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 Post subject: Four+ Years Later
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:47 am
Posts: 13

It's been quite a few years since I last posted on this Forum. Why? Simply put, I wasn't in the place to have to learn about my husband's addiction so quickly into the curriculum. I needed acknowledgement of the injustice and betrayal before I could perspective take; I needed a heck of a lot more empathy before having to come to terms with my husband's addiction. Only empathy could have helped me begin to feel my own skin again. It's difficult when you are married to someone who is just so good at keeping his passive-aggressive behaviors small enough that, should I bring them up to him or others, I'M the one looking like the bad guy. The isolation that sex addiction engenders on the spouse is often pretty horrible.

I'm getting clearer now, but it didn't really begin to take deep root until this year. I finally was able to see just how much my husband's various forms of denial and blame-shifting were affecting me. It's hard when you have been married to someone who isn't playing by the normal rules of human engagement. I never could have imagined my husband would be capable of such deception. . .

I've found it very difficult to submit to protocols for recovery, whether it's Recovery Nation or S-Anon, etc. I'm sure it's because of my legalistic roots coupled with my husband's controlling behavior. I did very much appreciate the intuition exercise on this forum because it was one of the few things that helped me with reality testing. Sometimes educative material helps but sometimes educative material can send me farther away from my intuition, which just exacerbates the affect my husband's addiction has had on my ability to trust my judgement.

I guess a vision I have for myself is to not just swallow any system of thought whole without evaluating it thoroughly. An intellectual boundary is a boundary. Yes, I have some trust issues through all of this, and I'm feeling okay with that. Basically, I'm not going to let people @#$# with me, even very good intentioned people. I've learned a lot about how a lot of people in this world are good but sometimes just very short-sighted. Good people can hurt you too. I've learned to value measured vulnerability as a valuable thing for getting through life.

I feel a lot of sadness for spouses of sex addicts. I feel especially sad thinking about those who are discovery unimaginable truths about their spouses 30, 35 years into their marriages. That breaks my heart. I don't think it's helpful to globally label ALL spouses with words like codependent or co-addict. I do think things are changing, culturally, in this area. I have a vision for making sure that I don't perpetuate suffering by applying unfair, pejorative labels to the people in my life. This includes my husband.

I feel so sad because the damage done from my husband's choices means that I am only able to offer him limited vulnerability. I'm sad because it's very unlikely that we will have children together. It's just too late; recovery just took too long. This loss is one that is nearly inconsolable to me. I am accepting it. I won't let culture or my husband or my own inner demons trivialize this loss. I will honor it.

So, I'm just going to start writing myself into a healthier place, with God's help. This is a season of saying good-bye to a lot of things but these necessary losses also open up new opportunities. I'm just gonna keep writing; I'm just gonna keep writing.

 Post subject: Re: Four+ Years Later
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:33 pm 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
I moved this from the personal healing threads as it seemed more appropriate here.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)

 Post subject: Re: Four+ Years Later
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:46 pm 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 666
What a heartfelt and heartbreaking post. I'm one of those "30 plus year" discoverers. I am acutely aware of the losses over the decades. I mourn my loss. I have found after the hurt and anger, the most challenging emotion has been grief. It's hard and it hurts. That said, I agree that we need to honor our grief and our losses.

My healing journey continues. I don't see myself as a co-addict or co-dependent. I do see that I lost touch with myself and my own sense of reality. I give myself and all of us a huge piece of understanding about this: I trusted my husband and I had no idea what sex/love/porn addiction was. I had no idea. Now that I understand these addictions and the shared experiences of other partners, everything is so clear. It all makes sense. It's tragic, but I wasn't crazy.

I also had been in MC and IC off and on for over 25 years of my marriage to an addict. I've mentioned that none of those counselors/therapists figured out about my husbands' addictions. He lied to them as well as to me, and he had really developed the skill of making everything look like it was my fault. I'm shocked about that to this day. I was told that not only did I have a wonderful marriage, but that I was "too disappointed" and "expecting too much." So I worked harder and harder on not being disappointed and not expecting so much, much to my own self harm.

Now that I know the truth, I have a very good IC and MC. No more gaslighting and blameshifting. Honestly, I am healing not only from my husband's addictions but therapy induced trauma as well.

But, I am healing. I am more and more myself. I trust myself. I've learned boundaries. My self esteem has improved. I know that trust will be an issue for me for the rest of my life, but that is not unreasonable. Jon talks about how we can't help but have this experience affect us for our remaining years.

I am deeply saddened by my lost years and all that I wanted out of a marriage these last decades. I have accepted those losses. I look less and less to the past, and more and more to the future. My focus is on me. I am not yet living the life I want to live, but I'm getting there.

The healing journey is hard. It takes time. But I and all of you are worth it.


 Post subject: Re: Four+ Years Later
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:16 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Thank you, Coach Mel, for bringing this thread forward and to dnell , for your insights......and thank you both for your continued postings and care of RN for those of us who read everything but post only sporadically!!! I, too, am struggling with grief and how it washes over me at any given moment! I often look at my partner and think about the last twenty years of never 'knowing' him!! To really believe he was the narcissistic liar he was is hard, still, to wrap my head around!! But then, I try to count all the good things that have come to me over the years and the other parts of my life that bring me joy and focus on that...hold on to that gratitude til the anger/grief subsides. I have found journaling a good way to write out my feelings to validate them.

It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!

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