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, May 14, 2008

Some days...not so grateful

When Husband and I were making love a few days ago I was so aware of being in my head. Not present in the moment with what we were doing, but imagining what he'd done in the past, wondering, wishing for a clear answer as to what he could possibly have been thinking. How did he feel as he entered another woman's body with his for the first time in 15 years? Did he think of me as he was betraying my trust, our vows, our years together? I can't imagine not thinking about him if I were to do such a thing. And what about the second, third, fourth time? How easy was it to forget about the gift of trust that I'd given him, the access to my most vulnerable self, so difficult for me to give after learning from my father not to trust men?

My mind has stayed distracted by thoughts and fears along these lines since that night, and I've felt more distant from him again. Will I ever be able to trust him? Will he find the strength to stop resisting life as it is, to throw off the addict, the narcissist who tells him he deserves a break, who justifies hurtful acts, who whispers to him that his self-righteous disdain for others is valid? He says "I love you" and I wonder how it's different now? It must be, but it sounds, feels, looks the way it did before. When I thought I knew him. When I felt so profoundly connected.

Husband has done nothing (as far as I know) but stay on the path of recovery. It's not him, but my own mind, my own fears, my own clinging to fantasy and the desire for security that drive me into downward spirals. Even now, with the clarity and peace I so often feel, I'm not free of these things.

I'm reading about maitri right now, "...The complete acceptances of ourselves as we are...a simple direct relationship with the way we are." So this is my opportunity to accept my fears and my clinging to what I wish for and my downward spirals with compassion. I often feel ashamed to have these feelings because there's an abundance of pain and suffering so much worse than mine. But maitri allows me to stop judging my feelings, my confusion, my stuckness. They don't have to be good or bad, valid or invalid, worthy or unworthy. They can just be.


ThisJane said...

I struggled with this same exact thing. I'm learning to not let those thoughts bring me back to a place I dont want to be. But accept they are in existence, I just won't spend too much time on them. I never want to feel that pain again, ever.

MargauxMeade said...

Hi, I recently came across your blog while doing some research to try to understand my own husband's sex addiction. Thank you for all you've shared--it's comforting to read the thoughts of someone else in a similar situation. You inspired me to create my own blog. If you'd like to check it out, it's

I'm not sure if you've already read "Sexual Anorexia" by Patrick Carnes, but it's done wonders to help me understand how a person can separate their relationship with their wife from sex with strangers. It never made sense to me before, and I felt so rejected. Now I'm starting to get how he could still love me and act out at the same time.

Stephanie said...

Since January 30, 2008 I have been wondering the same thing and the F'er refuses to give me an answer. He hides behind the addiction, tells me he can't remember, says it doesn't matter. I have been with him since 1997 and every day of our life together has been a fraud. I hate him for making those appointments, calling me on the phone while driving to the appointments. Doing the 2 call verify thing, and then going in and anonymously putting our money on the table and then taking his clothes off. Sliding it into her pre-lubed cunt and then wiping off with a wet rag, putting on his clothes and calling me on his way back in the car. And now he has the nerve to say he loves me, always loved me and never thought of me when he did this. The moral issues with demeaning women aside, I will never get how he didn't think of us at all. I will never get how the man that cried through our wedding ceremony could possibly do this to another human being. Sorry if this is too graphic. I will understand if you don't post it. Just know that every word of your blog sounds like my story and it sucks, it just sucks that you are 6+ months ahead of me and as I read your story I see no happy ending to this nightmare.

woman.anonymous7 said...

margauxmeade - I haven't read that Carnes book. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely pick it up. And thanks for sharing your blog, too.

Stephanie - I publish your comment because yours is part of the experience of dealing with sex addiction and betrayal, and because I've had those exact same thoughts and feelings, graphic descriptions and all, throughout my own experience.

Thank you for sharing yourself, your raw anger and pain. I believe that hearing each others honest experiences can provide access to the healing process.

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Every time my husband falls off the wagon I have to start over again. I have to learn to trust again. I have to learn to not take it personally again. I have to remember, yet again, that it is not about me, it is about him having a disease and being symptomatic.

I have to remember again that that previous sentence is not really a pile of horse shit invented by my therapist.

Still, I refuse to share a bed with him for months after a wagon jump. I cannot, CANNOT, tolerate him looking at me undressed for months. I can't tell if he is still judging me, comparing me to those girls he likes to look at and wish he was there with them and not here with me. It's been 8 months since he last fell off, and he handled that fall better than ever b4- took full responsibility, came and told ME b4 it really took him over (I've always been the one to bust him), but still, still, TMI ALERT, I can't bear for him to go down on me. I've had two kids. I don't look nearly so tight and pink and perky as the "pretty" girls. I hate that. I hate that I still think of his sickness and whether or not he actually detests the sight of me when we are being intimate.

However, however, I have learned over the years that, despite my concerns, he really does love me. Truly, truly loves me. He hates his illness. He works really hard at fighting it and learning how to really love a real woman and have a true connection of intimacy. The fight he has given it, the duel to which he has challenged his addiction, is proof enough for me that he is not interested at all in being an addict. That is what I hold on to, that is the thought to which I eventually return after spending weeks crying myself to sleep in the spare bedroom.

I hope your heart heals soon. I hope peace returns and that you both reach a place of compassionate understanding in your recoveries, and that he has the grace to let you take all the time you need.

After a few years of this recovery process, you will learn to accept and respect your own cyclical process each time he falls off. I can be fine for a few months and then have a week of anger and shame all over again. But that is part of my recovery process and I just step back and let it work. I do not engage in it, simply because it isn't healthy for me to ruminate, but my mind will run its subconscious course and I have to respect that.

I wish you well. Be gentle to yourself.

Catherine said...

I read your process and understand - even though the drug of choice is different - your feelings are where I have been - full of doubt. I can only compare it to waiting for the next shoe to drop and it is agonizing. I wish you the best.