I'm Pam, also known as Wysteria Veritas in some private online support groups. I created this website as a resource for women and men, who have been betrayed by their spouses, through deception and sexual infidelity. My hope is that if one person can learn from my failures to cope, and my eventual victory of the trauma, then my own suffering and pain has meaning.
I am not a therapist, or licensed professional. I am more experienced and educated in sexual addiction and betrayal trauma than any one person ought to be. I've lived it.
But I am winning the battle, every day, and I'm better for it. Don't lose hope. Victory is yours, if you work it.
A word of encouragement: My husband is a recovering sex addict. I am a recovering betrayed spouse.
I love my husband with all my heart, and it wasn't just learning about his deceptions and sexual betrayals that hurt, traumatized and shattered me, it was also how it affected all other areas of our life together. Like most of life - it's clear now - but it wasn't then.
At times he could be very sweet and loving, the funny, silly, protective guy I fell in love with, but other times, he was distant, cold, angry, resentful, judgmental to the point of being toxic. There were even questionable behaviors where I suspected he was cheating on me. But I could never really prove it. Those times starting increasing more and more as the years went on.
I knew had a lot of trauma in his early life, and I justified his behavior and at times, I even excused it because of his past. I suffered silently, knowing each episode would pass, but wondering when my own tolerance would break.
There were 5 major "discovery," and "recovery," attempts over our 27 year relationship, as in "husband admits he has a problem with lust and wants to change". The last discovery of mine was the worst for me. (I won't go into detail because I'm healing from it.)
But because I'd been in "recovery" myself from his prior relapse and betrayals, I knew how to jump into action myself this last time, and because I did, and knew that it was all boundaries, or nothing, husband was able to embrace his recovery more fully this time. I don't worry about tomorrow, today he is fully recovering, as I am too, and I'm grateful.
I've never seen my husband more happy, more at peace. He keeps telling me every day how thankful he is to me, that I brought him his rock bottom with my own recovery, mercy, compassion, and enforcement of my boundaries.
The best thing I've learned is, no matter where my spouse is his addiction, I can't approach my own recovery trying to do it myself, just managing my own thoughts or even just prayer alone. It doesn't work. And expecting myself recover and heal, just because my husband is sober or in recovery, without any action on my own part, was just plain wrong.
I had to work a program of structured healing and recovery from the trauma, ideally, getting in with a therapist who specializes in relationship betrayal; work the 12 steps with a sponsor; work a workbook like Betrayal & Beyond workbook, which I have found immensely helpful in understanding that his addiction has zero to do with me, and other workbooks like Journey to Healing by Marsha Means, or Facing Heartbreak by Stefanie Carnes. Especially helpful was Dr. Sheri Keffer's, Intimate Deception. I wish I had that book on day one, and I would not have felt so "crazy".
My husband's addiction is NOT about sex. Understanding the difference between cause and effect is of critical importance to our recovery: It's not about me, I didn't cause it (and couldn't have prevented it by being different) though it affects me in the aftermath.
Twenty-five years of educating myself on the effects of porn, sex addiction, trauma, and the causes of addiction, has put it on my heart to walk with other women in this and help them understand they are NOT alone, this is not about them, and they can heal from the incredible deep betrayal and the trauma it causes.
I don't have all the answers and what's right for me, may not be right for you. But I can share what I think were huge mistakes, and maybe, save you some grief - at least, that's my hope.
I had to unlearn everything I ever believed about sex, about "love", about marriage, about addiction and learn a new language, and learn a new language of mercy and compassion for myself, and my husband.
If I'm not working a program to recover from my husband's behaviors, I'm working a program of unnecessary isolation, fear, and constant pain.
You can do this too - you're not alone, you're worth it, so please work it, because it works!
If you need someone to talk to, who "gets it" - please reach out.