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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:26 am 

Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 1:04 pm
Posts: 1
I commend all of you that have been able to stick by your husbands and stay in the relationship. D-day for me was 6 months ago. I got the typical "I've told you everything", only to learn more the next day, the next week, the next month..... After learning something very hurtful at the formal disclosure about 6 weeks ago, I insisted on a physical separation to give me time and space to think. Since then, communication has been even more tense and strained. I feel that we have nothing to talk about except everything he's done, and how hurt I am. We're in individual counseling, which has been helpful, but I'm getting so tired of hearing him recite what I call "sex-addict talk" - he can't seem to think on his own so now he just repeats what his counselor has said and what he reads about sex addiction. The instant he heard that his serial infidelity and porn addiction could be linked to his childhood, he jumped on the bandwagon and has pretty much dismissed all responsibility for his actions - now it's "I have abandonment issues", or "I was never taught boundaries".
Anyhow, we had to spend the last two days together because of a business event. I had to get an account number from his phone, and I admit to spending a lot of time snooping at messages, emails, social media, etc. That's when I found that he had done a search on his last affair partner - the one he "had developed feelings for". Months ago he had given me all his passwords and I scoured this particular social media site for anything incriminating, and the search was not there at the time. He has insisted, since d-day, that he wants to change, wants nothing to do with anyone he has had a sexual relationship with, and has not contacted them in any way. And then I find this search. He claims he was "just curious" about what she was doing, etc.
I am so hurt, humiliated, embarrassed and ashamed that I have very little compassion right now. And then I feel bad for being so callous.
How do I stay with someone who can't seem to get over that last affair partner? It all seems so juvenile - how does a grown man, in a decades-long marriage, trade a wife and family for someone who was willing to screw around with him, knowing he was married, but who has since moved on and doesn't seem to care for him now? Do they ever grow up and take responsibility for their actions? How do I deal with this?

Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:30 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 676
heartinflight -

how does a grown man, in a decades-long marriage, trade a wife and family for someone who was willing to screw around with him, knowing he was married, but who has since moved on and doesn't seem to care for him now?

Because they are addicts.

Because they are very, very immature and unhealthy. Because they live for immediate gratification. Because they run and hide from any "bad" feeling---boredom, discomfort, demands of life. Because they fear intimacy. Because their addiction has caused them to become anxious about NOT acting out. Because they have no healthy values that mean anything to them. Because they are very self absorbed. Because their addiction has created massive distortions in their thinking.

I learned all of this by doing the lessons and by other reading about this addiction. It's tragic and destructive, sex/love/porn addiction. But you know that since you are living with that reality right now.

You don't have to stay. You can go anytime. None of the partners here would tell you that you have to stay. We can stay for healthy reasons (love, children, financial, health) or unhealthy reasons (fear, insecurity, self-blame) or a mix of both. Either staying or going is hard. Healing from this trauma is hard. But we have no choice. We have been traumatized.

This is early on post-discovery and it is highly unlikely that your husband is yet able to tell you the truth. My husband has been in active recovery for over two years and it took him a year to accept that he had a problem and was an addict, and longer to realize that he couldn't pick and choose the acting out he wanted to continue to do. As Jon says, at first he wanted to not suffer the negative consequences of his addiction. It took a while to realize he had to not to want to act out.

I didn't separate and wish I had done so. At six months, I was in such an emotional upheaval that it was hard for me to get through the day, let alone make significant life decisions. I needed to be gentle with myself. I needed to give myself the gift of time and space to focus on me and my well being. I needed to figure out what I wanted for my life and my future. This took time for me. I'm still working on it two years later. But, as I learned to focus on me and my well being and to detach from my husband's addiction and recovery, I started to feel better. I had to take baby steps. It's not been easy.

There are parts of the partner's workshop where Jon tries to help us understand how addicts think and feel, and it was helpful. But the reality is that this addiction is so irrational, we aren't going to ever really get it. And, honestly, at this point in my life I don't want to spend much time thinking or feeling what it is like to be a sex addict. Ugh.

I found the challenge for me at six months was to find some emotional equilibrium and safety. I needed to focus on me. I needed to restore some sanity to my life. I needed to begin to learn to detach from my husband's addiction and recovery. This took time and I got better at it.

To stay or go. If you stay, as I am doing while I wait and see if my husband can recover AND become a healthy man, is very challenging. But I needed to heal whether or not I stayed or went. My focus is n my healing and my life.

With deep compassion,

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Dnell is so right in that it doesn't matter right now whether you stay or need to find a balance and focus on yourself. If staying allows you to do that, then stay...but not because you think he will change!!! I also have some regrets about staying when I was 6 months into this journey. Perhaps, we each would have progresed(or not) on our own better than while we were still having a 'public life' with friends and family.......but that is hindsight for me! I have found after almost two years, I may never trust him with my heart again but we do have a lot of other things that hold us together. And, yes, I do love him and care about him. But will he change? Is he capable of being who I thought he was?? If, indeed, he is able to somehow learn to to trust me enough to be intimate( and I'm not talking sex here).....if he is able to really allow himself to " be seen" and be vulnerable with me....we may have a chance. In the meantime, I have several friends I can talk to when I need to(and they certainly aren't without relationship issues of their own!!!!!), I am learning a lot about myself when I observe how I react in new situations with him, I have RN and a couple other partner websites, I have my journaling, my meditation/breathing, my gardening, my vacation rental business(and he makes a great partner in that).....all in all, a good roommate and, for now, it is enough for me.
Blessings to you along this journey...I haven't read your postings yet but will be watching and rooting for you!

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

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