Friday, February 1, 2013

How Do We Cope With The Insanity Of Betrayal?

Hello my AMAZING ladies out there! I have not been writing very much lately and I have felt really bummed about that. I'm sorry that it seemed that I have kind of dropped off my blog ... I have been doing a lot of work helping women and couples through this mess and it has been sooo rewarding! I get busy though and I have sooo missed this awesome place where I can just spew my verbal diarrhea ... and hopefully INSPIRE someone along the way!

SO, here is a GREAT question that one of my fabulous women asked me and I wanted to share my answer with you .... I think it is something that many women wonder and struggle with. So, maybe this can help a bit ...

Here is what she asked:   
How did u ever get through this? I don't think I can ... Why me?

This is such a commonly asked question and I think that so many of us ask this question to ourselves over and over and over until our minds are spinning out of control. It is a simple yet oh, so complex question. There is just no easy answer on how to get through this, or how to feel better.  This part truly sucks!  But here is how I got through it ... ... it was VERY hard and VERY painful and VERY sucky!!!! I wont sugar coat that part at all, that is the reality.  

BUT, I DID survive.  It took time and tears and learning how to sit with the crap that felt like my life. Learning how to take my feelings, bring them inside of me and use them as a source of empowerment ... I used my pain to teach me not to be a victim in this. It empowered me to take care of myself, learn who I truly am and to stand up for myself ... now that doesn't mean leaving or staying .. it just means that I expected an equal, or rather a stronger, place in this recovery.

Once you can learn to sit with the pain, to literally bear the weight of it, to allow it it's voice and not just push it away it becomes so much less scary. When we aren't so scared of those negative, intense emotions ... anger, sadness, loneliness, overwhelmedness (I think I made that word up - lol) you can LOVINGLY and COMPASSIONATELY support it and not run away from it. Once you learn to stop running and embrace the reality of what is ... it puts you in a place that is more bearable. Let's face it ... life from time to time is going to throw crap at you ... this is a lesson that we can carry throughout our lives, into sooo many situations. This is the piece that has helped me for my LIFE not just in my relationship ... I am thankful for that!!!! See ... the silver lining, there is ALWAYS something to be learned!

And as I am sure you already know, running away from it only pushes it into a box in your mind and it will come out at another time and often that other time is sideways in a way that you don't even understand.  That can be so much more destructive later on ... it may feel better temporarily but in the long run it doesn't provide true healing and growth. It is part of you, it is part of what has happened, and let's be there for it entirely!!!

So, I INVITE you to try an exercise for me. Try and imagine a possibility that there may be something in this mess that you will look back in 6 months and wonder in admiration of yourself how you used this nightmare as a source of growth. Pretend this is 6 months from now ...

Fill in the blank .....  I am incredibly proud of myself for surviving this nightmare which inspired me to grow in the following 3 ways
  1. ____________________________________ 
  2. ____________________________________ 
  3. ____________________________________

Remember, this question is from a future point looking back on this time. The point is to see how healing from this CAN make you stronger and more kick ass than before!!!! That little switch in the way we look at our experience, how we feel the feeling .... changes our energy to a more positive and supportive one. It also helps in learning to sit with these feelings and not engage in the constant swirling and fight of the them. Frankly, this is a big piece of healing and getting through this stronger and more fabulous than before!
This process takes time, time to process the sad and the pain. These wounds do not heal quickly ...  but they can heal, I promise! For me, it was about making peace with it.

So ... the question Why Me? Well, let me ask you the question why not you? We can ask why me all we want ... but it doesn't deal with right here, right now. I look at it like I was presented with an opportunity to grow in ways I would have never before ... and why me? Well ... I'm even more fabulous now than I was before so I am going to rephrase that statement and say ... GO ME!!!

My next post I am going to give you guys an exercise to help encourage some mindfulness ... or presence! It is so hard not to live in and swirl in the past .. so a big key is learning to sit with, enjoy and embrace the present moment! I promise you will hear from me next week with that exercise!!!

OK ... LEAVE ME YOUR ANSWERS on the 3 ways that you might grow in this! Let's start a discussion and help each other! How can this nightmare help you GROW? Give me 3 ideas .... OK ... your turn .............


  1. Hi Mishka,

    I found your blog today and found it very inspiring and it's one of the only things I've seen that have actually been hopeful about the recovery process.

    I know my husband has struggled with porn before, but I thought everything was better until yesterday. I found out he had been having video cam sex with women, soliciting women on Craigslist, and had several email and IM accounts I didn't know about.

    We were in counseling for about a year until September of last year. When we thought we could stop going, his addiction started up again and much worse than it was before.

    I'm devastated and heartbroken. We are in therapy again and he seems willing to work on this. I just feel like it will be such a huge commitment for both of us. I know if he ever gets out of treatment again, there's a very real threat of worse things happening to me.

    He's planning to attend a 12 step group - do you have any experience with this? What kind of support have you received for you? I feel like I need my own support, but this isn't something I want to talk to our family or friends about right now.

    Also, I have an obsession with knowing everything that happened. I'm not sure why I'm like that, but I always have been. I keep searching for posts he may have put up or signs of something else he didn't tell me. I know I need to stop and this isn't helping anything, but do you have any tips on what to do?

    One more question - did you engage in any of Ed's fantasies? There are some things that are very mild and I would be open to, but wasn't sure if that would just trigger the addiction again. Thoughts?

    Thanks again for your inspiring blog. A lot of the other spouse support pages I've found just bash the addict and offer no hope for the future. I certainly hope we can find some.


    1. Hi Amy!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your story! I know how hard this is for you! I am sending you a BIG, HUGE hug from me. Also thanks for your kind words ... my goal is to inspire and hopefully help women get through this storm in a positive, healthy and amazing way!!!

      So ... first I want to say that it is SOOOO important to have a support network set up once you stop counseling, because as you have experienced it is easy to think you are fine and then a big slip happens. We all need constant motivation, inspiration and someone to be accountable to ... this helps avoid slips or relapses. It also sounds like you guys did couple's work. I'm not sure if he did any work on his own but that is REALLY IMPORTANT. Couple's work is HUGE .. I actually believe that is where the hardest growth lies. HOWEVER ... many men need individual work as well. They need a bit more digging into their brain, understanding, a safe place to purge the crazy in their heads and often a kick in the ass ... something that is quite different with individual work. My hubby usually works with men on their own for a little bit and then we transition to couple's work after that. It seems to work well that way.

      Many times though, if he gets the RIGHT HELP .. help that he (and you too) truly connects with, ... they can actually "WAKE UP" and stop living in this cycle. Men CAN heal and change their lives, they just have to do the work .. all of the work.

      12 Step? ... we have never connected with it but I do know that it has helped many people and changed their lives. What I do like about it is that it provides constant support and accountability ... and that is crucial. It's also free. SO, it's great to give it a try but Craig needed more than that!!!

      I saw someone individually. It helped me learn to cope and how to handle and process my emotions, anger and fear. And through that I learned how to empower myself, create my boundaries and how to truly own my part in the path I have taken .... in a really good way. Knowledge is power and this process has made me stronger!!! It's a good idea to see someone ... it is a lot for you to handle on your own!

      This is too long so I will post this in 2 parts ... I am just way too long winded!! LOL!

    2. Part 2 to my novel .....

      Ok, engaging in his fantasies. My personal opinion is that it is a good idea to take sex out of the picture while you work on safety, communication, trust and INTIMACY!!! Sex is what is all messed up and taking it away for a little bit just allows you to really work on the important things that are going to work on around healing your wounds. So, no I wouldn't just yet .... HOWEVER, with that being said ... recovery and healing is a process and one that if approached the right way can lead to amazing, healthy, connected sex. At that point when you are both ready .. you talk about what your desires are sexually and bring an open mind to the conversation. This can be amazing ... but my opinion is that it should be done once you have developed the trust and safety and worked on the connected intimacy!

      You are obsessed with finding things, I get it. We feel out of control and that is a way that we feel like we have control. The truth is though that that is a false sense of control. ANd as you know, it isn't the healthiest either (although, we are all guilty of it ourselves ...). SO, a great place to start is to just ask yourself ... Why do I need to Know everything? What is the real reason behind it? Dig deep and try to uncover the true emotion that you are trying to soothe. It's your way of coping but let's find another way to cope.

      A great thing to do is to learn to sit with your feelings of hurt, anger, fear, etc ... stop running from it ... You wont DIE, you will be fine! It will hurt but once we stop fighting the pain, stop running from it ... it becomes much less scary!!! That was the biggest lesson that I learned!

      Many couples in recovery listen to our podcast because it helps give them hope that they can make it through ... Just so you know ... !Feel free to email us directly too ... and Craig's is


      - Mishka