My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

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My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby witness on Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:45 am

Ladies, I hope you don't mind me being here. I had a thread like this on the old board. Your truth and wisdom has helped me in many ways.

Four months ago I told my wife of 30 years about my involvement with P throughout our marriage. I've been clean for five months now. This has all been VERY hard for her.

We seemed to be having good days. Then last night we got in bed and she told me how the physical pain she has been feeling (brought on by finding out about me) has not gone away. Then she asked me: "Why did you marry me and then do this to me? You have hurt me so deeply!"

When I said I am sorry she said that is too easy. Then she asked: "Why did you need those girls so much?" To that I don't really have an answer. I don't know why it seemed to have such a pull on me. So many times I told myself I would never look again. But my resolved would only last for a few days or weeks or at the most a few months.

I have to face up to my dark side . . . to my selfishness and pride and weakness. There is so much in me that needs to change. And my failures have hurt the one I love the most so very deeply. Sometimes she asks me: "How can you say you love me and do what you did?"

At this point all I can do is try to live right today and try to show her that I really mean it. It seems like so little at this point. But it all we have. May God help me in that regard. May He heal her and help her and help us!
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby Hephzibah on Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:07 am

I'm glad her physical pain is better - that's a wonderful blessing.

Have you studied about the brain-chemical addiction of viewing porn? Do you think that could have been partially why you continued on for decades?

Your wife is fortunate that you are willing to listen to her vent and help her heal. I don't know if she realizes what a blessing that is or if you realize what a gift you are giving her. I hope in time that she learns to appreciate that.

Hephzibah (formerly LookingUp)
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde

"First, there is the fall, and then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God!" – Lady Julian of Norwich

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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby tryintogetthru on Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:27 am

It is good to hear from you witness. My husband and I are three months into this. One difference is that I discovered his secret, he didn't tell me, which I have a hard time with. but, I've asked my husband the same things your wife has asked you, and his answers are pretty much the same. He is sorry, and he says he can't change the past, and can only change the future. He has been clean for three months, and says he hated the life he was living and wanted to change so bad, but just couldn't. The day I found out, he was scared, afraid I'd leave and sad the he hurt me, but he was also glad and relieved that the secret was out and he could get help. Now I have to work through the hurt and try to move on. I know in my heard that my husband never meant to hurt me, but it's hard to remember that when I think about the things he did...including physical contact with other people...breaking our marriage vows. We have gotten back to church, and my husband thanks God for another clean day each night and asks him for the strength to get through the next day. I think we'll be ok in the end, but I don't know how long that will take.
Hang in there, you've done the right thing to stop, and tell her, even though it hurt her. Honesty means a lot.
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby witness on Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:59 am

I think some of you misread what I wrote. My wife's physical pain has NOT gone away and it bothers her everyday. So that makes all this that much harder for her knowing that my mistake has brought on something she deals with every waking minute.

I just started reading the book: "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. While I'm not too far into it I can already recommend it. She helps explain many things.

One thing is that it is not unusual for the spouse not to suspect anything. She says that in a long term marriage most of us have a "truth bias". So far everything she says makes sense. She speaks directly to couples where there has been an actual affair with another person (which is not my case). But much of it carries over and can be applied to my betrayal via P.

Yes, I need to grow up. I need to be the man I pretended to be all along. I need to have good values and live according to those values rather than just pay lip-service to them.

Nice to hear from all of you ladies. You are a big help! And in case I need to say it again, I am married to a marvelous woman and I thank God for her. I love her more ever day and am I very grateful that in spite of it all she still loves me.
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby witness on Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:32 am

I'd rather not go into the details about the pain she is experiencing. We had to search the web to find out about it. It is a syndrome that does not seem to have a cure. And it has been going on now for over 4 months. If anything it has gotten worse rather than better.

Just this morning she said every woman has a dream and the right to be the only woman in her husband's life and in his heart and in his head. And she said I stole that from her. She said I am a thief and a liar.

She is right. The only question I have is: "What now?"

I say I wish I could go back and change the past. And that I am very sorry for what I did.

She says saying "sorry" doesn't change anything and why did I not do anything about this sooner. I tell her that I always loved her. She says: "what kind of love was that that allowed me to keep looking at pictures of other women and think about them without ever doing anything to stop?"

Sometimes it seems like we will never get past this. But I will not give up. And I don't think she will either. That doesn't make this any easier. I don't know what she can do to work out her anger and to get over the past and everything I did. I know that it will take time.

I pray again for healing in 2008. . . . healing in every sense of the word.
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby tryintogetthru on Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:57 am

I've been praying for that too. I feel the same way as your wife, but I haven't really been saying it lately. I know he's sorry, I still feel like that's not enough, but he is doing his work, seeing a counselor and as far as I know, he has not slipped up, since I discovered everything. I feel like I just need to feel it all now, have time to try and process it, and I don't get much down time. I hope in time I'll feel differently, if I think about the things he did, I feel very sad and hurt, but I don't say a lot about it now, because all he keeps saying is "i can't change the past and i'm sorry, but all i can change is the future". I think for me, I really need to know what went on in his head...how this happened, and what changes are taking place so I can know how it won't happen anymore. Discoverys he makes in therapy, I need to know about. Maybe that will help your wife too. I'm trying to understand, I need to understand. Sometimes I tell him about things I read in books and he will then talk about how that was true for him. Just being a part of the process has helped me some. It helps to remember that this is an addiction, and hearing about his problems controlling it and the pain he went through too does help. And then, at the same time, I still have the feelings of yea, but he did this and this to me and how could he, etc, etc. It's a [expletive]...it's like I'm two different people sometimes, which I know is how he felt too. This has robbed my of my enjoyment. Since finding out, I haven't wanted to crochet, I haven't read a book (besides PA/SA specific books), I don't feel like doing the things I used to like to do. I hope that changes soon. Christmas was three months since I found out and my H stopped a/o. I don't know how long this takes.
Age: 37
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby Hephzibah on Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:51 am

witness wrote:She says saying "sorry" doesn't change anything and why did I not do anything about this sooner. I tell her that I always loved her. She says: "what kind of love was that that allowed me to keep looking at pictures of other women and think about them without ever doing anything to stop?"
It took me several years to get to #43 of my recovery plan - but when I got to that place, it brought some new freedom to me: 43) I chose to forgive him for his sin against me and the marriage; now I've chosen to forgive him for not being able to take away the pain but to give the pain to God to heal. When I start feeling angry that he's not helping me carry the burden of the pain - remember I gave it to God - so it's now God's responsibility to heal. I pray that in time, your wife will get to that place... but it takes time.

I don't know what she can do to work out her anger and to get over the past and everything I did. I know that it will take time.
Glad you realize time is what she needs.

I pray again for healing in 2008. . . . healing in every sense of the word.
I join my prayers with yours.

Hephzibah
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde

"First, there is the fall, and then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God!" – Lady Julian of Norwich

Member (old board) since: May 2004

My Recovery Plan (back when I was with ex): viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8174#p160542
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby shea231 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:32 pm

At this point all I can do is try to live right today and try to show her that I really mean it. It seems like so little at this point. But it all we have. May God help me in that regard. May He heal her and help her and help us!


You already know what you need to do. It just seems like you don’t know how.

You need to do more than tell her that you are sorry, you need to show her how sorry you are. You need to show her how hard you are willing to work, how much you will do, how long you will wait, to try and make this better for her. You need to show her, each and every day, how wonderful she is, how beautiful she is, how smart she is, how important she is, how precious she is and how loved she is. You need to write her cards and notes. You need to bring her flowers. You need to do the dishes or defrost her car for her in the morning. You need to run her a hot bubble bath. You need to do any little thing that you know will be special to her. (I’d take the defrosted car and clean litter boxes any day over flowers and candy but that is me.) You need to surprise her with some new, wonderful, small, unique and thoughtful ACTION each day. Show her everyday, that you are trying to do something.

This is all about actions and has nothing to do with words. She heard words for years that weren’t true. She won't believe what you say and has to reason to. Her pain has nothing to do with what you have said to her and everything to do with what you did to her.

I told my husband that he built a prison for me. He laid it brick by brick, over years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was my prison or your wife‘s. I told my husband that he has to take the time to tear down what he built. You can’t just say to a prison, fall down and then it is gone. You have to get tools and work at destroying it. A few swings of a sledge hammer won’t tear down a brick wall, much less an entire prison. You will need your wife’s help to destroy what has been built but she may not be ready to do that yet. So you just have to work at it alone for now.

Keep giving her time. Give her all of the time in the world. She may be ready to help you tomorrow. She may never be willing to help you. That part is up to her. She didn’t do this, she is just dealing with what she has been forced to endure. You don’t have anymore of a choice in how she deals with this than she had a choice in what you did. If you are truly sorry, then you can show her this by giving her all that she needs and never saying that her needs are too much to ask or are too hard to do.

I hope this helps.
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby witness on Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:46 pm

You ladies always help. Even if it is hard to hear I need to hear it and I can learn from it.

Interesting how you said that you feel like two people. She sometimes seems like two totally different people. She can be really mad at me and then the next day be so very sweet. I know this is VERY hard for her and that she is doing the best she can. Even after 4 months it still seems like a fresh wound at times to her. As she sometimes reminds me, I have known about this and been dealing with it all my life.

In spite of her outbursts I love her now more than ever. Just the fact that she is willing to try to make this work for us makes me very humble and grateful.
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Re: My wife and I / Putting the pieces back together

Postby witness on Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:00 am

Things have been extra busy with more people in the house recently. We talked some yesterday. She is still trying and I am too. So I believe we will make it. We will be out of town all next week. It should be good to get away.
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