"What about them"?

What do you guys think about this?
What support systems do your partners use to cope with your addictions and or recovery?

How do you feel about them talking to their friends about how they feel regarding your behaviour?

While I was drinking I was terrified of him talking to people about my issues…even if it was to get support for his own.

Now that I’ve been open with my own friends, I realize that keeping his sex addiction a secret is really unhealthy, especially when it affects me so much.

I can only imagine that my drinking affected him and that him not telling anyone would have an affect as well…

He’s really embarrassed about his behaviour and I can understand…and it bugs him I know that my friends and family know, even though he understands that it’s part of my own recovery, and that my feelings about his actions tie into both my drinking and my sobriety.

I’m embarrassed about him going to his friends for support about his own sex addiction because he’ll have to tell them about my drinking problem and also about the fat that he did this to me and I stayed with him.

Anyhow, what do you guys think? Any experiences? Perspectives? Etc?

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The embarrassment is really your ego. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Talking about issues and dealing with them head on puts light and air on the situation rather than keeping them this dark secret. I suggest you both work your recovery separately by finding a program and a group that works for each of you. It’s okay to talk about yourself with friends and family but they won’t fully understand. A recovery group will and you’ll learn the tools to live a better life, to clear away resentments, and to focus on what you need to do personally. When I tell my story and experience, I don’t drag my husband’s addiction and recovery into it (that’s his story, not mine)


Hey Melrm :slight_smile: thank you for your respective :slight_smile:

Neither of us is interested in recovery related meetings at this time. We have to consider the impact this being common knowledge would have on our work in our community and for other personal reason. (the friends and family discussed here don’t live in the same town as we have moved away).

That having been said we both agree that having a support network of others who understand recovery is a good idea.

While we might understand that this is life and it’s not that big a deal/ doesn’t make us bad people, many don’t and fear of how their ignorance can affect us from a professional stand point is both real and reasonable in my opinion. This is one of the reasons I use this forum. We are also both in therapy.

What if one of us had an addiction issue and he other didn’t? What I’m trying to figure out is how does one live authentically and not hide from friends or family when they ask you what’s wrong and they’re really is stuff going on that your struggling with silently. When your partners issues affect you, while you process and heal but you are conscious of respecting your partners privacy.

Having different programs and focusing on our own goals etc isin’t really an issue. But when I meet up with my friends I feel like I can’t discuss this big event in my life that I’m putting the pieces back from, because it involves coming clean about learning I’ve been cheated on multiple times etc etc etc and then explaining that I stayed because his behaviour is rooted in addiction. This even is also the catalyst to me getting sober. Something I’m actively being open about and sharing with my friends but is definitely a remarkable change when I’m the only one not drinking at the party.

I guess I’m trying to understand what other people with addiction issues feel about their partners discussing their issues as part of their own experience.

Like if yor partner discussed his frustration reguarding your behaviour with an non recovery based friend, would you be upset? Would you insist he not discuss these things with others?


Hey Olive :slight_smile: thanks for chiming in.

I now what you mean about not feeling like the addiction is YOU. We share a perspective in that our addiction is just something we have to handle, not an identity.

Let me put it to you this way, if your “pity party” had really hurt or bothered him in some way and he needed to vent to a friend, would it be ok with you that he mention that your being in early recovery from or adjusting to life without Opiates and or booze was a complicating factor?

A big part of my addiction is the secrecy. I was a very successful closet drinker. So coming out and being real with people about my experiences, insecurities, struggles imperfections etc ( being vulnerable pretty much) is a big part of my recovery.

Learning to be publicly imperfect and comfortable with that. The people I’m referring to are close friends I’ve knows for years and who have shown a lot support and understanding over the years. These are the people who know something is up, always knew I struggled etc. So the details about my BF and his infidelity is to me I’d just part of my life I don’t want to hide, except I understand that it’s scary for my bf who’s concerned about being judged.


Thank you :slight_smile: I think the context is important. I’ll be sure to explain to him that it’s not a bashing party type thing and that the people I’m discussing with, super us and our recovery.

Just wanted to chime in on one thing - as far as him talking about your recovery in order to vent to his friends, or come clean about his addictions, would having a small dinner with your close friends be an option? Or even an email sharing your story with them…i personally would not want my husband talking about my recovery without me being present… But it IS super important to be transparent and honest with those you are close to, even just for accountability. I also have a very hard time"coming clean" to my loved ones, but it gets easier and you feel a bit more in control when you can say, “yea, i have an issue with alcohol, but hey now I’m trying. This is where i am. This is why I’m acting odd / aloof…” it kinda just is a release…
But no, i would rather my husband not discuss it with others until I’ve had time to discuss it with them, in my own time.

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This is a tough subject @Decided. One thing I noticed in your original post is something I deal with on my own sobriety journey. You mentioned that “he did this to me and I stayed with him”. Those are his actions and he did these actions of his own accord. He did not do them “to you”, he acted a certain way and his actions affected you deeply (I’m not discounting that). The reason I say that is the fact that I was betrayed by my first husband in a way that profoundly changed how I felt about him and I did drink at him in my anger, hoping-as they say- that the poison I drank would kill him. It took me years to face the fact that I drank over my own feelings about the situation, not about his actions. I had to stop living in the angry tumult that was my heart over how he had betrayed me. I had to see his actions for what they were (his, and only his) and then I had to deal with how they made me felt and move on. I could no longer pour alcohol on what “he did” and survive. To continue to do so would have been my death.

I urge you to find someone to speak to about your feelings on your husband’s actions. If not in a recovery program, then maybe with a counselor or therapist. Until you deal with how you feel about his actions, you will always carry that resentment in your heart. And it will consume you.


Thank you! This is what I was trying to figure out.

On my side, I’m dealing with his infidelity, something he didn’t want discussed. Unfortunately for me I had to talk about what I was dealing with; otherwise i knew I’d have kept drinking to suppress it / hide it.

To be clear we’re talking over 30 sex workers, my health was put at risk, the level of lying and deception was pretty extreme and I’m still dealing with some overwhelming PTSD symptoms and episodes like extreme and spontaneous panic, feeling like I’ve just found out all over again, some serious doubts that I can’t know to be valid or hyper vigilance, dissociation, fits of depression and extreme sadness etc. On top of it I’ve quit drinking and smoking over the last almost 5 months, once I found out about what he was up too. So it’s not like I can just hang out with my friend without there clearly being something wrong.

I’m more confident with him discussing my drinking now because like you said I feel like I’m in control and have created some distance between it and me.

My concern however is that he will use my drinking as an excuse or to deflect from his infidelity, which seems to stem from sexual addiction.

My close friends now know and he’s very ashamed. However, they are happy to have about the progress we have both made individually and together. He was under the impression that I’d be willing to live a split life when my friends , family and relationship were all kept separate ( so that he’d never have to look my sister in the eye for example), that’s not healthy. And I’m not willing to navigate such a potentially dangerous and fragile situation in secret.

He seems to feel different about it. Ow, viewing it as facing his own tendency toward hiding and secrecy, for the advancement of his recovery. He’s scared and embarrassed but is looking forward to that “release” as you put it.

I’ve left it up to him to make the call. He wants to start with my sister, in a safe place like our home where he is free to be emotional without strangers around, and he will answer questions and have the discussion required to clear the air/ slate and rebuild the trust there as well.

I think part of his is excited about the chance to rebuild the relationship without the lies and secrecy. Of course, I’m not going to expect or even suggest he do this with anyone who hasn’t shown compassion, understanding and concern for both of our well being.

Once this is done and he sees that I’m not trying to build an army against him, just live with authenticity and openness and move away from the unhealthy tendencies that lead to isolation etc…that I’ll have less to worry about him throwing me under the bus to cover his butt.

Thanks for this! I just want to add that since I’ve been more honest and open about my struggles with my close friends, they have not only been receptive, but have confessed their own concerns about their own habits, partners relationships etc. A couple have asked for this forums link and for the titles of Books they can read. It’s been extremely encouraging and empowering! :blush:

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You have dealt with so much @Decided! You are a strong woman, thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us. :purple_heart:

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Thanks for sharing your experience with me! :purple_heart:
This is one of those things where I know exactly what you mean, and I agree and understand it…but I feel like I have little control over my physiological response.

I explain it I’m a later post on this tread. Do you mind having a look and letting me know what you think?

I’m definitely at the point where I’m not willing to sacrifice my emotional well being for an extended period of time. The anger is fear based and very spontaneous. As a general rule I’m happy and optimistic about our relationships and the improvements we have made.

I don’t need to tell you that trust is the main issue now. I think I need to find a new councillor who specializes in PTSD. My traveling for work always sparks an issue.

I know he didn’t do this “to me”. I mean I “know”. But when I’m triggered it’s like I’m right back in the minute where I found out.and he literally is the Emily who risks It’s pretty scary. Thanks for recommending I not brush that off.

I really do understand and think I forgive … but the residual effects of what happened are still not under control as I mentioned, and THAT makes me mad.

Again than you, you’ve given me a new angle to tackle this from. I’ll look at finding a different kid of coucilor to help me with this.

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Well, it really sounds like you guys are making the best out of a REALLY tough situation. It seems like you two are talking, and being open to each other - an integral step towards healing!
I hope the meeting with your sister is ultimately positive for both you and your husband. Keep working on it!
And yes, u really love how receptive my friends have been. Have a great one!!

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