I just thought of something FOO related that probably affects why I choose to stay. Not the primary driving force, just another thread in the tapestry.
I don't have any abuse, true neglect, etc in my family, addiction only in the remote extended family. But you know what I do have?
My parents have been married almost 50 years.
My mother's only brother, has been married for almost 40 years. And he and his wife have not lived in the same house for 20 years. I am not kidding.
My paternal grandma was married 25 years before my grandpa died and she never remarried. Or even dated, as far as I know.
My maternal grandparents are now deceased. But they made it to 75 years of marriage before my grandma died.
So I guess I have been trained since birth that marriage is a lifetime commitment. You stick together through everything, no matter what. Even though nobody ever really preached about it or anything, only in leading by example.
So it's no wonder I'm still here, is it?
I wanted all that you all have said. I have long Marriages in my family, Christian values "til death do us part" and FOO issues.
It is definitely Co-dep that I have stayed this long. I probably would not have filed, except he has been angry and abusive to me and the kids. Even with "regular" infidelity, SI'ers say there is no R possible if they are abusive after they cheated.
My sister and her husband got thru infidelity just fine 18 years ago. They are best buddies now. It was the physical and emotional abuse taking its toll on me for 2 years that did it.
I guess we all may have fear of abandonment, getting out of the comfort zone. I truly love my SA and thought we really, really have so much in common.
He's not well like your SA. I saw him yesterday and he shaved his forearms again. Self mutilation? Does your SA do anything like this?
Mine is a church leader.
Driving - I'm reflecting on a lot of the thoughts you've just shared. I like your rock slide metaphor - not sure of what kind of person I am - the amputee, the wait for help, the survive though wounded, or the die while waiting.
With regard to your DD - I think our culture is very confusing about sexuality, especially for young women. We watch shows like "Sex and the City," "Friends," or even "The Bachelor" and we feel like we should be adventurous and own our sexuality - to be liberated and independent, etc. We never think about it leading to some type of addiction - that part is never portrayed in the television shows.
Right now our culture associates sex with the physical pleasure (just as we used to with cigarettes and alcohol), and it is just now coming to light the chemical changes it can make to our brains (or at least some people's brains). Hopefully someday we will begin to educate young people on the possible addictive dangers of sex when not "used" in the right ways (to bond with someone else with whom you've already established an emotional connection, to procreate, etc.). I think most people know of the dangers of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, but few people know it can actually be addictive. At least that was my experience.
As a relatively young woman myself, I would think discussing the genetic dangers of addiction might be a good step for your DD - not accuse her of anything, just forewarn her against her possible predisposition. That will at least give her something to think about...again, it is such a taboo topic - no one ever tells you that it can be addictive. I think giving her that information would be powerful knowledge for her to have.
Notmetoo - my WS had a grandparent with alcoholism, too. (Never met him, but WS's father told me about it after this most recent DDay.) I think there is something to the genetic component.
Sorry Driving - just realized DD means daughter is not blood-related to SA. Still wouldn't hurt to discuss dangers of addiction though - maybe in the context of boys she will eventually date herself. Like I said, I never knew anything about sex being legitimately addictive until this most recent Dday. No one EVER talks about it.
[This message edited by WS is an Addict at 2:08 PM, January 4th (Wednesday)]
Extended marriages and strong Christian values run in my family, too. I was raised that marriage was for life, although I don't think anyone ever went through abuse or infidelity. (Who really knows though?) I don't think anyone would judge me for leaving - still it is very hard for me to give up. Just as with our WS's addictions, what we learn at a young age tends to stick in really deep.
It's ironic that qualities, which otherwise make us awesome people (loyalty, unconditional love, dedication, etc.) also make us susceptible to our current situations.
Then again, maybe those qualities which I currently think are "awesome" are not all that awesome...does a Christian upbringing make us more vulnerable to abuse?
[This message edited by WS is an Addict at 2:18 PM, January 4th (Wednesday)]
My father was a serial cheater and my mother became an alcoholic while trying to cope. They lasted 30 turbulent years until my father had a heart attack in Vegas while with one of his mistresses. My mother finally threw him out.
We met young (18 & 19)-- and with more maturity, we may have seen our union could only be a disaster. We are both the oldest with FOO issues -- and probably lasted nearly 40 years because we are both too damn stubborn to quit.
WH's father quit alcohol and cigarettes on his own with no outside help. WH has done the same. So he thinks his SA behavior (which he barely admits) is something else he can do on his own. I don't believe he has acted out in a few months, but white knuckling it does not give me any safety or faith going forward.
I know I should leave him, but I cannot bring myself to do it. I cannot survive another betrayal...but financially, emotionally, physically I don't know how I can survive without him. Plus I love the SOB. ARGHHHH...
Thanks again for sharing your struggles, thoughts and successes. You have no idea how much it helps to not feel alone in this...
I was brought up with the notion that marriage was for life, no matter what, divorce just shouldn't even be thought of as an option except in the most extreme instances of severe abuse. How dare mere mortals tear asunder what God has joined together, right?
I've been doing a lot of writing & sharing with my IC. The following is something that I've pin-pointed as my tipping point. The moment I should have walked away instead of staying:
"In 1995 or 1996, I donít recall, I answered a phone call in our apartment (we had been married for less than one year). There was a woman on the other end asking for ***. I told her he wasnít home, then asked who she was so I could take a message. She responded by asking me who *I* was. When I told her I my name and that I was ***ís wife, she got pretty flustered. I donít recall the specifics of the conversation because I was flustered, too, but I do recall her mentioning that she & *** were old friends from California. I think she refused to tell me her name (if she told me, my brain didnít process it). Later I confronted *** about having a strange woman calling our home, why didnít she know who I was or that he was married if they were friends, and that I did NOT approve of him having ďsecret friendsĒ, especially female secret friends. He, too, refused to disclose who the woman was, only that she was probably someone from California. He got upset with me that I didnít get her name & number. He then went on to dreamily wonder aloud about how he would react if she had been a particular women, how he would react if he heard her voice again, and so forth. I couldnít believe my ears. He also was very upset with me for telling him that I would not accept him having secret friends, especially secret female friends. He declared he would have whatever kind of friends he wanted to have, and I would not be making that decision for him. He went so far as to grab our displayed marriage certificate/license (or whatever thing that one proudly displays) and threaten to tear it in two. He screamed at me, demanding to know if I wanted a divorce over a phone call. I was so stunned & confused, I didnít know how to react, I couldnít fully comprehend who he was or what was happening at that moment. I told him no, I didnít want a divorce, I didnít want to fail at marriage so soon."
So I chose to stay & be a "Good Christian Wife".
I wish I had walked.
I have long marriages on both sides of my family too inspite of the fact that both my parents were previously married very young. My mothers first husband died and my father "had to get married" shortly after the war. He got divorced years before my parents got together. I have a half brother from each side, one 15 years older than me and the other 22 years older than me. My father's ex moved to Australia and was rarely mentioned and my brother from that relationship moved to South Africa when i was very young and then to Aus.Growing up none of my friends parents or my parents friends were divorced. It just wasn't something that I was really exposed to. My parents were married for 42 years when my Dad died. WH's parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary this April.
WH was raised in a very religious family. I was not but ironically I was the one to take my marriage vows seriously.
What you said about being too stubborn to quit struck a note with me. That might be a big part of why I stay too. I have always hated to quit things once I've started. I did a bachelor's and master's degree in a field I hated just because I didn't want to quit. I kept thinking it would get better when I got a job and I would like it then but I didn't . Eventually I did go back to school and took something else that enabled me to work with WH ( what a foolish mistake that turned out to be because now I'm tied to him that way too.)
I stayed to be a Christian wife and yes, I have forgiveness in my heart and believe that upbringing is why I stayed so long.
Many others around me have told me not to stay. I also read and read the stories here on SI of relapse, continued betrayal and checking, checking and more checking. I just don't want that.
Ghost, I love mine too! I love him soooo much, even though he has hurt so bad. I think about what he shared with OW, that pillow talk, showers,etc. He is suspicious of me now when I take our van because he took it before to have sex with her on certain days only.
I wish he would go into recovery but there is nothing I can do. I know I don't want to be 50 and trying to go it alone.
I have to do something while I still look half way decent. :)
I've been very very lucky with how everything has played out. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it really hasn't so far. I do plan to separate and will like file for D if there is ever any relapse (using the definition of relapse involving other people, and slip as offenses that do not involve interacting with live other people).
I can tell you that every person that I have personally talked to that was forced to separate (due to WS being put in a program or jail, or just leaving outright) has said it was a blessing in disguise and was really able to focus on healing themselves. But also these people tend to have less secrecy about their situation (usually not their choice) so that is a burden lifter too in a way. I have not talked to anyone that has been in this situation that is successfully reconciled and back together though after physically separating. Either they are still a WIP or split up.
Can you explain what WIP means? I appreciated your honesty in sharing that you don't know of anyone who has separated physically to reconcile, it is a scary thought for me as I love my husband but we had to separate due to his disease and how it was affecting my health and his and our children, along with the other tragic situation which is in my profile all coming to a head at the same time. I am terrified of what's to come for us. thank god for SI and Sanon!
(Hath - WS is in a treatment center for 6 weeks. Afterward he plans to stay with his parents so he can have more access to CSATs and SA groups - probably another 5-8 months, possibly a year. He lost his job due to SA, so there is little secrecy to our situation either.)
Today I received my first letter from him while he is in treatment center (10-day blackout period, no phone calls, only letters). It seemed so...childish or something, stating he "knows the next 6 weeks will be the worst of his life." Ha! - I'm the one who has to go to work while everyone snickers behind my back (or in front of my face). I'm the one who got shell shocked, who's perception of reality has been shattered. I'm the one who found out I'm married to a perfect stranger who lies and deceives. My gut reaction was, "You are so self-centered and oblivious. I wish you could stay there forever." I thought about writing him a letter back, but then didn't want to waste my time.
(Does this sound like a loving wife?)
I've stated before that I moved quite a bit when I was growing up. Now that we're apart physically, I can feel those old skills of "detach and move on" kicking in. I'm not sure if I want to deactivate them. Is he even worth fighting for? How can I love someone who has deceived me for almost a third of my life? How can I ever trust or respect someone who has done the things he's done? And is he so shallow that he can only be turned on by 18-year-olds while he can't even be bothered to have sex once a month with me, his loving and devoted wife? I mean, I am not a bombshell, but I am not UGLY! AND I EVEN LIKE HAVING SEX!
Maybe this is anger setting in...maybe this is just a phase.
So back to my original question - has anyone ever been physically separated and then reconciled? Does being physically separated allow too much of our anger, fear, resentment, etc. to fester so that we emotionally close that door forever?
And one more question, is he changing...or am I just seeing him differently? Or is it both? Will I ever be able to "see him" in a loving way again?
Love to you all. Reading your posts is what gets me through the day lately. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
I saw things I didn't see before. "I" was a person without him. "I" had interests and opinions. I could really live on my own. I never did before.
Yes, there was so much healing for me when he was gone. I no longer was there to check in him, see if he read a book or whatever.
He came back in the house and I couldn't stop him cause he paid the mortgage too. 7 months later, here I am out of the house. Couldn't take it anymore.
If my SA was even recognizing what he did, was in recovery, I probably would not be divorcing him.
However, I read here a lot.
My SAWH and I are separated for the third time in a year due to relapse. Actually, since he never stopped his LTA I'm not sure you can call it relapse.
But here is the most confusing part for me; he has gone to IC weekly for 2 yrs and started group in 2011. (Our IC/MC is not a CSAT - none in our area- but she is trained in SA). SAWH talks like he's in recovery but can't stop his LTA (now there is an OC involved).
He accepts responsibility for his A's and doesn't blameshift with his behavior. But he still can't go NC.
Aside from the SA and A's, SAWH is a good husband and friend (I know how that sounds but he's very good at compartmentalizing and living two separate lives).
I feel like I'm going insane. I want to run away from this painful mess but WH is not giving up wanting to keep our M and family intact.
I hear all about how much he loves me and only me and how he never has had any intention of leaving me but he's broken and wants to escape this addiction.
But then I see the cell phone records and how he and MOW text and call each other almost every day, all day long. He tells me that they have both tried to stop but they can't get past the addiction of the attention. He says that he did stop the PA but he admits the EA. (I don't believe him although she just had the baby in July)
I feel emotionally and mentally abused. I want so badly to believe him but he's such a great liar.
I too come from a christian family and my parents have been married for 52 years. Walking away from my M is just not as easy has my family and friends think it should be. I love my WH!!! I believe he can recover. But I just can't lay down and allow him to walk all over me.
It would be so much easier to walk away if WH was mean and hateful and a horrible Dad.
My two youngest kids (6&5) beg me every day not to D.
I'm so confused and depressed and heartbroken.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!