My number one struggle is what I don’t know. I’ve journaled about how much I wrestle with who else there might be, how he touched another woman, what he said to them, timelines, conversations. These things that are impossible for me to know every detail of because I’m not the other woman, God, or him. I will never know every detail and it is a losing battle, like running on a treadmill. It only hurts me. I can see that I have to release, lay down my weapons and leave it because I’m only wasting myself and time. But I don’t know what to tell myself, besides that. Can you offer some things that I can tell myself to lay this down? I am facing it. I have journaled and I see the obstacle, but I just don’t know what to tell myself to help lay it down and leave it on the battlefield.
Such a great question. I love the way you even worded this. There are certain things that you probably don’t want to know. When a person is acting out, the things that they do are like an addict. When a person is acting like an addict, the things they do, the things they say are like an addict, and they will say or do whatever these things are. But when they’re sober, when they’re in recovery, those things that they said in addiction are not who they are in recovery. And this is a really important part to understand. We’re separating out the person in addiction from this.
So one way to let it go is actually to observe what your husband is doing in recovery and healing, because that is who they’re working to become, not who they’ve been. And so one way to let it down is actually to observe what you’re seeing here rather than what they were in the addiction. Now, that’s not always easy I understand that. But I can get stuck of what a person says in addiction, what they do in addiction, the things that they say, I can see those addictive behaviors. And then as they start to pull away from it, even the research shows, they look back at their former self with importance. People in genuine recovery look back at their former self with importance. It says that in this book right here, the book ‘Don’t Call it Love’, it’s about sex addiction and recovery. But that book in particular, that’s where Dr. Patrick Carnes found that people in recovery, they look back at themselves. As you look at your husband, if he’s working recovery, he’s becoming a different man, a new person. That’s what can help you lay it down. Because those details, it’s like looking at vomit and having to clean it up and looking at the vomit, and looking at the vomit, and looking at the vomit, it’s just, no.
All right, I know that it’s there, but look at the grass over here. Look at the flowers. Look at the beautiful world that we live in. Do your self care, find inner joy, find inner peace, because you’re right, you don’t want to waste time giving that experience or those experiences power over your peace. And so I’m going to turn our attention to things that I can influence, whether that’s your children, whether that’s meaningful conversation with your friends and family. Whatever it is, I’m going to turn my attention to the things that make me a better person, that help me feel peace. That’s where I would encourage you to put your energy.