my kids and to help my wife but I am not sure if that would be healthy, if I would be sadder and more triggered continuing to live with her on a daily basis knowing that a pillar of my life, her love for me, is gone. It is clear I have to deal with my own shit and that I can not make "winning her love back" some kind of romantic goal. I want to remain her friend and I think she wants to be mine. But saying goodnight and walking to our own rooms every night is making me so sad. Missing sex and affection with the person standing right next to you is so hard. I am not sure if staying with someone who no longer loves me is healthy or wise. Is this an opportunity for immense growth and patience or will it be a disaster for my recovery? I just don't know....

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:37 am 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3765
Location: UK
I feel your pain but I feel hers more
you are the one at fault and its great that you put your hands up for that
Where do I go from here?
I just don't know....

I believe that you do know
Either you recover from your addiction or you dont, there are no other choices
the marriage, the love, the relationship these are truly out of your hands
you need to choose, recover, be open , honest, empathetic
do it now

prove that you deserve what you want

Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:08 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:58 pm
Posts: 1
You must know and believe that there is nothing you can do to "Win" her back. It sounds like it has gotten past that point. I know because the exact thing happened to me almost one year ago. I tried everything I could think of. I tried doing special things for her. Remembering all of the things she liked to do. Found lost personal things. I bought cards and filled them with heartfelt letters. Left small bouquets of flowers at her desk. Tried to show here that I was changing in every way that I could. NONE OF IT WORKED. In fact, lots of it pushed here away even further because she had made up her mind and there was no changing it and because she saw that I was only doing these things out of fear of loosing my relationship. The ONLY thing that has any chance of changing the inevitable out come is to be the best man that you can possibly be! That means facing your addiction head on! Don't do it for any one else but your self. If you have not hit your low yet, it is very close. Use the pain and suffering that you are going through right know to turn your self into the man that you know you are.
Your marriage has gotten to the point that it can no longer go on as it has been. Give her as much space as you possibly can. She is probably asking you to do so. Thank her and God, for this opportunity to face your addiction head on. That is the only way that your marriage may be healed.
Good luck!
Mike B

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:49 am
Posts: 67
Thanks for the responses guys. In the past, I know my recovery efforts were overly motivated by the potential loss of the relationship and negative consequences. Fortunately, I learned that lesson the hard way and I do not feel that way this time around. I am doing this because I don't want to be that other fearful, sneaky, love addicted person. I want to be the real me that I respect and trust. I agree that the relationship is out of my hands. I know she is not "in" love with me but still loves me and thinks of me as a friend. However she doesn't know if she will see the things she needs to to consider trying again and I have to get to a much better place before I can start making promises of change and how it will be different this time. I just know I won't make promises I can't keep anymore. I want her to continue to be my partner in life, but if she decides to leave, I would rather see her at peace than continue in a relationship that causes her repeated pain. All this is unknowable at this time, I can't see the future, I can just work on what I have in front of me. That's ok. I can see painfully clearly where I fell off on my recovery last time so I have some well defined goals and a great place to explore recovery and learn here on this forum. Thanks for the support.

My original question was really if I should consider moving out to work on my recovery given that this a painful and emotional time for both of us. I honestly find if very hard sometimes to be around her and not feel extremely lonely and isolated and very sad that I driven a wedge in between us. I am sad every night when she walks up the stairs alone, when I want physical touch and can't have it. Sexual desire is also a painful distractions sometimes. I know I have no right to these things and there is no timeline or guarantee that the will return. I just don't want those feelings to disrupt my recovery and make me start telling her what she wants to here and stop being completely honest with her. That is my number one fail, being afraid to be honest.

That said, staying even in an uncomfortable situation is better for my kids, less disruptive to the whole family's life and more responsible financially. I think that if I was not in the house interacting regularly with her I would have less chances to share. She is sometime angry and suspicious of what I tell her about myself, but I think that is to be expected and it doesn't not make me angry. It makes it harder to share but I think that is exactly the practice I need: being completely honest even when I know I look vulnerable and the response might be negative. She also is still generously offering companionship which is certainly better that sitting in some little apartment all alone.

So I think I answered my own question. I think I will stay here until I feel I am worthy of returning the to a relationship and being a loyal, honest and giving partner. Then we will just have to see...

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