Monday, February 27, 2012

Living in the NOW ....but scared of the FUTURE!

I'm always talking about how we need to live in the present, move forward from the past and not to predict the future.  Appreciate what we have right now.  I believe that .... I truly and whole heartedly do.  Despite the crazy life that I have chosen, I try and stay positive, I embrace the happiness that we feel now and I try to feel the love that Ed and I are working hard to regain!  I love him so very much and I do know that he loves me!

BUT . . . the other night Ed and I were talking about how scared I sometimes feel about OUR future.  I can live in the present moment but I can't ignore the idea that Ed could at some point in the future make a horribly wrong choice and lose himself in his addictions again.  It would be incredibly naive to think that it could NEVER happen.  I hope it wont ... I really, really hope it wont .... BUT it could.

I try not to think about it ... not have my thoughts spiral down into the great abyss of terror.  The thought of ever going back to that awful place we were in is enough to paralyze me.  I am a stay at home mom, I didn't make any money and Ed was spending almost everything that we had.  How was I going to take care of my family?  Was he ever going to come back to reality?  Did I even want to be in this marriage anymore?

Financial security has been and is still VERY important to me.  I don't mean I need to be rich, I just need to be able to pay the bills and live comfortably.  Not having that sense of security from my partner is scary as hell and although I wouldn't have made any different choices I don't want to EVER be in that position again.  I need to know that if the worst happens, I can handle it financially.

So, here is the moral of this story .... it is truly important to take care of and prepare myself for the future.   If something happened again that I couldn't handle, or I felt I couldn't stay with him at that time, I will be more prepared to take care of myself and my kids.  I wont feel so trapped, I wont feel so alone, I wont feel so terrified.  Making my own money and knowing that I could financially support myself will help ease that fear of the unknown.  Then and only then can I make the right choices that I need to make for me today.

This will help so much in our journey of recovery .... and more importantly, in the journey of MY recovery.  Ed and I are trying to find our way in this world right now, it's a scary road but one that I am glad that I am on.

Life is unpredictable, no matter what situation you are in.  With that said, I still believe in living for TODAY, it's really all we have ..... but do prepare yourself for the future!    

How do YOU feel about your future????   


  1. My partner, to the best of my knowledge, has been sober from sex addiction for going on a year. I don't have an exact date. We don't celebrate milestones together. And yes, I still worry about the future. I wonder if I'll ever be able to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! I do think it will get easier for us all with time . . .but, it's only natural to feel that way! How could we not??? I checked out your blog . . . it's wonderful. So honest and real .... keep up the wonderful writing and sharing you do! And remember, you can always VENT on here . . I love sharing situations together!!!!

      How long have you been together???

    2. We've been together for 5 years. It's been a rocky road.

    3. How has your relationship been over the past year? Are you feeling happier now? It is such a hard thing to have hanging there in a relationship ... even once recovery begins. I know with me, my hubby has finally been able to realize the effect all of this has had on me. BUT it still lingers there ... the doubt, the insecurity, the fear. It is tough, really tough but I do try to just live in the moment and just sit with the fact that the man that I fell in love with is here... he is back to me and our kids. His insanity is mostly gone and he is giving me the love that I need right now. The future scares the hell out of me but I do know that I am happy now ..... and right now, that is enough!

      Hang in there!!! When did you find out about it?

  2. My partner and I have been together for 6 years. We have been in recovery for 1 year. He has not acted out in one year.

    On Feb 7 he asked me to marry him and I said yes. But I have to often question my sanity for doing so. I know I love him and I want to spend my life with him but I want him the way he is now...not the addict I had for 5 years, 4 of which I had no idea that he was a SA. I have no guarantee he will not go back to his addiction...only a pill and his group stop him from making that step.

    To add tot he difficulty, both of us are working at changing behaviours...him at making better choices, me not subliminating my needs to avoid his acting out. It is very tough...who knows how it will turn out.


    1. Wow .... I am so happy that you shared this with me! None of us have a guarantee that our partners wont act out again. Wouldn't that be nice if we could look into a crystal ball and see??? I do know that real recovery is possible though. My hubby's therapist is a former sex addict himself. He went through some truly horrible times but went into recovery, hasn't acted out in 20 years, is happily married and is an inspiring person. That always gives me hope!

      I do know that there have been times when I have questioned myself for my choices. I was very young when my hubby and I started dating and then got married. So, I know some of it was just being immature and wanting to believe in happy endings. But I do know that I love my hubby ..... and I love him the way he is now and even the way he was then (we have had many amazing times along with the crappy times)! I am truly happy now, happier than we have been .... and I have learned to try and just sit in the moment and enjoy it. BUT at the same time I do prepare myself for the future. I need to do that so I can be comfortable in the fact that I WILL NOT keep going through this every few years.

      But right now, I am happy! You are happy! Enjoy that ..... who the hell knows what the future will bring. But if we worry about it too much, the present moment will pass right by you!

      Keep sharing my friend! When is your wedding?

  3. Are you for real? You really survived? I will keep reading...I've been searching for a success story! thanks for sharing!!! hope

    1. Thanks April . . . !!! And yes, I am for REAL and I have SURVIVED!!!! It surely wasn't easy ... actually it was the hardest thing that I have ever done! And there were points that I truly didn't think I would survive! But, I did and I will tell you this honestly, Ed and I are happier than we have been in a VERY long time. We are having fun together, laughing together and really connecting. It's wonderful and I swear it can happen!

      I am so grateful that you told me that!!!! THAT is the reason why I write this blog ..... I want other spouses to know that there is HOPE and that you WILL survive this ... wether or not you are able to stay together!!!

      You have brought tears to my eyes ....... THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

      Is there something that you think would help for me to write about??? I love ideas . . !!!

  4. I think you're really smart, Mishka to have a contingency plan for YOU and your kids, even though your marriage is in a great place now. When I counsel partners of sex addicts, one of my first questions is whether they're financially dependent on him. If the answer is YES, I ask them to set aside money or else secure someone who can help, should help be needed. This can be a parent, best friend, boss, etc.
    Without that in place, we are too apt to make decisions that still end up hingeing on whether he's sober or not.
    There IS much hope in recovery, but the sobering truth for partners of sex addicts, is we live a precarious life with our addict. We are TRULY examples of women who live life one day at a time. It's very Zen, actually!. It's as if their addiction forces us to live in a Zen philosophy of being in the now and not overly reliant on a known future. Ah....the laws of impermanence :-)

    You do seem to have arrived at the best solution possible for yourself: Live in the moment AND have a parachute for just-in-case.
    It really helps take the urgency out of our fairly fragile situations.
    I love the hope and help you are giving women here....please keep up your wonderful voice of truth keep it so REAL!!
    Many blessings, Lili Bee

  5. Thanks Lili!!! You are very sweet! That is what I am truly trying to do ... to give hope to others out there! It's so scary and lonely to go through this and I want others to know that you are not alone, recovery is possible and you will survive this!

    I do agree ... it is very ZEN, that is actually something that is very important to me. And in the end .... isn't much of life truly like that? Do any of us really know what tomorrow will bring? It's hard at times, but I do much better when I just focus on the now. It works for me ... but the parachute is important because it is a sucky position to be in when you feel like you don't have many choices. I definitely couldn't go through this too many times .... so the just in case helps me not stress so much in the moment.

    Keep up your wonderful counseling and support for those like me! You're wonderful !!!!!!!

  6. Hi Mishka,

    I have just found out that my husband is an addict and I feel like my entire world has come to an end.

    I am his third wife and this is the third time I have caught him ... In the past it was just "sexting" but this time he had a full blown affair that started when I was 4 months pregnant and ended 2 months ago.

    I don't know how to cope, I am so angry ... Angry that he gets the treatment and becomes the victim when I am the victim in all this and I am screaming inside and being torn apart (if I could walk through a broken glass door, my outside would then resemble how I feel inside) ... How do you come back from this!?

    I have taken my little boy (9months) and have moved out as I don't know what I want - A life with him or without him. I don't know if I can ever get past this ... In fact, let me be honest - I know I can get past it but I don't know if I can live with the debilitating fear of it happening again - That fear that guts you in the middle of the night .. I'm just not strong enough.

    Thanks for your blog - I am pleased I am not alone

    Carey (South Africa)

    1. Oh yeah ... and it's great that you wrote me all the way from South Africa!!!!!

  7. Hi Carey! Thank you for being sooooo honest and sharing!!! I truly am sorry that you are dealing with this right now, especially with a baby. Life with a new baby is tough enough and to have to deal with this on top of it .. well, it's just too much! My hubby's latest "bender" happened when I had just moved 3,000 miles away from home. I didn't know anybody and I remember feeling so alone ... and trying to keep it together for the kids (but that didn't work too well - I was a mess).

    I know how hard it is .... there are no real words for it. I learned to cope by first, my hubby committing to therapy and being honest with me. When I asked a question I needed him to be honest ... I do much better with details than with my crazy brain working the story up in my head. As incredibly tough as it is to hear details of what happened, for me him telling the whole truth takes the lying away. I can handle that .... I just can't handle lying.

    Also, he began to realize that I was a victim too. And in a big way. I read an article that proves that spouses of sex addicts suffer a sort of PTSD. So him understanding that was probably the most important. It took a while for him to really "get it" but he does and I see how it breaks his heart to think of it .. and that is imp to me. Did you read my post where my hubby talks about it? It's really honest and may help you. It's called "This is Ed".

    Also, therapy .... that was so imp. The place he goes helps both of us ... he has his therapist (who is amazing) and I have mine (his wife) but we also connect together. And they have helped us work toward an real intimacy! It's been a crazy ride!

    THe fear of it happening again is tough ... I know! But he makes me happy now, and that is what I focus on. If we decide to stay in our relationships, it is something we always have to understand. If you try and work it out .... HE has a ton of work to do to rebuild your trust, show you he LOVES you, and prove to you that he is recovered. Once he has done that you will know if you can handle it.

    My therapist says that any major decisions should wait for a year ... to give the relationship and the people time to heal. Once healing has happened than you are in a state of mind for such a huge decision. I have agreed with that strategy with my own journey .... things do get better each and every day!

    Check out this book for couples ... it helped me out sooo much:

    And for your hubby:

    Keep staying strong! You WILL survive this one way or another .... I promise!!!!

    How long have you been together? Has he acted out the whole time of your marriage?

  8. I'm totally with you on the contingency plan. My husband is a recovering porn addict and is doin the best he can to put things right. but i have come to understand that some things can never be put right. You make a choice to either manage it or walk away. Whats crappy is that either option sucks. But ja such is marriage huh...

    1. Thanks for your totally honest response .... I agree that either option really can be sucky! It's such a hard and tough road to travel ... and sometimes we just don't know what is the right choice. BUT, what I do know is as I travel this journey I have done much healing and self discovery for myself and that has been wonderful. With commitment to recovery for both of you, you can develop a wonderful relationship together .... it is so much damn work and sometimes it feels like "insanity" but really my hubby and I are more connected and honest than we ever have been. Recently I have watched so many of my friends get divorced, they just can't be honest, communicate and commit to "it" ... and that is what Ed and I have been able to bring out of all this!

      Stay strong my dear ..... I know it's hard ... but remember, you are not alone!!!!!

  9. My partner and I have been together 15+ years. Over 7 years ago I found out my partner was a sex addict, (also Bipolar), the hardest way possible, discovering all the horrible lies, porn, emails by accident. We went to therapy, he went to therapy, we read books, he went to SA, and we ended up seeing George and Paldrom over the course of about 6 months (some in person some on the phone). Eventually we began to rebuild the trust,slowly. There was one really good year, then ever so slowly, barely noticeable at first, he started being unhappy again, blaming it on the Bipolar, not getting his meds right, his business failing, nothing working out for him. Etc etc. we had stopped going to therapy due to a lack of funds. (economy woes!)

    Long story short, he simply stopped getting help for his addictions, and steered the focus to his need for pot and booze and the Bipolar. Of course in the last two years I started asking again and again, "what about the sex stuff?" -- "Oh its all handled...its not that anymore, I swear!" over and over. I had stopped "policing" him a long time before this and had no interest in doing it again. I had my doubts but I believed it really was the Bipolar and other addictions which he would freely talk about.

    Asked him to go back to counseling, he'd stop and start. he'd stop and start AA. He went to a psychiatrist to get help with the Bipolar. All this last year I am noticing it getting worse, but fortunately I really focused on myself and my own business and health and finances. A few months ago I started telling him that the lack of connection, commitment, and absent-ness of his affection and attention were making me consider leaving. In fact, I was making plans to do just that but the focus on the illness of Bipolar kept me trying to be sympathetic. PLUS, believe it or not I LOVE THIS MAN!
    But then YESTERDAY he left his email open which had a forward from a secret email. SHIT HITTING FAN again:turns out he has been doing porn and sex emails/pics/sexting to women for almost 3 + years. WTF? I was floored. A HUGE mix of emotions--disbelief, how could he have hidden it so well this time? Lies lies lies again. I feel so much shame for not knowing. Even after ALL our counseling, books etc. I felt humiliation at the things I read. I felt anger at him for not getting help, because he KNEW it was out there. I am so devastated today, here I am right back on George and Paldrom's website. WHY did he ever stop getting treatment?? That's what Bipolar's do, feel better and then think they don't need it. Ironically I guess that's what sex addicts do too. He was ashamed, broken, relieved that I knew, felt horrible for hurting me so much again, so the burden if off him and now squarely on my shoulders--BLINDSIDED. He fortunately never took it past just the internet and a few strip clubs.

    So now I am much stronger as a person, but WOW this hurts so freaking bad. How will we even consider getting past this AGAIN!?!? I just don't know if I can go thru all this again. I just don't know, though he is smart, intelligent, handsome, creative and talented, HOW will this man ever truly stick with treatment? How can I ever trust him again?

    So there's my two cents (or more like a dollar). Even years later it can still happen again. I WISH I would have INSISTED on treatment somehow or just left. My boundaries were not very good. Now the aftermath begins. I am glad I made a back-up plan (friends, family, support, finances on my own). I am also oddly, still happy in myself and my own life. Weird. :)

  10. It's hard not to worry about the future with a Sex Addict...the odds are not in their favor!! That's where I'm at now, worrying about when he'll relapse and what that will do to our two small children and myself. It's that constant nagging in the back of my head for staying with my husband after all the destruction he has caused in our lives. Yes, I've seen him changing, getting the help he needs, and becoming a better human being over the last 6 months, but is that enough to risk my future on?! My kids future on?! Before DDay I realize I was only staying out of obligation and for the kids, there was no love there. I was incredibly lonely and miserable. I had a roommate, not a husband. My husband may have physically been around, but he left our marriage for his addiction years ago. What's the point of staying now?

    1. Wow ... you really are in a tough place right now! It's so hard ... I know! And yes, thinking about the future ... planning for our future ... is so natural to do in life, and such a challenge when dealing with this mess! And then put kids into the equation ... and it brings in a whole another dimension!!!!

      First of all, hopefully your hubby's recovery will help him be a better dad. It did for mine. He is so much more engaged now and present with my kids .... so, by staying with him (for now) you have given your kids that gift, and that is wonderful. Your hubby can change if he commits to it (which you say is what is happening) .... I like to say that you are not fixing the old relationship. That wasn't working at all ... you said it yourself that there was no love there, he was a roommate ... but you are now building a new relationship. You are both using the tools that you are being given to start over, learn how to communicate, learn how to trust, learn how to connect. It can be a great thing!

      It is so hard not to worry about the future. But one thing I have realized is that we can NEVER predict what will happen ... we can only live right here, right now, in this moment .... it's all we ever have. There is a bigger risk for us because we know what can happen and there is always the chance of a relapse happening. But we can't define our life by that. We have to choose to enjoy where we are or drive ourselves nuts worrying about what we can't control. Through recovery you will decide how you feel ... right now, work on yourselves and the relationship and if the two of you aren't able to build trust and a deep connection (it does take time though) than ou will make your decisions then. You always have a choice to do what is best for you!

      What I do is set my boundaries and they are clear, Ed knows what my bottom line is ... I wont live with just a roommate and I wont live with my health being at risk. So, right now I am happy and I feel safe but if that was ever taken away than I will worry about ME first! But I will deal with it then ... because this is where I want to be now.

      Ed and I are examples of what can happen when you both commit to recovery. I usually tell women to give it a little time ... you don't need to make any decisions now, see where recovery takes you, be true to yourself and remember you and your husband deserve the best out of life, whether it's together or not!

      Are you doing any couple's work together? Sounds like you could use some ... it helps to learn how to navigate this journey together and support each other through it all. You learn how to make your relationship a partnership and not be all about his recovery! Good luck and stay strong!!!!