The Anxiety Attack of The Future

I had an appointment with my counselor that involved some understanding on my part about the past, present and future and how they are leading to an unbelievable amount of anxiety about the future.

The counselor and I were talking through the recent months and where we are as a couple. We talked about how tense things felt on The Player’s part because I was sort of doing my own thing day-to-day. I was feeling conflicted because we’re in the same home, we are going about life like we do and there was zero closeness between us. He has been going to weekly individual counseling, group therapy weekly as well and going to one SLAA meeting a week, so he is focusing on recovery and work, which is very stressful right now.

I realized I have some anxiety about a past, present and fear of future issue for me. In the past, I was the at home parent. We very intentionally set it up so I am a freelancer and able to work around the kids’ schedules. The Player has always been the breadwinner with my income adding to our bottom line when our life schedule allows. We were a team, the two of us. He would be working, traveling for work and focused on work. He was always involved in parenting both in interest in what went on at home as well being an on-hands dad to lead activities like sporting or scouts.

The benefit (and fucking nightmare) of hindsight is seeing things as they were and not how you thought them to be. Then, I pictured us as a team. We were working together for the greater good of the family, each of us carrying the part of our responsibilities that would lead us to a happy family life, an early retirement (we were detailed from this with a traumatic fanancially catastrophic event unfortunately) and a stable, contented, calm life together and as a family.

The truth is, I pictured us as a team but we weren’t one. I was home doing my part and he was out doing his own thing, for his own benefit, obviously. This involved fucking (free) whores, having emotional ties to women to make himself feel better, and flirting inappropriately with any person with a vagina he would come into contact with so they would feed his insatiable ego. Looking back, I didn’t have the closeness that I thought we had and more importantly, craved with him. While we were going through that aforementioned traumatic event, I sucked it up, did what I had to do, knowing he was out doing his part for us. I was holding shit together with a fucking song and a prayer a lot of the time. 

I thought we were a unit. A team. 

Presently, with the distance we were at, I feel like I was on the outside of our marriage instead of being in our marriage, together. In addition, because I don’t know exactly where he is in recovery, so I don’t have that closeness, either.

As for the future, I have fears all of this fucked up struggle and pain and hard work – that The Player brought onto his and our life together – is for naught because he will pull away, go back to his destructive behaviors and break my heart all over again.

My high anxiety comes from the past, present and future thoughts around being played for so long and my energy going into our life together and his energy going away from me. Therapy has me helping my anxiety by realizing whatever path I end up on – either by my choice or The Player’s choice – is one on which I will survive.

I know there is a huge difference between then and now or then and the future. I am different. I will never be as vulnerable as I was the moment I found about The Player was a cheater and the subsequent year when I learned the awful truth that I was married to a broken, cheating, lying man. I will always know his fucked up, acting out, cheating behavior is possible. It will always be there below the surface. If it were to happen again, even though I’d probably want to smack myself with a frying pan across my head for staying, I’d survive it. Through therapy, I’m solidified in the knowledge that whatever I’m going through for my kids to be raised the rest of their youth in an intact family is 100% worth it.

That said, our recent talks have been hard because he has a very long way to go in his recovery. I believe he is on the path, but it is not at the pace I would like. I do realize, however, it is HIS path. As I explained to him, I’ve been in this hell for very nearly two fucking years when he’s only been in it under a year because he chose to fuck around with the actual truth for the first year. My patience is wearing thin, I won’t lie.

I’m sitting back and waiting. We can’t move forward together until he moves forward himself and that seems to be going slow. Because I feel I must stay for my kids, this sitting back and waiting means I feel like I’m trapped. 

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5 thoughts on “The Anxiety Attack of The Future

  1. Our situations are so similar it’s uncanny. From being a freelancer who believed she was doing her part for the “team,” to the catastrophic financial event that derailed our planned future, to the immense ego that went looking for strokes and validation, doing horrible things to get it (also free). Even the slowness of his recovery path (9 months out and he has yet to do his First Step). I too have trouble reconciling the past life I thought I had, the present nightmare I’m in where he still puts himself first most of the time, and the possibility of a future where it happens all over again. The biggest difference is the part about staying for the kids. While I did stay because I didn’t want to blow my son’s life up (he’s the last child at home), today is the day we move him to a University 6 hrs away. When we return on Monday, my reasons for staying will have been significantly reduced. The anxiety I have felt this past week about this has been through the roof. Not because I don’t believe I can make it on my own, but because I know without a doubt I can. This will be it for me if I leave. I don’t think I’ll try again with another man, as this is my second husband and as a two time loser, I have no desire to go down for a third time. (for the record I think my first husband, in hindsight, was SA as well). I also don’t want to be lonely and grow old alone if there is even a chance he can pull his head out of his ass and be the man I deserve. (I have stepchildren and step grandchildren that I would be giving up as well). What to do? What to do? This has been a refrain that plays over and over in my head.

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  2. Oh my…I sent a long email to my husband on Tuesday explaining these exact things….the things I am hurt/jealous of from the past and my fears of the future. Those two timeframes are the parts I struggle with the most. My unhappiness/anxiety/depression are starting to wear on me health wise. I told him I am going to start doing what makes me happy. He has one year to grow up and be the man I want/need/deserve or I am gone. He has had 18 years of chances…I’m not waiting any longer.

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  3. This is a long and treacherous path you are on, but putting your needs first and realizing you are strong enough to do ANYTHING, goes a long way to healing from the trauma and pain of being married to a sex addict. It is so very difficult to separate ourselves from the coupleship. It is difficult for the addict and difficult for us, but that is what inevitably must happen. He has to want to recover for himself, and you have to want to be in the marriage because it brings you more happiness than pain. Staying for the kids is just that, it is not a whole marriage. I know I have read about this and heard about it, but my brain is fried at this point. Until we separate ourselves, our needs, our wants, our happiness from them, it just doesn’t seem possible to heal. I say this a lot, but it is true… we weren’t enough for them to stop doing what they were doing or get help for themselves before, and we won’t be the reason they recover. He must work his own recovery and if he is anything like my husband, you will see it when it really happens. Seeing real recovery doesn’t fix everything, obviously, but it goes a long way to feeling like you are not wasting your time. In the meantime, all you can do is work on yourself and keep those kids thriving. ❤

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