My husband told me that he viewed pornography and I feel awful, almost like I have been cheated on. My brain immediately goes to “I’m not enough. I won’t ever be enough. I have to protect myself (by distancing myself from him) so it doesn’t hurt. I don’t understand how he could do this if he really loved me. I can’t trust him.”
I know that I’m making it mean something about me. I have gone to the place of being curious and have actually felt compassion for him about it. I realize through this thought work that the only person I like to trust is me and that it feels easier to just hold back a portion of trust from him. But, that doesn’t feel good either.
When I go to worst case scenario (that it keeps happening) I freak out. I love him so much, and yet, it is so much mental work for me to get through when this happens. I just feel stuck.
C: husband says, “I viewed pornography”
T: I can’t trust him
A: withhold attention from him, try to avoid intimate moments, judge him, question my own value, question his love for me
R: I don’t trust him, I don’t trust myself,
(His result might include him not trusting me by me avoiding, judging, and withholding from me. I know his results are his, but thought it was interesting to think about.)
I know some optional thoughts are:
It has nothing to do with me (which I don’t believe)
He can choose his own choices (and I want to punish those choices)
I can trust myself to take care of myself (which again brings a feeling of pushing away from him)
I don’t have to make this C more important than my love for him (in the moment, this still doesn’t feel believable. )
I am searching for some other ladder thoughts that might help me bridge the gap.