Do I stay or do I go?
Stay married or get divorced?
If you aren’t certain of which choice to make, why rush yourself? Why put that unnecessary burden to your growing list of burdens?
Your husband’s actions will help with your decision. Forget about what he tells you, his actions will do his talking. Is he carrying on with old ways, old habits or is he slowly making changes? Slowly turning into the man he should be?
Your emotional wounds need time to heal, just like physical scars. You wouldn’t run a marathon the day after breaking your leg bone. You need the bone to set, and to heal and you need to walk slowly before attempting short runs. Why even think of a marathon when you have so much healing and pain to take care of before running again?
Same thing with your marriage. Take the time to heal. Don’t rush through it. If your spouse is willing to stay with you, to help see you through your pain, to talk with you about your pain, then take this time .
When you take time to heal, the answers will start coming to you. Be patient, you are worth it.
Why do we focus on what our partner isn’t doing? Why are we focused on what our spouse should be doing to heal, to move past the affair/addiction, to grow, to make us happy again? Why do we do this when they don’t hold that power? We do. We are the ones that make ourselves happy. We are the ones who make ourselves become strong and grow after affairs and addictions. Your happiness lies within you. It is up to you to heal yourself, not to heal your spouse.
I have read many comments made by many women feeling stuck and trapped and thinking they should leave their partner after the affair because it would help them forget what happened, make the pain go away, make the unhappiness go away. Like this is the only option to their happiness. Leave and be happy or stay and be stuck, resentful, angry, bitter…
Leaving your spouse will not make anything go away and it won’t help with any of your pain. Loving yourself, learning about yourself, and making yourself happy will be the ONLY thing that will help you. Even if you leave your spouse and you don’t work through your own shit, you will still be angry, bitter, unhappy, lonely, confused….
Take the focus off your spouse, and put the focus on yourself. Learn and discover why you are unhappy, alone, afraid, bitter, angry, etc. Don’t worry about what books he should be reading, or what books he isn’t reading, or not going to therapy, or talking, or anything else that you find yourself blaming him for your unhappiness. I played that victim for quite awhile before learning that I was blaming my husband and his affair and his addiction for my unhappiness. Yes, of course there was unhappiness and sadness stemming from his actions, but my root pain had nothing to do with him, it was all me. (just like when your spouse had their affair/addictions. all about them, nothing to do with you).
Don’t allow your spouse to define your happiness and who you are. Love yourself and heal yourself.
remember, you have a choice in all you do
Everything in your life is a choice. After addictions and affairs you have a choice. The spouse who was addicted and/or had affairs had their choices too when everything came to light. They could choose to come out of their lies and face the truth with you, they could run to the hills, they could continue to lie and deny, continue to have affairs, continue with their addictions.
And you too have the choice to run to the hills, live in anger and bitterness or you could choose to love.
The beginning of 2013 I was stuck. I just couldn’t move forward. I really wanted to move forward with my husband, but I was done. I was tired of doing all the heavy work in the relationship. I still felt alone. It was almost one year since discovering my husband was a porn addict. He claimed he was clean, but I was waiting for that other shoe to drop. I just didn’t trust him.
Then one evening my sister in law told me “you have to read this book! Your hubby thinks you are an acts of service person, but you are really a quality time person.” Like you, I had NO clue what she was talking about. I was very curious though. I read the entire book that night, all in one sitting. So many light bulbs were going off, and my sister in law was entirely correct. I am a quality time person. The website states “This language is all about receiving your undivided attention.” In order to feel fully loved, I need to have my spouse’s undivided attention, need quality time spent with my spouse. All these years my husband has been giving me acts of service to show his love. This means actions speak louder than words to feel loved. Totally not what I need. I realized the real reason why I felt so alone and distant. Why I was so tired of my relationship, why I felt stuck and knowing we were going nowhere. I wasn’t being loved the way I need to be loved. Up to this point I had no clue this was what I needed. I was never able to express this was what I needed. Not to mention the addiction robbed my husband of emotions, intimacy, communication, true real love. It just all made sense to me. It was just, so simple. I knew then I had a choice. I now knew what I was missing to feel loved, I knew why my husband had his affairs, and everything was now in print to show my husband what I need. I made the choice to love my husband. I knew I had to give him what he needed to feel loved, knew I had to support him through his recovery, and I made a choice to do just that.
Would he love me the way I need? no idea. Would he relapse and go back to his addiction? no idea. Would the world swallow me whole if he relapses or doesn’t make me feel loved? No. I know that if that should happen, then I will be ok. I will know he made his choice. I can’t control his choices. I am stronger now. More aware now. I made my choice and I hope you can too
please read this book by Gary Chapman
How did you not know this would hurt me?
Why did you hurt me?
Unless your spouse is a complete asshole, he/she did not intentionally seek out ways to hurt you. They did not wake up one morning and scheme a plan to hurt you. They didn’t grow tired of you.
Here’s what they did…they coped. They coped with whatever ails them, in only ways they knew how.
Take my story for example. My husband was living with an addiction to cope with his loneliness, his low self worth. All in secret. He created more loneliness for himself by digging deeper into his addiction. He had guilt, shame all snowballed up inside. Huge gaping hole inside that even he wasn’t aware of.
Porn was a great distraction from his pain. From the loneliness. Why he chose porn, I will never know. It could have easily been alcohol or drugs or another addiction to mask the pain.
We all have ways of coping. It could be withdrawing from the one you love, putting up walls they will never knock down, resenting, eating, shopping, the list is endless. What seems so simple for you will make no sense to others. Same case for your spouse. What they did to cope will never make sense to your hurt. Once you deal with your own pain and hurt and ways you deal to cope, then you can look into your spouse’s reasons with care and sympathy and love…and forgiveness.
How many of us spend or have spent countless hours asking what did he see in her, why her, what am I missing, etc etc etc
Let me let you in on a little secret…there is NOTHING wrong with YOU. Your spouse and their affair partners are the people who have something wrong with them.
As I was going through blogs and websites trying to gain insight into these questions, I came across the following which I need to share with you all. It explains it to a T.
I can not remember where I found this text or who wrote it, so if someone recognizes it please share with me. I send myself emails with information like this to have at my fingertips whenever I have a bad day or need to remind myself of certain things.
The key to moving forward is knowing and believing it to be true. Not a half assed, I guess that is right, but a definite that is so true!! Here it is..
“The morning after learning that my husband had been engaging in sex with a wide variety of partners, I was on the phone with his sex addiction counselor. “What do they have that I don’t?” I asked him, desperate to figure it out.
His response? “What those people have, you don’t want.” He was referring, of course, to their lack of self-esteem. Their addictions. Their lack of boundaries. Their willingness to be used by a virtual stranger for sex. Their fear of intimacy. Their lack of trust. Their inability to handle negative emotions such as anxiety, loneliness, fear, without desperately seeking a distraction. All of which my husband also had.
People don’t generally have affairs because of what their spouse doesn’t have, they have affairs because of what THEY don’t have. They have affairs because it’s so much easier than doing the hard work of figuring out what they need to give themselves.”
And when we throw in an addiction, like porn in my husband’s case, then you’re dealing with a whole ton of other issues that lead them to affairs.
…it had nothing to do with you
“My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.” -Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You