From a betrayed partner with a SSA + IA partner
Q: How do you start to get over the feeling of “not having been enough”?
To answer your question, I want to say you’re asking the wrong question. The reality is you are more than enough. However, that belief doesn’t happen overnight, but takes work on self-esteem. It’s really a mindset shift that occurs to help you overcome feeling not enough for your partner.
As women, we presume that if our guy looks elsewhere we are not enough. Let’s reverse that thought and be like, “What is wrong with them? Why are they looking elsewhere when they have me? I am enough for them and for anyone.”
Their addicted brain is trained to be looking at pixels and objectifying others.
To break down SSA really quick: When you masturbate, whatever you masturbate to and orgasm to is what you are bonding to/priming your sexual palette/desires to.
So if a guy begins masturbation at 12, and then begins using porn 80% of the time with masturbation by 15 years old, and they continue that pattern into adulthood, their entire sexual wiring is to a screen.
It’s not that their partner isn’t enough, it’s that they wired to the wrong thing – technology. Had they had sex with a partner and most of their sexual experiences were with real people in real meaningful relationships they wouldn’t have the desire to look elsewhere.
Fun fact: Orgasms are 4x stronger than morphine! That is why masturbation and porn are so addictive. Orgasms relax the entire body and destress quickly.
So back to the “not enough” question, the truth is you are enough, they just didn’t see you/wire to you. Instead of coming to you when times were tough they hid in technology and other women because they didn’t know how to cope with life stresses and adulthood.
Addicts also get emotionally stunted at the age they got addicted. So for me, my husband was addicted at 12 years old… which meant I was in a relationship with someone of the moral, ethical, spiritual, and emotional maturity of a 12 year old. Needless to say it wasn’t a fun process and it was hard to understand. But the longer they are clean the more their brain heals and catches up to their actual age.
To really hammer in why you are MORE than enough. Addicts live in Object Reality, which means they are viewing people as things to be used. So that pretty waitress at the restaurant? She is an object to them when they are in active addiction.
We betrayed partners that are not struggling with addiction live in relational reality, which means when we see other people, they are in fact people. They are not objects to be used and thrown away. They are human beings with lives, values, struggles.
To summarize you’re more than enough because he was in an altered state in addiction and viewing others as objects and didn’t think in a relational context, just about the fix/high.