When my husbands years of indiscretions and lies came to surface, my trust in him, in life, in marriage, even in myself was obliterated. If you read my blog you will know that I chose to stay married to my husband after the discovery, and our relationship has been surprisingly good – dare I say rewarding – over the past year. We have both done loads of therapeutic work and have made huge strides in overcoming the obstacles that got us to this place to begin with. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that rebuilding trust is happening at a staggeringly slow pace. In fact, the more time goes on, the more that I may be digressing in this area of my recovery.
I have a fear that the more sobriety days my husband has under his belt, the closer we are getting to experiencing a slip. Addicts can get comfortable in their routine and can get lazy in their diligence to their program work. They can get overconfident about the risks they can handle. How often has an alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in a year thought it was ok to go play pool at a bar…not intending to drink…thinking he can handle the temptation…only to end up in the gutter. All humans love to fool themselves…but add an addict gene in the mix and look out.
I have made a list of boundaries that my husband is happy to respect. These boundaries are in place to try to make me feel safe and eventually should lead to trusting him again. However, when I have to implement one of them I feel a multitude of unwelcome emotions. Take for instance checking his whereabouts on GPS. Here are the feelings I go through when I push the “find my iPhone” button:
– before pushing the locate button I am triggered and feeling FEAR
– as I push it I feel ANXIOUS about the results I may get (is he really at a lunch meeting…or at a strip club?)
– when the GPS shows he is where he should be I feel ANGRY that I am in a relationship where this kind of behavior is necessary
– then I move onto judging myself as WEAK that I decided to stay with a man who hurt me do deeply
– when I have to tell my husband that I looked at his whereabouts I feel SHAME that I don’t trust him
– It all culminates with a deep sense of RESENTMENT & HUMILIATION
I have not always shared with my husband when I go through this cycle of emotion. Usually when I look at the GPS (sometimes 10 times a day, sometimes once a week) he is in a safe place and I block the experience from my mind. But I will start sharing with him when I feel the need to check up on him. Together we can explore the triggers and emotions that are set forth. It is his behavior that forced me to put these safety measures in place, so he should be a part of and bear witness to the sad and unfortunate cycle of my experience.
I realize that consistency over time should start to lift some of my fears and hopefully someway, someday I will begin to trust, at least a little bit, once again.