“She attempts to have what she can no longer find; safety in an unsafe relationship.”
Your Sexually Addicted Spouse
My wife is reading the above cited book along with her therapist. I read it awhile back. They are going through it together as a discussion model. Come to find out, her therapist specializes in trauma and PTSD.
That book makes an incredibly good case that, in many situations, the offended spouse is nothing like a co-addict. Trauma is what these ladies encounter. A flat out kick to the most intimate part of their mind. In my wife’s case, she is the furthest thing from co-addiction. Trauma describes exactly what she has been experiencing.
I had asked my bride what she was gleaning from her readings. “I don’t really know how to say it. You could look at the parts I highlighted, that would show you what stuck out to me.” So I did. That quote above was the first thing she highlighted. And it slapped me into, yet another, level of reality.
We have discussed that this was a betrayal. I took something sacred and ripped it apart. I get it. BUT, to read that she no longer views our relationship as safe….that kicked my ass.
A pretty cool thing I noticed though, I didn’t crater into deep depression. I was completely bummed out, but not as far as depression. That’s a massive change from just 2 weeks ago.
Here’s another kicker of my arse:
“Discovering that much of your life is based on lies proves traumatizing and destroys one’s sense of safety and security”
Early on in our counseling, our therapist (know her individual therapist) stated that we need to find out what each other’s needs were. I was able to fire quite a few things off immediately. She could not. It took her at least 2 weeks to finally say something.
“I need to feel safety. I need security.”
Well, sister. You said a mouthful.
Without even knowing it, she had driven home the fact that the safety and security in our marriage did not exist. Remember, this was at least a month before my disclosure. She didn’t know the really crappy stuff yet. Well,not consciously. She totally knew, but she was in denial. We’ve established that in the last month.
She was aw to put her finger on one of our core problems without knowing the deepest/darkest symptom- infidelity. She’s a very insightful woman.
Here’s the last gut-punch from last night:
“The discovery leads to the fight/flight/freeze response to the danger of living a compulsive liar.”
Another thing I had never considered was my lying. The quote is true. I have been lying to cover up my behaviors and choices since I was 12. Over the years of my youth, I honed my lying skills to a razors edge. I AM a compulsive liar.
I have learned that I can easily get away with things by coming up with a plausible story. What’s worse? I can improvise that story. I have become exquisitely skilled at improvising those stories (lies). What’s worse than that? Telling those lies comes very natural to me. I have a very good poker face. But I don’t need it. Telling those lies doesn’t effect me.
I have become efficient at lying. So much so that I do not feel remorse when I do it. I didn’t care of they knew I was lying or not. My lie was so plausible, they couldn’t be exactly sure if it was a lie or not. I had become a really good actor. This troubled me, eventually. Over the last few years, I had been playing around with the idea that I might be a sociopath. I hit a LOT of the definition.
Lying doesn’t bother me at all. Well, it didn’t until a month ago. Even though I was a little troubled over my lack of feeling or remorse, it didn’t truly affect me. There was a very small, very distant voice saying, “this might be wrong.” But the voice was 2 miles away and whispering.
Then came D-Day. When I was trying to evade her questions, my mind broke apart. I was unable to lie to her. I would have answered any question she had. The formula for Coke? Sure, here it is. The sickest, grossest thing I’ve done sexually? You bet. Here it is. Want bloody details to go with it? If she asked I answered. I was incapable of lying. 2 days later I did lie to her. 15 minutes later, I called her as I was in tears from the guilt. “Honey, I lied.” “I know. Thank you for telling the truth.”
I cannot lie to her anymore. I’m sure it would get easier with practice. I just don’t want to practice it. I have been told to be open and honest by the Good Doctor. “Sometimes no is a complete sentence. Anything you choose to say must be open and honest.”
Everything I do, say and write for the rest of my life is for building trust in our relationship. Everything.
Do the dishes: Trust is Built
Take out the garbage: Trust is Built
Do what I say I’ll do: Trust is Built
For much of my life, ha!! All of my life, I was not dependable. Hell, I’m STILL not dependable. The big difference is that I realize there is a problem, I acknowledge the problem to others, I care about the problem and I’m working to address the problem. Just by making an effort I’m building trust.
“You’ve been doing this for almost 30 years. This shit ain’t going away in 6 months.” That was a mind-altering statement. It was said by the guy running the support group I’m going to this evening. I cannot wait to return. That’s a massive difference with what I think about when SA is involved. I hate those meetings. The church group has me excited.
My bride just began her latest therapy session. She hates going. “Just remember, you get to take one more positive step in our marriage today.” “I shouldn’t have to be doing this at all.”
She’s right, of course. She didn’t ask for this. After therapy we are going to a support group at church. Her group is for spouses that were betrayed mine is for betraying her.
She doesn’t want to go.
“This is for our marriage.”
“I still don’t want to go.”
“You don’t HAVE to go.”
“Don’t tempt me.”
That is a new sentiment. Actual I think it’s an old sentiment that she’s finally being vocal about.
I think we may be entering the “pissed-off” era. I hope we skip that, but lately, I’ve been thinking we’re in the early stages of it. I expected it. I have been mentally preparing for it. I really don’t want to go through it.
I ask for your prayers again. Our support groups begin at 8 EST. I know my bride needs to be lifted up for sure.
I also ask for your prayers for my bride’s strength. She has taken on a huge burden over the last year. With my mental breakdowns and now my disclosure of infidelity. I worry, often, that she has been weighted down with more than she can handle. I know that she has been showing physical manifestations of that burden lately. Tight muscles, muscle strains and pulls and now a very painful crick in the neck. She has endured migraines as well. Lease pray for her healing.
I also ask for you to lift me up in prayer. I have obvious needs: addiction and depression are the top of the iceberg. I have incredibly low self-esteem. I also need the strength to forgive those who wronged me as a child. I am currently incapable of that. I know I will eventually need to get there. I also need the strength to put my needs aside so I may serve my wife. Finally, I need the strength to become the spiritual leader of my family.
All of those things above weigh on me mightily. If I am to change, I must proceed into a new level of reality. Reading her thoughts helps. Actually listening to her helps. Hearing the supportive responses of others helps.