Are You Addicted To Being Stuck?

As I alluded to in my last post, sometimes a couple ends up addicted to being stuck. Your first inclination might be to say “Samuel, you mean the unfaithful spouse is addicted to being stuck, right?”

Unfortunately, no. In order to be addicted to being stuck, the old saying “It takes two to tango” has never been truer. For a couple to be stuck, both spouses have to be locked in a paradigm that simply isn’t working.

This feeling of being stuck is a common occurrence when neither spouse does anything different than the pattern they have been exhibiting for a considerable amount of time. What’s a considerable amount of time you might ask? I’d say usually anywhere from 6 months to as much as 6 years. The fact is, if you’ve been doing the same thing with the same results, and no significant movement change or clarity, you might be addicted to being stuck. When an unfaithful perceives that you, the betrayed, will not push the issue and will not take any significant action other than what you’ve already been doing, they will simply continue in their own pattern. Inherently, they are bullies, never fearing you’ll stand up to them,  the situation or their tactics and they’ll always resort to doing what they have been doing. They are stuck, and waiting for them to change on their own, or come out of the fog only exacerbates the entire situation.

However, the betrayed then resorts to their own dysfunctional coping mechanisms and voila, we are stuck. There may be threats which are not followed through on, or cajoling or demanding or pleading, but nothing changes. It’s at this time (months or even years later) when you begin to see you’re stuck and nothing is working. It’s an addiction to the drama and the chaos if you will, which promotes a fear of taking any steps in any direction. You’re stuck. Your spouse is stuck. It’s exhausting. It’s demeaning. It breeds hopelessness and resentment and quite frankly, it’s no way to live. You both deserve more, but someone has to see it and want it bad enough to take action.

I’ve talked to more spouses than I can count who have experienced this addiction. It leaves both spouses frustrated and seemingly paralyzed, unable to see any light at the end of the tunnel or much less, any light in their spouse’s eyes. Addicted to being stuck can be blamed on lack of finances, children, dysfunctional patterns in your spouse, abandonment issues or even just busyness of life. As long as we blame others, we’ll never take responsibility for our own health and well-being. Only one thing will remedy the addiction: someone taking right action.

More times than not, it’s the betrayed spouse who must take right action and inevitably decide they are going to get healthy and no longer tolerate the addiction. One of the biggest elements to taking action is simply fear. While I’m not going to launch out into an assault on fear, I will share some thoughts the betrayed may be pondering:

“But what if I (they) do this too early Samuel?” Again, this post is for those who have been stuck for a while. A couple of weeks is not a while.  Anything longer than 90 or 120 days can be considered ‘a while’ to be stuck and anyone dealing with this ‘stuck-ness’ for over a year has certainly reached the point where things should probably be moving in one direction or another. If it’s been ‘a while’ your right action will not be too early. Waiting much longer for them to simply ‘wake up’ is unrealistic and is usually supported by false hope. If they don’t want to be with you, or if they don’t want to do what it takes to get healthy and fight for merely the chance to be with you, do you really want to extend this paralysis and despair?

“If I divorce them they will just say it was my fault and blame it on me. They are just waiting for me to do it so they can pin it on me.” Let them pin it on you. THEY are not changing. They are not getting healthy either. They will blame you no matter what anyway, so let them blame you for stopping the insanity. You can’t prevent them from blaming you their whole life if they want to. That’s their fault. You go get healthy. Stop the addiction and the cycle. More than likely, you will have to be the one who stops the back and forth, and at the very least filing for divorce may get them ‘unstuck.’ They are too blind, too addicted, too cowardly or maybe even too deceived to take any action and someone has to be the healthy one. Someone has to want it bad enough to take a stand for right living and right thinking and right loving. It’s probably going to be you.

By standing up for healthy living, you give yourself the best chance at stopping the charade and creating space for them to possibly wake up, and help you both start to get ‘unstuck.’

In the next post I’ll share more thoughts and concerns regarding stopping the addiction. 

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