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merging with the wall..

Written by ST on .

brick wall sm

Merging with the wall...

Ok I think I can do this… I have always kind of felt like I was on the outside looking in. Coming from a family that put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, I grew up alongside an older brother who sexually harassed me by putting very graphic letters under my pillow at night and a mom I can’t even begin to explain… my self-educated guess is that she is a narcissist. Dad was a professional aerospace engineer who was never involved with any of us because he was a workaholic who needed to steer clear from my mom. I tried to live there but I was looking for a way out.

I worked, went to school, and then I met my husband. We got married two years later after he graduated from West Point. The first year I felt so free from the situation I had been in I was just thankful to be starting my own life with my own rules. What I did not realize is that the man I married had a secret life. You probably saw this one coming huh? I had my first baby, he had his first affair. I had my second baby, he had a second affair…I also got my first std...I still didn't connect the dots.

A couple years after being in college and raising the kids (literally he was always on a ‘training’ somewhere), I got PG with our third baby while on the pill. When I told him he simply said, “we can’t have this child.” Which was a huge let down, because I needed his support (emotionally) and there was none. I had the abortion and regretted it. I felt the pressure of him pulling away but I would have swam through shark infested waters to save our relationship…it was easier to have the abortion, I thought, though I underestimated the real ‘cost.’ I was no stranger to confrontation it just never worked.

At one point, I decided to draw the line in the sand, telling him that I would have nothing to do with ‘it’ as he showed me his pictures on the PC (I had walked in on him…) he had hoped I would ‘join’ in. When I didn’t he went underground with his addiction. This was after the birth of my third baby and when I had my last child he had pretty much gotten out of the habit of hiding and I could literally walk in on him but I decided to be MIA to save my own sanity and buy some time so I could determine what to do.

We decided on therapy. Unfortunately it was not ‘trauma’ based but co-addict/codependent based treatment. His counselor ended up being an educated idiot slash/clown/ slash my wrist/…I fired him after he attempted to tell my husband that to masturbate was ok. I knew enough about sex addiction to know that was not wise counsel. Porn and masturbation go hand in hand…pun intended. He decided to start a men’s group in our home. He used the book called “EveryMan’s Battle” he also secured a very good accountability partner who joined him on this venture. I saw some real glimpses of healing. He was on cloud nine after unloading all of his revelations, and I felt like the welcome mat that he had just rubbed his feet on. It took a while for us to get anywhere in our relationship. Relapses continued...more sordid details given to me on the installment plan. Eventually, the company he worked for went bankrupt and he found another career in the software business. Our next destination was California. After moving here I was concentrating on finishing my degree…no intention of opening that ‘can of worms.’ Not until a couple of years ago did I feel that I could handle asking him the ‘question’ when was the last time you looked at porn and when was the last time you masturbated..?

Since our last conversation we have been to a Doug Weiss intensive, which was helpful (polygraphs at least provide a point of reference) but it truly is "scratching the surface" for us. As I have started Grad school this year (working on my MA in counseling...) more therapy would probably be worth investing in. My husband is SA/IA. One last comment…I saw the Barbara Steffens you tuber interview with JoAnn. I was disappointed only on one point. The fact that for some reason she held back in revealing the truth behind her own husband’s addiction…she wasn't being real, and that to me was a huge letdown. I run support groups for women who are recovering from abortion experiences and I know how helpful it is to hear another woman’s journey especially when they are further along and healing. I feel like BS is in a position to blow the lid off of this crap once and for all…I sensed that immediately when she evaded the whole idea while talking with JoAnn…just my 2cents.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." -MW (The Velveteen Rabbit) ST

The God Box: Letting Go of Partner Sexual Addiction Trauma

on .

The process of letting go of pain can seem like a daunting, if not insurmountable, task. This can be especially true for those of us who are struggling with profound emotional and psychological trauma from a partner’s compulsive sexual behavior. Yet, recently I have discovered my own secret weapon for letting go – the God box.

For more than 14 years of my marriage, the pain would not go away. I struggled to confront the stubborn unwillingness of my pain to leave my heart’s premises. Time after time, trauma after trauma, I wrestled – sometimes in an almost desperate form of mortal combat – with my pain - in the hopes that it would leave, and that my trauma would be gone forever. While I have experienced some degree of healing through the years, my journey has been excruciatingly slow, because I could not fully let go – until now.

Last week, a shift occurred in my healing journey. I placed my glossy workbook down on the couch next to me after reading my support group assignment. In accordance with my usual post workbook reading routine, I contemplated for the hundredth time how unfair it was that while my husband was the one struggling with compulsive sexual behavior, I was the one reeling from the pain of his actions – unable to free myself of it. On what should have been a nice, relaxing Friday night alone, here I was - stuck – sitting on my pumpkin-colored couch completing a workbook on healing from partner sexual addiction trauma. As I thought about my memories and triggers, I began to feel soft, little tears penetrate my stoic face. Oh, how I longed to be brave – or even not to feel anything. I thought of how nice it would be to just be numb for a while. By now my cheeks were wet. Despite my desperate attempts to stay strong, the bravery was fading, and my heart became completely undone.

To subdue the overwhelming sadness, I took one deep, slow breath, but I still couldn’t quite get relief. It was almost as if my breath was cut off by a barrage of emotions that squeezed the life-giving air back out of my lungs. I was hurting, and the pain of a thousand emotions cut deep into my heart. And then I remembered. I had just read about the God box.

Suddenly, through my tears, I felt compelled to create one. I rushed into my bedroom, searched high and low, and found a beautiful jewelry box decorated with gold, green, and lavender butterflies. It spoke to me of the metamorphosis of my soul through the healing journey and seemed appropriate for the occasion. I frantically grabbed a pen and began to write what I thought and felt. “Broken dreams”…”sadness”…”anger”…”betrayal”…these were just a few of the many words and phrases that poured out of my heart, and as I wrote each one down, I let it go. I placed the tiny pieces of paper in my God box, and, to my surprise, a sense of calm embraced me. I felt peace. It was a tangible, life-giving way to surrender my pain, my fears, and my trauma to a God who never intended for me to keep them.

It was a long time coming, but I did it. I let go of everything in my God box, and every day since, I have used my God box as my tool of surrender. Finally, I am moving into a place of freedom and peace in my healing journey. Like the butterfly, I am transforming into the beautiful, free, and graceful masterpiece of God’s hands – full of purpose and hope for the future.

A Journey From 8,868 Miles Away

Written by Jessie on .

My story begins 15 years ago, and 3 weeks into my marriage.  I was still the blushing bride.  We were young and in love and were living with my in-laws for the summer as my husband was completing his internship to be a youth pastor.  My younger sister was graduating from High School and I flew home to celebrate with her.  Upon returning my husband confessed that he had looked at pornography while I was away.  I was shattered..completely devastated.  You see, I had just lost my virginity to him three weeks prior.  I had just committed to spend the rest of my life with him.  He had just promised to love, honor, and cherish me.  I sobbed for what felt like days.  How was this love, how was this honoring me, and the biggest question of all was why am I not good enough?  I felt trapped, overwhelmed, shocked, depressed, and all alone.  I never told anyone because I was humiliated. He apologized, cried, asked for forgiveness, and promised to never do it again. 

Who is my husband?

Written by Mo on .

I've always felt like our sex life has been "off". I've also always had a feeling that my husband has an emotional chip missing - he is very self-centered and often lacks empathy for others. 

At the same time, my husband is very compassionate with animals and nature. He is incredibly loving towards me, and he's my best friend. I can trust him to say the right things, to make the right choices for us, to be a stand up guy in any situation.

So, three years ago, when I discovered he was responding to Craigslist personal ads that other men had posted, I was of course shocked and felt sick about it.

The Rollercoaster Ride of a SA Marriage.

Written by Wren on .

I am the wife of a sex addict, and I'm glad to be here. Services that specialize in spouses of SA's are too few and that is criminal in my opinion. I made discovery in October of 2010, on Halloween night, finding an enormous amount of porn on my husband's computer. Trick, no treats. This was after 8 years of sexual anorexia in my marriage. I didn't know about sex addiction at that time, I just knew about betrayel and this was it. While confronting my husband, I found out it was not only porn on the internet, but chat rooms and phone calls with other women. If you're reading this, you know what I went through. Then began a year of therapy for him, and he stayed clean for 1 1/2 years. He had a relapse, I knew the signs by that time and caught it quickly. While researching his behavior I came across SEX ADDICT on the internet. It was all there, he was a sex addict.

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