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Honesty in a Relationship


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I'm new to this site. I am 44 years old, an Attorney, been married for 15+ years and have three beautiful children. I am struggling with being completely honest with my wife about some shameful things I have done (and continue to do), such as excessive pornography use, lying about going to AA meetings, lying about seeing a therapist for help, etc. The shame attached to the behavior plus the shame attached to not being honest about it are sending me to dark places in my mind. However, I often think that not telling my wife "everything" might be okay if it keeps her from getting angry, upset, or of course wanting to leave me. I am sort of rambling, but I am starting to feel hopeless and I wanted to get some of my feelings out.

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Hi Randall,
Your shame and guilt is a good sign because it means that you are not in denial and that you know that you need to change.

Now you need help from an objective party who can help you on this bondage. I recommend that you look up the Every Man’s Battle program. They have a comprehensive program, an Intensive workshop, and books. They also have a radio program where you can ask them directly about your situation. The website is https://newlife.com/.

Until you fight and beat this addiction, it is immaterial whether you tell your wife or not. Eventually she will find out and if you can show that you are sincerely taking steps, the results might be more positive. But the bottom line is you need to get rid of this addiction if you want to have a good family life.

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Actually if I were you I wouldn't tell the wife about the porn part. I would tell her about everything else, except that. You said that you`re an attorney, then surely you know better then me that some cases cannot be appealed on, justified or argued with. I think that this might be one of those cases. Yes I know that's like a classic "guy line" to say, but really think that this is a hornet nest you don`t want to disturb. See i`m sitting here and i`m trying to imagine how such a conversation would go, what kind of apologies and justifications I would have to come up with if I was in you`re shoes, while at the same time praying to god that my own hypothetical beautiful children won`t accidentally stumble upto that porn, or even this forum, for that matter. Hey it can happen. And, no, i`m not an attorney or something like that obviously. I`m nothing. But I do think that no matter what you say, no matter how compelling you`re arguments can be, you can`t pull this off smoothly. Because after you talk about it, I think that there`s a very good chance that the whole thing might blow up even more then it actually is. I mean the other things you talked about, starting to actually go to you`re therapy, going to AA meetings, yeah do that. Tell you`re wife about those. Obviously those can`t be ignored. I`m sure that if she loves you she will support you through all those hardships, and then the both of you can sort out what you are going to tell you`re kids someday. But porn is different. There are too many negative hypothetical associations which might be attributed to that on the outside, even if none of them are true. This could effect more then just you`re marriage, if word somehow got out. I`m not trying to bring you down btw, i`m just saying what I think might be a turn of events which will not leave any room for plausible deniability. I mean you are an attorney, you have a family and money, but you know what the world is like. Even if all you ever did was just watch some porn at you`re leisure like many people do, the labels can start adding up once the word "addiction" gets thrown in. Like, I think that people in general are more likely to be accepting towards drinking problems and mental healthcare issues, then they would be towards a porn addiction.

You don`t have to listen to me, i`m obviously not as educated or as smart as lawyer. But I am saying that I think that once that door is open, its not going to get closed to easily. Maybe its safer to leave that alone. I mean a man`s reputation could be at stake from that if word got out. You`re professional integrity, all the clients you worked with, a lot of elements which might be put in question just because of that 50% chance of resolving an issue which might not be so awful. I mean yeah, call me paranoid, but if I was someone that had something to lose, then yeah I would take that part with me to the grave. People can say whatever they want about openness and communication, and who knows maybe they are right about why its healthier to take off such a burden (if thats what it really is) and share thoughts and feelings over what might be some severe toxic behavior, and seek the appropriate help for that. But... its always 50%. Its either a good call or a very bad one. I don`t think I would be able to do that. Well that`s my two cents anyway.

 

Edited by Anatosphere
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You seem to have addictions you're struggling with. If I were you, I would see specifically an addiction therapist. They will be able to help you get on track to managing these issues and then you won't have to lie to your wife. Just say you've adopted a new approach to addressing the drinking or something. Let sleeping dogs lie.

AA isn't for everyone. It wasn't for me. I couldn't do the whole god thing or convince myself I had zero control over my drinking or my life. I felt in my gut I did have control, and that I was accountable. There are other non-AA support groups for alcoholics that have a different approach. Again, an addiction therapist would be the best person to advise you on which program might work best for you.

Edited by morecoffee
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