dont know where to begin but ill start from the top.
Tragedy you mention: yes, you are right. I never thought of it that way but indeed what has happened to me and my family is a tragedy. It is not cancer or other horrible things, but it is horrible in its own right.
I am still having a hard time when my cg tells me he is not addicted to gambling. He stopped cold turkey mid july and (as far as I know) hasn’t done it since. He says his therapist said he is not addicted to gambling but addicted to lying and control – isn’t that part of the same thing? When I think of all the deception he had around the gambling for years and the subterfuge I can only think it was addiction. Whatever it is called, it was messed up and unhealthy.
The issue I am having is feeling sort of numb. My cg will try and hug and kiss me and I just pull away. I feel like I can’t trust him with my heart. I know he feels bad but I can only be where I am. I feel like if he could have fooled me for so long, how can I ever trust he wont do it again? I feel like we have covered this before here but it is different now in the sense that *I am* pulling away from him. Not chasing him to “fix” himself etc. It is more me saying (at this point) I cant do this.
I am trying to hang in there and see what happens.
Velvet you asked
“What is your husband doing now that leads you to believe he is trying to change and gain your trust?”
I have been thinking about this a lot. A few things I came up with: 1)He has been trying to change as a person with the help of his new CBT therapist. Looking at his actions and the consequences of them; having empathy for me and others. 2)He said he cried in the car yesterday because of an argument we had (everything leads back to all of this stuff). That is a big deal. He never cries. So I think that was a break thru for him. 3)He tried to stand up for me (protect me) when one of our kids said something sort-of rude to me (I didn’t think it was rude but it is something we have discussed in general – i.e.: he shouldn’t stand by silent, which has been his usual behavior, if my daughter tells me to shut up). So he spoke up and reprimanded our son when he said something off color. 4)He has been sleeping in the other room, not having relations with me for a while now (a few months?) which for a *former*sex addict you can imagine is really hard and he hasn’t complained or anything. He just says “you have every right to your space and to feel safe and secure and things will happen when we are both ready”.5)he calls me daily from his work (not cell) number so i know he is at the office and not the casino (at least when he calls).6)stupid one, but he asked me yesterday what I wanted for the holidays – sounds silly I know but he NEVER does that. Usually I buy what I want and he “gives” it to me. Yesterday he planned to go to the mall and shop for me, with out me even asking.7) he has been loading the dishwasher – yes, i know, it sounds crazy, and maybe it is just temporary, but he has been *noticing* dishes and loaded them in the dishwasher – he even turned it on a few times!
Regarding the dishes: I know you may be thinking “why is this a big deal?” but in my house, for 19 years I have done everything *EVERYTHING*. Before you feel too bad for me, I also have a house keeper 4x a week to help. We have a large home and it is way too much for me to handle. And i have also rationalized that since my husband does nothing, I deserve the help. But when the weekends are here or the housekeeper is away, everything has been my responsibility. My kids do have chores which they do, but the bulk of everything – including yard work, landscaping, fixing things in the house,taking care of our rental properties, etc has been on me. So for him to NOT leave his dish on the table, is a big deal. If he stops leaving his clothes on the floor, THAT would be something..;) (no, not joking. He leaves his clothes all over the floor every day – including underwear)
So, Im not sure if this list answers the question of what he is doing to change, but these are the things I am noticing my cg doing. He says he wants to be a new person. He does seem like he is slowly changing,
I am changing in a sense too – every day brings with it some new feelings and frustrations. Trying to claw my way out of this maze of uncertainty is a challenge. I hope we can be a”new and improved” couple – I wish we could go back to loving and trusting one another. I am not there yet. I told him: “We have fallen a long way… and we have a long road back”. I hope his patience will last and that I am able to regain loving feelings toward him. Right now, I am fine to be with him as a “friend”. Maybe sounds weird? I don’t know… just where I am.
It will take a transformation on his part – and who knows? when and if he does transform, I may not even like who he becomes… I told him that..we will have to wait and see.
I miss who I thought he was. All that is gone now. The road ahead is dark. Step carefully.
Thank you for your loving thoughts Velvet. I so wish we could all meet in person and share face to face. Your input – all the input from the GT members has helped me to step gingerly through the darkness…looking for the light…