The big storm for me is the fear of being lied to. My husband is in active recovery for his pornography, masturbation addiction, but he has had relapses and has lied about his sobriety through these relapses until I found about them and confront him. I feel capable of working with him through his slips if he tells me about them, but I can’t be in a close relationship to him if he’s lying to me. How do I face the storm when I don’t know when he is being honest and when he is not?
I think there’s two things, we need continuous accountability, and what you called a slip and you said, I can just, if he’s honest with me, I can deal with honesty. But I can’t deal with the lies or the deception. So in that context, I think it’s just being direct with him. I can do the honesty but if you lie to me, I can’t do that.
So if it’s a history or a pattern of relapses, you probably already can detect when he’s not being honest with you. The question will be is if he’s not, how will you respond? The way that you’re going to face the storm is actually preparing for in advance. If you choose not to tell me the truth, what do you think the consequence should be? I don’t know, I don’t know how to respond, cause when, in the past you’ve said that and you’ve lied to me, how do you want me to respond when you lie to me? That would be the question I would ask. How do you want me to respond when you lie to me? And together I would brainstorm it, because I can’t do it. I don’t know how to trust you fully when you’ve lied to me. What would you like to do to show me that you’re being honest? And then I would let him brainstorm solutions because I don’t think it necessarily needs to come from just you, I think it needs to be something that you both agree upon. What would the boundaries be if he chooses to lie? And then I think he needs to get some structure to make sure that he has accountability and continuous accountability, would be my suggestion. So he’s able to talk, not just with you, but with someone else, so he’s not doing it as a recovery by himself.