Reboot Nation

Reboot Nation Forum => Partners of Rebooters and Addicts => Topic started by: stillme on March 20, 2017, 07:40:28 AM

Title: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: stillme on March 20, 2017, 07:40:28 AM
So, as our year winds down since d-day and the 'big decision' is coming up, I find myself close to making the opposite decision I thought I would have. In discussing things this weekend, I found out that while my husband has kicked the porn habit, he has not yet kicked the lying habit. He continues to hide things instead of openly discussing them so we can resolve small issues like adults. He hides small issues and they become LARGE issues because he is hiding them in hopes that they go away. The latest has to do with money; hiding that he hadn't taken care of something the way that he should. As a result, a $10,000 issue has become a $25,000 issue and the only reason I got to that information was because I had to drag it out of him through a series of asking just the right, perfectly worded questions to get honest answers. I was able to step in with a solution and although I don't like it (taking my own 'nest egg' and paying off the debt he created), the issue is resolved. But again, it could have been resolved with $10,000 if my husband had been truthful in the beginning.

So, while it isn't porn, it is the same pattern that led to porn. He is overcome by even the smallest pressures of life and that leads him to burying his head in the sand or taking a small problem and allowing it to grow into a big problem. Just like with porn, if I hadn't stepped in when I did - the now larger problem could have become too large for us to climb out of.

I just can't live like this. His months of weekly counseling apparently did nothing to deal with the foundational issues that caused his porn addiction to manifest in the first place - hiding from problems, making small problems big problems by panicking or making incredibly ridiculous mistakes that cause problems to grow, actively deceiving me instead of coming to me as a partner.

I have to be on high alert at all times, ready to ask him just the 'right' question in order to tunnel my way to truth. No one is perfect and I don't ask for or 'demand' perfection from him. We all make bad decisions sometimes and we are in this relationship together, we can solve problems together. But, he hides his bad decisions and allows them to grow to become large burdens that threaten our foundations. Had I not found out about this issue when it hit $25,000 - who knows how big it would have grown. It might have wiped out our children's college funds, it might have caused us to have to wipe out all of our retirement accounts, I honestly don't know how big it could have gotten. The problem is, that is the exact same thing that happened with porn. My husband hid is problem and it grew and went from porn addiction to sex addiction. I caught him after his first trip to a massage parlor, but he admits that if I had not confronted him he doesn't know how far he would have gone, he had even looked at "hook up" sites.

I can't live in a situation where I am constantly looking over my shoulder and wondering when the next 'big thing' is going to jump out of the closet and tackle me; some secret my husband is keeping that could have been solved with very little issue and effort if we could have an adult conversation.

I wish I could say this is new, but it isn't. My husband has a history of running from small problems and allowing them to grow. I thought this was something he had overcome, but he had just gotten better at hiding it. While infidelity was always in my mind as a 'deal breaker', I found a way to morph it around in my mind because there was debate on whether porn was infidelity and even if getting a blow job at a 'massage' parlor was 'really' cheating. I found ways to forgive to keep the marriage, because I do love my husband and he is a good dad. However, my real, complete, no compromise deal breaker is lying. I told my husband that if he lied again, our marriage was required to end. He has shown that he just cannot overcome lying as a defense. That when given the option to deal with a little bit of stress by openly discussing a problem, he would rather lie and cover up the truth - regardless of the consequences for that lie.

I guess that brings my time here on the Partners forum to an end. My husband has overcome the addiction to porn use, but all the things that surround porn addiction, that make a person susceptible to porn addiction are still there. He just cannot overcome a pattern that he has held for most of his life, running from reality and hoping that ignoring issues makes them go away. I just can't continue with this as a pattern in our relationship. I have three children to raise already, I can't keep coming in and saving the day for my husband. I can't live a life in which every minute of my day is spent trying to buffer the effects of whatever bad decision my husband is making, but not disclosing.

The sad part is, he really is a great guy. Most of his deception is because he doesn't want to disappoint me, his parents, his kids, etc. But, this is not the life for me. We have been married thirteen years and I have been hoping things would get better (and thinking things had gotten better) for a long time. But, alas, we just aren't compatible at a fundamental level. My husband worked very hard to appear to be the kind of guy I wanted. He worked very hard to appear to be open and honest in communication - but he can't. It just isn't who he is. His entire family doesn't believe in open and honest communication, they never ever talk about problems and he just has not been able to overcome what he was taught to be 'normal'. We have talked for hours and hours since d-day about the importance of honesty, about how anything can be overcome if we are willing to face it, about how I have already proven that I can forgive and stay and make things work if we deal in honesty. Even with all of that, he still chose lying or ignoring reality instead of just saying, "Hey, I made a bad financial move and here is the result."

So, I wish everyone success as they move forward in rebuilding their relationships. I may pop in from time to time and hopefully offer words of encouragement. But, this appears to be the end of my partner journey.

I am glad I chose the screen name that I did, because I realize that even after this crazy journey - the thing that I value the most is that I am still me. I didn't compromise who I am at my core. I loved fully, I lived honestly and openly, and I gave this marriage my best shot. It didn't work out, but that is okay, even with the hard things associated with this road I have traveled - I am still me. I didn't lose 'me', even at my lowest points. I am proud of the way I walked my road. I am going to be starting over, on a new journey and finding my way through divorce and co-parenting and all those other things I never wanted to be a part of my life. But, even though all of that I know I will still be me.

Much love to all of you!
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: uglyducklingagain on March 20, 2017, 08:58:31 AM
Oh my stillme! I'm so terribly sorry to read this. I've always loved reading your posts. They are chock full of good information, hope and inspiration. You should be very proud of yourself. You stayed steadfast and true to yourself. Never once did you compromise your morals or principles. It's very admirable. I wish you and your family all the best in the future. Take care of you. xo
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: uglyducklingagain on March 20, 2017, 09:35:58 AM
My husband starts his therapy today. We talked a lot over the weekend about it. My biggest hope for him is that he will be completely truthful with the psychologist so that in return, he can learn to be open and honest with me. That's really all I want. I, too, hate having to second guess or question everything he says. So I totally get where you are coming from stillme. It's sad how porn overtakes these wonderful men and turns their brains to mush.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: aquarius25 on March 20, 2017, 11:11:35 AM
I think you are brave and making the right decision. It really doesn't matter in marriage what the lie is about there is not room in marriage for lying, period. Know that you have given everything to try to make this work. You have done everything you could and more! At this point you have to stick to those boundaries and put your children first. That means you are a good mother. I know that this is probably sad but I hope you can find some peace and joy in your future. Continue to keep a good attitude towards him as he is the father of your children and as a result will probably always be in your life but the financial burdens and the pattern of dishonesty is not something that any marriage can have in it. You are doing the right thing. We look forward to hearing how you are doing and there will always be a community of support for you here no matter what your relationship status is.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: AppleJack on March 20, 2017, 03:41:20 PM
I too have set strong boundaries around lying, it just can't be a part of a functional marriage, it's impossible to have intimacy and safety with someone who is dishonest, porn addiction can be overcome, but pathological lying is a whole different scenario to deal with. You are a strong woman stillme, and you say you are still you. I know you will walk the divorce and co-parenting route with the same grace and strength that you have approached this situation with. I wish you health and happiness for the future.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: Gracie on March 20, 2017, 04:49:41 PM
I know this decision was not made lightly by you.  Sometimes there are too many things and not all can be resolved.   Lying and deceit in the porn use is the main complaint for many of us as partners.  I know it was for me.  It made all those years seem like a lie.  But when the lies continue, there comes a time to decide.  I hate to see a marriage end, but it is the best decision for you.  Much love and good thoughts being sent your way.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: Emerald Blue on March 20, 2017, 07:52:10 PM
Stillme, you have given your relationship every chance. You gave your husband every chance. You showed tolerance, patience and understanding. You forgave what you once believed to be unforgivable. At the same time you thought of your children and have done everything possible not to disrupt their upbringing and minimise any upset and trauma they may feel. You did everything right, everything the most patient and understanding partner could ever be reasonably expected to do, and more. Your posts are an incredible testament to your tenacity and clear mindedness. I know you didn't take this decision lightly. It must be painful, but then to stay would be more so.

Lying does far more damage than what is being lied about. I think we all know that. It's part of the territory of porn addiction. I knew exactly what you mean about persisting with carefully worded questions just to eliminate any potential for any creative "interpretation" and misconstruing of your words. And for what? It never resolves anything. I have been there many times throughout the period following on from my husband's porn addiction. Sometimes I feel like I'm in limbo with him. He still reverts to type. So far, I'm not aware of any lies that would be serious enough to end our relationship but I'm always at the ready. It's no way to go on. I'm still trying to 'fix' it by role modelling openness. All we can do is live by our own values and you certainly have.

The ingrained lying is impossible to understand when you've been raised to tell the truth. I was taught that lying was wrong. I was made to be accountable for my actions if I had done wrong. My husband came from a family where lies and cover ups were just a way of life. Family secrets, not being told the truth about many, many things. Not talking about anything. Not being told about serious family matters and sweeping it all under the rug. If the truth came out it was always after the event and sugarcoated with a fiction. Nobody was allowed to talk about these family taboos but somehow it had been drilled into these kids that they don't even ask. "Don't ask, don't tell" could have been their family motto. Yet they worked so hard at keeping up appearances. The "respectable" family.

Stillme, you've given it your best shot. You've remained incredibly strong throughout the past year in spite of what you've had to face. You are still you, and that's impressive!

Good luck on your journey to a better future to you and your family. Please check in and let us know how you're doing. I have every faith in you and your future. X
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: stillme on March 21, 2017, 04:57:22 AM
Thanks so much for the support everyone. It is an extremely hard decision, because my husband has worked quite hard to overcome his porn addiction and I am amazingly proud of him. The lying, deception, hiding of information is all a part of the environment in which he was raised. If I had known how his family felt about truth and their comfort with lying in order to avoid conflict I would have probably not married him in the first place, even though he is a great guy. They are so good at covering things up and acting as if things don't happen that it is mind blowing. I come from a family that values truth, even when it hurts, so I honestly didn't realize lying to even family members was acceptable in some homes.
My husband has tried overcome this since d-day, but he just cannot seem to overcome this area. It is so ingrained in him that it is now a part of his character.
I was originally staying for the children, but after watching my husband struggling for almost a year now with something as simple as telling the truth, it feels right to leave for the children. I cannot at all risk them growing up any longer in a home where it appears telling a lie to save yourself discomfort or embarrassment is okay. I am no saint and if it were occasional lies or insignificant lies (i.e. Do I look fat?) it would be different, but my husband grew up in a home where image management was so important his mother covered up the fact that his sister was molested by a cousin, because it would make the family 'look bad'. That sister is now struggling significantly in adulthood and his mother still feels like she made the right decision. My husband clearly sees that lie was wrong, but it took him months to come to terms with the fact that he was going down the same road.
It isn't that he is not trying to change, it is that even with months of counseling, with me modeling open communication and honesty, with us speaking to our children consistently about the importance of truth - his first response when he is under one ounce of stress is to lie. The problem, of course, is that he lies extremely well. I have to listen carefully and 'feel' intuitively if something isn't right. It is exhausting. It would be almost bearable if he were a bad liar, he isn't. He is a great liar until I start to question him purposefully. Because he lies so well, he absolutely has to be the one to change his behavior.
We are being calm and rational about this. Of course, he doesn't want a divorce and he swears he will do everything in his power to change. But, of course, I have been hearing that for almost a year. He has changed, but I think we have reached the point where to change anymore would be to fundamentally change who he is as a person. I do not feel it is okay to ask someone to be something they are not. He believes that too much honesty is hurtful; that it is better to be half truthful and spare the person you love from hurt. I am a person that would rather be hurt by truth than comforted by a lie - so we have reached a point of impasse.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: Emerald Blue on March 21, 2017, 06:11:49 PM
Stillme, it's obviously a hard decision for you but you know what's right for you and how you want your children to be raised. So much of what you say about your husband and his family of origin could apply to my husband and his family of origin. As you say, outward appearances and image management is skill learned at a young age, the avoidance of conflict at all costs and lying without a second thought. It's almost as if they believe that lying is somehow the "right" thing to do.

My husband could look me in the eye and lie to me and had I not been in possession of the facts I would have fallen for his act. The evidence told me otherwise but he had his trusty standby technique of flipping the off switch on his memory. He couldn't remember doing it. On that basis, how can anything he says be relied on as truthful if he can't even remember what he's done? Has everything else he denied really just a case of his memory failing him? On that basis, how does he even know himself what he's done if he can forget so easily? Once realise the scale of someone's deception how can you ever trust them again?

I know in my heart that my husband is incapable of being honest yet I've chosen to stay in that knowledge. I don't expect him to be truthful about his sexual behavior during his porn addiction but I think there's a significant probability that he hasn't been entirely honest with me. I know I have had to think long and hard about my boundaries and what is non negotiable but I also know that enforcing my boundaries might be impossible. Still, I've chosen to stay in the belief that whatever happened during those years, his behavior won't be repeated. I know that he was primarily a porn addict because it was easy and it always there. His addiction has changed him and not for the better. I'm saddened by this. He thinks we're starting over, but it's like he still wants to 'manage' me just like he assumed he could do when he was using porn, and that includes lying in the way it has worked best for him – lies of omission.  He doesn't tell me things. "I didn't think it was important" or "I can't remember everything". Sometimes I wonder why I bothered to work so fucking hard at recovering this relationship. Obviously I have very mixed feelings. For now, as long as he commits to honesty and open communication I can commit myself to my share of the recovery work.

I know what you have had to deal with and I know that dealing with a chronic and habitual liar is very, very difficult. There is a fundamental instability in any relationship with someone who cannot be honest and truthful about the things that matter. Relationship fidelity, financial responsibility, not being true to one's word or stated beliefs. If you don't want your kids to be raised with those anti-values then you are only acting in what you feel is in their best interests, and yours.

You've obviously had to go through A LOT to reach this point, and you certainly have been though some very difficult disclosures and yet you committed to give this relationship every chance to recover. Sadly it wasn't to be. I sense that in the long term you will find stability and peace of mind that just isn't possible in your situation as it is now. I really hope that whatever happens, you and the children will have the life you deserve. X
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: stillme on March 22, 2017, 06:28:57 AM
Thanks so much EB. It is a very tough decision and honestly, I am still not confident in the decision. I absolutely hate that I am still fighting with this. I absolutely cannot stand the lying, I have always put lying in the category of being 'abusive', because the person is manipulating you as an individual and not allowing you to make freewill decisions about your life. My husband's form of lying is generally withholding information or lying by omission. The only absolute lies he told were surrounding porn, but that has been taken care of.

What I hate is how I feel in my own home. I hate that I cannot relax around him, because I never really know if he is telling me everything I need to know in order to live my life in the best way. That is so amazingly unhealthy. The problem is we don't fight, he is kind and considerate, very good with the children, etc.

It would be a thousand times easier if he would fit firmly in the category of 'bad husband'. Right now, I honestly feel that no matter what decision I walk out - I am going to regret it. If I go through with the divorce - I am going to regret it. If I stay in the marriage - I am going to regret it. I remember when I was in counseling and first brought up the idea of divorce my counselor said that unfortunately, divorce wouldn't get my husband out of my life. He is very much a hands on dad, so he will still be active in the children's life, at least multiple times per week. My kids are still at an age where it isn't as if I can go out and start dating and since I would have primary custody - I would simply be doubling my work. His 'image management' would go through the roof as every time he showed up at an event or dropped by the house to help the kids with a math problem or science project he would look like the greatest dad in the world. I, on the other hand, will look like a selfish bitch the first time I decide to try and take a solo vacation beyond the traditional visitation schedule. The other thing is that I work from home, so I already have very limited interaction with other adults. My husband is often times the only other adult I see some days.

I guess what I am coming to terms with is that none of my options are good. This is why I hate lying so much. Had I known my husband's lying problems were this severe in the beginning, I never would have dated him, let alone agreed to marry him. The first time I caught him in a significant lie was a few weeks before we got married. We talked about it, he showed true remorse, and I thought we worked through it. It wasn't until d-day, twelve years into our marriage, that I caught him in his next significant lie. It wasn't until then that I fully realized just how many lies had been told through the years. As I dug through our life, thought back through the years, examined things more closely that I came to the horrifying truth. My husband is a compulsive liar. He lies from shear habit. He is extremely good at it, there are almost no tell tell signs of lying unless you really concentrate and look for them. You will never catch him without significant work. Rarely is it an outright lie; it will be a lie of omission or the "I forgot about that" or "I don't remember that". He tells me what he thinks I want to hear, even if he knows I would rather have the truth. He will commit to something he knows he can't fulfill, simply because he 'thinks' it is better to agree and not do it and hope he doesn't get caught.

It is exhausting, but I honestly don't know if it is going to be more exhausting going it alone. Yes, he is a hands on dad, but right now being a hands on dad means being there for the good as well as the bad. When we divorce, he gets to be superhero dad - always there to help, but not the one who had to enforce bedtime, or no television during the week, or chores. He does help with the laundry and the dishes and cuts the grass and cleans the gutters. All those things become my responsibility.

Last night he asked if we would already be divorced if we didn't have children and my answer was a resounding yes. I would have gleefully singed the paperwork and headed off to start a new life somewhere, anywhere. I don't get to do that now. We are anchored together by the children. I either get him in my life washing dishes, cutting the grass, helping with raising the kids in the hard stuff as well as the good stuff, but having to put up with his lies. Or, I get him in my life in a way where he gets to fly in and out and look like a superstar parent - even though he isn't dealing with the hard things that happen throughout the day, I still have to put up with his lies, but I also have to carry an even larger burden of the household.

I am in a lose/lose situation and right now it feels overwhelmingly unfair. This is hard, very hard. I know I will get through it, but right now I feel completely over burdened.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: Emerald Blue on March 22, 2017, 11:37:34 AM
Stillme, you are truly in the most difficult situation. There's no 'win' whatever you do. Even in my own situation I have often sensed that his 'normal' is 'managing' me, responding to or anticipating what I might need then adapting his response more to appease than to genuinely address what is needed, but all the while guarding his more hidden secretive self. One of his most common responses, and often but not always in conflict, is "what am I supposed to do?" Although that sounds banal and almost a cliche, it's something I picked up on very early in our relationship. No-one on my family of origin ever used that phrase but he used a lot and I remember getting pissed at him for saying it because it was like the onus was always on me to tell him what to say or what was the "right" thing to do. Unless you've known someone who uses that line over and over, you may not pick up on it, but at this point in recovery it's standing out as a huge symptom of his "image management" and his modus operandi throughout his addiction. It's actually part of his arsenal of lying and manipulation techniques. After d day if I raised any questions about his addiction behavior, his first response would be to find out what I already knew and tailor his response accordingly. The better I became at wording my questions so as there was no room for his creative interpretation, he would either say "I have no memory of ...." or if there really was no way out he'd refuse to answer the question, storm out of the room or shout at me as if I was the one who was in the wrong. So much for his commitment to honesty. Six months after d day was probably more difficult than d day itself.

I have often asked myself why I have chosen to stay. All I can say is that for now, as long as his behavior is behind him, and as long as he works on his recovery and his share of recovering the relationship, then there's a chance of it working out. If he holds back, reverts to dishonesty and secrecy, or falls back into porn/sex addiction behaviors then it may well be over. Right now I'm working on my own "rules" and boundaries, my own hard limits, and stating clearly what they are to him. But as you know from your own situation, you are dealing with someone who confuses lying with honesty. Some people might find that idea ludicrous. "How can anyone confuse lying with being truthful?" Believe me, some people can. And do.

Very interesting what you say about deception very early in your relationship. This happened in my situation too. Had I known I would have ended our relationship before it became more serious, and I would have taken up other opportunities that were available to me then. I sacrificed those opportunities willingly to be with him. I had no idea about the deception that went on until maybe 18 months later by which time we were living together. I experienced his lying with him playing the innocent. "Trust me, I'm telling the truth" he said, over and over. Only he couldn't be trusted and he wasn't telling the truth as I later found out. When I asked him why he lied he said "Because I wanted it to be true". WTF! Actually, I think he really did believe his own lies when he told them. That's the scary thing. That episode, I believed was a one off and we'd resolved it. He knew not to lie like that again but no, all it did was teach him that honesty isn't the best policy and so he learned the value of secrecy, of omission, and that it's OK to lie if you have to because being honest is scary and more risky.

It's an awful feeling when you get so far along, and so many years have passed, and you look back and say to yourself "if I had known at the time I would have decided on another course of action entirely". And then to realise that you built your life on a lie, someone else's lies and manipulation. It's a horrible feeling. You wonder, "why did they put me through this?" There's no answer.

Stillme, my heart goes out to you right now. Whatever you choose. I really hope you can find some good support to get you through whatever you decide to do. X
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: NewBeginning on March 22, 2017, 05:06:56 PM
Stillme, I am so sorry you are facing this. It's frustrating and hurtful when someone who is supposed to love you is being immoral and deceptive. I am a recovering porn addict. I was never confronted by my wife about porn use so I technically never lied to her about it, but in my heart I was deceiving her into believing I was someone I'm not. I guess I just thought I wasn't hurting anyone, so what's the big deal? I rationalized my way into not feeling bad about it.

Now that I think about it, there were probably other things that I wasn't totally open about or didn't communicate about with my wife. And then it turned into a big ordeal because I didn't deal with it. Thinking back, a lot of times it had to do with me not wanting to communicate with my wife because I didn't want to bother her and overwhelm her. I knew she would get upset and it would turn into an argument. But in the end, since I didn't deal with whatever it was, we would get into an argument anyway. I know this isn't the same as lying about a $25,000 bill, and I'm not trying to take sides with your husband since I don't know the whole story, but maybe there is a reason behind the lying that is more than him just being mean and wanting to hurt you. I feel for you, stillme, and I know you must have a lot of patience to endure the hardship that you have.
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: Kimba on March 24, 2017, 11:19:59 PM
Very sorry Stillme this is extremely tough time for you and your family. Understanding why someone lies and can't seem to stop is something ingrained in their personality, u would think when faced with loosing THE most important thing such as ur wife and family people would change, not all seem to be able to find that capability. I wish u well for the future, it's a huge decision to move on and I'm sure u have thought long and hard but we only have one life to live so the best of luck and may happy times come ur way again xo
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: pete76 on March 26, 2017, 09:14:40 AM
Im that guy.... Reading your post hit me hard as i have been just like your husband. And i want to change. i dont know why i lie sometimes? to protect? to cover up my bad choices? to not deal with whatever the issue is??.. I KNOW she knows to, she has that amazing instinct inside her. But she continued on, WANTING to believe me. From my lies, i have, at this point lost her. She wont put up with it anymore, and i dont blame her. I know and KNEW that if i would've just told her about the demons I was/am fighting, that because of her love for me, she would have stood beside me...but i didnt. Now i sit alone at night and wallow in the hurt of hurting her. I have put my life back in Gods hands and tell myself every minute of the day to not be afraid anymore. Be it i am blessed with another chance to prove my love and regain her trust in me or someday,(as it'll be awhile before i trust myself or can recover from this love) with another woman, i will not lie. Thank you for this post as it helped to show me how powerful and hurtful my lies have been and gives me strength to completely  change so that i dont cause hurt like that again. I will pray for strength for you .
Title: Re: My 'goodbye' to RN
Post by: AnonymousAnnaXO on March 28, 2017, 09:21:19 AM
Stillme, I just got back on and saw this, and I am sorry to read about how this all turned out. You are incredibly strong, and have written some truly inspirational posts while you've been on here that have been incredibly eye-opening. I admire the strength, patience, and courage you have and gave your marriage. I am sorry to hear that he lied about a financial mistake that ended up costing you $25,000. I can't even imagine going through something like that. I think it's really good that you know that you have to take care of yourself. And either decision you make, I understand it seems not good either way.  You have done everything in your power to try to give your marriage and husband chance after chance. Lying is such a terrible trait, and I am so sorry to hear that your husband couldn't overcome that. I wish you the best moving forward in whatever decision you choose, and hope you do check back in to let us know how you're doing.