I think it is a bit ironic that I am using this title, or even talking about the power of positive energy. I am a realistic person, with a touch of optimism thrown in. I am not all puppy dogs (although I do totally love puppy dogs), and unicorns and rainbows (background on blog title), and I don’t sit around reading self help books. That’s just me. I am who I am. I like real, true, positive energy that comes from deep in the heart and soul, and I try to surround myself with that, not necessarily a bunch of rah rah rah written or spoken by people who have not lived “it.” As I have mentioned numerous times, I was never an unhappy or depressed person and good luck getting me to join a cult, or even a religion for that matter. I believe in me. Why start looking to others for my sanity at this point. When I found out my husband is a sex addict, however, I was knocked on my ass. I read two clinical books on the subject. They were positively eye opening. I had no idea what the disease was about, or how insidious the disease is. I then read two books regarding being the spouse of a sex addict. I read a few articles and talked with therapists. I was lucky enough to work with a leader in the field of sex addiction induced trauma. I tried desperately to avoid negative energy, but there is a lot of negative energy swirling around sex addiction.
The ramifications of my husband’s illness and his actions caused enough pain. If I could see that websites, blogs, forums or comments on such were going the way of “all sex addicts” this, or “there is almost no chance a sex addict can recover,” or my personal favorite “sex addiction is just the latest excuse for cheating…” etc… I clicked off. I know better. I know from legitimate research and from Blue Eyes’ group, that sex addicts can recover. I know all sex addicts are not alike, just like all people are not alike, neither are all cheaters. I know addiction is real and sex addiction is a real addiction and there are numerous brain functions, habits and coping mechanisms playing in and it is not simply a bad person making a bad choice. I know my husband is a unique individual with a boat load of baggage, some really awful habits, and an addiction to boot. I didn’t click off because I didn’t want to hear that being a recovering sex addict is a tough road and being the wife of an addict is incredibly agonizing and an energy suck. I knew this was going to be a rocky and painful journey. I didn’t click off because I couldn’t stomach what some people seem to believe, and that is that leaving is the only sensible answer and anyone who stays is an idiot. I don’t think leaving is easier or more difficult, per se, just like I don’t think staying is easier or more difficult per se. It is all a shitty circumstance and an ugly road out. What I needed at the time was to absorb what it meant to be a sex addict, and also what it might be like to live with a recovering sex addict. The truth though, is my husband is unique, I am unique, and our partnership is unique, so there was no website, or therapist, or friend, or family member who could give me guidance on the decisions I had before me. I am thankful that the people I chose to confide in stood by my side helping me be strong. They did not try to make decisions for me. They did not judge or humiliate me (although realizing the ability to allow me to feel humiliated by people, lies solely within me). They merely held me up for a little while. I journaled honestly and openly about this whole process, then I started my blog. I share my story, which, like everyone else’s, is a work in progress. I am not a bitter, negative, or hateful person. Bitterness and anger don’t work well in my life. I have enough health problems and I know those kinds of emotions will eat me alive. I have never been an angry person.
That being said, I AM an opinionated person. I am of the firm belief that thinking positive thoughts and living life in a positive way, breeds more positivity and happiness. I am not ignorant or a pushover, even typing that made me chuckle. I do understand how, in the traumatic after shocks of finding out our partners are cheaters or sex addicts, that figuring out how to live our lives different, can be scary. But, I am not the least bit afraid of living my life without my husband. Coming out of the trauma and realizing it, took a few months. Sometimes the choice to stay or go is an economic one as well as an emotional one. For me, it is purely emotional. I know I could be quite successful living without my chosen life partner. That is not what this is all about, for me. Regardless, I have never believed that I chose to stay because I am weak or stupid, as some websites might have me believe.
What this journey did end up being about, however, was me realizing I have the strength to survive and I have the power to make my own decisions about my life. So what prompted this post? While I was away, I did not, for the most part, read any blog posts of the numerous blogs I follow. Today I took a couple hours to catch up on some of those older blog entries and comments, as well as read some new blogs. I hate to say it, but there are A LOT of new wives of sex addicts blogs popping up. I’m glad they are here, sharing their journey and reaching out to become part of a bigger community, but it is sad to know there are so many of us. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I was reeling in negative energy by reading some of these blog entries. I sort of sat there going what the fuck. How did this spiral out of control so quickly?
Now, I can fully admit that I have joined in a blog entry or two or three, and a comment or two or thirty, about the other women in our lives. Mine was a bitch of a woman, a stalker whose mission it was to destroy me. I did not and still do not fully understand how women can act this way towards other women. Regardless, however, she lost. Her mission was denied. Enough said. But, the reason I turned away from websites and forums full of negative energy is because I never believed they held the answers to my questions. I know how difficult it is early on in this betrayal journey, and I am intimately in tune with the added component of sex addiction thrown in, but I am here to say I won’t get caught up in the negative energy. You won’t see me commenting on blogs mired in the universal belief that “once a cheater, always a cheater” or “there is no such thing as sex addiction.” I have learned my lesson. It is a waste of my time and energy to try and convert people to something I am so intimately involved with. To each their own opinion, but I want my life to be filled with healing and positive energy. I don’t think there are “two sides” to the debate. I don’t think this is a debate at all. I am not afraid of women who choose to leave. I realize some women choose to leave because they need to, for their own health, safety, emotional and mental health, for any number of reasons. But that does not mean their reasons are my reasons. I respect them. I read blogs of women who have decided to stay and those who have chosen to leave. At some point ALL betrayed spouses seem to stop blogging… I don’t think the wives who leave stop because they have all the answers and they are smarter or happier. I don’t think wives who stay stop because they have fallen into a pit of their own despair. And vice versa on all of it. These things have lives and eventually, they run their course. Some day I hope to take the time to really work on the travel blog I started about nine months ago. So many factors play in to blogging. Time being one of the bigger factors for me. I am not afraid of the message in blogs and websites and forums mired in negative energy. I just don’t like being negative. I do understand all betrayed spouses have the choice to stay or go, however, going should be about providing ourselves with a healthier, happier life, not about punishing “bad” people. It should not be about name calling or facetious little acronyms and nicknames for cheaters or sex addicts. We are all real people and each of us is unique and important and viable in our own life and in the lives of others. Stay or go, we need to let the hate and bitterness go, for ourselves.
This post was not prompted by any one particular blog post or comment. It was actually a culmination of about three posts and numerous comments and instead of commenting on these blogs or their comments, I decided to just write out my feelings here.
Below is a lesson my Mom spent a great deal of time trying to teach me. I am still learning.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming. ❤