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No compassion, no nothing

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Posted

My story is so similar to others I have read here over the past few weeks. 36 years of marriage, now to discover that my husband has been visiting prostitutes and claims to have a porn addiction. These things I found out quite by chance and until I showed him my evidence he just kept denying everything. I believe this behaviour has been going on for the last 14 years at least and escalating. He is, supposedly, starting counselling this week. I say supposedly because I only have his word for it , he could tell me that's where hes going or that's where hes been, but how would I know, do I get a report card from his counsellor........ lets face it, the man is a deceitful liar who has broken my heart, destroyed our marriage and seriously damaged his relationship with one of our daughters. His actions have appalled me. The girl he has been paying recently is 4 years younger than our youngest child!

I find that I have absolutely no compassion for him whatsoever and wish only to divorce him, never to have to lay eyes on him again. He says that he is broken and broken hearted too. As far as I am concerned that's only because he got caught. 

I have read many stories on here from loving and tolerant partners going above and beyond to help their other halves overcome their addictions. But, you know, I'm not sure that I can do this. I wont ever trust him again, I don't have any respect for him, no compassion for his problem. I can't bare the sound of his voice or the sight of his face, yet I have loved him so much and for so long. I tell myself that I am 'in shock', to give myself time, to try to understand. My husband is being as nice as pie, thoughtful and helpful and kind. He wont talk to me about any of it tho. Its this giant elephant sitting in the corner.

My daughter asked how I was doing the other day, I told her my mood changed ten times a day from feeling euphoric to wanting to sit under the table and cry!

At 62 years old I am preparing to spend the rest of my life alone, and I'm sad about this. Which, from what I've read on here is not the right attitude, it should be all about him and his recovery. 

The damage is done and can't be undone and quite frankly I dont care whether he 'recovers' or not.

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Posted

I wonder if you need to allow yourself time before making any long term decisions, although whatever decision you make is yours to make and whether you stay together or decide to leave the relationship is completely your decision and their is no right or wrong decision in a situation like this. Christine

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Posted

As Christine says, there is no right or wrong in this - only what feels right and makes sense to you.  First and foremost, take care of yourself.

I am the same age as you and can understand how devastating it is to find out that your partner of so many years has been deceiving you all this time.  In my case it was 'only' a porn addiction, which started when he was a teenager.  There have been several times over the years when this has come to a head and he has told me he was giving it all up - only to go back to it at some time afterwards.  And each time he has returned to porn, the type of thing he has been viewing has become more extreme and more at odds with the kind of man he appears to be.  We had our rocky patches over the years (and looking back now, I wonder how many of those were when his porn addiction was at its worst), but despite everything I still enjoyed his company, he still made me laugh, he was a good father to our children and he was still my best friend. 

On the last occasion (18 months ago), I was where you are now, and had decided to end the marriage.  I have since changed my mind, and would like to share my reasons with you.  Firstly, I did some research into porn addiction, so that I could begin to understand why and how it comes about, and what the chances are for recovery.  I reached out to other women through on-line forums (like this one), so that I felt I had some support and that someone else understood where I was coming from.  Finally, I told my partner that if he wanted our relationship to continue, it was up to him to make the running.  Basically, I took a step back and made it clear that this was his problem and it was up to him to fix it.  His responsibility to save the marriage and not mine. He had ruined our relationship, not me.  

The turning point was when he decided to come clean about his porn habit - the kind of thing he was watching, when he watched, why he watched. I recognised how difficult this was for him to say (and how difficult it was for me to hear).  This was the first time, in more than 40 years, that we had properly talked about it.  He did some reading and spoke to some counsellors and was able after a short while to talk to me about how he was fighting this and what he was doing to stay clean.  I made the decision at that point to wait six months to decide whether to go or stay (I didn't tell him this). I decided to stay, but I now feel it is my right to ask him, at any point, if he is still clean and to expect an honest answer.  I make it clear to him that I expect him, from time to time, to let me know how he is doing, and the bottom line is that if I once again have to find out for myself that he is using again, then I leave.  If something triggers a bad memory or a reaction in me (something he says or does, something we are watching on tv, or a news item), then I tell him, and tell him exactly why it makes me feel so terrible.  He has to own this!

The best thing is that on a day-to-day basis, everything is fine, and we now have a level of honesty between us that was missing before (about everything - not just the porn).  My partner taking real and genuine responsibility for this situation has been key.  I could not have stayed if we had continued to have that elephant in the room.  The worst things are the sadness which I think will never go away and the feeling that I may never entirely trust him.  Staying has not been easy, but (for me) leaving would have been harder, and I felt I stood to lose more than I would gain.

Please give yourself time and space to process what has happened to you.  This is not 'all about him and his recovery'.  This is about what has happened to you and the impact it has had on you.  Be kind to yourself, and whether you go or stay, just make the decision that is right for you.  

 

 

 

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Posted

Janey,

My partner waited until he destroyed us before he came clean. His addiction is so powerful that he could see what he would lose but NOTHING could stop him. It had to come to this devastation before he had the power to say ‘enough is enough’.

Of course it’s about your husband ‘s  recovery. It’s heartbreaking that people are suffering this mental illness. But you have to decide whether or not you can be part of this. Your recovery is essential.

Everyone is suggesting that you take time for you. Clarity about your needs and how you feel you can honestly cope with them is so important.

Alone......it’s such a frightening word.......but is it just fear of the unknown?

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