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How do I Forgive Myself after Betraying my Wife for 18 Years?!



Here's a raw, heart-felt submission from a PBSE listener—


Hello Mark and Steve, I am a recovering porn addict and the grateful husband of the listener whose question about foreboding joy you answered in episode 107, “How Can I Ever Dare to Trust Him Again?” If you have time, I would be grateful for your insights on the two questions below. I tried to provide context without becoming too long-winded.


I really connect with everything in episode 149, “As a Porn/Sex Addict in Recovery, How Do I Let Go of Deep Feelings of Shame & Unworthiness?” I am working hard on, and making progress with, my feelings of worthlessness in my therapy sessions and through fellowship in SAA. I believe I can change. I believe that my wife deserves an improved, authentic and integrated man. I am grateful that I have a new life, but I’m not sure that I feel like I deserve this new life. The last part of the listener’s message really hits me hard, “even if she forgives me, I’m not sure my self-worth would allow me to accept it.” This is the situation I am in right now. My wife forgave me after my 9th Step amends to her last year. But how can I forgive myself for my betrayal of her before I have given her at least 18 years of my authentic, integrated, sober self?


In our recent couples’ therapy session, our CSAT told my wife that “John is proud of his sobriety of 20 months,” but I struggle to feel proud. I feel happy, grateful, encouraged, and hopeful, but not proud. How can I feel proud that I have now done the minimum basic expectation of being faithful for 20 months when I betrayed her for 18 years?


In this episode, Mark and Steve address these great questions and the dilemma that many married addicts face!


Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.com


Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling


Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services

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