Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Addicts- How Do We Respond?

Have you ever had an addict in your life? Few things are more painful. I know because of all the pain I caused my wife. Here is the story of one man's path to reconciliation  with his sister. I hope it can provide you with a vision of what is possible. Luke is a family friend and the editor of the Burleson Star in Burleson TX. I'm sure you'll be blessed. - Rick It is a dog eat dog world out there, but every once in a while, you need a dog to show you what really matters in life. I have a lit…
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forgiveness

thank you.

     I see myself on both sides of this.  And thank God for the people in my life who always loved without rules. 

     After climbing out of my pit, I realized how often I judged the world and anyone one in it.  I never refused an overture, but did collect a pretty big box of resentments.  It was easier to fill up the box than to try to communicate my feelings.  (One of my most favorite people told me I was a master of the 'bob and weave" technique).

     Life is a whole lot better now.  The good things I embrace without thought, the bad things are second guessed, third guessed and let I God be the judge.

Puppy and addicts.

I get that... being a dog lover.. because they NEVER hold a grudge... I am convinced that they are GOD'S little agents of grace.. and we can learn SO MUCH from them.. and their devotion..  Thanks for sending this.. !

Thanks

I wish you and your sister all the best. For those of us dealing with infidelity and addiction life can sometimes seem unbearable. But one line in your story stood out for me. "Life is too short and too hard to stay mad at people." I really needed that reminder today. Thanks for sharing with us.

Forgiveness

Even if I can come to forgive something as bad as infidelity, I can never fully trust that person again.  I might be able to interact with them on a different level, but never at the "trust" level, nor the "love" level I once felt.  I know this, because I have stayed with my husband, who betrayed me with porn addiction over 25 years...and I guess that's all he did.  Truly I'll never know that.  And I can interact with him without demanding justice or retribution.  Meaning, no eye for an eye.  And, I didn't divorce him either.  But, deep down inside, I don't trust him anymore.  And so, he's only allowed into my personal space at a limited level.  An addiction that doesn't affect you personally is easy...I've done it many times.  But, ones  that do affect you personally, well...that's a different thing altogether.  Particularly infidelity, or psudeo-infidelity, or preferring to be elsewhere with someone else.  How does one ever get over that entirely?  You don't...not ever.  Or, at least that's my personal experience.  Enough hurt, enough lies, and the trust is alterered permanently. Enough seeing how you just aren't quite enough, enough insult, enough humiliation...and what's done is done. 

 If you can refute that, please do.  Or perhaps your wife can, since she is the one on the receiving end of the pain and damage?  I fail to see how one can ever wholeheartedly trust again.  It has been two years, and I can't.  Images of what he did, lies that he told, feelings that he caused, are there, playing in the background.  And, I see no way that can ever be removed.  And, maybe it shouldn't be?  Maybe it's better to know that the relationship is really superficial and only a convenience?  Maybe that is all there is.  I don't  know what more it could be than that.  Perhaps you can explain?

I don't hurt him.  I don't argue with him.  But, I don't feel the same either.  I feel sad that he didn't love me the way I did him.  I feel sad that so much time was wasted.  But that is the truth of it.  He wants to stay married.  I don't really know why.  He sought other sources so much that I can't see why he doesn't just move on and go get what he thinks that he deserves.  He was busy ogling other women, he didn't want me enough to stop.  I know that now.  Seeing is believing.  So, whether or not I forgive him seems irrelevant to me.   That doesn't change anything at all.  I'm not mad any more.  I just know what is.

 

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