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Is the Affair a manifestation of my Addiction?

Old 01-20-2015, 01:30 PM
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Is the Affair a manifestation of my Addiction?

I'm lost.. Confused.. Angry.. but most of all regretful of what I have done. I cheated on my wife.

We have been together for seven years. She knew about my addiction from day one. I have been in and out of the rooms of NA for the past 3 years and have relapsed multiple times. All the while she still stayed with me. She is strong. She spent some time in Nara-anon and that really helped her to understand the likely hood of Relapse. She got to a point where she accepted that if I wasn't working my recover, I would relapse.

Last summer I came out of a relapse, she was understanding (well there where some tears and disappointment). Took me in her arms and told me I was sick. Encouraged me to start going to the program again. So I did... Only problem was that I left for An over seas Job in Israel for Three months just two weeks after my sobriety date.

So again I was a "Dry Drunk" more or less... When I left I had intentions to save all of this money and we where doing it for all the right reasons. but that soon faded.

I arrived in Israel in the last weeks of the 50 day war with Gaza. It was intense, rockets everyday, bomb shelters, the sound of explosions, constant fear of attack and constant threat. I lived in a hotel with all of my co-workers, we ate together, drove together, traveled together. Eventually, I fell into the same patterns of addiction, I started Drinking. After a couple weeks there I was out drinking with a couple of co-workers and we decided to return to our room.... I heard a knock on my door... It was a Female co-worker... I knew why she was there... I told myself get her out of your room asap!! So, stupidly, I said let me walk you back to your room.... when we got there she, for lack of a better term "Over powered me" I lost all control!!!!! I slept with her... I felt ashamed the next day, worse I felt sick.

But something happened... It was like a high, a rush. I unknowingly found myself having the same feelings that the pills used to give me. I found my self making the same excuses I used with my DOC, "Just one more" I thought "This is the last Time" (one is too many and a thousand never enough) this lasted for weeks! I would beat myself up, curse myself for what I was doing, but when it came to self-control and saying no, I could do it, or when I did stick to it. I lost all control, I was powerless!!! How in the Hell can I say that? I love my wife more than the world, but some how I pushed her out of my mind to get that feeling again, just like I did with the Drugs. The relationship/ addiction lasted nearly a month and half before I was strong enough to put a stop to it (I went home for a week, that's a another post I think. it was a week of shame guilt and an attempt to hide form what I had done). I spent the next month and half in solitude until I was able to return home for good.

fast forward now... Its been 3 months since my return and since I Told my wife. We have our good days and our bad ones. I am in active recovery staying clean and finding a new way to live. but its been really hard staying positive. when we talk about the affair, she asks things like "why did you do it?" and I couldn't answer for a long time. The more I thought about it the more I realized it had eerie similarities to my relapse with drugs. I don't want to blame it on my addiction, I Take full responsibility for what I have done. But I cant help but feel like that was a big part of why this happened... I was trying to fill a hole...

If you read this.. thank you for letting me vomit those thoughts. If not that's ok too.

I need support, I need to understand what it is that I'm feeling, why I did what I did.

Was my Affair a manifestation of my Addiction????
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:29 AM
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Hi Ziggy.

In my experience, infidelity is a Very common factor in war zones. While I'm sure it plays some part in the act occurring, I think it would be a misjudgement to say it was a manifestation of being in a combat zone, or of addiction.

Rather, I would say your infidelity and addiction are symptoms of something else altogether. Have you considered finding a good counselor? It often helps to talk things out with a neutral party in order to understand what is driving us to make these unhealthy decisions. Marriage counseling could also be beneficial as well.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ziggy505 View Post
I need support, I need to understand what it is that I'm feeling, why I did what I did.

Was my Affair a manifestation of my Addiction????
With you I identify a lot...

I've not been in a war, but I have been in an affair. It wasn't particularly a sexual thing either. It was emotional.. it felt like 'love'.

In my case, as I've been here before, and with some recovery under my belt I can see it for what it really was. A mental obsession, a compulsion.

From my perspective as both an alcoholic in recovery (AA) and an adult child of an alcoholic/Dysfunctional family (ACoA) I suffer from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic (which by default is dysfunctional) home.

I bring fear and self doubt learned in childhood to my adult interactions. I rely on the traits as expressed in 'The Laundry List' or 'The Problem' (ACA fellowship identity papers). These are my false self.

The answers to 'why' I did it are also not entirely clear; I can't point to one single reason, but I can point to a myriad of tiny reasons that add up to a lot. Most of those reasons do not justify my behaviour, but they help me understand how my flawed thinking developed. Whilst, I'm not saying my behaviour can be blamed on my partner, no relationship is one sided. Some of our interactions are toxic (to each other), yet neither of us particularly does so with malice, the other doesn't know that. Things for me can add up, even if and when those things are not resentments. They can cross a boundary of mine and equal not acceptable ... however, for my part I need to make my boundaries clear, or they will get crossed. And when they are crossed, my acting out in 'other' behaviour that is not acceptable in the terms of my relationship... is good for no-one, myself included.

THe Big Red Book of ACA says this "While we had the illusion of choice as adults, what we really practiced before ACA was control, which predictably fizzled into binges on food, work, sex, gambling, spending or destructive relationships. It is not uncommon for us to have had two or more addictive or compulsive behaviours occurring at the same time. For example we have seen adult children in active drug addiction also enmeshed in a loveless relationship while being sexually compulsive with another partner"

You mileage may well be very different, but my story is the causes and conditions relating to my primary addiction fuel other compulsive or self destructive behaviours. My basic problem is the same in order to overcome myself (which is an inside job) I frequently rely on outside things.

BTW What I've felt in such circumstances is withdrawal! It's re-living the abandonment of my childhood. "A co dependent break up can be as painful as any drug withdrawal" (Big Red Book).

Also what I feel sometimes is guilt, healthy guilt. That's ok. Shame, I have let myself and others down. Shame is not OK for me, its at the route of my core issues, leading to addiction. When I first entered into ACA, there were very few feelings I could identify. After being in ACA a little while, I can see progress.

Be Well...

Last edited by makomago; 02-09-2015 at 07:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:16 AM
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There is always going to be a hole there because you have an addiction. You can choose to fill it up through recovery, or make choices that hurt you in the long run, such as this choice. If you have an addictive personality you will always have to be aware of it and make sure you don't do things to feed into that.

Good luck to you.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:44 AM
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Thanks Zig for the thread. I did this at 7 yrs. sober and never made it to 9 in my first marriage. My current wife and I have discussed our pasts (both guilty w/other partners) and the carnage is just too great--that's as deep as we went. Mako, I suppose it's time we get some ACA materials. No obsession works is really hitting home.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by anattaboy View Post
Mako, I suppose it's time we get some ACA materials. No obsession works is really hitting home.
:-)

I have lots of ACA materials and plenty of tools from ACA too... My problem is I need how to use those tools more effectively. In my case, in my scenario...
.. I either picked up the wrong tool; made an incorrect diagnosis, or simply didn't even bother to try! Woops.

I'll keep practicing :-)

M
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