From a Betrayed Partner with an SSA + IA Spouse
Q: What are the healthy boundaries? You mention something about not playing the divorce card yet. But I truly don’t know if I can be part of his recovery with ups and downs. It will hurt me so much to find out he watch porn and masturbate again. He hide it so well from me and everyone that I really feel I don’t know who I married to.
That is a BIG conversation. In Knights & Warriors we have an entire module on boundaries.
What I can say quickly is that Boundaries are NOT a means to control and Consequences are NOT a means of punishment.
Boundaries are for yourself and your protection and Consequences are to hold yourself accountable for your choices.
Dr. Doug Weiss talks about how he uses boundaries and consequences in his life to keep him motivated in a variety of areas. He writes a lot of books, and he tells his colleague that he will give his colleague $100 if he doesn’t get his chapter done by the end of the week. What do you think happens? That chapter gets written. Why? Because helping others is important to Doug Weiss and he doesn’t want to have to give money over to his colleague because he didn’t abide by his values and boundaries.
When I say “don’t play the divorce card” I mean don’t tell him you’re filing for divorce if you haven’t actually done it or will do it after you tell him.
You don’t want to be a doormat. You want to be empowered, confident, and know your worth. If you know your lines in the sand and what you can and cannot live with, then live by that. Don’t wobble, or retreat. That teaches them that you are not serious and they can continue their behavior without any consequence. (Which is easier said than done! That is why Boundaries is our clients favorite module!)
Right now, you discovered really recently which means you’re still processing everything. One thing I hope you take away from this is his addiction has nothing to do with you, your looks, your worth, or his love for you.
His addiction is all about him, his insecurities, his inability to cope with “adulting” and life and potentially about unresolved trauma from his past.
Addicts live in OBJECT REALITY = people are objects to be used.
Betrayed partners live in RELATIONAL REALITY = people are humans with feelings, values, lives, families.
In addiction he was not in a sober state of mind and was in an altered state.
I hope that answers your question. If you want to dive deeper into this, you can always apply to become a coaching client so we can work on you setting boundaries and consequences!