on the road of recovery

C’s Blog 3

It has been a rough week for E and I (since the past post), and I don’t know quite how to start this blog. I have had two slips in the last week with my phone. I was not taking care of myself and my recovery and ended up doing some picture searches on certain actresses. Of course, I told E and she spiraled into a real negative space and it was so tough on both of us as I caused her pain with this behavior, and seeing her in pain causes me pain. The second time she found I had searched images of another actress, this time clothed. For her this is just as bad as if I had looked up porn. I did get to the root of how I was triggered. On both occasions, E and I had been very close and intimate just before, which made the slips all the more crazy-making for E. After our intimate time, she left me feeling excruciatingly lonely when she left my house both nights. I didn't realize it was loneliness until today when E and I were talking. It all goes back to when I was an infant and my mother left me alone on a bed for a very long time, me crying myself hoarse, creating a trauma that I only recently remembered and identified. That abandonment and lonely feeling is very, very hard for me to deal with, and usually I just know I’m in pain and look for something to feel less lonely. Ironically, looking at images doesn't help, it just drives the woman I love further from me.

E’s Blog 3

This past week has been terribly hard. C had two times where he slipped in his recovery. We had put safeguards into place to make it very hard for this to happen, but he needed a new phone and we were told they could block the internet, but this turned out to not be true. We spent at least 3 hours trying to get this done over several days and it is just not something they can actually do. We are trying to find a web blocker that we can use on our own. If anyone has any ideas or ones that they have used, please share!

The slips may seem minor to some, but to me they brought back all of the pain and trauma from when C was in active addiction. For me, any behavior that is a way to lust after another woman is cheating. If C looks at women, clothed or unclothed with the intent of lusting, then he is cheating. It hurts terribly that we even have to put these safeguards into place. That they are necessary at all brings about trauma for me. We ended up having one of the worst fights we have ever had. Our fights are usually discussions that are painful. Both of us have had enough rage and anger from others in our past lives and so we actively work to not allow that into this relationship. The fight this week was so painful because C felt so much shame and pain over his behavior and I felt so much sadness, shame and anger over his behavior that we were hurting each other just being in the same space. Just looking at each other was painful. When C has slips or even when C has triggers I am brought to my knees by pain so deep that it feels like my heart has been ripped out, the intensity of the betrayal feels deadly. This fight was so sad, so terrible in its pain that we were left looking around the home we have built together, the home where we have shaped our dreams together, left just asking, “what is all of this then?”.

I know C loves me, but I want to be loved enough that I am enough for C. For myself, alone, I am enough. I like myself. I think I’m pretty great company and I can have a good time by myself, running errands or doing whatever, but if I am going to invest the time, the energy, the emotion into sharing my life with someone, then I need to be enough for that person. I don’t want a relationship where I am loved, but the other person lusts after other women. It is disrespectful and painful to both of us when this happens.

I believe that C can live a sober life. A life without slips, but I know that I have no control over whether he does this or not. I only can control myself. However, when C has slips it is a reminder that I may have to lose this man. I may have to live without him and that is something I don’t know if I am strong enough to do. It is something that makes planning a future very difficult because I look to our future and I see all the joy and happiness that his life long sobriety would bring to our lives. All the peace of mind. When he slips, it feels like that future is so very threatened. I hate this addiction. I hate that C has it and I hate that it will be something I live with in one form or another for the rest of our lives, but I love C and I know that he is capable of being the man he wants to be. I am grateful to God for continuing to show me C’s many positive qualities and for C’s willingness to be vulnerable and honest with me (even when it is painful and traumatic for both of us).