A pornography or sexual addict is self-absorbed and thus has little or no emotional connection with others. Living with - or having lived with - such an addict brings feelings of confusion and fear into a spouse’s life. Women who have been betrayed by their husband feel emotionally isolated and doubt their own personal worth. In fact, many suffer from symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is called betrayal trauma.
Women suffering from betrayal trauma often take extreme measures to outwardly appear perfectly in control—yet inside they really feel out of control, “crazy” and unloved. In my case, I started speaking out in public to avoid the feelings of isolation.Am I Going Crazy?
Betrayal trauma for me is most acute when I have my addicted husband in my center, rather than God. An pornography addict is unstable, unable to follow through, and in my husband's case, abusive and angry. Having a person like that in my center created chaos in my life. We moved six times in five years. The threat of him swearing or physically intimidating me through punching walls or screaming in my face was ever constant. I was constantly trying to create stability on a foundation of quicksand. Ever building, but never getting anywhere.
Then there were amazing times. Times when he was peaceful and emotionally connected. Times that I trusted him and felt safe. I chose to believe that these times were the reality of my marriage and that the chaos and abuse were just a fluke. I did not see the reality of my situation because I wanted desperately to save my family.What's Wrong With My Marriage?
I sensed that something wasn't right in my marriage from the very beginning. For the first 18 months, when I questioned my husband about his rage and abuse, he lied to me. After he told me about his pornography addiction 18 months in, he supposedly started recovery, but his abusive behaviors never stopped. When I questioned him about pornography during the "recovery" years, I was told that “Everything is OK,” in spite of the fact that there was still consistent anger and resentment.
During those five years, I felt pacified. I continued speaking about pornography addiction and my experience. Even getting to the point where my husband and I spoke together five times. But then the behaviors escalated rapidly to the point where I knew I needed to set boundaries. I thought: He’s ruining my life and our family. I feel afraid and worried.Why Am I So Confused? Why Can't I Figure Our How To Save My Marriage?
Even now, I don't know exactly what happened. I suspect that my husband lied to me many times that I don't know about. At this point, I can't trust any aspect of our relationship. I still deal with the anxiety, fear, sadness, heartache and stress of the betrayal every day. Not to mention the difficulty of being a single mom of three small children. With the betrayal comes worries about the future, worries about money, what will happen. It's extremely stressful.
I entered recovery because I desperately want to feel peace again. I want to feel safe in my life.