The last attempt - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

Katiecrna, thank you for your input. And thank you for sharing a little of your own experience.

Our 6-month defined separation comes at the end of what will be a consecutive physical separation of 2 years at that point, and this is our 3rd separation over the past 4.5 years. The separations have in part been entirely my fault, as a result of my own inability to establish any solid, consistent recovery from sexual addiction. We haven't been physically intimate in over two years, understandably.

Thank you for your empathy for my wife, it is where it needs to be directed. I take full responsibility for all of this. We both decided to draw a line in the sand, take a period of time wherein we remain physically separated, but as a test to see where we would be at the end of 6 months--if I am able to look myself in the mirror at the end of that time and say, with absolute honesty, that I have been 100% sober during that time. How will we be able to relate to one another at the end of that time, that is the question? Do we wish to continue working on our marriage, or do we wish to move on?

I have not been able to trust myself, and trust my emotions when I have been unable to establish clear, unabashed sobriety, and so this is a time for me to be absolutely serious about getting better. To me, this is what sobriety and health means: being a one-woman man; no communication whatsoever with any other woman(text,online, email, chat), no pornography, no browsing web sites which used to be a struggle which could lead to communication/porn-Craigslist, Backpages; it also means doing the work to remain healthy: having internet accountability-where other trusted me know exactly which websites I have been to; journaling, regular counseling, staying in community, being completely honest. Honestly, it is being serious about my sanctification in this area of my life, and above reproach. It means being willing to answer any questions, and being willing to take a lie detector test at any time if it help to establish trust.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

JLD, there is some truth in what you say. Ultimately, we must meet one another's needs. I have just spent our entire marriage making sure that what I thought was my greatest need-sex, was met. So, I stole intimacy from our marriage and deprived my wife of that. It is time for me to look inwardly and focus on the essence of my wife, and admittedly, living without sex for two years, I have struggled with dwelling on whether or not I am going to be able to be attracted to my wife. It is a vicious cycle. I hope and pray, that if health truly descends into the midst of our marriage, that we both move towards each other in such a way that we both are able to experience real intimacy. I hope we can both speak to one another's needs. If, after months of real recovery, and alongside that I place my wife's needs above my own, make her life as easy as I am able, am honest, above reproach, listening to her, kind and compassionate to her, thoughtful, anticipating her needs and meeting them, all the while providing for my family, and loving and pursuing my children, if, after months of that, if there is no effect, then I will know it is time to move on, that there is too much garbage to take out. I hope that as I change, that I can see my wife move towards me physically-not to take off her clothes, but to give me an indication that she wants me to be with her, that she wants me to want her. That's all I need. I hope it's not too late.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 02:28 PM
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Re: The last attempt

Can you install blockers on your PC/tablet?

Can you only use the computer in an area where someone in your family could easily walk in on you?

Could you get rid of the smartphone; and get a simple cellphone with very limited/or no internet access?


I mean, what are you actually doing, practically to stop looking at pornography.

I mean, at one point, years ago; my husband used the JCPenney catalog (women's lingerie sections). Something, anything, but me.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

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You dragged God into this first but God had nothing to do with your betrayal of your wife and kids. I find it very interesting that a serial adulterer is now hiding behind God to make himself look good and his wife the "weaker" partner in need of help. Next, you're going to tell me you're a church-going family man or a deacon.

It's one thing to disclose; it's entirely something else to do it on bended knees. You asked for constructive criticism, well, there it is. Let's see if you have the humility to do what it takes to repair the damage you've caused or just do the bare minimum and declare that you've tried, and walk away.
becareful2, I am a Christian. I didn't "drag God into this". I am imperfect and broken. I am a struggler. I need His Grace and forgiveness, same as everyone. I acknowledge my mistakes, which have been grievous, as I have sinned against my wife and my family. Nothing can change that. I have been direct and taken responsibility for that to my wife and entire family. But I am also a beloved son of the King, despite my failures. There have been consequences which I am enduring as it pertains to my family and the brokenness there, due to my own mistakes, and daily I regret this path that I have been on. When I posted, I did so to help shed light in such a way that it aids in perspective for healing and growth. I need that. I have hope that the Lord is able to heal even this, but it will come only if I am able to honor Him every moment of every day within my marriage, something that I haven't done to this point. The covenant that was established before God between my wife and I- I smashed it. I have taken responsibility for that. The work has already begun to go down a different pathway, and to chart a different course in my own life, and, if it be His will, divorce one another and then remarry each other, establishing a new covenant between us. These posts help me to increasingly see others' perspectives, and it reveals areas where my thinking may not be where it needs to be. With an addictive mindset for so many years, the brain has to be awakened and shaken out its stupor, so I can see how my thinking is not healthy and normal. It's a process for sure.

And no, I'm not in a leadership position in church. In fact, over the past couple of years, I have not attended much at all, as it has been difficult with our current separation, very awkward. It's something I miss, and am looking forward to beginning again very soon. But my faith is not shaken, and I do trust in Him. What you say at the end of your post is a challenge which I embrace, and have already begun to do just that.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 06:10 AM
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Re: The last attempt

People never heal under a time frame, it happens when it happens. OP you have been sick for twenty years, now because you've had a come to Jesus moment you expect your wife to follow instantly? And yes, six months is instantly in the scope of a life time. Talk about arrogant expectations! You are NOT past your sins, nor are you that easily absolved of your sins. You may feel God has forgiven you but God didn't have to deal with your crap day after day, year after year, but your wife did. You have caused severe damage to your wife as a person and her life in general, she is metaphorically beaten down, she has no self worth, she has low expectations of herself and of you.

God demands total submission, you are not God OP, you have no right to demand anything. You cannot force your wife to forgive, forget and heal, or should I say change herself into what you want, and God can't do that for her either. She has evolved into who and what she is, only from within can she evolve into something different.

Honestly OP it sounds like you have traded one obsession for another. Fix yourself, prove yourself, pray that over time the people around you recognize that and can forgive you, but realize twenty years of deceit may take forty years to forgive.
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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

Cooper, I don't think you've read my responses to others who have posted in this entire thread. I KNOW I am not God. Give me a break. Don't make assertions about things which you know NOTHING about. I have not "given my wife an ultimatum", that's ridiculous. I take full responsibility for the damage I have caused. Don't think for a moment that I don't understand the amends that need to be made to my wife, to my family. I do understand the wounding that I have caused, and I pray that in time even those wounds are able to heal. I have to be a different man, which is a journey, but I am on it.

Despite those changes, I realize it may not be enough to repair the damage I have caused. My wife is in a very good place due to the tremendous amount of counseling that she has had, not only due to our marital problems, but also to overturn stones of things that occurred in her childhood and early adulthood. She has gone through much to get to the other side. As such, she has a perspective in which, after it all, she desires healing and restoration within our marriage. My addiction goes back to my pre-teen years, and existed 10 years before we met. Such an addictive mindset was already in place. In a sense, it was a silent intruder into our bedroom. Thusly, we've never been able to experience "normal" intimacy. Every day, I am beginning to see more and more how to see her through different eyes, and love her differently. As you say, there's no timetable. What we see before us is a landscape of ruin, which I caused, but we also believe that God is able to do what He said in Joel, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God." God is a God of restoration, and He is a God who pursues. My being able to love her well depends upon my absolute surrender unto Him, surrendering my sexuality to Him, and trusting Him that He will give us more than we could ever hope for. It depends upon allowing that change to occur within myself. It depends upon my being able to fully see and address the years of wounding that I have caused. And yet, even with all of that, months from now, inside the heart of my wife, it may be such that we realize that it may not be possible to move forward in health.

As far as "trading one obsession for another", I have no idea what you're talking about. If I am to heal, if God is able to heal our relationship, it will be because the Lord has worked in our midst. My faith is not a "come to Jesus moment". Understandably, my addiction these years, and how I have related to my wife have not honored God. It is in no way in keeping with His plans for faithful marriage, obviously. But I do believe in forgiveness, and I do believe that where there is confession of sin, He is faithful to forgive. That forgiveness then should motivate me to live differently and in a way in which I am able to love my wife Biblically. I want to do that, and I want that for our marriage. It is something I have not done to this point, but it is not impossible. God is able to change even a sinner like me, and He is able to transform not only me, but our marriage. I am not so arrogant to for one second obligate my wife to forgive my transgressions, or agree to remain married to me. I would understand if she chooses, later, to have us go our own ways and be friends. She has every right to do so, and I would not blame her. She has dealt with much. But when I think of marriage itself, I think that it is right for me to do whatever it takes to give it a chance, as far as it pertains to me. For me, if I perceive with absolute certainty that the heart of my wife is tender, and that she, in a healthy place, wants us to have a different and healthy marriage, which IS the case, then rather than remain in the trance of my own addiction, I must draw the line and choose to live differently. That is what I'm doing. Only He knows what the outcome will be.
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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 10:01 AM
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Re: The last attempt

71, just on a very practical note, have you and your wife sat down and made lists of what you need from each other? That way each of you could be clear on how to satisfy the other.

If you need some help with that, Elegirl has some book suggestions in her signature.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

JLD, we have done so, and my clear view of things at this point is that my wife's greatest need is to feel truly loved by me, to feel that I will be there, no matter what, for the remainder of our lives. It is difficult for her to have any belief that I am someone who will be 'that guy', when all I have done is focus on my own needs being met throughout our marriage.

I really see this as a time for me to demonstrate a different kind of love to her, one rooted in sobriety and true change. As far as my own needs are concerned, I want to experience healthy intimacy with her, which definitely contains passion and attraction. I think the only way to that is to move towards her unselfishly, and love her well, that she may hopefully respond to it. My objective right now is to love her by having integrity, maintaining absolute sobriety, and growing in my understanding of the injuries I have caused and their impact, relating to her non sexually, providing for her needs as best as I am able, listening to her, being available to her, being thoughtful, helping her with our children, pursuing them, just living in such a way that she may begin to trust me again, and be able to begin to be vulnerable with me.
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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 10:45 AM
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Re: The last attempt

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JLD, we have done so, and my clear view of things at this point is that my wife's greatest need is to feel truly loved by me, to feel that I will be there, no matter what, for the remainder of our lives. It is difficult for her to have any belief that I am someone who will be 'that guy', when all I have done is focus on my own needs being met throughout our marriage.

I really see this as a time for me to demonstrate a different kind of love to her, one rooted in sobriety and true change. As far as my own needs are concerned, I want to experience healthy intimacy with her, which definitely contains passion and attraction. I think the only way to that is to move towards her unselfishly, and love her well, that she may hopefully respond to it. My objective right now is to love her by having integrity, maintaining absolute sobriety, and growing in my understanding of the injuries I have caused and their impact, relating to her non sexually, providing for her needs as best as I am able, listening to her, being available to her, being thoughtful, helping her with our children, pursuing them, just living in such a way that she may begin to trust me again, and be able to begin to be vulnerable with me.
That is beautiful, 71.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 11:36 PM
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Re: The last attempt

What exactly have you done in the last seven days to show her that you love her, and that you are changing? Words are dirt cheap. Anybody can talk but actions are way better.
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post #26 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:48 AM
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Re: The last attempt

Ultimately, this is between you, your wife, and God.
If all 3 of you want this to work, I believe it can.

If your wife can forgive you for porn addiction and EA's, she is an amazing woman, and you should spend the rest of your life thanking her for being so wonderful and doing all in your power to never hurt her in that reguard again.

Yep, you have done a ton of damage. Guess how we know that...because you told us. If you were so cold and heartless, would you really be here, laying your soul bare to us strangers for suggestions? I think not. You know how much you have messed up, you know you have a serious addiction, and you want to successfully stop and hope to save your marriage also. These are positive things. These are efforts that you and she (by wanting to forgive) are providing something good for God to bless.

How this will all turn out is still to be determined. Continue to work hard to preserve your family, rebuild your marriage and strengthen your faith. In the end, if divorcing is the decision, at least you will be able to say how hard you tried, and hopefully learn and take those life lessons to heart and not hurt your next spouse like this. I've never dealt with addiction personally, but have watched it, and can see how hard of a struggle it is, and can only imagine what it is like to try to overcome something that has that big of a hold on you.

Consider not staying away from your place of worship anymore. Yes, I know it is uncomfortable and embarrassing. That will fade very quickly as you recommit yourself to attending worship. Plus, if you can speak to any of the leaders there, confide in them, it will give you another layer of accountability, which may really help too in avoiding relapse. Also, wouldn't it be loving if they could check on your progress occasionally, and share upbuilding verses with you? I know you have faith, but why not open yourself to as much access to help from God as you can get? That often comes from others within the congregation. Plus, I think it may also help you to realize you are not the only man of faith struggling with this!

I know at our services, pornography must be warned against at least once a month now. This is because it is an epidemic problem. Where you used to have to go search to find it (as you did as a kid) now you can summon anything and everything in a matter of seconds for free, right in the palm of your hand. What a strong tool this has proved to be to derail many faithful ones, and how many marriages and families have been devastated by it? The family unit is under attack, and lack of proper morals is at the core of most of that devastation.

When I read your opening post, I too was rubbed the wrong way by a few of the things that you said, but I also could hear that your wife isn't the only one in this relationship crying out for help. I hope you will stay with us over the next six months, and let those of us who want to, help support you in your crusade to save your marriage. I for one, hope you find success.

Ciao,

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post #27 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The last attempt

Spicy, thank you. Very kind words, and mature insight into several aspects. I appreciate the advice. I will definitely continue to visit and keep you posted. Thanks for taking the time to respond and give your input.
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post #28 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 08:43 AM
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Cool Re: The last attempt

First off, it wasn't God who led you to your addiction, it was His nemesis, Satan!

Having said that, that in no way implies that the Heavenly Father won't intervene in helping to cure your problem!

But first, you must humbly acknowledge that addiction of yours, and contritely ask God to forgive you of that and any other of your transgressions, and then willingly do whatever it takes to effect change in your life ~ and at the same time, to let your W, family, children, and community see the change in you!

If your W, perchance, cannot cope in protecting herself with her self-imposed wall of weight and social aversion, then perhaps it is time to move on!

While you may have done yourself bad in this diversion, by changing you have in effect became a new creature in Christ, and have placed your former sordid addiction of yours squarely at His feet! That is exactly where He wants them placed!

Get to your or a church of your choosing, immediately get into Christian based counseling and always know that God loves you, no matter what, and places your sin as far away from you as He possibly can!

Just trust and accept Him in His promise!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

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Last edited by arbitrator; 12-19-2016 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Edification
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post #29 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 10:06 AM
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Re: The last attempt

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First off, it wasn't God who led you to your addiction, it was His nemesis, Satan!

Having said that, that in no way implies that the Heavenly Father won't intervene in helping to cure your problem!

But first, you must humbly acknowledge that addiction of yours, and contritely ask God to forgive you of that and any other of your transgressions, and then willingly do whatever it takes to effect change in your life ~ and at the same time, to let your W, family, children, and community see the change in you!

If your W, perchance, cannot cope in protecting herself with her self-imposed wall of weight and social aversion, then perhaps it is time to move on!

While you may have done yourself bad in this diversion, by changing you have in effect became a new creature in Christ, and have placed your former sordid addiction of yours squarely at His feet! That is exactly where He wants them placed!

Get to your or a church of your choosing, immediately get into Christian based counseling and always know that God loves you, no matter what, and places your sin as far away from you as He possibly can!

Just trust and accept Him in His promise!
absolutely yes. you need accountability. join a men's group, or sexual addiction group that is christian based. do not try to go it alone.
i think you are on the right path with humility and brokeness. but, you have to keep it going and not falter, especially when things get tough.
that and prayer, prayer, prayer.
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post #30 of 40 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 09:38 AM
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Re: The last attempt

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If she took control of her diet and began to exercise consistently, doing it first for herself, but wanting me to notice, she would have me.
LOL. You see yourself as quite the prize, I see.

Quote:
I love her, but I want to WANT her as well, and in a healthy way, not the way we have related in the past. Am I being selfish? Is that too much to ask? I am very fit, and so I do not ask as one who isn't also working hard to stay that way.
And that's the story you're using hoping to get her to drop the weight? That you would need to find her attractive - purely for her HEALTH, of course - so god can fix your marriage?

It REALLY sounds more like since you can't spend your time looking at nude 22 year olds with plastic parts and 24" waists anymore, your wife is now going to be the only visual stimuli for you - so you need her to step up to the plate and make it worth your while.

Got it.

Quote:
If I am to heal, if God is able to heal our relationship, it will be because the Lord has worked in our midst.
I can't help but notice the incredible amount of hypocrisy in this thread. One minute you're talking all about divine intervention leading you to purity in your marriage, and yet, you've basically said if your wife drops the extra weight, you'd be SO there. You know, because you're fit and trim and such a prize.

Good luck to you. But after a steady diet of a sh*t sandwiches for 16 years running, don't be surprised if your wife is less than enthusiastic about your new found spirituality. Pfffft.
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