Taking A Crowbar To A Mint 66 Mustang Convertible


I had a metaphor come to me today during my morning prayers. I just shared the metaphor with my husband and he agreed with it.

The way my husband treats me and our marriage when he goes “to the bad place” in his head is equivalent of him finally owning a 66 Mustang Convertible in mint condition after dreaming of it for his whole life. Then when it rains, he has an uncontrollable urge to take a crowbar to the car and hit it until the urge goes away.

Even when he knows and understands that he is causing damage every time he gives into his urge, the urge is so overwhelming and it is all he knows, that when it rains he feels that he has no choice but to get out the crowbar and continue to beat on the car.

The problem is that the car can only take so much damage before it becomes a piece of rotting junk sitting in the driveway. It no longer looks pretty, it no longer is worth the same value as what it was when he took possession of it and soon it will become useless and not even run.

Knowing that you are damaging the car and understanding that you do it is one thing but expecting that you are able to beat the car with all your power and expect it to be in mint condition AFTER your repeated tirades is where we are today. My husband seems to think that when he comes out of it and can look back and see what his patterns were that he could just pick up where he started and still have that perfect, shining car sitting there.

After almost 15 years of marriage and the entire time living with the effects of sexaholism, our marriage is almost useless and damaged beyond repair. I am convincing myself to stay that things will get better, that one day he will repair the damage and restore our marriage back to mint condition. I am hoping and praying and he continues to promise but unfortunately the empty promises and repeated damage has resulted in a diminishing marriage that is almost useless.

Do I stay until the marriage is totally dead and I hate him or do I leave while there is some life left?

Will there come a day when he will put out his arsenal of tools, all of his time and resources and put the time, money and energy into doing the hard work of restoration?

6 Responses to “Taking A Crowbar To A Mint 66 Mustang Convertible”

  1. Mysa,

    Your metaphor is quite interesting and really makes me think about my own journey and the relationships I’ve found myself in. I can totally understand where you are coming from. This is a long and winding road and the ups and downs become overwhelming at times. Especially when we feel as if the “downs” are so terribly devastating that we can barely see any light at the end of the tunnel. Only you truly know when enough is enough. I would ask if you feel you have lost so much of yourself that you have nothing left to give? Is the marriage worth the damage that is occurring within you? I would say do not stay until the marriage is totally dead, because where does that leave you? Sometimes it is in our best interest to let go, even when we feel so strongly that we should stay. After 15 years, you already know very well what life looks like with him. Try to consider what life could be like without him. The bottom line is that you must love and care for yourself. I totally understand wanting the marriage to work so badly, but how far do you allow that to go? The truth is, if you stay or go you can not be 100% sure of the outcome. You asked, “Do I stay until the marriage is totally dead and I hate him”… but what happens if you stay and in the end you hate yourself? I feel your pain and want you to know that you are not alone! http://apathtohealing.wordpress.com

  2. 2 Mary

    Your blog has been so encouraging to me that someone understands the pain I have over a husband that has issues. I’ve beat myself up over the past three years of marriage with the same ordeal of “do I stay or go”. It’s still heartbreaking but I opted recently of divorce, i recognized that I won’t get better until I have a chance to work on me, and staying with my husband, with the constant negativity, him upset and saying I’m controlling him because I’d like to either know his thoughts, his whereabouts, etc. So my choice to finally settle for divorce has been the logical that I’ll never build up a support system or myself if I stay married…It’s heartbreaking, and there are so many wishes I have that he’ll vamp himself into the Prince I thought he was when we first got together….that he will start to take responsibility and want to lead a life of integrity. But I need to keep concentrating that my husband suffers from being a narcissist, sociopath, he’s a compulsive liar, and lives in denial…Denial has worked in his family – so I guess that’s their coping mechanisim, that you rationalize, for example, that they don’t have affairs because it’s what God called them to do, and any allegations that women tell me about him sleeping with him – well apparently he says they are confused and that it was God that told him he needed to spend time with them to help them in their walk with God. I’ve lost so much being married, I only have the friendships I’ve had before we got together – and I’ve been asked by our church not to come back until I get straightened out. I went to the pastor for some help and guidance to discuss the physical violence and my husband’s infidelities, and they all said they can’t believe that, but I even asked them to talk to the women – and they said they can’t waste their time.

    Sorry about the venting – but I needed that. But I am saying, that maybe you need to seek more of a journey of what will make you a better and happier person….and can that exist if your marriage only becomes a business relationship….that was what helped me make my decision.

  3. 3 Frank

    I feel humbled by a lot of what I hear and read from others impacted by their SAs. My journey has been a painful 2 ½ years. I cannot imagine the toll that burdens so many having endured the common pain of rejection, self absorbtion and insensitivity delivered by the ones we love.
    My biggest agony was the path to gaining understanding of what I was involved in. Much of what I learned I had to ferret out from the clues, crimes, and cryptic behavior and reading – reading anything that I could get in front of my eyeballs. Sarah was no help, she offered no explanation when I pleaded for understanding. She maintained that she loved me, yearned to see me, fed me affirmations of how special I was to her. Yet she refused to divulge what was going on with her, why she was struggling or what the struggle was, in fact. Ultimately, my pleas were met with her coldly delivered statement “ I need to take care of myself”.
    Why did I stick around? Why would anyone? My spirit just soared being around her, just sitting next to her brought me calmness and contentment. My soul was enriched and energized, I felt myself becoming the “best version of myself”. — And I couldn’t understand, hearing her endearing words one day, why the relationship was falling apart the next. Her anger was easily summoned to the point of hysteria on occasion – over minor aggravations. Ridiculous accusations, snippy comments, unloving statements, facts completely out of context, these all became more and more common. The quiet tender times dissipated. I was desparate to know why. I was indeed ignorant of something very troubling – maybe I could help? I’m a loving, caring, compassionate and …smart man. If I couldn’t help, surely I could understand and offer my support.
    Slowly I started to piece together information. Too many conflicting statements on her part, too much erratic behaviour , and too many mixed messages to be ignored. My SA was completely avoidant of the issue. At first, and through the subsequent months, my questions were met with calm denials, then silence, then angry indignation and then accusations. I was certain that I couldn’t be the cause: I was loving and respectful, accommodating and caring, in short everything that my sainted mother or any mother would want their son to be. Why was she pushing me away? – it didn’t make any sense to me, but it hurt. I told myself not to take it personally there is something going on that I don’t know about. It hurt me more that she wouldn’t talk to me about it. I felt that she was backing me into a corner and I pleaded with her not to do it. At times I wanted to grab her by the shoulders, shake her, and scream “wake the f*ck up”!!!
    Finally, this all culminated in an admission of unspeakable things that happened years earlier, years before we met, and then the final silence of “No Contact”. It seemed that as S got to know me, her feelings for me developed and in equal measure, her avoidant behavior. Each time that we seemed to be developing a deepening of our relationship the need to sabotage, or to escape to something “extra-“relationship manifested itself. Each time, the crimes (at least the ones I know about) escalated. Unfortunately, the crimes she committed were never categorically verified. My suspicions were met with a nod, not a confession nor an apology. I’m not angry that she lied, cheated, and basically threw a valuable relationship in the toilet. Of course she broke my heart. The thing that I have the very hardest time accepting, the thing that is the most painful, is that I had to learn and to understand without any help from her. She had no compassion whatsoever to say “Look Frank, I pushed you away because I’m scared that you might not like the real me, you make me angry because … “ or whatever the real story is. I still don’t know what her issue really is. I keep waiting for her to make amends but I know it will never happen. What I did get was 4 or 5 tearful “I’m so sorry that I hurt you”s. It is not enough. I doubt she knows how she hurt me and to what extent.
    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to go on a rant and vent. I started this to say I’ve only gotten a small slice of the pain that many S-anon members get. My ordeal is over. I feel a very great heartache for those who are still feeling this anguish. You have my prayers.

  4. Frank,

    From my research most sex or love addiction is born out of failure to bond as a child. That failure to bond created an intimacy disorder. The closer that they get to intimacy, to love, to living in a safe nurturing environment – the scarier it is for them. Their fear of intimacy is so great that they will sabotage, destroy, lie, cheat, create chaos – anything to make it safe again for them.

    This is a disease of selfishness and self absorption mixed with self hatred. It has nothing to do with us. We could be replaced by anyone and the results would be the same.

    We did not cause it. We can not cure it.

    Although most of us who love these addicts believe the lies that it is us and we take on the responsibility of that lie and bend ourselves into pretzels to try to make it right. Our efforts can usually be successful for us, that there is healing and increased intimacy – for a small moment in time – but that will only escalate the addicts effort to make us go away far enough for them to feel safe again. Once we are far enough away from them having to deal with intimacy, then they seek the love that we all do naturally and draw us closer again. And the cycle is formed until someone breaks it.

    I thought that I was far enough into recovery that my cycle was broken and true healing could begin. I am 4 years into knowing about the addiction and into recovery. My cycle is still fully intact and has been reactivated by true deep intimate moments and now I am living in the hell of isolation, blame, attempts to control my emotions etc.

    I have seen many couples get through addiction and have the ultimate loving, caring relationships. It requires work on both parties and both parties to commit to recovery but most it requires the addict to say enough, this ends here and face what they feel is unfaceable.

    It is good that you are doing the research to know what happened. Hopefully it will keep you safe in the future. I hope you can forgive yourself for what you feel that you have done wrong. Forgiving ourselves is very difficult but so necessary in healing.

    Thank you for joining the conversation. I wish you love, peace and serenity.


    • 5 Frank

      Thank You Mysa,

      Reading your words is comforting. I feel my self-assurance and confidence seeping back to me… but I still feel anguish, sadness. I’m not completely back to my center; one foot in, one foot out. Words from you and others affirm my rational and healthful state. Yet I feel the bittersweetness of my experience with Sarah.

      I wonder in the “wisdom of all things”, the Higher Power and much of the perspectives of the 12 steps. I don’t want to move forward with a hyper-vigilence of addiction, nor to be a servant of fate. I do beleive that the world is what we make it, that our lives – though not completely in our control are more determined by the choices were make and the mannerin which we conduct ourselves than the misfortunes that visit us.

      Cleary, my journey w/ S ended badly for me or at least tragically different than what I was expecting. We all like happy endings, I think it is less a societal conditioning than a basic facet of the human condition. Yet, I don’t feel happy or content or even improved as a person, a man or companion having known (past tense) her, but I am happier, more contented and much improved than the person who was involved with her.

      She is a wonderful person and I feel horrible for feeling that she has not enriched my life. I’ve never known a person with such wonderful qualities that has left me with the ability to say that.

  5. 6 Karen

    I have asked myself the EXACT same questions a million times. Stay with hope things will get better or make a change. Day to day moment to moment the scale moves back and forth…

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