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.
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.
It seems that there is no single definition for what recovery from compulsive sexual behaviors look like. I’ve read books and blogs, listened to podcasts, completed courses, and spoken with other betrayed partners about what recovery is. Most of what I’ve read and heard seemed too lenient to me. I didn’t want to settle for “good enough”. I didn’t want to be married to a man who still struggled every day to remain faithful to me.
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.