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#455600 - 11/30/13 10:50 PM When is enough enough?
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
I have tried for days to compose this post in my head and I can't so I apologize up front for how disjointed it will be.

How can we, as spouses, forgive when the offenses keep piling up?

My husband was unfaithful. He lied to me for a very long time. And while his current lover is not a person, he is still not coping well and he turns to numbing agents and lies to me to cover it up. I feel betrayed again. I have tried for a long time to explain to him that my pain comes from the lies, not from his struggle, not from his process of 3 steps forward and 2 back - from the LIES.

At what point, as supporters, do we realize that what we wish for, what we want, may simply not be possible? At what point does their disease, their pain, their process stop trumping our needs and our dreams?

I have no desire to hurt him. In fact, I want to support him and I want to see him get better. I just don't think I have room for another lie in my life. I thought the end would be a big deal, a lot of drama, tears, etc. But what it feels like is I just don't want to be invested emotionally anymore. My dreams and his actions don't align anymore.

He says he has triggers. He says he can't cope with them. He can explain them and describe them to me. But inspite of all of the therapy, the support, the time, he still makes an active choice to numb himself and lie to me, fully conscious of how that will impact me. Feeling unseen and unimportant are not positive feelings for me. And each event, although further and further apart, are like holes being punched in my balloon.

Am I over-reacting? As supporters, can we detach with love and still be married? For me, that feels like giving up my dreams and my needs and I simply refuse.

I am rambling - I know. I just don't understand...

#455658 - 12/01/13 03:59 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
Susava Offline

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 11
Loc: Mississippi, USA
I am sorry you are having such a hard time. Infidelity is a truly difficult thing to get through. If it is repeated it tears at the cord the binds us together.

That being said, think about why you married, how long you have been together, and how he made you feel back then.
I think that in a lot of marriages, even ones without any survivor issues, the people involved forget why they got married and how much they like each other.

Know that you are not alone.

"Believe in someone, trust yourself."

#455671 - 12/01/13 05:18 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
remaininghopeful Offline

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
If the foundation of any relationship is trust, how can you have a good relationship if someone repeatedly lies to you?

Yes, there are reasons for the lies. And the act of lying may have started at the time of the abuse as a coping mechanism and survival tactic. And he may have no control over his compulsions and lies, even with all the help. Or it may take even more help than imagined to to reset the "lying."

And I'm writing this to myself, not really to you Esposa. You always have such great, clear, insightful sharing and advice to others. And even though I no longer want to continue in my marriage. I check back on this site all the time, and mostly to read your posts and support.

When it comes down to it is the lies that have destroyed everything. And I can't think of when things were amazing or how he make me feel back then, because looking back, I'm not sure how much was actually true. The love was, for sure, but in the middle of so many lies and so much deception, how much of my "fairy tale" romance was just a tale?

I honestly could have gotten past the infidelity and the drinking and the acting out if he had even made an attempt at real help. Because I know that's not about me. But I can't get past the discovery of all of the deep lies from the moment we met. Even if that's not about me, either, but rather about a truly damaged psyche and pathological.

I now question everything that comes out of his mouth. And rightfully so. And I can't help but think that so much of the lies were to manipulate and control, even if just to fabricate a self-image he desperately wanted to be true.

He may be the father of my child and in my life forever and he may remain the "love of my life" and I'm sure I will always care for him. But those lies are damaging and really mess with your head and that is why I am divorcing him.

Granted, his lies may be much crazier than others trying to cover disrespectful behavior and shame (lying about significant age difference, created lives that never existed, places never lived, universities never attended, jobs never had, friends that didn't exist and in full detail. And now lying about why he can't keep a job, and having a severe illness and needing surgery, as well as the continued drinking/women/out of control behavior. And worst of all, lying about getting help to try to reel me back in.)

But bottom line is lies suck. No one wants to be with a liar. There are so many who can detach with love and stay married (Iook at so many Al Anon members and those One Day at A Time type literature), but I sometimes wonder if it's because they have to. That it's their only way of having a nice life amidst all of the chaos and lies, and they feel they don't have a choice to leave the relationship (my mom, for one).

I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job of detaching. And detaching with kindness and compassion. But I wonder if it's because I actually got exhausted and sick of it and stopped caring as much. Not sure if I'm letting go of my co-dependent ways or just fell out of being in love with my husband as a reaction to of all the lies and how badly he treated me.

Sorry for making this response so much about me. I feel you. You are not over-reacting. Thing is, it seems when people are being triggered and in coping mode, they are completely selfish and are not capable of giving a shit about anyone else. I don't doubt that you are completely disregarded, hence you feeling unseen and unimportant. And I'm guessing because you've made such an effort and put his healing at the forefront of most things in your relationship, he may not even realize or understand why you'd be so upset. Because he's the one going through things.

But I'm just guessing. And projecting.

Also, you can forgive even when the offense pile up. Doesn't mean you want to continue on having your boundaries crossed and taking those offenses. I have so much forgiveness for my husband. Doesn't mean I want to continue in the relationship and certainly doesn't mean I condone his behavior, even if I understand it.

#455676 - 12/01/13 05:40 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
Frustrated Offline

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 201
Listen to : artist: a great big world song: say something.
So much pain caused by csa. Spouses have to be strong and do what they have to do. They didn't choose this life either. It's not all about the csa victim it's the spouse and children also.
I will never be safe I will never be sain I will always be weird inside I will always be lame

#455692 - 12/01/13 01:31 PM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Thanks for the replies.

I have worked very hard. Over the past 3 years, I have changed in so many ways and I am proud of myself. I am no longer the codependent I once was. What I am however, is a hopeful and compassionate person. And I do, as said above, remember all of the reasons I fell in love with him and I feel sometimes that makes me more hopeful than I safely should be.

It is not about his struggle. It is not about his recovery work - which I expect to be riddled with setbacks. It is about looking into my eyes and telling yet another lie that he knows full well will hurt me. Trust breeds intimacy - and I cannot trust him and I am mourning the loss of the fake intimacy that we once solidly had. I say fake because there were many lies before - lies of omission.

I feel like recovery from infidelity takes some perfection. Lots of work on both parts - and some perfection of honesty. And I feel like maybe he is not there yet - he is not able to be fully honest yet - and this hinders me. He often says these issues are not about me. And that boggles my mind because how can the destruction of my trust not be about me?

But I also know that triggers, fear, etc create selfishness in all humans - we go into survival mode and it is every man for themselves. I can intellectually understand that I fall away from him consciousness when that happens. I cannot emotionally understand it. Moreover, let me fall away but don't LIE about it.

We have some great therapists involved in our lives. Our marriage therapist often says that my husband has periods of detachment that are just part of who he is. And that if I can learn to accept these are inevitable, things will be better.

More rambling....

#455694 - 12/01/13 02:19 PM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3851

Glad to hear of your progress. I admire your courage and dedication to healing while be supportive but not co-dependent.

You captured something so important-when survival mode kicks in and survivors live in that state for most of their lives.

Keep going and proud of your commitment to yourself and your spouse.

#455752 - 12/02/13 03:14 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
Valkyrie Offline

Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
William Blake once said, "You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough."

Trying to quantify the unquantifiable is a worthless endeavor. I figure I will know when I know when and if it comes to that.

In the meantime, I live my life.

#455761 - 12/02/13 07:14 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
overwhelmed1975 Offline

Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Esposa, im sorry to hear you going through this. Like others have stated,your post have inspired me and helped me through the worst time of my life. Im glad YOU have improved yourself in the last three years.

Edited by overwhelmed1975 (02/01/14 12:26 AM)

#455768 - 12/02/13 10:27 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
HopeDiesLast Offline

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Actions have consequences. Lies and betrayal lead to loss of trust, loss of emotional commitment and ultimately separation. Those are the rules. I don't see how they apply to just one spouse because for the other it's a coping mechanism. My husband told me he'd leave me immediately if he found out I wasn't faithful. How would that same rule not apply to him? That said, a while back we had a big fall-out over an equally big lie that he had kept up for years. Like for you, for me it was the lie that hurt so much, much more than the behaviour itself (though I didn't like that, either). My gut reaction was that I cannot trust this guy again. I want to separate, everything was a lie. But in opposition to your husband, mine turned his life around and stopped his behaviour. I haven't caught him lying to me since. So I stayed. Trust got built again. But it is not the same anymore. It will never be the same anymore. I know why he did what he did, I know it had nothing to do with me, I know it won't happen again. And still, the innocence and sweetness that our relationship had to me despite everything, is gone. And it won't be back. If he had kept lying to me? I would have had to walk out just to keep myself intact.

Esposa, you are the only one who can know what is the best way for you. I think it takes equal strength to stay without becoming either co-dependent or completely emotionally shut-off, or to walk out and say: these are consequences of your actions, I can't deal with this anymore. What I do know is that staying and getting beaten down enough that it is easier to just go through the motions and pretend helps none of you.

#455800 - 12/03/13 01:57 AM Re: When is enough enough? [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
My therapist always tells me that we are recovering at different speeds and that inequity can be difficult.

Val - I don't believe that this is unquantifiable. In fact, I believe that there is a scale that must stay in balance for every supporter - just like for every caregiver of an ill person. We have to keep balance or else we lose ourselves. That's what I am feeling right now - like things are out of balance.

Perhaps we as supporters should be unaffected by our partners' nose dives. What about when his nose dives get in the way of things I want and need in my life?

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