It’s been one year and two months since I found out about the affair. It’s been one year since I realized it was an addiction and where I played a part. It’s been one year since I joined COSA and started my own personal recovery.
It’s been 10 months since he started personal therapy, and attendance to SA meetings, and 1 month since he did his full disclosure and Step 1 of his 12 Steps.
In March, it will be one year since I decided to give it one year before making any decision to divorce or stay married, and the one-year rule has felt like a dark nightmare. I spent the year working on my own codependency, snooping addiction, rebuilding trust and emotional and physical intimacy. I focused on respecting and loving the man I married who betrayed my trust and crushed my hope, my dreams… and my world.
Nevertheless, I was doing well. My Step work was going well. I had taken on Sponsees, and my codependency was pretty much in check for the most part (i.e., I was aware of it and how to manage it, even if I wasn’t perfect). After realizing what the real problem was (my last blog touches on it – me not knowing what I wanted), I moved toward therapeutic separation with the hopes that I could give myself and my partner space to heal so that I could better assess my situation and make a more long-term decision that I wouldn’t regret later.
My partner was on board, and our therapist was ready to help us draft an agreement. It was a sad time for me as I didn’t want to be separated from my husband, nor want him to be separated from his family.
And then it happened… more disclosures. It was piecemeal. I was getting bits and pieces over the past year. Most of it I had already had a clue about. But this new information had hurt me so much I wasn’t sure I wanted the separation anymore. I wanted divorce.
The truth that came out was that he was regularly seeing prostitutes. And although he was in his recovery group, no one knew about his acting out because he was afraid to tell anyone. Even his personal therapist and sponsor. He held these dark secrets inside the past 3 years and I had no clue about any of them. I was completely in the dark.
What came out of it was not anger though. I had felt a sincere and deeply felt amount of empathy and compassion. His history and childhood was a nightmare. The fear, shame, and guilt all made sense. I could see why someone would do what he did. I could only imagine the pain he was suffering inside by living such a dark and lonely life. I could sense the immense amount of shame and guilt he had, especially since we just had a child and he was coming home to that innocence every night after being with prostitutes.
And while I didn’t hate him, nor wish any harm to him, I realized….finally… what I wanted and who I was. I am a worthwhile, deserving, beautiful woman who deserves nothing but the greatest amount of love and loyalty from my husband. My standards were too low (literally they were just “just be honest with me when you slip”. I deserved more than what I was getting, and I knew he was not capable of giving it. What I wanted wasn’t that he get better. What I wanted was out. What I wanted was for him to walk his path with his own two feet and do what he will with his life. I surrender.
I loved you… with all that was left of me. But there is no more left to give. I’m sorry.