Q&A How Do I Overcome the Consequences of My Actions?

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Question: 

I am a S.A. unfaithful, where masturbation was my most widely used form of destruction. Now that I'm nearly a year sober and a year out from D-Day I have had other cross addictions creep back in and have been put out of the house for lying about them. In the past few weeks of being gone my mate has decided that she needs to masturbate. She feels that she deserves it and is not willing to stop. This is a big deal for me and has brought up all kinds of intrusive thoughts. The thoughts bring up feelings of fear and terror. Some fears are even that I might lose my sobriety over this as now I have intrusive thoughts of my wife masturbating running freely through my mind and it turns me on greatly. Now, I know that I can't control her, although I have desperately tried to do so by guilting and trapping her, so I need to let this go. I need to use the serenity prayer to accept her and change me. My question is, do you have any advice for someone who is struggling with the natural consequences of his own actions? Advice other than just get over it. I love my wife desperately and this is my biggest hurdle right now.

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Andy’s feedback

Hey Chris, I feel your pain. My time is limited, so I will make a couple of observations now and perhaps more later.

1) there is a tendency to take a painful situation and augment it with thoughts akin to, “i don’t know if i can handle this much longer” - I sense all kinds of this in your message. Catch yourself early when worrying about the future. Focus on what you can and need to do today.

2) grieve the pain and name it. This is something you are doing well - keep doing that. Keep talking about how this hurts you. Talking about how you feel is exactly what you should do - your other option is to not process and act out the pain.

3) learn to see pain as a friend, a mentor, not something that needs to be medicated away. This change is not comfortable, but I see you making the change and you can feel hopeful. This has it’s own type of “withdrawals” since you are used to going a certain direction and you naturally miss that. Your language around “natural consequences” is very good.

4) Anytime you can direct your language around what your spouse is doing to how you feel will also help you limit your visualization - which is also quite natural (not that that helps much)

More later