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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:11 pm
Posts: 21
My husband is a love addict. He also used to be my best friend. Maybe my soul mate. He and I have been together over 20 years and have two children under 14.

Around our 17th anniversary, he had some sort of mid-life crisis, and I found out that he'd started trolling online to fill holes in his perceived need for more excitement in his sex and love life. What? Totally news to me. We never had problems of that sort in our entire relationship, as far as I knew. Sexy, hot things were happening on a regular basis. He agrees, and says prior to that point he was pretty happy in most aspects of our marriage. Not anymore.

That was over three years ago. Since then, there's been so much acting out, betrayal, lies, lies and more lies. There's been recovery plans and promises, followed by more lies and betrayals. He's begged, cried, gotten on his knees. Then more secrets, more lies. He manipulates me to try and make me see that if I would only love him more... Fortunately, I have a strong sense of emotional independence from my husband, despite his efforts to control me through emotional blackmail. I have been in therapy and feel like I have a healthy mindset regarding my own grief as well as a realistic viewpoint of the addiction model.

Well, he relapsed again recently. The lies and betrayals are "smaller" now, if that's even a thing. Maybe it's a secret email account instead of an emotional or physical affair. Every six months to a year I have discovered a new betrayal. This is while he's in both individual addiction counseling as well as couples therapy. He appears to be addicted to lying, too.

Now he's on RN, and wants to try out this program. Maybe it will help him. His previous pattern with recovery is to begin enthusiastically, try to rush through the steps, then eventually to become complacent, half-hearted and lazy- resulting, inevitably, in a relapse.

He says he wants to keep trying to save our marriage, but I'm getting tired of being the love addiction "detection device" that's always pointing out his unhealthy attachment issues or boundary crossing behaviors.

Currently, he's sleeping in a spare room (again!).

Divorce would be extremely disruptive to our family, especially to myself and my kids. I don't need my marriage to be perfect, but I don't want to keep getting hurt, either. Divorce would hurt me. Betrayal hurts me. I don't know what to do.

I would welcome any feedback, especially with regard to re-growing damaged marriages.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:14 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi TheStoic,
Welcome to RN. I am so sorry for the events that have brought you here, and the ongoing betrayals and lies you encounter. I am really glad, though, that YOU have found RN.

I understand, from my own path, the desire for someone to tell you "it's gonna be okay," especially in terms of your marriage. I will be kindly blunt: the stories of the magical, great change in a marriage are hard to come by. What I read/see more often are stories of partners who grow, who practice self-care, and who find ways to bring meaning to their lives independent of their addicted-partner's choice and behavior. I've been on the receiving end of hearing that sentence i Just wrote, and I know it can be a painful one to read, even if its underlying theme is one of hope.

I strongly encourage you to do the partner's workshop here. It can bring stability into your life, and really help you begin to make sense of what's going on with your husband.

In my experience, it is rare that the behaviors your husband has engaged in over the past few years are "new." As you can learn in our workshop, there is a foundational issue of maturity and emotional management that is at the root of sex and love addiction. Though I believe there may be exceptions, usually these issues and imbalances have been at the core of the addicted person's adult life. WIth your husband, it may be that it showed itself in different ways, and again, as you go through the workshop, you may find a lot of "ah has" that reveal to you the weakness of his foundation, not just in terms of love and sex, but how he manages his life and emotions in general.

A person with a strong foundation, a developed value system, with emotional maturity and insight into themselves, is highly unlikely to engage in the ongoing deceptive behaviors you describe with your husband.

From what I've read, what we often label as a "mid-life crisis" is, instead, reflective of a lifetime of an unstable foundation/lack of values coming to surface after years of pressure, especially when the person is behaving in the way your husband is.

You don't need to make any decisions now. The workshop can help you find your footing to make the best, values-based decisions for your future. The more you put into the workshop, the more you will get out.

with compassion,
meepmeep


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:11 pm
Posts: 21
Thank you meepmeep.

Yes, you're right, or course about my husband's entire emotional history- there's a lot of background in how he's interacted with the world in unhealthy ways, which was way too much to include in my original post. He's always struggled in a variety of ways to find mature coping mechanisms and healthy outlets for communicating his feelings.

It is very helpful to read other partners' descriptions of living with an addict, and what it feels like to go through the same things over and over. Sometimes I just feel so alone.

I will continue to explore this site and also check out the partner's workshop.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Quote:
Sometimes I just feel so alone.


I understand this feeling well, thestoic.

What we experience is isolating. In no way am I downplaying the pain and grief of people with other issues, but public-facing support systems (and, critically, cultural support) exists for other addictions, for people grieving death, etc. There is little cultural awareness -- let alone support -- for the partners of sex addicts. It's misunderstood, often the product of jokes in the media and entertainment, and too frequently we partners face cultural blame and shame.

The more I read of other partners who had such similar experiences and feelings, the saner I felt. Even though you feel alone, here at RN, you are not. You are wholly supported, believed, and seen.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Meepjeep, you have capsulized exactly what has happened in my life the past 2 1/2 years! Although, my husband works/re reads RN lessons and believes he is working his program, I am keenly aware of his immature reactions and how he deals with emotions in his filtered manner. Will he ever learn to manage his emotions in a mature manner?? I don't know, but I try to stay in compassion for his struggles and that is my struggle!!!!!
I, too, feel isolated in our sex focused culture and am sad there are so few support systems for us partners.
I keep coming back to RN to find some understanding and support for this journey I am on.....
I also encourage you, TheStoic, to do the lessons here and reach out to your sisters here on RN!

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


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Meepjeep, you have capsulized exactly what has happened in my life the past 2 1/2 years! Although, my husband works/re reads RN lessons and believes he is working his program, I am keenly aware of his immature reactions and how he deals with emotions in his filtered manner. Will he ever learn to manage his emotions in a mature manner?? I don't know, but I try to stay in compassion for his struggles and that is my struggle!!!!!
I, too, feel isolated in our sex focused culture and am sad there are so few support systems for us partners.
I keep coming back to RN to find some understanding and support for this journey I am on.....
I also encourage you, TheStoic, to do the lessons here and reach out to your sisters here on RN!

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


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