I thought it couldn’t be done. All those years ago when my husband first cheated (he is a sex addict) – and then last year when I found out his sobriety was a farce. I knew I loved him (as in cared about him, wanted the best for him) but I never thought I could be in love with him again.
It has been almost a year to the day that my world was shattered for the second time. But unlike the first time around, I didn’t stick my head in the sand. I didn’t expect my husband to become the man I knew he was without my support. I did everything differently.
I would suggest to anyone who is dealing with infidelity – and more specifically with addiction – to consider joining S-Anon, to getting a therapist who is trained in addiction, to telling one or two close friends who can be trusted not to judge. I suggest reading literature about being the partner of a sex addict. I also suggest putting boundaries in place to help yourself feel safe. Boundaries can include anything from insisting he get an STD check to knowing his email passwords to reviewing his progress on a regular basis. Everyone’s story is different and everyone’s triggers will be too. Once you can identify the things that take you off your path you’ll be able to set up nets to catch yourself and right your path.
Work and time, work and time, work and time.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, of course. There are still certain memories that will forever make my heart stop for a moment. Then I pull myself back into the present and take inventory of what is happening TODAY and I am able to push those painful memories away.
I am fortunate to have a husband who is a fantastic communicator and who was willing to (finally) look at the roots of his addiction which stem to his childhood abuse. He was very strong to take the steps he needed to make things right with us.
Will my trust ever be the way it was when we were newlyweds? No way. But that was an unrealistic version of trust. It was a fantasy and had no basis in reality. His trust now is earned with consistency over time.
I am in love with and respect my husband. And it feels wonderful.