'Enabling' my husband's porn addiction

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I'm almost two years into recovery and I'm still struggling at times. Recovery in relationship terms, although successful in that my husband has quit and remains resolute, I still have issues about trust and I feel insecure quite often. I trust my husband in terms of his behaviour but I don't believe there will ever be full disclosure of the true extent of his past behaviour and nor do I expect he can ever by 100% honest with me. Perhaps this is the legacy of being lied to so many times about his behaviour in the early months of recovery and having to search his devices so thoroughly to get a more realistic picture of what had been going on over the years. But here we are now. He's quit and we've slowly made progress, although erratic at times. 

I was aware of my husband's use of internet pornography as soon as we were online at home, which was 16 years before we reached a crisis point where I just couldn't take the distance between us any more. It was my fear of his behaviour escalating to beyond the internet is what triggered a crisis in me – that is, I could not stay in a relationship and 'turn a blind eye' to more than just' porn. 

The problem I created for myself was that after 1-2 years of his online porn habit I gave up. I had 'caught' him 4-5 times and initially it was all nice and polite, he'd been a bit 'naughty' or whatever and it was just a curiosity. No big deal, etc etc. Then there were a few more times, including finding saved files on a disk. By that time he'd become very thorough about his internet history we a shared computer then. It was his lack of interest in sex that was alerting me. One day I walked in on him when he was viewing porn, as suspected, as this was the only way I thought I could. He was mad at me and said I was sneaky, as if I was the one breaching some sort of code of conduct, and not him. We had a row. I said that I thought his interest in porn was becoming unhealthy and I catch him out again he (or we) would need some sort of psychosexual counselling.

But what happened?

He became so thorough about deleting his history and changing the file names and file extensions to appear like innocent documents, not that I ever searched his computer much after that. Whenever I looked everything would be cleaned up by his special cleaning apps, his browser history was set to delete history and cookies on closing. He made it so difficult to find any evidence, so it became impossible to live up to my word. 

I knew from other signs it was still going on, that he would be online when I was sleeping (or out) and if I woke up he'd have the door closed, but he wouldn't at any other times. Sex became a rare occurrence and eventually it stopped. He never initiated anything anyway and I was becoming used to being turned down. Eventually the early signs of erectile dysfunction happened, and after that had happened a few times I just couldn't take the feelings of rejection. I gave up. I hurt. But I gave up. 

I feel really bad about this. 

- I stopped looking for evidence because he had made it too difficult to find anything

- I never attempted to 'catch him in the act' because he made it so he always had enough time to shut down the browser and always had the BBC news page open to pretend he was reading the news

- I considered other options for gathering  evidence but I lacked the knowledge and didn't know what to do or how to go about it

- if I had presented him with the evidence, I seriously doubted that anything could be achieved. Nothing had ever changed in the past, so whatever I did I would most likely end up back to where I started. Like before. 

- I was aware of having said I would insist on psychosexual therapy in the past, but I became afraid of not being able to enforce it and besides, after 10 or 15 years there was plenty of opportunity for him to 'forget! I'd said this

- *FEAR that if I didn't 'let' him have porn he would look outside the relationship for sex, and I could lose everything

- *FEAR that if I insisted on no more porn it would only confirm that he did not want me sexually any more, and I couldn't force him to have those feelings towards me if they weren't there. 

So, I had the unhealthy belief somewhere in there that the 'success' of our relationship depended on him having access to porn as a sexual outlet because whatever attraction he had felt for me in the past was long gone. I was  actually afraid of what stopping the porn might do to our relationship. So I buried my head in the sand. I became an 'enabler', I suppose. 

The crunch came when I began to suspect that his interest in porn had maybe run its course. That it was no longer enough. Don't ask why, it was a gut feeling and to this day I don't know what I felt or suspected, I don't know what/if anything else was going on. It was when I found myself asking what else was I prepared to ignore. If I was actually reaching the point where I would have to make another deal with my psyche, that there may be/possibly have been physical infidelities and could I put all thoughts of it out of my head and ignore how I hurt I would feel? That was the crunch. I couldn't put up with more hurt and more pain than I already had. Our sexual relationship had ended maybe 7 years previously and I couldn't see him actively using porn and not being interested in sexual opportunities. I couldn't take it any more. So I more or less broke down one day and that was the beginning of 'recovery'. 

I am having trouble with reconciling this 'enabling' role. I can acknowledge the role I played in perpetuating his behaviour because it takes two to make a relationship. But I didn't stick to my guns about getting help and I ended up in a warped mindset that he had to have the porn in order for our relationship to work in all the other areas (though not sexually). I also feel that I have been the architect of my own misery and all those years of putting his 'needs' before mine, and putting up with him having no respect for my feelings about it, covering his tracks so thoroughly etc. Why did I tolerate it for so long? My self esteem was completely demolished. But why did I "collude" in something that wasn't happy about?

Edited by Alys
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Hello,

I can connect with a lot of what you write about the enabling part and self-doubting aspects. A lot of what you write I've had similar feelings about regarding my wife's affair and like you write, I struggle with going down questioning a lot about myself and exactly why certain aspects of our relationship were like they were. I think those are really important questions to ask yourself but at the same time, it's very easy to find answers that turn back in on yourself and lead to serious problems with your self-esteem or feeling that there is something wrong or bad about you because of what's gone on. There isn't. You've done the best you could at the time and being able to look back and reflect with compassion for me is the only way I can let go of the anger and hurt but still learn and not forget. But this is a really slow and precarious path. It is hard. Personally, for me and my relationship it was about me not actually wanting to take responsibility for myself and my own life and standing up for what I really felt and wanted - apart from the "usual" stuff like fearing being alone, the loss etc. There is a lot comfortable and familiar with how things were and the patterns - we'd both created a relationship where real intimacy was not really possible because we were both afraid of it deep down - a lot of fear over many things actually. The porn for me was the tool I used to help keep things at arm's length, not lose the good things we had and help keep my head buried in the sand not knowing what to do or how to cope (and making things much worse in doing so, a vicious circle). This I am still learning intellectually but coping emotionally is different level.

It sounds like your husband still needs a lot of help and isn't really recovering at all if he's still using porn and has gone back to the same old behaviours of lying about it and covering it up. He needs more help and until he stops completely and starts honestly being able to work at things then I can appreciate that you must feel horribly stuck and unable to move forward. That's on him though, not you. I've felt at points with my wife's affair denial that the only way I can get her to confront it would be to leave her but then that means losing a precious person I love from my life, so becomes self-defeating and completely stuck. Having the other person really empathise somehow is key for me but so very hard and you cannot force or control other people into doing it.

Regarding the enabling part, I don't know what to say really - again, please just have compassion with yourself. Yes, it takes two of you to make a relationship and you might identify certain things that you can do differently - this is true of everyone and all relationships - but ultimately I think he has to own his problems and stop. The old patterns and behaviours you both use don't work and need to change. The reasons why you tolerated it etc. are more about you and understanding yourself better but please do not blame yourself for his actions at all - he must take responsibility for those.

It sounds really hard for you and I hope you can get the help you need - best wishes and peace.

 

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Hi Alys 

My husband has had a porn addiction for 20 years. Sometimes I would challenge it then tolerate it or be in denial. I told myself (and he told me) that it was getting better and that  all men struggle with this. This was a mistake because it escalated in the last two years to live webcams, interactive cams and sex chats. He had even begun to look at local hook up sites and search for prostitutes sending a photo to someone. His risky, damaging and selfish behaviour has shocked me to the core. It all came out before this progressed to meeting people in person (although he said he'd drawn the line there) due to an incident I won't go into. He was very reluctant to disclose but I hope that all has been disclosed. 

Like you, I have looked back with regret on my tolerance and lack of healthy boundaries. My self-care has been poor so I know that I must be try and be compassionate to myself now. Hindsight was not mine to have and I acted in the only way I knew at the time. I can't undo this but I can look at how I move forward. 

The only recent but growing support in the U.K., which is dwarfed by the support in the USA, is a indication that we didn't have the understanding and support that we needed. There is so much shame around this area which makes it difficult to ask and find help for both addict and partners. You don't know what you don't know especially if it's not available or hidden for lack of awareness. 

I am encouraged to find this website. It is clearly in early usuage given the few replies but, as a growing community, we can begin to build support within the U.K. 

I have joined a group for partners on The Naked Truth website today (via Facebook) It is targeted at porn addiction and help for addicts and the youth sector but now has a group for partners. Again it is in its infancy but that will change over time. 

You are not alone. This can feel so lonely and connecting to those who can fully empathise is important.

It's early days for us and we have started counselling which has been a relief. I am hoping I will move from a emphasis on my husband's recovery to a focus on mine as I grow less frightened.

As I said I'm early days but there are many that have gone before us. I'm grateful for that. Marsha Means is a name I could offer: she works in this area in the US. and an ex wife of a sex addict. I am encouraged by listening to a podcast she did for Blazing Grace website http://www.blazinggrace.org/blazing-grace-radio-show/)  because she sounded so whole! I feel broken so it's  important for me to see those who have gone before me who have seen such recovery. 

I am currently reading a book called 'Mending a shattered heart' edited by Stefanie Carnes which is good too. 

I understand that Paula Hall has written a book as well. 

I hope this community grows.

Alys, I just want to tell you that you are not alone and to be kind to yourself. Let's pursue all the help we can get and encourage other partners, like us, who have been devastated by this addiction. My heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for the impact this has had upon your sense of self and trust in others particularly those you love and want to trust the most. I'm on a journey too and in my best moments I can glimpse light ahead of this dark tunnel. 

K

 

 

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How do you give up, how do you kill the hope, its driving me crazy!   My life has been in turmoil for years - I love my husband but also dont like him.  I listen to his lies and fell shut out of his life.  we had our D Day about 3 yrs ago, but still he denied but I stood strong and eventually after having a visit to Paul Hall got him to look at sex addiction and he finally admitted it but would not go for treatment.  This went on for months, I tried not talking to him, gently discussing with him, telling him 'not his fault' and slowly he started to come back .. i say that because he was not present most of the time.   However tensions rose as another episode came to light.  My husband has multiple addictions so goes from Sex addiction, porn, masturbation, over working, drinking (although at this point not a lot), going to church, constantly watching same TV over and over  ..I could go on.  as his partner and wife it is very painful to see this man who has so much potential - he comes over to others as a perfect husband as he is a gentle sole but a very damaged sole.  

I eventually told him to leave and locked him out  - he came back with a friend and opened up about the porn and said he would go into counselling, he did for a while but never really seemed to engage and sadly had a car accident 2 months into it.  So I stopped work, nursed him back to health, he nearly died twice and was home for 18 months.  He joined a 12 step group just before that but hated it.  After accident he went back to work and refused to go into anymore support as he said God had paid him back for talking about his problem, he would fix himself.

 He told me he was trying, I believed at first but slowly the addictions took hold and for the next 17 mths I watched him slowly withdraw.  He had periods of depression and major isolation issues.  Our sex life was terrible, I realised i was just a fix, no foreplay, no intimacy just sex, the man I loved just did not exist.  So again I talked about his addictions , he agrees he has multiple addictions but wont discuss the sex addiction as he says he is out all day working or being with friends to keep himself occupied.  He goes out at 8am and comes back at pm most days and has only done a few hours work.  When I what he has done or where he has been he becomes defensive and them the withdraws either to bed or goes very quiet and sinks into depression.    I have no proof this time, I know he cant just stop but his refusal to discuss or get help has exasperated my feelings of despair that he many never get back to reality.    He constantly changes his mind about things and never turns up on time, wipes his computer which has a porn guard on but he still looks at things on U tube and guards his phone at all times  ...I could go on.  He says he is getting better but I know different, he has slipped back and again I know this is a reality but if he wont admit he is lying to me and himself. 

 

Things came to ahead a few months ago when I put the house up for sale, a few months before we were looking at houses in readiness of a move.  Only when we have buyer does he say he does not want to move.  I do so I stood strong and sale completes in about 2 weeks.   He blames me for not listening, being to controlling, he says he is lonely at work and all he wants to do is come home and lay on settee to watch TV.    He has got himself into debt for cars, vans, motorbikes, and thinks nothing of what he is spending.  I told him I was sick of responsibility as I pay all the bills and he is not earning enough to pay his credit on the vehicles he has bought.  Again I could go on, I cold pay off his debts and stop house sale but I knew I would be just enabling him.  If friends have problems and I go he says very nicely oh why dont you stay over - he loves me being out.  the last few months I have come home to broken bedside lamp, broken TV, scratches on dining room chair and he even told me he had a cleaner in once but could not give me any details.  House is always clean and tidy but this time all my things were put away - eg dresses that I had left hung up ready to pack for holiday, watch & perfume I had left on dresser, I suspect it was a prostitute.  He has admitted he went with prostitutes and uses porn but takes the minimalists point of all men do it.

Eventually I have decided to continue with house sale, he is not happy he says i make all the decisions and our relationship is a power struggle, it is I agree with him and his addictions.  At times he has admitted his early childhood cause the problem - he is from another country and from what he has said had a complete lack of nurturing, with strict religious boundaries but no control and lots of responsibility as he was sent away to work to support his family and siblings from age 13.  My heart goes out to him he is so damaged but he refuses to get help, he clearly states due to his pride and shame.  So we progress 2 weeks ago I told him I could not live in a marriage like this, I loved him but we are both wasting our lives.  He said I needed to accept him as he was, he loved me but needed time, again I suggested help, he refused so I stuck to my guns.

The next night he came home and said we should divorce, I am not sure if it was a ploy to get me to accept him as he is or not so I said yes I think you are right.  We have discussed financial options, we own several rental properties so one will be signed over to him as his sole residence.  I was originally going to move in with him which he was happy for me to do but have since decided I am just moving the situation so will rent a flat for now before I decide if I move away totally.   He behavior has change a little he is asking if I need help and making coffee etc but obviously failing to complete tasks.  He is polite and trying to do his own paperwork ( I usually do this for him), I am trying to arrange a removal date and he announces he is going to visit his family abroad possibly day after we move.   I tell him may move date because I may not have flat he says I should stay in his flat he will rent room.  I intend to get the flat as living with him will only put me back in the mother role. 

So I now have two weeks to wind my home up, find a flat and end my marriage -  He spoke to family last night on skype and asked me to look as his little nephew (2 yrs) wanted to see me.  I did as I love this little boy as well but much to my amazement he family are their to all waiving and saying hello....they obviously have no idea!!  So I continue with my plans.

I dont  really know what else I could do, I love this guy but hate the addict and maybe it will get him to focus on getting help, I am so confused one minute I am glad it over next I worrying about him how he will cope or if he realises what his addiction is going to do.  Then panic what he if comes back says he going to get help...what do I do...what if he doesnt???

I told my family a few weeks ago and they were very supportive and even suggested they speak with him, they told me not to rush things as he may be trying but I cant stop the clock so onward to the future we go.  Maybe we both just given up!

ps not sure if this is posted correctly as first time on site 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Hanna

My sister used to tell me that you can't work harder on someone's issues than there willing to work themselves. People have to reach a place where they want help.  That can be hard to put into practice and I know that I try to progress things faster than my husband is able. He is a recovering sex addict and lifelong football addict! He works long hours and travels away and coped with life by interspersing porn, football and volunteer work at church. He finds virtual or distant relationships so much easier and hates conflict. He let's go of friendships and I try to help him connect. 

It seems to me that you have worked your socks off! It's hard to let go of a relationship you have invested in so much.

I think it's important to try and step back and look at the progress. Is it going in the right direction sustained over time? Establish what boundaries you expect in your relationship e.g. Access to his phone. Whatever you need to establish safe boundaries. If he doesn't want to play ball and theses are non-negotiable for you then perhaps it really is time to end the relationship. That is heartbreaking but it sounds like your heart is already broken. You can't make his choices but you can make your own. 

Take good care of yourself, establish if you haven't already, a good network of trusted, non-judgemental supportive friends, read the books out there on this subject or online material (they are helping me) and, if affordable, your own counselling. You are worth the investment. 

I almost missed this post as it was under another's. Try joining the Naked Trust forum too for partners 'exxposed hearts'. 

It can fell really lonely and painful but many others are taking their own journey alongside you. It's great that you are reaching out. It's beautiful that you have such compassion and a desire to make family work. However it really does take two and you are worthy of love and effort. 

 

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Hey K65.... do you have website address for Naked Trust forum you mentioned? Just googled it but can't find anything.

Hanna my heart goes out to you I hope things work out ok, like us all you are a super strong lady even though it often doesn't feel like it 

 

 

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Hi K65

Many thanks for your kind words - Ive been flat hunting today ...he seems normal today but thats because he is looking for vehicle insurance and booking his holiday.  However he is making tea and has started to pack looks like the pressure is off him but as someone once told me - 'you can wake someone up when they are sleeping but NOT when they pretend to sleep' So onward we go and i know I have no choice but the FEAR and WORRY and PAIN is so great.   I feel so low as if I have fought a battle to no avail.   I wonder what the future holds ...I will survive I am strong but I worry so much where he is going to end up ..I cant help that and intend to have some therapy once move over .  But then I plan to move on but it drags me back what if he wants help eventually ...what will I do?  I have a good heart and i know the SA is only the symptom of the addiciton disease as he has multiple addictions but I still feel I have failed him even thought he wants the divorce and he does now seem more relaxed s perhaps it was the marriage that stopped him progressing.  Who really knows, my head spins with this thought and that all day long and I was already low due to 3 major family deaths in the last 8 months including my dear Mother so somehow I must pull myself together and realise this guy is not ready for recovery and may never be. 

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Hi Kitty 

Many thanks for your reply ...I do feel so alone and so fearful but can do nothing except be polite and move things forward ...hopefully by September I will be in new flat, he in his, house sold and start a new chapter even though I am heart broken.  I do have a good heart but i think they pick us for that but because of that heart my heart goes out to him and my worry bout his future but I cant do nothing .. I am trying to think of a parting speech that may one day resonate in his addict head but nothing comes to mind. Anyone got any ideas?

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Hi Hanna

I would suggest writing a letter that you can leave him with after talking to him. Letters are powerful and can be returned to. Also it's a good way of testing out what you want to say. 

I think that already have the words as the one who loves him. 

 

 

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Hi Kitty

 

Try this for Naked Trust partner forum: https://m.facebook.com/partnersofpornaddictsUK/

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Hi everyone and thank you for your input. 

I just want to emphasise that my partner quit porn 2 years ago and has done so successfully. I've done all the work of learning and understanding how porn addiction happens, why he was vulnerable to developing a porn addiction (attachment trauma and the death of a parent to suicide at the age of 12) and that he never learned adequate coping strategies and communication skills. I have also done everything I can to understand and empathise with his emotional need for the distraction and 'excitement' of porn and strippers around the time his addictive patterns began. So I really have tried my best to understand porn addiction in the context of his life story. I think I've done as much work as any partner could, given that we are outsiders and spectators to the lived experience of being the addict  

The problem I have is that I don't sense much empathy coming from my partner. I don't believe he's as honest or as open as I hoped he would be, although my experience is that honesty can be painful to listen to and it's hard not to react with hurt or anger.

I have a lot of trouble with the idea that sex and porn addiction isn't a judgement on the partner. I know we aren't the cause. I know that porn addiction is about the brain being conditioned to expect a reward from certain cues. But in contrast with the effect it had on me — a depressive breakdown, body dysmorphia, zero self esteem and loss of identity — it was an intensely personal experience. Feelings of rejection that went on for years that resulted in the shutting down of my sexuality, and a negativite body image that I saw as 'objective' evidence that explained it. It was all deeply personal to me. Yet the addiction theory tells us it's not personal. 

My relationship gets stuck when he says "you think it was a choice, you think I was having a great time. I wasn't." OK, that can be explained by addiction theory. I understand. But when he claims he never lost his desire for me, then why did he lose all interest in having any kind of sexual relationship with me? Because I felt invisible. In the end I would get undressed in the bathroom at night because I couldn't take his indifference to my naked body. I felt it was rejection all over again. It FELT personal. Deeply personal. 

Also, the recovery literature says (quite rightly) that we need to heal our own damage. We have that responsibility to ourselves. I get that too. But the hard part is that i'm still in a relationship with the guy who did all that, ignored me for years, sought out women or images of women as his fantasy sex objects, yet says it wasn't a reflection on me. That is so hard for me to reconcile. These days I can look in the mirror and say "wow! That's one impressive lady looking back at me". But it doesn't eliminate that awful pain of rejection. I might be 'middle aged' now but I'm also aware there would be a few men of my age who would find me attractive, and I feel so wretched because I know this is how it "should" have been. A mature man being attracted to a mature woman, not only sexually but intellectually and because they've had experience of living. But instead I ended up married to a porn addict who was masturbating to women 30 years younger than himself. And that in itself gives me the heebie jeebies. I would never be unfaithful to my husband and I don't really care about attracting other men, but how I wish my husband could have been more mature and grown up.

As a result, neither of us have matured in a psychologically healthy way. I was in my 30s when my husband became hooked on porn and since then I've gone through the peri menopause and then the menopause. I could accept myself as 'older' but being in a relationship with a man who was masturbating to images of women decades younger than himself, the natural course of things has been skewed. Also, I get fed up with being told I look young for my age and having a good figure because I don't want my value to be tied to my physical appearance. I've gone through feeling OK and positive about myself as a young woman, to feeling wretched and despairing of my body and appearance when I lost my husband to porn, and now I feel under pressure to be this "matured like a fine wine" sort of woman at an age when I want to be free of all that crap. This is how my husband's addiction has effed with my mind. 

Thanks for reading if you've got this far. 

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Hi Alys

I feel your pain! I am only 4 months post disclosures although more came up to about a week ago.

I hate the culture of objectifying women too and equating value to stereotyped ideals of beauty. I lost almost two stone since disclosure due to pure anxiety and inability to stomach food. Whilst part of me enjoyed comments of 'you look amazing' and 'yummy mummy' because of my low self esteem, I also hated the comments that seemed to value me more for being slimmer. 

For me the pain tells me something about my soul: I know the precious value of faithfulness.I prize its keeping and I grieve the loss of it. 

I hate the fact that he webcammed 18 year olds and have to deal with the disgust in that. I feel that they should have illicited the desire to protect in him not masturbate. This weighs heavily on my soul. 

What can I say? Your pain is a testimony to values you hold dear and I salute you. I hate the torturous impact of this kind of betrayal. 

I also empathise with feeling invisible too. I believe that it comes down to porn or other acting out as easy -come low maintenance attempts to gain pleasure and mock intimacy. Real relationships cost time, effort and real vulnerability. 

K

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh K65 you are so right when you say 

"For me the pain tells me something about my soul: I know the precious value of faithfulness.I prize its keeping and I grieve the loss of it."

This is the thing that keeps me locked in my sole knows I love him, my sole see his struggle and my sole knows without hope there is nothing, just emptiness and fear.   My story is above but has progressed a little - he has moved into his flat and has been obsessed with getting it just right.  I told him to take what he wants and he has been very civil but lacks total emotion - here is an example I take a phone call, my (now just about empty) house sale is stalling perhaps falling through - he is there on his computer looking at desk and book shelf for his office, after call he asks me which one do I think best!  No discussion on phone call even though if house does not go through I will house mortgage, flat mortgage ( the one he has moved to) and rent for flat that I have got in anticipation of the move - we were due to complete today but heard nothing.  However the financial worry is a welcome distraction from everything else.  Today i am going to solicitor to start separation/divorce, not sure best way to go so will take her advice. 

I did manage to have one chat with him to talk about his illness and he seemed to listen but next day it all washed over his head. My head says this marriage wont work, we have cultural differences, religious differences and I am 18yrs older than him so why does my sole make me so guilty for all this.  I think maybe he wanted to end marriage and maybe thats what pushed into the addiction but I KNOW now looking back that he had this years before I married him and at the odd times we have discussed he said he thought he just had a high sex drive.  He knows he has an illness as he has multiple addictions and knows something bad in his past has caused him to see relief in any addiction that is his choice at the time and that he uses it to get rid of his stress but wont go for help.  He says he can fix himself but I know thats really saying he (at that time) he is enjoying what he is doing.  

He says if I dont accept him as he is the marriage wont work again another manipulation so I have stood my ground and will start divorce proceedings today.   I did think about throwing him out so he gets in the real world, but my sole would not allow me to do that hence setting him up in the flat.  To be fair he has contributed to this and did do all the refurbishment 1 yr  ago ( we rented it out) he is in debt yet spending on his flat, I transferred his savings to his account so he could pay bills (6K) but he has now spent most of that, new tyres for van (didnt need), Bike insurance ( could have paid monthly), things for his flat, booked to go home on 2 Sept to see his family for 2 weeks, booked car hire for same, booked taxi to airport and even spent £300 on cleaning materials, he has no idea about financial management, so I worry but I am not going to help in when he is in debt.  I am upset because I know I have now enabled him yet again but my sole/ heart is not strong enough to throw him out with nothing as that will torture me for the rest of my life so again I feel the guilt of the enabler.  Oh how I wish I was not in this position, how do I go on, I do love him but if he does not get help there is no guarantee but why do I still have hope?

He came yesterday and I was packing the last of his things, I have been doing this in anticipation of the move and dare not wait for him to complete tasks, I came across all the books I purchase on Sex addiction so pack them also, he will find them when he unpacks his end - I do hope for his sake he will read.  The when doing his papers I found the Paula Hall leaflet, he was stood next to me so I gave it to him, to my surprise he took it and put it with his papers, he could have put in bin next to him but was this real interest or just another manipulation, who knows?

I have spoken in depth to my family,  they said give him time but the house sale does not allow that so again my sole carries the guilt.  I live in fear for me, fear for him as he really is a gentle sole and at times I look at him when he is sat alone and see the damaged little child.  He freely admits he is lonely, and does not fit in and always feels people let him down then goes back to a narcissistic child, this kills me the pain is unbearable.  Tomorrow he will come for what maybe the last time and I am going to try to give a letter but dont know what to write - I dont want to damage him anymore or feed his ego but in my heart I dont want to loose him, if only I was sure this is what he wants (the real him, not the addict) but of course I cant say that as I am doing my best at tough love saying I respect his decision to divorce - any suggestions would be helpful from everyone as its going to be the most difficult letter of my life.

I am trying to move on and have this morning have arranged to go and stay with my family just before he gets back from holiday so I am not available and have arranged to  get some counselling whilst there and will then continue via skype once I get back, that is of course assuming house sale goes through.

Now thinking about the future is full of real fear because I have asked for detachment  services - what if it does not work for me, what if he wants help, what if he comes back, what if he does not - FEAR, PAIN, DISTRESS and a broken heart.  My sole is as lost as his.  I am lost in a world of uncertainty.  A few friends I have talked to said enough, letting him have flat is too much but  I could not live with myself if I didnt so live with the enabler role again as I have a good sole and a kind heart.

I find this site very comforting and especially when I read that some husbands are getting help and do begin to understand both the addiction and effect on spouse.  I really wish you the very best and hope you all find some peace and of course a healthy life!

 

  

 

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