Wondering if I should try to save my marriage

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Seeking advice
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/4/2010 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been married for 14 years & have 2 kids.  8 years ago I discovered that my husband was having an affair and that he'd been cheating on me off and on for the 14 years we'd known each other.  We both went to individual counseling and marriage counseling.  It was determined that he is a sex addict and he's been attending a 12 step meeting ever since.  You'd think I'd be over this by now, but I struggle daily with anxiety that he'll cheat again.  He has broken my trust several times in the past couple years, but hasn't been unfaithful as far as I know.  He is currently working 2 jobs and taking college courses and I'm in the processing of trying to find work, so we don't have much quality time together and our financial situation isn't good.  When we have arguements we both say we're going to work on the marriage.  I start doing my part, but he just forgets about everything he's promised after a week or two.  When I bring it up he gets angry with me and starts naming off all the things he has on his plate that makes it too difficult for him to deal with this too.  I feel that our marriage is last on his priority list.  I feel sad and lonely most of the time, but I know I can't depend on anyone else to make me happy.  Lately, I've felt like just walking away, but I couldn't do that to our kids.  I feel trapped and don't know what to do.

awty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 10/4/2010 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
SA,

It's a tough one for us to answer for you, as whatever choice you make, it is you that needs to live with the consequences.

Personally, I would never have let him have a chance to cheat on me twice, let alone for 14yrs.

Sex addiction is a very difficult thing to come back from, so I am not surprised that you feel anxious that he will cheat again.

I wish for you clarity to make the right decision, and a very warm welcome to the board. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Missy Joy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/4/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I know what you are going through, though I only know of the ****ography that my husband was addicted to.  My husband is also an alcoholic.  I am so sorry that you are suffering so much because of your husband, who should be your best friend.
 
I am a Christian, and the only thing that kept me going was my faith in God - that He is all powerful and that He could change my husband.  If God allowed my husband to continue on as he was, then there was no way that I could ever change him.  So I prayed my heart out, asking God to change me and increase my faith in Him.
 
It took 21 years of prayer and suffering - until I finally realized that I had such a tremendous amount of anger and resentment in my heart towards my husband.  I realized that I had been holding in my bitterness, and it had turned into hatred.  (This was just this past April.)  I could not love my husband no matter how hard I tried.
 
So I sat him down one afternoon, and told him that "the best I feel for you is apathy."  I decided that I would stay with him (even though our 2 kids, 19 and 17, don't live with us) and I would be his cook, secretary, maid, ect.  But that I was not interested in pretending anymore that we are married.
 
I took my anger and bitterness to God, and asked Him to heal me - and for the past 5 months, He has been doing just that!  And the amazing thing is that my husband has had a complete change of character since that day.  At first he was very angry and hurt, but then he realized that I had every right to be angry and bitter.  He had been such a horrible husband.  We are now learning to be friends, and possibly soon, our separation may end. 
 
I say all of this to encourage you with hope and challenge you to be honest, even if it hurts your husband.  Wearing a mask and pretending - acting strong and patient when you are really destroyed inside - will hurt you in the long run.  Be honest with yourself and your husband, and see what happens.  I wish that I had not waited so long to get honest.
 
Also a big support for me was that I joined a Celebrate Recovery Group that meets once a week.   ( http://www.celebraterecovery.com/?page_id=7 ) It is a 12 step group to support people through addictions, depressions, and any issue you can think of.  I attended because of my depression and anger issues. 
 
Hang in there!  You are doing a very courageous thing by reaching out for support!  I am praying for you.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/4/2010 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
SA,

Good Morning and welcome to HealingWell.  Good advice from awty and I agree in the end it will be your decision on which road to take.
 
In order to survive  infidelity of any kind, it is important to  trust your feelings and intuitions. People often seek therapy asking how to deal with infidelity, but often come to realize that they already knew what to do all along, they just don't want to deal with the potentially painful result of having to act upon their gut feelings.
 
The challenge for you if you are  committed to overcoming infidelity is self-care. As the wife  of a cheater you can become so caught up in what your  husband has done or  is doing, saying and where he  is going, that you  don't attend to taking good care of yourself  emotionally and physically.  The real key to healing  from affairs, infidelity and adultery involves self-care, reaching out for help and putting you first.
 
I hope you are able to make the choice that is best for you and know that your children will be OK if you continue to love them and be there for them.
 
Gentle Hugs,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Trying to Understand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 10/4/2010 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I grappled with this dillemna myself. My ex was verbally abusive, gloried in embarrassing and belittling, criticism, demeaning, and being very disappointed in me and the kids. He did make a fantastic living, and I didn't want to deprive my kids, or make life more difficult. I always thought it was "me". And I saw divorced dads at their kids activities, new sweeties hanging all over them like teen agers. Revolting. And divorced or not, you will still have to deal with, and see the creep all the time because of the kids. At a marriage counselor, I blurted out in tears, is there any hope for this? The counselor said, only if you want it to be. I really didn't, so fed up. Had very deep depressions, no self confidence, low self-esteem. The kids needed me less, and it was a hard adjustment. But still trapped.

After 21 yrs. finally went to a lawyer and filed for divorce. By then I had one child just out of HS, and one in 11th grade. He wanted to move all of us very far away. We didn't want to go. It was my last straw, and the opportunity I had waited for.
He went, we were divorced, went thru very hard times with my then verbally abusive daughter at home. Just us two. She was relentless. Since Dad was across country, didn't have the relief of her going to Dad's for visitation every other weekend.
It might be nice to teach your husband a lesson. The cheating must unbearable.

In retrospect I realize that I could have cooperated to save the marriage. I don't think he was capable of lasting change. I just had had enough, and couldn't take any more.

Its 12 years later now. My ex remarried very soon, had a live in within months. She moved in the week my kids went out to visit. He was told not to behave that way, having another woman in the sack when the kids were there. Wanted to clobber him Married her pronto and has the wife of his dreams. What a difference between us two women.
Since having the trouble with my daughter I wasn't looking for a man. Went to 3 divorce recovery groups to keep my head on straight. Did meet a wonderful man, and am so happily married now. The kids are fine. Still subject to depressions and of course, for no reason. My husband is very supportive and takes great care of me. Life is good.

There's a lot to weigh. You've come to a good place to get support.
Good luck. Continue to post.

Seeking advice
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/5/2010 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your words of encouragement. Yesterday was just a horrible day for me, but I made it through and today is going much better :o) I just want to clarify that my husband is a wonderful man. He has never been physically or verbally abusive to me. I've not put up with him cheating. When I found out about it, he was given the choice of stopping immediatley and getting help or getting out. He chose to stop and get help. Since then he has not cheated again as far as I know. If I were to find out he did, that would be it. He has taken full responsability for his unfaithfullness and all of the problems it has caused in our relationship. I realize he has an illness that he must fight daily and that I can't fix it. It is very hard to love someone with any addiction, but sex addiction is especially difficult because it is so easy to hide from everyone around you. He kept it hidden for almost 20 years, so my fear is that he'll "fall off the wagon" and I won't know.

Kitt - I agree I need to take care of me. My husband is always telling me that too. I'm starting to realize that so much of my problem is me - not anyone else. So, I finally got up the courage to call and make an appointment with a new counselor today. I had been seeing one over the summer, but we weren't a good match because of a difference in beliefs. I'm praying that my new counselor will be a better fit and that I can finally work on the baggage I've accumulated over the years. I highly value my marriage and I'm commited to making it work, but not to the point of living in misery for the rest of my life. Also, I don't want my husband to stay with me out of obligation. We had a long talk yesterday and I laid everything out on the table. We both love each other, but we want to be happy. I agreed to go back into counseling. He'll be continuing his counseling and 12 step meetings. We both agree that our individual "junk" is having a negative affect on our marriage. I'm just not sure how to keep the marriage from dying in the mean time. Do you all think that we should persue marriage counseling at the same time as our individual?

Missy Joy - thank you for the prayers. I'll send some your way too. I keep telling myself that God has a plan in all of this. I need to stay faithful to Him. I have heard of Celebrate Recovery, but I didn't realize it was for family of addicts too. I'll check it out. Thanks!

Missy Joy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/5/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so relieved at your reply.  Things are moving along just great for you and your husband - though it is really rough right now.  Your courage and commitment are an answer to my prayer!
 
Yes, do check out Celebrate Recovery.  It is an "umbrella recovery group" that covers issues like food addiction, eating disorders, depression, anger, chemical dependency, sex addiction, same sex attraction, co-dependency, financial recovery, and now two new groups, self-injury and gambling.  It is a Christ centered recovery program, based on the 12 Steps, with biblical comparisons. 
 
It would be great if both you and your husband went together.  But if you do - from my experience, do not talk to one another on the way home!  The baggage that comes up individually in the small group sessions at the meeting is not safe to be discussed until you each have time to process it alone.  Talk about anything but what happened at the meeting!
 
As for your question about counseling as a couple - that is a very personal decision.  My husband and I never did well in counseling together.  I would do the homework and make the changes, and he wouldn't even admit that there was anything wrong with our marriage.  So if your husband is willing, you might want to give it a try.  It may depend on the counselor that you go to.
 
You are doing so well!  Keep pressing on!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/5/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
 
I am thrilled to read you are going to a therapist.  I had one that I liked but we just did not seem to get to the points and I gave up on her.  My current therapist is very good and I am happy with her so do find one that you can build a trust relationship with.  (((((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))))))
Knowing myself as I do I have the feeling that I would respond as you are if I was in your shoes. 
 
It is a good thing to know your husband is doing his best and takes responsibility for his actions recognizing he has a problem. 
 
As for couple counseling this might be a good idea to discuss with your therapist to explore your feelings about your expectations from going to counseling together.
 
I know somehow you will be OK.  You are in my daily prayers and remember to take it one step at a time. 
 
Keep on talking with us and remember we are here to support you and lift you up when you are down.
 
Gentle Hugs,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Seeking advice
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/7/2010 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my first appointment with the new counselor today and it went really well. I already feel that this will be a better match than the the last one was. I'm realizing there are a lot of "issues" I need to work on. This makes me feel afraid and overwhelmed, but I know I have to take it one day at a time and I can get better. Please keep the prayers coming. I'm already feeling the positive impact of your support.

Missy Joy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/7/2010 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh that is so great!  Thanks for the update.  I will continue to pray - and one day at a time is just the right pace. 
 
 
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
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