The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One day at a time

Yesterday I was talking with Husband on the phone. I knew he was having a hard day, getting very present to how unhappy he is in his job. He had called me earlier in the day because he said he realized the feelings he was having, and that he was thinking about doing the things he used to do to handle them - going to the bookstore, going to a movie, masturbating. So he said he thought he'd reach out to others instead. And one of the people he called was me. So I called him later in the day to check in and give support. It came up that he had gone and masturbated after all.

In his recovery program they use 3 circles to define behaviors. Inner Circle behaviors are those that the addict is abstaining from. Middle Circle behaviors are "behaviours which are much less destructive and weaker in intensity. They cause us much less of a problem but tend to lead us back to the inner circle. You can also put behaviours about which you are unsure in this category." Masturbating while at work is in his middle circle in his recovery program.

It's not surprising that he's doing this. And it's not surprising that at this stage, reaching out to others doesn't provide the same satisfaction that it feels like masturbating will provide. It's not secret behavior and doesn't satisfy that same need for power and/or distraction in one's life. But it scares me. He's not feeling secretive about it, but I'm worried that he'll slip back into behaviors that he doesn't want to tell me about and start lying to me again. So I was having a lot of anxiety late in the day. Fortunately my S-Anon meeting was last night, so I went there hoping to find comfort. It was a topic meeting, and the topic question was "How do I rebuild trust?"

As the meeting progressed it dawned on me that I face a different choice than I realized. The choice is not stick with this and create the bond of trust we had before, or move on. The question at hand is whether or not I'm willing/able to be in a relationship with both Husband AND his addict. Because that person is there (I was reminded of that because of the compulsive masturbating) and according to what is understood about addiction, he's never going away. So I no longer have a choice to be in a relationship with just my husband. That is no longer available to me, and never will be again. I've been feeling very sad about that loss. But I know that I need to CHOOSE to be in this relationship with the 2 of them, and not just ACCEPT, not in any way be a victim about this decision. I have to POWERFULLY choose to be in this relationship with Husband and his addict forever, and to be responsible for my own happiness inside this choice. There is no room for blame, resentment or any of that kind of thing if we're going to be successful. But I'm terrified to willingly enter into a relationship with the Addict who doesn't love me, care about me in any way, and won't ever consider the impact of his actions on my life or my happiness. And I'm angry that this is the only way I can have my husband.

Today I gave my mom a ride to work, and on the way back I suddenly realized that I was in the neighborhood of some of the hotels at which Husband met prostitutes for sex. And then just as quickly, I saw a name that I recognized. Tears came to my eyes, and sadness enveloped me as I looked at that building and saw where my husband came to be with other women. I understand so much intellectually about what happened, that my sadness caught me by surprise. But it's there. It's there. And it's important to be present to it. But it's not comfortable. And it hurts.

1 comment:

NattyCAt said...

Here's a website you may find useful. is a site for friends, families, and those who suffer from various addictions.