Below is a question about overcoming painful memories:
I was reading your blog. One sentence said, ” For wives this might mean to stop thinking about the past.” That is the hardest task in my recovery, I just can’t escape the triggered thoughts from bringing me or my feelings down. I have been married for 34 years and I truly loved and respected my husband during what I thought was a good marriage. Nine months after discovery I seem to be recovering fairly well from my husbands secret life of porn, dating sites and philandering because he is cooperating and doing what is right to restore the relationship, but there is one thing that I trip on. Thoughts. The problem: I can be driving or at work and have a sudden thought of what happened or how I visualize it occurred. It hurts. Driving seems to be the most frequent times it occurs. I have desperately searched for a way to recover from this bolt of pain and fear I get during those moments. I have tried ignoring the thoughts, I have tried saying to myself, ” Here is a thought, it is what happened or what I feared occurred during his wandering, it was wrong – it was a foolish act, but now it is time for that thought to leave. Recognizing the thought seems to allow the fear to be displaced better than ignoring it. But the thoughts do return time to time. This — may be the one thing that harms the betrayed one, the inability to get past triggered thoughts. I have search for the one true remedy — how to get through moments – moments when these triggered thoughts burst forth. Hiding from them doesn’t seem to lessen the thoughts from returning. The scary inner thoughts are corrosive to the foundation of marriage. What is an effective way to work through the moment, so the thoughts don’t spread or fester – leading into hours or days of darkness.
I recently received this question from a wife:
There was recently an episode last week in which my husband lied to me. We have accountability talks each week where we discuss struggles, temptations, etc.
During this time he reported that he had been tempted to look at a provocative picture online but didn’t because he loves me and knows that it is not worth it. I had a feeling to check his internet history and found that he had actually looked at the image. I am struggling with how to resolve the issue of lying and how we can work together to be more open, honest and also what we can do to set boundaries. He admitted he lied but says it is because he wanted to avoid my reaction. I was hoping you could give some godly advice.
A wife recently asks this question:
If he messes up one time it just takes my mind down the road again. That is when I do not know when to confront him or not. How long do you let a slip go? Or what level do you confront? I mean, you shouldn’t talk to him about every single slip up, right? What do you do? I guess that is my main question… when to confront and have “the conversation” and when not to?
One wife recently asked the following question:
I have been married for two years to my husband. He is a recovering alcoholic who just celebrated 6 years of sobriety. About a year into our relationship I discovered a lot of porn use and other online stuff that was extremely addictive in appearance. When I first asked him about this he lied about it, even when I could show the search history the lies continued. Eventually he admitted that he had been looking at porn, etc. We struggled for a solid year after with lies, deception, etc. Went to counseling which helped immensely in our relationship. He has been open for the past year to creating trust, so we know all our accounts, have minimized social media etc. Even though he has proved trustworthy for the past year I struggle with believing him. I don’t understand how this can be an addiction one minute and then over the next. Maybe I need to give god more credit for the transformation.
Lately we have really struggled with intimacy. I always initiate sex, he rarely wants to have sex, and emotionally he struggles with intimacy as well. I am wondering what has helped you build intimacy in your marriage that your husband was open too?
A wife e-mailed me the following question. I thought I would post it because I believe many women who come here may be feeling the same thing. My answer follows. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts.
Thank you for sharing your story. May I ask a question, if you don’t mind? What causes you to fight for your marriage? My husband has been having a problem with porn on and off all of the 10 years of our marriage. I catch him, he stops for about a year and goes back to it. At this point I no longer want my marriage. I’m tired of his lies and selfishness. He disgusts me. Just the thought of his lustful desire to look at these images causes me to have no desire for him. I have no respect for him and truly feel as if he is the worst person on earth for continuously hurting me like this. I feel only an evil, and cold hearted person does that. I don’t have a single positive feeling toward him at all at this point.