Author Topic: Updates - still 'there'  (Read 2088 times)

stillme

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Updates - still 'there'
« on: May 15, 2017, 01:31:06 PM »
Well, it has been a couple of months since I posted. Things are still in limbo with my husband and I, mainly on his end. He is desperately trying to get me to stay in the marriage. Making all the wonderful promises that sound so beautiful, until it is actually time to walk them out. Then, of course, he fails tremendously. He has been porn free since d-day, just about a year now. I am amazingly proud of his ability to kick the porn habit, I applaud that he got over that hurdle.

However, I still am just not into this relationship. We did the 'hysterical bonding' thing in the beginning and I was trying so hard to help him 'beat porn' that I turned down the voice that was saying, "this is not really what I want in a marriage". Now that porn has been beat, I am still at that point of saying, "this is not what I want in a marriage". As a result, we are pretty much at an stand still. He has been sleeping on the couch for the last two months, because I am not interested in having him in my bed. But, he is fighting getting a divorce, hard. Of course, if a divorce is contested, it is going to take forever and a day. So, we are kind of existing. Being nice and kind to one another, co-parenting the children, even going places together, but I just really don't want this relationship. We went for a walk together yesterday and talked for a bit. It was a good conversation overall, but the result was the same as every other conversation, he believes this marriage can work and be great and I do not want this relationship.

I know it seems crazy, I worked so hard supporting him to help him kick the porn habit. I went through so much emotionally and I had the absolute highest of hopes for this relationship. Now that the fog of porn is gone and it is time for the 'rest of our lives' to start, I just don't want this. The imbalance is too strong and it feels too unfair. My husband is still struggling a lot with things like communication. His first response is still to run and hide instead of facing conflict head on. He doesn't see not honoring his commitments as lying. For instance, he committed to talking with me every Sunday to go over our schedule and ensure I have some time for self care. Has that happened regularly? Absolutely not. Of course, I could remind him every Sunday and he would do it. But, that isn't the type of relationship that I want. It is like that for everything he committed to, no matter how big or small. He does what I remind him or tell him to do. I was hoping that once he kicked the porn habit, he would be ready to have an adult relationship - where we could talk or go out and have fun, just enjoy life. Instead, he is just 'there'. After five years of jacking off in front of the computer, what is left is just a guy who isn't very fun or exciting or interesting to be around.

I no longer desire the parent/child dynamic that developed during his porn use. I am just so ready to start my life, "my life"; a life no longer tied to porn and lies and and all the other crap that came with it. I guess I was expecting too much. I was expecting the problem to be porn and when porn was gone, the guy I feel in love with all those years ago would be standing there and we could run off into the sunset together. That wasn't what happened. Porn is gone, but what is standing there is a guy that was heavily damaged by years of porn use. It has been just a week or so shy of one year, and there are still few signs of the husband I loved. A year ago, when we first started on this journey, I thought I could accept it. But now, I realize that the unfairness of the situation is not okay. I should not have to sacrifice any semblance of happiness just to stay true to vows, especially vows the other person violated (my husband went beyond porn, he put profiles on hook up websites, although d-day came before he could find a fuck buddy, and he went to a massage parlor and got a blow job trying to recreate shit he had seen on porn sites). He drones on and on about not wanting that life anymore and I save him from himself and he is a new man. I believe he doesn't want that life anymore, I believe there is a good chance he has completely kicked the porn habit, I believe he has made a change. That is all good, but this is not the relationship that I want. There is no joy, no fun, I don't trust him, if I don't bring things up (or get angry) he just lives life as if everything is okay.

Right now I am feeling trapped in a cycle of unfairness. I feel like I did my 'time', I supported him through the worst of his addiction. Of course now, he doesn't want to give this up. Honestly, I don't blame him. Who doesn't want a spouse that will be there for you no matter what? I guess he and I both want the same thing. He gets that with me, but I don't feel like I could ever get that with him. And yes, I have told him. And of course when I express my feelings he gets sad and weepy and plays the victim and vows to do better and be the man that I want. And that lasts until my frustration subsides, then he goes back to - just existing.

When we were in counseling they said it generally takes three to five years before trust is rebuilt in a relationship following porn addiction/sex addiction. I guess I just don't feel like spending any more time trying to 'recover' from something so incredibly stupid. I am ready to move on. Unfortunately, my husband's last promise to me is the last promise he is breaking. We both agreed I would give it a year and make a decision. I have made a decision and now he doesn't want to accept it. Unfortunately again, I live in a state where they believe marriages should be saved no matter what and contested divorces can be forced into mediation. So, I get to spend the new few months being guilted into staying. Porn addiction - the curse that just won't die.

Emerald Blue

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 07:34:20 PM »
Stillme, great to hear from you as always, but it's never a good situation to be in. Life after porn addiction is so hard, and it certainly does wreak havoc on the addict's personality. The default switch is always switched to dishonesty. They don't even see it. That's why they lie about the stupidest things that aren't even worth the lie. Sometimes it's like there's this language called Porn Addict and my brain gets so fucking tired of having to translate something akin to a foreign language, because these guys just can't be straight for once. It's hard work. As you say, porn addiction is like the curse that won't die. Even in the best, most ideal recovery stories, there's always this THING that's always always always there. I realised early on, my husband will forever be a porn addict, or a porn addict in recovery. There's no going back to a time of innocence before porn addiction happened. But the other reality is how it damages the partners. Our recovery is like repairing porcelain, the cracks and the glue are forever obvious. We're not the same. I don't think we can be.

Whatever you choose, you know in your heart what's right for you.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 09:02:13 PM »
That is a really crappy spot! I completely understand where you are at. I feel like I am in a similar place. My husband really cares for himself fist. He wants to be a more generous and thoughtful person who cares for the needs of others, it just never occurs to him to actually do it because he is so busy thinking of himself. When I point it out then he is all on board (usually) but I shouldn't have to remind him to care about me. I feel like most of our marriage the things that he has done for me or with me were things he was super into and he would have or wanted to do anyway and now we are in different placed. I am doing most the the parenting and he just wants to do his crap. Don't get me wrong. He is a good dad its just I do 90% of the work. I can tell him I would really appreciate his help when the kids act up, he will agree and say that he will help. Then five minutes later the kids will be acting up and he will just keep reading or doing whatever it is he is doing. It doesn't even occur to him that he needs to help step in and talk to the kids. Instead I have two choices, to go deal with the kids and talk to them or to tell him to, right in front of them so I am still seen as the buy guy. It didn't even occur to him to do something nice for Mother's Day. I had to yell first.

I don't know what to do. You sound certain and resolved for it to end. I envy that. I still feel like I need to stick it out yet I also don't see this part as getting any better either. I feel very stuck too.

stillme

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 07:06:11 AM »
Thanks, honestly I am not 100% confident in leaving, but I am not 100% confident in anything. I have my lists of of pros and cons and right now, divorce has more benefits than staying married at this point. The big thing for me is that, I am just tired of porn and porn addiction recovery. I never wanted it to be part of my life, I didn't consent to having it be part of my life, and it makes me angry that my husband was allowed to make such damaging choices that completely up-ended what could have been a great marriage.

We have kids and they are relatively young, so we will be a part of each other's lives for a long time to come, probably forever. But, I need a break from his baggage. It would be 100% different if he had been honest from the beginning and I had chosen to accept the good with the bad. I didn't and that act of deception is for me something that even after a year, I am not able to get past. I am REALLY big when it comes to consent, he did things to impacted my life fully, as well as the lives of our children, and he did it all without consent. His only focus for five years was satisfying his own sexual fantasies, regardless of the cost.

He now indicates he learned his lesson and he doesn't want that life. My issue is that he isn't the one who 'paid the price' for the lesson. I can not get past his need to destroy my world in order for him to find out he would really rather be with his wife than webcam girls. The other thing he readily admits is that if this was our daughter and her husband had done the same thing to her, he would tell her to leave. He doesn't want for his daughter what he did to me.

My husband did an amazing job in overcoming porn addiction, but he has done pretty much nothing when it comes to rebuilding our relationship. In the early months, I did the heavy lifting. I was the one buying the books and encouraging him to read them. He did buy some books on his own, but I have yet to see him consistently implement anything he supposedly learned. Case in point, he was writing me letters in the mornings - one for each letter of the alphabet. They were just post it notes, but they were sweet. He got to the letter "N", then - they just stopped. I sat there thinking, - why even start something this obvious if you didn't plan on finishing it? It is like he got bored and simply moved on. That was months ago and he never restarted the note writing campaign. He doesn't understand that it would have been better to not even start than to show that he can't commit to something as simple as 26 post it notes. He imploded our marriage, violated our vows, had us both spending thousands of dollars on counseling because of his porn use - and he couldn't even write 26 small notes.

I am slowly coming to terms that - this is him now. This isn't the guy he was before porn. He wasn't perfect and neither was I, but our marriage was more good than bad. I honestly can't say that is the case anymore. The only thing that has recovered since he left porn has been his parenting. He did a LOT of shitty stuff when it came to parenting when he was using porn. He wouldn't even tuck the kids in bed at night, he would send him to me so he could rush off and secretly watch porn. He didn't come to important medical appointments out of town for the kids, he used the time that I was driving them four hours away to have all day cam-to-cam sessions or sit with his dick in his hand. His guilt from that mess has led him to be a more hands on father, has led him to make mostly good decisions. The scales still aren't balanced, but I am doing only 75 - 80% of the work when I was originally doing about 99% of the work of parenting.

But, our marriage, I honestly can't say it has recovered. It 'looks' like things covered when I am willing to do the heavy lifting. If I was willing to carry the weight of this marriage on my shoulders, things would probably be pretty good. However, I am just not willing to do it. He destroyed this marriage, it is only right for him to be the one doing the heavy lifting when it comes to rebuilding it. He is either not willing or not capable of doing that. He constantly says he wants to make things right, that he loves me with all of his heart and he knows we can have a great marriage. The problem is, whenever I say - "okay, what is your plan?" - he has nothing.

I find myself fantasizing about divorce. Of course I know it wouldn't be easy to solo parent most of the time, but - I get so excited about the prospect of having every other weekend to myself. We already worked out a custody deal - he would get the kids every other weekend, major holidays, and a minimum of five weeks over the summer. I find myself grinning from ear-to-ear thinking about having two weekends every month where all I had to worry about was myself. I would finally have time to workout, to read a book for pleasure, to clean my house thoroughly, to just sit and have some peace. I dream about literally not caring if he is jacking off to porn or not, not caring about if he is managing his own triggers, not feeling triggered myself because him salivating over Victoria Secret's ads would be none of my business. No, I don't want my husband sitting around with his dick in his hand looking at the swimsuit section of the Sears catalog, I could care less where my ex-husband has his dick. I long for a time when I can close my eyes and go to sleep and not wonder or worry that he is sneaking off at 3:00 in the morning to send a dick picture to some webcam girl or wonder if he has a secret email account. I want to think about me, I want to focus on me.

I am an all or nothing sort of person. I don't want a marriage where we are married on paper, but I don't care what he does with his life and I live my life as if I am not married. I know that works for some people, but it isn't me. So, I have not been able to just completely disassociate myself from him because we are married. My daughter dances and there are some adult dancers at her studio, I absolutely shudder about the upcoming recital, because some of the outfits the adults are wearing are a little on the skimpy side. I wouldn't care if my ex-husband sat there and embarrassed himself be salivating over women half his age, I care greatly if my husband does it. I also know me, and even if he doesn't outwardly salivate, I will be thinking that internally he is turned on. That wouldn't have happened before. I wasn't a jealous person and I really didn't care if my husband acknowledged other women were beautiful, but - knowing what he was doing for five years, I can't live like this. I don't want to live like this.

So, that is why divorce is winning for me. It releases me from the obligation of 'him'. If we are going to be married, I am going to be a full partner in his life. The problem is, those things aren't reciprocal. It isn't like he is getting a full partner and I am getting a full partner. The truth is, my husband has been clueless as to how to support me. Even when I flat out tell him what I need, he fumbles at it. I can tell him that I need to communicate until I am blue in the face - whenever we have a conversation it turns into a counseling session where I am helping him, supporting him, encouraging him. I actually stopped talking to him regularly. I stepped back and realized I was getting NOTHING out of communicating with him. He recently traveled for work and when he got home (because he didn't even bring up the triggers that him traveling alone might inspire before he left) he said, "I realize it was probably hard on you when I was traveling." From there on out, for the next hour - he talked about himself. How he was proud of himself because he didn't even turn on the television and there was a massage place near the hotel and he wasn't even tempted to go and how he knows a year ago he would have gotten himself in trouble but he no longer wants that life and on and on and on and on. It was like he was expecting me to give him a cookie for not stopping and getting a blow job from a prostitute. He can acknowledge that he knew it was hard for me, but that is it. There is no conversation about me, about my healing, about what I need, nothing. Then, he wants to be patted on the back for no longer jacking off to porn. Okay, great - but where is my reward for putting up with him and all the shit that came out with d-day and supporting him through his recovery?

I know this is LONG and rambling, but it is basically to say it isn't that I don't love my husband, I still do love him greatly. But, I need more than just to love him. And yes, I believe that he loves me in his heart. But, I need more than just for him to love me. I need for him to show me love in a way that communicates love to me - and that is what he seems incapable of doing. It wasn't always like this. However, it has been a year past d-day and I am still waiting for one ounce of what I need in a marriage relationship. I am tired of feeling like a martyr and feeling as if I don't deserve some true signs of love, some peace, some compassion. I have come to terms that those things that I need, he is just no longer capable of providing.

My husband desperately wants to stay married. For him I represent safety, security, true love. He knows I know even now some of the worst things about his character, and yet I stayed. Who wouldn't want that kind of love? He knows that as he wife, I will support him even though his darkest of times. Who wouldn't want that kind of love? He knows that even when my own heart is breaking into a million pieces and I have been hurt deeper than I have ever been hurt before - I will still hold him, hug him, let him cry in my arms, wipe away his tears, and tell him he is loved no matter what. He knows just how deeply he is loved.

The problem is - I don't know those things for me. I don't know that no matter what, someone will be there to hold me and love me and meet my needs when I can't meet them myself. While he had my full support during his recovery from porn, I really didn't get support from him. I had to dig my way out of despair all by myself. When I cry, he doesn't hold me and wipe my tears away. He stands there like a deer in the headlights, then he starts with his sad face and his 'woe is me' bit and in the end, I am sitting there encouraging him - when I was the one in pain. I have told my husband how emotional and physically tired I am. This porn addiction recovery mess has taken everything out of me. It doesn't matter. No matter who clearly and plainly I tell him what I need, he just can't deliver. It ALWAYS turns into him being so sad and feeling so guilty and then I feel bad for even saying something as simple as, "I'm tired".

I am honestly starting to wonder if he is a narcissist and this is a game he is playing to ensure he never has to actually do anything for me. The rate at which the conversation always gets turned around to me supporting him and encouraging him unless I just decide to go to bitch mode is crazy. I literally started to just stop talking in an effort to save myself from becoming his personal cheerleading squad while I get zero out of any interaction. I also felt like he was becoming very manipulative. I don't like the idea of having to tell someone who supposedly loves you exactly what you need to hear, then they simply repeat the words back to you five minutes later like they are a robot or a tape player. I actually told him one time he was not allowed to use any of my words in a conversation with me - I kid you not, he fell silent. He has NOTHING to say if he couldn't simply repeat back what I had told him.

I want to be free of that. I am already doing most of the parenting, having the kids every other weekend and a few weeks in the summer would increase his parenting time, not lessen it. And, it would allow me to finally have some time for me, to heal me, to focus on me, and to love myself. 

Emerald Blue

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 09:27:14 AM »
Stillme, I think your decision is made and many of us here understand your reasons and will support you in your decision to end the marriage. You have been through such a lot, and there's only so much that any one person can deal with. When you add up the total of all your responsibilities and challenges in your life, with three young kids, you've got plenty. Dealing with the burden of someone else's porn/sex addiction is yet another demand and it takes up so much of one's emotional resources that there's nothing much left for the positive things in life. As you say, there's no fun, there's no space for you to be yourself and do the things that make life worth living. In my experience, there's no going back after porn addiction. What we had before was a porn addict who did such a good job of concealing their sexuality and maintaining a wall of secrecy whilst mimicking the good guy act. Take away the porn habit and you're still left with the mimicry even when there's no more need for it. You're actually left with someone who doesn't know how to be themselves because they don't know who they are. If you're lucky they'll work their way through it but the slightest bit of stress and they revert to their old ways of avoiding communication and even deception if they think they'll have an easier time. Even those of us who choose to stay often come up against the realisation that "recovery" doesn't necessarily mean we'll get the relationship we believed we could have. Like Aquarius and others, I recognise that state of being in limbo. I've actually had to ask myself, is this as good as it gets?

Hugs. X
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

aquarius25

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 10:06:39 AM »
Stillme, I feel like your hubby and mine are so similar in so many ways. He says all the same things. He has never relapsed. Yet still, even when I tell him, that I would like him to initiate conversation it doesn't happen. He can't even start a conversation. I have to ring it up. Usually with him saying that he was meaning to say something....right, lol. If he was meaning to bring it up then why didn't he? I can see that this recovery processes is a lot longer and more difficult that I initially thought. I think you are a smart, insightful, an amazing woman. I support you making any decision you need to make. You should just print out that last response and give it to the mediator, lol. That should end the discussion, lol.

stillme

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 11:45:43 AM »
Thanks ladies!

Yes, it is very weird as I take my life back. My husband is home 'sick' from work today. Of course, this is an incredibly busy week for me - one child is doing something everyday this week until 8 PM, I have two doctors appointments, in addition to all of the other 'normal' activities, including work. This was really the time that I needed him to step up to the plate and really pitch in. He said he would cook Tuesday and Thursday of this week to help. Well, he had to call in 'sick' to work today. He said he felt very stuffy - basically, he has a cold. That means, he won't be able to help out this week. I had to throw something on the stove for dinner as I prepare to go to my doctor's appointment, then come back and finish up with the kids, finish up work for my job, and get my daughter ready to run out the door at 5:00. I am not surprised at all, anytime he will be called upon to be an adult, he is going to come down with a 'man cold'. Meaning, if a woman or a child got the same cold, they would continue on with their normal life and just carry around some extra tissues and hand sanitizer. But, for him - he can't go to work and has to stay in bed the entire day.

If this was a couple months ago, I would have bent over backwards trying to make him comfortable as well. I would have been making him homemade soup and allowing him to complain to me about how crappy he feels and would put 1,000 more things on my plate. This time, I just looked at him and walked away. There is nothing I can do about having to cook and clean and take care of the kids while I also try to get my own health checked out. But, I don't need to parent an adult. At first I felt a bit guilty, but - I got over that quickly. It is a freaking cold and that small cold means he can no longer do the things he committed to do to help around the house while we get through this week. He will be miraculously cured as soon as everything that needs to be done is complete Sunday night. And, he won't say, "Hey, since I didn't take over dinner last week, I will do it this week." Nope.

Oh, did I mention I work full time, homeschool the kids, cook dinner Monday - Thursday (he buys food on the weekend), and keep all of the balls juggling in the air? I needed him to do a little more just for one week, and just the request alone made him come down with a 'man cold' and now he is laying on the couch as if the world is about to end.

Sigh.

Kimba

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Re: Updates - still 'there'
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 12:40:12 AM »
Divorce and separation is a horrible thing, its not for the faint hearted especially when kids are involved, I wish you strength my friend, its just sad sad sad this is a sad old world we live in now but you do whats right for you and the kids.  This is my second relationship and we have no children together but we are very intwined financially and mentally, I thought he was my soul mate, now I'm not so sure...

Take each day as it comes xoxo
Three things that cannot be long hidden
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The Truth