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how to handle when your spouse relapses?

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aquarius25:
How to handle when your spouse relapses? I have been mulling this over quite a bit. He has gone almost 4 years without porn or porn subs. I feel like the past 4 years has been nothing short of a psychopathic roller-coaster of emotion. A lot of hurt but also a lot of growth on both our parts. I feel like through this experience I have become a stronger person. I used to come on here almost every day or more and I received so much support. As I healed and worked through things I noticed I would come here not as much to receive support but more to offer support to others. As life got busier I just had less and less time and honestly I just felt good living life.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I noticed certain attitudes returning. Sex became less and less frequent and when it did occur it was not good. I noticed that my husband was becoming more and more focused on himself first. This attitude was in all areas of life but most obvious during sex. It was short and mostly him getting off and pretty much nothing else, no connection and frankly no fun. I tried to tell myself he was just stressed. All the regular excuses but honestly the reality is that I knew this behavior. This is the attitude of an addict. Why has this monster returned? Why would my husband throw away 4 years of progress? Why isn't he telling me. So I waited.

 Finally, after attempting sex and realizing that PIED has returned I hit a point. I just said he needed to be honest and that I felt like he was viewing porn. He first denied it. Then admitted to not viewing porn but a few porn subs but not masturbating to them. Then he said he had been masturbating but not at the same time as viewing the subs. Every time its like he admits to a little more but is still insisting that he hasn't looked at any porn. I am less than likely to believe him. Plus there is the PIED, lol.

 So how do partners process this? It feels like we are all the way back at square one and yet it feels so different. While on the one hand I can look and say "Look how far we have come! If we did it once we can do it again!". On the other I feel like I am not the depressed small person I was before. Do I really want to spend my life dealing with this shit? I deserve more that this shit! I don't want a repeat of the past 4 years. All the hurt and garbage, no way! He is not a terrible person. He is an ok father to our kids (I am not going to say he is stellar because frankly he is self centered) but he isn't naturally mean spirited at all. He is nice. We own a business together, we have a family. Is it really worth throwing in the towel? Is there really anything better out there? These are all the questions I feel running through my mind while I put on a good face and pretend to our customers and kids that everything is fine. When we are alone I just can't bring my self to even want to talk.  I feel less concerned with how he is doing and I am less interested in him as a person, and if I am going to be real honest I am not really even attracted to him right now. That may just be the emotion and hurt but that is where I am. Where do I go from here?

Gracie:
Hey, I think we both took a break around the same time.  I do check in from time to time.  Wow, I don’t know what to say.  Only you know what your boundaries are.  But I would feel so betrayed.   And enforcing our boundaries is hard.  Especially when you work together and have the kids to home school.  Although I can say my husbands butt obsession and long hair preference was ongoing hard work for a number of years. So I would say what I saw and even now will say something if the look is on the glaze look side.  It has been 9 years since d-day.  I will post more later.

aquarius25:
Hey Gracie, thanks for the reply. Yes things have been rough here. Adding the stress of being a small business owner during this quarantine is not helping. We are talking more. He claims that he has told us everything, yada yada yada. I don't think it really matter if it is true or not, it more that I have lost interest and care to try. I am thinking I just need to give it time. I believe in not making rash decisions when your emotions are running high so I am trying to pass the days. Trying to just do my daily life and not allow my mind to wander because when that happens I just get overwhelmed and unhappy. My kids don't need a mom depressed right now. When there is nothing consistent in the world I need to be the consistency for them. So for now that is where I am at.

Me:
Hey Aquarius, I use to be on here before, our d-day is around the same time. I came back a wee while ago and started reafing again and then made a new acc as couldnt remember my old login details.

I'm so sorry to hear that things have taken a turn for the worse.
I agree with not making any decision while emotions are high, and even more so during this pandemic, especially with kids involved.

I reached the same place emotionally as you to, a few months ago. I'm not exctly happy right now but I'm not broken either, I think I just ran out of fucks to give about it anymore.

aquarius25:
Me, yes! I completely want to say there are no more fuck left to give but then I think, if that were true than it should hurt this much. Does that mean there still are a few fuck left? Ugg. I feel like it would be easier to be indifferent however for some stupid reason I just can't be. It probably because it all too fresh. Like reopening an old wound but in the process of reopening it you realize its a bit deeper now sure there's old scare tissue but there is also some new damage that is pretty serious. My husband isn't really getting it, unfortunately. Sure he says he is not looking at porn and we have gone an entire 72 hrs without new information coming to light... Is that a sign I finally have all the info now? Who would know? But he isn't really addressing his desire and plan for how to heal us. To me that is the most important part. I am not removing the thought of packing my shit and leaving until he can tell me that he has a plan for us. I am not going to make a big move like file for divorce right now but I am not removing it as an option until I see some progress in this area and the longer he waits to not address this the stronger this rout appeals to me. Am I off base in this? Just looking for outside perspective. I feel like I am too close and not sure if I am able to see the whole picture right now.

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