Hi. I’m Karen. I’m a betrayed partner, but I can’t tell just anyone because they might judge me- not because of what my husband did, but because I didn’t leave him. My coworker made the comment last week that if her husband ever cheated on her, she’d divorce him. That’s what most women say and I used to be one of those. My daughter says the same thing. She wouldn’t make the same choice I did even though she doesn’t judge me for it. When my coworker said that, I wanted to crawl under my desk and hide. I felt shame. I consider her a friend and some day I may tell her my story, but not yet. I feel like I have to hide a big part of my story from my family and coworkers. I even felt like I had to hide my name on this blog. My close friends know and I’m thankful I can trust them. My husband has said it would be better if he had been an alcoholic because then I would get sympathy if I told people. If he had any other compulsive behavior, it might not feel so shameful for me. But for now it is and I’ll keep my story inside my trusted circle.
I changed the title of this post and decided to take it in a different direction than originally planned. I was going to give my thoughts on why marriage shouldn’t be hard, but I realize it will be hard for some (women especially) because of belief systems. While JP has given up all social media, I still have Facebook and follow some pages that give me food for thought. I’m amazed at how differently Christians view marriage depending on denomination and cultural influences. I haven’t read very much about marriage beliefs in other religions.
No one told me I should stay. No one told me I should have sympathy. Our pastor told me I had biblical grounds for divorce. My counselor said she would help prepare me to leave. My husband’s CSAT told him I might leave and that would be a consequence of his actions. She told him that he broke it and he had to fix it.
In my therapy session last week, I said “If it wasn’t for the past, JP would be the perfect husband (now)”. My therapist said maybe this is what it took to get him there. Hmmm. I think she tries to get me to see the silver lining to this whole ordeal. I’m still not to the point of thinking this all “happened for a reason”. She is right, though, in that the last D-Day was the final straw and the catalyst to my husband’s change.
I’m wishing everyone a joyful, peaceful, healthy, and prosperous 2022. As I’m reflecting back at 2021, I realize much has changed in my life. JP and I haven’t been posting as much because, well, we’ve just been living our lives. We’ve settled into our new “normal”. Recovery work isn’t the focus anymore, but we’ve integrated healthier habits and connection into our everyday routine. We were just discussing today how long it’s been since we watched TV and we don’t miss it. We spent more time last year with our daughter and her family. I reconnected with a dear friend, had some unexpected opportunities at work, and went through the Rescued workbook with a group of friends. Last week, I added a Resources page to our site. Everything isn’t “perfect” because life never is, but I’m even more hopeful than I was at this time last year.
I finally feel at peace. I’ve been in therapy for almost two years. One year and eleven months, to be exact. When I told my trauma therapist that I feel peace and that all the mental background chatter has stopped, she said it’s like I’ve been walking on hot coals for the past two years with very intense therapy sessions and now I’ve finally stepped off.
The definition of disillusioned is “having lost faith or trust in something formerly regarded as good or valuable”. I’ve been becoming more disillusioned with several sex addiction resources over the past few months.
My husband and I had to start over with our marriage. We didn’t try to rebuild it, because the foundation was cracked and faulty. We had to tear it down and start from the beginning. Is our marriage better now? Yes. Would I go through all of this again to have a better marriage? No way. But this is where I’m at in life.
I feel like it’s been extremely beneficial for me and our marriage that my husband has included me in his recovery. JP never believed in “stay on your side of the street”. I’ve never read about or heard another wife who said it was beneficial for her addict husband to work his recovery while leaving her in the dark.
It’s been 13 months since my husband confessed the extent of acting out in his addiction. I refer to that as our “informal disclosure”. We had never heard of Formal Therapeutic Disclosure at that time and I didn’t have a therapist, so I was left to muddle through the range of emotions that followed. I thought I was going insane. I was overwhelmed with anger and sadness. I couldn’t sleep, barely ate, couldn’t concentrate, and had almost constant intrusive thoughts.