Q&A How Do I Become Safe for Someone Who Is Unsafe for Me?

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Question: 

How do I handle my betrayed spouse’s abuse post-discovery? My wife and I have been separated for almost a year, since she discovered I was active in my pornography addiction almost our entire marriage and had been lying to her face about it the entire time. I’m working to heal myself, and I want to learn to be safe for my spouse, but she has been consistently abusive and unsafe for me. She is verbally and physically abusive and violent, she intentionally lies to me, and she purposefully keeps much of her life secret from me. She has even told me she is sleeping with someone else, though I don’t know if that’s true or not. She has repeatedly told me she’s doing all those things to get me to divorce her, and she won’t stop until I do. However, she also pursues connection at times, and takes steps (like signing us up for EMSO) that indicate she wants to try to work on the relationship. I have learned I am extremely codependent, and struggle to create and enforce boundaries. How do I continue to pursue my own healing and remain open to reconciliation when she is lying to me, assaulting me, and continuously creating chaos in our lives? How do I become safe for someone who is unsafe for me?

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