I can never forget the awful person that I used to be. I don’t want to ever forget it because going back to that old broken life is not an option. I see what I have done and how it is still affecting my wife. We are starting our third year on this journey of recovery. Our marriage is better than it has ever been. We have the connection that God designed us to have as husband and wife. Things are better but there are still triggers for her.
The triggers my wife experiences are when she sees a woman dressed in a manner that would have caused me to look in the past. In her mind, all it would take is for me to see that other woman and I would be right back to the addict. I know that my triggers were my stress and false beliefs. What I looked at was my maladaptive coping mechanism. Knowing this still doesn’t make her triggers any easier. It makes her feel like she’s not good enough or pretty enough. It reminds her of how I used to be.
My beautiful wife is the one making payments for my prior poor behavior now. It is not fair and I would trade the pain with her in an instant. Unfortunately that’s not how it works. All those years of lying to myself and the false thinking that I was not hurting anyone come back in an instant. I see it in the pain and trauma that my wife experiences when she is triggered. It breaks my heart to see her pain. I am in a better place now and I am able to remain in the moment and show her empathy. I love my wife and I will do what it takes to be a better husband.