For Jane

how to detach from a sex/porn addict
Is the horse or rider more insane?

Follow the story. 
Read the previous entry here.

I don't usually tell the ending of a story before it begins but this time I think I should.

In the next few weeks I'm going to share my darkest stories.  They were the times I was desperately out of control grasping for anything solid to stand on but nothing would hold me.  I felt like a trapped wild animal rabid with fear!  My feral eyes darting, searching for escape.   Frantically clawing at my cage until I passed out.  I'm ashamed to say I was so insane.  But, it is true.

I lost my mind.

I couldn't see past his addiction. It consumed every breath I took.   WHY would he throw his family away?  WHY would he choose garbage and sluts over us?  I was wasting away.  WHY didn't he grow a pair and do everything necessary to repair the damage? WHY?  All he had to do was A, B, C and (magic wand) wa-laaa!  Life would be cured.

But, he wasn't interested in A, B or C or any other method of healing.

"JUST DO IT!!" I screamed until my vocal chords went silent.

Although this phase of healing was the darkest, it led me to 
my most important discovery.

This excerpt is cut and pasted from the Hope and Healing Forum.  My blogging BFF, Jane, suggested I share this.  This thread was inspired by "S", click here to read her story.  To see all the entire converstion click here (you might have to register first).


Great comments!  

And I just have to add, in my own experience, there is some kind of magic in leaving him to his own devises. 

 I know, we all want our husbands to choose the right thing, right now!  Believe me, I tried all kinds of manipulation and convincing tactics that weren't so convincing.  I kept hanging on by a thread thinking there was something I could do to reach his heart to make him see to make him want to keep himself safe from his addiction.  All this did was painfully eat away at my soul until I felt empty.  That is an awful place to be.  It took a long time.  I blamed myself for so much...but slowly the reality sunk in that just like I didn't cause it, i couldn't do anything to heal it.  This was his.  

And when the time was right, I could heal our marriage if there was a mutual respect to do so.  But there wasn't at that time so I had to detach and take care of me and my kids.  I really believe this is so essential in the healing process, detach yourself.  Detach with love (as my sponsor says).  Let them know you love them and wish them the best in their healing journey.  Be kind and loving but just detach.  Seal off your vulnerability.  Now is not the time for vulnerability.  They can earn it all back but first you need to heal and he needs to heal.

True, it's terrifying.  Detaching brings a lot with it.  My spouse didn't like it.  I was no longer playing the manipulation game with him.  I just walked away and he couldn't stand it.  He would get angry.  And inside i was terrified he would act out and destroy everything.  This was such a consuming fear, but I had to let it go.  Because truthfully he would act out regardless of how tightly i was or wasn't hanging on.  I was terrified he would say, "fine, you don't even love me.  Im leaving".  

All these fears could become a reality.  And we need to be ok that there are no guarantees when it comes to our marriages.  I will be happy with or without Mr. Scabs.  No matter what happens, I will be the best mother I can, a good friend, I will love unconditionally and most of all I will love myself.  

Detaching is our way of saying, "I do not accept this behavior in my life."

It may take time and this is where patience and enduring to the end is required.  Our Father does not want his daughters to live in such dark places.  Detaching will bring you light and understanding and clarity on what you can do to heal.  And that is where you will gain your own confidence to make those hard decision.

Sorry for such a long reply...obviously I have a passion for this.  It took me 10 years to finally detach from my husband.  Manipulation on both sides was part of our marriage.  But it wasn't until I detached that I made amazing changes and so did he.  For the first time in his life Mr. Scabs is a changing man.

Jane's reply:

I feel like this is the absolute foundation of recovery for me.  I MUST detach.  I can set a thousand boundaries, attend a thousand meetings, read a thousand books, but if I can't let go of this I'm doomed to misery and disappointment.

Anyway, save these words somewhere Scabs, cuz they are the clutch play, the game-changer.


After I learned this, everything changed. 

This is my most valuable discovery. 

Like Jane says it is the 

"clutch play, the game-changer." 


  1. That picture reminds me of that movie "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." Do you remember that movie? I loved it.

    Anyway, obviously you know how I feel about this, but thanks for posting it here. It's going to be a bookmark, because I still find myself tempted to re-enlist in his battle. Ya know?

    It IS an amazing discovery. Well said.

  2. And as sick as it sounds, I look forward to reading about your dark time, because it will just increase my admiration for how far you've come.

    1. Lol! Ya you just want to see me loose it! Glad to have you long for the crazy-ride.

  3. I can not tell you how much you have inspired me to find peace. you are an Amazing woman and have so much strength and wisdom. Thank you for sharing it with us. You are a total stranger and yet I LOVE YOU.

    1. Olives! I adore you. This is so much more than i could have ever imagined! I love hearing from you especially hearing that you are searching for peace. Happiness is what we are made for! But you know I can't take credit for any of the strength or any of the wisdom.

    2. I cannot tell you this girl, this woman, this gem is one of the most amazing individuals I have ever known. Are you not the future? a desperately needed leader, heroine? I think you are!
      This situation and this life unfolding is what this old world needs, hope shining bright even in desperation, darkness and evil.
      I am so unspeakable proud of you...two...too.
      Thank you for putting your heart out there writing these beautiful thoughts mixed with anguish and gravity.
      Don't stop, write a book, save a life, change a nation.
      Mr. Scabs and the girl with the broken heart will be a light and a lifeboat.
      Prayers, love and open hearts always to you!
      With God anything is possible, right, even moving mountains...

    3. Ok! This was the most uplifting are the kindest most loving person. And now I know who you are so I'm gonna call you!!

      thank you for such thoughtful words.

  4. What you wrote about today is exactly where I am right now. I HAVE to let go, detach, and put the responsibility in his hands. It is terrifying!

    You are right, though. There is nothing I can do. This battle is his to fight. My battle is letting him fight it and letting go of the results. I have to be ready to draw a line in the sand and follow through if he doesn't do the right thing. And that means I have to detach from him. Easier said than done, though.

    I am going to take those words and put them somewhere that I can always see... "I MUST detach. I can set a thousand boundaries, attend a thousand meetings, read a thousand books, but if I can't let go of this I'm doomed to misery and disappointment." So true!

    1. This is the hardest part!

      Letting go of Mr scabs was the most difficult thing I had to do. He was so seeped in his self-destructive behavior and like a sinking ship he was threatening to take us all down. I have no doubt, if I would have hung on longer, my kids and i would have suffered even greater pains. Truth is, I had already hung on too long. I had to be ok with the fact this could end. It could be irrevocably broken. We could divorce. My children could be raised without their father in the house. I had to be ok with that. And now, I have come to terms with that.

      With an addict things could change in an instant! I am prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.

      Was it on your blog that i saw an interesting idea about the difference between women who leave their husbands without coming to peace or coming to detachment and those women who made the decision after they had detached? The women who hadn't detached were still angry and spiteful (no one would judge them, all that hurt is justified) but the women who had detached were able to leave their spouse in as much peace as possible. As if detaching gave her power over the immense pain of divorce. I'm sure it's painful either way, but if we can salvage some of our sanity whether we decide to stay or leave, I think it's worth it. Detaching might be the key that splits the fog and suddenly you'll be able to see if there is healing in the future for your relationship or if there isn't.

      For me, that was the impossible question. Should i stay or should i go?

      Thanks for being here and I'm glad I found your blog too!

  5. That's where I am again with Devin. I am detached again. Who would think that after a year of sobriety he could relapse, but he did. So, I put his recovery in his court, left mine up to me. It's not an easy task but he's sober, I'm focused and all is progressing once again. As they say, it's progress, not perfection.

    I will say though, the one thing about detachment is you have to be careful to only detach from certain areas if you're remaining you don't lose the emotional and intimacy connection.

    Great job, April!

    1. Here's another thought Elsie, do you think this is a pattern that repeats, fading until it dies out and we experience true healing from addiction?

  6. Nice words of caution elsie...cause youre right. If we detach completely and cut him off its the perfect chance for a dark, handsome smooth talking italian man to lure us to his bed. I'm sure that would involve some instant pleasure but a lifetime of regret. While I certainly considered revenge wasn't right.

    1. I'm going to do as they say to do in our S-Anon group and speak from my own experiences while also gleaning a bit from my past addiction to cocaine twenty years ago...(and in truth, it's why I think I'm able to have such an understanding of Devin's addiction now.)

      In my experience with MY addiction to cocaine, it's like another lifetime ago. I look back on those days and can't believe that they ever happened, who was that teen/almost adult? My pattern of addiction simply stopped. I told myself to quit and I did *ahem* after one last night of um..uh..partying...then I stopped. I haven't touched it since. It's not even an option or a thought. From that trauma, from MY addiction, I am healed and am actually better and stronger for it.

      That is what I pray for, for Devin. Full and complete sobriety where he can look back, shake his head and say, really? I did that? Me? Never again! However, my mistake the first time around was thinking I could help him accomplish that because I had been there myself, albeit cold turkey w/o sponsors and steps, etc.

      I do think he can heal, but I also think only he can heal himself. It's not my job to heal him. I can be his moral support but I can't be his crutch...a crutch will only break under the pressure.

      And, yes, total detachment can be very, very dangerous. Just like you said, worst case scenario - revenge sex!! AAAAHHH!!!

  7. I so appreciate this post. I have been dealing with my husband's addiction for 11.5 years. In the last 2 years have I detached. It was never a choice, it just happened. I didn't know until today it was healthy and okay. (I have wondered if it's a normal part of survival, though.) I've been terrified I had done something wrong in detaching, that I need to be more loving and attentive, but instead I've circled the wagons with my kids. I am feeling so much better. His slips no longer devastate me. They are his. I have prayed long and hard about this, and today I was led to this post. I can't thank you enough. :)

  8. Amazing! Jane may have been fully inspired to encourage this post. I'm so humbled that I could be part of that experience for u. I'm no expert, but I think you're normal. In fact I really feel every phase of healing is normal. The good, the bad and the ugly.

  9. SO glad you posted these thoughts publicly. I think we need dozens of women to talk about what this looks like so that those needing to understand it can hear it in lots of different ways.

    I also love the way you are helping each other via your blogs. The community that is building is really a wonder to behold.

    1. This little community we are all building is pretty amazing and so helpful. Someone out there has been where I am and gets how I feel and can point me in the right direction when i feel lost. i am so thankful!

  10. I don't know how to detach without being cold and distant?

    1. And sometimes that's all you can do. I did it. In the beginning I detached like a pissed off cat! claws and everything. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. It' so unfair and so poisonous.

      I don't know anything about your situation but just wondering...when did you find out and is he living at home? Whats the temperature of your relationship now?

  11. WOAH!! This is just mind boggling. You are a strong woman. Thank you for sharing your difficult moments with the rest of us. You aren't alone. I haven't had the guts to share my whole story... But I think i'm getting closer to that moment. XO!!

  12. Thanks for sharing your story. You are so brave!

    1. I'm not sure I'm brave I just can't keep quiet anymore.

  13. Most days I want to die.
    The agony is unreal.
    This post was a real comfort to me.
    Thank you.

  14. This post brought sweet comfort to me today. I have spent 24 years in a marriage with a porn addict. But, ask, he will deny there is a problem. At this point. My oldest two children, who are adults now. Have guessed that their dad has a problem. My daughter is begging me to leave. Get a fresh start. She says, that I am not treated very nicely. Finally the blinders have come off. I can clearly see that things need to change. That staying for the children isn't really working. I appreciate the stories, the messages and your sharing your experiences. I am ready to detach, forgive and move on. My plan is to let the kiddo's finish up with school year. Then ask him to move out and get some help. :)

  15. I needed this today. Detaching is probably the second hardest thing I have ever done. The first, filing for divorce.
    I am ready to detach and move on, my ex husband although he has moved on - doesn't seem to want to detach from me and keeps dragging me down.. The last two months I have finally been able to cut the majority of contact with him and I believe I am slowly starting to find myself again and ... move on... I have made a note that "Detaching is our way of saying: I do NOT accept this behavior in my life." I will see it every day as a reminder that it is okay to detach and move on. That is exactly what I needed. Thank you for sharing your story. It's comforting to know that we aren't alone and there is help. xo


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