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I was Losing My Husband

the.guard Wednesday, 01 March 2017

An email we received from a wife, Jan 1, 2016:

My husband is in a leadership position in our community. We are currently married 20+ years. The "perfect" couple, totally "in love."

In year 16, i caught him with porn. He confessed, wanted to get out, but didn’t know how to break free. He was very against going public or joining groups though. We both did lots or reading. He concluded he is an addict, did lots of 12 steps work, but not groups or anything. He did participate in GYE forums and began to change a lot in many visible ways: taking action in his life for things, changing his core beliefs, etc. He put in filters. Amazing. No porn… or so i thought….

2 years later, i found images on his phone. He said, yes, he slipped lately a bit. He said he shaped up, but he admitted that he doesn’t want to let it go fully. Although he is a much healthier person, he still is not fully healthy.

I want more. I am ready to be patient and supportive if he is heading in the same direction in goals in life as I am, but if he is not, I cannot respect him. I, who loved him through all these years, and was his only support in addiction, i am finally starting to feel my love get so weak, I am terrified. The thought of divorce is not ridiculous anymore. I find myself feeling slowly more distant. He knows this. He feels awful he is making me suffer, but feels powerless to change. And to top it all off, we have no money for therapy. All our money goes to pay my kid’s tuition.

He is not the typical 30 year old on your forums, gripping about how he is having a bad hour struggling with looking at porn. His understanding of the whole issue is so profound; he could be a counselor for others at this point. But he is still held back... He won’t even join a phone group on GYE, as I suggested.

He sees he is losing my heart, but he is acting powerless. He has always been that way. I was the strong one, who never gave up. But i can’t do this for him. He needs to want it. So how can I save my marriage? How can I still love him when he won’t do more? This is killing me.

After guidance from GYE and many more emails back and forth, here is an update from a year and a half later:

Just to share good news…

B”h my husband has come a long way. Netspark is on his phone, he is listening to GYE calls, etc…

Six months ago, I went to a simcha and he was alone and found an old laptop we thought was dead and looked at porn. That fall finally got him to a place where he admitted he isn't Ok. He went to a meeting. He gets it. He hears. And now he has been sober 6 months. He’s firmly committed to weekly meetings, sharing his weak moments, and we are both so grateful. Daily work for both of us! Steady progress and so happy to be where we are. Hashem should continue to grant him the strength to choose life.

Thank you for supporting me in continuing to support him. It took a long time, but I feel happiness with our present and great hope for our future, with Hashem’s help.

I want to thank you, and I can't tell you how safe I feel knowing that you and GYE are there for us.